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Written Answers

Volume 52: debated on Thursday 24 April 1913

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Written Answers

National Insurance Act

Medical Benefit

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether any insurance committees have made it a condition of granting leave to any insured persons to make their own arrangements for medical benefit that the applicant should not make arrangements with any doctor who is on the panel; and whether he will state under what Section of the National Insurance Act insurance committees have power to impose such a condition?

I understand that in some cases insured persons have been refused permission by a local insurance committee to make their own arrangements under Section 15 (3) with doctors on the panel. As I have on many occasions pointed out it is the duty of the insurance committees to exercise their discretion in dealing with applications of this nature, and it would certainly be within their powers to refuse to allow an insured person to make his own arrangements with a doctor on the panel if it appears to them either that the insured person in question should not derive any advantage there from, or that the interests of other insured persons in the area would suffer.

asked whether, in view of the fact that the provisional arrangements for medical benefit expire on 30th April, are any other arrangements made or to be made; and, if so, will they provide that insured persons, who in haste went to any doctor on a panel to have their medical ticket signed, be allowed, under any other Regulations made or to be made, to choose their own doctor by transfer?

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The arrangements made for medical benefit at the beginning of the year were only provisional in the sense that the doctors' and chemists' agreements with the insurance committees were made for a period of three months only. That period expired on 14th April, and the agreements have now been renewed throughout the country. As I stated in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for the Chester-le-Street Division of Durham on Tuesday last, insured persons may change their doctors within the year either by consent of doctor and patient or by decision of the insurance committee if the committee considers transference desirable on any question arising between an insured person and the practitioner attending him.

Medical Practices (Enhanced Value)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he has observed that advertisements are now appearing pointing out the enhanced value of medical practices through the operation of the National Insurance Act; and if he has been able to form any estimate of the total increase in the actual value of medical practices owing to the Act?

My attention has been called to such advertisements, but I have no means of providing any estimate of the total increase in the value of medical practices.

Share Fishermen (Scotland)

asked the Lord Advocate when the test cases against the Scotch share fishermen with regard to the National Insurance Act are to be taken; and when a decision is likely to be arrived at?

I understand that the application to the Court will be made at the beginning of the Summer Session; and the case will then, I hope, proceed with all dispatch.

Loss Of Ss "Titanic" (Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury how the sum paid to each of the Law Officers for services on the "Titanic" Inquiry has been made up, showing the dates upon which each of those officers was engaged on that business?

The amount paid to each of the Law Officers for services on the "Titanic" Inquiry is made up as follows:

Fee on Brief3765037650
Fee for consultations11917086190
Fees on judgment27002700
The dates upon which each of those officers was engaged on the business of the "Titanic" inquiry are:—
The Attorney-General.—1912: 30th April; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th May; 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th June; 1st, 3rd, and 30th July.
The Solicitor-General.—On the same dates, with the exception of 20th June.

Old Age Pensions

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether it is proposed to introduce a Bill amending the Old Age Pensions Act this year; and, if so, whether, seeing the dissatisfaction that prevails in Ireland with regard to the methods adopted to ascertain the means of applicants, especially small farmers who transfer their farms on the marriage of one of their children, he will consider the necessity of having a Clause inserted which will deal more justly with those cases?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative, and the second part therefore does not arise.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction prevailing in Ireland with the methods adopted by pension officers in estimating the means of applicants for old age pensions; whether he is aware that these men are incompetent to ascertain means of people in rural districts; and whether he will have a sworn inquiry into the question raised by the resignation of the Ardfert pension committee?

I have already stated, in reply to questions asked by the hon. Member for West Kerry, that there, does not appear to me to be any necessity for an inquiry of the kind suggested. As regards the rest of the question, I am aware that the pension officers' estimates of means are not always adopted by the authorities with whom the decision rests, but speaking generally, I am satisfied that these officers are fully competent to perform the duties required of them in this respect. I would remind the hon. Member that in Ireland old age pensioners number 46.86 per 1,000 of the population, whereas in the United Kingdom they number only 20.84 per 1,000. These figures do not afford any support for the suggestion that Ireland has been treated illiberally in the matter.

Land Value Duties

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what portion of the estimated receipts from Land Values Duties for 1913–14 consists of arrears of Undeveloped Land Duty?

