I move that the Bill be read a Second Time. I have been asked by the Minister for Industry and Commerce to apologise for his inability to be here to-day. He is engaged in the other House. This measure is really very short and formal. It deals with the Road Transport Act, 1933, and it proposes to amend Section 3, sub-section (1) of that Act by the substitution of the figures and words "the 31st day of October, 1933" for the words "one month after the date of the passing of this Act," the section to be construed and have effect accordingly. It is provided that this section shall have and be deemed to have had effect as from the date of the passing of the Road Transport Act, 1933.
In the Act, as passed, one month was allowed for applications for registration and licences by bus proprietors and licence holders. Owing to the novelty of the Act or owing to the fact that those concerned did not keep themselves informed, a great many did not apply in time. The Minister and the Traffic Department found that they could not, under the Act, allow these late applicants to be licensed. If there had been only one or two, the difficulty could, perhaps, have been got over by simply pointing out that they had ignored the legislation passed. However, as it worked out, there were 250 persons involved. We feel it necessary, therefore, to extend the period in the Act until the 31st October. Already, about 250 applications await the passing of this Bill to come under the operations of the Road Transport Act. I ask the favourable consideration of the measure by the House so that these 250 persons, or thereabouts, can be legally granted licences.