asked the Minister of Fuel and Power when the hon. Member for Hornsey may expect replies to his letters of 13th, 25th and 27th October which concerned, respectively, Mr. F. Pettit of 38, Ashley Road, N.19, Mr. C, Dervin of 16 Wolseley Road, N.8, Mr. H. W. Arber of 103, Nelson Road, N.8 and Mr. J. E. Buchan of 83, Ferme "Park Road, N.8 in view of the fact that the questions raised in these letters concern the livelihood of people who have put their savings into garage businesses.
I regret the delay, but these are all applicants for allowances of petrol to enable them to start new hire car services and such applications require careful local investigation. I will reply as soon as the necessary inquiries have been completed.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that they are not all new applications for garages, and that some of them are from ex-Service men who want to continue with existing garages? Cannot he expedite the work of his Department so that people are not kept in suspense for six or seven weeks?
I should have thought the hon. Member realised that these matters were of such importance to these men that we must take care before we decide. I can assure him that these are all applications for hire car allowances, whether or not from ex-Service men or garage proprietors.
Arising out of the Minister's supplementary answer, may I ask, as licences have to be carefully considered before they are granted, where a hire car proprietor obtained a licence prior to the abolition of the basic petrol ration, whether that car for which a licence has been obtained will receive the petrol necessary to run it?