The amount of arrears of Undeveloped Land Duty in cluded in the estimated receipts from Land Values Duties for 1913–14 is £240,000.

asked what portion of the sum of £455,000 received for Land Value Duties in 1912–13 consisted of Mineral Rights Duty, Undeveloped Land Duty, Increment Value Duty, and Reversion Duty, respectively; and how the estimate of £750,000 for Land Value Duties for 1913–14 is similarly apportioned?

The allocation is approximately as follows:—

Exchequer Receipts, 1912–13.Estimated Receipts, 1913–11.
Increment Value Duty17,00020,000
Reversion Duty48,000100,000
Undeveloped Land Duty98,000325,000
Mineral Right Duty292,000305,000

Scottish Univerities (Grants)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether any further correspondence has taken place between the Treasury and the Scottish universities with regard to the Grants to these universities since the previous letters were laid upon the Table; and, if so, whether that subsequent correspondence may now be printed?

Correspondence is proceeding. I think it will be better to defer the suggested publication of a further instalment of correspondence until a later stage.

Income Tax (Great Britain And Ireland)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the respective amounts of Income Tax contributed by Great Britain and by Ireland for the years 1911–12 and 1912–13?

The amounts of Income Tax (including Super-tax) contributed by Great Britain and Ireland respectively are as follows:—

Great Britain.Ireland.
Year 1911–12, as shown in House of Commons Paper, No. 190, of 1st July, 191243,370,0001,504,000
Year 1912–13 (approximate)—the final figures are not yet available42,770,0001,463,000

Licence Duty

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state, separately, the amounts of Licence Duty received in the financial year 1912–13, under the following heads: Manufacturers' licences, wholesale dealers' licences, on and off retail licences, and club licences?

The amounts of Licence Duty received in the year 1912–13 were approximately as follows:—

Manufacturers' Licences427,000
Wholesale Dealers' Licences126,000
"On" and "Off" Retail Licences3,950,000
Club Duty57,000
These figures must not be taken as representing the true yield of the duties for the year. They include arrears from the previous year, and are, generally speaking, subject to adjustment.

Teachers' Pay

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the number of promotions to the higher grades of national school teachers is strictly limited owing to the high average attendance required and the exacting character of the reports upon which such promotions are made; and whether, in view of the fact that owing to the operation of the Treasury Regulation of standard numbers it is impossible for teachers to reach the maximum salaries before retirement on pension, he will recommend the abolition of these standard numbers as a matter of urgent necessity?

It is difficult to say how far the existing rules limit promotions, but I shall be glad to consider any statistics which may be submitted to me on the subject in order to see whether they afford a ground for recommending an alteration in the standard numbers. It is not correct to say that it is impossible for teachers to reach the maximum salaries before retirement on pension.

County Of Wexford (Grants)

asked the Chief Secretary the total amount of the deficit in the various Grants, other than the agricultural Grant, payable to the county of Wexford during the year ending 31st March, 1913; and if he will give details of this deficit and explain how it has arisen?

The total deficit in Grants payable to the county of Wexford during the past financial year was £1,733 4s. 4d., made up as follows:—

(1) Medical and Educational Expenditure in Unions220129
(2) Salaries of Sanitary Officers in Rural Districts26179
(3) Salaries of Sanitary Officers in Urban Districts1311
(4) Maintenance of Pauper Lunatics55274
(5) Estate or Death Duty Grant in respect of land purchase liability in the County92055
The abatements under the headings (1) to (4) inclusive were due to the insufficiency of the income of the Local Taxation Account to meet its liabilities. In addition to the foregoing, sums amounting to £2,848 3s. 10d. were deducted in respect of extra police expenses pursuant to Orders made by the Lord Lieutenant under Section 80 (2) of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898.

Labourers' Cottages (Ireland)

asked the Chief Secretary how many of the 3,439 cottages in course of construction on 31st March, 1912, in Ireland, under the Labourers Acts, and of the 4,188 cottages then authorised and to be built are to have plots exceeding three-quarters of an acre?

It would be impossible from the returns furnished to the Local Government Board to give precise particulars as to the number of plots exceeding three-quarters of an acre.

