§ 30. Mr. J. Lewis
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will now raise the maximum scale of petrol allocation to professional men who are holders of S coupons.
§ Mr. Shinwell
The supplementary petrol allowances of professional men who receive S coupons for business journeys were increased by 50 per cent. on the 1st August. A further increase of approximately 33⅓ per cent. was granted on 1st November to commercial travellers; other business and professional men in the S category who can show real need to use a car 1197 or motor-cycle for home to business travel, for which the use of alternative transport is not reasonably practicable, as well as for necessary business journeys can also obtain this higher rate. My hon. Friend will appreciate, therefore, that, where professional men qualify for the higher rate mentioned, the allowance represents an increase of 100 per cent. above the rate granted prior to 1st August, and I regret that I am not in a position to authorise any further increase at present.
§ Mr. Lewis
In view of the fact that it has been made clear on many occasions that the maintenance of petrol rationing is not due to the shortage of fuel but to a shortage of tyres, why does my right hon. Friend still fix some arbitrary maximum to the requirements of professional people who have to carry out their duties?
§ Mr. Shinwell
I have never said, in this House in reply to Questions or at any other time, that the continuance of petrol rationing was not associated with the shortage of petrol. I never said anything to that effect. It may have been associated with some difficulties about tyres, but there are other reasons why we have to continue petrol rationing at the present time. [HON. MEMBERS: "What are they?"] I am not being asked that Question at the moment. As regards the question of supplementary allowances, as I have indicated in my answer, much has been done in this direction.