HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 cc834-5
79. Mr. Callaghan

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the demand of the public in South Wales for tours and excursion facilities by road motor vehicles and the inability of private owners to meet this demand, he will reconsider his decision not to allow municipal operators to undertake this work, as was done under Defence Regulation No. 72, in 1945.

Mr. Barnes

In 1945, many vehicles, owned by private operators who were formerly licensed to run excursions and tours, were employed on special wartime services. This year, many of these vehicles will be available, and the Regional Transport Commissioner advises me that, on the information at present before him, there would be no justification for issuing permits under the Defence Regulations, as continued in force by the Supplies and Services (Transitory Powers) Act to allow municipal operators to undertake this work.

Mr. David Jones

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, under plans submitted to him from sections of the principal towns in South Wales, all the vehicles owned by private operators are not sufficient to meet the needs of the public, and municipal operators have vehicles standing in garages which could do this work, as they did last year?

Mr. Barnes

I have given this matter considerable attention. The Regional Commissioner has inquired into it, and I find no justification for departing from my decision.

Mr. Walkden

May I ask my right hon. Friend once again to tell his " Army Corps " of advisers who surround him, that the vast mass of opinion in this House demands immediate excursion facilities for the public at weekends, by whatever means and methods they can be provided?

Mr. Barnes

My hon. Friend can rest content that whatever advice is given to me, ultimately, I use my own judgment and come to my own decision.

Mr. Tolley

Will my right hon. Friend give the reasons which were given to him by the Regional Commissioner for not allowing this facility?

Mr. Barnes

I have already stated the reasons in my reply. The facilities in the area are now sufficient.