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Written Answers

Volume 320: debated on Thursday 18 February 1937

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Written Answers

Trade And Commerce

Steel Industry

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, owing to the pressure of rearmament orders, certain steelworks in West Wales have had to close down through failure to secure supplies of steel scrap, and tinplate mills have also had to close down through failure to secure supplies of tin bars from the steelworks; and, in view of this serious situation with its consequent unemployment, what steps he proposes to take to deal with the matter?

I understand that the supply of steel scrap in this and other countries has not kept pace with the rapid increase in the demand for, and production of, steel, and that some works nave been unable to obtain adequate supplies of materials. The British Iron and Steel Federation are, I am informed, making every effort to improve supplies.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the serious rise in the price of scrap in recent months and that as much as 82s. 6d. per ton is now being asked for it; and if he will take steps to place an embargo upon the export of iron and steel scrap in view of the present shortage?

I am aware that there has been a rise in the price of iron and steel scrap in recent months. I am informed that the current price varies, according to grade, between 42s. 6d. and 85s. per ton. As regards the last part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on the 8th February to the hon. Member for Plais-tow (Mr. Thorne).

Imports (Policy)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will institute an inquiry into our imports in order to ascertain those which are the result of processes not carried on in this country?

The question whether particular goods now imported from abroad can or should be produced in this country must be decided in each case by reference to all the technical and other circumstances. It is a matter primarily for manufacturing interests, and I do not think that a general inquiry, such as is suggested, would be practicable. If my hon. Friend has any special instance in mind, I shall be glad to furnish her with such information about it as is available in my Department.

Cotton Spinning Industry Act

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many spindles have been offered for sale and bought by the Spindles Board since the Cotton Spinning Act was passed; how much money has been extracted from the cotton spinning industry by the levy provided for in that Act; how much of this has been expended by the board up to date on the purchase of redundant spindles; how it is proposed to deal with the balance in hand; and for how much longer the levy is to be collected?

As regards the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given on the 2nd February to the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman). The amount of money collected by way of spindles levy during each accounting period will be shown in the accounts which, under Section 9 of the Cotton Spinning Industry Act, the Spindles Board are required to submit to the Board of Trade. The Board of Trade are required to transmit these accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General who, after examining and certifying them, must lay copies before the House. Redundant spindles are purchased out of moneys borrowed by the Spindles Board for the purpose under Section 4 of the Act, and the revenue derived from the spindles levy is applied towards the service of the loan and administrative expenses. The levy is not used directly for the purchase of redundant spindles. Under Section 5 of the Act, the levy is payable for 15 years from the appointed day, which was fixed as the 14th September, 1936, but there is power under Section 6 to terminate it earlier if all liabilities and expenses incurred by the Spindles Board have been paid.

Food Products (Imports)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state, by countries, how far overseas exporters have or have not carried out agreements or understandings which were come to with them for the restriction of their shipments of food products to the United Kingdom so that British producers should not be squeezed out of their own Home market?

Imports into this country of a number of foodstuffs are or have been subject to compulsory regulation or voluntary control. I fear it is not possible, within the scope of a Parliamentary answer, to give details relating to exports of so many foodstuffs from so many countries over a period of several years, but if my hon. Friend will let me know which particular product or period he has in mind, I shall be happy to supply the information.

Compensation Brokers, Limited

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the recently established company, Compensation Brokers, Limited, intends to engage in transactions by which German trade secures a foothold in British Dominions to the detriment of British trade; and, if so, whether he intends taking any action in the matter?

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. E. Smith) on 16th February.

Manufacturing Costs (Transport)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will institute an inquiry into the relation of industrial overhead charges in this country to transport costs by rail and road, and the extent to which the cost of production of commodities for export is increased by the present taxation levied upon commercial road-transport vehicles and the fuel they consume?

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given on the 16th February to a similar question by the hon. Member for Stourbridge (Mr. Morgan).

China, Glass And Earthenware Imports

asked the President of the Board of Trade what were the comparable imports of Japanese china, glass and earthenware for 1935 and 1936, respectively?

The total declared value of imports into the United Kingdom of china, glass and earthenware consigned from Japan was £107,000 in 1935 and £134,000 in 1936.

Calcium Carbide Imports

asked the President of the Board of Trade the amount of calcium carbide imported into this country in each year since 1930; the countries from which it was imported, showing the amount from each country separately; and the average price per ton at which it was sold in each year in this country?

