HC Deb 16 January 1964 vol 687 cc389-90
12. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that in the London area parking privileges are accorded to chaffeur-driven cars which are not allowed to other motorists; and whether he will ensure that the law is enforced in this respect.

8. Mr. W. T. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances police and traffic wardens in London are instructed to grant parking privileges other than in an emergency in parking meter areas.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. C. M. Woodhouse)

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that no parking privileges are accorded to chauffeur-driven cars anywhere in the Metropolitan Police District which are not allowed to other cars; and that except in emergency non-statutory parking privileges are granted in parking meter zones only to those doctors and severely disabled drivers who have been given special car badges.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Is my hon. Friend aware that I would be in entire agreement with what he has stated if it accorded with what takes place? Does he agree that nothing is more likely to bring the law into disrepute than the suspicion on the part of ordinary drivers that different standards of enforcement are being applied? Has his attention been drawn to the fact that this question of a double standard has been mentioned not only in magistrates'courts but in newspapers and other forms of public information?

Mr. Woodhouse

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend about the undesirable effects of any such suspicion. I can only assure him that the Metropolitan Police take the view that there is no ground for such suspicion. I am so assured by the Commissioner, I saw one report of the kind to which the hon. Member may be referring, in the Daily Mailof 5th October. I made inquiries of the Commissioner on the basis of that report, and he told me that despite all his efforts he was unable to identify either of the incidents there mentioned.

Captain Litchfield

Will my hon. Friend inquire into the abuse of parking regulations in the West End of London by cars bearing C.D. number plates?

Mr. Woodhouse

I will gladly refer to the Commissioner, for inquiry, any such abuses that there may be. Cars carrying C.D. number plates are subject to exactly the same law as any other cars, but if a prosecution is brought it cannot be effective unless diplomatic immunity is waived.