Dental Inspection

asked how many registered dental practitioners there are in Ireland and what provision is made for dental inspection in schools?

I am informed that there are about 200 registered dentists in Ireland. A sum of £5,000 has been included in the Estimates for public education, Ireland, for the purposes of dental inspection in schools. The general principle on which the money is disbursed is a Grant of £1 for each £1 of local contribution towards the total cost of dental inspection under each approved scheme.

Boycotting (Achill)

asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that boycotting has been going on during the past few months on the Island of Achill, county Mayo; will he state the alleged cause of the boycott; whether extra police, and, if so, how many, have been stationed there during the past three months; and how many police altogether are now there?

There was lately some disturbance in Achill in connection with two of the properties there, and the Congested Districts Board were obliged to make it publicly known that they would take no steps to acquire either of the estates in question until it had ceased. There has been no renewal of disturbance in the island since the first week in March, but the police authorities do not yet consider it desirable to reduce the force of thirty police now stationed in the island to the normal number of sixteen.

Grants-In-Aid (Ireland)

asked the Chief Secretary whether, having regard to the dissatisfaction which at present exists owing to the way in which Grants-in-Aid are deducted from Irish county councils without satisfactory explanation, because of defaulters or other reasons, under the Irish Land Acts, he will permit any Member of this House to inspect the accounts on behalf of the constituency he represents?

Deductions from Grants to county councils in respect of arrears of Land Purchase Annuities are made in pursuance of Rules No. 6 (2) and 8 (2) of the Statutory Rules of 24th January, 1912, made by the Treasury under the Irish Land Acts of 1903 and 1909. An inspection of the accounts kept under the authority of these rules will not disclose the names of the tenant-purchasers in default. I recognise that the application made by several county councils for further information on this point is not unreasonable, and the question whether and to what extent this request can be granted is at present under consideration. The fullest possible in- formation as to deductions from the Grants is always given to county councils who may apply for it.

Committee On Irish Finance

asked the Chief Secretary when he proposes to publish the evidence of the consenting witnesses before the Committee on Irish Finance?

As I have already said in answer to another question, the evidence will be published next week.

Local Taxation Account (Ireland)

asked the Chief Secretary, having regard to the deductions made from the Local Taxation Account in the years 1911, 1912, and 1913, in the county of Kilkenny from the different unions, under the headings of medical and educational expenditure and salaries paid to sanitary officers, if he will state on what grounds the deductions were made from each union, respectively; whether, if the expenditure under these headings did not exceed the amount paid, respectively, by each union prior to the year 1902, the unions not exceeding the amount were entitled to a recoupment of half the cost of Medical Charities Acts expenditure, half the cost of sanitary officers' salaries, and the whole cost of the salaries of work-house teachers; whether the same has been recouped in the case of unions whose expenditure on these headings has not exceeded the amount of the standard year; and if he will state the reason for the deductions from the county council of Kilkenny of the sum of £1,677 2s. 11d. for the past three years?

The deductions and abatements referred to were made, as stated in my reply to the hon. Member's question on 14th instant, on the grounds of the insufficiency of the amount paid under Section 58 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, to the Local Taxation (Ireland) Account in each of the years mentioned to meet the sums payable there-out in the same periods under the Section as amended by Section 6 (1) of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1902. The replies to the second and third paragraphs are in the affirmative subject to the fact that it is not, as stated by the hon. Member, one-half of the expenditure incurred under the Medical Charities Act which is recouped, but one-half the salaries and cost of medicines specified in Sub-section 2 (a), (i.), (ii.), and (b) of Section 58 of the Act of 1898, and in addition, one-half the remuneration of the substitutes of the officers referred to in Section 5 (1) of the Act of 1902 during their absence on vacation, regard being had to the provisions of Section 58 (5) of the principal Acts.

Land Purchase (Ireland)

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland the total amount of advances made under the Land Purchase Acts during the financial year ending on 31st March last; and how it compares with similar advances made in the previous financial year?

The total advances in all classes of sales under the Land Purchase Acts during the year ended 31st March last amounted to £8,006,010. The corresponding advances in the year ended 31st March, 1912, amounted to £7,965,066.

asked the Chief Secretary whether, in view of the fact that the maps and documents in connection with the sale of the Colomb estate, near Caherciveen, were lodged with the Congested Districts Board in December, 1912, he can state what steps have been taken to complete the inspection and sale; and can he state where any inspection is considered necessary, seeing that a previous one had been made by the Estates Commissioners?

