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Written Answers

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 12 April 1949

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday, 12th April, 1949

Pensions Appeals (Test Cases)


asked the Minister of Pensions how many claimants suffering from Hodgkin's disease applying for pensions are awaiting the rehearing by the pensions appeal tribunal of the test case re-submitted to them by the nominated Judge of the High Court dealing with these appeals; and when is a decision likely to be given.

The number of claimants whose appeals are awaiting the outcome of the two test cases remitted to the pensions appeal tribunal by the nominated Judge of the High Court is 172. One case has been heard recently by a pensions appeal tribunal and disallowed; the other is expected to be heard next month. When the tribunal decision in the second test case becomes available a pronouncement by the learned Judge will be sought at the earliest possible date.

British Army

Officers (Furniture Storage)


asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware of the considerable expense incurred by officers and their families who are moved from one station to another in the storage of their furniture while occupying furnished accommodation in a new station because of inability to get unfurnished accommodation; and if he will take the necessary steps to reimburse such cost as is allowed in the Civil Service.

The contribution to be made by public funds towards officers' removal expenses was carefully considered in the light of post-war conditions, and it was decided that payment for storage of furniture from public funds was not justified.

Malaya (Soldiers' Families)


asked the Secretary of State for War how many families have joined their husbands in Malaya, under War Office arrangements, since 1st June, 1947; how many have been called forward and are awaiting passage; and how many remain on the waiting list.

Since 1st June, 1947, 963 families have joined their husbands serving in the British Army in Malaya and Singapore and 58 are at present in passage; 276 families have been called forward and are awaiting passage. The information asked for in the last part of the Question cannot be given without reference to the military authorities in the Far East; I am, however, obtaining it and will send it to the hon. and gallant Member.

Pay And Pensions (Belated Claims)


asked the Secretary of State for War why he has instructed the Paymaster-General that, except under such exceptional circumstances as may be approved by the Army Council, no claim shall be admitted for pay, pension, etc., granted by Royal Warrant relating to any period more than 12 months antecedent to the date of claim.

The provision referred to has been included in the Royal Warrants governing the pay and pensions of the Army since at least 1866 and probably much earlier. The reason for it is that control must be exercised over the payment of belated claims in which the relevant facts may be difficult to establish. There is, however, also a standing instruction that claims dating back more than 12 months must be referred to my Department for consideration. If there is a reasonable explanation of the omission to claim earlier the payment is allowed despite the delay.

Town And Country Planning

South Wales And Monmouthshire


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he will now state when the outline plan for South Wales and Monmouthshire will be available.

I now understand that the plan is likely to be published about the end of May.

Agricultural Land


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning why he has advised the county planning officers that they should no longer consult the county agricultural executive committees when preparing proposals affecting agricultural land.

I assume the hon. Member has in mind the recent amendment to Article 9 (2) of the General Development Order under which planning authorities now consult with the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries instead of with the county agricultural executive committees. This change was made at the request of my right hon. Friend who wished to simplify the process of consultation by providing that planning authorities always go for advice to the one source—the Agricultural Lands Service.

National Parks


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether, in view of the introduction of the National Parks Bill, he will initiate a nation-wide publicity campaign in order to educate the public how to preserve the land to which they will be allowed access.

As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, the Bill lays a duty on the National Parks Commission to use suitable methods of publicity for the objects he has in view, in so far as National Parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty are concerned. I do not think it expedient to anticipate the work they will do, if and when the Bill becomes law.

Meopham, Kent


asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning whether he will now make public a final decision one way or another about the possibility of developing a satellite town around Meopham, Kent, in order that local authorities who are considering the development of Vigo Village may know their position.

National Insurance Fund (Balances)


asked the Minister of National Insurance if, in view of the fact that for the years ending 31st March, 1949, 1950 and 1951 the amounts to be held by the National Insurance Fund are £2 million, £5 million and £6 million, respectively, he will say what increases are anticipated up to 1955; and how much of the working balance has been spent already.

The Government Actuary's Report on the Financial Provisions of the National Insurance Bill, 1946 (Cmd. 6730), gave in Table IX the estimated balances on the National Insurance Fund at the end of each financial year from March, 1948, to March, 1955. Following amendments made in the course of the passage of the Bill the Government Actuary revised these estimates. The following table shows the amended figures:

Date (31st March)Estimated balance of Fund (£million)
The answer to the second part of the Question is "None."

National Finance



asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the continued importance of national saving and the slight falling off of savings recently, he will institute a National Savings Week in the near future.

With my full approval and support, the National Savings Committee are already considering the organisation of a National Savings Week later this year.

Cost Of Living


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent deliberate fiscal measures have accounted for the rise in the cost of living since September, 1946.

The old cost of living index showed no change between September, 1946, and June, 1947. Between June, 1947, when the new interim index of retail prices was introduced, and February, 1949, the last month for which a figure has been published, there was an increase of approximately nine points of which a net increase of about two and three-quarter points could be attributed to deliberate fiscal measures.

