HC Deb 23 May 1949 vol 465 cc869-70
24. Mr. Peter Thorneycroft

asked the Minister of Supply what classes of user now rank for priority for the delivery of motorcars; and in what order of priority is delivery to be made among these various classes.

The Minister of Supply (Mr. G. R. Strauss)

The motor industry is giving priority to orders from doctors, district nurses and midwives. They have also undertaken to give special consideration to orders from veterinary surgeons sponsored by the National Veterinary Medical Association and to distribute the remainder of their supplies to the home market in accordance with the importance and urgency of the user's need.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Would the right hon. Gentleman say where the claims of local authorities and Government Departments come in the question of these priorities?

Mr. Strauss

As I have indicated, the motor manufacturers have undertaken to give some priority to special cases where the public interest is involved, but there is no special priority for these vehicles.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some retailers, at any rate, are under the impression that Government Departments and local authorities have claims prior to those of doctors and midwives, and will he disabuse them of this idea?

Mr. Strauss

Yes, Sir. That is not so.

Mrs. Leah Manning

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether a doctor's priority still has to be certified by the B.M.A.?

Mr. Strauss

No, not necessarily.

Mr. William Shepherd

Does the reply of the Minister mean that the local dealer has full authority to decide who shall have the priority? If that is the case, what steps have been taken by his Department or responsible people to make the dealer fully aware of what he has to do?

Mr. Strauss

The industry itself has undertaken to see that its priority scheme shall be administered properly. My Department has no authority in the matter, and has deliberately given full responsibility to the motor industry.

Mr. Scollan

Can the Minister tell the House if visiting dentists to rural schools are allowed priority?

Mr. Strauss

I think that is the kind of case where the applicant would have to get the authority of the British Medical Association or some similar body.