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Written Answers

Volume 237: debated on Friday 4 April 1930

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Written Answers

New Schools (England And Wales)

asked the President of the Board of Education if he will give a table showing separately for provided schools, Church of England schools, Roman Catholic schools, Wesleyan schools, and any other non-provided schools, the number of new public elementary schools in England and Wales erected in each of the five-year periods starting from 1st April, 1903, and the recognised accommodation of such schools.

This information cannot readily be given for the precise periods stated in the question, but the following table gives the figures for new schools placed on the Board's Grant List between 1st January, 1905, and 1st January, 1930:

England and Wales.

Statement showing the number of New Schools placed on the Grant List. 1905–1929.
Five Year Period.Provided Schools.Church of England Schools.Roman Catholic Schools.Wesleyan Schools.Other Non-provided Schools.
No. Of Schools.Accommodation.No. of Schools.Accommodation.No. of Schools.Accommodation.No. of Schools.Accommodation.No. of Schools.Accommodation.
1.1.10–31 12.14838301,858244,524318,1098947
1.1.20–31 12.2422065,946191,698255,9042110

Treatment Of Foreigners (Conference)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Second Session of the Conference on the Treatment of Foreigners is to be held at Paris or Geneva; and if he is prepared to urge that, in the interests of economy and efficiency, it should be held at the latter place.

The question as to whether the Second Session of the Conference is to be held at Paris or Geneva remains to be decided by the Council. Considerations of economy and efficiency will, of course, be borne in mind when the matter comes under discussion, and an exception to the general rule that all such Conferences should meet at Geneva would, I hope, only be made if it could be clearly demonstrated that the balance of advantage was in favour of meeting elsewhere.

Germany (Foreign Military Experts)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether there are any foreign military experts still stationed in Berlin; and, if so, will he state the work they are engaged upon?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative, unless the honourable Member refers to the Military Attachés to Foreign Embassies and Legations in Berlin. The second part of the question does not, therefore, arise.

Boards Of Guardians (Deficits)

asked the Minister of Health whether any boards of guardians, on terminating their work, have handed over to their successors deficits; and, if so, which they are and the amount of such deficits?

Local Government Act

asked the Minister of Health (1) if he can provide a Return for each of the counties of England and Wales showing the gross value or gross estimated rental of the hereditaments, agricultural, industrial, and transport, in respect of which local rates have either been remitted or reduced by the operation of the Local Government Act; what is the total rate relief that occupiers of these three classes of hereditaments obtain under that Act; and what is the amount of grants Parliament is new paying to compensate the county authorities for this loss;(2) if he can state, for the whole of England and Wales, what is the total gross value or gross estimated rental, respectively, of agricultural hereditaments, industrial hereditaments, and transport hereditaments the local rates on which have been remitted or reduced by the operation of the Local Government Act; what is the total rate reduction on each of these three classes of hereditaments; and what is the amount of the grants the Treasury has to pay in compensation to the local authorities?

According to statements furnished to my Department there was, owing to the operation of Part V of the Local Government Act, 1929, an estimated total reduction in the rateable value in England and Wales of £37,309,000 (from £292,889,000 to £255,580,000). The estimated grant under Section 112 of the Act in respect of the consequent loss of rates for the second half of 1929–30 amounts to £11,750,000. The grant payable to each local authority as from the 1st April, 1930, is a consolidated grant, of which the part attributable to compensation for loss of rates is not distinguishable from the remainder. All the estimates in connection with reduction of rateable values and the loss of rates are necessarily provisional, and the details required for the final calculations are not yet available. In the circumstances totals for the counties have not been made up, and it is not intended to publish any detailed figures until the values, which in many cases are still in dispute, have been settled. If my hon. Friend desires information as regards any particular county I shall be glad to send him the best estimate which can be made on the provisional figures.

Harbour Authorities (Staffs)

asked the Minister of Transport, whether he will consider the advisability of introducing legislation for recruiting a regular service of business administration for boards of docks, harbours, and similar public bodies with a cadre and pension scheme, allowing scope for rapid promotion and satisfactory prizes?

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to a question which he asked last Tuesday which raised a somewhat similar point. Harbour Authorities, like other business organisations are at present responsible for appointing their own staff and determining their organisation and conditions of service, and I do not at present contemplate the introduction of legislation with regard to this matter.

