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Written Answers

Volume 414: debated on Thursday 25 October 1945

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Written Answers To Questions

Public Health

Institution Patients (Relatives' Contributions)

asked the Minister of Health if he will consider sending out a circular to public assistance committees putting liable relatives of indoor patients in public institutions on the same basis as outdoor relief, such as 7s. per week maximum.

Mental Nurses (South Ockendon Colony)

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that in the South Ockendon Colony for mental defectives in Essex, the nursing staff is less than 50 per cent. of actual requirements; that a young student nurse is often in complete charge of 50 to 60 patients; and, pending an improvement in the nursing situation, if he will agree to an extra allowance being paid to such student nurses in recognition of the additional work and responsibility.

I am aware that, as a result of the widespread shortage of nurses, the position on the female side of the Colony is as stated in the first two parts of the Question. As regards the last part of the Question, any proposals for amendment of the recommendations of the Rushcliffe Sub-Committee on the salaries of mental nurses, which are of national application, should be made to the Sub-Committee.

Hospitals, South Wales

asked the Minister of Health the number of maternity hospitals provided by local authorities in South Wales; and what is the total accommodation in those hospitals.

There are nine maternity hospitals provided by local authorities in South Wales, having a total of 164 beds.

asked the Minister of Health how many voluntary hospitals in South Wales exclude non-contributors from entry.

I understand that 24 of the 45 voluntary hospitals in South Wales normally exclude non-contributors, but that all except one admit cases of urgency although non-contributory.

asked the Minister of Health what facilities are provided in South Wales for hospital treatment for children suffering from rheumatism; and whether steps are now contemplated to improve those facilities.

There are two hospitals in South Wales providing facilities for treatment of children suffering from rheumatism, namely the Lord Pontypridd Children's Hospital, Cardiff, containing25 beds, provided by the public health authority, and Brynteg House, Merthyr Tydfil, with 18 beds, provided by the local education authority. It will be a principal object of the proposed National Health Service to ensure that there is adequate provision of all forms of hospital accommodation.

Nurses (Training)

asked the Minister of Health if, in view of the shortage of nurses, he will reconsider the regulation by which former V.A.D.s and auxiliary nurses, wishing to qualify as State registered nurses, will only be exempted from six months of their four years' training.

This is primarily a matter for the General Nursing Council, who decided after full consideration and discussion that the remission to be allowed in suitable cases should not exceed six months, thus reducing the minimum period of training from three to two and a half years. I have agreed to approve a rule to that effect.

Midwifery

asked the Minister of Health what amendments have recently been made by the Central Midwives Board to their rules concerning the presence of a second person at the time of administration of analgesia for the relief of pain during childbirth.

The rules are, with my agreement, being altered to permit the second person to be anyone acceptable to the patient and considered suitable by the midwife. The requirement that the second person must have a specified qualification or experience is being withdrawn.

Nursing Staff, Highcroft Hall, Birmingham

asked the Minister of Health if he has considered the representations made by the town clerk of Birmingham on the shortage of nursing staff at Highcroft Hall; and if steps are being taken to remedy the situation that has arisen at this institution.

Yes, Sir. I am seeking to assist this institution by allowing 24 members of the Civil Nursing Reserve to remain there, and other matters raised by the Town Clerk are being considered. The shortage of nursing staff is, however, general throughout the country, and I hope shortly to inform the House of the steps which are being taken in conjunction with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service to remedy the situation

Housing

Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act, 1944

asked the Minister of Health if he intends to continue in force the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act, 1944, and to amend Section 6 (6) thereof, to provide that once temporary bungalows have been erected on land in which a local authority is in possession pursuant to an authorisation under that section, such land, when no longer required for temporary bungalows may be used by the local authority for any purpose for which they are enabled to hold land.

There is nothing in this Section as it stands to prevent land used for the erection of temporary houses being subsequently appropriated for any other approved purpose for which a local authority are empowered to acquire land.

Possession (Claims)

asked the Minister of Health what priority is to be given to ex-Service and Service personnel in their applications for houses and their claims for reoccupation of their own houses.

The arrangements under which Service and ex-Servicemen can obtain consideration for housing accommodation are explained in Circular 109–45, of which I will send the hon. Member a copy. On the question of re-occupation I would refer to the reply I gave on 9th October to my hon. Friend the Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Mr. Medland) in regard to the release of requisitioned houses owned by Servicemen. Houses coming within the scope of the Rent Restrictions Acts that have been let by Service personnel are dealt with in the Report of the Ridley Committee on Rent Control, which is under consideration.

asked the Minister of Health what is the position of those members of the Forces who let their own houses and now seek possession of them.

Where a person was owner of a house before the war and now requires possession for himself, the court has power to grant possession, without needing to be satisfied that there is alternative accommodation for the tenant, if it is satisfied that it is reasonable to do so after considering the degree of hardship on both sides.

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the unnecessary expense and hardship caused both to the house-owner desiring to enter into possession of his property and to the tenant desiring to obtain possession, he will introduce legislation to provide for the establishment of local tribunals to deal with local applications for possession with the minimum cost to the persons involved.

I think that it would be a mistake to supersede the ordinary courts by special tribunals to deal with applications for possession.

Prefabricated House (Models)

asked the Minister of Works the estimated cost of each of the three types of prefabricated two-storey houses, models of which have been erected at Alexandra Palace, for the house itself and for the total cost, including roads and sewers, but excluding the land.

The models at Alexandra Palace are intended to demonstrate the lay-out of rooms and fittings in the house plans prepared in consultation with the Advisory Technical Panel of Local Authority representatives and do not represent any particular types of prefabricated house construction. No figures of cost can, therefore, be given.

asked the Minister of Health the number of applications made to the Orpington Urban District Council, the Bromley Urban District Council and the Beckenham Urban District Council, respectively, for houses; the number of houses in the course of erection; the number

Orpington U.D.Bromley B.Beckenham B.
(1) Number of applications for houses.Approximately 1,5002,983 (including 500 from persons living outside the Borough).1,650
(2) Number of houses in the course of erection:—
(a) PermanentNILNILNIL
(b) TemporaryNil (but foundations being made).233 (including houses which have been erected).49 (including houses which have been erected).
(3) (a) Number of permanent houses for which authorisation given to go to tender.80NIL5
(b) Number of permanent houses for which tenders have been approved.NILNILNIL
(c) Allocation of temporary houses.300350200
As regards the last part, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement I made in the Debate on 17th October.

