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Written Answers

Volume 464: debated on Monday 9 May 1949

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday, 9th May, 1949

Fuel And Power

Greenwich Power Station


asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of numerous complaints by the local inhabitants of the serious emission by the Greenwich power station of the London Transport Executive, and of the danger to their eyes and nuisance to the children in the nearby school in Old Woolwich Road, he will take steps to see that this power station is supplied with better quality coal in order that grit emission may be reduced and the conditions made more comfortable for the people in that district.

The emission of grit at power stations is not necessarily attributable to the quality of coal consumed, but I am arranging for an investigation to he made by an expert of my Department to see what can be done to reduce any cause for complaint.

Domestic Coal (Quality)


asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what improvement there has been in the quality of domestic coal in the last six months.

I would not venture to claim that there has been as yet any significant improvement. The urgent need to export good quality house coal, the increasing proportion of our output cut mechanically from thinner and dirtier seams and the shortage of cleaning plant to handle it makes it inevitable that progress in this field must be slow. Within the limits set by these fundamental difficulties, however, the National Coal Board and the merchants are doing all they can to improve the quality of deliveries to domestic consumers.

Petrol Ration


asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he can give an estimate of the amount of petrol required to double the existing monthly allowance to private motorists; and what dollar expenditure would be involved.

Three hundred and sixty thousand tons a year, costing f.o.b. about 13 million dollars.

Food Supplies

Imported Fresh Meat


asked the Minister of Food how much fresh meat was imported into this country during April, 1949; and from what sources.

Imports of fresh meat and offal were about 50 tons in April, all from Eire. In addition, about 2,400 head of fat cattle were imported from Eire for immediate slaughter. This is, of course, a much more important matter and the 2,400 head of fat cattle last month represents a large increase on April, 1948, when only 145 head were imported.

Ice Cream (Milk)


asked the Minister of Food if, in view of the increased production of milk and the importance of ice cream as an item of public diet, he will now permit the use of milk in the manufacture of ice cream.

I expect to be able to allow some milk for making ice cream during the next few weeks.

Eggs (Allocation)

asked the Minister of Food what proportion of the extra egg supply has been made available in the shops and what proportion to catering establishments; and what complaints he has received of the relative abundance of eggs in such establishments and their shortage in the home.

Compared with last year 150 million additional shell eggs were allocated by the Ministry of Food between 27th March (when shell eggs were again issued to catering establishments) and 30th April. Of these additional supplies 77 per cent, went to the shops for ordinary and priority consumers and 23 per cent. to catering establishments. The allocation to those establishments, however, represented only 4½ per cent. of the total supply of eggs allocated to the civilian population during that period and I cannot agree that this is relative abundance. Few complaints have been received of the nature indicated by the hon. Member.

Chocolates And Sweets


asked the Minister of Food what measure of control his Department now exercise over the distribution of chocolates and sweets.

Distribution is primarily in the hands of the trade, but my Department licenses manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, and is represented on the industry's distribution committee.


asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the heavy de-

CommodityUnitPrice at 1st August, 1922Price at 1st May, 1949
Bacon1 lb1s. 10d2s. 2½d.
Bread4 lb.10d.10¼d.
Fresh1 lb2s. 1¾d.1s 4d.(a)
Salt1 lb.2s. 1d.
Cheese1 lb.1s. 1¼d.10d.(a)
Eggs, Freshdozen2s. 3d.2s. 0d. to 3s. 0d.
Flour7 lb.1s. 5½d.1s. 5½d.
Special1 lb.7d.9d.
Standard1 lb.7d.5d.
Beef1st quality home killed (bone in)
Ribs1 lb.1s. 6¾d.First 4 Ribs of Forequarter 1s. 8d.
Thin Flank1 lb.11¼dThin or Hindquarter Flank 1s. 0d.
ChilledImported (bone in)
Ribs1 lb.10½d.First 4 Ribs of Forequarter 1s. 4d.
Thin Flank1 lb.6d.Thin or Hindquarter Flank 9d.
British1st quality, home killed
Legs1 lb.1s. 9½d.Leg (bone in) 2s. 0d.
Breast1 lb.1s. 0½d.Scrag and Breast 1s. 0d.
Legs1 lb.1s. 0¼d.Leg (bone in) 1s. 5d.
Breast1 lb.5d.Scrag and Breast 8d.
Potatoes7 lb.9d.10½d.—1s. 0½d.
according to area and variety
Sugar, granulated1 lb.6d.5d.
Tea—average1 lb.2s. 3d.3s. 2d.
(a) The Chancellor has announced that the price of butter will be increased by 2d. per lb. and cheese by 4d. per lb.

mand for chocolates and sweets, which has followed de-rationing, he is prepared to give manufacturers an increased allocation of sugar and other ingredients.

We have already substantially increased the allocations of sugar and other essential ingredients in anticipation of the heavier demand.



asked the Minister of Food what are the present prices of essential foods, and the prices of those foods during the comparable period following the 1914–18 war.

Berlin Air Lift (Petrol Consumption)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the average monthly consumption of petrol used in the Berlin air lift during the past three months.

