§ Mr. Grimond
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if his attention has been drawn to the case of Browning versus J. W. H. Watson; on whose instructions the prosecuting officials acted; and what steps he has taken to prevent a repetition of such incidents.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Yes. The officials concerned acted on the instructions of the licensing authority. Their object was to ascertain whether a coach was being operated illegally to the detriment of law-abiding operators, and the information could not be obtained authoritatively in any other way. The officials did not provoke or encourage the offence which the court found to have been committed and in my view the action taken was perfectly proper.
Operators who obey the law are entitled to its protection against those who do not, and the licensing authority would be failing in his duty if when operation in breach of the law is alleged he did not take steps to ascertain the facts.