Uni-Seco Houses, Gravesend

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that although 118 Uni-Seco houses were allocated to the Gravesend Borough Council several months ago and his Department was informed by the council in October that 25 of the sites were fully prepared, the remainder being ready at the rate of 15 per week, none of the houses have yet been supplied; and who is responsible for this delay.

There have been difficulties in production which have made it impossible to deliver these houses as soon as had been hoped, but they will be supplied as soon as available.

Directed Workers

asked the Minister of Health whether he will take steps, in conjunction with local authorities, to secure a high priority in their allotment of housing accommodation for men of low medical category, unfit for active service, who, having volunteered during the war for work of national importance and having been directed to work away from

approved; and the number to be erected during each year for the next five years in each of these areas.

The figures in respect of the first three parts of the Question are as follow:their own home towns, are now unable to find accommodation on their return to their original employment.

I do not think that I can usefully add anything to the Circular sent to local authorities on the 9th October requesting them to give early consideration to the Report of the Housing Management Sub-Committee of the Central Housing Advisory Committee, of which a copy was enclosed. I am sending the hon. and gallant Member a copy of the circular and report.

Empty Houses (Requisitioning)

asked the Minister of Health if he will send fresh instructions to local authorities defining clearly their powers to requisition empty property.

I have no reason to believe that Clerks of local authorities are not fully aware of the powers which have been delegated to them.

Temporary Houses, Northern Ireland

asked the Minister of Health whether he is now in a position to make a statement, as promised, of the conversations between himself and the Minister of Health in Northern Ireland on the question of homes for the homeless.

asked the Minister of Health what steps have been taken, in conjunction with the Government of Northern Ireland, to supply the 1,000 prefabricated houses for County Down which were asked for some time ago.

The Minister of Health and Local Government for Northern Ireland has represented that there is an urgent need for temporary houses for Northern Ireland, and it is proposed to increase the orders already placed with manufacturers for temporary houses so as to include a small allowance for Northern Ireland.

Housing Associations (Grants)

asked the Minister of Health whether the Government proposes to continue the arrangements under which housing associations, as defined by the Housing Act, 1936, are entitled to receive for houses, which have been built to let, the same grants from the Exchequer as the houses would receive if provided by the local authority.

My hon. Friend presumably has in mind arrangements made and approved under Section 94 of the Housing Act, 1936, as amended by Section 8 of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1938. Any proposals submitted by local authorities under those provisions would have to be considered individually on merits in the light of general housing policy.

American Camps (Housing Accommodation)

asked the Minister of Works what steps are being taken to ensure that all structures, equipment, furnishings and accessories that have been used for the accommodation of U.S. Forces are, on relinquishment, made available for the housing of people for whom no other accommodation is available.

When the American camps are no longer required by the Service Departments and are handed over to my Ministry for disposal, I will gladly consider in conjunction with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health their use for housing purposes. Any suitable equipment which is redundant will be retained for disposal with the camp.

Aluminium Houses

asked the Minister of Works the approximate cost of the aluminium bungalow and the number on order.

The suggested figure of cost for the aluminium temporary house is £1,365. The number on order is 50,000, but this figure is subject to negotiation.

House Fittings

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production if he is aware of the existence of a considerable number of manufacturers who possess productive plant by which non-standardised house baths and other components can be produced; and, as encouragement of such firms would bring an increase in supply and variety, if he will, in consultation with the President of the Board of Trade, give them the necessary facilities.

I am aware of the existence of plant capacity for the production of baths and other housing fittings of non-standard types, but, in many cases, such capacity could only be used at the expense of diverting labour from the production of standard types which are the main requirement. My right hon. Friend is, however, prepared to consider facilitating the production of fittings of non-standard types in any cases where the total supplies of the article would be increased by this means. Each case must be considered on its merits.

Rest Centres And Shelters (Sleeping Accommodation)

asked the Minister of Health, in view of overcrowding in certain badly-bombed areas he will consider, in consultation with local authorities affected, fitting some war-time air-raid shelters, or rest centres, with bunks and make them available for sleeping, where the need is proven.

I do not consider that either shelters or rest centres are suitable for continued use as sleeping accommodation as suggested by my hon. Friend.

Rural Water Supplies

asked the Minister of Health the number of schemes sub- mitted to him under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Act of 1944 for providing new water supplies or improving existing supplies; and the amount of the contributions he has so far promised to make towards the cost of such schemes.

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to my reply of 11th October to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for West Woolwich (Mr. Berry) of which I am sending him a copy. I hope shortly to be in a position to indicate to the local authorities concerned the amount of the contribution which will be made towards the cost of schemes they have submitted.

asked the Minister of Health what action he proposes to take with those authorities who up to the present have not submitted schemes under the Rural Water Supplies Act, 1944.

I am keeping in close touch with the progress made by rural authorities, and I am encouraging them to complete the preparation of their schemes so that work on them may be carried out as soon as the labour position allows. I have no reason to think that these authorities are not proceeding as rapidly as they can with the present shortage of technical staff available to them.

Sewer Construction, Orpington

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to provide labour for the contractors working for the Orpington Urban District Council on the construction of a sewer from Pratt's Bottom to Knockholt, which is a priority job.

I will do what I can having regard to other no less pressing demands in connection with the housing programme.

Disabled Persons, Employment (Advisory Committee)

asked the Minister of Labour what bodies were invited to nominate persons to serve on the Advisory Committee on Disablement Problems; and why no provision has been made for representation of the British Legion.

My hon. Friend is, I think, referring to the National Advisory Council set up under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act. No organisations were invited to nominate representatives to serve on this Council, the members of which serve in their individual capacities and not as representatives of particular organisations. The views of ex-Service organisations, including the British Legion, were, however, obtained before the appointments were made.

Demobilisation

Minister's Statement (Publication)

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make available to Parliament in an official paper his statement on demobilisation of 2nd October, 1945.