The following statement shows the total quantity and average value of calcium carbide imported into the United Kingdom during each of the years 1930 to 1936, distinguishing the principal

Year.Total imports.Of which consigned from.
Quantity.Average value.Sweden.Norway.Germany.Yugoslavia.
Tons.£ per ton.Tons.Tons.Tons.Tons.
193045,22712·14,75316,6005,8548,694
193146,47312·34,31222,1814,9906,973
193242,03212·33,27721,5945,0451,662
193343,10911·43,77323,7742,2294,783
193450,72311·34,42625,9683,3737,274
193555,23411·04,15231,4664,9716,651
193655,61411·04,94029,9604,0688,985

Statutory Committees

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many committees, including statutory committees, have been set up by his Department since 1931; which have completed their work; and which are still operating?

List Of Committees Set Up By The Board Of Trade (Including Mines Department And The Department Of Overseas Trade) Since 1St January, 1931

(a) Committees which have completed their work (in order of date of appointment).

  • Gas Legislation Committee.
  • British Industries Fair Site and Buildings Committee.
  • Miners' Welfare Fund Committee of Inquiry.
  • Committee on Art and Industry.
  • Navigational and Gale Warnings Committee.
  • Notices to Mariners Committee.
  • Trade Marks Committee.
  • Overwinding Prevention Committee (Coal Mines).
  • Gift Coupon Trading Committee.
  • German Debts Committee.
  • Key Industry Duties Committee.
  • Copyright Committee.
  • Steering Gear in Steamships Committee.
  • Committee on Supply of Gas in West of Scotland.
  • Fixed Trusts Committee.
  • Committee on British Films.
  • Committee on Insurance of Ships.

countries from which these imports were consigned.

(b) Committees which are still operating (in order of date of appointment).

  • Meat Advisory Committee.
  • Council for Art and Industry.
  • Tramp Shipping Subsidy Committee.
  • Census of Production (1935) Advisory Committee.
  • Ships' Replacement Committee.
  • Compulsory Insurance Committee.
  • Cotton Spinning Industry Advisory Committee.
  • Share-pushing and Share-hawking Committee.
  • Firedamp Detector Regulations Committee.
  • Committee on Examinations for Certificates as Marine Engineers.

British Companies (Foreign Factories)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any information as to the extent to which British companies have recently been compelled, as the result of protective tariffs imposed by foreign countries, to build branch factories abroad; and what is the policy of his Department in this matter?

A number of British concerns own or control factories in foreign countries but I am not aware that there has recently been any increase in the building by United Kingdom interests of branch factories in foreign countries. No doubt, where such building has taken place, tariffs or import restrictions may have been one factor influencing the parties concerned. For their part His Majesty's Government take all possible steps, when opportunities offer, to secure ameliorations of foreign tariffs and other restrictions which adversely affect United Kingdom exports.

Agriculture

Poultry Industry

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any information as to how many persons engaged principally in egg and poultry production went bankrupt during each of the past five years?

The number of Receiving Orders in bankruptcy made in each of the past five years in respect of persons described as poultry farmers is as follows:

193212
193324
193422
193517
193614

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the hardship created upon poultry farmers by the high cost of feeding stuffs due to import duties; and whether he will consider the advisability of reducing duties so as to bring some relief to a deserving section of the community struggling to eke out a living?

The recent increase in the cost of feeding stuffs is not attributable to the incidence of import duties but to a general rise in world prices. So far as the duties are concerned, I would remind the hon. Member, however, that it is open to consumers to make representations to the Import Duties Advisory Committee.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that the Scientific Poultry Breeders' Association has prepared a scheme which has been approved by the National Poultry Council to deal with the reorganisation of the poultry industry in this country, he will now consider whether he is able to take steps under Section 1 of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1933, to regulate the importation of foreign eggs into this country; and, if not, whether he will inform the poultry industry in this country what further steps they should take in order to enable him to proceed in this way?

I am not clear what scheme my hon. Friend has in mind. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and I know of no proposals for the reorganisation of the egg and poultry industry which would satisfy the requirements of Sub-section (1) (a) of Section 1 of the Agricultural Marketing Act, 1933, and empower the Board of Trade to regulate imports. As regards the latter part of the question, I fear I can only refer my hon. Friend to the terms of the Section to which I have referred.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has any information as to the extent to which recent weather conditions have produced a glut of eggs upon the Continent; and whether he proposes to take any steps to prevent that glut adversely affecting the conditions of the poultry industry in this country?

