Written Answers To Questions
Friday, 11th July, 1947
Farm Tenancy, Sussex (Termination)
asked the Minister of Agriculture why the tenant, Mr. E. H. House, was evicted from Great Strudgate's Farm, Sussex, by the East Sussex A.E.C. after the chairman of the appeal tribunal had asked him to get detailed labour and equipment for future development; and why there are now no crops and only two crossbred cattle on this 300-acre farm, and the farmhouse is now unoccupied after this eviction in the alleged interest of food production, which has resulted in the dispersal of a pedigree herd of 60 cattle.
After visiting the farm and considering all the evidence, the Appeal Tribunal informed me that they were satisfied that Mr. House had completely failed in any adequate production on the farm and that they were not satisfied that he would procure the necessary labour and equipment to make the farm capable of proper production. They recommended that the tenancy should be terminated on the ground that the farm was not being cultivated according to the rules of good husbandry. No winter corn has been sown by Mr. House, and 184 acres are now being fallowed owing to their foul condition. This land has all ben ploughed at least once and further cultivated by the tenants to whom the owners re-let the farm after Mr. House's sale on nth April. The tenants already have 18 cattle on the farm and are continuing to build up the stock The farmhouse was left in a very dirty condition, with many burst water pipes and the water main turned on. The owners are putting the necessary renovations in hand as soon as possible, and in the meantime the tenants are occupying one of the cottages. The Committee are satisfied that in the circumstances of this case the new tenants' farming policy is right. and I have no reason to doubt that food production will increase as a result of the change of occupier.
Oil Discharges (Fishing Areas)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the losses of fish by County Down fishermen as shown by the report of Eleanor Annetta, Portavogie, which has been sent to him, he will, in co-operation with the Admiralty and Ministry of Transport, warn sea captains against the practice of discharging oil into the sea when in the vicinity of the herring-fishing fleet.
I am making inquiries and will communicate with the hon. Member as soon as they are completed.
Hearing Aid (Tests)
asked the Lord President of the Council if, in view of the claims that the National Hearing Aid is superior in performance to any other hearing aid yet made, he will publish, for the information of the deaf public and other interested persons, the results of the National Physical Laboratory performance tests, or any other performance tests carried out on the National Hearing Aid.
Information about this hearing aid, including particulars of performance tests, is given in the report of the Electro Acoustic Committee of the Medical Research Council. This is now in the press and will be issued by His Majesty's Stationery Office in due course.
Remploy Factory, Stockton-On-Tees
asked the Minister of Labour when the proposed Remploy Factory at Stockton-on-Tees will be completed; how many severely disabled persons will be employed; and what type of work will be available.
It is hoped that the factory will be completed early in August. Employment will be provided for 5o severely disabled persons on light mechanical assembly and leather work.
Food Supplies (Overseas Gifts Centre)
asked the Minister of Food what is the composition and the function of the gift food branch of his Department; and on what principles of allocation the branch operates.
The Overseas Gifts (Food) Allocation Centre of my Department was formed early in 1946, by agreement with the Dominions and Colonies concerned, to distribute their gifts of food sent to this country in bulk. A staff of 4o is employed. The gifts are sent to sick people in hospitals and sanatoria; to old people and children, cripples and blind persons in charitable institutions; to workers' rehabilitation centres and to the aged and needy. The Gift Centre allocates 3o per cent. of the food directly to some 1,900 hospitals and 2,000 charitable institutions on the basis of bed accommodation. The remaining 70 per cent. is sent to 1,300 local authorities throughout the country for distribution to needy people in their own areas. To date twelve distributions have been made throughout the United Kingdom involving the distribution of 656,360 cases of 56 lbs. each. Every recipient, whether local authority, hospital or charitable institution, is advised of the donor or donating fund so that the identity of the gift is not lost, and many thousands of grateful letters have reached the Dominions and Colonies.
asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will give a table of all the airfields that were in use at the end of the war in the United Kingdom, indicating the number that are being retained for service operational use, the number on a care and maintenance basis, the number returned to the landowners to be used fully for agricultural purposes; the number reserved for civil flying purposes; the number returned to municipalities and local authorities who originally constructed them; and the number about which no decision has yet been finally taken.
pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th June, 1947; Vol. 438, C. 147] supplied the following statement:Final decisions have not yet been taken about the post-war requirements of airfields for the Royal Air Force, but the
following statement gives, so far as possible, the information required by the hon. Member in respect of the boo or so airfields in the United Kingdom which were in use on VE-Day:
There are, of course, a large number of airfields which do not fall under any of these headings, e.g., about 200 airfields are used for storage by Government Departments other than the Air Ministry. Conversely, there are a number which fall under more than one heading, e.g., those which are held on a care and maintenance basis, but which are retained for the Royal Air Force. These figures also do not tell the full story of the use which is being made of these airfields, e.g. ( a) in addition to the 70 or so airfields reserved for civil flying, there are about 50 R.A.F. airfields at which civil flying will be permitted; and ( b) the land on about 30o airfields is given over to unrestricted agriculture, including ploughing, and at nearly all other airfields held by the R.A.F. there is restricted agricultural use of the land. including grazing and grass drying.
Trade And Commerce
Imports From Belgium
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the volume of woollen and cotton carpets, furnishings, tapestries, woollen worsted, flax and cotton yarns and linen and cotton piece goods, respectively, it is anticipated will be imported from Belgium this year under the agreement with that country allowing for imports to the value of £3,000,000.
It has been agreed to issue import licences up to the following amounts for imports of textiles from Belgium in 1947: Wool yarn, 650 tons; cotton yarn, 300 tons; flax yarn, 300 tons: cotton piece goods, including furnishing fabrics, 1,50o tons; wool piece goods, including furnishing fabrics, 190 tons. Discussions about the import of carpets are still proceeding. It has also been agreed to take linen piece goods, tapes and thread up to a value of £5,000.
New Factories (Development Areas)
asked the President of the Board of Trade why there were fewer new factories and extensions approved on 30th April, 1947, than on 31st December; and what is the reason for the reduction of approved new factories and extensions in the Development Areas from 1,085 on 31st December, 1945, to 770 on 3oth April, 1947.
The hon. Member appears to be comparing figures published in, the Board of Trade Journal on 8th February with those given in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Abertillery (Mr. Daggar) on 12th June. The figures given in the former case related to approvals given during the period November, 1944, to 31st December, 1946, and in the latter case to approvals given during the period 31st July, 1945, to 30th April, 1947, and the totals given are therefore not comparable.