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Written Answers

Volume 236: debated on Thursday 6 March 1930

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Written Answers



asked the Lord Privy Seal if his attention has been drawn to the number of unemployed in Carmarthenshire; what sums have been allocated by the Unemployment Grants Committee; what works have been started; and if he will ascertain the reasons for the delay in starting works of relief and remove the causes?

pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1930; col. 1177, Vol. 235] supplied the following statement:I am aware that there is a high percentage of unemployment in Carmarthenshire. Since 1st June last, two schemes, estimated to cost £2,984, submitted by local authorities within the county for the relief of unemployment, have been approved by the Unemployment Grants Committee. Both of these schemes are now in operation. Only three schemes submitted by local authorities in Carmarthenshire are now under consideration by the Unemployment Grants Committee of a total estimated cost of £3,376. The reason for the delay in the commencement of relief schemes rests with the local authorities who, so far, have taken only a very limited advantage of the facilities available from the Unemployment Grants Committee.

Unemployment among Insured Persons in certain industries in Great Britain.
Industry.21st October, 1929.27th January, 1930.Increase (+). Decrease (—).
Wholly unemployed.Temp. stopped.Total.Wholly unemployed.Temp. stopped.Total.Wholly unemployed.Temp. stopped.Total.
Silk and Art. Silk4,1362,7636,8994,9589,09714,055+ 822+ 6,334+ 7,156
Construction and repair of motor vehicles, cycles and aircraft.14,9894,52019,50915,7772,94418,721+ 788—1,576—788


asked the Minister of Labour the number of males and females, separately, insured under the unemployment insurance scheme at the be-

Estimated number of persons insured against unemployment in Great Britain.
Age 16 and over.
Age 16 to 64.
* Separate figures for males and females are not available for July, 1912, but the number of females probably did not exceed 10,000. The scheme of unemployment insurance in 1912 was limited to manual workers in a few industries and was extended in November, 1920, to substantially all industries except agriculture and private domestic service.

Silk And Motor Industres

asked the Minister of Labour what increase in unemployment has occurred during the last three months in the silk and artificial silk and motor industries?

Between 21st October, 1929, and 27th January, 1930, there was an increase of 7,156 in the number of insured persons unemployed in the silk and artificial silk industry and a decrease of 788 in the construction and repair of motor vehicles, cycles and aircraft. Further details are given in the following table:ginning and at any convenient date in 1920, 1928 and 1929?

The following table gives the information desired so far as it is available:

National Health Insurance


asked the Minister of Health the total number of males and females, separately, in respect of whom national health insurance contributions were paid at 30th June, 1912, 1920, 1928 and 1929, respectively?

Information is not available as to the number of persons in respect of whom national health insurance

* Including persons who remained temporarily insured after ceasing to be employed.
† Excluding persons over 70 years of age.
‡ Excluding persons over 65 years of age.
§ These figures relate to 1913.

Doctors' Prescriptions

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to the case of a partnership of four doctors practising in the East End who have been fined £100 by the London Insurance Committee for the offence of excessive prescribing; and will he, in the circumstances, mitigate or remit this fine?

I am aware of this case. The Insurance Committee have made a recommendation, but for the reason given in reply to a similar question on 27th February by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, East (Mr. Jowett), of which I will send the hon. Member a copy, I cannot undertake to anticipate the decision at which it will be my duty to arrive.

Local Government

Home-Grown Mkat (Tenders)

asked the Minister of Health whether he will circulate all hospitals, infirmaries, and asylums within the sphere of his authority requesting them when inviting tenders for meat contracts to invite tenders for home-grown meat as well as chilled meat?

ance contributions were paid at the dates specified in the question, but statements published in the annual reports of the Ministry of Health and the Scottish Board of Health (now the Department of Health for Scotland) give the approximate number of persons in insurance at the end of each year up to 1928. The figures for 1929 are not yet available. Following are the numbers given in the statements referred to for 1912, 1920 and 1928:

I am sending to the Noble Lord a copy of a Circular I recently issued to all local authorities urging upon them to use whenever practicable goods of home production.

