Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 23rd July, 1947

Germany (Land Reform Scheme)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether account was taken of the experiences in the Soviet zone by those responsible for preparing the land reform scheme for the British zone of Germany.


Detained Persons


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what answer he has received to the representations made to the Greek Government regarding the arrest and sailing to the islands of 6,000 persons between 8th and 15th July, 1947.

The maintenance of internal order in Greece is a matter for the Greek Government. His Majesty's Government have, however, pointed out to the Greek Government the desirability on general humanitarian grounds of screening the persons detained as rapidly as possible. The Greek Government gave a favourable response.

Proposed Frontier Commission


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proposals have been made recently for the permanent supervision of the northern frontiers of Greece by a permanent United Nations Frontier Commission; whether the British Government has supported, and will support, this proposal; and if it can be estimated by what date such a frontier commission may be functioning.

The majority report of the United Nations Commission on Balkan Affairs recommended to the Security Council the establishment of a body to investigate, and to use its good offices for the settlement of controversies arising out of violations of the Greek frontier, and to report thereon to the Governments concerned and to the Security Council.The United States representative on the Council tabled a Resolution on 17th June, the text of the relevant passages of which I attach to this reply The Soviet representative tabled an alternative Resolution on 8th July, in which he proposed the establishment of a Commission for the sole purpose of supervising foreign economic aid to Greece. His Majesty's Government have supported, and will continue to support, the United States' proposal.The date upon which a Commission may start to function must depend upon the adoption of a Resolution by the Security Council. The British Representative on the Council is actively urging upon that body the necessity for an early decision.

Following is the text referred to:

The Security Council, having received and considered the report of the Commission of Investigation established by resolution of the Council dated 19th December, 1946, is convinced on the basis of the Commission's report that further action is required by the Security Council and resolves that:—

1. The Security Council adopts the proposals made by the majority of the members of the Commission.


3. The Security Council, for the purpose of restoring normal conditions along the frontiers between Greece on the one hand and Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia on the other, and thereby assisting in the establishment of good neighbourly relations, establishes a commission as a subsidiary organ.

  • (a) The Commission shall be composed of a representative of each of the nations members of the Security Council as they may be from time to time.
  • (b) The duties and powers of the Commission shall be
  • (i) To use its good offices for the settlement, by the means mentioned in Article 33 of the Charter, of
  • (a) Controversies arising violations.
  • (b) Controversies directly connected with the application of the frontier conventions recommended to the four Governments under this resolution;
  • (c) Complaints regarding conditions on the border which may be brought to the attention of the Commission by one Government against another; and in order to carry out these tasks the Commission is empowered to make an investigation of any frontier violations that occur and of any complaints brought by one Government against another in connexion with the application of the frontier conventions or regarding conditions on the border.
  • (ii) To use its good offices to assist the Governments concerned in the negotiation and conclusion of the frontier conventions recommended under this resolution.
  • (iii) To study and make recommendations to the Governments concerned with respect to such additional bilateral agreements between them for the pacific settlement of disputes relating to frontier incidents or conditions on the frontier as the Commission considers desirable.
  • (iv) To assist in the implementation of the recommendations made to the four Government under this resolution with respect to refugees. To receive reports from the four Governments with respect to persons who may cross or have crossed from the territory of any one of such countries to any of the others. To maintain a register for its confidential use of all such persons and to assist in the repatriation of those who wish to return to their homes, and in connexion with these functions to act in concert with the appropriate agency of the United Nations.
  • (v) (a) If called upon by any of the Governments concerned, to supervise the arrangements for the transfer of minorities recommended to such Governments under this resolution and to act as a registration authority for any persons desiring to emigrate.
  • (b) To have such other duties and powers as the Security Council may determine from time to time.
  • (c) The Commission shall have its headquarters in Salonica and shall have authority to perform its functions on either side of the frontier.
  • (d) The Commission shall have the right of direct access to the Governments of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Yugoslavia and shall have authority to call upon the nationals and officials of those Governments to testify before it on any matters coming within its competence.
  • (e) The Commission shall establish its own rules of procedure and methods of conducting its business.
  • (f) The Commission shall render regularly quarterly reports to the Security Council, or more frequently if it thinks fit.
  • (g) The Commission shall commence its work as soon as practicable and shall remain in existence until 31st August, 1949, before which date the necessity for its continued existence after that date shall be reviewed by the Security Council.
  • (h) The Commission shall have the staff necessary to perform its functions, including persons able to act as border observers, and to report on the observance of frontier conventions recommended under this resolution, the state of the frontier area and cognate matters.
  • British Forces