Civil Service

Salaries And Allowances

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount of the salaries and allowances paid to Government employees in 1947 and 1948, respectively; and how much of these amounts was repaid to the Government in Income Tax.

The total for non-industrial staff for the year ending 1st July, 1947, was £243.1 million and for the year ending 1st October, 1948, £271 million. Information as to the amounts repaid in Income Tax is not available.

Candidates (War Service)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many established civil servants passed the Civil Service examinations during or prior to the 1914–18 war, served with the Colours during that war, and have not been allowed to count such service towards pension.

Eighty-six cases are known where certification by the Civil Service Commission of successful candidates at Civil Service examinations was delayed by war service in the 1914–18 war. In addition, an unknown number were certificated, but joined the Forces before taking up duty. Neither category count war service for pension.

Trade And Commerce

Overall Cloths


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will take steps to increase the supply of industrial overalls which are in short supply.

The supply of overall cloths is the difficulty. All practicable steps are being taken to increase production of this cloth, but the needs of the export drive, especially to the dollar areas, must take precedence.

Anglo-Yugoslav Agreement


asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the total value of business, excluding deliveries of crude oil, so far transacted with Yugoslavia under the trade agreement concluded with that country on 23rd December, 1948.

From the date on which the trade agreement came into force until 28th February, the total value of exports from the United Kingdom to Yugoslavia was approximately £1,053,000. I have no information about the value of orders placed in this country for later delivery.



asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now give consideration to the complete removal of the licence which is necessary in connection with the manufacture or trade of cutlery, forks and spoons.

Feedingstuffs (Prices)


asked the Minister of Agriculture how much more in the aggregate farmers will have to pay for concentrated feedingstuffs in the current financial year, on the assumption that there is no reduction in the amount purchased.

Nearly £27 million, of which approximately £23 million will relate to livestock products subject to guaranteed prices.


asked the Minister of Agriculture how much the average cost of production of milk in the north-western area will rise as a result of the increased prices for feedingstuffs.

I have no information for the north-western area alone, but for Great Britain as a whole the cost increase is estimated as about 1⅝ per gallon.

Royal Navy (Vaccination)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will give an assurance that ships' officers carrying out regulations in regard to vaccination and inoculations are made aware of the right of the compulsorily enlisted men to refuse these operations.

Yes. The instructions to medical officers state that no punishment or penalty is to be incurred for declining vaccination or re-vaccination on conscientious or other grounds and that only voluntary inoculation can be performed. This applies to all men in the Royal Navy and not only to National Service men.

Building Workers, Glasgow

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give the number of building trade workers registered as unemployed in the City of Glasgow at the last convenient date, showing each grade separately.

The following table gives the information desired:

Numbers of males registered as unemployed in the Glasgow area, including Rutherglen, at 14th March, 1949, whose last employment was in the building industry.
Carpenter, Joiner22
Slater, Tiler (Roof)7
Plasterer, etc.19
Painter, Decorator, Paperhanger105
Plumber, Gas Fitter, etc.7
All other occupations (mainly labourers)1,569

Herring Industry Board (Reports)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why the Herring Industry Board Annual Reports for the years 1938–39, 1939–40, 1940–41, 1941–42, 1942–43, 1943–44 and 1944–45 were not placed in the Library of the House of Commons until 31st March, 1949.

These reports were not printed or published owing to the war. Copies in typescript were recently supplied to the Librarian of the House on request.

Public Health


asked the Minister of Health how many deaths from smallpox occurred in England and Wales during 1948; and what was their vaccinal condition.


asked the Minister of Health how many death certificates were received during 1948 on which death was attributed to vaccination. vaccinia, post vaccinal encephalitis, or on which vaccination or any complication thereof was mentioned; and what were the ages of persons to whom these certificates related.

Seven, the ages were 11 weeks (two), four months, five months, eight months, nine months and 18 years.

National Health Service (Emergency Treatment)

asked the Minister of Health whether his regulations provide that a patient can recover the fees he has paid to a doctor, outside the National Health Scheme, who has been summoned in an emergency on account of the patient's registered practitioner being unable to attend.

No, but they include arrangements for enabling a patient to receive treatment in an emergency from practitioners taking part in the National Health Service.

Mineral Development Committee (Report)

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he has yet received the report of the Mineral Development Committee; and when publication of it may be expected.

I have just received this report and am arranging for it to be published.

Telephone Applications Glasgow

asked the Postmaster-General how many persons were on the waiting list for a telephone service in Glasgow at the last convenient date and how many were on the same waiting list a year before.

There were 15,320 applications for telephone service outstanding in the Glasgow telephone area at the end of March, 1948, and 16,141 at the end of March, 1949. During the intervening period, 7,340 exchange lines and 12,894 telephones were connected.