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Written Answers

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 4 November 1930

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Written Answers

Insurance And Pensions Legislation (Inquiry)

asked the Minister of Health when it is anticipated that the inquiry into existing insurance and pensions legislation will be completed?

Considerable progress has been made by the Cabinet Committee which is engaged on a general survey of existing insurance and pensions legislation, but the scope of the inquiry is extremely wide, and my right hon. Friend cannot forecast when the work of the Committee will be completed.

Sweets (Arsenic)

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to the disquietude caused to the public mind by the discovery of arsenic contained in sweets sold in the borough of Congleton and the Potteries area; and the steps he is taking to prevent the possibility of a repetition of excessive arsenic being sold in this way?

My right hon. Friend's attention has been called to this matter, and he understands that the town council of Stoke-on-Trent have decided to take legal proceedings against the persons believed to be responsible. My right hon. Friend proposes to await the result of those proceedings before considering whether it is necessary to strengthen the law in any way in order to prevent the repetition of such an occurrence.

De-Rating (Payments To Local Authorities)

asked the Minister of Health the amount that has already been paid to local authorities as a result of the De-rating Act for land, factories, etc., separately?

The amounts which have already been paid to local authorities in England and Wales are:

  • (i) £2,082,291 under the Agricultural Rates Act, 1929, in respect of the half-year ending 30th September, 1929;
  • (ii) £10,924,704 under Section 112 of the Local Government Act, 1929, in respect of the half-year ending 31st March, 1930; and
  • (iii) £28,049,865 under the other provisions of Part VI of the Local Government Act, 1929, in respect of the year ending 31st March, 1931.
  • The amount under (i) is wholly in respect of agricultural hereditaments. The grants included in (ii) in respect of agricultural, industrial and freight-transport hereditaments have not been separately ascertained, but it is estimated that the amount of £10,924,704 may be approximately apportioned as to 18 per cent. to agricultural hereditaments, as to 62 per cent. to industrial hereditaments, and as to 20 per cent. to freight-transport hereditaments. The grants included under (iii) are partly in respect of losses arising from de-rating, partly in respect of discontinued grants, and partly in respect of new money. These grants are not divisible between the several classes of rateable hereditaments.With regard to Scotland, a question should be addressed to the Secretary of State.

    Education (Local Authorities' Estimates)

    asked the President of the Board of Education the addi- tional expenditure involved in the programmes submitted to him by the local education authorities for each of the years 1930–31, 1931–32 and 1932–33; the total number of education authorities to whom this estimate refers; how much of this expenditure has been sanctioned by him; and if the expenditure for the two latter years includes the cost involved in the proposed raising of the school age, apart from the provision of maintenance allowances?

    Two hundred and eighteen local education authorities have submitted programmes which include estimates of the expenditure to be incurred on elementary education for the three years 1930–33, as follow:

    Increases contemplated in the programmes—
    1930–31 over 1929–30.1931–32 over 1930–31.1932–33 over 1931–32.
    The question of sanctioning this expenditure arises as and when individual proposals are submitted for approval, and it is too early yet to say how nearly the estimates even for 1930–31 will be realised. Generally speaking, the programmes for the last two years are drawn so as to make provision for the proposed raising of the school leaving age.

    Post Office

    Office Machinery

    asked the Postmaster General the total capital outlay and the estimated cost of upkeep, depreciation and interest charges on office machinery introduced into the London engineering district since May, 1929; and how much of that capital outlay was incurred in respect of machinery manufactured in foreign countries?

    The total capital outlay on office machinery introduced into the London engineering district since May, 1929, is estimated at £630. The corresponding cost of upkeep, including interest and depreciation, is estimated at about £80 a year. It is impossible to say how much of the capital outlay is in respect of machinery manufactured in foreign countries. Some of it consists of parts which, though of foreign origin, are assembled in this country.

    Letter Deliveries, Chalfont

    asked the Postmaster-General if the postmaster at Chesham has received complaints about the delay and non-delivery of letters in the Chalfont area; and what steps is he taking in the matter?

    The answer is in the affirmative. One complaint of delay and one of non-delivery are reported to have been received during October. Inquiries are proceeding.

    Night Telephonists

    asked the Postmaster-General what are the numbers of night telephonists employed in London and the provinces, respectively?

    1,104 full-time and 1,183 part-time night telephonists are employed in the London Telephone Service. The corresponding figures for the provinces are 696 and 996, respectively.


    asked the Post-master-General what was the total post-office staff, industrial and non-industrial, on 31st March, 1914, excluding staffs in Southern Ireland?