    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will curtail the delay in withdrawing British troops from Greece in view of the recent mass arrests by the present Greek Government of its political opponents.

    I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for East Nottingham (Mr. Harrison) on 21st July.

    Austrian Mineral Oil Resources

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Austrian mineral-oil industry is working to capacity; what is the present monthly rate of production; how much of this is allocated to the Austrian market; what body determines the allocation of exports of mineral oils or finished products; and how much has been exported to the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom and other countries, respectively, during 1947.

    The mineral oil resources of Austria are situated in the Soviet zone of occupation and are therefore at present under the ultimate control of the Soviet authorities. I have no accurate information as to the production of oil and its disposal, but it is estimated that production of crude oil at the beginning of the year was about 65,000 tons per month and has since declined somewhat. This figure compares with an average output of about 100,000 tons a month in 1944. On the information available I cannot say what the capacity of the industry is now.The Soviet authorities alone determine how the oil produced is to be disposed of. They place a given quantity at the disposal of the Austrian Government each month, and use or export the remainder. At the beginning of this year allocations of oil products for the use of the Austrian economy represented about half the total production. Since then allocations have been steadily reduced, while deliveries have fallen substantially below allocations. In May, the latest month for which complete figures are available, die Austrian economy received only some 26,800 tons out of an allocation of 34,400 tons. The allocations for June and July were 28,000 tons and 24,460 tons respectively. No precise information is available as to the disposal by the Soviet authorities of oil and oil products not allocated to the Austrian economy. None has been exported to the United Kingdom.

    Foreign Countries (Parliamentary Delegations)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the number of Parliamentary Delegations and the number of Members of Parliament represented thereon that have visited countries abroad during the preceding 12 months.

    During the period June, 1946, to June, 1947, 16 Parliamentary delegations, making a total of 114 Members of Parliament, visited foreign countries. The delegations were composed as follows:

    Country.Date.No. of Members.
    PersiaJune, 19463
    BermudaJune, 19468
    CzechoslovakiaJuly, 19468
    GermanyJune, 19468
    July, 19468
    August, 19468
    September, 19468
    AustriaJune, 19468
    July, 19468
    August, 19467
    September, 19468
    GreeceAugust, 19468
    JapanSeptember, 19465
    BelgiumOctober, 194612
    Germany and AustriaFebruary, 19473
    FinlandMarch, 19474
    This list does not include visits and delegations of Members of Parliament to attend conferences.

    Indonesia (Situation)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to the serious clash between the Dutch and Indonesian Governments; and if he will be prepared to mediate if approached by either or both of these States.

    Food Supplies

    Special Rations (Farm Workers)


    asked the Minister of Food what proportion of farm workers have, in recent weeks, received the extra rations of tea, sugar, margarine and preserves to which they are entitled when they are working extra long hours on seasonal work such as hay-making and root-hoeing; and if, in view of the fact that many farm workers are not now getting their due, he will simplify the procedure and arrange for these extra rations to be drawn direct by the farm worker as is done in the case of the special cheese ration.

    My right ton. Friend regrets that the required figures are not available and to collect them would involve an unjustifiable amount of time and labour. No farm worker should have any difficulty in getting these special rations, and there seems to be no reason for changing the present procedure.

