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Written Answers

Volume 462: debated on Friday 18 March 1949

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 18th March, 1949

Leasehold Committee (Report)

asked the Attorney-General when he expects to receive and publish the final report of the Leasehold Committee.

At this stage I can give no date either for receipt or publication of the final report of the Leasehold Committee.

Shop-Window And Street Lighting

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will make a statement concerning the restrictions on street and shop-window lighting.

Yes. I am satisfied that the improvement in the coal situation now justifies the removal of the restrictions on the use of electricity for shop window, advertisement and display lighting outside peak hours. It has been agreed with the British Electricity Authority that the extra coal to be used in consequence by the power stations shall be of inferior quality and mainly take the form of "untreated smalls." This type of coal, which is the one most commonly used at present in generating electricity, has been available for domestic consumers "off the ration" for some time; and I am assured by the National Coal Board that the additional supplies required can now be provided without endangering the export programme. Since shop window, advertisement and display lighting is most unlikely to increase the risk of load shedding during the summer months, there will be no restrictions at all on the use of electricity for these purposes from 2nd April to 2nd October. From then on, however, and throughout next winter, in view of the continued danger of load shedding, it will be prohibited on week days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.I have also decided, after consulting my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, that street lighting should no longer be limited to 75 per cent. of the pre-war standard. There may however be some cases where the public lighting authorities are not able to increase the standard of street lighting at once, partly because the equipment may need repair and replacement and partly because where streets are lit by gas, local conditions may make it difficult for the gas undertakings to meet the additional load.

Dutch Milk Products (Import)

asked the Minister of Food if he will specify the milk products to the value of £11,750,000 which are to be imported from the Netherlands this year.

The milk products are butter, cheese, condensed milk, milk powder, block milk, lactose and whey powder.

Cyprus (Imports And Exports)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what was the value of total exports from and imports into Cyprus, respectively, for 1948; and whether he will give a comparison with 1938 and the two preceding years.

The figures requested are set out in the table below.

1936193719381948 Provisional
Exports and Re-exports(a)1,5952,1802,4785,700
(a) Excluding Specie.

Maintenance Orders

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether in view of the fact that the maximum maintenance order issued by a magistrates' court for the benefit of wives of deserters has not been increased since 1885, he will introduce legislation to authorise these courts to increase the amount in proportion to a husband's income.

Legislation proposing to increase the maximum amounts which can be ordered under a wife maintenance order is now before the House.

Metropolitan Police Fund

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much interest on cash balances has accrued to the Metropolitan Police Fund for each of the years 1938–39 to 1947–48.

The normal practice of the Receiver is to invest in Treasury Bills the balance arising on the periodical receipts from police rate and Exchequer grant: the amounts shown in the subjoined table show the discounts received on the bills and the interest paid on temporary loans in cases where borrowing became necessary.

YearReceivedPaid on Temporary Loans