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Written Answers

Volume 409: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1945

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Written Answer To Questions

Public Health

Refuģee Doctor (Temporary Reģistration)

asked the Minister of Health whether he will investigate the case, details of which have been submitted to him, of an Austrian refugee doctor, M.D., of Vienna University, interned in 1939 but released without restriction in 1944, whose medical services as a locum have been repeatedly sought and permission to act in that capacity granted, but difficulties have been placed in his way of obtaining registration on the temporary register of the British medical register for reasons of which he has not been informed.

Admission to the temporary register referred to by my hon. Friend rests with the General Medical Council, with whom I am communicating on the matter.

Chicken Pox

asked the Minister of Health how many deaths from chicken-pox have been recorded by the Registrar-General for each year since the year 1938.

The information desired by my hon. Friend is as follows:

Deaths due to Chicken-pox in England and Wales.

Diphtheria (Inoculations)

asked the Minister of Health what was the estimated proportion of children under five years and over that age who had been inoculated against diphtheria in the Cuckfield and Burgess Hill area up to the end of the year 1939; and how many have been inoculated there in each year since 1939 under five and over five years of age, respectively.

I find that in annual reports made by the Medical Officer of Health to the three local authorities concerned, he estimated that at the end of 1939 between 80 per cent. and 90 per cent. of children under five in the area, and rather more than 90 per cent. of those between five and 15, had been immunised against diphtheria. The numbers of children immunised under the local authorities' arrangements since the end of 1939 are as follows:

Under 5.5–15.

Life Insurance Policies (France)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether arrangements can be made for persons insured under life policies taken up with insurance companies in France before the war, premiums upon which have been in arrear during the occupation of France, to be granted the necessary exchange facilities for making the payments required by the French insurers to revive these policies.

Yes, Sir. The recent Financial Agreement with the French Government, and connected arrangements, make this possible, and persons concerned can now apply through their bankers for the necessary permission.

Trade And Commerce

Blankets (Wholesalers, Edinburgh)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that no Edinburgh firms appear on his Department's list of wholesale traders authorised to deal in woollen blankets to meet priority dockets; that this omission is causing much local inconvenience and dissatisfaction; and whether he will take immediate steps to rectify the matter.

To assist holders of priority dockets to obtain blankets with the least possible delay, supplies to meet these dockets are being directed to a limited number of wholesalers, who have a substantial turnover in these goods. If my hon. Friend will give me details of the difficulties to which he refers, I shall be glad to go further into the matter.

Price Control (Prosecutions)

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) the number of prosecutions and convictions of wholesalers and retailers in respect of offences against price-control to date;(2) the number of prosecutions and convictions, respectively, of manufacturers in respect of alleged excessive prices to the latest convenient date.

Under the Goods and Services (Price Control) Acts, up to 28th February, 1945, there were 2,598 prosecutions and 2,330 convictions of wholesalers and retailers for price offences. There were no prosecutions under the Defence Regulations. Under the Goods and Services (Price Control) Acts, up to 28th February, 1945, there were 21 prosecutions and 18 convictions of manufacturers for price offences. Under the Defence Regulations, up to 6th April, 1945, there were 12 such prosecutions and 12 convictions.

Ministry Of Works (Industrial Employees, Holidays)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he will give particulars of the usual holidays with pay arrangements, with extra days for length of service, in respect of workpeople employed by the Ministry of Works.

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the industrial employees of the Ministry of Works. The normal annual leave for such employees is six days, together with six paid public holidays in England and Wales and five paid public holidays in Scotland.

Statutory Rules And Orders

asked the Prime Minister how many Orders or Regulations having the force of law have been issued during the war and by which Departments; and how many of such Orders or Regulations have been withdrawn or modified.

