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Written Answers

Volume 345: debated on Monday 20 March 1939

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Written Answers

Motor Vehicle Driving Offences (Lancashire)

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the number of convictions registered against persons for dangerous driving, for driving or being in charge of vehicles whilst under the influence of alcoholic drinks, in Lancashire during the years 1936, 1937 and 1938, giving separate figures?


Infantile Mortality

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the report of the Committee on Maternity and Child Welfare, on which the director-general of the Indian Medical Service served, will be available to Members of this House; and whether he can give statistics of the rate of infant mortality in India during the last five years for which statistics are available?

The hon. Member will appreciate that responsibility

Statistics of the rate of infantile mortality in British India during the years 1932–36.
Year.Deaths under 1 month.1–6 months.6–12 months.Total deaths.Total rate per 1,000 live birthsPercent. of the total mortality.
Number.Per cent. of total infantile mortality.Number.Per cent. of total infantile mortality.Number.Per cent. of total infantile mortality.
1932747,51249435,89329344,027231,527,432168.7 (males 177, females 160)26
1933796,13648479,88029374,957231,650,973171 (males 177, females 163)27
1934780,91845539,66631413,932241,734,516187 (males 195, females 178)25
1935741,37247488,54430358,286231,588,202164(males 171, females 156)24
1936766,37247.3506,502312347,94221.51,620,816162.4 (males 170.9, females 153.1)25–4

Rajkot State (Mr Gandhi)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has received a report of the recent conversations between Mr. Gandhi and the Viceroy of India; and whether he will make a statement thereon?

His Excellency the Viceroy gave interviews to Mr. Gandhi on 15th and 16th March. Discussions, which were very friendly in

for public health, hospitals and registration of births and deaths rests with the Provincial Governments. I am, however, arranging for a copy of the report to be placed in the Library of the House. With regard to the latter part of the question, I have no figures for India as a whole, but following is a statement giving statistics in respect of British India for the years 1932– 36, the latest year for which figures have been received. Owing to the difficulties which attend the collection of such statistics in India these figures are liable to a considerable margin of error.

character, took place on various points arising out of the recent dispute regarding events in Rajkot State.

Milk Industry (Prices)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the minimum price of separated milk-powder manufactured by the spray process was fixed at 24s. per cwt. ex store or factory in June, 1936, was increased gradually until it stood at 40s. per cwt. in October, 1937, and has subsequently been reduced to 29s. per cwt.; and whether, in view of this wide variation of prices over the three years, he will introduce as soon as possible a better system of price insurance and stabilisation for the milk industry?

I am aware of the changes in the price of separated milk-powder to which my hon. Friend refers. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer him to the reply which I gave on 9th March to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Accrington (Major Procter).

Japanese Toys (Imports)

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he will instruct his representatives in Japan to ascertain the extent to which Japan is still importing cheap toys into this country; and what are the methods and conditions of manufacture?

Financial Year.Destroyed for veterinary reasons.Admissions for treatment of injuries.Admissions for treatment of ailments other than injuries.
1936 –374.96Nil44.9521.4337.0621.43

British Army

Horses And Mules

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will state the percentage of horses and mules belonging to the Army which were destroyed for veterinary reasons, admitted for treatment of injuries of all kinds, and admitted for treatment of ailments other than injuries during the years 1936, 1937 and 1938, respectively?

The following table gives the percentages at home for the last three completed financial years:applicable. An appreciable increase is provided in Army Estimates this year in the number of civilians to undertake routine duties of the nature described. In peace and in war, soldiers must, however, undertake some proportion of such duties, which are a necessary part of their common life and training.


asked the Secretary of State for War what will be the accommodation provided in the barracks being built at Nicosia, Cyprus; and whether it his intention to meet the desire of many of the inhabitants, and authorise the establishment of a militia on the lines of the Royal Malta Regiment, but to include anti-aircraft units as well?

The new barracks are to accommodate the infantry detachment and ancillary troops normally stationed at Cyprus. With regard to the last part of the question, I announced in introducing Army Estimates on 8th March that a British officer is being sent to Cyprus to ascertain to what extent it is possible to meet the desire of the people of that island to play their part in Imperial Defence.

Public Institutions (Old Age Pensioners)

asked the Minister of Health how many public institutions in England and Wales, respectively, have taken advantage of the Act empowering them to give pocket-money to old age pensioners in their institutions?

According to such information as is available, 14 public assistance authorities in England and two in Wales have taken advantage of the power conferred on them by the Poor Law (Amendment) Act, 1938, to grant a personal allowance to persons aged 65 years or upwards who are inmates of Poor Law institutions.

Post Office (Entertainments Duty Stamps)

asked the Postmaster-General how many, and what proportion of, Post Offices in this country at the present time are permitted to sell Entertainments Duty stamps; and whether, in view of the public inconvenience caused in many cases by having to send to head Post Offices for these stamps, he will arrange for them to be available at some local Post Offices, including Sub-post Offices, in all districts where there is any demand for them?

No exact figures are available of the number of Post Offices at which Entertainments Duty stamps are sold, but they may be obtained at the 1,600 larger Post Offices throughout the country. They are also stocked at any of the smaller offices where there is a regular demand for an appreciable number of stamps and it is evident that the purchaser would be put to considerable inconvenience, if he had to obtain the stamps elsewhere. They can also be obtained by post from any Head Post Office. I consider that these arrangements are ample to meet legitimate public needs.