Lead And Tin Mines

asked the Secretary for Mines whether any lead mines or tin mines have been reopened during the last three months?

So far as I am aware, no lead or tin mines have been reopened during the last three months.

Royal Navy

Vocational Training

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, whether the increase of £2,000 in Vote 5 of the Navy Estimates for vocational training is a special provision for the Board of Trade classes referred to in A.F.O. No. 726; and whether the vocational classes are for men in their last year of service only or for all men serving at any period?

The increase referred to is for vocational training generally. The vocational classes are open to suitable qualified men serving at any period, subject to drafting requirements, and include provision for a limited number of selected candidates to take the examination for second class engineers.

Certificates Of Service

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, whether the Board of Trade's certificates referred to in A.F.O. No. 726 (N. 125, 14th March 1930) can be taken advantage of by chief and engine-room artificers, especially those referred to in paragraph 5?

The certificates of service referred to can only be issued to commissioned officers without examination; chief and engine room artificers are eligible to take the Board of Trade examination for certificates of competency (including those referred to in paragraph 5 of the Admiralty Fleet Order) provided they have the necessary qualifying service.

Safeguarding And Import Duties

Motor Cycles (Prices)

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will supply complete quarterly average figures of prices for the various makes of motor cycles for the years 1924 to 1925, inclusive, and similar figures in respect of the total production of motor cycles for the same years?

According to the "Review of the Britsh Cycle and Motor Cycle Industry," October, 1927, issued by the Britsh Cycle and Motor Cycle Manufacturers' and Traders' Union, the average retail prices of motor cycles, made by the leading British manufacturers and sold under their own proprietary trade marks, were as follow:

2¼ H.P.3½ H.P.6 H.P.7 H.P.
Preliminary Report No. 5 on the Census of Production, 1924, shows that the output of complete motor cycles and tricars in Great Britain during 1924 by firms that made returns on the schedule for the cycle and motor cycle trades was 120,400, valued at £5,877,000. Corresponding figures for 1925 are not available.

Enamelled Hollow-Ware

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will supply complete half yearly average figures of production and prices for the years 1927 to 1929, inclusive, in the enamelled hollow-ware industry?

I regret that comparable figures for the years specified are not available. With regard to 1927, I would refer the hon. Member to Appendix A of the Report of the Safeguarding Committee on Wrought Enamelled Hollow-ware (Cmd. 3115) where he will find estimates of the production during that year. Particulars supplied to the Board of Trade by most of the manufacturers concerned, through their trade association or otherwise, show the following figures for production in 1928 and 1929:1928. January to June.—5,572 tons valued at £451,111; July to December.£7,573 tons valued at £587,737.1929. January to June.—7,766 tons valued at £582,728; July to December.—7,734 tons valued at £576,735.I am not in a position to furnish the desired particulars of prices during the above periods.


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will supply complete quarterly figures of production, prices, imports, and exports, for the years 1924 to 1929, inclusive, of that part of the cutlery industry the products of which are, on importation, liable to duty?

. So far as relates to particulars of imports and exports, I would refer the hon. Member to the figures given in the OFFICIAL REPORT for 27th February, 1929, and to the reply given to the hon. Member for East Willesden (Mr. D. G. Somerville) on 4th February last. I regret that I am not in a position to furnish comprehensive figures of production or of prices during the period specified in the question.

Pottery Industry

asked the Minister of Labour if she will supply complete average figures of wages, employment and unemployment for the years 1926 to 1929, inclusive, in respect of that part of the pottery industry the products of which are, on importation, liable to duty?

The statistics collected by the Ministry of Labour in regard to wages, employment and unemployment in the pottery industry do not separately distinguish that part of the industry the products of which are, on importation, liable to duty. I am informed, however, by the Board of Trade that particulars supplied to that Department by the English China Manufacturers' Association, relating to the numbers employed, by firms claimed to be responsible for 50 to 60 per cent. of the output of these products, and to the wages paid during the three years ended September, 1929, show the following percentage changes:

AVERAGE NUMBERS employed and Wages paid expressed as percentages of the data for the 12 months ended September, 1927.
Average Numbers Employed.Average Wages Paid.
12 months to Sept. 1927100·0100¼0
12 months to Sept. 192899·7100·8
12 months to Sept. 1929104·4104·7

Gas Mantle Industry

asked the Minister of Labour if she will supply complete quarterly average figures of wages, employment, and unemployment, for the years 1926, 1927, 1928, and for the second quarter of 1929, respectively, in the gas mantle industry?