I have been asked to reply. A list showing the number of Statutory Rules and Orders issued during the war by various Departments is attached. I fear that it is not possible without un- due labour to enumerate the Orders which consist of or embody repeals or

S.R. & O. issued during the War, up to, and including, 31st March, 1945.
Department.1939 (a)194019411942194319441945 (b)Total.
The King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.171334190170141124391,169
Agriculture and Fisheries3595805860535386
Air Ministry811835237
Aircraft Production36311115
Assistance Board11
Chief Registrar for Friendly Societies123
Customs and Excise2411210
Economic Warfare11
Education, Ministry of56123482094
Education Department, Scotland112
Electricity Commissioners3671010440
Foreign Office474217
Fuel and Power12901017616484
Health, Ministry of, England501421141729610622702
Health, Department of, Scotland2262126259
Health, Welsh Board of215311
Home Affairs, Ministry of (Northern Ireland).11
Home Office (Secretary of State)601981353101058813909
Home Security155328271781149
Industrial Assurance Commissioners11
Inland Revenue Commissioners236563126
Justiciary, High Court of, Scotland1214
Labour and National Service1947434832265220
Lancaster, Duchy of11215
Liverpool Court of Passage11
Lord Chancellor1140262935343178
Lord Chief Justice, Northern Ireland2427116
Master of the Rolls1143211
National Health Insurance, Joint Cttee.152010231215196
Post Office4718121
Privy Council, Northern Ireland22116
Railway Rates Tribunal221117
Reference Committee, England & Wales22
Reference Committee, Scotland213
Reference Committee, Northern Ireland11
Registrar-General of Births,Deaths, etc. (England).123
Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, etc. (Scotland).22
Secretary of State, Burma3321211
Secretary of State, India1222182029171119
Secretary of State, Scotland826245446697234
Session, Court of, Scotland77733431
Town and Country Planning20222
War Office (Secretary of State and Army Council).394137222221182
Works and Buildings514107339
Total S.R. & O. registered9522,2222,1572,9371,7881,48236411,902
(a) Emergency Powers (Defence) from 25th August, 1939:all other "orders" from 3rd September, 1939.
(b) Up to, and including, 31st March, 1945.

modifications of earlier Orders within the period.

Coal Output (Taxation Effect)

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he has any information to show whether the high rates of Income Tax now imposed on wages have any effect on the production of coal per man-shift in this country; and whether Income Tax is levied at the same rate on the wages of those employed in and around coalmines in other countries where production per manshift is claimed to be higher than in Britain.

Whilst there is some evidence that total output is effected by Income Tax in increasing absenteeism there is no evidence to show that it affects the output per manshift except by the dislocation caused by non-attendance. As regards the second part, I regret that information as to the amount of Income Tax paid by mine workers abroad is not available in my Ministry.

British West Indies

Air Communications

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he can make a statement about post-war arrangements for the development and extension of air communications between and within the British West Indian Islands, British Guiana and British Honduras.

British West Indian Airways, Limited, of the capital of which the Government of Trinidad hold a substantial share, already maintain services covering many of the British West Indian islands. The extension of those services to the remaining British 'Colonies in the Caribbean is under consideration. It must depend upon the availability of additional aircraft and personnel among other factors.

Vocational Traininģ

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what plans have been made by the Colonial Governments in the British West Indian Islands, British Guiana and British Honduras, to develop vocational training and to extend the teaching to adolescents and adults of tropical agriculture, engineering, carpentry, cabinet-making, watch-repairing, draughtsmanship, painting, etc.

In Jamaica there are one technical school and four practical training centres. The latter give mainly agricultural training but include also training in metalwork and woodwork. The principal of the Jamaica technical school is being released to visit British Honduras to advise on vocational education questions and the development of training there. In British Guiana there are a vocational education school and a practical community centre. In Trinidad vocational education conies under the Board of Industrial Training, but so far only one small school is in operation at San Fernando. In the Bahamas plans have been prepared for a vocational school, possibly in conjunction with the present Government High School. The importance of this question is fully appreciated by the Colonial Governments, and I trust that further developments will be possible when those Governments have at their disposal the advice of the Vocational Education Assistant who is about to be appointed to the staff of the Comptroller for Development and Welfare in the West Indies.