Reports from a number of European countries indicate that during December and the early part of January egg production was abnormally high owing to the exceptionally mild weather, and this no doubt led to the increased imports into this country during that period. The change to colder weather in the second part of January and early February is reported to have caused production to decline. This decline has been reflected in reduced imports into this country. During the three weeks ended 6th February imports of eggs were 25 per cent, below the level of the corresponding period of last year.

Workers (Statistics)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the number of persons engaged in the agricultural industry in this country in the year 1930 and in the year 1936?

The numbers of agricultural workers (both regular and casual) employed on 4th June on holdings of over I acre in extent in England and Wales as returned by occupiers of such holdings were 741,696 in 1930 and 640,573 in 1936. These figures exclude occupiers, their wives and domestic servants.

Scotland

Infant Mortality

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will state the names of the 10 local authorities in Scotland with the highest infantile mortality rates for each of the last two quinquennial periods for which statistics are available, showing also the corresponding national figures for the same periods?

The 10 public health areas (i.e., counties and large burghs) with the highest infant mortality rates for the quinquennial period 1931–35 and the decennial period 1921–30, together with the corresponding rates for Scotland, are shown in the following table. Similar figures for the quinquennial period 1926–30 are not readily available.

Infant Mortality Rates.
1931–1935.1921–1930.
Per thousand.Per thousand.
Scotland.81Scotland89
Glasgow Burgh.102Dundee Burgh112
Coatbridge Burgh102Glasgow Burgh106
Greenock Burgh98Aberdeen Burgh105
Dumfries Burgh93Coatbridge Burgh.105
Paisley Burgh91
Hamilton Burgh87Greenock Burgh105
Aberdeen Burgh86Paisley Burgh101
Port-Glasgow Burgh.86Dumfries Burgh100
Stirling Burgh95
Airdrie Burgh85Kilmarnock Burgh.94
Clackmannan County.85
Port-Glasgow Burgh.93

Pittenweem Harbour Improvement

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the reasons for the refusal of the Fishery Board for Scotland to recommend a grant for the improvement of Pittenweem harbour?

The scheme of improvement contemplated by the harbour authority would involve an expenditure of over £8,000, and the authority desired a grant of three-fourths of the cost. The Fishery Board for Scotland came to the conclusion that the benefit to be derived from the proposed improvement was not commensurate with expenditure of that order.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many days in each of the years 1935 and 1936 fish were landed at the harbours of An-struther, St. Monance, and Pittenweem; how many fishermen regularly depend for their living upon Pittenweem harbour; and whether, in view of the all-the-year-round nature of the trade at Pittenweem, he will request the Fishery Board for Scotland to reconsider their recent decision with a view to recommending grants for necessary improvements to this harbour in order to preserve the trade and safeguard the lives of the fishermen concerned?

The numbers of days on which landings of fish were made at the harbours of Anstruther, St. Monance and Pittenweem during 1935 and 1936 are as follow:

Days.Days.
Harbour.1935.1936.
Anstruther9084
St. Monance9594
Pitteweem294298
The number of fishermen who are regularly employed from Pittenweem harbour is 120. The fishing carried on from these harbours is, however, of a different character—the two former having a seasonal herring fishing and being the home ports of herring fishermen who fish elsewhere during most of the year and Pittenweem being the base for fishing for white fish with small boats. As regards the last part of the question I am informed that a petition has been presented to the Fishery Board for Scotland by the town council of Pittenweem asking that their decision be reconsidered, and that the matter is being re-examined by the board.

Water Pollution (Milk Factories)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to a claim by the director of laboratories, United Dairies, Limited, that a solution of the problem of purifying milk-factory effluents has now been reached; whether the technical advisers of the Ministry have examined this claim; and, if so, what is the nature of their report?

I understand that, as a result of investigations carried out under the direction of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, with the co-operation of the Rothamsted Experimental Station, two processes for treating milk-factory effluents have been evolved which are considered to be satisfactory. This work has been carried out with financial assistance from the industry, through the English and Scottish Milk Marketing Boards and with the aid of certain facilities provided by United Dairies, Limited. Full details of the investigations up to June last will be published shortly in the report of the Water Pollution Research Board of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Transport

Road Accidents, Hove

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been called to the fatal and other accidents which have recently occurred on the narrow section between Seafield Road and Albany Villas, on the north of Kingsway, Hove; and will he give early consideration to the imposition of a reduced speed-limit over this section or other proposals to secure safety?

