I move amendment No. 1:
In subsection (3), line 25, to delete "seven" and substitute "thirty".
This matter has been fully discussed on the Second Reading of the Bill and because of the general feeling of the House, both on the Minister's side and on this side, I think the Minister should accept this amendment. As I pointed out yesterday, anybody who had an ordinary lorry with a merchandise licence, up to this, came within the weight of the merchandise licence. Since the Financial Resolution moved by the Minister for Local Government, he has now to take in additions such as creels, horse boxes, or any other contrivance, as part of the weight. These people were within the law. The Financial Resolution puts them outside the law and the Minister for Local Government promised that the Minister for Transport and Power would come in here and rectify the matter by this Bill. I think the Minister and the officials of his Department will agree that seven cwt. is a very small weight for one of these containers. As a matter of fact, they would want to be built on a frame or have cardboard sides to come within the weight. I do not think the Minister or anybody else would like to see these flimsy contraptions on lorries. If a lorry were going around a bend, the weight of the animals in the back might press out and burst the sides. It would be better to have the opportunity of putting up substantial creels, or horse boxes as the case may be, on the lorry. From people I have been speaking to, and from my own experience, I know that 30 cwt. would be much nearer the required increase than seven cwt.
Yesterday the Minister assured us that cases of hardship would be treated individually. I do not think it is right that the Minister should put this burden on himself. There are going to be 200 or 300 cases in the year and they will have to be dealt with separately. He would be much better off if he gave a global increase, an increase not for the ordinary lorry weight but to allow the ordinary containers which are used in the course of carrying various types of goods, to be covered. I do not think it is fair that all these cases should be dealt with separately.
We are bringing in a Bill and the proper thing would be to make provision for what is actually necessary for these people. As I said, they have been within the law all the time and have been certified by the inspecting Guard at Ballsbridge and other places. They have been regarded as being within the law and now the Financial Resolution has put them outside it.
As the Minister knows most people are anxious to keep within the law. It may have been different before, but now people are law-abiding and want to obey the law and they want to be put in a position where they can obey it. I therefore ask the Minister, as he was asked yesterday on all sides of the House, to extend the weight to 30 cwt. rather than seven.
I ask the Minister to agree to this amendment. If he did so he would be doing a good day's work for himself and for the officers of his Department by not cluttering up the Department with claims over the next month. The time is very short before the next licensing period. If the Minister changes this from seven to 30 cwt. these people could go in and license their lorries in the normal way. They can go in with a clear conscience and know that they will be within the law all the time.