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Written Answers

Volume 415: debated on Friday 2 November 1945

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Written Answers To Questions

Directed Workers (Housing Accommodation)

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production if he will assume responsibility for the present housing difficulties of the employees of the Bishopson and Linwood factories who are about to be turned out of their houses after having been directed to employment in that area, thereby leaving their own dwellings to which they cannot now return owing to their occupation by others.

No, Sir. The houses are the property of and are managed by the local authority and I have no locus in the matter.

Coalmines (Fatalities)

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many fatal accidents occurred in the coalmines of Great Britain in the months of January to September, 1945, respectively.

The number of fatal accidents at mines under the Coal Mines Act in January-September, 1945, was as follows:

No. of deaths
4 weeks ended 27th January40
4 weeks ended 24th February56
5 weeks ended 31st March51
4 weeks ended 28th April41
4 weeks ended 26th May38
5 weeks ended 30th June58
4 weeks ended 28th July46
4 weeks ended 25th August25
5 weeks ended 29th September56

Demobilisation (Student)

asked the Minister of Labour if he will inquire into the case, details of which have been submitted to him, of a graduate of London University with specialised training in economics, who volunteered for secret work in military intelligence in India and was given an assurance by the higher appointments office that if not sent to India she would be transferred to civil life, but was posted to the A.T.S. and is now refused her release; and whether he will remedy this injustice.

British Army

Home Guard

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give a date on which the Home Guard will be finally demobilised; and a date on which they will receive their Defence Ribbons.

I have been asked to reply. As regards the disbandment of the Home Guard, I regret I cannot yet add anything to the reply I gave on 21st August to a Question by the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. S. Shephard). As regards the second part of the Question, the issue of the ribbon to members of the Home Guard cannot begin until the arrangements, including those for the certification of the award, are completed. I am not yet able to say when this will be but an announcement will be made as soon as practicable.

Requisitioned Properties

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will give a complete list of the properties and houses held or occupied by his Department in the Maidstone Parliamentary division; and will he give the approximate date when these will be derequisitioned.

I am sending a list to the hon. Member. It comprises 67 properties of all types, 28 of which, it is expected, will be released before the end of the year. I hope that the bulk of the remainder will be released before June, 1946, but I cannot at present make a firm forecast.

West Africa (Cocoa Planters)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the presence in this country for several weeks past of a delegation of West African cocoa planters who have arrived here expressly to consult with him on conditions in their industry; and when he proposes to receive them.

I am aware of the presence in this country of a delegation claiming to represent, and to be speaking in the interests of, the West African cocoa producers. From information received from the Colonial Governments concerned I am satisfied that these claims are entirely without foundation. In the circumstances, I do not consider that any useful purpose would be served by granting them an interview.

Germany (Displaced Persons, Postal Communications)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether any scheme is yet in operation making postal communication possible between displaced persons in Germany and their relatives in the United Kingdom and, if so, in which zones of Germany it is in operation.

Postal facilities are available between displaced persons in the British zone of Germany and their relatives in the United Kingdom. I understand that similar facilities will become available in the American zone shortly, but I have no information about the other zones.

Royal Air Force

Bircham Newton Aerodrome

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air, if he is aware that there is unemployment of R.A.F.personnel at Bircham Newton aerodrome; and what steps does he intend to take to employ more fully the R.A.F. personnel there.

Owing to the reduced size of our aircrew requirements, aircrew cadets are awaiting further training or remustering at Bircham Newton. We are doing all we can to give them temporary employment, and the number of those, for example, working on farms is only limited by the accommodation available.

Educational Examinations

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air, if any forces preliminary examinations or war educational examinations have taken place in connection with the E.V.T. scheme in Ceylon, or when these examinations will be arranged.

Under the E.V.T. scheme, the first War Educational Certificate Examination is being held throughout the Air Force on 7th November, and the first Forces Preliminary Examination from 12th to 15th February, 1946. Sub-sequent examinations will be held at quarterly and half-yearly intervals respectively.