HC Deb 16 July 1958 vol 591 c1238
57. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many appeals he has had in the last twelve months from bus undertakings against increases of fares laid down by Traffic Commissioners; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watkinson

Two, Sir: One was against an increase granted by the Traffic Commissioners which the operator considered to be too low; this appeal was dismissed. The second was against increases which the Traffic Commissioners thought necessary to afford protection to another operator. I was prepared to allow this appeal, but in the meantime the appellant surrendered the licence for reasons not connected with the appeal.

Mr. Gower

In a case where bus undertakings are trying to keep their fares down, is it not most unsatisfactory that the Traffic Commissioners should run counter to the policy of keeping down the cost of living?

Mr. Watkinson

That is why I was prepared to allow the appeal.

Mr. H. Morrison

On a point of order. Can anything be done to persuade the Minister of Transport to speak up? It has been very difficult to hear. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up."] I think hon. Members opposite can hear me quite well. I do not know whether the Minister has anything to hide, but it would be for the convenience of the House generally if, in answering Questions, he spoke in a manner which enabled us to hear what he said.

Mr. Speaker

I do not know how far that is a point of order to me. There was a good deal of conversation on both sides of the House. I hope that in the debate which lies before us conditions of audibility will be greatly improved.

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