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Written Answers

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 30 July 1947

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 30th July, 1947

Repatriation Incident, Bologna


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he now has any statement to make regarding the incident at Bologna, on or about 10th May, when British soldiers and Soviet citizens were killed and wounded during the forcible repatriation of the latter.

I am not yet in a position to make the statement for which I have been asked. The material with which my hon. Friend was good enough to supply me contained allegations which have necessitated detailed investigations, and these investigations are not yet complete. I can, however, state quite categorically that no British soldiers and no Soviet citizens were either killed or wounded in the course of this operation.


Repatriated Men (Ration Cards)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if it is with his approval that Germans repatriated from this country are being denied food cards or subsistence allowances unless they agree to work in the mines; and whether those men required to do so have been passed as medically fit for heavy work.

All male Germans between the ages of 14 and 65 are required to register for work as a condition for receiving a food ration card. Men passed medically fit for coal mining are liable to compulsory direction to the mines.

Control Commission's Cars


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many new Austin motor cars have been supplied to the Control Commission for Germany during the six months preceding the latest available date; for what purposes they are used; and for approximately how many weeks, on an average, they have been out of running order since delivery.

388 new Austin cars were received between 1st February, 1947, and 28th July 1947. They are used for transporting officials of the Control Commission on their various duties and, to a small extent, for providing recreational transport. Statistics are not available as to the average number of weeks during which these cars have been out of running order.

Interned Persons (Release)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what were the reasons for the release from internment of Herr Hugo Stinnes, Junior, onetime director of the Rhine-Westphalian Coal Syndicate and Dr. Alfred Hugenberg, Minister in the first Hitler Government.

Hugo Stinnes, Junior, was released in August, 1946, because there was nothing in his record to justify his continued internment. Alfred Hugenberg was released from internment in June, 1947, because he is no longer considered a danger to the occupation. He is, however, debarred from holding any position of influence and changing his residence without police permission. His accounts are blocked and he cannot dispose of his property.

Level Of Industry Plan


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the level-of-industry plan for the joint Anglo-U.S. zone of Germany provides for an annual steel production of 12,000,000 tons; and whether he is satisfied that such an increase in German industrial production, concentrated on the Ruhr heavy industry, is not a breach of inter-allied agreement.

The answer to the first part of the Question is "No." The plan worked out by the British and United States authorities in Germany is still under consideration by the two Governments. As regards the second part of the Question, the position is that the acceptance by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of the level of industry plan agreed by the four occupying powers in March, 1946, was conditional on the fulfilment of the other provisions of the Potsdam Agreement, including in particular the attainment of economic unity in Germany. It became clear at the Moscow Conference that this latter objective could not be reached in the near future, and His Majesty's Government and the United States Government, in accordance with their frequently expressed intentions, instructed their authorities in Germany to consider what changes it would be necessary to make in the 1946 plan, having due regard to considerations of security and reparations, to their own financial commitments in Germany and to the desirability of Germany making her contribution to the economic recovery of Europe. In the circumstances the question of a breach of an inter-allied agreement does not in my view arise.

Bizonal Economic Council (Membership)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that one of the members of the newly-elected Bizonal Economic Council is Dr. Robert Pferdemenges, who, during the Nazi régime, was on the boards of Kloechner-Werke, the Harpener Bergbau A.G., the Deutsche Maschinen A.G., the Allgemeine Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft and many other similar concerns, in addition to being closely connected with the Schroeder Banking Company; and whether he is satisfied that these are desirable qualifications for a member of the Economic Council.

Dr. Pferdemenges has never been a member of the Nazi Party and was cleared by a German Denazification Panel. He has valuable technical qualifications.

Intelligence Service (Officers' Nationality)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many intelligence officers in the British service of the rank of major or equivalent, now stationed in the British zone of Germany, are not British subjects by birth.

Aden (Housing)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many new reconstructed and new temporary houses will be made available in Aden under licences for building work, and whether he is aware that hundreds of families in Aden have practically no shelter at all.

