HC Deb 09 November 1950 vol 480 cc1102-3
17. Mr. John Foster

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meters on the London taxicabs have been converted for the new fares; and by what date he expects all the conversions will have been finished.

Mr. Ede

None, Sir. I understand that it would probably take from 12 to 18 months from the date on which directions to alter the meters were given to complete the work, provided, of course, that no difficulties arose as regards the supply of labour or materials.

Mr. Foster

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House why the work has not been started? Does he realise that it is very inconvenient to foreigners, who are confused enough by the English monetary system, to find the table of fares in the dark?

Mr. Ede

I am not a foreigner and I have not encountered the difficulty myself. I am sure that if I offered less than the legal fare my attention would be drawn to it. There is a working party at the present time studying the whole of the London taxicab problem, and I hope that its report will be available very soon. When I am able to reach a decision, which may possibly involve some alteration, I will consider making the necessary order.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Does that answer imply that there is under consideration another increase in taxicab fares?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir, but I think it would be as well to be able to reach some stage at which one could make a general overall decision about the London taxicab problem.