Birth-Control Information

asked the Minister of Health the names of the 55 or more local authorities who have sent resolutions to his Department in favour of local authorities being permitted to give birth-control information to married women who desire it?

Poor Law


asked the Minister of Health whether any boards of guardians are paying out-relief to single able-bodied men without dependants?

Casuals (Stone-Pounding)

asked the Minister of Health whether a Draft Order for regulation of casual wards has now been placed before him: whether the task of stone- pounding is still imposed by some, and, if so, which, boards of guardians on casuals; will he alter the draft order so as to exclude stone-pounding, and either to exclude also stone-breaking or to make it a task of hours instead of amount; and will he let the amount of stone to be broken and size to which it is to be broken be prescribed by the council and not by a committee?

The Draft Order to which the hon. Member refers is merely one consolidating the provisions of the large number of existing Poor Law Orders which are still operative and has been prepared to meet the coming changes in Poor Law administration. As regards the second part of the hon. Member's question, the task of stone-pounding is imposed by certain boards of guardians; it is one of several alternative tasks allowed by the existing regulations and my approval to its imposition is not required. I am not in a position to state which boards of guardians impose the task. As regards the third and fourth parts of the question, I have recently appointed a Departmental Committee to consider the administration of the law-relating to the relief of the casual poor and I propose to await their report before considering any alteration of the existing regulations on this subject.

Year ended 31st December.State-assisted houses completed.* Unassisted houses having a rateable value not exceeding £78.Total.
By Local Authority.By Private Enterprise.
* These figures are for years ending 30th September and are not available prior to 1st October, 1922. It is not possible to differentiate between houses erected by Local Authorities and those erected by Private Enterprise.
† Completed under the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, between 1st April, 1920, and 31st December, 1922.

Hospital Patients (Ablvtions)

asked the Minister of Health whether he will take steps, in the case of Poor Law hospitals, to stop the practice of awaking patients at five o'clock in the morning for the purpose of ablutions, when these could be carried out at a more reasonable hour without interfering with their sleep?

I am anxious that everything possible should be done to study the comfort of patients and this matter is one which is constantly under consideration. I have been interested to see the steps proposed in this regard in the important hospital with which my hon. Friend is connected, but as he will appreciate the subject is one in which it is difficult to make general recommendations.

Housing (Chatham And Gillingham)

asked the Minister of Health the number of houses built by local authorities and private enterprise, respectively, in Chatham and Gillingham, Kent, respectively, during the years 1919 to 1929, inclusive, respectively?

The following statement shows the number of houses built with and without State-assistance in Chatham and Gillingham during each of the years 1919 to 1929 inclusive.

Public Health (Infant Welfare, Fulham)

asked the Minister of Health what provision is being made by way of grant for the voluntary infant welfare centre at Fulham for the period from April, 1928, to April, 1929, and from April, 1929, to April, 1930; and whether he can state the last time such a grant was paid and in respect of what particular period?

The grant paid to this centre for the year 1928–29 was £298 11s. 1d. and this payment was made on 13th November, 1928. The grant payable for the year 1929–30 is £395, but as the centre is being transferred to the borough council on 1st April next, it is necessary to ascertain that this payment is required in order to enable the centre to discharge its liabilities in respect of the services for which the grant is payable. This matter is now under investigation.

Contributory Pensions

asked the Minister of Health the total amount of money paid in old age pensions under the contributory scheme to persons of 65 to 70 for the year ended 1929?

The total amount paid for the year ended 31st December, 1929, was £14,426,629.


Tuberculin Tested Cattle (Exhibition)

asked the Minister of Health if his order restricting certified and grade A (T T) cattle from attending shows allows them to attend shows, if any, where the cattle are so restricted but sheep and pigs are also shown?