As I informed my hon. Friend on 9th July, 57 licences have been given for construction and reconstruction of houses in Aden and 4 for the erection of new temporary houses. In addition a grant of £27,500 has been approved under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act towards the cost of constructing working-class dwellings in one of the suburbs. As regards the second part of the Question, I am aware that there is a considerable deficiency of accommodation, resulting from the fact that house building has not yet caught up with the great increase of population during the war years.

Palestine (British Casualties)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many members of the Palestine Police and how many British civilians have been killed and wounded, respectively, in the period between VJ-Day and 28th July, 1947; and, of these, how many in each case since 1st January, 1947.

Between the beginning of August, 1945, and 28th July this year the following casualties were caused by terrorists to British civilians in Palestine and to British members of the police:

Killed.Wounded, including assaulted.
Of this number the following casualties have been caused since 1st January, 1947:

Killed.Wounded including assaulted.

Food Supplies

Rural Building Workers (Special Rations)


asked the Minister of Food if he aware that the extra ration of cheese and bread promised to rural building workers is being denied to those whose work is situated within two miles of a town, even though they have no facilities for canteens or packed meals; and if he will instruct local food offices to make these special rations available to all workers regularly employed on building work in rural areas.

I am aware that this condition is being applied and regret that I cannot agree to waive it. It is necessary for the purpose of this concession to distinguish rural from urban building workers and any line that is drawn must appear arbitrary to some workers.

Wine Manufacture (Fruit And Sugar)


asked the Minister of Food by what means Joseph Pace and Sarri Wicks, recently sentenced at Old Street, obtained permits to purchase large quantities of fruit and sugar.

An application by these men for materials to make wine was supported by evidence that Joseph Pace had manufactured wine before the war. He was thus entitled to a small allocation of sugar and dried fruits to resume production. Permits authorising the purchase of 166 lb. of dried fruits have been granted but no permit for sugar has been issued. No permit is required for the purchase of cherries.

Bacon Factory Offals


asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that the present system of distribution of bacon factory edible offals is not an equitable one; and if he will take action to prevent certain retail butchers obtaining priority in such distribution, so that they may not have advantages over other traders who do not receive similar supplies.

Bacon factory offals are in very short supply and the bulk is used in the manufacture of meat products. The remainder available for distribution fresh is quite insufficient to ensure a supply to all retail butchers, but bacon factories have been instructed to distribute this small balance fairly among their prewar customers, preference being given to pork butchers. If the hon. Member can give details of cases where these instructions are not being followed, I should be glad to have them.

Bread And Flour Ration

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that some grocers are offering their customers flour without bread-rationing coupons; and what action he is proposing to take.

I am not aware of any serious or widespread evasions of the bread and flour rationing scheme by retail grocers, but I will gladly look into any specific cases to which my hon. Friend cares to draw my attention.


asked the Minister of Food whether he will make it clear to the public that the full fruit standard of English jam contains only 10 per cent. of fruit specified on the label, the other contents being extraneous matter; and whether he will reconsider his decision to allow an extra jam ration in the autumn and issue instead extra sugar to housewives to enable them to make their own jam with a real fruit content.

The hon. Member is mistaken in thinking that any full fruit standard jam contains only 10 per cent. of the fruit specified on the label. As he will see from the following table, in no case may the fruit content be less than 20 per cent. The only other ingredients which may be used are sugar, pectin, and, where necessary, traces of colouring matter and preservative. I do not regard any of these ingredients as within the normal meaning of the term "extraneous matter," since they are essential to the best manufacturing processes. There is a large unsatisfied demand for factory made jam and I have no intention of reconsidering my decision to allow an extra ration of 1lb. in the autumn. There have already been three special issues each of 1lb. of sugar per ration book for jam making this year and in addition the domestic ration has been raised to 100z. a week. It is also possible for sugar to be taken in lieu of the jam ration. I am unable to make any statement about further special issues at the moment, but the matter is constantly under review.