The Congested Districts Board have given instructions for the inspection of this estate which is necessary as the transaction is not one in which the Board are completing proceedings undertaken by the Estates Commissioners. The estate will be dealt with in its proper order, and no unnecessary delay will occur.

Language And Literature (Ireland)

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) when the subject index of the works relating to the Irish language and literature, to which reference is made in the Department's Annual Report, will be published; the price at which it will be issued to the public, and whether it can be obtained only on application at the National Library in Dublin or through the official agents in Dublin, London, and Edinburgh?

The Department hope that the Index referred to will be ready in about two months. The price has not yet been fixed. The book will be sold through the official agents of His Majesty's Stationery Office, and not at the National Library.

Creamery And Dairy Industry (Ireland)

asked why in Clause 4 (2) of the Irish Creameries and Dairy Produce Bill a creamery or cream-separating business, which was carried on as such on the 30th June, 1911, is to be exonerated from the condition as to equipment of its premises with efficient plant and machinery as a condition precedent to registration as a creamery or cream-separating station under the Bill, seeing that such condition is to apply strictly to all other like premises in Ireland; and whether the word equipment in this Sub-section refers to such plants and machinery only as are specified in the Schedule, or whether it includes such matters and things as are mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of Sub-section (1) of the same Clause?

No registered creamery or cream-separating station can be exempted for more than two years after the Bill comes into operation from compliance with the requirements of the Bill in regard to equipment. Some existing creameries and cream-separating stations may not be provided at the time the Bill passes into law with the prescribed equipment, and in such cases it is considered right that the persons carrying on the business should not be deprived of the benefits of registration until they have been afforded a sufficient opportunity for installing the equipment and have failed to do so. The term equipment in this connection refers only to the plant and machinery mentioned in Clause 4 (1) (d) of the Bill.

Development Fund (Grants In Ireland)

asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) the total amount paid to his Department by way of Grant and loan since the establishment of the Development Fund, with the dates upon which and the terms under which such Grants and loans were made, how much has been actually paid, and for what purposes?

The accompanying tabular statement contains the information desired:—

GRANTS AND LOANS from the Development Fund Commissioners to the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland.
Purpose for which made, and Date of First Recommendation.Grant or Loan Recommended.Terms under which made.Dates of Payment.Amounts provided in the Estimate for 1913–11.
Horse-breeding, January, 1911Grant of £10,000 a year for 5 yearsTo be applied towards the extension of the Department's existing Horse-breeding scheme4,60010,00010,00024,60010,000
Fisheries, July, 1911Grant of £54,250For the purchase of dredging plant and the dredging of small harbours, the construction of harbours, the development of fishing from motor-boats, and the improvement of oyster fisheries4,2455,6909,93529,500
Agricultural Research and Advisory Work, October, 1911Grant of £5,000 a yearTesting of agricultural seeds, investigation of plant diseases, development of the best varieties of cereals, analysis of fertilisers and feeding stuffs, and advice in the suppression of cattle diseases2,4005,0007,4005,000
Afforestation, January, 1911(a) Loan of £25,000 without interest for 30 years(a) For the purchase of areas suitable for afforestation5004,8655,36525,000
(b) Grant of £3,000(b) Grant for the development of areas acquired
Tobacco Experiments, October, 1912Grant of £35,000 covering a period of 10 years*For experiments regarding the production of tobacco on a commercial scale2,500
* The Development Commissioners have agreed to provide a further Grant of £35,000 for the purposes of a second experiment, provided suitable arrangements can be made.

Royal Navy

Merchant Steamers (Gun Drill)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what course of drill instruction it is proposed to give the crews in the serving of the guns with which merchant steamers are to be armed for purposes of defence, and when the courses are to be commenced?

This matter is still under consideration, and I am not prepared to make any statement upon it.