Yes, Sir. I propose to include the information given in my statement of 2nd October in the pamphlet to which my right hon. Friend referred in the Debate on 22nd October, and which will be made available to all Members as soon as possible.

Officers Training Corps

asked the Minister of Labour why the period of training for men who were placed in the O.T.C. has been deducted when arranging their groups for demobilisation purposes.

The only service that is recognised for release purposes is whole-time service with the Armed Forces, since 3rd September, 1939, which counts for Service pay, or service since that date in the Merchant Navy.

Prison Officers

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many trained officers of the prison service are still in His Majesty's Forces; and what steps he is taking to secure their early release.

Of the 400 established prison officers who have served with His Majesty's Forces approximately 300 were still serving on 1st October. The release of 40 officers under Class B has been approved, but not all these officers have yet returned.

Scotland (Mental Nursing)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has yet received recommendations from the Scottish Nurses' Salaries Committee relating to mental nurses; and when they will be published.

Yes. The Committee have submitted to the Secretary of State their Fourth Report in which they make recommendations dealing with nurses in mental hospitals and mental deficiency institutions and nurses employed in mental wards, mental deficiency wards or observation wards of general or other hospitals or Public Assistance institutions. The Report is being presented to Parliament as a Command Paper and copies are available to-day in the Vote Office.The Secretary of State is communicating with local authorities and voluntary mental hospitals commending the Committee's recommendations and offering a 50 per cent. Exchequer grant towards the increased expenditure incurred in adopting the recommendations.

Embassies And Consulates (Staff Losses, Compensation)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what compensation has been paid to British officials in embassies, legations and consulates who lost personal property which they had to leave behind in enemy countries and enemy-occupied countries during the war.

Compensation has been paid in certain exceptional cases to British officials employed in His Majesty's Missions and Consular Establishments abroad in respect of clothing lost as a result of enemy action. The amounts so paid provisionally have, subject to certain limits, been the estimated minimum amounts required to enable officers to re-equip themselves with clothing essential to the performance of their duties. Compensation will be paid, within certain limits, in cases where loss of other effects has definitely been established.

National Fire Service

Air-Raid Sirens

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that the Fire Service Department have proposed to local authorities that air-raid sirens be used for calling in part-time firemen; and whether, in view of the widespread public distress and dissatisfaction which such a proposal would cause, he will give immediate instructions for it to be withdrawn.

Full consideration was given to the possibility of public dissatisfaction before it was decided to authorise the use of air-raid sirens for this purpose. I am, of course, aware of the relief which most people felt at getting rid of the noise of air-raid sirens and I agree that it would have been wrong to use the "alert" signal. The signal given will, however, in all cases be similar to that of the "raiders passed," and my information is that in most cases people in the areas concerned recognize the value of this means of calling out part-time firemen and do not object to its use, which is of course very infrequent.

Staff, King's Lynn

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that there are still 33 male and nine female N.F.S. personnel stationed in King's Lynn, and as these numbers, in this particular district, are wasteful from a financial and man-power standpoint, will he give instructions for the necessary reduction to be made by transfer or otherwise.

The strength of the National Fire Service is under continuous review and very large reductions have already been made. Further reductions will be made as soon as circumstances permit and this is one of the places in which I think it will be practicable to make a substantial reduction at an early date.

Dartmoor Prison (Use As Borstal Institution)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of Borstal boys proposed to be accommodated at Dartmoor convict prison; and what factors are taken into account when allocating the particular boys for transfer.

The answer to the first part of the Question is about 250. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave on 11th October to a Question by the Senior Member for the English Universities (Miss Rathbone).

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if in view of the fact that Dartmoor prison is to be used as a Borstal establishment, he will consider changing the name and thus dissociate it from the past.

I am, of course, in full sympathy with the object which the hon. Member has in mind, and I am considering his suggestion whether a change of name would be effective for this purpose.

Electoral Registration

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he can now make a comprehensive statement on the extensive disfranchisement of Servicemen at the General Election.

I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend on 11thinstant. Before expressing any opinion on the effectiveness of the arrangements for Service Voting at the General Election I think it would be better to await the presentation of the information which I hope shortly to be able to lay before the House.

Police

Metropolitan Force (Political Activities)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what ranks of the Metropolitan Police are permitted to attend political clubs and engage in political discussions.

Apart from a provision in the Metropolitan Police Act, 1860, making it illegal for a member of the Metropolitan Police Force to attempt to influence an elector in exercising his Parliamentary vote, there is no regulation or order on this subject applying to the Metropolitan Police Force.

Police Bill (Consultations)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the consultations with the County Councils Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations promised at the time of the amalgamation of certain police forces under Defence Regulations took place prior to the introduction of the present Bill.

I am not sure to what promise the hon. Member is referring; but discussions did in fact take place with representatives of the County Councils Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations before the Police Bill was introduced.

Aliens (British Visas)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what limits of validity are imposed in the granting of visas for foreigners visiting this country; and is there any discrimination made in the limit of time permitted as between the subjects of different foreign countries.

The validity of a visa does not depend on the nationality of the applicant, but on how soon he will be able to reach the United Kingdom, having regard to the frequency of passages from the country where it is granted and the time the journey is likely to take. The visa is not a permit to enter this country or to stay for a particular period. The time for which he is permitted to stay depends on his reasons for coming here, as explained by him to the Immigration Officer when he applies for leave to land.

Foreign Journalists

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many journalists of Austrian, Hungarian, Rumanian and Bulgarian nationality, respectively, are now working in Great Britain.

Clubs

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many clubs have applied for registration since Defence Order 55c came into force; how many such applications have been objected to by the police and declined by the justices; and what police or other reports he has received as to the cause of the diminution in the applications made.

The number of applications was 697 in 1942, 649 in 1943 and 494 in 1944, and it is estimated that the total number of applications made between the 6th August, 1942, when the regulation came into force, and the end of 1944, was about 1,400. The police objected in 183 cases and there were 35 appeals of which the Justices rejected 29. The decrease in the number of applications was no doubt due partly to the deterrent effect of the regulation on persons who might otherwise have applied for the registration of undesirable clubs, and partly to general war-time conditions, such as shortage of premises and supplies, and the fact that persons who might have formed a club in normal times were fully occupied with war-time duties.