Minimum fruit content of fresh fruit standard or full fruit standard jam or marmalade (taken from Part II of the Schedule to the Food Standards (Preserves) Order 1944. S.R. & 0. 1944, No. 842.
Apple and Blackberry40 (30/10)
Apple and Blackcurrant40 (30/10)
Apple and Damson40 (30/10)
Apple and Plum40 (30/10)
Apple and Raspberry and/or Loganberry40 (30/10)
Apple and Strawberry40 (30/10)
Apple Jelly40
Apricot and Peach40 (20/20)
Blackberry (or Bramble) and Blackberry (or Bramble) Seedless or Jelly38
Blackcurrant and Blackcurrant Jelly20
Damson and Damson Jelly38
Elderberry Jelly and Elderberry Seedless40
Peach and Mixtures of Peach with Citrus Fruit40
Plum and Plum Jelly40
Plum and Blackcurrant40 (30/10)
Plum and Raspberry40 (30/10)
Plum and Strawberry40 (30/10)
Quince Jelly40
Raspberry and Raspberry Seedless or Jelly20
Raspberry and Gooseberry25 (10/15)
Raspberry and Redcurrant20 (10/10)
Redcurrant Jelly20
Rhubarb and Blackberry40 (30/10)
Rhubarb and Raspberry40 (30/10)
Strawberry and Gooseberry30 (15/15)
All other jams40

Shopping (Aged People)

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that old and infirm people who are unable to do their own shopping have difficulty in obtaining extras which are unrationed; and if he will issue instructions to retailers to give priority to people who are shopping for them, provided they produce the necessary ration book with the extra tea coupon to show that they are shopping for the old age pensioners.

The question of priority for special types of shopper has been raised on many occasions, and been most carefully examined by my officials. I have, of course, no power to issue instructions to retailers about this matter; even the existing request for priority for expectant mothers causes them a good deal of difficulty, and I do not think that any extension of this arrangement would be practicable. Any shopper who is obviously in a poor physical condition is, I think, likely to receive consideration at the hands of other shoppers and of the retailers, and although I have every sympathy with the motive for the suggestion, I think that the matter should be left to the good sense of the public.

Royal Navy

Target Ships


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many ships, and of what types, are earmarked for use as targets and experimental work; and what losses are estimated.

The reports of ships to be used in target trials which have appeared in the Press are substantially correct. A total of 149 ships and craft have been allocated for this purpose during 1947–48. It is impossible to say how many targets will sink, but arrangements have been made to salvage any that do. The ships allocated are as follow: 1 aircraft carrier, 3 cruisers, 13 destroyers, 3 sloops, 18 corvettes, 24 L.C.Ts., 47 coastal forces craft, 24 British submarines, 6 ex-German submarines, 10 X craft.

Hms "Venerable"

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when arrangements for the sale of the aircraft-carrier H.M.S. "Venerable" to the Dutch Government were arranged; and if it is still intended to transfer this ship.

His Majesty's Government are aware of the desire of the Netherlands Government to acquire a light fleet carrier. But, although H.M.S. "Venerable" would be suitable for their requirements, no sale has been arranged. The second half of the Question, therefore, does not arise.

Telephone Service

Kiosks, Plymouth


asked the Post-master-General what steps he proposes to take in order that telephone kiosks may be made available at suitable points on the Efford Housing Estate, Plymouth, in view of the fact that at the present time residents have, in an emergency, to travel a distance of anything up to three-quarters of a mile in order to call for the services of which they are in need.

One kiosk has recently been provided on the Efford Housing Estate, Plymouth, and arrangements are in hand to install two more. Other kiosks will be provided as the estate develops.



asked the Postmaster-General if, in the interest of an improved telephone service, he will cease the practice of recruiting staff on a temporary basis; and further, if he will now offer security of tenure to the existing temporary staff, most of whom have served as members of the N.F.S., police force, Merchant Navy, and in the telephone exchanges throughout the war years.

My right hon. Friend's policy is to recruit telephonist staff on a permanent basis wherever possible, and to appoint eligible temporary officers to the permanent establishment in order of length of service.

Post Office

Deferred Printed Papers


asked the Postmaster-General if he will now rescind the regulation for holding back the delivery of penny packets, in view of the long delays experienced by the public and businesses in particular in the delivery of ordinary mail in those districts where the afternoon delivery has been discontinued.

