HC Deb 08 April 1946 vol 421 cc1616-9
6. Lieutenant-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will give an assurance that, in selling motor cars driven away from Government dumps, he will comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Acts, 1930 to 1934, under which it is an offence to sell a vehicle in such a condition that its use on the road would be unlawful.

2. Squadron-Leader Sir Gifford Fox

asked the Minister of Supply to what extent the plan for disposing of motor cars from Government dumps has been approved by the appropriate motor trading organisations: and whether, in the interests of road safety, any steps will be taken to ensure that the purchasers do not use the vehicles on the road before they are rendered roadworthy.

Mr. Wilmot

The plan was discussed with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, who recognised the need to supplement disposals under the trade scheme by auction sales, in order to clear the accumulations at our depots. I am glad to say that we are continuing to operate the trade scheme, which will in fact be expanded. I am fully conscious of the need to comply with the provisions of Section 8 of the Road Traffic Act, 1934.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Does the right hon. Gentleman's answer mean the Ministry accepts the same liability in respect of those sales as a private seller?

Mr. Wilmot

We shall comply with the Acts in exactly the same way as anybody else selling a car.

8. Major Diģby

asked the Minister of Supply if all usable spare parts are removed from service vehicles which are classified as unfit for further service, Class 6, and taken to dumps to be destroyed, or if motor cars in this category will be included among those to be sold by auction to the public.

Mr. Wilmot

It has been our practice to recover from these vehicles those usable spare parts which are in short supply. The forthcoming auctions will include some vehicles which are considered to be fit only for breaking down.

Mr. Bowles

May I ask whether the Ministry will comply not only with the Road Traffic Acts, but also with the Sale of Goods Act, 1893?

Mr. Wilmot

I think I had better have notice of that question.

15. Major Niall Macpherson

asked the Minister of Supply whether arrangements can be made to provide reconditioned service vehicles for crippled ex-Servicemen, either free of charge or at a price within their means, instead of at two-thirds of the current price of a new model.

Mr. Wilmot

No, Sir. I am afraid not.

Major Macpherson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a lot of cars which have been driven by many drivers upwards of 25,000 miles are being offered to ex-Servicemen at prices probably larger than those which the Services originally paid for them? Cannot something be done?

Mr. Wilmot

The cars to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers are those which have been reconditioned under the trade scheme and for which ex-Servicemen have priority accorded them by the Ministry of Transport. They get these reconditioned cars, with the makers' three months' guarantee, at about half the price for which they could buy a new car, including Purchase Tax.

Mr. Benn Levy

Can the right hon. Gentleman, at least, agree to consider some possible scheme by which these men might purchase these cars by instalments?

Mr. Wilmot

I will certainly consider that.

21. Mr. Driberģ

asked the Minister of Supply if he aware that a number of the 16,000 or so trucks and motor cars parked at No. 253 M.U., R.A.F., Spanhoe, near Kettering, have been reserved for acquisition by a commercial firm and withheld from public auction; and if he will state the reasons for this action.

Mr. Wilmot

Before the auctions begin, as many as possible of the vehicles which are suitable for reconditioning will be sold to the original manufacturers for that purpose under the trade scheme.

Mr. Driberģ

Are the vehicles sold only to the original manufacturers, or are they sold to large firms of dealers, such as Rootes?

Mr. Wilmot

They are sold only to the original manufacturers of the particular makes of vehicles.

Mr. Bowles

Is the Minister aware, in connection with the guarantees to which the right hon. Gentleman referred in an earlier answer, that the Sale of Goods Act, 1893, is often expressly excluded?

Mr. Wilmot

I had better have notice of that question.

27. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will expedite the release of surplus commercial motor vehicles to the building trades, in view of the seasonal nature of housing, and in consideration of the prevailing difficulties of obtaining new vehicles.

Mr. Wilmot

We shall do our best to meet the needs of building contractors for vehicles. I regret that it would not be possible to give priority to any special class of user at the forthcoming auction sales.

Mr. Davies

Does not the Minister appreciate that work in conveying building materials is being held up because of the difficulty of obtaining new vehicles, and that it is taking up valu- able time in building new houses? Could not a good case be made out for release of vehicles?

Mr. Wilmot

I appreciate the position. We are doing our best to supply new and reconditioned vehicles for this purpose.