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Petrol Restrictions

Volume 415: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1945

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether the present ration of 24 gallons of petrol per month per car for driving schools will be increased to enable a greater number of pupils to be trained in the rules of the road and so reduce the number of accidents.

The maximum allowances for cars used by motor-driving schools have recently been increased by about one-third. In addition, an owner of a school of motoring may now be granted allowances for the full number of cars which he was using immediately before the war.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he has made any calculation of the additional fuel which has to be used by the railways, in order to carry passengers and goods which would otherwise have been transported by road; and whether he has taken this fact into account in continuing to refuse to release a larger supply of petrol for general use.

:It is my constant end eavour to release petrol so far as supplies permit. My right hon. Friend the Minister of War Transport has already, with my concurrence, taken steps to secure that goods traffic is diverted to road transport as necessary to relieve the railways, and I can assure the hon. Member that the necessary use of goods and public passenger vehicles is not now restricted by lack of fuel. It is unlikely that an increased use of private vehicles could lead to any considerable saving of railway fuel.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that serving men on leave are unable to obtain the extra petrol coupons to which they are entitled when motor-cars are registered in the name of a brother or sister; and will he amend existing regulations to include such registrations.

The leave petrol allowance was granted to members of the Forces on leave from overseas or afloat, for use in cars registered in their own names or in the names of their wives or husbands. Last June, after full consultation with the Service Departments, a concession was made to the extent of providing for use in cars registered in the names of parents. This concession has greatly increased petrol consumption and difficulties of administration; and in present circumstances I am not prepared to invite the Service Departments to consider any further concession.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that the cancellation of petrol allowances for privately owned motor-boats is regarded as unfair, in view of the restoration of basic allowance for private motor-cars and, in view of the fact that most motor-boat owners, particularly in coastal areas, use their craft for fishing, will be consider restoring their basic petrol allowance.

There has been no cancellation. Allowances for private motor-boating without restriction of purpose have throughout been confined to the summer months, and when they were restored last June the same rule applied. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has local arrangements for granting an allowance at all times to any motor-boat owner who can show that such an allowance is likely to result in his catching marketable quantities of fish.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what petrol allowance is authorised for the use of disabled ex-Servicemen for recreational purposes; and whether any differentiation is made for this purpose between ex-Servicemen disabled in different wars.

:Regional Petroleum Officers have discretion to grant a small petrol allowance, varying in amount according to circumstances, for the recreational motoring of persons medically certified to be seriously disabled. The allowance is not affected by the cause of the disablement, whether due to accident or disease, or arising in the course of civilian life or of military service in one war or another.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware of the hardship caused to owners of small businesses who use a small horse-power car and trailer in their legitimate business as the petrol allowance is considerably below that which could be obtained for a lorry capable of doing the same amount of work; and whether, in the case of Mr. W. P. Shucksmith, a builder, of Partney Mill, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, details of whose case have been sent him, he will grant a petrol allowance capable of enabling him to carry out the essential building now in progress in Lincolnshire.

:I am not aware of any general difficulty of the kind mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member. In the particular case to which he refers, the builder's allowance was increased by about 70 per cent., and I offered to consider a compassionate addition on production of a medical certificate. I cannot trace any further communication from the hon. and gallant Member on this case.