Deferred treatment of printed papers prepaid one penny has enabled the Post Office to secure substantial economies in staff and the alteration proposed would involve additional calls on manpower.

Dismissed Postmen, Glasgow


asked the Postmaster-General the dates between which he dismissed the 64 temporary postmen still unemployed in Glasgow; whether these men were dismissed in order that they might enter productive industry, or what was the reason for their dismissal; and whether he will now take them back into the Post Office service.

We have not been able to check the names of all the 64 men now signing on, but I understand that the majority were discharged on 31st May as, following the re-arrangement of services, they had become redundant to requirements. I regret that is still the position.

"Business Reply" Letters (Postmark)


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that since public attention was drawn to the un-punctuality of the reduced postal services, the date and time are increasingly being omitted from some postmarks; and whether he will stop this practice.

There has been no authorised alteration of practice in this connection; but my notice has been drawn to the omission of the postmark from unstamped "business reply" letters. Steps are being taken to stop this irregularity.

Delivery Delays, London


asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention has been drawn to the continued delay to letters addressed to the W. 1. S.W.1 and S.E.15 postal districts; and whether he has any statement to make.

I much regret the further cases of delay to which the hon. Member has called my attention. The precise cause of the delays has not been ascertained, but it seems probable that they were mainly due to mistreatment of the letters after receipt at the delivery offices. I am having further inquiry made and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Bbc Publication ("London Calling")


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the B.B.C. have announced that their publication "London Calling" is to be increased in size; and whether, in view of the reduction in allocation of newsprint of daily papers, he will take steps to ensure that a similar reduction is effected in the case of this publication.

"London Calling" is a weekly journal produced for sale overseas, and, as my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury explained on 22nd July, the newsprint cut does not apply to weekly periodicals.

Royal Air Force

Night Flying, Booker


asked the Secretary of State for Air if he is aware of the inconvenience caused to persons living near Booker aerodrome, High Wycombe, by low-flying aircraft during the hours of darkness; and if he will take steps to mitigate the nuisance.

Booker is a training school for R.A.F. cadets, and night flying is part of their course. On the night flights, pilots are instructed to keep within the boundaries of the airfield, but, even so, I am afraid that some inconvenience is caused to those who live near by. As the days shorten, the flights will begin at an earlier hour, and I hope that the inconvenience will be less.

Llandwrog Airfield (Use)


asked the Secretary of State for Air if a decision has been taken on the future use of the airfield at Llandwrog, Caernarvonshire; and for how many civilians the airfield will provide employment.

Yes. The airfield at Llandwrog is to be used for storage. The unit will be manned chiefly by the R.A.F., but about 20 civilians will be employed.

Missing Personnel (Search)


asked the Secretary of State for Air how many R.A.F. personnel are still reported missing in Europe; and whether search is still being continued, and with what result.

At the end of the war there were 38,700 members of the R.A.F. who had been lost on sorties to Europe from the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Of this number, approximately 12,000 are known to have been lost over the sea, and it is, therefore, unlikely that further positive information about their fate can now be found. Of the remainder, we have discovered what happened to nearly 16,000 officers and men whose deaths had been presumed, and each month about 300 more are traced. Teams of the Missing Research and Inquiry Service are at work in many parts of Europe; Holland. Belgium and Scandinavia have largely been covered; much work has been done in France, Germany, Italy and Greece; a team has begun work in Czechoslovakia; and it is hoped that teams will shortly be going into Poland and Yugoslavia. A few weeks ago, I decided to extend the period for which the Service will continue, and I hope that the task will now be satisfactorily fulfilled.

Corporation Aircraft (Petrol)


asked the Secretary of State for Air what is the number of airfields at which B.O.A.C. and B.E.A.C. aircraft receive R.A.F. petrol; and what arrangements are made for the cost of the petrol to be charged against the corporations.

Arrangements are in force at ten R.A.F. stations overseas for aircraft of B.O.A.C. and B.E.A.C. to be supplied with R.A.F. petrol. The cost of the petrol is recovered from the company responsible for the refuelling of corporation aircraft

Civil Aviation

London-Cornwall Service


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if, when the air service is started between London, the West of England and Cornwall, it is the intention to operate a service during the hours of darkness.