Motor Vehicles (Red Light Indicators)

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to a recent judgment in a motor car accident case that the red light side indicator on a motor car cannot be regarded as a substitute for a hand signal; and whether he will take the necessary steps, by regulation or otherwise, to rectify the position?

I have seen references to this case in the Press, and I am looking into the position.

Trolley-Omnibuses, Leyton

asked the Minister of Transport whether trolley-omnibuses are likely to run through Leyton; and, if so, when and along what routes?

I have received the following information:(1) Trolley-omnibuses will probably commence running in Leyton in April next from Chingford Mount to Victoria and Albert Docks via Stratford and also via Wanstead Flats.

(2) The Board anticipate that in the summer the trolley-omnibus service now running between Chingford Road (Billet Road) and Lea Bridge Road via Highams Hill and Markhouse Road will be extended via Church Road, Grange Park Road and Wanstead Flats to Canning Town.

(3) The Board are seeking powers to run trolley-omnibuses in Lea Bridge Road, Leytonstone Road and Whipps Cross Road.

Gallows Corner—Southend Road

asked the Minister of Transport when he anticipates the completion of the double track from Gallows Corner to Southend; and to what extent a cycling track will be laid down?

By the end of 1940. Cycle tracks will be constructed throughout. The Essex County Council expect to complete the first four miles from Gallows Corner by the end of next month.

Pedestrian Crossings (Beacons)

asked the Minister of Transport whether it is the intention of his Department that there should be any difference in responsibility in case of accident at a pedestrian crossing between one marked by official beacons and one not so marked; and whether he will bring pressure to bear on local authorities which do not at present fix beacons at their crossings to fall into line?

Crossings to have the protection of the law must be marked by beacons or traffic lights, and if my hon. Friend knows of any crossings which are not so marked I should be grateful if he would let me have particulars.

Housing

Overcrowding, Wales

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are 16,706 overcrowded houses in Wales; will he say how many councils from Wales have submitted plans for building the necessary new houses; whether he is aware of the financial difficulties which confront the rural areas of Wales in providing houses for the agricultural population; and whether he will indicate to these rural authorities what financial assistance will be provided by the Government?

The overcrowding survey showed that there were 21,794 overcrowded dwellings in Wales, of which 16,706 were in the administrative counties. Special rates of financial assistance are available for the provision of houses for the agricultural population in areas with limited financial resources. The local authorities are, I believe, well aware of the position, but I shall be ready to communicate with any particular authority if the hon. Member will inform me of any case he has in mind.

Slum Clearance

asked the Minister of Health whether he can state the number of small owner-residents who have been dispossessed as a result of slum clearance operations during the last two years; and the number of such cases in which any compensation has been paid?

Statistics are not available of the number of owner-residents involved in slum clearance operations. I assume my hon. Friend has in mind in the second part of his question the payments authorised by the Act of 1935 in respect of well maintained houses. Up to 31st December last, I had given directions for such payments to be made in 2,369 cases.

asked the Minister of Health whether he can make any statement as to the extent to which owners of small businesses, swept away in slum clearance operations during the last two years, have been compensated by the authorities dispossessing them?

The allowances to the owners of small businesses to which my hon. Friend refers are entirely at the discretion of the local authority and I have no statistics for the period in question. I have, however, expressed the hope that local authorities will exercise their powers to make reasonable allowances in all suitable cases. I propose to obtain information on the subject and will communicate with my hon. Friend when this information is available.

Eggs (Imports)

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that imported liquid-egg juice is used in cakes, buns, etc.; and whether any of the tins that come into this country are opened and subjected to any medical analysis?

I am aware that imported liquid eggs are used by bakers and confectioners. In common with other imported articles of food they are subject to examination at the port of entry, and such examinations are, I understand, made from time to time. A number of special bacteriological examinations of liquid eggs have also been made by my Department.

Eggs (Control Of Sale)

asked the Minister of Health whether he will strengthen the present legislation under the Food and Drugs Act against the sale of dirty or stale eggs?

I will bear in mind the suggestion of my hon. and gallant Friend, but I doubt whether the object he desires could be obtained by an amendment of the Food and Drugs (Adulteration) Act.