    The figures are approximately as follow: 24,200 industrial, 195,400 non-industrial.

    Call-Office Attendants

    asked the Post-master-General what is the number of call-office attendants employed in the Post Office?

    The number of call office attendants employed in the Post Office is 57.

    Clerical Staff, Telephone District Managers' Offices

    asked the Post-master-General if he is aware that the reorganisation of the clerical staff in telephone district managers' offices which took place in 1923, while providing approximate equality of men and women holding clerical officer posts, has caused a reduc- tion in the number of men previously employed; and why he is now proceeding to reduce the ratio of men to women in clerical posts from equal proportions to a ratio of 2:3?

    I am aware of the process of increasing the proportion of women. The work in these offices is mostly of a routine accounting character; and has been regarded as affording a particularly favourable field for the extension of women's opportunities.

    Savings Bank Staff (Women)

    asked the Postmaster-General if he will state in detail the changes of process in the Post Office Savings Bank during the past three years which have resulted in reducing the work performed by men and transferring it in whole or in part to women; and the annual savings in wages arising from such changes?

    During the last three years the following changes of process in the Post Office Savings Bank have resulted in reducing the work performed by men and transferring it in whole or in part to women: The fuller use of casting machines: the transfer of routine work from male clerical officers to writing assistants and typists; the transfer of the work of correspondence distribution from male clerical officers to female clerical officers and sorting assistants; the transfer of work from paper-keepers to sorting assistants. The annual saving in wages arising from the changes is estimated at £12,900.

    asked the Postmaster-General how many male clerical officers have been dispensed with in the Post Office Savings Bank since May, 1929; how many of these men have been displaced by women writing assistants at considerably lower rates of pay: and how many of the men were dispensed with following alterations in methods which enabled certain work previously performed by men to be carried out, with or without change of procedure, by women?

    The staff of male clerical officers in the Savings Bank has been reduced by 145 since May, 1929, either by transfer or by normal wastage. Of these 62 have been replaced by female writing assistants. In addition, 43 men have been displaced owing to alterations in methods which have enabled the work previously performed by them to be carried out by women of various grades.

    Air Mail (Insufficiently Stamped Packets)

    asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that packets sent by air mail to or from India when found to be insufficiently stamped are taken off the mail plane and transmitted by steamer; and, if so, whether, in view of the delay and hardship to senders and recipients, he will take steps to secure instead the procedure of collecting the deficiency at the destination?

    I am aware of this practice, which is prescribed by international regulations. Insufficiently stamped letters are, however, forwarded by air mail when the underpayment is obviously due to an error in weighing, and in other cases efforts are made, when the senders are known, to give them an opportunity of making up deficiencies. As regards the second part of the question, it many cases the recipients would undoubtedly refuse to pay the sums involved, which are often considerable, and I regret that I am not able to adopt the hon. Member's suggestion.

    Savings Bane Surplus

    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1) what surplus has been shown on the working of the Post Office Savings Bank during each of the past five years; and what proportion of the surplus has been paid to the Treasury;(2) what were the reasons for reducing in 1925 the proportion of the surplus retained by the Post Office Savings Bank out of the annual surplus on its operations?

    The law provides that when the interest earned by the Post Office Savings Bank Fund is insufficient to pay interest at 2½ per cent. to depositors, any deficiency shall be voted by Parliament. On the other hand, any surplus is payable to the Exchequer after deduction of a sum to be fixed by the Treasury to provide against depreciation. In 1877 this deduction was fixed at 5 per cent. of the surplus. The figure was raised to 50 per cent., representing in actual cash only £4,000, in 1912, and was reduced to 20 per cent., representing, however, in cash about £700,000, in 1925. The ground for the decision reached by my right hon. Friend's predecessor was presumably that the latter amount was considered a sufficient allocation for reserve. The surpluses on income account for the last five years have been:

    Total surplus.Paid to Exchequer.

    Advertisements, Foreign Products

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that books of postage stamps at present issued contain an advertisement advising purchasers of bacon to ask their grocers for a foreign brand; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?

    asked the Postmaster-General whether, seeing that he has recently been advertising in the Government books of postage stamps a foreign manufactured product, he will give instructions that in future only Imperially produced articles are to be brought to the attention of the British public through this medium?

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the front page of the Post Office Guide is occupied by an advertisement of a foreign product; and whether he will take steps to ensure that only British products are advertised in the publications of his Department in future?

