HC Deb 09 February 1955 vol 536 cc1879-80
39. Mr. Mellish

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, in view of the evidence of worsening working conditions of former British Road Services drivers consequent upon the sale of then-vehicles, and the unsatisfactory service to the public, if he will now repeal the transport Act, 1953.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not accept the accuracy of the allegations contained in the first part of the Question. The second part does not, therefore, arise.

Mr. Mellish

Is the Minister aware that the trade union movement can give him all the evidence he requires? Is he aware that in my constituency depots which belonged to the B.R.S. and which were a financial gain to the community have now been closed and that some drivers have found employment in private enterprise, where their wages have gone down and their conditions of service are worse? If all he requires for the repeal of this Act is evidence, I will give him miles of it.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I should be surprised, in a state of full employment and with strong trade unions in the industry, that such worsening of conditions as the hon. Member suggests could take place.

Mr. Callaghan

Does not the Minister think it time that he inquired from his own examiners and inspectors about the amount of illicit and illegal overtime which is being worked by drivers employed by private services, because evidence is coming into the trade unions on this matter? Does he not also think that he might call for a report from his examiners about the deteriorating mechanical conditions of these vehicles once they pass out of public hands?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

On the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary, if there is any suggestion of a breach of the law I shall be happy to have any particular case investigated. I do not accept the suggestion in the second part of his question.