§ 58 and 59. Major Lyons
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (1) whether he is aware of representations made by the haulage industry that, where and when practicable, goods vehicles should be offered on release from service to the haulage industry when hauliers' applications had been recommended; how many goods vehicles have been released from service and disposed of to hauliers during this year; and how many have been sold to dealers respectively?
(2) with reference to the vehicles disposed of by his Department this year by tender, how many of these were goods vehicles; what steps were taken to make the proposal public; and whether, in view of the need for such vehicles by the haulage industry, any notification of the disposal was given to the London Haulage Contractors' Association or the National Road Transport Federation or to what other representative body?
§ Mr. Harold Macmillan
I am not aware of the representations referred to in the first Question. Vehicles released from service usually require extensive repairs and are either reconditioned by the Ministry of Supply and released to the Ministry of War Transport for allocation to other Government Departments, or, under the arrangement made with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, are handed over to the respective manufacturers for disposal either as scrap or for repair and sale to operators. After repair, the sale of such vehicles is controlled by the Agreement, a copy of which I sent to my hon. and gallant Friend on 9th October. Vehicles are sold only to operators holding certificates to purchase from the Regional Transport Commissioners of the Ministry of War Transport. Approximately 2,000 goods 1528 vehicles have been allotted to the manufacturers under this scheme, of which some have already been repaired and sold to operators. It would involve special inquiries to ascertain the number. Previous to the operation of the present scheme vehicles not considered fit for reconditioning by the Ministry of Supply were disposed of by tender and there was no restriction as to the classification of firms on the tender list. Approximately 400 commercial trucks and 600 commercial vans were disposed of by tender.
§ Major Lyons
Was the tender to which the hon. Gentleman referred in the latter part of his answer made publicly, or was it a private tender? Is it true or not that these vehicles are sold to dealers and not to the trade, and that the dealers make a ring before the vehicles go back?
§ Mr. Macmillan
With regard to the first supplementary question, I should like to have notice of it. As to the second, my statement covers it completely. We make our sales through the Association of Manufacturers.
§ Major Lyons
Is the Association permitted to sell to whom it likes, namely, to a sub-agency dealing direct, or must it sell to the trade itself?