HC Deb 22 June 1955 vol 542 cc1304-5
52. Mr. D. Jones

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will make a statement about the steps he proposes to take in connection with universal head-lamp dipping.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As international agreement on head-lamp standardisation is bound to take time, I propose to call an early meeting of all the interests concerned in this country to work out what practical steps can be taken in the meantime to reduce the danger caused by ill-adjusted headlights.

Mr. Jones

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how long it will be before some action is taken on this matter? It is now more than four years since the attention of his Department was called to it. He told me in November last year that the matter was receiving active consideration. How much longer shall we have to wait before some action is taken?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

What I told the hon. Member in November, on the contrary, was that this matter was under international discussion over the timetable of which, as the hon. Gentleman knows, I have no control. I am anxious to make progress with this difficult matter, but I shall not be rushed into doing silly things for the sake of doing them.

Mr. Wade

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the headlamps of many modern cars are almost as dazzling when dipped as when not dipped? Can he not consult the automobile industry on the possibility of remedying this for the benefit of both pedestrians and motorists?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am in touch with the industry over that, and I think that most modern cars, as originally designed, have the headlamps properly aligned. The difficulty arises very often owing to the headlamps getting out of alignment, either as the result of time and wear or sometimes as a result of the loading of the vehicle. That is the essence of it.

Mr. Stokes

Is there any sense in waiting for this international report? Does not the Minister know that we drive on the left and everybody else on the right?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I thought that the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends favoured international action.