I have not so far found it necessary to make any special restrictions as regards the exhibition of tuberculin tested cattle at shows restricted to such cattle but at which sheeps and pigs are also exhibited.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many cattle shows there are which are limited to certified and grade A (tuberculin tested) cattle?

Royal Veterinary College

asked the Minister of Agriculture what action he proposes to take on the recent Report on the Royal Veterinary College?

I can add nothing at present to the reply which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member on 21st January.


asked the Minister of Agriculture the total amount of potatoes exported abroad from England and Wales in the year 1929, and the total imports of potatoes into England and Wales for the same period?

Exports of potatoes shipped direct from ports in England and Wales during 1929 amounted to 1,621,864 cwts. Imports of potatoes into ports in England and Wales during the same period amounted to 5,666,341 cwts.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the total amount of potatoes exported to countries abroad from Scotland in the year 1929, and the total imports of potatoes into Scotland for the same period?

In 1929 the quantity of potatoes exported from Scottish ports was 21,452 tons and the quantity imported into Scottish ports was 2,033 tons.

Home Produce (Advertising)

asked the Minister of Agriculture what proportion of the grant set apart for the improvement of marketing of agricultural produce will be allocated for advertising next season's home-grown fruit and vegetables and specify the commodities which it is proposed to advertise?

The purposes for which the grant made to my Department by the Empire Marketing Board is used were set out in a reply given to the hon. Member for Eye (Mr. Granville) on 14th November last, of which I am sending the hon. and gallant Member a copy. A considerable amount of direct advertising of home produce is conducted by the Empire Marketing Board from its own resources, and no allocation for this purpose is made from the grant to my Department.

Horses (Export)

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he has taken and will take to stop the export of worn-out horses to the continent?

The export of worn-out horses from Great Britain to the continent is prohibited by the Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, as amended by the Exportation of Horses Act of 1914, which prohibits the shipment of any horse unless it has been examined by a veterinary inspector of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and certified by him to be fit to travel and also fit to work. These Acts are being rigidly carried out.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if his attention has been called to instances of cruelty to horses which are exported to the continent from Great Britain; the number of horses exported for the year 1929; and whether any guarantee is given by the buyer abroad as to whether they are to be slaughtered or not?

I have been unable to verify any cases of cruelty to horses exported from this country to the continent. The number of horses exported during the year 1929 from this country to the continent was 9,912, of which, I am informed. 4,371 were exported for immediate slaughter. Of this number, 4,342 were shipped to Holland where the use of the humane killer is compulsory, and the remaining 29 to France, where, according to my information, they were slaughtered with the humane killer at the Boulogne abattoir. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Commissioners Of Crown Lands (Technical Assistance)

asked the Minister of Agriculture why the Commissioners of Crown Lands will require additional technical assistance at a cost of £1,400 during the coming financial year?

The additional technical assistance is required for the re-development of the Cumberland market area on the Crown's Regent's Park estate.

River Pollution (Beet Sugar Effluents)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is satisfied that all beet sugar factories in receipt of the Government subsidy are taking effective measures to prevent their operations from polluting rivers and doing consequent damage to fisheries?

It is my intention shortly to send a circular letter to the directors and managers of all the beet sugar factories, directing their attention to the measures for the prevention of pollution by beet sugar effluents which have been proved to be practicable. The letter will urge upon them the importance of taking steps to adopt appropriate measures, if they have not already done so, before the factories re-open for the next campaign.

Stour Drainage Board (Rate)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the Stour Drainage Board levied any rates on the farmers and landowners in the Stour Valley in the year 1929; and, if so, what was the total sum so raised and what proportion of this sum was actually expended in improving the drainage of the Stour Valley?

I am informed that the Stour Drainage Board levied one rate only during 1929. The expected product of this rate was approximately £1,100, but I understand that a substantial amount has not yet been paid. This Drainage Board have not carried out any works for several years, and the rates collected are expended in the repayment of loan charges incurred in connection with works done some years ago and on administration.

