§ Mr. FINNEY
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a resolution of the county borough council, Stoke-on-Trent, recommending that, having regard to the great and increasing cost of maintenance and repair of roads and keeping the same in a fit state, owing to the damage caused to them by the use of the roads by private motor-omnibus proprietors, legislation should at once be introduced by the Government to provide for the payment of a fair mileage rate by such owners to the highway authority, and emphasising the urgency of such legislation being carried into effect as early as possible; and whether he can indicate the intentions of the Government respecting the same?
§ Mr. NEAL
I have been asked to answer this question. The only reply to the first part is in the affirmative. As my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Transport, stated on December 22nd, in reply to a question from the hon. Member for East Islington, a Departmental Committee is now considering the whole question of the taxation of mechanically propelled road vehicles, with a view to advising on the best and simplest means of securing revenue to assist the highway authorities in meeting the increasing cost of maintenace and repair of highways. A Report from the Committee is expected very shortly. It is not by any means certain that a mileage rate, as suggested in the Question, would be in the best interests of the highway authorities.