§ 17. Mr. Maclennan
asked the Minister of Transport if he will consult representatives of the Scottish agricultural industry about the anticipated effect upon the marketing of livestock in the north of Scotland of the rising cost of transport; and if he will make a statement.
§ 48. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine
asked the Minister of Transport if, in view of the difficulties arising both for farmers and animals in the haulage of cattle, he will review the operation of the Transport Act.
§ Mr. Peyton
I propose to lay regulations before the House as soon as possible, to allow a further relaxation of the drivers' hours rules under the Transport Act, 1968, as regards the carriage of animals.
§ Mr. Maclennan
I thank the Minister for that reply. Will he give the House more details of the extent and nature of these relaxations? Does he acknowledge that the increased transport costs which freight carriers, particularly those in the North of Scotland, are experiencing are not due solely to the regulations under the Transport Act but are due also to the cost of supplying themselves with suitable vehicles, which are of only limited use?
§ Mr. Peyton
Most of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. On the other part, I have it in mind to allow drivers carrying animals the same concession as has already been provided for agriculture generally at harvest times and for the carriage of fish from ports, namely, a 14-hour working day, a 66-hour working week, and flexibility as regards the weekly rest day.
§ Mr. Brewis
Is my right hon. Friend aware that his answer will be greatly welcomed in Scotland, and that this proposal will probably save a great deal of suffering which would otherwise have taken place in the auction marts this autumn?