HC Deb 17 November 1970 vol 806 cc1025-6
23. Mr. Peter Mills

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether his attention has been drawn to the difficulties experienced by farmers in fitting new tractors with safety cabs of their own choice; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Yes, Sir. The safety of those who drive tractors is of paramount importance. I have discussed this matter with the tractor manufacturers, who feel unable to accept the view of my right hon. Friend and myself that an authorised dealer should be permitted to fit any cab which has satisfied the standards of safety required by my Department. My right hon. Friend proposes, therefore, to examine the regulations with a view to maintaining the competition which has existed in the supply of tractor cabs to date.

Mr. Mills

I thank the Minister for his reply. Does he not agree that this is a mean, nasty racket by many tractor manufacturers, and will he take steps to see that a farmer is able to purchase a plain tractor and add to it an approved tractor cab?

Mr. Stodart

The manufacturers quite sincerely look at the safety requirements very responsibly. They think that what they are doing is in the interest of safety. As all safety cabs have passed extremely stringent tests, we do not think that their attitude justifies the restriction of competition, and this view I have conveyed to them.

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