Oil-Tank Steamer "Burma"

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the date that the tender for the R.F.A. oil-tank "Burma" was originally received from the Greenock and Grangemouth Dockyard Company; the date when the order for the R.F.A. oil-tank "Burma" was provisionally placed with the Greenock and Grangemouth Dockyard Company; the date when the building of the "Burma" was commenced; by whom the "Burma" was designed; the extent of the responsibility of Lloyd's Register for anything beyond the requirements of Lloyd's Register itself for classification purposes, and the name of the Lloyd's surveyor or surveyors who superintended; whether any other person was appointed to assist the Admiralty in the superintendence of the building of the "Burma," and, if so, who and in what capacity; whether the size and weight of the anchors and cables and windlass was considerably in excess of the size and weight required by Lloyd's Register, and, if so, was this excess and weight in accordance with Lloyd's requirements; whether is was necessary to put about 150 tons of ballast in the "Burma" after launching for purposes of stability, and, if so, whether such ballast was included in the original contract and whether it was put owing to Lloyd's Register requirements; whether Lloyd's Register was responsible for the necessity of putting in such ballast, and, if Lloyd's Register was not responsible, who was; and whether any protest was received by the Admiralty from Lloyd's Register or from any other person as to the ballast being put in before the liability for such ballast had been settled?

The original tender for R.F.A. "Burma" was received on the 12th October, 1909, and the order was placed (provisionally) on a revised tender on the 8th April, 1910. The actual date when building was commenced is not known. The vessel was designed by the builders, and was built under the special survey of Lloyd's Register, who supplied a special certificate that the whole of the work covered by the specification was satisfactorily completed. The building was not superintended by Lloyd's surveyors; the work of Lloyd's Register was that of survey as stated above, the surveyors concerned being Mr. E. J. Tierney and the late Mr. C. M. Smith. The vessel was built under the general cognisance of the Admiral Superintendent of the Clyde District, assisted by a staff of officers. The requirements as to anchors, cables and windlass were formulated by the Admiralty to suit the special service of the vessel, and are in excess of what would be required by the rules of Lloyd's Register for a mercantile vessel of the same dimensions. It was decided by the Admiralty during the completion of the vessel to place 150 tons of ballast on board in order to reduce the amount of ballasting by filling the empty oil tanks with water, which is always necessary in vessels of the "Burma" class in certain conditions. The placing on board of this ballast was not due to the requirements of Lloyd's Register nor was Lloyd's Register responsible. The builders considered that this ballast was outside the original contract, and the Admiralty ultimately paid for it as an extra.

British Army

Royal Flying Corps

asked the Secretary of State for War the reason why the Clement-Bayard airship, which travelled from Paris to London in record time, was not further used by the War Office?

I have stated previously that this airship was dismantled because it was unserviceable. Since the question has been raised again, I may say that it was found, in the first place, that the airship was not new when bought, having been used in the autumn manœuvres in France on trial for the French Government, and, in the second place, that the envelope leaked very badly, to the extent of 12,000 cubic feet of gas per day, so that it would have cost about £135 a week to keep it inflated. It appeared also that the speed of the airship was not over 33 miles per hour, and that it was slow on control compared with our standards.

Territorial Force

asked the Secretary of State for War what was the total sum paid to the Volunteers in the year 1905; and what was the total sum paid to the Territorial Force in the year 1912?

The total estimated expenditure on Yeomanry and Volunteers in 1905–6 was £2,170,000, and on the Territorial Force in 1912–13 was £3,230,000.

asked the Secretary of State for War the strength of the Territorial Force on the 1st April, 1913, officers and non-commissioned officers and men, respectively?

The strength was as follows:—9,299 officers and 244,510 non-commissioned officers and men.

Manual Or Military Law

asked the Secretary of State for War whether it is proposed to issue a new edition of the "Manual of Military Law, 1907," and of the "Pay Warrant, 1909," and, if so, when?

Both these books are now under revision, but I am not at present in a position to say when it will be possible to issue new editions.

