Orders of the Day — Bus Fuel Grants Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1966.

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Photo of Mr Eric Ogden Mr Eric Ogden , Liverpool, West Derby 12:00 am, 1st December 1966

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary will have noted that it is becoming more and more difficult to please the Opposition. They say they welcome the Bill and support it. They appreciate that, at a time of great national crisis and economic difficulty, there is here £1 million which might well have stayed in the Exchequer. But then they grizzle and grouse and take up the time of the House of Commons with points which really do not arise.

I have two questions on the Bill. First, are the rebates to the bus companies to be based on the details and machinery to which the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker) referred, and will they be made yearly, half-yearly or quarterly?

Second, although most of the bus companies have co-operated fully in trying to hold their fares, some of them, a minority, have based claims for increased fares wholly or partly on these increased costs even though it was made clear that a rebate would be coming at some time. Will this point be taken into account when decisions are made about allowing fare increases?

This is a simple Bill. if we want it to go through speedily, as hon. Members opposite have suggested it should, let us give it a speedy Second Reading and send it on its way without more ado.