Midwives Act (Carmarthenshire)

asked the Minister of Health whether he has yet received the proposals of the Carmarthenshire County Council under the provisions of the Midwives Act; whether he is aware that considerable dissatisfaction exists within the county at the inadequacy of the county council's proposals; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?

I have received these proposals and they are under consideration. I understand that some dissatisfaction has been expressed with the proposals, but I would remind the hon. Member that under the Act certain bodies have the right to make representations to me within a period of two months after the proposals have been submitted. That period has not yet expired.

The Coronation

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether he will arrange for a site to be available for the purpose of a camp for members of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade drawn from the provinces, who will be doing duty in the streets on Coronation Day?

(for the First Commissioner of Works): My Noble Friend regrets that he is unable to entertain this request.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in connection with the visit of detachments of the Home Fleet to the Thames during the Coronation celebrations, he will offer similar facilities to the fishing fleet, so that representative trawler and drifter crews may share in these celebrations and the public be reminded of the value of the fishing fleet as a vital part of the nation's food and defence services?

As my hon. Friend is by now aware, the fishing fleets have, by His Majesty's permission, been invited to send representative ships to the Naval Review at Spithead on 20th May. The honour of this invitation will, I am sure, be deeply appreciated by owners and fishermen, and I think that we can count upon adequate representation of the fishing fleets. Attendance at ceremonies of this character involves, however, financial sacrifices on the part of owners, skippers and crews. I doubt, therefore, whether they should be put to the additional expenses involved in a visit to the Thames.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether any decision has been arrived at as to the range of prices that will be charged for the 85,000 seats now being erected by the Office of Works for the purpose of viewing the Coronation procession; and can he give particulars of the number of these seats that will be allocated free?

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave in the House yesterday afternoon to a Private Notice Question by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. None of the 85,000 seats are to be allocated to the public free of charge; but it is not proposed that any charge shall be made for the standing space which, as already announced, will accommodate 30,000 persons.

Historic Houses (Preservation)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether he will recommend the conferring of powers on the Commissioner of Works to prevent the demolition of houses of architectural and historical interest in London such as the Reynolds's House in Leicester Square?

(for the First Commissioner of Works): I would refer my hon. Friend to the general statement I made in the Debate on 10th February, to which at present I have nothing to add.

Coal Industry (Exports)

asked the Secretary for Mines whether the Government are now in a position to give a reply to the representation made by the Advisory Committee of the mining industry regarding the coal export trade?

I cannot at present add anything to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Pontypool (Mr. A. Jenkins) on 9th February.

Unemployment

Assistance (Statistics)

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can state the numbers now receiving Unemployment Assistance Board relief in each district under the Board's control; the sum paid in each district; the amount paid in administration in each district; and the amount paid in administration at the central office of the Unemployment Assistance Board?

pursuant to his reply (OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th November, 1936, col. 1935, Vol. 317) supplied the following statement:The following statement shows in respect of each district of the Unemployment Assistance Board the number of payments made and the amount paid to applicants for unemployment assistance in the week ended 13th November, 1936, and the approximate annual rate of the cost of administration, also the cost of administration of the headquarters of the

District.Number of payments made and amount paid in the week ended 13th November, 1936, to applicants for Unemployment Assistance.Equivalent annual rate of Column 3.Approximate annual rate of cost of administration of offices of the Unemployment Assistance Board.
Numbers.Amount paid.
1.2.3.4.5.
££000.£000.
1.London I12,93815,55080955
2.London II14,29516,41885455
3.London III10,63412,17063347
4.Birmingham15,01616,39985353
5.Bristol14,69716,58486251
6.Carlisle11,74114,80177031
7.Durham30,71139,8622,07271
8.Hanley15,53817,08488847
9.Leeds26,16529,9741,55971
10.Liverpool34,21040,8452,12485
11.Manchester I24,43227,2411,41766
12.Manchester II33,75838,4762,00080
13.Middlesbrough.17,87422,1851,15450
14.Newcastle-on-Tyne39,22949,7682,58891
15.Norwich4,2264,34422625
16.Nottingham19,32622,2711,15851
17.Preston21,91521,6631,12655
18.Reading5,0805,58929127
19.Sheffield33,45040,8802,12684
20.Cardiff39,87951,2622,66677
21.Newport.24,38231,8971,65855
22.Swansea24,33230,1761,56955
23.Wrexham9,24710,87456530
24.Dundee16,70518,20094744
25.Edinburgh12,57014,32874538
26.Glasgow I37,42344,6922,32499
27.Glasgow II30,11637,7411,96377
28.Inverness3,2803,34517415
583,169694,62836,1211,585
6. Cost of administration of headquarters of the Unemployment Assistance Board.£135,000 (approximate annual rate).
7. Cost of administration of services rendered to the Board by the Ministry of Labour:
(i) Headquarters (including Claims and Records Office, Kew).£180,000 (approximate annual rate).
(ii) Outstations£2,400,000 (approximate annual rate).
Notes.—(i) Columns 2 and 3 are based on Employment Exchanges situated in the area administered by each of the District Offices of the Unemployment Assistance Board.
(ii) Column 5 and items 6 and 7 include the cost of services rendered by other Government Departments.

