HL Deb 28 July 1914 vol 17 cc226-8

My Lords, in moving the Motion which stands on the Paper in my name, perhaps I ought to explain that it is only desired to set up the Joint Committee this session. It is not expected that it will be able to take any evidence before next year.

Moved to resolve, That it is desirable that a Joint Committee of both Houses be appointed to enquire and report as to the present law relating to the running of motor omnibuses and trolley vehicles under statutory powers and otherwise; whether any amendment is necessary with respect to the control to be exercised by local authorities; and what contribution, if any, should be payable towards the cost of road maintenance by the proprietors of such vehicles.—(The Chairman of Committees.)


My Lords, I am glad to hear from the noble Earl that the Joint Committee will not proceed to work immediately. Indeed, it is impossible for them to do so at the present time. Consequently, as I understand, this Motion will have to be made again in another session. The question of the reference to the Committee can then be further considered by your Lordships. But I should like to say at once that I think the reference to this Committee ought to be enlarged. I speak rather as a member of the Highways Committee of the London County Council. I observe that the Motion states that the Joint Committee is to inquire "whether any amendment is necessary with respect to the control to be exercised by local authorities." As regards London, there is a large body of opinion that desires to see a board of control for traffic purposes. Therefore we do not wish that that board of control should be barred out, but we desire that it should be included in any reference with regard to this matter. I do not think I need say here how it is that this board of control has been recommended by Royal Commissions, by the London County Council, and even in a Bill at present in the other House. I merely call attention to it. The other point is that I see that this Joint Committee is to report "as to the present law relating to the running of motor-omnibuses and trolley vehicles." I venture to suggest that it is impossible to report adequately and thoroughly on this problem in respect of London without including the tramways. Consequently I should like to give notice that when this Committee is moved for next session I, or somebody else, will certainly on behalf of the Highways Committee of the London County Council move to extend the reference to this Committee so as to include tramways and in order that the reference should not exclude the consideration of a traffic board.


I am glad that the noble Lord has drawn attention to these two points, but I should hesitate to alter the reference now as its wording is the result of a great deal of discussion and agreement among different parries. But if the noble Lord would communicate with me and the persons concerned between now and next session, I am sure we shall be glad to discuss the matter with him.

On Question, Motion agreed to; and a Message ordered to be sent to the Commons to communicate this Resolution and to desire their concurrence.

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