East And Central Africa (Amoebic Dysentery)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his medical advisers have any statistics giving the incidence of cases of amœbic dysentery in the East African colonies from below Egypt to the Cape; whether any modern research has been undertaken in the past decade on this problem, comparing native and European incidence; whether any report or results of any research investigations have been published or have reached his Department; and whether treatment not only by ipecacuanha products but also by the more recently discovered sulphonamide drugs have been fully tried out and with what comparative results.

The latest figures available for the East and Central African territories are:

Territory.Year.Number of cases of amoebic dysentery.
KenyaNo figures available
Northern Rhodesia193978

Exploration of methods of treatment of amœbic dysentery is proceeding continuously, and I have no reason to believe that there has been any alarming increase in the incidence of this disease in these territories in recent years, or in the mortality from it. Experiments with the sulphonamides have shown that they have no effect in amœbic dysentery. The main line of treatment is Emetine Bismuth Iodine (an ipecacuanha derivative), combined with the use of oxyquinoline. Recent work has been done with Diodoxyquin and has been described in the African journals, and has been and is going to be described in the Tropical Diseases Bulletin—the journal of the Bureau of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases. The full study of European and native incidence would require large investigation staff which are not available at present.

Armed Forces (Japanese Campaign Pay)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is proposed to grant substantial increases in pay and allowances to Service men and women engaged in Far Eastern operations after the end of the war in Europe.

I have been asked to reply. Additional pay known as Japanese campaign pay was introduced last autumn and details appeared in Command 6553. No further increases are contemplated.

British Army

Captured Troops (German Executions)

asked the Secretary of State for War whether any cases are known of the German order to shoot parachutists having been carried out.

Yes, Sir. Details of the following such crimes are available. Strong protests have, of course, been made to the German Government.On or about 20th August, 1944, two men of the Special Air Service Regiment operating behind the enemy lines near Orleans were captured and executed at Chilleurs Aux Bois. On or about 3rd July, 1944, one officer and one trooper of the Special Air Service Regiment were wounded and captured near Poitiers. The officer was killed by repeated blows on the head with a rifle butt. The trooper was severely beaten but survived. On or about 6th June, 1944, seven British soldiers of the Parachute Regiment were taken prisoner and afterwards killed by German troops. On 5th July, 1944, two corporals and nine men of the Special Air Regiment were captured near Paris. On 9th August the two corporals and four of the men were taken by the Gestapo to a wood near Beauvais and were lined up to be shot. The two corporals escaped by running away, but the four men were shot.

Resettlement Leave (Officers)

asked the Secretary of State for War whether officers who were embodied from the Territorial Army to service in September, 1939, will be entitled to receive 56 days' pay and allowances if they are released before date of demobilisation in Class I.

Officers who are released before the beginning of the General Release Scheme are not generally entitled to the 56 days' paid resettlement leave applicable to class A releases under that scheme. Such officers, however, if invalided out of the Army before their date of General Release now receive 56 days' paid leave. There is no distinction in this matter between officers holding Territorial and those holding emergency commissions.

Transfers To Bla (Home Leave)

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that soldiers with 3½ years' service in the Near East theatre of war, recently transferred to B.L.A., have been given seven days' B.L.A. leave; and, as this leave is inadequate having regard to the likelihood of a further extended tour of duty in Germany, if he will make better arrangements for these men.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to-day to Questions on the same subject addressed to me by the hon. Members for Maldon (Mr. Driberg), West Lewisham (Mr. Brooke) and Seaham (Mr. Shinwell).

House Property Deeds (Certificate Fees)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that whereas house property is covered by the War Damage Insurance Scheme, the deeds of such property are not covered by insurance; and whether he will waive the fees for certificates from the land registrar in cases where the loss, by enemy action, can be certified by a responsible person.

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, I assume my hon. Friend to have in mind cases where the owner has already registered before the deeds are destroyed and after their destruction wishes to obtain a new certificate. In such cases the fee for supplying the new certificate is £1, which compares with a fee of two guineas and the additional sum of £2 10s. 0d., or £3 10s. 0d. in non-compulsory areas, for advertisement charged in the case of a certificate lost or destroyed otherwise than by enemy action. I see no reason to waive this small charge.

National Finance

Loans To Local Authorities

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what rate of interest is charged by the Government in respect of loans from the Exchequer to local government authorities.

