HL Deb 28 June 1968 vol 293 cc1650-1

11.32 a.m.


My Lords, this Order amends the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Order 1957, as amended in 1962, to enable effect to be given to commitments which the Government propose to accept under an Agreement (Cmnd. 3606) with the Swedish Government and an Exchange of Notes with the Turkish Government. These provide for a bilateral waiver of taxation on goods vehicles registered in one country while they are visiting the other country in the course of international goods haulage.

This measure will considerably ease the formalities which are at present involved for goods hauliers engaged in international traffic. It will no doubt be welcomed by them, and, in particular by those British hauliers going to Turkey, who have since July, 1967, been subjected to a particularly heavy visiting vehicles tax levied there. The Turkish authorities have agreed to waive this when we give exemption from our vehicles Excise Duty to any Turkish goods vehicles coming here. The Order will become operative by notification in the London Gazette as soon as the necessary formalities connected with the ratification of the Swedish Agreement and the Turkish exchange of notes have been completed. This completion must, however, await the approval of the Order by the Privy Council. I beg to move that the Order be approved.

Moved, That the Draft Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) (Amendment) Order 1968, laid before the House on Thursday, June 13, instant, be approved. —(Lord Bowles.)


My Lords, I should just like to draw attention to the last sentence of the Explanatory Note on the back of the Draft Order, which says: copies of the Agreement with Turkey may, pending issue as a Command Paper, be inspected at the offices of the Ministry of Transport, St. Christopher House, Southwark Street, London, S.E.1. I think that, in fact, the Command Paper in relation to the Agreement with Turkey was published about two days ago and that that information is no longer strictly accurate. I do not complain about that, and the point I wish to make is this. The agreement was signed, I think, on April 2; that is, nearly three months ago. It is quite a short document, only a page and a half long, price 8d. from the Stationery Office. It was going to be published as a Command Paper at some time. It seems that nearly three months is rather a long time for people who may be interested in the subject to have to wait for the Command Paper, during which time they have to go to the office of the Ministry of Transport in South-East London to inspect the Agreement. I should have thought, that if there was going to be a Command Paper, and if it was quite short, it ought to be possible to publish it in a great deal less time than three months, to save people making journeys to South-East London to a Government office.


My Lords, I think the noble Lord knows that the Command Paper is now available at Her Majesty's Stationery Office. I am not quite certain why there has been this delay, but the negotiations have been going on. As the noble Lord said, the draft has been available and it can now be inspected at the Stationery Office or at any of the branches; and that has been the position since the 25th of this month.

On Question, Motion agreed to.