asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the present shortage of taximeter-cabs in London is due in part to a pre-war standard of maintenance, which it is now impossible to obtain; and whether, in view of these circumstances, he will arrange to bring these standards more into line with present conditions?
No, Sir; the reduced service is due partly to shortage of drivers and repairers and partly to rationing of petrol. Instructions were issued as long ago as May, 1940, that cabs should be licensed, irrespective of age, provided they are maintained in a clean, sanitary and roadworthy condition. If my hon. and gallant Friend will furnish me with particulars of any case where hardship appears to have been caused by police requirements, I will have it looked into.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the cost of running taxis and the cost of living of the taxi-men have greatly increased, and that their duties have become very arduous and have been carried out with great devotion; and in these circumstances will he consider allowing them some percentage increase in their charges?