    Pigs (Offal And Flare)


    asked the Minister of Food what is the ruling concerning the killing of pigs belonging to individuals with regard to the ownership of the offal including the flare; and why the Dunmow Flitch becon factory keep the flare and the Bury St. Edmunds bacon factory allow the individual to keep it.

    Offal including flare belongs to the owner of the pig, but by private arrangement with the curer the offal and flare may be given up in payment for the services of slaughtering and curing.


    Kipande System (Legislation)


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what date the committee appointed to inquire into the working of the Kipande system in Kenya completed its inquiries; and when it is intended to publish the report and recommendations therefrom.

    The report was submitted in October to the Kenya Labour Advisory Board. In November and February the Board approved it with slight modifications and recommended adoption by the local Government. That Government has announced its intention to publish, for information and discussion, a Bill to repeal the Native Registration Ordinance and to introduce a registration system applicable to all races. As an interim measure, legislation will also be introduced to remove the objectionable features of the Kipande system. The report, which is long, has not been published, but a very full precis of it has already appeared in representative European, Asian and African newspapers. I will send a copy of that precis to my hon. Friend.

    Teachers' Training


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what provision is being made by the Government of Kenya for the large-scale training of teachers; whether consideration has been given to the possibility of sending abroad for training students who do not possess Makerere qualifications; and what provisions exist for contribution to such schemes to be made by local native authorities.

    There are at present 34 Teachers' Training Centres in Kenya with a total enrolment of 967, of whom 686 will complete their training this year. Further centres are being established and the target for 1957 is to have 52 centres in all with an annual output of 1,300 trained teachers. With regard to the second part of the Question, the normal requirement is that candidates should possess Makerere qualifications. But a suitable and specially worthy candidate not so qualified may be given a bursary for further training. One such candidate is being recommended this year. The finance of both these schemes is the responsibility of the central Government and any resources available to local authorities for education are normally devoted to provision for primary schools.

    Colonial Civil Service (Pensions)


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many, and which, Colonial Governments have now brought pension increases for retired colonial civil servants into line with the increases recently granted to similar civil servants in Britain.

    Up to the present, the Governments of Aden, the Gambia, Gibraltar, Sierra Leone, and North Borneo have brought their pension increase schemes into line with the amendments made recently to Section I of the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1944. I expect to receive within the next month or two particulars of the action proposed by other Colonial Governments.

    Political Offenders, Ceylon


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will ask the Governor of Ceylon for his recommendations in relation to implementing the resolution of the Ceylon State Council of i4th May last, which called for the amendment of the Constitution Order of 1946 to remove the disqualification of political offenders and in relation to the petition of Dr. Wickremasinghe for a free pardon.

    As regards the State Council resolution, the Governor has consulted with his Ministers, who have made no recommendation for action in the matter. I must, therefore, assume chat Ceylon Ministers do not wish any steps to be taken to implement this resolution. As regards the second part of the Question, a petition for a free pardon was received by the Governor. The Governor has, in the exercise of the prerogative delegated to him, declined to grant a pardon, and in these circumstances I am unable to intervene.

    Town And Country Planning, Uganda


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the Westlake Report, he will give consideration to the appointment of a town planning expert, with experience of laying out trading and large housing estates in this country, to plan the Jinja area in Uganda in anticipation of this place becoming a large industrial centre within the next five to 10 years and, subsequently, any other large centres in that territory likely to be affected in the near future by the proposals submitted in the report.

    I understand from the Governor that it is his intention to entrust the planning of the Jinja area to a town planner with wide experience of that work in East Africa. A preliminary survey of the Jinja area has, in fact, already been carried out. In regard to the second pars of the Question a Town and Country Planning Bill has been drafted in Uganda which it is intended to introduce shortly into the Legislative Council. This is evidence of the intention of the Uganda Government to provide expert planning for any future development.

    Nicosia Prison, Cyprus


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has ordered an immediate inquiry into conditions in the Nicosia central prison and changes in the personnel in charge of this prison; and what other action he has taken, in view of the death on 7th July of one inmate and the recent hunger strike of 39 other inmates.

