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Written Answers

Volume 236: debated on Friday 21 March 1930

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Written Answers

Channel Tunnel

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the Report of the Channel Tunnel Committee that during the years the pilot tunnel and drainage tunnels are building only 250 men will be employed, whether the whole question will be reconsidered from the point of view of comparisons with other projects on which enterprise might concentrate?

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I gave yesterday in reply to questions on this subject.

Poor Law

Pharmacists

asked the Minister of Health whether it is his intention that the county or county borough council shall be entitled to appoint a pharmacist as principal officer?

I have given this matter careful consideration, but, as I have indicated in replies to previous questions, I am averse from the extension of central control which is implicit in the suggestion made by the hon. Member.

Officers (Status And Emoluments)

asked the Minister of Health whether, in making Regulations for the administration of the Poor Law by the new authorities under the 1929 Local Government Act, he will leave the local authorities full freedom as regards status and emolument of their officials?

Poor Law Officers transferred under the Local Government Act, 1929, are protected as regards both status and emoluments by Section 121 of the Act and are not affected by the Regulations. So far as new appointments are governed by Regulations, it is the intention in this as in other matters to consolidate the existing Regulations, and not to amend them substantially pending further experience. The new authorities will be unable, without my concurrence, to dismiss persons holding certain speci- fied posts or to reduce the remuneration of the persons holding those posts. As regards appointments the position remains unchanged, and in other respects the Regulations will not hamper the authorities' discretion.

Coloured Alien Seamen

asked the Home Secretary what action his Department has taken following the report of the chief constable of Cardiff with reference to the association of white women with Asiatic or coloured seamen; and can be give particulars?

My main powers in respect of the subjects dealt with in this report arise under the Aliens Order, and the questions at issue continue to receive the close attention of my Department. All practicable steps are taken to prevent the unauthorised landing of coloured alien seamen and to remove any who are found to have landed irregularly. In proper cases steps are also taken for the deportation of any coloured alien seaman who offends against the law.

Tobacco Industry (Employment)

asked the Minister of Labour the number of workers engaged in the tobacco industry in 1900, 1910, 1920, and at the present time?

Comparable statistics for the whole period in question are not available. The following table shows the estimated numbers of persons,' obtained from the population censuses, in England and Wales, engaged in the manufacture of tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and snuff. The first figure for 1911 is comparable with that for 1901, but for comparison with 1921 the second figure for 1911 should be used:

Year.Number.
190127,000
191127,000
191131,000*
192146,000*
* This figure includes clerks, warehousemen, packers, etc. These classes were not included in the 1911 census total.
Similar figures for Scotland are not available for 1901 and 1911, but at the census of 1921 the number obtained for Scotland was 3,000. At July, 1929, the estimated number of persons, aged 16 to 64, insured under the Unemployment Insurance Acts and classified as belonging to tobacco, cigar, cigarette and snuff manufacture in Great Britain was 44,170.