Trade And Commerce

Indian Cotton Tariff

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, having regard to the serious effect the proposed increase in the Indian cotton tariff will have on the Lancashire cotton industry and employment in that industry, he will consider the desirability of making representations to His Majesty's Indian Government that the proposals for such increase shall not be proceeded with?

As the hon. Member will have seen from the Press reports of Sir G. Schuster's speech in the Indian Legislative Assembly last Friday, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have already done everything possible in the way of representations in this matter. I would add that, though I fully realise the grave effect which this increase of duties may have on the trade of Lancashire, I appreciate also the proposal of the Indian Government to ask the Legislative Assembly to assent to preferential treatment for this country.

Australian Tariff (Theatrical Wigs)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the duty on travesty wigs, used for theatrical purposes, entering Australia is 1,200 per cent.; whether he is aware that this industry gives employment to a number of women in this country; and will he make representations to the Commonwealth Government with a view to reducing the duty, which is almost prohibitory in character?

The present duty on wigs of United Kingdom manufacture is 10s. each, or 20 per cent. ad valorem, which ever rate returns the higher duty. The average value of wigs imported under the preferential tariff into Australia is between £2 and £3 each, so that the hon. Member's statement that the duty is equivalent to 1,200 per cent. is difficult to understand. This duty has been in force for several years, and I do not think that representations to the Commonwealth Government would serve any useful purpose.

Landed Estates (Public Companies)

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many personal landed estates have been converted into public companies during the years 1927, 1928 and 1929, respectively?

The numbers of companies of the kind registered in England during the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 were 19, 14 and 5, respectively, total 38. Of this total, two were registered as public companies, and the rest as private companies.

India (Statutoby Commission's Report)

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is yet in a position to state when the Statutory (Simon) Commission Report will be ready; and whether, in view of the importance and possible size of this Report, he will consider issuing a summarised statement at the same time?

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave on Monday last to questions as to the date of the Statutory Commission's Report. The suggestion made in the second part of the question will, of course, be considered.

Australian Banks, Credit Facilities

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the position created in Australia, as it affects British and other shipping and the free movement of British subjects domiciled in the United Kingdom but resident in Australia, by reason of the fact that the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Australian banks have restricted the normal movement of credit facilities; and whether, in view of the uncertainty and difficulties enforced on British shipping companies by this action, he is prepared to make representations to the Commonwealth Government on behalf of the British interests affected?

I understand that some difficulties have been experienced in commercial and shipping circles in consequence of the restriction on credit facilities by certain Australian banks, but, as I am at present advised, the matter does not appear to be one on which representations could suitably be made to His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth.

Coal Industry

Colliery Working

asked the Secretary for Mines if he will provide a tabular statement showing the comparison of the results of colliery working for the

Comparison of the Results of Colliery Working for the Country as a whole in 1929 with those for the year 1913.
1913.1929.Percentage increase decrease
Per ton commercially disposable
s.d.s.d.Per cent.
Wages costs610½92·12+ 33·48
Other costs2744·39+ 69·00
Total costs9136·51+ 43·18
Proceeds1101310·92+ 26·45
Balance104·41- 76·16
July, 1914.1929.Percentage increase or decrease.
s.d.s.d.Per cent.
Earnings per shift65·6492·67+ 42·54
Output of coal per shift20·32 cwts.21·69 cwts.+ 6·47


asked the Secretary for Mines what was the average realised pit-head price of coal for each month from September, 1925, to the latest date for which figures are available?

MaySee note below.1411131136
NOTE.—Most of the mines were closed on 1st May, 1926, owing to the National Dispute in the Coal Industry, and figures for the last 8 months of 1926 are not available.

asked the Secretary for Mines the prices of typical descriptions of coal in 1913, and the prices quoted at the end of January, 1930?

country as a whole between the years 1913 and 1929, as per Table 22 ( a), page 44, of the Report of the Royal Commission (1925), Volume 3.