    The Governor of Cyprus reports that seven prisoners went on hunger strike on 7th July demanding transfer to another part of the prison, and that 39 others struck for one day only. One inmate, who had been under treatment for some time with gastric trouble, died on 9th July but his death was quite unconnected with the hunger strike. An inquest will be held on 24th July. The Governor states that the prison is visited regularly by a statutory Board, the last visit having been on 4th July. There have been no recent adverse reports by the Board. The Director of Medical and Health Services carried out a detailed inspection on 15th July. He reported favourably on the running of the prison and feeding arrangements, and stated that the reasons given by striking convicts for their action were unsubstantial. In the circumstances I do not consider that a further special inquiry is called for.

    Homeless Families, Singapore


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the concern which has been caused in Singapore by the levelling by a bulldozer of 60 wooden houses on land owned by the Singapore Harbour Board in Trafalgar Street; and what steps he is taking to assist a number of families who have been rendered homeless as a result.

    I am having inquiries made of the Officer Adminitering the Government of Singapore, and will write to the hon. Member when I have his report.

    Constitutional Changes, Hong Kong


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the present position with regard to the proposed constitutional changes in Hong Kong.

    I informed the House on 5th March of my general agreement with the recommendations of the late Governor, Sir Mark Young, for the establishment of a Municipal Council and a modification in the constitution of the Legislative Council. Earlier this month I sent to the Acting Governor of Hong Kong a despatch containing my detailed comments on those recommendations, and authorised him to proceed at once with all preparations necessary to put them into effect. I have arranged for copies of the despatches in question to be placed in the Library of the House.

    Royal Navy

    Admiralty Charts (Terms)


    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will define the term, "High Sea Mark," as applied by the Royal Navy to the shores of Great Britain.

    The term "High Sea Mark" is not one applied by the Royal Navy to the shores of Great Britain. On Admiralty charts of the seas round the British Islands, the "high water line" or "coast line" is the line or mark reached by the sea when the tide rises to the level of mean high water springs.

    Shipyard, Southwick


    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the future use of the Shipbuilding Corporation's yard at Southwick, Sunderland.

    The Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd., intend. I understand, to close tile yard at Southwick when the work at present in hand is completed in the near future. I am at present in close consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the President of the Board of Trade regarding the future use of these premises.

    Married Quarters


    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty on what terms of tenure married quarters are occupied by the families of officers and ratings of the Royal Navy.

    The exact terms of tenure on which married quarters are occupied are at present under consideration. I would, however, point out that owing to the shortage of accommodation at the present time the occupation of married quarters is a privilege and it would be reasonable to expect the occupants to vacate them if Service needs necessitated their being required to do so.


    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many married quarters have been provided for officers and ratings, respectively, in Chatham, Gillingham and Sheerness.

    There are married quarters for 23 officers and 14 ratings and other ranks in Chatham and Gillingham, and for nine officers in Sheerness.

    Gunnery School, Wembury


    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will now make a statement as to the future use of the gunnery school at Heybrook Bay.

    The Naval Gunnery School at Wembury is a permanent Naval requirement and the Admiralty are taking steps to secure the agreement of other interested Departments to the acquisition of the site.

    Post Office

    Collections And Deliveries


    asked the Postmaster-General why it is that in Hawsker, near Whitby, letters are delivered in the Stainsacre section of the parish at 8.30 a.m., and in the Hawsker section of the same parish they are not delivered until between 11 a.m. and midday.

    Although they are in the same parish, Hawsker and Stainsacre are served by different delivery rounds; moreover, the position on the round also affects the time of delivery. I am examining the position further and will write to the hon. Member when my inquiries are complete.


    asked the Postmaster-General what is the estimated reduction in the number of men employed on postal services if collections and deliveries were again restricted to the schedule in operation during the war.

    To answer this Question with any degree of accuracy would involve a very detailed survey but, on the assumption that part-time labour could be substituted as required, and counting part-time officers as one half, on a very rough calculation I estimate that a reduction of the order of 2,000 men might be possible.