Glasgow

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will state the total number of cases in the Maryhill division of Glasgow that have received increases and the number receiving decreases under the new unemployment assistance regulations?

Board and of the Ministry of Labour for services rendered to the Board.

regulations the number of persons in the Unemployment Assistance Board's Mary-hill area who were in receipt of more than they would have received under the standstill arrangements was about 650. In the week ended 29th January, which is the latest date for which information is available, no person in that area was receiving less than under the standstill arrangements.

Leith

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will state the total number of increases and the number of decreases under the new unemployment assistance regulations in the Leith division?

In December last when all cases had been reviewed under the new Regulations the number of persons in the Unemployment Assistance Board's Leith Area who were in receipt of more than they would have received under the Standstill arrangements was about 1,100. In the week ended 29th January, which is the latest date for which information is available, no person in that area was receiving less than under the Standstill arrangements. I should point out that the area mentioned is an administrative area of the Board and is not co-terminous with the Parliamentary division of the same name.

Land Settlement

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can state the number of persons trained for the agricultural industry under the Ministry of Labour auspices, and the number of families settled on the land for the year 1930 and the year 1936; and the total cost of such training and settlement?

My Department does not provide agricultural training for land settlement. Such training is provided by the Land Settlement Association and I am informed that, during 1936, 469 men were taken into training on the association's estates, of whom 17 completed their training; 292 of these men were joined by their families on their settlements. I have no information as to the cost of training provided by the Land Settlement Association. There was no similar scheme in 1930.

Special Areas (South Wales Survey)

asked the Minister of Labour whether the survey for the National Industrial Development Council of South Wales has been subsidised by the Commission for the Special Areas; when this survey was completed; and whether copies will be obtainable at the Vote Office?

The survey to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers was carried out by the National Industrial Development Council for Wales and Monmouthshire with assistance from the Special Areas Fund. I understand that the report is now being printed and will be published by the Council in the next few weeks. I will arrange for one or two copies to be placed in the Library.

Royal Air Force (Speke Factory)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he can now furnish a full statement in regard to taking over the site on the Speke estate, the type of labour required, and when; and what steps, if any, has he taken to notify the Ministry of Labour what categories of labour he will require on Merseyside?

Satisfactory arrangements have been made with the Corporation of Liverpool for the acquisition of a site adjoining Speke aerodrome. The contract for the erection of the airframe factory has been let and the work was begun on the 15th instant. A variety of types of labour will be required, including draughtsmen, general office staff, machine hands, erectors, painters and electricians. As regards the last part of the question, discussion of labour requirements has already taken place with the Ministry of Labour, and action has been taken to notify requirements to the appropriate Labour Exchange.

India (King's Counsel)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has considered the representations made to the effect that the system of appointing King's Counsel should be introduced into India; and what decision he has arrived at on the matter?

This is a matter which has been under the consideration of the Government of India, but they have not acquainted my Noble Friend with their present views on the subject.

Egypt (Capitulations)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who is to represent His Majesty's Government at the forthcoming conference at Montreux on the Egyptian capitulations?

Defence

Food Supplies

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence when some report may be available to the House of Commons of the Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence, of which the Minister for Co-ordination of Defence is chairman, as to the examination of the problems relating to food supplies in time of war; and whether he can give any information regarding the progress of the new food defence plans department to deal with the formulation of plans for the supply, control, and distribution of feeding-stuffs for defence purposes?

