HC Deb 24 October 1939 vol 352 c1211W
Sir G. Jones

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the hiring charges for motor-lorries taken by the War Office and local authorities are so high that firms whose motor-lorries have been taken are making net profits greatly in excess of their pre-war net profits; that notwithstanding this fact the trade in question is striving to induce the Ministry to grant an increase of charges with retrospective effect; and whether he will take immediate steps to have an investigation by independent experts into the amount of such hiring charges and the net profit thereby made by the owners of such motor-lorries?

Captain Wallace

The determination of the hiring rates for vehicles rests not with the Ministry of Transport, but with the hiring Department or local authority. Hiring charges for requisitioned vehicles fall to be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, while the rates payable for vehicles hired under contract are for settlement by agreement between the contracting parties. It is for the hiring department or local authority to take such steps as they may deem necessary in cases where it is considered that the charges made by the owners of motor lorries are excessive.