    It is the policy of the Post Office to give preference to advertisements of Imperial products in its official publications, but I do not feel justified in instructing the Post Office advertising agents to refuse any advertisement of a foreign product, which, like the ones to which the hon. Members refer, is offered for a space which might otherwise have to be left vacant.

    Telephone Accounts

    asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the dissatisfaction of the public at the refusal of the Post Office to supply details of telephone trunk calls and telegrams sent by telephone in their quarterly statements of account; and whether he will consider the possibility of inserting the telephone number of the trunk call or the place to which the telegram was directed opposite the figures which are now set out on the account without any particulars concerning the matter in respect of which the charge is made?

    I believe the present arrangement under which the charge for each trunk call and phonogram is shown in the quarterly statements of account meets the convenience of the general body of subscribers. In cases where more detailed information is required, it is supplied on payment of a small charge to cover the extra work involved.

    Death Claims

    asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of recent complaints from solicitors and others regarding delay in proceeding with death claims in the Post Office Savings Bank, he will state the average time required for disposing of such claims before and after the introduction of the policy of dispensing with a number of male clerical officers and replacing them by women on an inferior grade paid at lower rates?

    I regret that there are no statistics enabling me to give the hon. Member the information for which he asks. There are between 70,000 and 80,000 death claims a year, and the time taken to dispose of them varies according to the character of the claim from a few days to a much longer period.

    Telephone Service (Applications)

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that there is dilatoriness in meeting the public demand for the installation of telephones: and will he arrange to remedy this dilatoriness in giving attention to applications?

    Where no wayleave difficulties arise, applications for tele- phone service are being met without delay, except in a very few cases where the completion is awaited of works in hand for the provision of additional underground plant or switchboard accommodation. If the hon. Member has any particular case in mind and will furnish me with particulars, I shall be pleased to inquire into it.

    Postmen (Recruitment)

    asked the Postmaster-General if he will explain the procedure with regard to the filling of permanent posts in the Post Office; and whether this is done by the Employment Exchanges or on nomination?

    Permanent situations in the Post Office are filled in various ways, but I assume that the hon. Member has in mind more particularly vacancies for established postmen. These are filled either by the advancement of boy messengers or by the nomination of ex-service men. Ex-service men are recruited solely through the Employment Exchanges, which work for this purpose in conjunction with the National Association for the Employment of Regular Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen.

    Telephone Facilities, Lincolnshire

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he proposes to instal telephones in Claxby, Normanby-le-Wold, Donington-on-Bain, and Thorganby?

    Telephone call offices will be provided at Donington-on-Bain (when the automatic exchange at Stenigot is opened) and at Thorganby. In the case of Claxby, an annual loss of about £13 10s. would be involved and a guarantee at the rate of £3 10s. a year for seven years would be required. There is no post office at Normanby-le-Wold, which is only mile distant from Claxby, and a. public telephone at the latter place should meet the needs of both villages.

    Trade And Commerce


    asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the quantity and value of wheat, barley, and oats imported by this country during the nine months ended 30th September, 1930, or up to a later date if possible, from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and what proportion, both in quantity and value, do these imports bear to our total imports of the commodities under notice from all countries?

    The following table shows (1) the total quantities and de-

    Commodity.Consigned from the Soviet Union (Russia).(1)Total Imports.(2)Proportion of (1) to (2).
    Per cent.
    Declared Value£1,373 45432,180,9754·27
    Declared Value£653,2882,596,39025·16
    Declared Value£110,2401,659,1036·64

    asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can give the figures of goods imported from Russia during the first six months of this year?

    As stated in the July issue of the "Accounts relating to Trade and Navigation of the United Kingdom," the declared value of the total imports of merchandise into Great Britain and Northern Ireland registered during the

    TOTAL DECLARED VALUE of MERCHANDISE imported into and exported from Great Britain and Northern Ireland registered as consigned from and to the Soviet Union (Russia) during each of the months, July, August and September, 1930.
    United Kingdom Produce, and Manufacture.Imported Merchandise.

    asked the President of the Board of Trade what quantities of Russian products, other than foodstuffs, have been imported into this country in the past three months, and to what extent the prices of such goods undercut those of the same goods as normally imported from other countries?

    During the three months ended 30th September, 1930, the clared values of wheat., barley, and oats registered as imported into Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the nine months ended 30th September, 1930, distinguishing the imports consigned from the Soviet Union (Russia), and (2) the proportions which these imports bear to the total.six months ended 30th June, 1930, as consigned from the Soviet Union (Russia) amounted to £9,939,710.

    asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of imports and exports between this country and Russia during each of the last three months?

