HC Deb 15 November 1939 vol 353 cc725-6W
Sir J. Lucas

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that taximeter-cab drivers of Portsmouth are having to lay their motor cars up for the rest of the month owing to their petrol ration having been expended, with the result that numerous demands from the naval and military establishments and from hospitals are having to be refused, even though they are being given preference over ordinary civilian requirements; and whether, in view of the inconvenience caused, and for other reasons, he will give instructions that the ration should be increased forthwith, as it is still only two-thirds of that allowed to London taximeter-cabs?

Mr. Lloyd

I have under consideration the possibility of making certain adjustments in the scale of allowances at present in operation for provincial taxis, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Joel

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the reduced sale of petrol by garages owing to petrol rationing, the possibility of using the large numbers of tanks lying empty at garages throughout the country for the purpose of storage of reserve supplies has been considered?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir, but I am satisfied on inquiry that the normal storage facilities available are at present adequate without having recourse to this suggestion.

Mr. De Chair

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that adequate petrol supplies are being withheld from distributors of potatoes and other foodstuffs in the Downham market district of Norfolk; and whether he will give an assurance that distributors of essential foodstuffs will be given special consideration during the next petrol-ration period?

Captain Wallace

Supplementary fuel rations have been withheld from certain operators m this district, but I understand that this should not occasion any difficulty as regards the distribution of essential foodstuffs. In the cases in question long hauls by road were involved which would have resulted in a waste of petrol in view of the availability of adequate alternative means of transport.