Prisoners (Photographs)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has considered the photograph, a copy of which has been sent to him, of a man accused of murder, walking handcuffed to two police officers in what appears to be a public place prior to his first appearance in court; and, as such photographs are undesirable and may on occasion impede the course of justice, if he will take steps to deny photographers such opportunities in future.

I entirely agree that the publication of such photographs is undesirable, not only on general grounds of taste and of the unnecessary pain and distress which they may cause, but also because, as my hon. Friend suggests, they may on occasion hamper the course of justice. Every care is taken by the police to avoid, so far as possible, exposing persons in custody to the public view, but I understand that in the case in question the photograph was taken while the accused was being taken from the police station to the court, which is just across the street.

Taximen (Tipping)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make the issue of a licence for taxi-cabs to ply for hire dependent upon the charging of a fare which includes tips; and provide for the withdrawal of licence should any tip be accepted.

No, Sir. I am advised that it would not be practicable to enforce such a requirement.

Residence Permits, Northern Ireland

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Northern Ireland Home Secretary applied to this Government for the prolongation of the Residence Permit (Northern Ireland) Regulations Order, 1942; whether there have been conversations or communications between him and the Home Secretary for Northern Ireland on this matter; and whether a like Order is in operation in Great Britain, Eire or any part of the British Commonwealth.

Before the Defence Regulation 18 (2AA) was made in 1942, it was made clear to the House that it was contemplated that the scheme would be kept in existence for a reasonable time after the end of the war, and that if the Regulation should expire before the demobilised men had reasonable opportunity of being absorbed into employment the necessary legislation would be introduced in the United Kingdom Parliament for a temporary prolongation of the system. There have been frequent consultations between my Department and the Ministry of Home. Affairs in Northern Ireland with regard to the administration of the Order made by my predecessor in pursuance of this Regulation. So far as there is any corresponding control over immigration into Great Britain, it is effected by the permit system established under the other provisions of Defence Regulation 18.

World Youth Conference, London

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that permission to enter this country has been refused to the Albanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Roumanian youth delegations chosen to represent these countries at the World Youth Conference to be held in London shortly; and whether he will immediately reconsider this refusal to issue permits in view of the importance for the future peace of the world that the youth of all countries should be brought into contact with one another.

Owing to a misunderstanding, for which my Department was not responsible, instructions were given to the effect stated in the first part of the Question. As a result of steps taken by me these instructions have been countermanded.

Education

School Uniforms

asked the Minister of Education whether she has considered the representations of the Oxford Branch of S.S.A.F.A. regarding the absence of financial provision to assist parents whose children are compulsorily attending secondary schools and who have to purchase school uniforms and other necessary items; and with what result.

The hon. Member has been good enough to send me a communication on this subject which he has received from the Oxford Branch of the S.S.A.F.A. As I have informed him, the Regulations for Scholarships and Other Benefits, made under Section 81 of the Education Act, 1944, empower local education authorities to defray the expenses of children at school, including the cost of school uniforms, in order that they may take part in any school activities without hardship to their parents.

Emergency Training Colleges

asked the Minister of Education how many tutors have been selected for the emergency training colleges for intending teachers; and how many of these have served in the Forces.

About 115 men and 115 women are in various stages of selection or appointment to posts on the teaching staffs of emergency training colleges. These selections were nearly all made before releases from the Forces had begun and as a result very few, probably only two or three, of these teachers have served in the Forces in the war just ended. We are now able to consider men and women serving in the Forces, and hope to recruit a substantial proportion of the further staffs that will be required from those with recent Service experience.

asked the Minister of Education if serving men are encouraged to apply for emergency training as teachers well before the date of demobilisation so that they can begin studying while still in the Services.

Yes, Sir. Announcements have been made through Service channels to men and women in the three Services inviting them to make application now to the Ministry of Education. Suitable candidates are interviewed as soon as possible.

asked the Minister of Education how many emergency training colleges are now in operation; how many prospective teachers are undergoing training in such colleges; and how many it is contemplated will complete their training by 1st April, 1947.

Four emergency training colleges are now in operation, with 630 students. In addition there are 88 students at emergency courses attached to ordinary training colleges. As I have already stated, I expect that by 1st April, 1947, the number of students who will have completed their training will be about, 3,500.

Excepted Districts

asked the Minister of Education when she intends to implement the assurances which were given on behalf of the Government during the passage of the Education Bill as to the extent of the delegation of educational duties and powers which will be exercisable by the excepted districts.

I cannot be expected to commit myself to adhere to any assurances that my predecessors may have given as to the manner in which they proposed to administer the various provisions of the Education Act. I can, however, say that I agree generally with the principles embodied in the reply given by my predecessor on 8th February last. I am sending a copy of the question and answer to my hon. Friend.

Medical And Dental Training

asked the Minister of Education how many applications for training for the medical and dental professions have been received from ex-Service personnel under the Government's Further Education and Training Scheme; and in how many cases have such applications been granted.

It would not be possible for my Department, without a disproportionate amount of labour, to give the number of applications for training for the professions referred to. The number of awards made so far is 64 for a medical training and 23 for a dental training.

Text Books

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware of the difficulty which is being experienced by educational establishments in this country in obtaining ordinary school text books owing to the shortage of paper and labour; and whether she is yet in a position to announce any new plans to overcome this difficulty.

I am aware that the shortage of school text books, which is attributable to war-time restrictions on labour and materials, is still causing difficulty. I would, however, refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Macclesfield (Air Commodore Harvey) on 18th October, a copy of which I am sending him, and to which I am at present not in a position to add anything.

Open Scholarships And Exhibitions (Assistance)

asked the Minister of Education why university students who have accepted Ministry of Education grants and are thereby debarred from taking open scholarships and exhibitions, are refused deferment of military service, on the grounds that they are not holders of open scholarships or exhibitions.

So far as I am aware, acceptance of assistance from my Department does not debar a student from taking an open scholarship or exhibition.

