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Written Answers

Volume 245: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1930

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Written Answers

Public Health

Maternal Mortality

asked the Minister of Health whether the rate of maternal mortality differs as between women who are insured under the National Health Insurance scheme and those outside its scope; and, if so, the difference in percentages?

Small-Pox, Coal-Mining Counties

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the fact that

Infantile Vaccinations per cent. of Births.
Registration County.1924.1925.1926.1927.1928.1924–1928.
Yorks, West Riding45˙041˙442˙844˙139˙242˙6
England and Wales47˙544˙244˙844˙942˙644˙8

Cinematograph Films

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give the names of the persons, and the theatres concerned, to whom certificates of exemption were issued for reason of noncompliance with the quota conditions of the Cinematograph Films Act, 1927?

I do not think I should be justified in publishing the names of the particular exhibitors concerned.

Zambesi Bridge

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if the contract for the Zambesi Bridge has been placed; if so, its main terms; and whether any modification has been made in the concession whereby the bridge shall become the property of the Portuguese Government at the end of a term of years?

the Registrar-General of Deaths, in his Annual Report (text) for 1928, indicates an exceptional incidence of small-pox cases in mining areas, his medical officials can offer any explanation of this circumstance; and what was the average percentage of infants vaccinated in the respective counties in question during the five years ended 1928?

I am advised that the heavier incidence of small-pox in certain coal-mining counties in 1928, to which the Registrar-General draws attention in his Annual Report for that year, may be regarded as fortuitous. The heaviest incidence since 1928 has not been in coal-mining counties. The following statement gives the figures asked for in the second part of the question:

The Central Africa Railway Company and the Trans-Zambesi Railway Company have accepted the tender of the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company for the construction of the Zambesi Bridge and Southern Approach at a cost of £1,434,337, involving an expenditure in this country of about £550,000. The contract provides for the completion of the work within a period of 54 months. The reply to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Royal Air Force (Commissions)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the number of short service commission officers who have been granted permanent commissions in the Royal Air Force during the last 12 months, as compared to the total number of short service commissioned officers employed?

Twenty-seven short service commission officers were granted permanent commissions in the General Duties Branch, Royal Air Force, during the year ending 31st October, 1930, and the number of officers holding short service commissions on that date was 837.


Milk Ration, Brecon

asked the President of the Board of Education the number of necessitous children receiving a daily supply of milk free in the counties of Brecon and Radnor, together with the percentage of the total number of children in the area as compared with the percentage throughout the county?

On the latest date for which returns are available, 328 children in public elementary schools in the county of Brecon were receiving a free daily supply of milk. This figure represents 3.98 per cent. of the total number of children attending the schools. The corresponding number for England and Wales as a whole is some 36,000 children, representing 73 per cent. of the total number of children in attendance. No provision for the free supply of milk is made by the local authority for the county of Radnor.

Grants, Local Auththorities

asked the President of the Board of Education, in respect of the year 1928–29, the total amounts of the grants paid to local authorities in England and Wales for each of the following services, namely, elementary education, higher education (exclusive of the fixed grant paid through the Local Taxation Account), local museums and administration of choice of employment schemes?

The total amount of the grants paid by the Board of Education to local authorities in England and Wales in respect of the year 1928–29 was as follows:

Elementary Education33,324,858
Higher Education6,259,467
Local Museums839
No grant was paid by the Board in respect of the administration of choice of employment schemes, which is aided by the Ministry of Labour.

Deaf Pupils

asked the President, of the Board of Education what information is published by the Board regarding the education of the deaf?

A short review of the provision made for the education of the deaf is given each year in the annual report of the Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education, the matter being dealt with at greater length than usual in the report for 1927 (Appendix B). The names of the certified schools for the deaf are given in the Board's List 42, and the statistics relating to these schools are given in Tables 27–30 of the Board's Annual Statistics.


Roads (Expenditure)

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that £500,000,000 has been spent on roads out of the national revenue during the last 10 years, he will say what additional sum has been spent out of local rates?

The figure to which the hon. Member refers is an estimate of the total expenditure during the last 10 years on the maintenance, improvement, cleansing and construction of highways, bridges and ferries on the part of local authorities in Great Britain, including grants from the Exchequer or the Road Fund. It includes both expenditure out of revenue and out of loans, but excludes loan charges.