    The information asked for is as follows:principal commodities (excluding foodstuffs) imported into this country and registered as consigned from the Soviet Union (Russia) consisted of various descriptions of wood and timber, refined petroleum, and skins and furs. Appended is a statement showing the total quantities and declared values of the imports of these goods consigned from the Soviet Union and from all other countries. In this connection, the hon. Member will appreciate that, owing to the varying nature of the commodities included under these headings, the articles consigned from the Soviet Union are not necessarily comparable with those consigned from other countries.The following table shows the total quantity and declared value of the under-

    Description.Total imports consigned from—
    Soviet Union (Russia).All other countries.
    Quality.Declared Value.Quantity.Declared Value.
    Wood and timber:—Loads.£Loads.£
    Hewn, soft106,207168,40474,962315,369
    Sawn, soft968,9874,029,9871,038,5454,441,536
    Pitprops or pitwood351,444826,257675,5771,256,866
    Sleepers of all kinds68,103285,883131,707656,092
    sq. ft.sq. ft.
    Petroleum, refined:—gallons.gallons.
    Lamp oil21,545359,20650,013926,295
    Motor spirit24,026668,343216,6295,804,787
    Skins and furs, unenumerated, dressed (not leather).1,151172,2425,592646,584
    These commodities represent approximately 85 per cent. of the total imports (excluding Foodstuffs) consigned from the Soviet Union (Russia) during the above-mentioned period.

    asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he proposes to arrange for a commission of inquiry to visit Russia and to examine and report upon trade prospects with this country?

    The matter is not immediately under consideration, but will be borne in mind.

    asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what is the total amount of the orders for manufactured or other goods placed by the Soviet Government with British firms during the 12 months ended 30th September last; and what is the amount of cash actually paid or deposited against the value of such goods, or guaranteed to be paid at or before the date of delivery?

    In regard to the first part of the question, the latest figures mentioned commodities imported into Great Britain and Northern Ireland and registered during the three months ended 30th September, 1930, as consigned from the Soviet Union (Russia) and all other countries, respectively.supplied by the Soviet Government with reference to orders placed in the United Kingdom relate to the period of eight and a half months ending 15th June and. are as follow:

    Orders for quarters ending
    December, 19294,770,228
    15th June, 1930 (Estimate)4,000,000
    Total, 1st October to 15th June, £13,000,000.
    I have no information in regard to the second and third parts of the question.

    asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department the terms and conditions upon which Government assistance has been promised to a firm of textile engineers in Oldham in order to enable them to export machinery to Soviet Russia?

    It is not the practice to give information regarding individual transactions under the Export Credits Guarantee Scheme, and I am therefore not at liberty to say whether certain statements which have appeared in the Press, and which the right hon. Gentleman no doubt has in mind, are correct or not.

    Foreign-Made Artificial Poppies

    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether lie has any information regarding the importation into this country of foreign-made poppies for sale on Armistice Day?

    Artificial poppies are not separately distinguished in the Customs returns, and I regret that I have no information on the subject.

    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he proposes to take any steps this year to prevent a repetition of the dumping in this country of foreign-made poppies for sale on. Armistice day?

    There are no powers under which the importation of artificial poppies can be prohibited.

    Petroleum (Imports)

    asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the approximate quantity and value of mineral oil, petrol, amp;c., imported into Great Britain during the last year?

    The quantities and values of the total imports of crude petroleum and the various kinds of refined petroleum during the year 1929 are recorded on pages 48 and 70/71 of the "Accounts relating to Trade and Navigation of the United Kingdom" for December last, and those for the first nine months of 1930 on pages 41 and 61 of these "Accounts" for September last.

    Rubber Industry

    asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the depressed condition of the rubber industry and the consequent loss of revenue to the Colonies, the Government have taken any action in considering the possibility of extending the use of this commodity?

    I have been asked to reply to this question. The trade in rubber manufactured goods was recently surveyed by the Imperial Economic Committee, to whose 14th Report I would refer the hon. Member. Active measures are in the competent hands of various unofficial bodies, one of which, the Rubber Manufacturers Research Association, is in receipt of a Government grant.

    Coastguard Service (Inquiry)

    asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has considered the findings of the court of inquiry appointed to inquire into the loss of the yacht "Islander," off the Cornish coast; and what action he proposes to take as to the suggestion of the court regarding the desirability of a more comprehensive inquiry before a more appropriate tribunal?

    I would refer the lion. Member to the answer I am giving to-day to a question on this subject by the hon. and gallant. Member for Epsom (Commander Southby), a copy of which I am sending to him.


