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Motor Cycle Licences (Dispatching Procedures)

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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23.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take steps to stop the practice of including with motorcycle licences, an application form for a kidney donor's card when the licences are dispatched, in view of the distress it can cause to a licence holder and his or her family.

No, Sir. I understand that a significant number of those who carry cards were introduced to them in this way and I hope that most people regard this as a useful means of increasing public awareness of the donor scheme. Whether drivers use the cards is, of course, entirely a matter for personal decision.

I thank my hon. Friend for that comment. I do not wish to suggest that the kidney donor scheme is not good or desirable. However, will the Minister bear in mind the anxiety which is caused to parents of youngsters who are obtaining their first licence, when those parents do not, perhaps, wish their child to have a licence? Is he aware that such parent; experience anxiety when such a form is included with the licence?

I shall bear in mind what my hon. Friend says, but I believe that one must be rather sensitive to take that view. I should have thought that most people who applied for a driving licence would realise that there are hazards involved in going out on to the road. The level of reaction we receive to sending out the cards is not very high compared with the 44 million cards that we are able to distribute in this way. I think that it would damage the kidney donor scheme if we stopped distributing the cards.

Will the hon. Gentleman consider widening the scheme by discussing the matter with his right hon. and hon. Friends and by including those cards in income tax demands and television licence renewal reminders?

I am sure that the practices of the Department of Transport will be widely followed in many other Departments. Whether one needs to be reminded of any other possible doom which might befall one when one receives one's income tax demand is, no doubt, a matter that my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor will consider.