HC Deb 07 February 1933 vol 274 cc38-9

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that more than six months have now elapsed since he received the unanimous Report of the Salter Conference, and more than three months since the expiration of the extended time limit for the submission of observations thereon by the highway authorities and other interests concerned; and in view of the increasing importance and urgency attaching to the Salter Report as the result of the recent findings of the National Wages Board, and in view of the harmful effect upon the railways and the motor industry alike of the present state of indecision, the Minister is now in a position to state whether, and if so when, steps will be taken to implement the recommendations of the Salter Conference?


The Report of the Rail and Road Conference, presided over by Sir Arthur Salter, was signed on the 31st of July last, and since that date representations and detailed comments have been received from a large number of organisations and interests concerned, whom it was necessary to consult, and who in many cases required an extension of time in order to permit of consideration. The Government have very carefully considered the report and these representations, and also the relevant recommendations in the final report of the Royal Commission on Transport, and have decided to introduce at an early date a Bill to provide for the licensing and the better regulation of the transport of goods by road. As regards licence duties, I have nothing to add to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend on 19th December last, to the effect that questions of taxation are a Budget matter and that it is not possible to anticipate the Budget decision.


While thanking the Minister for his satisfactory reply, may I ask him to be a little more definite and to state within what period of time he will undertake to introduce a Bill on the subject?


A Bill will be introduced as early as possible, and certainly before the House rises for the Easter Recess.


Will the Bill be introduced before we proceed with the London Passenger Transport Bill?