    Relief (Expenditure)

    asked the Minister of Labour (l) the component items of expenditure, both in nature and amount, which make up the annual outlay of £100,000,000 on the relief of unemployment;(2) the cost of State- and rate-aided works for the relief of unemployment for each year since 1920 to date?

    The information asked for in these questions is being collected and will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

    Ga Insborough, Grantham And Lincoln

    asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons, men and women, registered at the Employment Exchanges at Gainsborough, Grantham and Lincoln for the last week for which figures are available as compared with the corresponding week in 1929, as well as with the first week of June, 1929?

    The following table shows the number of persons on the registers of the Employment Exchanges at

    Total 1,5697776711,1307106204,0062,2941,808


    Highways (Legislation)

    asked the Minister of Transport whether he will introduce legislation to give effect to the recommendations of the Departmental Committee set up in 1925 relating to the 'stopping up and diversion of highways?

    The pressure of Parliamentary business makes it unlikely that any legislation can be introduced in the near future for the purpose of amending the law as regards the stopping up and diversion of highways. The question is one that could most suitably be dealt with in connection with a general Bill for the amendment and consolidation of the law relating to highways.

    Bridges, Island Of Skye

    asked the Minister of Transport if his attention has been called to the character of the bridges now being erected in the Island of Skye; and whether he will take steps to have bridges erected more in keeping with the surroundings?

    No adverse criticisms have come to my knowledge, but if my hon. Friend will tell me what particular bridges he has in mind, I will look into the matter.

    Omnibus Service, Glamis-Forfar Road

    asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that, owing to the agreement arrived at by the. London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company and the Scottish Motor Transport Company, the omnibus service on Gainsborough, Grantham and Lincoln at 27th October, 1930, 28th October, 1929, and 3rd June, 1929:the Glamis to Forfar road has been nearly abolished, except on Saturdays and Sundays, thereby causing inconvenience to villagers and others; and will he take steps to prevent amalgamation of transport services except where adequate facilities to the public are maintained?

    I was not previously aware of the circumstances to which the hon. Member refers in the first part of his question. As regards the second part, I have no power to prevent the making of agreements such as those to which he refers.


    Strawberries (National Mark)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has any figures showing whether the adoption of the national mark for strawberries has been justified by marketing results; and what proportion of English strawberries marketed last season were sold under the national mark?

    The national mark scheme for strawberries was introduced experimentally during the past season, and 94 growers were authorised to apply the mark to their standardised packs of fruit. I am advised that the results were generally satisfactory. No figures are available, but the proportion of the total crop packed under the mark in the first season was, of course, small.

    Agricultural Mortgage Corporation

    asked the Minister of Agriculture the total amount of money loaned free of interest to the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation under the Agricul- tural Credits Act, 1928; the amount the Corporation has already advanced to farmers; and the largest amount advanced by the Corporation to any individual or company?

    The total amount of money lent free of interest to the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation under the Agricultural Credits Act, 1928, is £650,000 for a period of 60 years. The Corporation had advanced up to the close business on Tuesday last, 28th October, the sum of £5,898,378 on long-term mortgage loans, and £16,745 on improvement loans. With regard to the last part of the hon. Member's question, I am unable to supply the information asked for, as particulars of transactions with individual borrowers are invariably regarded by the Corporation as confidential.

    Wheat Prices

    asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has any data showing the effect of wheat imported from Russia upon the price paid for wheat in the home market?

    Exports of wheat from Russia have undoubtedly contributed to the existing depression in world wheat prices generally, but, apart from this, I am unable to assess how far, if at all, imports of Russian wheat into this country have particularly affected prices in the home market.

    Horses (Export)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of horses exported from this country to Continental ports for butchery purposes during the past three months; and the places at and the methods by which such horses, respectively, were slaughtered?

    During the three months ended 30th September, 1930, the latest date for which figures are available, the number of horses which were exported to the Continent from this country for immediate slaughter on arrival was 1,083. Of these 998 went to Holland and 85 to France. In Holland all horses are required by law to be slaughtered with the mechanical killer. Information has been received that the 85 horses exported to France were slaughtered at Vaugirard, Paris, with the mechanical killer.

    Jams (National Mark)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the decision of the Food Manufacturers' Association to label jam according to grade; and whether he intends to supplement this decision by the application of the national mark to jam and other forms of preserved fruit in order fully to enlighten and safeguard the consumer?

    The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I should be glad if means could be found by a national mark scheme to distinguish jams made from fresh home-grown fruit from other jams appearing on the market, and although ate Food Manufacturers' Federation does not favour this proposal and there are, no doubt, difficulties, I shall give the subject further consideration.