I regret that information is not available as to average wages in the years specified nor as to the numbers or proportions of workers unemployed, this industry not being separately distinguished in the statistics of unemployment amongst workpeople insured against unemployment. I am informed, however, by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, that particulars supplied to his Department by the trade association concerned, relating to firms which are claimed to be responsible for about 95 per cent. of the output of the whole industry show the following average weekly numbers of workers employed:

Year.Average weekly numbers employed.
Whole year.Second quarter of year.
The information available for 1926 is not, I am informed, comparable in scope with that for later periods.

Leather And Fabric Gloves

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will supply complete quarterly average figures of production, since the second quarter of 1929, in the leather and fabric glove industry, and prices in the same industry, for the years 1924 to 1929, inclusive.

As regards production, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given on 1st April to the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft). Complete information as to prices is not available, but, according to information supplied by the Joint Industrial Council for the Glove Making Industry, the wholesale prices of representative samples of gloves show a, fall ranging from 0 to 17 per cent. in 1929 as compared with 1924. It may be noted that the index number of general wholesale prices prepared by the Board of Trade shows a fall of 18 per cent. in 1929 as compared with 1924.

Trade And Commerce

Lancashire Cotton Trade

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can give any information as to the result of the 12 months' experiment in the change from four to eight looms in the Lancashire cotton trade; whether any reliable data in respect of saving costs have been obtained; what has been the effect on wages; and what has been the result of such similar work in the United States?

I have no detailed information at present as to the results of the experiment mentioned, which ended on the 31st March. I understand that no agreement has been reached as to the rate of wages which should apply to the system, which has so far been worked only on an experimental basis in a few mills. As regards the last part of the question, I am not aware of any similar experiments in the United States, where the conditions are of course widely different from those prevailing in this country.

Import And Export Restrictions (Abolition)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Czechoslovakia and Poland have now ratified the Convention of 1927 for the abolition of import and export prohibitions and restrictions?

I have been asked to answer this question. So far as I am aware, neither country has yet ratified the Convention.

Post Office

Oversea Telephone Service

asked the Postmaster-General the numbers and names of countries with which Great Britain has now direct telephonic communication; and whether any European countries have direct telephonic com- munication with any South or Central American countries which are not on the British list, and, if so, which?

I understand that by "direct" telephonic communication the hon. Member means telephonic communication by means of a "through" circuit connecting the terminal countries, as distinct from communication effected by switching through in some intermediate country. Great Britain has "through" telephone circuits to the following 12 countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Irish Free State Italy
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland and
  • United States of America.
A telephone service is provided from Great Britain by means of switching in an intermediate country to the following 16 countries:

  • The Argentine (Buenos Aires)
  • Canada (all parts)
  • Cuba (all parts)
  • Czechoslovakia (all parts)
  • Danzig Free City
  • Finland (parts)
  • Gibraltar
  • Hungary (all parts)
  • Lithuania (parts)
  • Luxembourg (City)
  • Mexico (parts)
  • Norway (parts)
  • Poland (parts)
  • Portugal (Lisbon)
  • The Sarre Territory and
  • Spanish Morocco (Ceuta).

All the above services (except that with Buenos Aires) afford direct communication between subscribers' ordinary telephones and are available at all hours of the day and night. There is no inherent difference in the quality of service afforded to the public by means of an intermediate switch as compared with services provided by means of "through" circuits.

In regard to the last part of the question, Spain has telephonic communication with the Argentine by means of one "through" circuit; and a "through" circuit is also in use for alternative service during limited hours and under restricted conditions between France (Paris) and Germany (Berlin) and the Argentine (Buenos Aires). A circuit between Paris and Berlin and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) has recently been provided under similar conditions.

Telephone Exchanges (Caretaker-Operators)

asked the Postmaster-General the number of sub-telephone exchanges in the country, the average hours worked by caretaker-operators, and the remuneration received for such work?