    Dismissed Postmen, Glasgow


    asked the Postmaster-General the number of temporary postmen dismissed in Glasgow recently on the ground of redundancy; how many men have been subsequently engaged as temporary postmen without previous experience; and the average ages of those dismissed and those subsequently engaged.

    Ninety-nine full-time temporary postmen, of average age 52 years, were discharged at Glasgow on grounds of redundancy following the restriction of postal services. No temporary postmen have been engaged since, but 23 ex-Service men eligible by age for establishment have been recruited for permanent posts arising from wastage and not to displace temporary staff. Their average age is 32.

    Telegraph Poles, Ulverston


    asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that the Urban District Council of Ulverston, Lancashire, is disturbed at the number and position of telephone poles that are being erected, which seem to be out of proportion to the service being given; and whether his officials get in touch with local authorities with a view to preserving amenities wherever possible.

    I have received representations from the Urban District Council of Ulverston on this matter. The poles in question were all erected with the Council's consent, but I will reconsider the siting of any to which they raise objection. The placing of telegraph poles in the public highway is subject to the consent of the highway authorities, and my officers have standing instructions to agree with those authorities details of siting and amenities.

    Postal Regulations Infringement (Penalty)

    asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that letters written on 13th and 24th June by his Department to a lady in Stowmarket, Suffolk, whose name has been sent to him, suggested that, in order to compensate for an apparent infringement of Post Office regulations, she should pay the sum of 10s. as a compromise penalty; and on what authority this summary action was taken.

    Yes, as I have explained in reply to the hon. Member's letter. Section 35 of the Inland Revenue Regulations Act, 1890, empowered the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to mitigate or compound any fine or penalty incurred in cases where stamps which have previously been used in payment of postage are affixed to a postal packet with intent that the stamp may be used again. These powers were vested in the Postmaster-General by the Inland Revenue and Post Office (Powers and Duties) Order, 1914.

    Clothing Coupons (Children)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will arrange for a special issue of clothing coupons to be made to schoolchildren who volunteer to lift the potato crop, for the purchase of a pair of boots and trousers.

    Supplementary coupons are being given to children generally on the same scale as in 1946. This should meet the situation and I am afraid we cannot allot further coupons to those who go harvesting.

    Royal Air Force

    Bomb Disposal (Transport)


    asked the Secretary of State for Air what tonnage of R.A F. surplus bombs, due for dumping in the sea, has been transported since 1st January, 1946, from Wiltshire to Stranraer in Scotland; and, in view of the shortage of rolling stock, why a more direct route to the sea was not made use of.

    From 1st January, 1946, to the end of June, 1947, about 11,000 tons of bombs were transported for disposal from Wiltshire to Stranraer. After full consideration, all the Departments concerned, including the Ministry of Transport, agreed that Stranraer was he most suitable port for the purpose, and that transport must be by rail. I am writing to the hon. Member to explain the technical reasons for this decision.

    Radar Equipment, Bolt Head


    asked the Secretary of State for Air when he proposes to move the valuable equipment from the radar station at Bolberry, near Bolt Head, South Devon.

    There are three disused radar stations near Bolt Head. Two of them are not required by the R.A.F.; all their equipment has been removed, except for two generators which will be taken away as soon as practicable. The third station will be brought back into use at some future date; some of the equipment has, therefore, been left on the station, in buildings which are locked.



    asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will give an assurance that no members of the R.A.F. have taken part in operations against the Greek guerillas.

    Wireless Fitters


    asked the Secretary of State for Air why there is a shortage of wireless fitters in the R.A.F.; and what is the average delay in demobilisation of this trade as compared with the average rate of release in the R.A.F.

