§ Lieut.-Colonel Wickham
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the importance to food production of relaxing the restrictions on the road use of agricultural tractors that are licensed at the 5s. rate; and when he proposes to do this?
§ Sir K. Wood
Yes, Sir. At present a locomotive engine, tractor, agricultural tractor or other agricultural engine on which a licence duty of 5s. has been paid may only be used on roads
- (a) for hauling its own necessary gear threshing appliances, fanning implements, a living van for those employed with it, or water or fuel for itself or for agricultural purposes; or
- (b) if registered in the name of a farmer, for hauling agricultural produce of, or articles required for his farm from one part of his farm to another or to or from a railway station.
For more extended road use, higher rates of duty have to be paid.
I intend to propose an amendment of the law so that a vehicle of the kind referred to above, if registered in the name of a person engaged in agriculture or of an agricultural contractor registered under the Agricultural Contractors (Registration and Control) Orders, 1940, or the corresponding Scottish Orders, and if used primarily for work on land in connection with agriculture, can be used on roads on payment of a licence duty of 5s. for hauling, without limit of starting point or destination, agricultural produce of or articles required for any farm or market garden. The necessary provision will be included in the forthcoming Finance Bill, but in view of the urgency of matters affecting the 1943 harvest I have felt justified in making the concession in anticipation of Parliamentary sanction. It will accordingly come into force immediately. I should add that this concession must be regarded as a purely temporary war measure which it will not be possible to continue in time of peace.