The Sub-Committee in question is, as my hon. Friend observes, a Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence, whose reports are confidential. With regard to the Food (Defence) Plans Department, I have nothing to add to the reply which was given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Cambridge (Lieut.-Commander Tufnell) on 26th January last.

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence what is considered to be the minimum quantity of production of the various home-grown foodstuffs to ensure the safety of food supplies in time of war?

My hon. Friend will realise that it is impossible to predicate any scale of home production as the minimum necessary to ensure the safety of food supplies in time of war. The Government's consideration of this question has been necessarily directed to ensuring an ample supply from all sources. It would not be in the public interest to furnish information of the kind desired.

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a speech made by the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence at Fareham; if this speech represents the policy of the Government; and will he say what schemes in agriculture require adjustment, amendment, and/or replacement?

With regard to the first two parts of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave yesterday to a similar question from my hon. Friend the Member for Kincardine and Western (Sir M. Barclay-Harvey). With regard to the last part of the question, I do not think my right hon. Friend intended to do more than indicate in a general way that the measures that have been adopted to promote the welfare of the agricultural industry must necessarily be subject to review in the light of experience.

New Industries (Establishment)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will ask the Import Duties Advisory Committee to examine and report upon the question as to what new industries might advantageously be set up in this country on a profit-making basis, both in the Special Areas and elsewhere, if there were to be an increase or an adjustment of import duties on certain categories of manufactured goods now being imported from abroad?

The question whether certain kinds of goods could be manufactured profitably either in the Special Areas or elsewhere depends on a number of factors besides that of import duties, and I do not think a report of the kind suggested would be practicable or useful.

Special Areas Reconstruction Association

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can give details of grants made by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association?

I do not consider that the disclosure of the details of individual transactions would be in the best interests of borrowers.

Motor Vehicles (United States Exports)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can state the n umber of American motor cars, including complete chassis, consigned from the United States of America that were in bonded warehouses in this country on the last convenient date?

The returns of motor vehicles deposited in bonded warehouse do not show the countries from which the goods are consigned or distinguish motor car chassis from other parts and accessories of motor vehicles.

Match Duty

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the fact that Home production of matches only provides for about half of the national requirements, in spite of the recent adjustment of the duty upon imported matches; and whether, in view of the possibility of the development of the match industry in the Special Areas, he will consider a further adjustment of this duty in the new Budget?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The suggestion in the second part has been noted.

Palestine

Acre Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state the total number of Arab and Jewish prisoners, respectively, in Acre Prison, Palestine; the largest number of prisoners in any single cell; if there are any lavatory conveniences in these cells; the number of criminal lunatics confined in this prison; and how many prisoners are chained in solitary confinement cells?

I have not the information for which the hon. Member asks. I am requesting the Acting High Commissioner for Palestine to furnish me with a report on the subject.

High Commissioner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the High Commissioner of Palestine, Sir Arthur Wauchope, is going on leave this month and will not return to Palestine until after the Coronation; and if he will make arrangements to ensure that Palestine is not left without a High Commissioner at one of the most difficult and dangerous periods of the year?

At my request, the High Commissioner for Palestine has come to this country for a few weeks. There is no foundation for the suggestion that he will stay here until after the Coronation. I would add that I have full confidence in Mr. Hathorn Hall, who is administering the Government of Palestine in Sir Arthur Wauchope's absence.

Propaganda (Subsidising)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has been able to trace any money sent from foreign sources to organisations or individuals in Palestine which has been used to stir up rioting between Arabs and Jews and for terroristic purposes; and, if so, from what foreign countries such moneys were supplied?

I am not able to add anything on this subject to the reply which I gave on 3rd November to the right hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood).

International Sugar Conference

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether, having regard to the forthcoming imperial conference at which the Ottawa agreements will be under review, he intends, on behalf of the sugar-producing Crown Colonies, to accept the invitation from the International Sugar Conference to send representatives to the meeting to be held in April?

His Majesty's Government propose to accept the invitation to the International Sugar Conference which has been issued under the auspices of the Bureau of the World Monetary and Economic Conference, and in accordance with the usual practice Colonial interests will be covered by the United Kingdom Delegation and will, of course, be one of the primary considerations of His Majesty's Government in the course of any such Conference. I might perhaps observe that the Ottawa Agreements contain no provisions on the subject of Colonial sugar and that it is contemplated that any questions arising out of those Agreements should be dealt with by discussions between the individual Governments affected as occasion arises rather than at the Imperial Conference.