    The present serious shortage of wireless fitters in the R.A.F. is: due. to the following causes: the more rapid rate of release from the R.A.F.; the shortage of recruits of the necessary standard to take the place of wireless fitters who have been released; the shortage of qualified instructors; the lengthy weeks—41 weeks—of the training course for wire-less fitters; and the disappointing response of wireless fitters in the R.A.F. to the Bounty Scheme. Vigorous action has been taken to improve matters; a lower qualifying standard has been accepted for recruits; we no longer rely for our instructing staff on volunteers; and an additional, and less skilled, trade of wireless mechanic has been established, for which a training course of only 20 weeks is needed. These measures will see a quickening of the output of trained wireless fitters towards the end of this year. At present, however, wireless fitters are being released four months later than most trades in the R.A.F., and this delay will, to my regret, be as much as six months by the end of September. The rate of release should then improve, and it is expected that, by the end of the year the delay will have been reduced to three months.


    asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will give a table showing the numbers taken into training as wireless fitters during each month, or other convenient period, during 1946 and 1947; and the numbers of wireless fitters due for demobilisation on the basis of age and length of service during the same periods.

    Yes. With the hon. Member's consent, I will send him a table giving him the information for which he asks.

    Maintenance Depots


    asked the Secretary of State for Air the number of ground-equipment maintenance depots like No. 70 M.U., Goring Heath, which are used at the present time.

    Ministry Of Supply

    Tinmining Equipment


    asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that several groups of tinmining companies in Malaya have up to date only received a small proportion of the electric motors, pumps and other essential equipment, orders for which were placed in this country early in 1946; and by what date he anticipates that the tinmining industry of Malaya will be adequately re-equipped with machinery.

    Orders for tinmining equipment are placed direct by the companies and delivery is expedited as far as possible by the Ministry of Supply. The present position cannot be checked unless precise details are made available and if the hon. and gallant Member will give me particulars of the orders to which he refers, I will take the matter up with the manufacturers.

    Constellation Aircraft


    asked the Minister of Supply whether he will make a statement on the negotiations for the manufacture of U.S. Constellation aircraft in the United Kingdom.

    A suggestion was made some time ago that the Government should place an order for Constellation aircraft to be built in this country, but was not approved. We have not been asked to consider any proposal that these aircraft should be manufactured under licence without a Government order.

    Messrs Short Brothers (Charter Flying)


    asked the Minister of Supply whether the trading accounts of the charter company to be operated by Shorts, Rochester, will be published annually.

    Short Brothers have not formed a separate company for charter flying. All that is involved is that one or two Tiger Moths and a Proctor will be used on charter work when they are not required for training-purposes.

    Technical Colleges (Curriculum And Students)

    94 and 95.

    asked the Minister of Education (1) if he will give an analysis of the main subjects taught in technical colleges in 1938 and in the nearest convenient period; the percentage of day and part-time students taking each subject or group of subjects; and showing, if possible, the information for London and Greater London separately;(2) how many day and part-time students, respectively, attended technical colleges in 1938 and in the equivalent period at the nearest convenient date, showing, if possible, figures for London and Greater London separately.

    As the information which my hon. Friend requires is of a voluminous character, I am communicating it to him direct.

    Ship Repairs And Refits (Foreign Yards)


    asked the Minister of Transport if he will give information showing the number and total tonnage of ships sent to foreign yards for repair and refit in 1946 and 1947, respectively; to which yards they have been sent; and the reasons why the work was not done in this country.

    My right hon. Friend regrets that he cannot give the information as no record exists of repairs and refits carried out on British ships in foreign yards in the period mentioned.

    National Finance

    Ango-Egyptian Financial Agreement

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason repayments to the International Monetary Fund may be made from Egyptian No. 1 Accounts.

    Because any such repayments would be current transactions under Article XIX of the International Monetary Fund.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will specify the liabilities of the London office of the National Bank of Egypt as laid down in Article I (i) of the Anglo-Egyptian Payments Agreement.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the policy of His Majesty's Government with regard to capital transfers within the sterling area from No. 1 Accounts under the Anglo-Egyptian Financial Agreement.

