HC Deb 11 March 1948 vol 448 cc1404-5
24. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what petrol he intends to allow to visitors from overseas during the summer months.

29 and 32. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power (1) whether he has now made a decision regarding the lifting of the ban on hired cars travelling more than 20 miles, in order to enable foreign visitors to be met at their port of entry and motored to their destination;

(2) whether he has now decided to increase the allowance of petrol for overseas visitors, and by what amount the allowance will be increased.

66. Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is yet in a position to make a statement in regard to the lifting of the 20 miles restriction in the case of private hire cars engaged by American and other tourists from hard currency areas.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Gaitskell)

I have agreed, in principle, with my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, that increased allowances should be made to overseas visitors who bring their cars with them or purchase cars in this country for subsequent export, and that special arrangements should be made to enable such visitors to use hire cars freely. The details are still under discussion with my right hon. Friend and also with the interests concerned.

Mr. Williams

Is the Minister aware that the sooner he arranges the details, the better, because these foreigners want to make their plans?

Mr. Gaitskell

The details are a little complicated, and we must have a little more time.

Mr. Molson

Will the Minister consider extending this concession to foreign visitors who cannot afford to bring their own cars or to buy cars in this country, and does he realise that in the case of visitors from hard currency countries their expenditure on petrol would be of substantial assistance to our exchequer?

Mr. Gaitskell

There are very great difficulties in preventing abuse in a system of that kind.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

Will the Minister also consider the home user?

Mr. Gaitskell

That is another question.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Will the Minister arrange for the British Information Service in the United States to make this fact known as far as possible?

Mr. Gaitskell

Yes, Sir.

Captain John Crowder

When the Minister says that he will make it easier for foreigners to hire cars, will he give the people who hire out the cars more petrol, so that Britishers may hire cars when they want them?

Mr. Gaitskell

That is one of the matters under discussion.

Forward to