§ 2.36 p.m.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT (LORD CHESHAM)
My Lords, the Order which I am now asking your Lordships to approve modifies one made in 1957 under the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Act, 1952. It enables us to comply with certain international conventions, and also achieves a certain tidying-up where the circulation of foreign vehicles in this country is concerned. The net effect is to simplify and speed up the entry procedure, which is helpful to the tourist trade. It does this by means of five things, none of which, as the Special Orders Committee found, raises questions of principle, contravenes precedent or requires your Lordships' special attention.
It first extends the period for which a foreign passenger vehicle is exempt from Excise duty to the same period as that for which it is exempt from Customs duty and purchase tax. This makes administrative good sense, and is limited to one year for private vehicles. Secondly, it abolishes the International Circulation Permit which the vehicle now has to carry to show it is exempt from Excise duty. Instead of that, the exemption will be recorded on another document which the driver has to have anyway, and this, too, makes for administrative good sense. Thirdly, we recognise the validity of the driving permit issued to our Servicemen by the British Army of the Rhine after a driving test. At present, they have to undergo a further test if they are on leave or otherwise temporarily in this country, and as 426 we already recognise the driving permits of other countries and other armies, it seems wrong that our own men should be penalised in this way.
Fourthly, there are two types of international driving licence, laid down under Conventions of 1926 and 1949. We propose to recognise the 1949 type even if issued by countries not party to that Convention, which means that before long there will be only one type of licence to contend with. Fifthly, we take powers to issue a special identifying plate for hired, chauffeur-driven cars going abroad from here, in accordance with a decision of the O.E.E.C. At present no one else requires this to be done and nor do we, but it seems desirable to take the necessary power while a suitable order is being laid before your Lordships. I hope that I have made this inoffensive Order clear enough to earn your Lordships' approval, and I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) (Amendment) Order, 1962, be approved.—(Lord Chesham.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.