    Not to interfere with the reasonable use by Egypt of funds in the Accounts.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sterling assets are held by the Royal Egyptian Government, otherwise than through the intermediary of banks in Egypt; and under what provision of Article I of the Anglo-Egyptian Financial Agreement such assets are treated.

    Insignificant amounts in cash. The holdings in securities are adequately provided for now that Egypt has left the sterling area.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the arrangements made under Article 7 of the annex to the Anglo-Egyptian Financial Agreement, respecting capital transfers.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason deposit and current account balances held by Egyptian businesses and private individuals are included under Article I (h) of the Anglo-Egyptian Payments Agreement.

    Because I saw no serious risk in leaving these balances out of the No. 2 Accounts, into which they would, however, fall if requisitioned by the Egyptian Government.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason sterling acquired by Egypt from the International Monetary Fund will be creditable to No. 1 Accounts under Article II (1) of the Anglo-Egyptian Payments Agreement.

    Because by definition it is sterling currently acquired for current transactions.

    Entertainments Duty (Amateur Societies)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a list of the amateur musical and dramatic societies in this country which have qualified, under Section 8 of the Finance Act, for freedom from Entertainments Duty; and whether he will make a general statement indicating the reasons for which these societies were so approved, so that other societies can, if they so desire, follow their example.

    To prepare such a list would involve an unjustifiable burden on civil servants. The reason for exemption is in every case that the society in question fulfils the statutory requirements.

    Low-Flying Aircraft, Rochford

    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he is aware of the considerable inconvenience being caused to inhabitants of Rochford, Essex, by persistent low flying over the Southend municipal aerodrome, Rochford; and if he will ensure that the regulations relating to this matter are rigidly observed.

    No complaints have been received by my Ministry. As to the second part of the Question, while the enforcement of the regulations is a matter for the police, I have no reason to suppose that they are not being observed, but I will have inquiries made.

    Coal Board(Medical Staff)

    asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many medical officers are now employed on medical duties by his Department and the National Coal Board; what are the nature and scope of their duties; whether the medical work is to be supervised and co-ordinated regionally or nationally; and whether any information can be made available as to plans for a revised future national mining medical service, not only for accidents but for diseases, especially as compared with the medical service in the mining industry in the past.

    Nine medical officers are at present employed by my Department, at headquarters and in the coalfields, in inspectorial and advisory functions as regards first-aid and occupational diseases at coal mines and metalliferous mines and quarries. The National Coal Board are now in process of recruiting a medical staff comprising one Chief Medical Officer at headquarters, who has already been appointed, and seven medical officers for duty in the coalfields. These appointments are being made in pursuance of the Board's intention to develop and co-ordinate, nationally and region ally, an industrial medical service of the highest possible standard. At coal mines, the service will be associated with medical treatment centres equipped on modern lines and in charge of fully qualified nt rses and supervised part-time by doctors. To date, over 20 have been appointed and the number will be increased as accommodation can be built and trained staff become available.

    Silicosis And Pneumoconiosis

    asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether the silicosis or pneumoconiosis boards for the medical and radiological examinations of workers suspected of suffering from these industrial diseases, have yet come under the control of his Department; whether the previous medical arrears of medical work and examinations for these diseases are being overtaken; and how long now are applicants kept before examination.

    The answer to the first part of the Question is "No." The latter part of the Question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of National Insurance who is responsible for these matters.

    Indian Army Officers (Income Tax)

    asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aw are that, as a result of the arrangements whereby certain officers of the Indian Army have been transferred to the home establishment immediately following their first leave at home after ro or more years, they have to pay full United Kingdom Income Tax on their leave pay and are deprived of the Indian element of their pay, thus incurring a serious loss; and whether he will revise the regulations to avoid this hardship.

    As regards the payment of Income Tax, I am advised that Indian Army officers are being dealt with in accordance with the normal Income Tax rules. I am not aware that such officers are deprived of any Indian element of their pay, and if the hon. and gallant Member will send me particulars of the cases he has in mind, I will have them investigated.