The present scheme allows Members to claim for the cost of the petrol needed for travel by the most direct route. I would suggest that consideration of any changes in this scheme should be deferred until the Committee on the Remuneration of Members of Parliament and Ministers of the Crown has reported.
May I ask the Minister whether he will take account of the fact that an hon. Member can get a free voucher for first-class rail travel between Westminster and his constituency and equally in respect of air travel, but if he uses his own car he merely gets the cost of the petrol? Does the hon. Gentleman consider that fair? Would he ask his right hon. Friend to request the Committee sitting under the chairmanship of Sir Geoffrey Lawrence to consider the whole question?
Mr. Gresham Cooke:
Would my hon. Friend bear in mind that the ordinary commercial rates for running motor cars are about 6d. and 9d. a mile, that hon. Members get only 2d. a mile and that the first-class fare is the very minimum which in equity could be offered to hon. Members?