§ Mr. B. SMITH
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the publication of a scheme for the enrolment of 500 more taximeter-cab drivers, drawn from the ranks of ex-service men, and the statement that among the licensed drivers of to-day there is a number of undesirable persons, and that it is proposed to weed these men out very shortly; and whether, in view of the good characters which licensed drivers have to maintain or lose their licences, he can make any statement on the matter?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I understand that such a scheme has been proposed, but I have no particulars of it. Every applicant is considered entirely on his individual merits, and the Commissioner of Police, as licensing authority, makes searching inquiries into a man's fitness, physically and morally, before granting a licence. The fact that a man obtains a licence indicates that he has passed through those inquiries satisfactorily. While the grant of a licence naturally does not confer immunity from human frailties, London cab drivers as a body are, in the Commissioner's opinion, entitled to feel just resentment at a statement of general condemnation. The weeding out is, of course, apocryphal, unless it relates to the long-established practice under which any licensed cab driver, omnibus and tram driver or conductor who commits a serious offence imperils his licence.