The average pit-head proceeds per ton disposable commercially from September, 1925, to December, 1929, were approximately as follow:

Class of Coal.Market Quotations (f.o.b.)
1913.End of January, 1930.
Scotch navigation screened.16·8319·50
Admiralty seconds19·2119·50
Rhondda Large17·4620·75
Best Durham gas15·8316·75
Durham unscreened bunkers.14·8715·75

District.Tonnage commercially disposableCredit Balance.Debit Balance.
Amount.Per ton commercially disposable.Amount.Per ton commercially disposable.
1. Scotland30,040,616414,43903·31
2. Northumberland12,856,087313,56105·85
3. Durham36,206,664500,18703·32
4. South Wales and Monmouth41,443,128251,97401·46
5. Yorkshire43,555,0381,311,07007·22
6. N. Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.25,021,493853,43208·19
7. S. Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Cannock Chase and Warwickshire.12,463,151769,44112·82
8. Lancashire, Cheshire and N. Staffordshire.18,789,411.92,85301·19
9. Other Districts (Cumberland, N. Wales, S. Staffordshire, Shropshire, Bristol, Forest of Dean, Somerset and Kent).9,997,00083,30002·00
Great Britain230,372,5884,237,95104·41

NOTES.—( a) The table in the Royal Commission Report excluded particulars for Bristol and Cumberland and covered about 93 per cent. of the tonnage for the country as a whole; the above table covers about 97 per cent. of the total tonnage. The tonnage and sterling figures are not therefore exactly comparable but it is unlikely that the per ton figures are materially affected.

( b) The table in the Royal Commission Report gave figures for the Eastern Area as a whole and gave the smaller districts separately; in the table above the districts are those now given in the Department's Quarterly Statistical Summaries of Output, Costs of Production, etc. Figures for the Eastern Area can be arrived at by adding together the particulars for districts numbered 5, 6 and 7.

( c) The figures given above for South Wales and Monmouth relate to the year ended 31st January, 1930.

( d) The figures given above for Other Districts are provisional.

Accident, Bishop Middleham Colliery

asked the Secretary for Mines if he has had a report from his inspectors indicating the cause of the explosion on Sunday, 2nd March, at the Bishop Middleham colliery, county Durham, whereby four men were injured?

asked the Secretary for Mines if he will provide a tabular statement showing the financial results of colliery working for the year ending 31st December, 1929, comparable with Table 9, page 40, of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry (1925), Volume 3.

pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th March, 1930; col. 466, Vol. 236] supplied the following statement:

So far I have received only a preliminary report on the facts of the accident. It appears that two stone drifts are being driven from an old shaft with a view ultimately to connecting up with Mainsforth Colliery. One of these drifts struck the Hutton seam of coal on Saturday last, and the ex- plosion took place shortly before midnight on Sunday while the deputy was making an inspection of this drift. I regret to say that as a result the deputy himself and three other persons were slightly burned. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, but the fullest investigation is being made.

Mechanic Examiners, Woolwich (Wages)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what reply he has given to the appeal for an increase in wages on behalf of the mechanic examiners in the naval ordnance inspection department at Woolwich?

No answer has yet been given; the matter has been under discussion with the men's trade union representatives.

National And Tate Galleries (Lighting)

asked the First Commissioner of Works what is the estimated cost of installing artificial light in the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery, respectively; when the work of installation will be commenced; and when it is anticipated that evening openings of these two galleries will become practicable?

The estimated cost of lighting the National Gallery is £12,000 and of lighting the Tate Gallery, £5,000. Experimental work will be necessary as regards the type of lighting to be adopted, and provision in next year's Estimates has consequently been limited to work on one or two rooms. It is expected that the reminder of the work will take two years to complete at the National Gallery, and a year at the Tate Gallery.

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether, during the proposed installation of electric light in the National Gallery, opportunity will be taken to lower and lighten the ceilings in the large dark room devoted to the exhibition of Dutch pictures?

No request of this nature has been received from the trustees and the proposal has not been brought to my notice before. It will take some little time to investigate, but I will communicate with the hon. and gallant Member on the subject in due course.

