HC Deb 19 October 1944 vol 403 c2520
24. Mr. W. J. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, at present rates of hiring and with the limitation of the petrol supply to three gallons a day per taxi-cab, taxi-cab drivers cannot earn, apart from tips, a reasonable wage; when their present rates of hiring were last revised; and whether he will make such a revision as will enable the taxi-cab drivers to receive a reasonable wage.

Mr. H. Morrison

So far as London is concerned, my information does not support the suggestion that taxi-cab drivers are not receiving a reasonable return for their labour in present conditions, but if the hon. Member has any specific information to the contrary I shall of course be glad to consider it. The scale of fares in the Metropolitan Police District was last revised in 1933.

Mr. Brown

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that because of the low rates of pay, as distinct from tips, it is practically impossible for an Englishman to get a taxi nowadays? The remedy for that is to pay a living wage.

Mr. Morrison

One of the great factors in the difficulty of getting a taxi is the high load which the business is now enjoying. That is an economic consideration of great importance. Moreover, there are far more extra passengers. I will consider any evidence, but my impression, which seems to be shared by the House, is that they are not doing too badly.

Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I was in conversation with a taxi-driver only last Monday who told me that he could always earn at least £2 a day?

Sir Ernest Shepperson

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the difficulty that some Members of the House have in getting home after the Sittings of the House?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir.