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Mechanically-Propelled Vehicles (Children Under 16)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 13 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will take steps to make it illegal for children under the age of 16 years to drive tractors or other mechanically-propelled vehicles, in view of the fatal accidents recently reported.

While my right hon. and learned Friend shares my hon. Friend's concern about these accidents, he can hold out no hope that time could be found in the near future for legislation.

Is my hon. Friend aware of the problem that arises as a result of these youngsters driving tractors? As these are capable and ambitious lads, whom we cannot afford to lose from the agricultural industry, can he give the matter further consideration?

My right hon. and learned Friend is consulting the Minister of Agriculture and the Secretary of State for Scotland to see whether anything can be done.

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind what has been said by his hon. Friend? Is he aware that mechanisation in the agricultural industry has increased enormously in recent years and that we have reached the stage when measures are necessary to prevent young people under 16 from driving tractors?

No doubt these considerations will be present to the minds of my right hon. Friends in the consultations