    Empire Marketing Board

    asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs the names of the lecturers at present employed by the Empire Marketing Board; the salaries paid; the number of lectures given; and the subjects thereof?

    The names of the lecturers at present employed by the Empire Marketing Board are as follow:

    • Professor J. R. Ainsworth Davis, M.A., M.Sc.
    • Mr. Andrew Buchanan, J.P., M.B.E.
    • Mrs. H. F. Buchanan.
    • Mrs. N. A. Clowes.
    • Lieut.-Col. T. S. Cox, F.R.G.S.
    • Mr. Harold Feber, B.Sc.
    • Miss E. Gregg.
    • Dr. L. Haden Guest, M.C.
    • Mr. J. Nugent Harris.
    • Commander the Hon. S. Hay, R.N. (Retired), O.B.E.
    • Miss Y. M. Herbert-Smith.
    • Mr. D. L. Kelleher.
    • Mr. W. Marriott.
    • Mr. S. J. Milton, F.R.G.S.
    • Mr. A. E. Smith.
    • Mrs. G. Skelton.
    • Mr. R. K. Sorabji.
    • Miss L. E. Walter, M.B.E.
    • Mr. W. M. Webb, F.L.S.
    These officers are not in receipt of salaries, but are remunerated by way of

    agreed fees in respect of each lecture delivered. During the current lecture year (from 1st May to 31st October, 1930) 268 lectures have been delivered under the Board's auspices. The subjects of these lectures have been:

    • Various Empire countries and their products.
    • The National Mark.
    • Empire Marketing in general, and The work of the Empire Marketing Board.

    Films (Colonies, Censorship)

    asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies which of the Colonies have banned the British picture productions entitled, "Harmony," "Heaven," "Raise the Roof," "Compulsory Husband," and "The Informer"; has he received any information as to the reason why these particular British films have been banned; and will he give the House particulars?

    I have been asked to take this question. My noble Friend has no official information that any of the British picture productions mentioned by the hon. Member have been banned by any Colonial Government, though he has seen newspaper reports that "The Informer" and three other talkies produced by the British International Pictures have been banned in Singapore. The ultimate responsibility for deciding whether or not a, particular film should be shown in a British dependency must,

    Estsblishment.Strength on 1st October, 1930.Percentage of authorized establishment.
    Officers.Other Ranks.Officers.Other Ranks.Officers.Other Ranks.
    Regular Army4,279115,0164,079104,923 95.391.2
    Territorial Army3,36098,2593,22679,869 96.081.3
    As regards the third and fourth parts of the question, the number of persons served with notice papers for enlistment in the Foot Guards and Infantry of the Regular Army during the period 1st July, 1930, to 30th September, 1930, was 10,447, of whom 6,506 or 62 per cent. were rejected on medical or physical grounds. I regret that corresponding figures for the Territorial Army are not available, but of course, rest with the Colonial Government. The whole question of the censorship of films so far as the Colonies, etc., are concerned is at present being carefully investigated by the Secretary of State for the Colonies in conjunction with the local Governments. If the hon. Member will furnish me with particulars of any case which he has specially in mind in which a British film has been banned by a Colonial Government, the Secretary of State will have inquiries made into the matter, but he regards it as most important that the greatest care should be taken to prevent the display of any films which may be for local reasons undesirable.

    British Army (Strength)

    asked the Secretary of State for War what is the present strength of the Regular Army battalions and the Territorial Army battalions what percentage this figure is of the authorised establishment; what have been the figures of recruits offering themselves since June last; and what proportion of these men have been rejected on medical grounds?

    I presume that the hon. and gallant Member refers to Foot Guards and Infantry. The establishment of the Foot Guards and Infantry of the Regular Army, including British Infantry in India, and of the Territorial Army, and the strength on 1st October, 1930, are as follow:the number of men who enlisted into the Infantry of the Territorial Army during the period in question was 2,901.

    Government Stock (Holders Change Of Address)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, for the convenience of holders of Government stocks, steps will be taken to dispense with the necessity of having forms of notification of change of address signed by stockholders and to accept requests in the form of a letter by the stockholder or by a known solicitor or agent of the stockholder, in order to obviate unnecessary trouble, expense and delay to stockholders in effecting changes of address in certificates of Government stocks?

