§ Mr. KELLAWAY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his Department is aware that the London General Omnibus Company is gradually acquiring a monopoly of the London omnibus traffic; that it has crushed out small competitors and compelled most of those that have survived to enter into a working arrangement; is he aware that this company is controlled by the American financiers who own the Speyer group of tube railways in London; that in the course of its opera- 64W tions this year this trust has killed 120 people and twenty-four children in the streets of London; and whether, in view of the obvious danger of allowing such a vital necessity as street transit to be monopolised by a foreign-controlled trust, he proposes to take any action?
§ Mr. McKENNA
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am of course aware that the London General Omnibus Company has absorbed various competing companies, but I have no official information as to its financial control, which is no direct concern of my Department. I have power only to refuse the issue of licences on the ground that omnibuses are not proper and efficient for their purpose. As I have stated, no effort will be spared to prevent these deplorable accidents to the public, and the matter is now engaging my continuous attention. It is only right to add that the figures given by my hon. Friend represent the deaths due to all motor omnibuses in London, and not those caused by omnibuses belonging to the one company to which he refers.
§ Mr. BOWERMAN
asked the Home Secretary the number of taxi-cab drivers who have been summoned by the police in the City of London during the past three months, with the nature of the offences with which they have been charged?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Commissioner of City Police has supplied me with the following particulars for the three months ended 23rd October, 1912:—
Number Summoned. Offence. 10 Driving in a manner dangerous to the public. 19 Failing to keep to the off-side when passing another vehicle going in the same direction. 4 Failing to set taximeter in motion after being hired. 1 Failing to be ready to be hired. 1 Refusing to be hired. 1 Using abusive language during employment. 1 Driving in a direction contrary to Regulations in Liverpool Street. 1 Failing to have two independent brakes on cab. 2 Causing obstruction by wilful misbehaviour. 40