§ 2.35 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF IDDESLEIGH
My Lords, I beg leave to ask His Majesty's Government the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government for what purpose the Public Service Vehicles (International Circulation) Regulations, 1948 (S. I. 1948/609), permitting foreign public service vehicles to circulate on British roads, have been issued; whether any foreign countries have granted similar concessions to British public service vehicles; and what steps, if any, will be taken to ensure that the drivers are made acquainted with the relevant sections of the British Road Code.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR COLONIAL AFFAIRS (THE EARL OF LISTOWEL)
My Lords, regulations permitting foreign public service vehicles, 157 under certain conditions, to circulate temporarily on British roads without need to comply with certain licensing requirements and regulations, have been in operation since 1938. Those regulations were in provisional form, and the purpose of the new regulations was to re-enact their provisions in substantive form with two amendments. The first amendment extended the period of the concession from twenty-eight days to ninety days, in reciprocation of facilities afforded by the majority of the nearer European countries to British public service vehicles to circulate freely and without payment of vehicle taxation for ninety days or more, provided that no local passengers are carried. It was also designed to attract additional parties of foreign motor coach tourists to Great Britain.
The second amendment permits not more than two persons to be picked up in this country and carried on the vehicle to act as driver, guide, interpreter or organiser, for the benefit of the tourists while in this country. With regard to the last part of the question, I may say that a copy of the Highway Code is issued with his British driving licence to every foreign motor vehicle driver arriving in this country.