Mr Pemberton-Billing, MP for East Herts, has a black car. It used to be white. Mr Billing said to a Police Inspector that ” .. children had made it dirty by writing their names on it”, so he had had it painted black. Because he had not informed the licensing authority of this change, he was summoned to attend court at Acton. He was also said to have driven his car at a dangerous speed in High Road, Chiswick.
A Police Sergeant said that he had timed Mr Billing’s car at 3.45pm on January 30th and had found it to be travelling at 40 miles an hour. Mr Billing said “I’m up to my neck in work, and must get on with it”. Inspector Daniels, who had made enquiries about the colour of the car, said that Mr Billing had told him that the firm responsible for painting the car should have notified the authorities of the change.
Mr Billing denied that here had been any danger in his driving, and that he had only driven faster so as to get past a tramcar. The Magistrate said “You were on land, not in the air”. There was much laughter in court.
Mr Billing said that he had 15 years of clean driving experience, and had had only one smash, and that that had been in France. He asked that the licence be not endorsed as the car had been under control. At the Magistrate’s suggestion, Inspector Copping said that he had no objection to the charge being reduced to one of driving at excessive speed. For this, Mr Billing was fined £5 and ordered to pay costs.
The Chairman said no business justified that speed, and another Magistrate from the Bench said “Please remember you are not in space when in High Road, Chiswick”.