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware of the decision taken by the Cardiff Education Committee to defer the granting of financial assistance to scholarship holders; and whether she will consult this authority in order that Cardiff students shall not be at a disadvantage by comparison with students from other areas.

Local education authorities are revising their arrangements for scholarships and other benefits in accordance with new Regulations which have been made under Section 81 of the Education Act, 1944. Some authorities have been able to secure approval to revised arrangements in time to bring them into operation this year. Others will not be in a position to do so until next year, but in the meantime they can continue to make awards under existing approved arrangements. Cardiff propose to defer the change to the new system until 1946, but they have been asked by my Department to consider whether more generous assistance could not be given immediately to deserving candidates now entering university colleges.

Penketh And Sankey Modern School

asked the Minister of Education if her attention has been drawn to the long delay in obtaining sanction to complete the Penketh and Sankey modern school, Lancashire County, which was released from occupation by the N.F.S. early in 1945; to the refusal of permission to allow the gymnasium to be included in the restoration work permitted at this stage; and whether she will now agree to the whole school being completed and made ready for occupation by the earliest possible date.

Proposals to complete this building were originally submitted in March, and in view of the severe restrictions on building work were returned to the local education authority for revision. Revised proposals were subsequently submitted and considered by my Department in the light of paragraph 4 of Circular 48, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, and the local education authority were informed last month of my approval in principle. Plans, specifications and other particulars are now awaited and the matter will be dealt with expeditiously when these are received. In view of the shortage of timber the local education authority have agreed that the completion of the gymnasium is impracticable at present.

Harvesting Operations (Children)

asked the Minister of Education whether, in view of the labour shortage in agriculture, she will instruct local education authorities to give all assistance possible in gathering the 1946 potato harvest.

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture has asked me, and I have agreed, to invite local education authorities to continue for 1946 arrangements similar to those which have been made for this year to enable school children to assist in urgent seasonal agricultural operations for which no other labour can be made available. I shall be communicating with local education authorities on the matter in due course.

Clubs And Play Centres

asked the Minister of Education what steps she is taking to encourage local education authorities to make use of Clause 53 of the Education Act, 1944, for the purpose of assisting voluntary bodies to run children's clubs and play centres for children under the age of 14.

In Circular 13, dated 10th November, 1944, and in Circular 51, dated 15th June, 1945, copies of which I am sending the hon. Member, local education authorities were reminded of the importance of providing healthy leisure-time activities for school children and of their responsibilities under Section 53 of the Education Act, 1944. Attention was called to the work already done in this field by voluntary bodies, and local education authorities were encouraged to assist and co-operate with them. I attach great importance to the development of this service, and I hope that despite their many other preoccupations, local education authorities will press on with it.

Specialist Teachers

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that under Circular 30 hundreds of existing and successful teachers with specialist qualifications in art, music, Froebel, speech therapy and physical training are being classed as unqualified teachers and therefore do not qualify for the new Burnham basic scale and that new entrants in art and music are at a worse disadvantage, as regards salary and status; and whether she will reconsider this position.

Under the provisions of Circular 30 the great majority of teachers with specialist qualifications of the types to which the hon. Member refers are entitled to the status of qualified teacher. The circular also makes provision for representations to be made by a local education authority or other employer in special cases which do not fall within its general classifications. On my present information I see no reason to modify these arrangements. The position of speech therapists raises special problems which will be dealt with in a circular to be issued very shortly.

Teachers' Salaries, Northumberland

asked the Minister of Education "whether she is aware that the teachers employed by the Northumberland County Council have not yet been paid their increases on the Burnham scale due on 1st April this year; what is the reason for this delay; and when it is anticipated that these new rates will be paid.

The local education authority have, I presume, deferred payment of the new Burnham scales pending the issue of the Committees' full Reports containing their detailed recommendations for the application of the scales. These Reports were presented to me on 31st August and have now been approved. Copies will, I hope, be despatched to local education authorities to-morrow and the authorities will then be in a position to proceed to make the necessary adjustments which, of course, will be retrospective.

Students (Grants)

asked the Minister of Education whether she has considered the recommendation of the Association of University Teachers, a copy of which has been sent to her, that all grants to students should cover full fees, plus £156 per year living allowance or £196 in the case of London students; and if she proposes to take action along those lines.

The grants made by my Department to students at universities, other than intending teachers, provide for the payment of fees and of maintenance allowances according to need, which are based on standard figures of maintenance recommended to the Department by the various university scholarship committees. The rates are reviewed triennially, and the last review was conducted earlier this year. No general alteration was recommended, but several committees suggested that the figures should be reconsidered early in 1946. This will be done, and the rates recommended by the Association of University Teachers will be borne in mind.

Unfinished School Buildings

asked the Minister of Education whether priority is now given to complete the building of schools which have remained partially constructed since 1939.

I have informed local education authorities in Circular 64, issued on 27th September, a copy of which I am sending the hon. Member, that any particular casein which an authority thinks that provision for raising the school age can be made most satisfactorily and economically by completing a building left unfinished owing to war conditions should be submitted to the Ministry without delay in order that they may consider it in relation to the allocation of building labour and materials.

Corporal Punishment

asked the Minister of Education whether her attention has been called to the case of a child eight years of age recently hit with a rubber instrument and injured by a headmaster; and whether she will consider issuing instructions to all schools under her jurisdiction to the effect that all forms of whipping, flogging and hitting or other forms of corporal punishment on small children are liable to be treated as bodily assault and action taken in the courts for any infringement.

I have seen the newspaper reports of this case. The school in question is not one which falls within my jurisdiction. With regard to the second part of the Question, there is no evidence that the schools under my jurisdiction require any such instructions as those suggested.

British War Effort (Report, Publication)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will issue the statement on the British war effort agreed to by the U.S. and Canadian Governments as a White Paper.

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the Report made under the auspices of the Combined Production and Resources Board on the Impact of the War on Civilian Consumption in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Arrangements are being made for this Report to be published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, and it is understood that the United States Printing Office are also printing a Report for publication in that country.

