HC Deb 16 May 1968 vol 764 cc1388-9
20. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measuring instrument will be available to the police in connection with the new regulations that the tread on the tyres of motor vehicles should not be less than 1 millimetre thick.

Mr. Elystan Morgan

Several different types of gauge are available. The exercise of choice between one type and another is a matter for police authorities and chief officers of police.

Mr. Galbraith

Would it not be better to have some uniformity in this matter so that the public might acquire one of these instruments and be able to test tyres themselves before going out in their motor cars?

Mr. Morgan

No, Sir. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman. The Home Office provides some equipment, such as radar meters and wireless sets, but the option is still with the forces to decide whether or not to obtain equipment from the Home Office or direct from the supplier. I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman is for once not pressing the case for private enterprise.

Mr. Heffer

Is it not commonsense that there should be one instrument available for the public to use since the position at present is exceedingly confusing? Will my hon. Friend see that something is done about this, and rapidly?

Mr. Morgan

The law must be applied in a uniform way. The police authorities decide what equipment to provide for their forces. The Secretary of State can intervene only if the scale, type or quality of the equipment is conducive to inefficiency or if he has special statutory powers.