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Motor Vehicles (Purchase Licences)

Volume 416: debated on Monday 19 November 1945

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asked the Minister of War Transport what is the average time taken by his department in finally disposing of forms of application for the purchase of a motor car.


asked the Minister of War Transport if he will expedite the granting of permits for the purchase of new motor cars, in view of the long delay which now takes place, even in those cases where permits are ultimately granted; and whether he is aware that this delay is causing hardship and loss to those concerned.


asked the Minister of War Transport what is the average time taken between the receipt of a letter requesting a licence to buy a new motor car and the issuing of the licence; and what action he is taking to speed up the process.

Licences are granted at a rate calculated to cover anticipated production of cars for six to eight weeks ahead. The number of applications meriting special consideration which are being received far exceeds the number of cars being produced. A lengthening waiting list is consequently inevitable. There would be no advantage in expediting the issue of licences out of step with production, with the result of increasing the interval between the receipt of the licence and the delivery of the car and prolonging the period before it will be possible to discontinue the licensing system. Any hardship there may be is due not to delay in the issue of licences but to the relatively small production, which has been only a quarter of the original target.

Is the Minister aware that, even where manufacturers have assured customers that they are able to deliver the car, if only a licence is granted, a long delay still persists before the licence is issued?

I do not think there is any evidence to support that when the facts are examined.

Will the Minister have conversations between his Department and the Board of Trade in order to step up the production of cars?

Is the Minister aware that the delay in answering applications in his Department is causing great hardship to ex-Service professional men now returning to their peacetime occupations, and cannot he do something to speed up an answer to them?

I am quite aware of the delay in dealing with these applications, but the hon. Member will have noticed, an my reply, that I hope to discontinue this system in the near future, as there is no purpose an building up a large and expensive department for a temporary purpose.

Is the Minister further aware that I cannot get a permit for my district nurse for the Vale of Evesham?

The best news which the House has received for some time is that the hon. Member needs a nurse.

Is it not a fact that district nurses are doing really important work?


asked the Minister of War Transport if he is aware that on 24th August, I945, the Manchester Waterworks Undertaking applied to his regional traffic commissioner, north-western region, for a licence to acquire seven 10 cwt. motor vans; that a decision has not yet been notified notwithstanding repeated requests; that the vehicles are urgently required for the operation of the waterworks undertaking both at the head-works and on the aqueducts and in the area of supply; that lack of transport hinders the operation of the undertaking; and will he issue the licence forthwith as the vehicles can then be supplied at once.

An application was made on 24th August, 1945, and I understand that the district transport officer saw the waterworks engineer and told him that he would recommend that it should be granted. The application was forwarded from the regional office to headquarters at the end of September. Applications are entertained only from those who can, show that their need for a new vehicle is essential in the national interest. Unfortunately, the number of applications for this type of vehicle far exceed the number being delivered by the manufacturers, and I am unable to accord priority over other essential users. I regret that owing to extreme pressure on the branch concerned a note explaining the position was not sent to the applicants till a day or two ago.