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Scrap Metal Dealers

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1964.

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Photo of Mr Gilbert Longden Mr Gilbert Longden , South West Hertfordshire 12:00 am, 23rd January 1964

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation which would require dealers in scrap metal to obtain a licence so to deal, which could be revoked if certain conditions were not fulfilled by the licensee, and which would increase the present maximum penalties for dumping unsaleable scrap by the side of the road and for camping on the highway.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I doubt whether the licensing of all dealers in scrap metal would be a satisfactory method of dealing with the problem of dumping by itinerant dealers. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and I will consider an increase of the penalties for depositing rubbish and camping on the highway when an opportunity for legislation occurs.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Longden Mr Gilbert Longden , South West Hertfordshire

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he will hurry up this consultation, because many parts of my constituency are rendered absolutely hideous by this intolerable nuisance committed by these "diddicoys", as they are called? Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Hertfordshire police made no fewer than 600 prosecutions against these people in 1962, and that the Metropolitan Police prosecuted 300, without making any impression at all on the problem? My constituents look to the Government to do something about the matter?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

General questions about the adequacy of the law relating to the dumping of material on highways, and the powers of highway authorities in this respect, are for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport rather than for myself. My hon. Friend might like to follow up the matter with my right hon. Friend. I have given my answer about the penalties, which are a matter for me.