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Government Departments

Volume 237: debated on Thursday 3 April 1930

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Factory Inspectors (London)

31.

asked the Home Secretary the number of factory inspectors in the County of London area for the years ending 31st December, 1920, and 31st December, 1930, respectively; and whether the Erith or Bexley Heath area is included in the above total?

The authorised strength of the inspecting staff attached to London districts was 28 in 1920. It is now fixed at 38. These figures do not include the divisional staff which numbered five in 1920 and now numbers six. Erith and Bexley Heath were outside the London area in 1920, but are now included.

Sick Leave

90.

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what are the rules governing sick leave with pay applicable to the Civil Service generally and to industrial employés of the Government on the other hand?

In the case of established civil servants generally, pay during sick leave is granted under Treasury Regulations, dated 6th June, 1929, made under Article 6 of the Order in Council of 22nd July, 1920; and, in the case of certain unestablished and temporary employés, under the terms of a Treasury memorandum dated 24th April, 1925. Industrial employés are not eligible for sick leave with pay, but are covered by the National Health Insurance Acts, the Government in their case paying both the State and the employers' contributions. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the documents referred to in my answer.

Building Sooieties (Fire Insurance)

32.

asked the Home Secretary if he will take steps to ensure that in the case of building societies carrying all or part of the fire risks in respect of properties in mortgage to them, the extent of the risks covered, and the amount of premiums received, are clearly shown in the accounts of the societies?

I am advised by the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies that the extent of the risks covered is not an item which could appear in the accounts. As regards premiums, he will consider whether any steps can be taken to have them shown separately in the accounts where this is not already done.

Betting, Sweepstakes And Lotteries

33.

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the advertisements of the Guardian Pari-Mutuel Company, Limited, offering to act as agents for the collection of bets for transmission to the totalisators operated on racecourses by the Betting Control Board under the Racecourse Betting Act; and whether he proposes to take any action under the existing law to confine the facilities for betting with totalisators to the racecourses as provided by the Act?

The hon. Baronet has been good enough to forward to me a copy of the advertisement referred to. The Board receives the bets on approved racecourses only, and is advised that the arrangement is in order.

Has the right hon. Gentleman noted that the pamphlet referred to has on the outside cover, "Away betting on the racecourse Tote"; and, though it invites the enrolment of members, there is no financial obligation implied, and that, in fact, this organisation is carrying on betting away from the racecourses, contrary to the Act of Parliament legalising the, totalisator?

I accept the comment as well grounded. I do not approve the course that has been taken; I am merely explaining what the law is.

34.

asked the Home Secretary if he is aware of the practice of certain bookmakers of circularising persons to enter into betting transactions and offering as an inducement to open credit accounts; and whether he will consider the advisability of introducing legislation to prevent the issue of such circulars?

I am aware of the practice; I can only say concerning all such matters that, while proposals for legislation are of course always considered, I cannot promise to introduce legislation with the object of disturbing the existing position one way or another.

35.

asked the Home Secretary if he will consider the advisability of setting up a Select Committee to consider the condition of the existing law in relation to betting, sweepstakes, and lotteries?

In view of the very difficult and chaotic condition of the law, will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to consider setting up a Select Committee, if representations are made from all opinions in this House?

39.

asked the Home Secretary whether it is his intention to take steps to prevent the traffic in tickets in foreign lotteries, either by stopping circulars respecting such lotteries in transmission through the post, or by intercepting letters and remittances directed to the persons from whom the circulars emanated?

The Departments concerned do all that is possible to stop foreign lottery circulars in the post.

Workers' Health (Committees)

37.

asked the Home Secretary if he will furnish a list of advisory or other committees which have been set up by the Home Office, in connection with matters affecting the health of work-people arising out of their employment, since the commencement of the year 1927?

The Departmental Committees appointed on the following subjects appear to come within the limits indicated in the question: (1) Dust in Cotton Card Rooms; (2) Compensation for and Prevention of Silicosis in the Pottery Industry; (3) Medical Arrangements for Diagnosis of Silicosis; and (4) Working of the Shops (Early Closing) Acts.

Will it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to give a complete list of all the Committees and Commissions which have been set up by the Government in the last few months?

I have given a complete list of all the Committees and Commissions set up in reference to the specific point of the question.

Industrial Diseases (Silicosis)

38.

asked the Home Secretary in how many of the 423 cases in which compensation has been paid under the Refractories Industries (Silicosis) Scheme, between 1st February, 1919, and 31st December, 1928, the workman had not been employed in the industry or in receipt of weekly payments under the scheme at any time within three years previous to disablement or death?

It would appear from information supplied by the Refractories Industries Compensation Fund. that there were five such cases.

Deportees (Re-Entry)

40.

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the entry into this country by means of week-end tickets from the Continent of share-pushers who have already been deported from this country; and what steps he is taking to prevent the entry of such persons by means of week-end tickets?

Yes, Sir, and in four eases recently the aliens have been subsequently identified and convicted of landing without permission. Arrangements are being made for their early deportation. As I stated in reply to a question by the hon. and gallant Member on the 20th February, the utmost vigilance is exercised by the officers at the ports to secure that the facilities granted to excursionists are not abused. It would not be desirable to disclose the nature of the measures which are taken in this respect.

Is there anything to prevent these four when they are deported, coming back again on weekend tickets; and cannot the right hon. Gentleman take some steps to tighten up the regulations?

Yes, probably the vigilance of the inspection will prevent their returning, in addition to their own bitter experience.

How if they come in by another port on a week-end ticket; how can they prevent it?