    I understand that the Bank of England always accept a letter from a stockholder notifying change of address provided that sufficient particulars are quoted to enable the holding or holdings to be identified. A special form for the purpose exists, but its use is not obligatory. It is, however, the Bank's invariable practice to make any such alteration to a Stock account only under the direct authority of the stockholder concerned and they would not be prepared to depart from this rule, which has been framed as much in the interests

    Taxation per Head (excluding Local Taxation).
    Country.Population (latest estimate).Estimated Taxation.Date.Taxation per head.
    United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.45,754,000£718,080,000 (including tax on motor vehicles).1930–31£15 13s. 10.6d.
    France41,130,000French francs 51,379,033,137 (including sinking fund taxes (actual) 1929).1930–31French francs 1,249.
    Germany64,132,000 (excluding Saar).RM. 10,265,600,000 (excluding taxes levied by States.)1930–31RM. 160.
    Belgium7,996,000Belgian francs 8,309,690,0001930Belgian francs 1,039.
    Italy41,488,000lire 17,014,000,0001930–31lire 431.7.
    United States of America.123,309,000$3,702,000,000 (excluding States taxes).1930–31$30.


    Prosecutions, Portree

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prosecutions have been instituted by the sheriff-substitute at Portree during the years 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929?

    I understand that my hon. Friend's question has reference to prosecutions instituted by the Procurator Fiscal. The number of prosecutions instituted in the years mentioned were: 1926, 50; 1927, 50; 1928, 48; and 1929, 49.

    of the stockholders as for the protection of the bank. It is, of course, possible for a duly appointed attorney to act for a stockholder in such matters.


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the average taxation per head in this country for the current financial year; and what was the average taxation per head in France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the United States for the latest year for which such figures are available

    Comparisons of taxation per head in different countries are apt to give a misleading impression as the figures are not always compiled upon a comparable basis, nor do they take account of national income and other relevant considerations. Subject to this reservation the figures are as follow:

    Government Departments (Typists)

    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many vacancies for typists and shorthand typists in Scottish Departments have been filled by transfer and examination appointments, respectively, during the last five years; and the number of typists and shorthand typists on the transfer list on 1st January of each of these years?

    Following is the information desired:

    1. Statement showing the numbers of established Typists and Shorthand-Typists assigned after examination or transferred subsequent to original assignment to Scottish Departments during the years 1925 to 1929 by the Civil Service Commissioners.
    Assignments to Departments with London Headquarters are not included in these figures. Transfers effected by Departments to their branches in Scotland are also excluded.
    II. Statement showing the number on the lists kept by the Civil Service Commissioners of established Typists and Shorthand-Typists desiring transfer to Scotland.
    On 1st January, 1925Information for these years is not now available.
    On 1st January, 1926
    On 1st January, 1927
    On 1st January, 19287211
    On 1st January, 192913320
    On 1st January, 193017530

    Government Departments

    Refreshment Clubs

    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what is the usual rate of interest on loans granted for the purpose of starting Civil Service staff dining clubs; and whether he is willing to make grants towards the cost of forming such clubs?

    It is not the normal practice to make loans to civil servants for the purpose of forming refreshment clubs, but in the few cases in which this course has been adopted the rate of interest charged has been either 6 or 5 per cent. The contribution of the Exchequer towards the formation of approved clubs is made in the form of free provision of accommodation and its maintenance, together with the cost of any necessary structural alterations.

    Customs And Excise (Long-Room Duties)

    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the number of preventive officers and assistant pre

    ventive officers, respectively, employed in the Customs and Excise Department who receive an allowance for the performance of long-room duties, and the offices in which they are employed, respectively, as at the latest date possible?

    Forty-nine preventive officers and 16 assistant preventive officers employed in the Customs and Excise Department are at present in receipt of an allowance covering inter alia the performance of long-room duties. The offices at which they are employed are given in the subjoined list.

    Preventive Officers.

    Aberdeen Collection:

    • Buckie.
    • Kirkwall.
    • Macduff.

    Belfast Collection:

    • Larne.

    Brighton Collection:

    • Littlehampton.

    Bristol Collection:

    • Bridgwater.
    • Portishead.

    Preventive Officers.

    Chester Collection:

    • Aberystwyth.
    • Bangor.
    • Colwyn Bay.
    • Connah's Quay.
    • Portmadoc.

    Douglas Collection:

    • Peel.

    Dover Collection:

    • Ridham Dock.
    • Rye.
    • Whitstable.

    Dundee Collection:

    • Arbroath.
    • Montrose.
    • Kirkcaldy.

    Edinburgh Collection:

    • Rosyth.

    Greenock Collection:

    • Dumfries.
    • Irvine.
    • Stranraer.
    • Troon.

