§ 53. Mr. Chapman
asked the Minister of Transport what correspondence he has had with Mr. James Edwards of 71, Woodlands Park Road, King's Norton, Birmingham, about Mr. Edwards' invention of a life-guard to be fitted to the front of motor vehicles in order to prevent fatal accidents on the roads; what have been the reasons for delay in trials of the guard in Birmingham; and whether he will arrange for official testing and examination of the invention by his Department.
Mr. Edwards wrote to my Department last year about his invention, and the Department also replied to a letter of his to the Prime Minister. Devices of the same kind have been tried out before. I am not satisfied that they would effectively reduce fatal accidents on the roads but, while I do not think that an official test of Mr. Edwards' invention would be justified, we have no objection to any tests he may arrange privately, provided they do not conflict with the law.
§ Mr. Chapman
Is the Minister not aware that his Department placed obstructions in the way of the test in Birmingham on some rather small ground about exceeding the length of the vehicle? As this invention is an addition to the vehicle, how can the test be carried out unless the inventor receives some help in this respect?
One of the difficulties is that the effect of being struck by a 1826 guard of this kind is very similar to being struck by the wheels themselves.
§ Mr. Chapman
Is not the Minister saying that this could be tried in Birmingham but he is, in fact, not giving facilities for it to be done?