House Of Commons (Late Sittings)

asked the First Commissioner of Works approximately the total cost of each Parliamentary sitting after midnight; and whether he will be prepared to state in detail the cost of each such sitting, including overtime pay to the attendants and any extra payments made to any officers of the House?

In view of the short time available, I have not been able to obtain up-to-date figures, but I have no reason to suppose that they differ materially from those given in answer to a question on 21st April, 1926, namely, £17 per hour up to 11 p.m. with an additional £5 per hour after 11 p.m.


asked the Home Secretary if he has received a Report from the Betting Control Board showing how many mechanical totalisators on racecourses are now in operation and the cost of installing them?

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend to the Member for the Eastbourne Division (Mr. Marjoribanks) yesterday.

Francis Lorang

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make a statement concerning the position of the proceedings which have been instituted against Francis Lorang?

No, Sir. The decision of the French Government upon the application for extradition has not yet been received.


asked the Home Secretary whether all application for certificates A, E, B, or EE, under the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, are required to bear a statement as to the exact nature of the experiment to be performed?

asked the Home Secretary how the conditions referred to in Section 3, Sub-section (3), and to portion of Section 5 (referring to experiments on dogs and cats) of the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, are complied with in the case of Professor H. S. Pembrey, who is each year granted certificates A, E, B, and EE under that Act, but according to the yearly Home Office Return has not used such certificates for a number of years?

I am not sure that I understand what it is the hon. Member desires to know. The conditions referred to apply to the performance of experiments, and if no experiments are in fact performed necessarily the conditions do not come into operation. It may be pointed out that certificates are not "granted each year." Certificates may be given by the scientific authorities for such period as they think fit, but licences are renewed annually, and the certificates associated with a licence would lapse if the licence were not renewed.

Rural Pupil Teachers

asked the President of the Board of Education how many of the 18 men and 173 women who took the examinations for rural pupil teachers held in July, 1929, satisfied the examiners and have been accepted by training colleges?

Four men and 38 women passed the examination for rural pupil teachers in 1929. It is not yet possible to say how many have been accepted by training colleges.

asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is intended to throw open the examination for rural pupil teachers to all supplementary or uncertified teachers and to those preparing to become handicraft instructors?

The examination for rural pupil teachers is open to supplementary teachers subject to the conditions laid down in Circular 1394. Uncertified teachers have already passed a corresponding examination, but would be admitted on the same terms as supplementary teachers. Any applications from persons who do not satisfy the usual conditions but are preparing to become handicraft teachers would be considered on their merits.

Electricity Supply, Depwade

asked the Minister of Transport if his attention has been called to the position of the rural district council of Depwade, Norfolk, with regard to its supply of electricity, whereby after two years the council may receive current from the East Anglian Electricity Company at a high price per unit which the East Anglian Company will not generate themselves, but will purchase either from the corporations of Yarmouth or Norwich who are supplying their customers in the immediate neighbourhood at a much lower rate; and whether, in these circumstances, he will arrange for Depwade to be included in the Norwich or Yarmouth zones?

The district in question falls within the area granted to the East Anglian Company by their Act of 1927. As permitted by that Act, however, the commissioners have decided to allot parts of that area to the Norwich and the Yarmouth Corporations. In settling the boundary, they have had regard, after a local inquiry, to the proper development of the remainder of the company's statutory area, and consider that this part of the district of Depwade should on technical grounds form part of it.

Land Settlement

asked the Financial Secretary of the Treasury what has been the total expenditure from the British Exchequer since the War upon land settlement in England and Wales, Scotland, and Overseas, respectively; what is estimated to be the present value of the estates to the Exchequer; what is the annual charge now being incurred; and how many settlers are now established upon the land?

I append a statement setting out the desired particulars. Further information can be obtained from the published annual trading accounts.

England and Wales.Scotland.Overseas.

Lands acquired by County Councils, etc.


