HC Deb 04 March 1948 vol 448 cc508-10
27. Brigadier Peto

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power on what grounds a hackney licence and a motor fuel allowance for the purpose of private hire were refused in the case of Mr. S. H. Gulliver, proprietor of the Red Lion Hotel, Clovelly, particulars of which were forwarded to the Minister on rgth February.

Mr. Gaitskell

An allowance of petrol for general private hire work was refused because the facilities in the area appeared to be adequate. Mr. Gulliver has been offered an allowance for certain limited purposes.

Brigadier Peto

Can the Minister say why changed circumstances have caused this change in granting an allowance which had been previously refused after very careful inquiry by the regional petroleum officer?

Mr. Gaitskell

I understand the allowance has been granted for conveying residents in the hotel certain distances and not for freely conveying passengers in all directions.

37. Commander Maitland

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will allow an extra radius of action for private hire cars and taxis which are based on the coast and which therefore have half their available area denied to them by the sea.

Mr. Gaitskell

No, Sir.

Commander Maitland

Why not?

Mr. Gaitskell

Because it does not seem to be necessary.

Commander Maitland

Surely, this seems to be a most unfair discrimination, as these people have half their area taken away from them by virtue of their position, and in many cases they have to go a long way to bring people to that area?

Mr. Peter Thorneyeroft

Would the right hon. Gentleman consult with the Minister of Transport on this matter, because it was discussed on the Transport Bill and the principle was accepted by the Government that these coastal operators are in an entirely different position? Some justice should be given.

Mr. Beechman

Would the Minister bear in mind that, in these cases, homes, farms and holiday resorts are often very far away from the railway termini?

Mr. Gaitskell

There is no shadow of evidence that car operators in these areas are having any hardship.

Commander Maitland

If I send particulars of a case will the right hon. Gentleman look into it?

Mr. Charles Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult with his colleagues so that Government policy on this matter may be uniform; and will he tell the House why he is so far behind the Minister of Transport on this matter?

Mr. Gaitskell

I could not accept that the circumstances to which the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) referred are in the least comparable with this case.

Captain Crookshank

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that it is not hardship on the car operators which is concerned, but hardship on prospective travellers?

Mr. Gaitskell

That arises out of their living at the seaside.