Oral Answers to Questions — County Councils (Roadmen)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8 July 1948.

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Photo of Sir Gifford Fox Sir Gifford Fox , Henley 12:00, 8 July 1948

asked the Minister of Transport how many county councils have carried out his instructions for cutting down the number of roadmen and have completed the programme; and whether there is any change in his policy owing to the numerous protests from country districts.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

By 31st May, 45 county councils out of 93 had released the number of roadmen requested. Where councils have found difficulty in complying, and the Minister of Labour advises that in that area men cannot readily be employed on other work, it has been arranged that the councils shall make further releases only as they are notified by the Ministry of Labour that suitable vacancies exist.

Photo of Sir Gifford Fox Sir Gifford Fox , Henley

Is the Minister aware that county councils who have carried out his instructions promptly are suffering from this lack of roadmen, and that in consequence many roads are getting overgrown, particularly at blind corners, a state of affairs which may lead to accidents?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

A number of considerations are involved in that supplementary question. The answer to most of them is, "No," Sir.

Photo of Mr Roland Robinson Mr Roland Robinson , Blackpool South

Is the Minister aware that many local authorities in the towns are protesting against the policy of cutting out roadmen from the staff?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

My right hon. Friend is well aware that this policy is distasteful to everybody concerned, but it is a question of weighing the relative advantages and disadvantages.