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Petrol Allowances

Volume 466: debated on Monday 4 July 1949

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why a firm contemplating buying a motor car for business use cannot be informed before acquiring the car whether the necessary petrol to run it will be granted on providing the full information as to the use to which the car will be put if obtained.

Regional petroleum officers have standing instructions to make a provisional assessment, if requested, of the quantity of petrol which will be granted. But if the hon. Member has any case of difficulty in mind and will send me details, I shall be glad to look into it.


asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the basis of the reduction in the petrol allowed to a commercial traveller, previously journeying in a Class C vehicle or van in a certain area, who changes from a van to a saloon car to carry out the same work over the same area.

Operators of goods vehicles used solely for the transport of goods are, and always have been, granted petrol by the district transport officers of the Ministry of Transport on the basis of meeting their essential requirements in full. Commercial travellers using a car which can also be used for private purposes are assessed by my regional petroleum officers in accordance with a fixed scale of allowances. It would be impossible to issue petrol coupons for private cars on the same basis as for goods vehicles without serious abuse involving a substantial increase in petrol consumption.

When a firm changes, for reasons of efficiency, from a van to a private car, is it not unreasonable not to give the same amount of petrol to cover the same area for exactly the same purpose? Surely it is inefficient to carry out an allotment on the basis described by the Minister?

I certainly would not describe it as inefficient. One has to draw the line somewhere between goods vehicles and private vehicles, and in this case we have followed the definition laid down by the Motor Spirit Regulations which were recently made.