Indictable Offences (Convictions)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will state the total number of persons convicted of indictable offences in Scotland in the year 1937; how many of these were under 21 years of age, and how many under 16 years of age; and the number of convictions per 100,000 of the age-class between 12 and 21 years?

There is no list of indictable offences in Scotland. The question as to whether a person who commits an offence should be tried on indictment or summarily depends upon the statutory direction, if any, and the discretion of the Lord Advocate, based upon the gravity of the offence and other relevant considerations.The following statement gives such particulars as are available of the number of persons convicted or found guilty on indictment in the year 1937:

(1)Total number of persons convicted or found guilty928
(2)Number of persons included under head (1) who were over 17 but under 21 years of age93
(3)Number of persons included under head (1) who were over 14 but under 17 years of age16
(4)Number of persons included under head (1) who were under 14 years of ageNil
(5)Estimated number of convictions on indictment per 100,000 of the population in the age group between 14 and 21 years18

Cefoil Industry, Western Isles

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he can make a statement on the development of the cefoil industry in the Western Isles; and whether it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to afford it any practical assistance?

I understand that research work in connection with the product referred to in the question, and the opening of markets for it have occupied more time than was anticipated; but that the company are hopeful that they may shortly be able to undertake developments in the Western Isles. As regards the second part of the question I am unable to make any statement.


Ex-Service Men, Manchester

asked the Minister of Labour how many disabled ex-service men are registered as unemployed in the area covered by the Manchester King's Roll Committee; how many of the men are unable to follow their usual occupations and are now considered fit for light work only; how many such men have been unemployed for 12 months or longer; and how many additional disabled ex-service men might be placed in employment in the area if local authorities, firms engaged on Government work, and other firms enrolled all employed the normal quota under the King's National Roll Scheme?

On 9th January, 1939, 1,304 disabled ex-service men were registered as unemployed at Employment Exchanges in the Manchester area. Of this number, 609 were suffering from disabilities which prevented them returning to their usual occupations but would not preclude them from employment under ordinary conditions on light work, or were considered to be unable to undertake employment except in some institution specially designed for very severely disabled ex-service men.The latest available information about the duration of unemployment of disabled ex-service men relates to 3rd January, 1938, when there were 407 such men registered in the Manchester area who had been unemployed for 12 months or longer, out of a total of 976 disabled ex-service men in the area registered as wholly unemployed.The information desired in the latter part of the question is not available.

Bethnal Green

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will state, at the nearest available date, the number of male and female persons registered as unem-

Air Raid General Precautions Services, including Reserves.173,914141,96882
Auxiliary Fire Services44,43615,71635
Police Auxiliary Services21,64912,74359
The strength of regular police and fire brigades are 99 and 97 per cent. of establishment respectively.

ployed in the Metropolitan borough of Bethnal Green; and the numbers of unemployed men under the age of 21 and over the age of 45 in the same borough?

At 13th February, 1939, 2,938 insured males and 807 insured females, aged 16 –64, resident in Bethnal Green, were recorded as unemployed. I regret that separate figures are not available in respect of those under 21 and over 45 years of age.


asked the Minister of Labour whether he can state the number of muscians who are now unemployed; and whether or not the number is on the increase?

pursuant to his reply (OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd March, 1939; col. 1461, Vol. 344), supplied the following statement:Figures on this point are compiled only at quarterly intervals. At 5th December, 1938, 2,078 wholly unemployed persons, aged 18 and over, were registered at Employment Exchanges in Great Britain as applicants for employment as musicians. The corresponding figures for 5th September, 1938, and 6th December, 1937, were 1,683 and 2,159 respectively.

Air-Raid Precautions

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will state the number of persons who have volunteered for service in connection with air-raid precautions services in Lancashire, giving numbers in full, and also percentage of requirements, to the latest possible date?

The particulars for this county, including the various boroughs, on the 18th February which is the latest date for which detailed figures are available, were as follow:

Justices Of The Peace (Age)

asked the Attorney-General how many justices of the peace were 73 years of age, 80 years of age, and 85 years of age, on the latest date for which the information is available?

I regret I am unable to give my hon. and learned Friend this information. There are altogether 319 Commissions of the Peace, and in England and Wales there are 1,006 Petty Sessional Divisions to which justices of the peace are allocated. To ascertain the present age of the justices of the peace would necessitate an expenditure of public time which could hardly be justified in the public interest. The lists of justices in the various divisions are periodically revised by my Noble Friend the Lord Chancellor, and, in his communications to Advisory Committees and individual benches, he suggests by such means as are practicable the withdrawal from the benches of persons whose ages or infirmities disable them from effectively perform- ing the duties of a magistrate. In all fresh appointments to Commissions of the Peace great care is taken to ensure that persons of advanced ages do not receive appointment.


asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the official German communiqué issued to the foreign Press in Berlin on Saturday, nth March, stated that His Majesty's Government were behind the so-called Czech infringement of Slovak autonomy; and whether the attention of the German Government has been called to the matter?

I am not aware that the communiquéin question contained such a statement. The second part of the question does not therefore arise.