I am informed by British European Airways that they do not intend to operate a service between London and Cornwall during the hours of darkness.

Yeadon Aerodrome

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation what technical investigations have been carried out at Yeadon Aerodrome; if further investigations are still to be carried out; and whether this aerodrome can be brought up to the necessary standard required for regular air transport services.

A detailed technical survey has been carried out at Yeadon aerodrome but until the examination of the report has been completed, it is not possible to say whether any further investigation will be required or whether this aerodrome can be brought up to the standard required for regular air transport services.

Somaliland (Christian Missions)


asked the Secretary of State for War when Christian missions are to be permitted in Somaliland.

The policy is reviewed from time to time and the matter is to be discussed with the Military Governor, who is at present in this country.

Employment (Elderly People)


asked the Minister of Labour if he will give an estimate of the number of males over 65 years of age and females over 60 years of age at present employed in all occupations.

I regret that the information available is not sufficient to enable me to form a reliable estimate

Clearing Depot Kelstern (Storage)


asked the Minister of Works if he is aware that thousands of single iron bedsteads are stacked on the old runway at Kelstern aerodrome, Lincolnshire, rusting away because they are uncovered; who is responsible for leaving this valuable equipment unguarded; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent future waste of Government property.

Kelstern is used as a clearing depot for beds and bunks declared surplus by Government Departments. Owing to the shortage of covered storage accommodation the less valuable equipment is stored in the open. The work of sorting and re-issuing the equipment is proceeding as quickly as possible and in present conditions the stock is not deteriorating. Further coverings are being supplied.

India (Boundary Commission)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India (1) whether it is intended that the freedom of the Boundary Commission to take into account other factors than contiguous majority areas is to provide for minor local variations only, or whether substantial inroads into majority areas are contemplated, in order to unite minority shrines with their own majority populations;(2) whether it is intended that the freedom given to the Boundary Commission to take into account other factors than contiguous majority areas shall enable the commission to have regard only to the special circumstances of the Sikh community in the Punjab; or whether the location of the religious shrines of other communities will also be a factor to be taken into account by the commission.

The terms of reference of the Boundary Commission instruct it to demarcate the boundaries in question on the basis of ascertaining contiguous majority areas of Moslems and non-Moslems, but state that in doing so the Commission will also take into account other factors. As I emphasised in my speech in Committee on Clause 3 of the Indian Independence Act, it is entirely for the Commission itself to decide what these other factors are and how much importance should be attached to all or any of them. The location of the shrines of any community is therefore one of the factors which may receive consideration if the Boundary Commission so decides.

Invalided Police Officer

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now reconsider the case of Mr. B. Wellington of Moretonhampstead, Devon, who was invalided out of the Metropolitan Police force in November, 1928, as a result of an accident said to be sustained in the course of duty, with a view to this man being granted a disability pension.

This case has been very fully considered, but there is no evidence to support the suggestion that Mr. Wellington's disability is attributable to an injury received in the execution of his duty as a police officer, and I have therefore no power to grant him a pension under the Police Pensions Act, 1921.

Veterinary Inspectors (Recruitment)

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the National Veterinary Medical Association have called upon their members not to apply for the posts of veterinary inspector in his Department that are now being advertised; and what action he proposes to take.

Yes; and I sincerely regret that the National Veterinary Medical Association should seek to organise a boycott of my Department's efforts to recruit an adequate staff of veterinary inspectors. For some weeks the Association have been conducting a campaign that is deliberately designed to influence their younger members against taking up service in my Department. Their aim has been clearly expressed as being to demonstrate that the increased salaries that are now being offered will not attract a sufficient number of suitable candidates; they have also misrepresented the facts in material respects. The scales of salary that now obtain show increases ranging from about 30 per cent. to 45 per cent. on the prewar scales and compare favourably with the salaries of other technical and scientific officers of the Civil Service. I should like to take this opportunity of making it clear to all concerned that I shall not be prepared to re-consider them as a result of any boycotting tactics on the part of the Association.