Charities Of Presteigne


asked the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean, as representing the Charity Commissioners, when the draft scheme for the re-organisation of the Charities of Presteigne, which has been under their consideration since January, 1948, may be expected to be ready to replace the present charities which have long been unworkable owing to their obsolete terms.

The making of a scheme for the future administration of the 13 charities in question, the areas of benefit of which now comprise many civil parishes, has admittedly been under consideration for a long time. The case presents formidable difficulties, and to ensure satisfactory administration in the future it is important that the scheme should be one which is likely to command general acceptance. In the past the preparation of a scheme in such a case as this would probably have been preceded by a public local inquiry held by an Assistant Commissioner, but at the present time the Charity Commissioners have only one Assistant Commissioner available for such inquiries and it has not been practicable to arrange for such an inquiry in this case. Nevertheless the Commissioners will expedite the preparation of the draft scheme as much as possible.

Rms "Magdalena"


asked the Minister of Transport on what date a Board of Trade certificate was applied for in respect of R.M.S. "Magdalena"; when it was granted; and whether any alterations in construction were demanded and made as a condition of such a certificate being granted.

The builders applied for a survey for a passenger and safety certificate on 8th October, 1946, shortly after the keel was laid. The survey continued thoughout the construction of the ship and the certificate was issued in 18th February, 1949. No major alterations in construction were asked for by the Ministry's surveyor.

Richmond Park (Roads)


asked the Minister of Works why five miles of roads in Richmond Park still remain closed.

Certain lengths of roadway amounting to five miles on weekdays and to two miles at weekends are kept permanently closed to motor traffic, partly to prevent damage to crops by deer and partly to preserve the peace and quiet of the park. All roads in Richmond Park are open to cyclists and pedestrians.

Telephone Service

Kiosks, Wales

asked the Postmaster-General the number of rural telephone kiosks in each county in Wales which were exempt on 1st April, 1949, from further payment of guarantees.

The desired information is as follows:

CountyNumber of telephone kiosks exempted from further payment of guarantees
In Monmouthshire 18 kiosks have been exempted

Applications, Northern Ireland

asked the Postmaster-General the number of applications received for telephone installations in Northern Ireland from 1st April, 1947, to 1st April, 1949; and how many were granted during that period.

Twelve thousand, three hundred and sixteen applications for telephone installations were received in Northern Ireland during the period mentioned and 8,202 were met.

Armed Forces (Aliens)

asked the Minister of Defence whether he will now make a statement about the possibility of forming a foreign legion of European volunteers and so conserving British manpower; and what consultations he has had on this question with the Minister of Labour and National Service.

My Service colleagues and I have carefully considered the desirability of forming a Foreign Legion but we have concluded that the raising of such a force would not be a satisfactory

Before taxes on income
Interest, profits and rent41424141
Civilian income from work and property100100100100
After taxes on income
Interest, profits and rent37363434
Civilian income from work and property100100100100
* The items in this table are identical in definition with those of table 5 of Cmd. 7371. The totals exclude the income of the Armed Forces. The item "rent, interest and profits," like the corresponding item in table 8 of Cmd. 7649, includes professional earnings and income from farming; it also includes the undistributed profits of companies, which as they do not form part of personal income, are excluded from table 8 of Cmd. 7649.

Common Land, Wales

asked the Minister of Agriculture what is the total acreage of common land held by his Department in each of the Welsh counties at present; method of using alien manpower in the Services.

National Finance

Salary Earners

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what was, in 1938 and 1948 respectively, the approximate total number of incomes classified as "Salaries" for the purposes of the tables in Command Paper No. 7649.

I fear that figures cannot be given, since the number of salary earners is not known in either year.

Personal Incomes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish a table for 1948, in similar terms to Table 5 of Command Paper No. 7371, and a table for 1947, in similar terms to Table 8 of Command Paper No. 7649.

The figures asked for in the first part of the Question are given in the following table. The figures of distribution of personal income in 1947 that are asked for in the second part of the Question are already given in Table 8 of Command Paper 7649.and what acreage previously held has been returned since 1945.

Held at 5th May, 1949Previously held but relinquished since 1945

Alien (Residence Permit)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will instruct the Aliens Department to extend the residence permit granted to Mr. Josef Salbach, of 48, Kew Bridge Court, Chiswick, W.4, pending a decision by his office and the Ministry of Labour whether this person may take employment here; and if he will also notify Mr. Salbach of this decision as soon as possible.

Mr. Salbach was informed on 3rd May that I was not prepared to agree to a further extension of his visit to this country. This decision was taken after consultation with the Ministry of Labour and National Service.

Prisons And Borstal Institutions

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of prison and Borstal establishments which were in use for men and boys, and women and girls, respectively, in 1939, and the number in use at the present time.

The numbers are as follows:

Women (a)78
Borstals (b):
(a) The majority of women's prisons are located in separate parts of men's prisons set aside for the purpose. In this table they are shown, however, as separate prisons.
(b) Certain Borstals are located in separate parts of prisons; these also are shown as separate establishments.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of girls at present in Borstal Institutions after absconding from approved schools to which they had been committed as being in need of care or protection.

Twenty-three. One other girl had been found guilty of criminal offences as well as being in need of care or protection and a further five had been found to be beyond the control of their parents or guardians.