The number of telephone exchanges for which caretaker-operators are responsible is about 1,150. The hours of attendance vary according as the caretaker-operator undertakes the work for the whole or part of the day in addition to the night or for the night period only. The average attendance over hours when the number of calls necessitates any appreciable amount of work by the caretaker-operator is about 64. The average gross weekly remuneration amounts at present to £2 2s. 6d. The question of remuneration is under discussion with the staff association concerned.

Wireless Licences

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will introduce legislation compelling all sellers of portable wireless machines and indoor aerials to make a return to the General Post Office of the addresses of purchasers of the said articles in order to assure the buying of wireless licences?

I consider that the advantages of a system of this kind would not outweigh the disadvantages.

United States (British Subjects)

asked the President of the Board of Trade the total number of British subjects, ordinarily resident in this country. who have been allowed to land for permanent residence in the United States of America for each of the last five years?

Information in the precise form specified in the question is not available, but the numbers of British subjects who were recorded in the lists of passengers from ports in this country as leaving permanent residence in the United Kingdom to take up permanent residence in the United States in each of the five years 1925–1929 were as follows:

My hon. Friend will find further information on the subject in the Article on
County.Common or Manorial Waste.Parish.Acreage.Name of party executing deed under section 193 (2) of the Law of Property Act, 1925.
DevonSpitch wickWidecombe-in-the-Moor.2130Frederick Pine and Theophilus Struben.
AylesbeareAylesbeare470½Lord Clinton and The Clinton Devon Estates Company.
Colaton RaleighColaton Raleigh559¾
East BudleighEast Budleigh236¼
Hawkerland ValleyColaton Raleigh and Newton Poppleford.185
EssexMill GreenIngatestone50Sir F. C. Rasch and Captain H. J. A. Throckmorton.
GloucesterBuckholt WoodCranham247Major Sir J. D. Birchall, M. P.
CranhamCranham206Ellis Hicks Beach.
Hereford and Worcester.Romers, Middle, Sallings and Pinkey.Bockleton, Kyre Magna, Hampton Charles and Stoke Bliss.21¾William Ralph Prescott.
Herts.Marshalls and Bower Heaths, Gustard Wood, and Nomansland.Wheathampstead154¼Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England.
Colney Heath (Pt.)North Mimms18¼W. S. M. Burns.
KentHosey158½John Roberts O'Brien Warde.
Crockham HillWesterham215
MonmouthLlanbadocLlanbadoc6Lord Raglan
GlascoedLlanbadoc and Glascoed.54¼do.
Southampton.Christchurch TownChristchurch412½The Earl of Malmesbury.
PassfieldBramshott210Charlotte Lyndon.
Yateley (Pt.)Yateley510Ecclesiastical Commissioner for England.
Yateley (Pt.)Yateley272Laurence Currie.
NewtownNewtown144The Earl of Carnarvon.

Passenger Movement from and to the United Kingdom in the Board of Trade Journal for 6th March last.

Common Lands (Public Rights)

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will give a list, by counties, of the common lands and manorial wastes in England and Wales to which the public have been given rights of air and exercise under the Law of Property Act, 1925, stating in each case the acreage of the land and the name of the person executing the deed?

The particulars which my hon. Friend requires are given in the following statement:

County.Common or Manorial Waste.Parish.Acreage.Name of party executing deed under section 193 (2) of the Law of Property Act, 1925.
Southampton—count.Hazeley Heath, Hunts Common and Causeway, Cricketers, Phœnix, Bears and West Greens, and Green Lane.Hartley Wintney276½Hon. Rachel Anstruther Gough Calthorpe.
SurreyHurt Wood (Pt.)Cranleigh, Shere and Ewhurst.1,641Reginald Arthur Bray.
Hurt Wood (Pt.)CranleighReginald Clifford Allen.
FrenshamFrensham601Richard Combe.
Thursley (Pt.)Thursley646Herbert Binuie.
Witley (Pt.)Witley140do.
Thursley (Pt.)Thursley60Pall Mall Trust, Limited.
Witley (Pt.)Witley167do.
Hackhurst DownsShere210Reginald Arthur Bray.
Gomshall Marshdo.27do.
Shere HeathShere, Cranleigh and Ewhurst.49do.
Beales WoodFrensham9Richard Combe.
Albury Downs (Pt.)Albury171The Duke of Northumberland.
West Clandon Downs (Pt.)West Clandon—60¾The Earl of Onslow.
RanmoreDorking Rural Great and Little Bookham, Effingham.625Cubitt Estates Ltd.
Tilburstow Hill56Sir Bernard Eyre Greenwell, Bart.
Blindley HeathGodstone, Horne and Tandridge.74
Godstone Green10½
SussexBroadbridge Heath.Warnham11¼Charles Eric Lucas.
WarwickStivichall Common and Grove.Stivichall64¾Coventry Corporation.
WhitleySt. Michael Without.74do.
YarningaleClaverdon39¼Edward Galton Wheler Galton.
York (N.R.)Courby HillWest TanfieldWm. Denby Arton.

