HC Deb 18 June 1958 vol 589 cc1071-2
5. Mr. Brockway

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what invitations were addressed by the Transport Users' Consultative Committees to railway passenger associations, the Transport and General Workers' Union, the National Taxi-cab Owners' Association, local taxi-drivers' associations, local authorities and members of the Home Office Working Party on Hackney Carriages when inquiring into the use of privileged station ranks by licensed taxi-drivers.

Mr. Watkinson

The object of my reference to the consultative committees was to obtain their views as the statutory bodies representative of the travelling public. The committees are free to decide what evidence from other organisations they need for their task, and if the hon. Member will await their report he will be able to see how extensive and thorough their inquiries have been.

Mr. Brockway

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that a number of these consultative committees have not issued any invitations to the taxi-cab drivers concerned to give evidence upon this matter? In the case of Slough, for instance, which was the first area where the matter arose before it became a nation-wide issue, there has not been a single communication with the taxi-drivers' association. Does the right hon. Gentleman expect there to be confidence in any recommendations made under these circumstances?

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, certainly. It is not for me to tell the consultative committees how to do their job.

Miss Bacon

Is the Minister aware that I have had a communication from a taxi-cab association in Leeds, which represents more than half of the taxi-cab drivers of Leeds, alleging that while they, who are not allowed on the station, were not consulted by this committee, the other organisation, which is allowed on the station, was invited to put forward its views?

Mr. Watkinson

I am sure that if the hon. Lady thought that the views should be put forward she would advise the organisation to do so, and that, if they were, they would be considered.

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