Trade And Commerce

Repair Shops (Supplies)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that some ex-Servicemen who have been granted Board of Trade licences to set up bicycle repair shops and other similar shops are unable to find any firm to supply them with the necessary goods; and whether some action will be taken in connection with the granting of these licences to ensure that parallel steps are taken to ensure that manufacturers and wholesalers will be able to give the same facilities to the newly-licenced ex-Servicemen as to existing traders.

A licence is not required to open a bicycle or other repair business which is not associated with a retail business. The supply position of some repair parts is still difficult, but I am assured that ex-Servicemen are given the most sympathetic consideration in the allocation of available supplies. Should any ex-Serviceman find, after application to wholesalers and to the Cycle Trade Union, that he is unable to obtain a reasonable supply, I will certainly look into the case if details are provided.

Watch And Clock Repairs

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate numbers of workers are available to undertake urgently needed watch and clock repairs.

I am in consultation with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade regarding the labour requirements of the watch and clock repairing industry. Training under the Vocational Training scheme for this occupation has been arranged in consultation with both sides of the industry, and at the present time 104 persons are in training and steps are being taken to provide additional facilities.

Synthetic Fibres

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a White Paper on the war-time use of synthetic fibres for warm wear and other purposes in the Armed Forces during war.

I have been asked to reply. Synthetic fibres made a valuable contribution to war production, but the extent of their use does not, in my view, justify in present circumstances the publication of a paper such as my hon. Friend suggests.

Proposed International Exhibition, London

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been called to the proposals for holding an international exhibition in London to celebrate the centenary of the exhibition of 1851; and whether, in view of the considerable notice which must be given for such an international function of this kind, he will set up a small committee at the earliest opportunity to consider whether the proposal can be implemented and to advise on the necessary action.

Yes, Sir. In view of the important contribution which exhibitions, fairs and other forms of public display might make in the promotion of export trade, I have appointed a Committee to advise me on the policy and plans that should be adopted to derive the maximum advantage from such displays. I have particularly asked for the Committee's views on the suggestion that an International Exhibition should be held in London in 1951.The following are the names of the Committee:The Lord Ramsden, O.B.E. (Chairman).Sir Thomas Barlow, K.B.E. (Chairman, Council of Industrial Design).Sir Peter F. B. Bennett, O.B.E., J.P., M.P. (Member of Parliament, Edg-baston Division of Birmingham).Mr. F. B. Duncan (Director, Gramophone Co., Ltd., etc.).Mr. W. Evans (Director, Chas. H. Challen and Son, Ltd.).Mr. H. Eyles, O.B.E. (Secretary, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce).Mr. Luke Fawcett, O.B.E. (General Secretary, Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers).

Mr. E. W. Goodale, M.C. (of Warner and Sons, Ltd.).

Mr. E. H Lever, F.L.A. (Chairman, Richard Thomas and Co., Ltd., etc.).

Mr. W. Lines (Chairman, Lines Bros, Ltd.).

Sir Guy Locock, C.M.G. (Director, Federation of British Industries).

Mr. J. McLean (of George Wills and Sons, Ltd.).

Mr. J. Davidson Pratt, O.B.E., M.A., B.Sc. (Director and Secretary, Association of British Chemical Manufacturers).

Lieut. Colonel H. Riggall, J.P. (Director, Ruston and Hornby, Ltd.).

Sir Raymond Streat, C.B.E. (Chairman, Cotton Board).

Mr. Kenneth H. Wilson, J.P. (President, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce).

National Insurance

Widows' Pensions

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether, in the proposed Bill to extend and improve the existing scheme of social insurance, provision will be made for pensions to be granted to persons who are now excluded from pension rights, such as widows whose late husbands were not contributors under existing State pension schemes and elderly persons who are not now entitled to old age pensions until they attain 70 years of age.

The position of these and other classes of persons will be carefully considered, but I cannot anticipate the terms of the legislation to be introduced later in the session.

Tin Miners (Medical' Examination)

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether, with a view to minimising the incidence of silicosis in the tin mines in this country, he will ensure that intending miners are medically examined before they take up work and that all tin-miners have the benefit of periodical medical examinations.

Whilst I am in full sympathy with the hon. Member's desire that all steps should be taken to minimise the incidence of this disease, I regret that the difficulty of finding doctors with the special experience necessary to carry out the examinations makes it impossible for me at the present time to propose the extension of the statutory requirement which he suggests, but the matter will be kept under review.

Unemployment Benefits

asked the Minister of National Insurance if British workmen are disallowed unemployment benefit if they refuse work in Northern Ireland.

The allowance or disallowance of unemployment benefit is a matter for the statutory authorities (Insurance Officers, Courts of Referees, the Umpire) under the Unemployment Insurance Acts and depends upon the circumstances of the individual claim. In general, in the case of a British worker, employment is not regarded as unsuitable for the purposes of those Acts merely because it is situated in Northern Ireland.

National Finance

Dominions And Colonies (Investments)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures His Majesty's Government propose to take to stimulate investment in the Dominions and Colonies, with a view to fostering inter-imperial trade and maintaining employment in this country after demobilisation.

I do not think that His Majesty's Government need take steps to stimulate investment in the Dominions and Colonies at present, in order to foster Empire trade or maintain employment. Many of them hold large sterling balances accumulated during the war, which they will wish to spend on British goods and, in addition, are likely to spend considerable sums here in connection with programmes of development, which they are planning. The Colonies will benefit by the provisions of the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, and it is open to those desiring to raise capital for employment in the Dominions and Colonies to apply in the usual way for permission to make issues in this country.

Firebricks (Tax)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will con- sider the desirability of removing the Purchase Tax on firebricks which are valuable aids to fuel economy.

In my Budget Statement, I have proposed to exempt from Purchase Tax parts of domestic stoves, grates, ranges and fireplaces. This will free from tax those firebricks which are designed to be built into such stoves, etc., but not loose firebricks sold as accessories for domestic fire grates.

Bank Holidays

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give consideration to the granting of an additional Bank Holiday between August Bank Holiday and Christmas as a permanent peace commemoration.

I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to a Question by the hon. and gallant Member for Bedford (Lieutenant Skeffington-Lodge) on 23rd August last, of which I am sending him a copy.

