HC Deb 30 September 1942 vol 383 cc758-9
32. Sir Austin Hudson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that an allowance of five gallons per week each is granted to two loud-speaker vans used for party propaganda by the Communist Party of Great Britain, that the vans have been touring the streets of North London agitating for an immediate second front; and whether he will divert this petrol to some purpose more useful to the war effort?

Mr. Noel-Baker

The Regional Transport Commissioner was assured that the vans would be used to encourage the increase of production and the recruitment of women. He therefore allowed five gallons a week for each van.

Sir A. Hudson

Does the hon. Gentleman really think that merchant seamen should be asked to risk their lives to bring petrol here for party propaganda?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I have no information except that which the hon. Gentleman has just given me about propaganda, either for a second front or party purposes. I suggest, however, that if he desires to pursue the political aspects of the matter, he would perhaps do right to take up the question with the Minister of Information.

Major Sir Ronald Ross

Is it not generally desirable that the Ministry of War Transport should make some inquiries to see that allowances of petrol are being properly used?

Mr. Noel-Baker

We make inquiries for the purposes for which this petrol was asked, and we received assurances. We have no information of the kind now stated except that which has been put to me to-day.

Sir R. Ross

Has the hon. Gentleman made any inquiries himself to see whether petrol is being properly used?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I have not had time to make inquiries, but I certainly will.