    Inverness Collection:

    • Invergordon.
    • Lossiemouth.
    • Oban.

    Ipswich Collection:

    • Brightli ngsea.
    • Colchester.
    • Maldon.

    London Waterguard:

    • Southend.

    Manchester Collection:

    • Runcorn.

    Newcastle Collection:

    • Amble.
    • Berwick.

    Norwich Collection:

    • Wisbech.

    Plymouth Collection:

    • Appledore.
    • Barnstaple.
    • Charlestown.
    • Exmouth.
    • Padstow.
    • Salcombe.
    • Scilly.
    • Teigemouth.
    • Torquay.
    • Truro.

    Preston Collection:

    • Whitehaven.
    • Workington.

    Swansea Collection:

    • Burry Port.
    • Neyland.

    Assistant Preventive Officers.

    Aberdeen Collection:

    • Stromness.
    • Stronsay.

    Belfast Collection:

    • Coleraine.

    Brighton Collection:

    • Itchenor.

    Bristol Collection:

    • Watchet.

    Dover Collection:

    • Faversham.
    • Sandwich.

    Greenock Collection:

    • Campbeltown.

    Inverness Collection:

    • Thurso.

    Manchester Collection:

    • Warrington.

    Newport Collection:

    • Lydney.

    Plymouth Collection:

    • Ilfracombe.
    • Hayle.
    • Par.

    Preston Collection:

    • Millom.

    Southampton Collection:

    • Bridport.

    Royal Commissions And Departmental Committees

    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1) how many Royal Commissions have been set up during the lifetime of the present Government, the total cost to the Treasury of those commissions, and the amount of subsistence allowances and travelling expenses paid to each member serving on them:(2) how many departmental committees, statutory committees, and advisory committees have been functioning under the Home Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Board of Trade, and Ministry of Labour, respectively, since the present Government came into office; the amount of salary, if any, paid to any member of the committees; the total cost to the Treasury of these committees and the amount of subsistence allowance and travelling expenses paid to each member serving on them?

    Four Royal Commissions have been set up during the lifetime of the present Govern- ment. The cost of one—the Royal Commission on Labour in India—is borne by Indian Revenues. The cost of the remaining three (namely, the Commissions on Licensing (England and Wales), Licensing (Scotland) and the Civil Service) is borne upon the Treasury Vote for Royal Commissions, etc., and the expenditure to date is approximately 13,000, of which approximately £2,700 represents payments for the travelling and subsistence expenses of members and witnesses. It would not be possible to distinguish between the expenses of members and witnesses without a special analysis of the claims. No member of a Royal Commission, as such, is in receipt of a salary. With regard to the remainder of the hon. Member's questions, the cost of departmental committees is, in general, borne upon the Votes of the Departments concerned. The tabulation and collection of the information desired would involve a disproportionate expenditure of time and labour, and I would suggest that if the hon. Member has any particular committee in mind he should address an inquiry to the Department concerned.

    Admiralty And War Office Contracts (Fair Wages Clause)

    asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of cases during the last 12 months, in connection with the Fair Wages Clause in which permission was granted to contractors to transfer or assign any portion of a contract held with his Department?

    During the last 12 months there have been no instances of infraction of the Fair Wages Clause in the case of transfer or assignment of contracts placed by the Admiralty. One complaint was made of infringement of the Fair Wages Clause under a subcontract., and as the result of the investigation the sub-contractor agreed to observe the conditions prevailing in the district.

    asked the Secretary of State for War the number of cases during the last 12 months in connection with the Fair Wages Clause in which permission was granted to contractors to transfer or assign any portion of a contract held with his Department?

    During the last 12 months permission has been given by the War Office for the transfer of six contracts.

    Electoral Law

    asked the Home Secretary whether the Government will consider, in the Electoral Reform Bill, including the provision of a public holiday on the occasion of a general election?

    The proposal of the hon. Member will be considered, though my right hon. Friend is afraid that there would be serious difficulties in the way of its adoption.


    asked the Home Secretary whether it is his intention to introduce a Bill to make illegal painful experiments upon dogs during the present Session of Parliament?

    Customs And Excise Licences

    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the number of each type of licence issued by each collection, respectively, in the Customs and Excise Department during the most recently available 12-months' period?

    Statistics of the licences in question are given in the annual reports of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, and these statistics show separately the number of each type of licence issued in England and Wales and in Scotland, respectively. The total number of licences exceeds 1,000,000 annually, and to sub-divide the statistics according to the Revenue collections in which the licences were issued would involve an expenditure of labour which I am not satisfied the circumstances justify.