HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc1880-2
10. Mr. Joynson-Hicks

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what petrol ration is proposed for the use of yachts during the coming season.

15. Brigadier Peto

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether an allowance of petrol coupons will be made available during this year to those who wish to travel by car in this country for their annual holiday.

28. Mr. A. R. W. Low

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will make an issue of petrol coupons for holiday purposes, such issue to be made before Easter so that families may be encouraged to take their holidays early in accordance with the staggered holidays campaign.

Mr. Gaitskell

I am unable to say when the economic position of the country will permit the restoration of petrol allowances for holiday motoring, private yachts and other non-essential purposes.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Does the right non. Gentleman classify yachting as a non-essential purpose, having regard to the work of yachtmen during the war?

Mr. Gaitskell

In the present circumstances it can certainly be regarded as non-essential.

Brigadier Peto

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this will impose great hardship on many who earn their living through the tourist industry, apart from those who wish to take their holidays in this way?

Mr. D. Marshall

May I ask the Minister to read the speech of the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his first Budget, in which he disagreed entirely with the statement which the Minister has just made?

Mr. Gaitskell

I am always glad to read any pronouncement of my right hon. Friend, but the circumstances of today are not quite the same as they were two years ago.

Mr. Shurmer

Is the Minister aware that the statement made recently, that the position would be reviewed again in June, will cause many motorists to hold back their holidays hoping that petrol may come back, and thereby clutter up the holiday resorts?

Mr. Gaitskell

I appreciate the need for an earlier statement on this subject.

Mr. Sutcliffe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the railways will be quite unable to deal with all the extra holiday traffic put upon them?

Mr. Speaker

This Question deals with yachts and petrol only?

Mr. Low

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the effect that this statement may have upon the staggered holidays campaign? Will he say whether he will review the position in June or in May or in April, or whether he will review the position at all this year?

An Hon. Member

April 1st.

Mr. Gaitskell

I said I would review the position before June—I should hope before the end of March.

19. Mr. Grimston

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if, having regard to the fact that many farmers and farm workers are unable to use public transport for recreational and social purposes owing to the exigencies of their work, he will grant a small allowance of petrol for this purpose.

Mr. Gaitskell

I regret that I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Paddington, North (Captain Field) on this subject on 27th November.

Mr. Grimston

Is the Minister aware that that answer does not cover the point which I specifically raise in this Question? Here I am asking if anything can be done for those in the agricultural industry, the exigencies of whose work prevents them from taking advantage of public transport, particularly those who have to look after animals, and who cannot be sure of what their hours of work will be?

Mr. Gaitskell

The difficulty is chiefly an administrative one. I have looked at it sympathetically because of the special hardship, but it is not possible to make special arrangements.

Mr. Grimston

Will the right hon. Gentleman have another look at it in the interests of those engaged in agriculture?

Mr. Gaitskell

I am always prepared to do my best.

21. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many appeals against a refusal to grant supplementary petrol and against the quantity granted were outstanding at the latest convenient date.

Mr. Gaitskell

As I announced on 15th January, the number of appeals outstanding on r3th January was 15,429. I propose to make a further statement in the middle of the month.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will those statements be made in following months; will they be made monthly?

Mr. Gaitskell

So long as it appears to be necessary.