Church Parades

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether officers commanding regiments in the Regular Army are forbidden to grant leave to officers desirous of obtaining leave for the purpose of working for the entrance examination for the staff college; and, if so, and if the principle now extended to the police force of one day's rest in seven is still to be denied to officers in the Army, if he will at any rate increase the facilities for young officers to work for such examinations by limiting the numbers of those at present compelled against their wishes to attend church parades and services on every Sunday of the month; (2) if he is aware that the compulsory attendance still insisted upon of such a large proportion of the officers in many regiments of the Regular Army at the weekly church parades and services in full uniform is with a number of officers disliked; in view of the shortage of officers and the desirability of making the service more generally popular, will he take such steps as may be necessary to issue Regulations to permit officers commanding regiments to detail only two officers, one of whom shall be of junior rank, for such compulsory duty on Sundays and Christmas Day, so that the officers remaining, after these two have been deducted in turn each week, shall enjoy the privilege of greater freedom either to work for their examinations or to take a rest on at least the great majority of Sundays in each year; (3) if he will cause inquiries to be made as to the safety or otherwise of permitting the present compulsory church parades or church services to be held under the actual supervision of two officers in uniform to each regiment; if at the same time he will ascertain whether the danger of a regiment being left under the control of two officers on Sunday is greater than on such other days of pleasure and regiments, when regiments are left under the control of only one officer, as occurs on the dates of various race meetings; and (4) how many officers above the rank of second lieutenant and lieutenant are made to attend compulsory religious services or parades on Sundays in the regiments comprising the 4th Cavalry Brigade at Colchester and the 1st Cavalry Brigade at Aldershot, respectively; whether the number of such officers is fixed; if not, whether he can say how many officers in each regiment of the two brigades, respectively, were actually compelled to take part in uniform in such services since 1st January. 1913, to 30th March?

The whole question of compulsory church parades is now under consideration, and I do not think any good purpose would be served by calling for the special Return suggested in one Question. I hope, therefore the hon. Gentleman will not press for it.

Regiments In China

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, seeing that all the regiments stationed in North and South China, both British and Indian, draw Colonial allowance, with the exception of the one Indian regiment stationed at Tientsin, and that, as the expenses at Tientsin, owing to the great cold, increased house rent, and other reasons, are much greater than at other places in Southern China, and the present allowances do not cover these, he will take steps to give Colonial allowance to the regiment at Tientsin as well as to the other regiments stationed in China?

Will the hon. and gallant Member kindly refer to my reply to a similar question put by the hon. and gallant Member for the Reigate Division on the 5th February last to which I have nothing to add.

Household Cavalry

asked the Secretary of State for War if the sickness or mortality during 1910, 1911, and 1912 amongst the non-commissioned officers and men of the three regiments of Household Cavalry has been greater, considering their numerical strength, than in any other units quartered in the United Kingdom; if he will furnish returns of fatal illnesses in those three regiments during the past three years, and of those who succumbed to the diseases for which they had been invalided within six months of their discharge, and state the periods each of all these cases had been detained in the Household Cavalry hospitals prior to their transfers to fully equipped hospitals; whether he is aware that, although each Household Cavalry regiment possesses two medical officers borne on its strength, both of them at times during the past three years have been simultaneously absent on leave from their respective regiments for several days in succession or even longer, and only one out of the four belonging to the two regiments quartered in London has been available to answer for the three absentees, which is not a satisfactory custom for this temporary Care of serious cases, when the treatment may require daily or hourly modification; and whether the medical officer on duty is easily accessible for sudden emergencies, or whether such have to await his next visit to his hospital during the course of the following day, being meanwhile only attended and prescribed for by a corporal of the regiment left in sole charge of it for twenty-four hours?

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the Household Cavalry hospitals at Regent's Park barracks and at Combermere barracks. Windsor, are properly equipped for operations and treatment for pulmonary and other grave diseases, and what nursing staff is provided in them; can X-rays be used, and testing and recognised treatment for tubercular complaints; whether these hospitals are frequently inspected by higher medical authorities or in any way supervised by them; who is actually responsible for their efficient working; is the nourishment, its preparation, and administration, as specifically ordered to each patient, under any higher daily supervision than that of a corporal; is he solely depended upon for administering remedies, intermediate dressings, fomentations, etc.; whether fatal results in several cases during the period under inquiry can be at all attributed to any delays in their transfers to thoroughly-staffed and equipped civil or military hospitals; if so, will he recommend for the future immediate transfers of all suspicious and anxious cases?

Lagos Harbour

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the total sum spent and to be spent on the Lagos harbour works, Southern Nigeria; of what works do the plans consist; will he say what each branch of the work is expected to cost; and who is responsible to his Department should the figures be exceeded?

