asked the Minister of Transport if he can hold out any hope that the tax or regulations under which cars such as Fords are made to pay so high in proportion to the horse power they develop will be reduced or amended in the near future, in view of the heavy charges imposed thereby on those engaged in agricultural and other industries situated in the country, where such motors are essential for carrying on the business?
§ Mr. NEAL
I regret that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport is unable at the present time to hold out any hope of amendment of the existing formula for the ascertainment of horsepower of private motor-cars. The Departmental Committee on the Taxation and Regulation of Road Vehicles strongly pressed the continuance of the Treasury (R.A.C.) Rating as the formula to be used for the ascertainment of horse-power for taxation purposes, and the Minister accepted their recommendation. English manufacturers have had regard to this formula for many years in the construction and design of engines. Engines such as those on Ford cars, which are built primarily for other than English markets, are constructed upon somewhat different principles, which undoubtedly result in the horse-power calculated in accordance with the R.A.C. Rating working out at a high figure. The officials of the Ministry are in communication with the Ford Company upon this question, but it is not possible to reduce the amount of tax payable upon these cars without an entire revision of the existing horse-power rating, a course which the Minister is not prepared to recommend at the present time.