Civil Service Staffs

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he can provide statistics showing the number of non-industrial civil servants before the war in 1939, at the present time and as estimated for 1946, respectively; and when arrangements will be made for a demobilisation scheme to cut down excessive staffs throughout the Civil Service as a whole.

The number of whole-time non-industrial civil servants on 1st April, 1939, was 374,301, and of part-timers 50,595; on 1st July, 1945, the numbers were 666,981 whole-timers and 96,729 part-timers.I am not yet in a position to give an estimate of the strength of the Civil Service in 1946, but Departments are revising their staffing requirements and have been enjoined to ensure that reduction in wartime activities are followed without delay by reduction in their staffs. As to the last part of the Question, arrangements have already been made, with the aid of Whitley machinery, for the orderly and equitable discharge of redundant staff.

"The Conduct Of The War" (Publication)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he will consider the reproduction of General Marshall's report to the United States Congress on "The Conduct of the War," in the same way as "The United States in the World Economy" was reprinted by the Stationery Office in 1944.

A reprint of this report is in course of production by the Stationery Office.

Vagrancy (Conference)

asked the Minister of Health in view of the fact that the number of separate admissions of casuals into institutions during the six months ended 30th June last, for England and Wales was 24,806, when he proposes to implement the promise given by his predecessor to discuss the problem of vagrancy with the local authorities; if he proposes to bring into such discussions representatives of Joint Vagrancy Committees; and if, in view of the urgency of the vagrancy problem and its possible growth in the near future, he will make immediate investigation into the matter and take whatever action is deemed necessary.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to-day to my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford East (Mr. McLeavy).

United Kingdom War Casualties

asked the Prime Minister whether he will subdivide the totals of those killed and wounded by enemy action, while on war service, for England, Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland, respectively.

As the hon. and gallant Member asks for these figures, I will give the best estimates that can be made; but I hope that hon. Members will not seek to found on these estimates, which are based on analyses of samples, any comparison between the war effort of the various parts of the United Kingdom. The estimated number of men in different parts of the United Kingdom in the Ser- vices and Merchant Navy killed and wounded by enemy action while on war service is as follows:

KilledWounded
England205,000221,000
Scotland29,00032,000
Wales12,00012,000
Northern Ireland3,0004,000

British Army

Compassionate Demobilisation

asked the Secretary of State for War when he expects to be able to make a statement setting out the conditions under which the owners of one-man businesses in the Forces can claim demobilisation on compassionate grounds.

Full information regarding this relaxation of the compassionate rules has already been circulated to all concerned through Command Welfare Officers at Home and Command Headquarters abroad. I will, however, arrange for particulars to be made available in the Library of the House.

Commandos

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any statement to make on the future of the Commandos.

The Army Commandos were formed in 1940 for the only kind of offensive operation that we were then able to undertake. During the years of preparation, before the assault on the Continent in 1944, the Commandos were used in many raids and attacks on the enemy-held coasts. Their tasks did not cease with the invasion of Europe, for they took part in many operations until VJ Day, and they have seen service in Burma and on almost every front in this war. The manpower commitments of the Services must, however, now be greatly reduced and it is impracticable for the Army to retain in peace-time specialised units such as the Commandos. But although the Army Commandos are now to be disbanded the lessons which they learnt and the technique which they perfected will be incorporated in the Army training of the future.In addition, a certain number of Commando units will be retained in the Royal Marines, who have themselves furnished during the war half the strength of the Commando force, and who are so fully qualified, by their long tradition and history, to carry on the special role which the Commandos have performed in the war. I take this opportunity of paying tribute to the gallant officers and men who have served in these units.

Vjctory Stamp

asked the Assistant Postmaster General if it is proposed to produce a victory stamp or issue of stamps.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 22nd October to the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom).

Post Office

Telephone Service

asked the Assistant Postmaster General whether he can explain the present delay and confusion in the London telephone exchanges in dealing with calls dialled to TRU, TOL, DIR and O.

I am not aware that there is any confusion in the London Telephone Exchange, but there is serious delay in answering dialled calls, for reasons which I gave in a reply to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Major Boyd-Carpenter) on 11th October. The period of time which has elapsed since then has not been enough for any great improvement to take place, but I am confident that the recruitment position will continue to improve.

asked the Assistant Postmaster General what steps he has in mind for improving the efficiency of the telephone service; and when he proposes to take them.

The efficiency of the telephone service is dependent on the sufficiency of operators and of circuits. The greatest difficulties are in the. London area, and I explained the steps being taken to increase the number of operators in reply to the question asked by the hon. and gallant Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Major Boyd-Carpenter) on 11th October. As regards circuits, about 2,500 new trunk lines have been provided in recent months, and this process is con- tinuing. Improvement in the standard of service must, I am sorry to say, be slow; there will be a considerable amount of new traffic to be absorbed, but I am confident that the improvement though slow will be sure. I am glad to say that I have been able to arrange for the wartime restriction of conversation on long distance telephone calls to six minutes to be removed generally as from 1st November. From that date, it will be applied only when there is congestion on the route concerned. This will be indicated at the time by the operators, and I appeal to the public to assist them by terminating their calls promptly when requested to do so.

Sub-Postmasters (Demobilisation)

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General, why he refuses to sponsor applications on behalf of sub-postmasters for release on the grounds of national interest; and whether steps will be taken to assimilate the practice in these cases to that of other Departments.

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the arrangements under which individual specialists may, on certain conditions, be released from the Forces in Class B. These conditions, which are laid down by the Ministry of Labour and National Service, and apply to all Departments, do not permit me to sponsor applications for the release of a Sub-Postmaster whose early return to civil employment is not vital in the national interest. I am not aware that Post Office practice in regard to Class B releases differs from that of other Government Departments.

Telephone Commercial Accounts

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will give the surplus or deficit on the telephone account annually for the three years prior to 1939 and the three years up to the last accountancy period.

The surplus of income over expenditure (after charging interest on capital) shown by the Post Office Telephone Commercial Accounts for the three years to 31st March, 1939 was:

£
1936–371,472,370
1937–38429,460
1938–39269,639

The presentation of commercial accounts has been suspended during the war by Defence Regulation; but approximate and unaudited accounts on a simplified basis have been compiled for Departmental use. The surpluses shown by these accounts are substantially expanded by the increases in rates of charges made in the Budget of 1940–41 and later years, as well as by a greatly increased user of services by Government Departments. The approximate surpluses and the estimated amounts derived from the increases in charges in respect of the telephone service for the last three years are:

Surplus

Yield of increases in charges.

