HC Deb 21 March 1944 vol 398 cc667-8
49. Colonel Greenwell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of the fact that bodies for motor-lorries must now be made of such kinds of wood as are available rather than suitable and as this often results in a total weight of vehicle carrying an additional annual tax which continues for the life of the vehicle, he will consider levying taxation on such vehicles on a basis of maximum pay-load rather than on total unladen weight.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Anderson)

The taxation of goods vehicles by reference to carrying capacity gives rise to serious practical difficulties, and I fear that it would not be possible, at any rate in present conditions, to give effect to my hon. Friend's proposal.

Colonel Greenwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the fact that wood suitable for body construction is not available necessarily entails using much heavier quantities of wood, and that is imposing hardship on those who build bodies for new lorries?

Sir J. Anderson

I believe the hon. and gallant Member is perfectly right in what he says about the effect of using alternative materials, but there would be very serious practical difficulties in making a change.

Major Lyons

May we take it that the right hon. Gentleman himself is giving his attention to the matter?

Sir J. Anderson

Yes, I have been giving it personal attention.