Mr Noel Billing: Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, as he seems likely to do, he might let us know why we should have these books. If the War Office, in their wisdom, think it is desirable to have registration of motor vehicles for any possible offensive measures by our present Allies, or potential enemies, then personally I daresay that is quite all right. But I do not think we ought to go that way...
Mr Noel Billing: I know the hon. and gallant Gentleman referred to watches. There are, however, two things which this Committee has a right to ask, and the first is, what is the real reason for the introduction of these registration books? I think there should be a gradual reduction of bureaucratic control. I suppose the only effect of this proposal will be that it will provide jobs for at least another 500...
Mr Noel Billing: Is that paper the title to the possession of the car, and would it be illegal to drive a car which one has purchased unless one has that title to it?
Mr Noel Billing: The present procedure is that you get your Inland Revenue form, fill it in, and post it, and that is the last you hear of it. Under this new procedure you cannot post the form, but have to go down to the post office with it, while it is adding one more form and not eliminating any other form. I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he can give us any idea as to whether this will...
Mr Noel Billing: Will the right hon. Gentleman make the condition that, in the event of permission being given to have a road closed, notices stating that it is closed must be placed by the county council at a point at least five miles away, or at some point where the route can be diverted to another road, so that the journey may be continued?
Mr Noel Billing: Would it not be possible for the Minister to take powers and to lay it down that on and after a certain date no vehicle that is not rubber-shod will be allowed on the roads? Possibly 75 per cent. of the damage done by iron-shod vehicles would be saved were they shod with rubber tyres. In America, most of the heavy traffic is run on pneumatic tyres, because they find it is economical not only...
Mr Noel Billing: Is it a fact that the right hon. Gentleman's Department are making a profit out of these transactions?
Mr Noel Billing: Having regard to the statement which the right hon. Gentleman has just made, that the food control is not being conducted with a profit to the Ministry, and as it is proved that it is not being conducted with profit to anyone else in the country, will he consider decontrolling food altogether?
Mr Noel Billing: Is not the question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Sir F. Hall) tantamount to an admission that he has been driven into another lobby by the action of the newspapers?
Mr Noel Billing: Has this been done to make the world safe for bureaucracy?
Mr Noel Billing: Is the hon Gentleman aware that a great many country roads barely exceed seven foot six, and will he bear that in mind having regard to the fact that frequently motor and other traffic is held up in the country on account of these big chars-a-banc?
Mr Noel Billing: If the Government succeed in getting their vote of confidence to-day, having regard to the fact that there is no serious opposition, could not they pass all these Bills en bloc?
Mr Noel Billing: Does that mean that the municipal housing schemes are to be stopped?
Mr Noel Billing: Do not take it so seriously.
Mr Noel Billing: Before the right hon. Gentleman sits down-
Mr Noel Billing: Caused by Excess Profits Dusty!
Mr Noel Billing: I am exactly the reverse of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Sir N. Moore) in the Lobby. It appears we voted for a different thing for the same reason. I understand that in future no money of any description, even to pay teachers or provide unemployment grants, is to be voted by the House for any purpose whatsoever. It might be quite sound to vote this money for the Government to buy the land,...
Mr Noel Billing: I understand there are certain buildings upon certain land which the Government wishes to get control of for the purpose of disposing of it. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Then I will not detain the Committee for a moment longer than necessary.
Mr Noel Billing: Is it a fact that the Government are selling all the oil reserves of this country to the petrol trust?
Mr Noel Billing: They are advertising it on all their vans.