§ Mr. Popplewell
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement on the Report of the Committee on Carriers' Licensing.186W
§ Mr. Tom Fraser
The Report of the Committee on Carriers' Licensing, under the chairmanship of Lord Geddes, is being published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office and from H.M. Stationery Office.
It is unfortunate that this Committee were given such narrow terms of reference, resulting in their considering only one aspect of the problem of road haulage, and road transport in isolation. In these circumstances, the Committee were precluded from making a more positive contribution to transport policy, which I am sure they could have made. The Government is nevertheless grateful to Lord Geddes and his Committee for the hard work and devotion they have brought to their task.
The Geddes Committee have shown that in many respects the present licensing system provides ineffective regulation and consequently recommend its abolition. On the other hand, the Government believes that the nation cannot afford an unregulated, unco-ordinated road and rail transport system.
The Government has in hand studies into the means whereby and the extent to which the transport of goods and passengers can best be co-ordinated and developed in the national interest. These studies will take full account of the Geddes Committee's conclusions and recommendations. Until the studies are completed, I cannot say whether or to what extent the Committee's recommendations will prove to be compatible with other policy proposals. Meanwhile, I shall welcome views of Members of the House, of interested organisations, and the public on the Report.