Teachers (Responsibility Allowances)

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that the Middlesex educational authority is tailing, as an example furnished him demonstrates, to make payments to teachers for responsibility additions to their salaries as authorised by the Burnham Scale; and it he will take measures to remedy this position.

It is expected that the majority of the outstanding responsibility allowances for the years 1945–46 and 1946–47 will be paid not later than the beginning of the next school term. There may be a slight further delay in the payment of certain allowances in excess of the normal rates in respect of 1946–47, but the general scheme for these payments has been approved by my Department.

Junior And Infant Schools

asked the Minister of Education what is the present number of combined junior and infant schools in the country; the number of these combined schools under men and women head teachers, respectively; and the number of separate infant schools.

There were in January, 1946, 5,197 separate infants schools or departments in England and Wales. I regret that the rest of the information asked for has not been compiled from the 1946 statistics. It will, however, be obtained from the 1947 statistics and will be available in about three months time.

Trade And Commerce

Belgian Gelatine (Imports)


asked the President of the Board of Trade how much is still available for the purchase of gelatine supplies from Belgium under the existing trade agreement.

During recent trade discussions with Belgium it was stated that £800,000 worth of gelatine would be available for export to this country in 1947. It is estimated that £400,000 has been sent this year to date

Production (Variations)

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent production has varied, in the nearest convenient period, by comparison with 1945 and 1938, in the Development Areas, London and Greater London areas respectively.

Production in the different areas of the country can only be measured at a census of production. The last of these was taken in respect of 1935, and the next wall relate to 1948.

Housing, Kent

asked the Minister of Health how many applications for houses and flats were received by the local authorities in Kent between 30th June, 1945, and 30th June, 1947.

Identity Cards

asked the Minister of Health what is the amount of paper used in identity cards; how many persons are employed in the Department; and what is the estimated total cost to the nation of the system generally.

The annual amount of paper used in identity cards is about 18½ tons. The staff employed at the central offices is approximately 855 and the total annual cost of those offices is about £230,000. It is not possible to state separately how much of the work of the joint local national registration and food offices is attributable to national registration. The same local staff does both classes of work.

Armed Forces (Auxiliary Units)

asked the Minister of Defence what are the duties and responsibilities of county Territorial and Auxiliary Forces associations in regard to R.A.F. Auxiliary units and Air Cadet units; and what is the position of Sea Cadets and their administration in relation to county Territorial and Auxiliary Forces associations.

I have been asked to reply. County joint associations exercise an extensive range of powers and duties connected with the organisation and administratio. of the Auxiliary Air Force which are assigned to them under Clause 2a of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act, 1907. I am sending the hon. Member an up-to-date list of these responsibilities. The duties of the county associations in regard to the Air Training Corps have not yet been precisely defined. The day-to-day administration of the Corps is the responsibility of the A.O.C.-in-C. Reserve Command. The Air Council's policy is, however, to link the A.T.C. as closely as practicable through its local committees, with the county associations, so that the latter can assist the Corps in its local contacts, and on such questions as accommodation and amenities, recruiting, the provision of instructors and other similar matters. As co-operation develops further, the Air Ministry hope, from time to time, to define more formally the associations' responsibilities towards the A.T.C.The administration of the Sea Cadet Corps is controlled by the Sea Cadet Council, which is composed of equal numbers of representatives of the Admiralty and the Navy League, with representatives of other interested bodies as may be necessary. The Sea Cadet Council has recently arranged for Sea Cadet Corps Units to be represented on county associations in order to obtain the benefit of their valuable advice and long experience, on an informal basis, in local matters similar to those mentioned above in connection with the A.T.C.

Bombed Sites (Fencing)

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the danger to the health of the community caused by the misuse of bombed sites, he will consider issuing instructions to local authorities to have these bombed sites fenced in, especially in crowded areas, and notice boards erected warning the public against depositing refuse on such sites.

In view of the shortage of labour and materials the issue of general instructions would not be justifiable, but I am prepared to consider individual cases on their merits. The erection of notice boards is a matter within the discretion of local authorities.