£On Estates—£Under£
(1) Owned by Dept. of Agriculture for Scotland3,337,897Empire Settlement Acts1,269,000
Advances from the Land Settlement Fund under the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919 (excluding £1,250,000 borrowed locally)14,000,000(2) Owned by private proprietors855,472
Advances from Local Loans Fund under the Small Holdings, etc., Allotments Act, 1926 (excluding money borrowed locally)94,000

* All loans raised by Councils are repayable in full with interest at the rate current at the time of borrowing.

Farm Settlements acquired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Small Holdings Colonies Acts, 1916–18, and the Sailors and Soldiers (Gifts for Land Settlement) Act, 1916.
(a) retained by Ministry†336,224
(b) transferred to County Councils or otherwise disposed of484,390
†Two of the farm settlements were purchased wholly or partly in consideration of perpetual rentcharges, and two and a part of a third are held on long leases.
Land acquired by the Ministry under Section 3 of the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 19191,762
Total Expenditure from the British Exchequer since the War14,916,3764,193,3691,269,000
Excluding the comparatively small area retained by the Ministry as Farm Settlements,** the land acquired is the property of the Councils and has no present value to the Exchequer.Value of Estates owned by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland (at cost§ vide Balance Sheet published in Annual Trading Accounts)—

(1) Estates purchased before the War

** The present market value of the Ministry's Farm Settlements in England and Wales and of the Department's Estates in Scotland could not be ascertained without an expensive valuation.

(2) Estates gifted during the War10,964
(3) Estates purchased since the War778,524
§ See note in previous column.

England and Wales.Scotland.Overseas.

Payments to County Councils, etc., under Section 27of the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, as amended by the Land Settlement (Facilities) Amendment Act, 1925, and representing the excess of the aggregate amount of the Council's small holdings charges payable during the financial year 1929, as ascertained under the latter Act, over the net annual income of the Councils' small holdings estates for the same year, as similarly ascertained


Net annual loss as per Trading Accounts (Average of three years 1926,1927 and 1928)—

865,000(1) Estates purchased before the War6,092
(2) Estates gifted during the War1,677
(3) Estates purchased since the War123,071

Payment to County Councils, etc., in connection with the provision of additional small holdings and cottage holdings under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1926

†† As loans are repaid, the Ministry's contributions will be correspondingly reduced, and they will cease when the Council's loan charges fall to the level of the income from their estates.

Farm Settlements retained.—The annual Trading Accounts for the Settlements retained showed an accumulated loss on 31st March, 1929, of £191,383, of which £182,822 represented interest on Exchequer advances and provision for depreciation.

Net annual loss as per Trading Accounts (average for three years 1926, 1927 and 1928)23,141
16,963 (including 413 on Farm Settlements)16,963On new holdings3,761
On enlargements2,643

Irish Prisoners

asked the Home Secretary how many persons of Irish nationality are now in British prisons for political offences; how many years of their sentences of imprisonment have they served; and whether it is the intention of the Government to release such persons at an early date?

I have nothing to add to the full reply which I gave to a similar question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bootle (Mr. Kinley) on 13th February.

National Finance

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will show how the totals under the heading of sundry loans, special and ordinary receipts, in the financial statement were made up, respectively, for the financial year, 1928–29?

The hon. Member will find a complete analysis of these receipts on pages 24 to 34 of the Finance Accounts of the United Kingdom for the financial year 1928–29 (House of Commons Paper No. 1 of 1929, Session 2).

Conversion Loan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give particulars of the result of the recent issue of the 5 per cent. Conversion Loan; and how much of the 5 per cent. War Loan (1929–1947) has been converted?

The amount of 5 per cent. Conversion Loan, 1944–64, issued for cash subscriptions is £155,325,000, and by Conversion from 5½ per cent. Treasury Bonds, 1930, £80,372,000. 5 per cent. War Loan, 1929–47, to a total of approximately £88,500,000 has also been converted into 5 per cent. Conversion Loan, 1944–64.