Juvenile Offenders (Sentence, Huntingdon)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the conviction of two schoolboys, Basil George Fletcher and John Clark, each aged 13 years, by the St. Ives magistrates on the 24th February, 1930, and the Quarter Sessions at Huntingdon on the 1st April, 1930, for stealing an oil lamp and oil can whilst playing at a game of den in an old disused malt kiln at St. Ives, and who were sentenced to receive six, and later three, strokes of the birch each; and whether, having regard to the fact that this was the first time the boys, who are given exemplary characters, had come into a Children's Court, he will have the penalty remitted?

The hon. Member has called my attention to this case and I have had an opportunity of considering all the relevant facts. The boys were brought before the Court on two charges of larceny. They pleaded guilty to the first charge and were bound over for six months. In respect of the second charge of stealing a hurricane lamp and oil can they were sentenced to receive six strokes with the birch. They exercised their right of appeal to Quarter Sessions who, on the 1st instant, reduced the sentence to three strokes of the birch, After the most careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that the circumstances would not justify me in advising any interference with the sentence.

Recommendations.Action taken.
1. The attention of port inspectors should again be called to their powers to slaughter rejected horses.This has been done. The standing instructions of the ministry to its inspectors also deal with the point.
2. The time has now arrived when the Ministry should insist on its full requirements as regards the fittings of vessels and that exemption should be for a definite period, and that the question of renewal should depend on the record of casualties, and on the number of vessels engaged in the traffic which fully comply with the Order of 1921.This is being carried out where practicable when exemptions of particular vessels come under review. Only small variations from standard are allowed and some of the exempted vessels have already been withdrawn from the traffic. During the last few years many vessels have been built for the Continental traffic alone, the fittings of which comply in their entirety with the standard regulations.
3. Opportunity should be taken by Order of the Minister of making it an offence to carry horses on a vessel when there are reasonable grounds for supposing that rough weather will be encountered on the passage.This has been done.
4. Local authorities at ports should be required to provide a suitable place at which rejected horses could be slaughtered.The Committee acknowledge in their Report that most of the horses rejected on examination at the ports are so rejected on account of the high standard of fitness required for all exported horses and not because they are in such a physical condition as to necessitate slaughter. During the five years 1925–29, inclusive, out of 52,857 horses presented for examination, 7,800 were rejected, but none were ordered to be slaughtered by the veterinary inspector as being unfit to be kept alive. It is considered unreasonable, therefore, to require local authorities at ports of shipment to provide special abattoirs for the purpose in view.
5. Efforts should again be made to get the Belgian and Dutch Governments to amend their regulations with respect to the importation of horse carcases.Efforts have already been made, without success, to secure amendment of the Belgian and Dutch regulations in respect of the importation of horse carcases. It is considered that no useful purpose would be served by renewing these representations in present circumstances.
6. Inquiries should be instigated by the Ministry into the trade in the export of horse flesh (dead), with particular reference to chilling of flesh and improvement of transport facilities.The Ministry has used every effort to persuade shippers and shipping companies to improve the conditions under which the carcase trade is carried on, but it has no statutory control over the trade.
7. Port inspectors should be under the direct control of the chief inspector.This has been carried out.

Horses (Export)

asked the Minister of Agriculture to what extent the recommendations of the Departmental Committee on the export of horses to the Continent, which reported in 1925, have been carried out.

The following statement shows the extent to which the recommendations of the Departmental Committee on the Export of Horses to the Continent have been carried out: