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Written Answers

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 10 May 1949

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday, 10th May, 1949

National Service (Further Liability)


asked the Minister of Labour how far his regulations impose any further liability for National Service upon a man who has been discharged from one Service with good character and satisfactory trade proficiency but on the grounds that his services are no longer required.

The National Service Act, 1948, imposes a liability for further service upon all men who were called up for service in the Armed Forces after the 1st January, 1947, if they cease to serve therein before they have completed their statutory period of service.


Tyre Manufacturing Industry (Redundant Workers)


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of redundancy in the tyre manufacturing industry; and what steps he is taking to find alternative employment for those declared redundant.

Yes, and in accordance with normal arrangements employment exchanges are assisting redundant workers to obtain alternative employment.

European Volunteer Workers

asked the Minister of Labour how many displaced persons have been admitted to this country to work in agriculture since 1st January; and under what conditions they are admitted.

The number of newly arrived European Volunteer Workers who have been placed in agriculture since 1st January, 1949, is 260. All European Volunteer Workers are permitted to land in this country on condition that they register at once with the Police, enter such employment as may be specified by the Ministry of Labour and National Service and do not leave such employment without the consent of the Ministry.

Shipyard Workers

asked the Minister of Labour the number of workpeople employed in United Kingdom shipyards and marine engine works engaged on shipbuilding, shiprepairing, and marine enginebuilding, respectively, divided as to naval new work, merchant new work, naval conversion and repair work, and merchant conversion and repair work, at 30th June, 1943, 1945 and 1948 and at 31st March, 1949, and showing principal districts, such as Scotland, North East Coast, Belfast and other districts.

As the answer involves lengthy statistical tables I have sent it to the hon. and gallant Member.

Remploy Factories, South Wales

asked the Minister of Labour if he will indicate where each Remploy factory is situate in South Wales; how many are in production and standing idle, respectively; how many of these were constructed directly for the corporation and those allocated to them; and how many persons are at present employed.

Ten Remploy factories have now been completed in South Wales; of these five were built for the Disabled Persons Employment Corporation at Blackwood, Merthyr, Pentre, Tonyrefail and Ystradgynlais; the other five have been allocated to them at Aberbeeg, Bridgend, Porth, Swansea and Treforest. All these factories are in production except those at Aberbeeg and Pentre which will open very shortly. On 26th April, 606 disabled persons (including 57 home workers) were employed.

Scotland (Water And Drainage Schemes)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many cases work has commenced on schemes under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage (Scotland) Act, 1944.

Work has begun on 70 water schemes and 68 drainage schemes of which 36 and 44, respectively, have been completed.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent there is a shortage of labour and materials for carrying out schemes under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage (Scotland) Act, 1944.

Schemes are allowed to start in the numbers justified by the available supplies of labour and materials, and, in general, any minor delays that may take place from time to time arise from only temporary difficulties in delivery dates.

War Pensions (Next Of Kin)


asked the Minister of Pensions how many next of kin of war deceased persons now receive a pension as a result of raising the means test level; and what are the total costs and the increased costs, respectively.

I presume the hon. and gallant Member has in mind the change announced in June last whereby the first 20s. of a parent's earnings are disregarded. As a result of this change, over 2,000 parents have had their pensions increased, the average increase being 7s. 7d. per week and the total annual cost £40,000. In addition, a small proportion of 1,700 new awards made during the last 12 months were admitted because of this improvement.

National Finance

Agricultural Land (Death Duties)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total amount of death duties on agricultural land paid in the last five years.

The amount is not separately recorded but on the existing basis the figure would be about £3 million a year.

Pork And Eggs (Dollar Purchases)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount of dollars he has allocated in the current year for the purchase of pork and dried or shell eggs from the United States of America and Canada.

For the calendar year 1949 18 million dollars have been allocated for the purchase of pork from the U.S.A. and 34.5 million dollars for the purchase of dried and shell eggs from the U.S.A. and Canada.

Statutory Instruments


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many Statutory Instruments were made during the first four months of 1949; how many were revoked; and how many expired.

Eight hundred and sixty Instruments were made, 378 Instruments and Rules and Orders revoked; and 55 Instruments and Rules and Orders expired.

Advertising And Propaganda Services


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the total cost of all Government Press advertising during the last financial year.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the total cost of all Government public relations and propaganda services in the last financial year.

On present information the total cost, including oversea services amounting to about £10,717,000, is likely to be about £15,600,000.

Development Value (Claims)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for compensation for loss of development value have so far been lodged; and what is the total amount of compensation claimed.

The number of claims received up to the end of April was approximately 100,000. The amount is not known as claimants are not obliged to state the amount claimed.

Revenue And Expenditure

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, on the basis of the finance accounts of the United Kingdom, he will furnish a calculation showing how each £1 collected in taxation is allocated to various main items of national expenditure.

The figures in the table below express the provision for expenditure in the 1948 and 1949 Budgets in terms of each £1 of total revenue as estimated in those Budgets. They are given in continuation of the figures for the 1947 Budget furnished in the reply to the Question asked by the hon. Member on 27th February, 1948.

Budget Estimate1948–491949–50
National Debt Services2827
Other Consolidated Fund services.23
Supply Services:
Central Government and Finance11
Foreign and Imperial23
Home Department, Law and Justice.34
Education and Broadcasting.1213
Health, Housing, Town Planning, Labour and National Insurance etc.32310
Trade, Industry and Transport. 1111
Common Services (Work, Stationary etc.).55
Non—effective Charges (Pension).66
Supply, Food and Miscellaneous Services.26211
Revenue Departments (excluding Post Office expenditure met from Revenue).22
Surplus of Revenue over expenditure.4226

Trade And Commerce

Proposed Factory, Blaenau Ffestiniog


asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the present position with regard to the proposal for the provision of a factory at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The Ffestiniog Urban District Council have now been informed of the conditions of the loan to be made by the Treasury for this purpose; and, on acceptance, the council will then be in a position to take steps to have the factory built.

National Research Development Corporation


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet appointed the members of the National Research Development Corporation; and from what date the Corporation will commence to operate.

As I said in the answers I gave to Questions on this subject on 14th March and 27th January, we have had a good deal of difficulty in finding the right men to direct the unusual and difficult work which the Corporation will have to do, and I am not yet in a position to announce the appointment of the Chairman or any member of the Board except the Managing Director. The Corporation cannot, therefore, yet come into existence, since under the terms of the Act, at least six Directors, including the Chairman and the Managing Director, must he appointed for it to do so.I am, however, glad to be able to announce that Lord Halsbury, now Research Manager and Works Manager of Decca Record Co., Ltd., has accepted my invitation to become the Managing Director of the Corporation as soon as it can he set up. In order to assist me in handling the many problems involved, I have in the meantime appointed Lord Halsbury as Adviser to the Board of Trade on matters connected with the Corporation. This appointment will date from 1st June and will continue until the corporation is formally established. Lord Halsbury has had a distinguished career in industrial research, and also has experience of works management. I am satisfied that I could not have found a man whose gifts and training more fitted him for this post.

Watch And Clock Repairing


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the public dissatisfaction over the varied prices and sometimes indifferent workmanship shown in connection with watch and clock repairing; and what steps he is taking to remedy the position.

No. Complaints to local price regulation committees about charges for watch and clock repairing are very few; and I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply has received no complaints or representations of a general character about indifferent workmanship.

Cinemas (Sunday Opening)


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many places rejected at a poll proposals for Sunday cinemas between 1932–39 and since the war; and how many of these places have since voted in favour of Sunday cinemas.

Local authorities who hold polls at which the majority votes against the Sunday opening of cinemas are under no obligation to inform my right hon. Friend of the result, and accordingly I am unable to furnish the information for which my hon. Friend asks.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the population of the areas in England and Wales allowing Sunday cinemas; and what is the population of those areas prohibiting Sunday cinemas and the percentage these totals are of the total population.

The only figure I can give my hon. Friend relates to areas in which the licensing authorities have power to allow the Sunday opening of cinemas. The population of these areas is approximately 28 million, i.e. 65.2 per cent. of the estimated population of England and Wales on 31st December, 1948.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what number of authorities in England and Wales allowed Sunday cinemas when the Sunday Entertainments Act of 1932 came into force; what number then introduced them before the war; and what number have introduced them since.

According to my right hon. Friend's information, the Sunday opening of cinemas was allowed, before the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, came into force, by five county councils (including London) throughout their areas, and, elsewhere, by the appropriate licensing authorities in 159 areas, comprising 10 county boroughs, 49 boroughs, 31 urban districts, 41 rural districts and 28 petty sessional divisions.Between the commencement of the Act and the outbreak of war, power to allow Sunday opening was obtained by the local authorities in 80 areas, comprising two county boroughs, 44 boroughs, 29 urban districts, and five rural districts.During the war period, temporary power to allow Sunday opening was obtained, under D.R. 42 B, by the local authorities in 288 areas, comprising 50 county boroughs, 85 boroughs, 114 urban districts, and 39 rural districts. Of these 288 local authorities, 249 (comprising the councils of 50 county boroughs, 74 boroughs, 95 urban districts and 30 rural districts) have now obtained Sunday opening orders of permanent effect. Since the outbreak of war, and, almost exclusively since the end of hostilities, 98 other local authorities (comprising the councils of 15 county boroughs, 35 boroughs, 37 urban districts and 11 rural districts) have obtained orders of permanent effect.The present position is that Sunday opening is allowable by five county councils throughout their areas and, elsewhere, in 586 areas, comprising 77 county boroughs (out of 83), 202 boroughs (out of 280), 192 urban districts (out of 554), 87 rural districts (out of 434) and 28 petty sessional divisions.



asked the Minister of Agriculture the total number of pigs on agricultural holdings, including those kept under village pig schemes, at the latest date.

According to the March, 1949, quarterly returns the number of pigs kept by occupiers of over one acre of land used for agriculture in England and Wales was 2,074,000. This figure includes pigs kept by members of Pig Clubs who occupy more than one acre, but I have no information on the numbers kept by occupiers of holdings of one acre or less.

Irish Cattle (Quarantine)

asked the Minister of Agriculture the numbers of cattle which died or were destroyed during the 10-hour quarantine period following disembarkation in Glasgow from Northern Ireland during 1939 and 1948, respectively; at other British ports from Northern Ireland during 1939 and 1948, respectively; at Glasgow from Eire during 1939 and 1948, respectively; and at other British ports from Eire during 1939 and 1948, respectively.

The numbers were as follow:

EireNorthern IrelandEireNorthern Ireland
Cattle that died.5*1
Cattle slaughtered.5*1
*Separate figures for Eire and Northern Ireland are not available.
EireNorthern IrelandEireNorthern Ireland
Cattle that died.361355
Cattle slaughtered.29721

Knowle House, Mirfield

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many members of the Women's Land Army available for agricultural employment, are now accommodated at Knowle House, Mirfield; whether they are all fully employed in agriculture; whether he is aware that the Mirfield Urban District Council, the owners, wish to have the house used as a hostel for old people; and by what date his need for the accommodation will cease.

Twenty-two members of the Women's Land Army are at present accommodated at Knowle House, Mirfield, and are fully employed in agri- culture. I am not aware of any request from the Mirfield Urban District Council for the release of this house, nor that they wish to use it as a hostel for old people. It is not possible at present to indicate when the house can be released.

Singapore (Registered Voters)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he is aware that, in Singapore, out of a total population of 680,000, only 8,688 qualified to vote in the municipal elections; how many were disqualified because of the property qualifications; and whether he will take steps to remove these restrictions.

The figure of 8,688 is that of persons who registered as voters and not the total of those qualified. The information requested in the second part of the Question is not available. The property qualification is the subject of a Bill now being considered by the Legislative Council.

Aden (Language Teaching)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies his reasons for declining to promote a common language, English or Arabic, for Aden.

There is no marked desire for a common language in the Government and aided schools in Aden, except for the purpose of entry into the Government Upper Secondary School. English would be the only possible common language, but the teaching of it by private schools could not reasonably be made a condition of grant in aid.

Usa Airmen, Ruislip

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many Service men of the United States Third Air Division are being located at Ruislip; where they will be housed; and how long are they to remain.

About 1,000. Officers and married airmen will live out in private accommodation; single airmen will be housed in the main headquarters' buildings. It is not known how long they will stay.