HC Deb 07 April 1952 vol 498 cc2275-6
32. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will now introduce legislation to amend the Transport Act, 1947, to make himself responsible for fares.

68. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Transport in view of the fact that the licence for long-distance service operated by Northern Roadways Limited has been withdrawn, if he will state what is his policy with regard to competition between private hauliers and nationalised transport.

71. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will now announce the proposals of Her Majesty's Government for the re-organisation of the transport industry and for the amendment of the Transport Act, 1947.

Mr. Maclay

I hope to be in a position to inform the House of the Government's intentions shortly after the Easter Recess.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

When will the Minister stop blaming the Act for a state of affairs which he is doing nothing to remedy? If he thinks that by amending the Act he will reduce the fares, why does he not do it? Is he also aware that he is rapidly earning for himself the description of a Scottish idol with feet of "Maclay"?

Mr. Maclay

It is not a question of blaming the Act directly for the rise in the fares; there have been increased costs. What I have been saying is that under this mammoth organisation which was created by the 1947 Act, there is bound to be a great deal of trouble to be dealt with.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my hon. Friend aware that the very large private sector of the transport industry will rejoice to know that active preparations for the de-control of this industry are under consideration?

Mr. Ernest Davies

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that, by taking steps to de-control or de-nationalise part of the transport industry, he will make a further increase in fares almost inevitable?

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