Loans are not normally made from the Exchequer to local authorities, but in September, 1940, loans were made to two coastal local authorities to enable them to repay maturing debt. One of these loans has been repaid. Interest on the other is at 3½ per cent. Advances by way of loan have also been made to certain local authorities to meet deficiencies of rate income due to war damage or evacuation, and in connection with the arrangements for the rehabilitation of small traders in certain coastal areas. No interest is charged on these advances. In case, however, my hon. Friend intends to refer also to loans to local authorities from the Local Loans Fund, I am sending him a copy of the Treasury Minute fixing the rates of interest at present charged. These rates will shortly be replaced by the scale of rates for loans to local authorities announced during the recent debates on the Local Authorities Loans Bill.

Co-Operative Societies (Taxation)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will introduce a Bill to amend the law relating to the taxation of co-operative societies so far as, Sub-section (3) of Section 31 of the Finance Act, 1933, is concerned, which allows the dividend paid by such societies as a deduction in arriving at the assessable profits, with a view to securing fair trading conditions in the distributive trades.

No, Sir. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Stoke Newington (Sir G. Jones) on 17th October, 1944, a copy of which I am sending him.

Income Tax And Surtax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount not recovered from Income Tax and Supertax for the latest available year and for the average of the last five years; and what percentage does this bear to the taxes as a whole.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Annual Appropriation Accounts, which contain all the available information regarding the extent to which taxation has proved to be irrecoverable. Particulars of the amount of Income Tax and Surtax passed as irrecoverable in the years he mentions are to be found in the Appropriation Accounts for the last five years, published as House of Commons Papers 14 of 1945, 15 of 1944, 26 of 1943, 16 of 1942 and 15 of 1941.

Temporary Crown Servants (Taxation)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in view of the large number of temporary Crown servants who are now leaving the service of the Crown, what arrangements he has made, in accordance with his promise of 17th February, 1944, for a cash payment sufficient to relieve them of the disability incurred through an overlapping tax payment and the withdrawal from them of the tax holiday to which they were entitled to look forward.

Northern Ireland (Imperial Contribution)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount contributed to the Imperial Exchequer from Northern Ireland for the financial year 1944–45 and how much of this sum was returned to the Government of Northern Ireland for the services of that State.

Following are the figures:

(i) Exchequer Receipts of net reserved revenue44,981
(2) Exchequer Issues:
(a) of residuary share of reserved taxes9,981
(b) from Votes of Credit, in respect of excess war expenditure incurred by N.I. Government and repaid by Imperial Government2,384

Note on the Imperial Contribution.

On the above estimates, the provisional figure of the Imperial Contribution is £35 millions—the difference between the net reserved revenue and the residuary share of reserved taxes. The Imperial Contribution is the method by which the Province bears her share of defence and other Imperial services. The high yield of reserved revenue is due to the war-time level of taxation in N.I. as in the rest of the United Kingdom. Therefore the war-time financial arrangement between the Northern Ireland and Great Britain Exchequers is, that Northern Ireland receives so much reserved taxes as with the proceeds of transferred taxes will meet essential civilian expenditure, and the balance is retained in the Imperial Exchequer as Northern Ireland's financial contribution from taxation to the war effort.

Industry (Taxation Relief)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the suggested tax law changes of the U.S.A. intended to aid re-conversion financing for industry; and if he can state that at least equal assistance will be forthcoming for British industry.

I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the taxation proposals made in the recently published United States Report by the Director of War Mobilisation and Reconversion. These proposals relate generally to accelerated depreciation allowances, to the immediate availability of post-war refunds and to alterations in the Excess Profits Tax of the United States. So far as I am aware they have not been translated into law. I would remind my hon. Friend that the Income Tax Bill at present before the House provides for substantial taxation relief for industry in this country by way of depreciation allowances and otherwise, to assist in re-equipment and modernisation, and that our Excess Profits Tax law provides for the payment of the post-war credits for the same purpose in respect of such Excess Profits Tax as has been paid at the 100 per cent, rate.