££
1942–4312,500,0007,400,000
1943–4418,800,00013,100,000
1944–4523,000,00014,500,000

Foreign Mails (Posting Times)

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he is aware of the difficulties caused by the inability to provide traders engaged in the export trade with the times of ordinary overseas mails and air-mails at post offices; and if he will arrange for these times to be posted in the main post offices and advertised in the Press, as was customary in pre-war days.

Owing to the continued irregularity of steamer sailings, mail despatches have in general to be arranged at short notice and are subject to subsequent alteration or cancellation. In the case of air mails, as I stated in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Sir S. Reed) on 11th October, the aircraft employed are primarily engaged in work other than the carriage of mail, air mails being carried within the limits of the aircraft capacity available after military requirements have been met. I regret, therefore, that it would not be possible at present to fix definite posting times either for surface or air mail correspondence.

Air Mails

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the exorbitant charge made for air mail, which is 1s. 3d. per half-ounce, or £4,480 per ton; whether he will explain the reason for this; and whether he will take steps for their reduction.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. Shaw-cross) on this subject on 18th October. My Noble Friend is anxious to reduce the existing air mail postage rates as soon as circumstances permit, but the determining factor for the time being is the amount of aircraft capacity which can be allocated to civil mails.

Experimental Radio Transmitters

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General under what conditions it is now proposed to grant licences for experimental radio transmitters.

No substantial change is contemplated in the present conditions attaching to licences for experimental radio transmitters.

Telephone Kiosks

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether, for the convenience of persons living or about to live in municipal blocks of flats, he will take steps to arrange for the inclusion of a public coin box in each of these buildings.

Yes, Sir, provided the housing authority agrees and there is likely to be a reasonable number of calls made. To meet the general convenience the facilities can usually best be afforded by a telephone kiosk in the forecourt or in the precincts of the flats rather than in any particular building.

Industrial Rehabilitation

Egham Centre

asked the Minister of Labour if he is prepared to grant a travelling warrant to ex-Servicemen attending the rehabilitation centres to enable these men to visit their homes at proper intervals; and to pay for their two weeks' recess next Christmas.

The normal length of the course at the Ministry's Industrial Rehabilitation Centre at Egham is six to eight weeks. Men come to the Centre from all parts of the country and it would not be practicable, nor is it considered desirable, to encourage them to visit their homes during their short period of stay in the Centre. This residential Centre will not be closed for Christmas, but men who wish to spend Christmas at home will be permitted to do so under their own arrangements.

Employment (Statistics)

asked the Minister of Labour how many disabled persons who have been trained and rehabilitated have been found employment which has proved suitable.

About 11,600. This relates only to those who have received training or rehabilitation courses provided by my Department.

asked the Minister of Labour how many disabled persons have been rehabilitated and found employment in civil life.

The number of disabled persons within the purview of my Department who have gone into employment in the period from October, 1941, to 7th July, 1945, is 330,547. The hon. and gallant Member will understand that most of these received all the rehabilitation required from the hospital service before they were passed over to my Department.

University Graduate (Research Scholarship)

asked the Minister of Labour if he has considered the case, details of which have been submitted to him, of an honours graduate of London University directed in 1941 to the N.F.S., discharged from that service in 1945, who is now refused permission to resume the research for which he had won a major county scholarship and who has been idle for the past three months; and if he will now reverse his decision.

Horses (Rations)

asked the Minister of Food what is the present number of horses obtaining rations in England, Scotland and Wales, respectively, not including horses on agricultural holdings.

The numbers of horses receiving rations at 31st August, 1945 (the latest date for which summarised particulars are available), were as follows:

England93,650
Scotland12,076
Wales8,254
Rations were also being provided for 9,213 horses owned by the four principal railway companies.

Rabbits (Cyanide Fumigation Subsidy)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether arrangements can now be made to extend to the winter period the subsidy given for cyanide fumigation of rabbits, in order to eliminate at the earliest opportunity the necessity for using steel traps.

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture has already arranged that the subsidy in question should be extended to cover the Whole year.

Allotments, Hampstead Heath

asked the Minister of Agriculture what is the present position with regard to the 5,000 allotment holders on Hampstead Heath; and whether any provision can be made to give them some guarantee of tenure.

Hampstead Heath is under the control of the London County Council, who have about 1,600 allotments in that area. The Council are arranging that the plots shall remain in cultivation at least until the end of 1946 unless the sites are required in the meantime for a more urgent national purpose such as temporary housing. My right hon. Friend has no powers to give the allotment holders concerned any guarantee of tenure.

Civilian Aircraft

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production if it is proposed to issue a statement showing the rate of progress of the manufacture of civil types of aircraft.

As stated by my right hon. Friend on 15th October in reply to a Question by the hon. and gallant Member for Derby (Group-Captain Wilcock) the manufacture of 190 aircraft of civil types is proceeding as a result of orders placed by the Ministry of Aircraft Production. In addition, many aircraft firms have programmes for the production, without Government orders, of civil aircraft for the home and export markets. It is estimated that the total monthly output of civil aircraft will be of the order of 45 a month by the end of this year, and will increase to about 70 a month by June 1945. These figures are conservatively estimated, but must necessarily be very approximate owing to uncertainty as to the extent of non-Government orders which the industry will receive.

Compensation And Betterment

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning how he proposes to ensure that the increased land values of land surrounding the new housing estates are secured for the public purse.

The Government are giving urgent consideration to this general question, and I would ask my hon. Friend to await the Bill on compensation and betterment fore-shadowed in the King's Speech.

Greek Delegation (British Visas)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that a delegation was appointed by E.A.M. on 8th September to visit this country; that it applied to the British Embassy in Greece for transit facilities and that so far no such facilities have been granted; and if it is intended to extend such facilities to the delegation.

I have been asked to reply. I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary on the 24th instant to the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Wing-Commander Millington).