HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc1886-7
24. Mrs. Florence Paton

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will state the number of prosecutions and convictions for the wrongful use of petrol in the Nottingham area; and whether he is satisfied that the police check-up in this area is efficient.

Mr. Gaitskell

I understand that three prosecutions, each resulting in conviction, have been instituted by the police in Nottingham during December and January for the wrongful use of petrol. With regard to the second part of the Question, although my hon. Friend will appreciate that it is not within my province to comment, I have no doubt that the police are doing their best, with the means at their disposal, to enforce the law.

Mrs. Paton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a widespread belief in this area that there is much illegal use of petrol? Can he explain the increase in advertisements in the Press advertising long-distance motor coach journeys, which is causing a great deal of resentment among small petrol users?

Mr. Gaitskell

Questions regarding the police and their ability to enforce the law, should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. Questions regarding the use of motor coaches should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport.

Mr. H. D. Hughes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that while responsible citizens recognise the need for saving petrol the facts are, as pointed out by Miss Rose Macaulay in "The Times" this morning, that there is considerable resentment against people getting away with the wrong use of petrol? Will he consult with his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to make sure that the police are adequately checking up on the misuse of petrol allowed?

Mr. Erroll

Is it not more important that the police should try to stop thieving and more serious offences?

Mrs. Leah Manning

Why does my right hon. Friend refer this question of motor coaches to the Minister of Transport, when it must be through him that the petrol is obtained for these coaches?

Mr. Gaitskell

Because my right hon. Friend is responsible for the issue of petrol to motor coaches.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that the Minister of Transport does not answer Questions in this House?