Mexican Mission To Britain

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a Mexican business and financial mission is shortly to visit London; and if he will give an undertaking that no financial facilities will be accorded to the Mexican Government until the latter have made restitution to the British investors who have suffered financial loss as a result of their default.

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the possibility of the grant of loans or credits to the Mexican Government. I understand that the object of the Mission is primarily commercial, and that there is no question of any such facilities being sought. I am, of course, aware of the unfortunate position of British holders of Mexican Government and Railway Bonds.

British Commonwealth And Empire War Casualties

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that casualties in this war to personnel serving in the American Forces fighting side by side with the British are published in the British Press almost weekly and that the last return of our own casualties was inclusive up to 30th November, 1944; and how this comes about.

Yes, Sir. I am, however, circulating a statement showing the casualties to all ranks of the British Commonwealth and Empire Forces reported from 3rd September, 1939, to 28th February, 1945. This statement also includes casualties through enemy action suffered by merchant seamen and civilians.


I. Casualties to all ranks of British Commonwealth and Empire Forces reported from 3rd September, 1939 to 28th February, 1945.*

(Excluding deaths from natural causes.)
United Kingdom (*)Canada.AustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaIndiaColoniesTotal
KILLED, including died of wounds or injuries.216,28731,43919,4309,3346,03019,4205,044306,984
PRISONERS OF WAR, including Service internees.183,2428,36725,2768,50114,62979,701 †6,754326,470

*Including men from overseas serving in these forces, in particular from Newfoundland and Southern Rhodesia.

† Including 21,181 officers and other ranks missing but presumed to be prisoners of war.

NOTES: (a) Figures of civilian casualties due to enemy action and casualties to merchant seamen are excluded from the above table (see below).
(b) The figures for prisoners of war (except for Australia and the Colonies) include those who have been repatriated or have escaped. If only those who are still reported prisoners of war are included the figures of total casualties are as follows:
United Kingdom 667,797, Canada 88,752, Australia 87,256, New Zealand 35,322, South Africa 29,838, India 159,562, Colonies 30,652, Total 1,099,179.

II. Casualties to Merchant Seamen due to Enemy Action reported from 3rd September, 1939 to 28th February, 1945.

DEATHS (including deaths presumed in missing ships)30,179

Note: The figures include nationals of the Dominions, India and the Colonies serving on British registered ships but exclude deaths of nationals of the United Kingdom serving on ships registered outside the United Kingdom.

III. Civilian Casualties due to Enemy Action in the United Kingdom from 3rd September, 1939 to 28th February, 1945.

KILLED (including missing believed killed)59,793
INJURED and detained in hospital84,749

Ministry Of National Insurance (Staffing)

asked the Minister of National Insurance if he will make a comprehensive statement on present plans for staffing the Ministry of National Insurance.

I have completed arrangements for establishing a small Headquarters staff and for carrying on the existing administrative work of the Ministry as transferred to it by the recent Orders in Council. The nature and extent of the further staff which the Department will require must depend on the form of the relevant legislation as passed by Parliament. I cannot as present add to the general indications given in the White Paper on Social Insurance Part I and Part II as supplemented by the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Debate on 3rd November last, and by the reply I gave on 10th November last, to my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Sir W. Smithers).

Parliamentary Elections (Service Candidates)

asked the Prime Minister whether he will take steps to arrange for Service candidates for Parliament to continue to draw their pay whilst on leave to fight an election.

Service candidates for Parliament will not draw pay from nomination day until the declaration of the poll.

War Criminals (Sanctuary)

asked the Prime Minister whether he will take steps to make sure that no war criminals find sanctuary in any country embraced within the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Women's Land Army

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has any statement to make in regard to the question of gratuities to members of the W.L.A. after the war with Germany.

I can add nothing to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to-day.

Raf Officers (Resignations)

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that a number of R.A.F. officers over the age of 50 are having their commissions terminated after long periods of service and only being granted 42 days' leave; and whether he is prepared to increase this to 56 days, in view of their excellent service and the difficulty they may have in being reinstated in civil life.

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for Peters-field (Sir G. Jeffreys) and the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) on 14th February.