Road Works, Kent

asked the Minister of Transport how many separate pieces of work are now being carried out on the roads of the county of Kent; and how many men are being employed on this work?

I am not in possession of particulars of all road works being carried out in the county of Kent. The county includes a number of independent highway authorities, each of which is likely to have in hand road works in respect of which returns of men employed are not available.

Electricity Supply (Naval Rating, Training)

asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the future dependence of the country on the grid system of electricity supply and the highly technical character of the work, whether he will arrange with the Admiralty for naval ratings to be specially trained so that an alternative service of personnel may be always available?

No, Sir. Such a step has not been taken in the past, and I see no occasion for taking it now.

Government Departments (Pensions)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many persons are employed in Government Departments who are in receipt of pensions of £3 per week or over?

I regret that the information is not available, and could not be obtained without disproportionate expenditure of time and labour.

Income Tax (Collection, Abertillery)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Income Tax collector in the Abertillery area in the performance of his duties has, in several instances, entered houses and threatened their occupants with the removal of furniture without a warrant, in addition to having intimidated others into the payment of money that should have been paid by the owner of the property; and whether he proposes to institute an inquiry into the conduct of the local officer?

I am not at present so informed, but if my hon. Friend will furnish me with particulars of any cases in which it is alleged that the collector of taxes in question has acted improperly, I will cause inquiry to be made and communicate the results to him in due course.

Pee-War Pensioners

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government will reconsider the matter of pre-War pensions with a view to revising the scale at an early date?

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave on this subject on 17th November, in reply to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) and other hon. Members.

Cement (Import)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether having regard to the number of cement workers out of employment in this country, he will consider the desirability of imposing a protective duty on foreign imported cement?

It is not the policy of the Government to impose protective tariffs.



asked the Minister of Agriculture the quantity of eggs produced in England and Wales during each of the last three years; and the average wholesale and retail price per dozen, together with the average price obtained by the producers?

The estimated total production of eggs on agricultural holdings of over one acre in extent in England and Wales during the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 has been as follows:

Year.Hen Eggs.Duck Eggs.Total.
Annual estimates of the production of eggs on holdings of one acre or less, in private gardens, backyards, etc., are not available, but it was estimated in 1925 that this production represented in total about one-third of the production on holdings of over one acre. The average annual wholesale prices per dozen of ordinary English eggs in England and Wales during 1927, 1928 and 1929 as com-

piled from returns furnished by the Ministry's market reporters, are given in the following table:

1st Quality.2nd Quality.
Satisfactory information as to the annual average prices received by producers is not available, but it may be estimated that on the average the producers' prices are approximately 2d. to 3d. per dozen below the wholesale prices. With regard to retail prices, no figures are available as to England and Wales, but the average prices in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for fresh eggs of whatever origin, according to the returns collected by the Ministry of Labour for the purpose of the cost-of-living index number, were 2.¼d. each in 1927, 1928 and in 1929.

Grants, Local Atittiorities

asked the Minister of Agriculture, in respect of the year 1929, the total amount of the grants paid to local authorities in England and Wales for each of the following services, namely, county agricultural committees, administration; agricultural education, capital expenditure and annual expenditure, respectively; recoupment of compensation paid for animals slaughtered in pursuance of orders relating to tuberculosis in cattle under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1925; recoupment of losses incurred by small holdings authorities under the Small Holdings and Allotments Acts, 1908 to 1925; recoupment of losses incurred under the Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1926; and afforestation?

The amounts paid to local authorities in England and Wales in the financial year 1929 in respect of the services mentioned were as under:

County Agricultural Committees—Administration1,343
Agricultural Education:
(i) Capital Expenditure (Farm Institutes)4,716
(ii) Annual Expenditure179,759
Recoupment (75 per cent.) of compensation paid for animals slaughtered in pursuance of Orders relating to Tuberculosis in Cattle36,375
Recoupment of losses incurred by Smallholdings Authorities under
(i) the Smallholdings and Allotments Acts, 1908 to 19251755,757*
(ii) the Smallholdings and Allotments Act, 19265,307
Afforestation does not come within the province of my Department but I am informed that the amount paid by the Forestry Commission in afforestation grants to local authorities in 1929 was238
* Two years' payments (1928 in arrear and 1929).