The main harbour works consist of the construction of two stone moles, 8,500 and 6,000 feet in length, at an estimated cost of £897,000. Of this, about, £365,000 had been spent up to 31st December last. Large expenditure is also contemplated on the construction and extension of wharves in the harbour, some of which has already been carried out, about £80,000 having been expended on two wharves up to the end of last year. But the provision of wharfage accommodation for ocean-going vessels involves a great deal of reclamation work, and also the extension of the railway to the wharves. The sum of £500,000 was provided in the Southern Nigeria Loan of 1911 for the wharfage scheme, but certain important matters still remain to be decided, and no estimate can at present be given for the whole of the work. The harbour works also involve dredging operations. These are paid for from revenue, and not from loan funds, money being provided on the Estimates of each year as required. As the dredgers are not entirely employed on this work, but are available for dredging and reclamation work generally, I am not in a position to state the expenditure on dredging in connection with the harbour works separately. The dredging is carried out under the directions of the Marine Department of the Colony, working in consultation with the resident engineer in charge of the harbour works. The works are being carried out by the Colonial Government, their consulting engineers being Messrs. Coode, Matthews, Fitzmaurice, and Wilson. Their resident engineer is responsible for the conduct of the works under their supervision, and the expenditure is subject to the same control as that on any other public works in the Colony.

Timber Research (Cambridge University)

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he can give the House any information regarding the results of the research work in connection with afforestation undertaken by the University of Cambridge for which his Department supplied the funds?

The First Quarterly Progress Report on Timber Research undertaken by Cambridge University with the aid of a Government Grant, has recently been issued, and I shall be pleased to send a copy to the hon. Member. So far as can be judged from the record of three months' work, it seems probable that very useful results may be expected.

Bee Disease Bill

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture how he interprets the expression "expert adviser," as used in Clause 5 of the Bee Disease Bill; and whether such adviser must possess any recognised qualifications for judging whether bees on any premises visited by an inspector are affected by any pest or disease.

I interpret the expression "expert adviser" as meaning a person qualified by scientific or practical training to judge whether bees are affected by any particular pest or disease which he may be under instructions to investigate.

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that bees do not in their flight recognise inland geographical boundaries, and to avoid the projected legislation in reference to bee disease being impaired if not rendered ineffective by the issue of different and possibly mutually repugnant orders under the Bee Disease Bill from the English and Scottish Boards of Agriculture, respectively, he will, by agreement with the Secretary for Scotland and the Scottish Board, provide in the Bill that the English Board, as in the analogous case of the contagious diseases of farm quadrupeds, shall alone administer its provisions in the interests of bee-keepers in both countries?

I have every reason to expect that the two Boards will co-operate harmoniously, and I am unable to adopt the hon. Member's suggestion.

Lake Nyasa (Murder Of Rev A J Douglas)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the Rev. Mr. Douglas, having been murdered in the exercise of his vocation, his friends and the mission with which he was connected might consider it unworthy to make any application for any pecuniary indemnity; and whether, under the circumstances, he could mark his displeasure by demanding a suitable indemnity from the aggressors that might be devoted to a lasting memorial of the murdered missionary?

I must refer the hon. Member to the answer which was returned to his question on the 22nd instant. I can only say that the question of asking for an indemnity is one which is receiving careful consideration.

Sir Stuart Samuel

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government contemplate introducing a Bill relieving Sir Stuart Samuel, the late Member for Whitechapel, from the penalties consequent upon his sitting and voting in this House when disqualified by law from so doing?

I should be glad if the hon. Member would repeat his question to-day week.

Grimsby Workhouse

asked the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware of the practice in Grimsby workhouse for the inmates to stand up on the entry of the guardians; whether it has his sanction; and, in the event of any inmate refusing to stand up on the entry of the guardians, will he permit any disciplinary punishment to be inflicted?

I am informed that in some places it is the custom for occupants of a room to rise from their seats on the entrance of visitors or persons in authority. There is no regulation on the subject, and I see no reason for interfering with what may be looked upon as a natural act of courtesy.

House Of Commons (Committee On Procedure)

asked the Prime Minister when it is proposed to set up the Committee on Procedure?

The Motion for the appointment of the Committee referred to will be placed on the Paper to-night.