HC Deb 27 February 1951 vol 484 cc1914-5
58. Mr. Bossom

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the reasons for the increase in the number of official cars from one in 1938 to 35 in 1950.

Mr. Jay

The Coalition Government decided in 1943 that each senior Minister should have an official car, on the ground that the pressure of public business made it wasteful of time and effort that they should not be provided with motor transport; and subsequent Governments have endorsed that decision.

Mr. Churchill

Was there not a war on at that date?

Mr. Bossom

Did we not hear a moment ago from the Chancellor that he believes in economy in public expenditure? Why spend 35 times as much as in 1938?

Mr. Jay

As there is a reason for economy, that is the reason for not wasting the time and effort of Ministers.

Sir H. Williams

Why do not Ministers do as private Members—drive their own cars, instead of having chauffeurs?

Mr. Jay

Because quite a number of them have not their own cars.