HC Deb 02 March 1944 vol 397 cc1555-6
14. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the danger caused by the speed, especially in the London area, of Service motor-cars of all nationalities; and will he instruct the police to take action.

Mr. H. Morrison

I am informed by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police that, so far as the Metropolitan Area is concerned, police observation does not support the suggestion of particularly dangerous speeding by Service drivers. The military authorities are doing all they can to promote the safe driving of Service vehicles, and the police are paying special attention to the question of securing compliance with the speed limits by Service personnel.

Sir W. Smithers

Have the British police power to stop and prosecute drivers of cars belonging to all the Allied Forces?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, I understand that that is so, and that, in fact, they do so. In the case of the American Forces, under the United States Visiting Forces Act, they stop the driver, take particulars, and report him to the commanding officer.

Sir W. Smithers

Does the commanding officer take appropriate action?

Mr. Morrison

I understand that he does.

Mr. Thorne

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the case of cars belonging to the Forces, and also of private cars, they go so fast that it is almost impossible for the police to catch the numbers of the cars?

Mr. Morrison

I am advised that generally it is not too bad, but undoubtedly some such instances occur. If there is a police patrol car about, it is capable of going faster.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Can my right hon. Friend not solve the whole problem by investigating the number of accidents for military cars and the number for civilian cars, which would show that the military cars are no worse than civilian cars?

Mr. Morrison

I will consider that. What it would show I do not know.