HC Deb 28 September 1939 vol 351 cc1524-6W
Major Carver

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in order to encourage and help the agricultural community, who act as hauliers as well as producers of food, he will authorise the proposed small petrol allowance to be increased, especially in view of the depleted labour position and the shortage of horses suitable for this work?

Mr. Lloyd

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply I gave to-day to a similar question by the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Price).

Mr. Barnes

asked the Secretary for Mines whether the retail petrol stations owned by the oil companies have been taken over by the Pool Board; and whether these retail depots are permitted to sell petrol for commercial vehicles at a cheaper price than the pool price?

Mr. Lloyd

No retail petrol stations have been taken over by the Pool Board. There are, however, a small number of service stations owned by the smaller oil companies which continue to supply commercial users only on the same conditions as before the pool was formed.

Mr. de Rothschild

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can now make a further statement regarding the issue of supplementary petrol rations to doctors, especially in the case of doctors living in scattered country districts far from a hospital, where the population has been increased by an influx of evacuated persons?

Mr. Lloyd

In view of the varying requirements of some 45,000 doctors it was necessary to make a first issue of supplementary rations on a provisional basis. Individual cases are now being examined by the divisional petroleum officers in consultation with representatives of the British Medical Association with a view to ensuring that the essential requirements are met.

Mr. Price

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that with the proposed ration of petrol it will be impossible for farmers and local hauliers to carry out the work in future of conveying livestock, cereals, and fruit to the local markets, or to deliver the necessary quantity of feeding-stuffs and other farm requirements in return; and whether he will take steps to deal with this matter?

Mr. Lloyd

Special arrangements were made in order that farmers might obtain supplies of petrol for vehicles, engines, tractors, etc., engaged for purely agricultural purposes. I will send my hon. Friend a copy of a Press announcement which I issued on the 10th September and which received wide publicity. But in the case of private cars used by farmers and goods vehicles or lorries operating on carriers' licences or permits issued by the Regional Transport Commissioners, it was considered necessary that these should be dealt with in the same way as similar cars and vehicles belonging to other owners. In the case of private cars farmers can apply in case of need to the divisional petroleum officers for supple- mentary allowances and in the case of goods vehicles to the Ministry of Transport organisation.