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Written Answers

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 6 July 1950

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 6th July, 1950

National Health Service

Medical Distinction Awards (Committee)


asked the Minister of Health how long the committee which deals with merit awards for medical consultants has been sitting; how many times it has met; who is its chairman; and the salary or fee he has been paid.

The Committee was appointed on 23rd December, 1948. It has held 24 meetings. Its chairman is the Lord Moran of Manton. He has received 3,000 guineas for the first year's service, and will receive 2,500 guineas for the second year.

Tonsils And Adenoids (Treatment)


asked the Minister of Health how many children in the area covered by the Group 15, Shrewsbury Hospital Management Committee are on the waiting list for treatment and operation in regard to tonsils and adenoids; and what steps are being taken to improve the present available facilities for treatment and operation in such cases and thus reduce the period of waiting, especially in those cases coming under the categories of emergency and urgency.

Hospitals in this group have 1,550 children on waiting lists, but no emergency or urgent cases. The appointment of an additional consultant is proposed. These children are not all from the Shrewsbury area—about 550 are from other areas.

Mental Defectives, Cardiff

asked the Minister of Health how many mental defectives in Cardiff are awaiting admission to institutions; and how many of these have been waiting for more than one year.

Seven mental defectives from Cardiff are awaiting admission to institutions; none has been waiting for more than one year.

Private Hospitals And Nursing Homes

asked the Minister of Health how far facilities exist whereby financial assistance can be given to private hospitals and nursing homes which have not been taken over by the National Health Service, which are not run for profit but are maintained by public subscription, and which assist in relieving pressure on National Health hospitals; and whether he will give particulars.

Regional Hospital Boards can make contractual arrangements with hospitals and other institutions outside the National Health Service. Where patients are admitted or treated under the authority of the Board, the Board may meet the full cost. A list of the institutions with which such arrangements have been made is included in the Hospitals' Directory, published by His Majesty's Stationery Office.


asked the Minister of Health whether he will inquire into the case of Mr. George Samuel Peaswell, of 139 Radley Road, Abingdon, particulars of which were forwarded to his Department on 1st May, and who is still waiting for spectacles ordered by an eye specialist as a matter of urgency over 12 months ago.


asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that cortisone, the new drug used in the control of rheumatic diseases, has been made available this week for its first widespread distribution to United States hospitals; and whether any action is being contemplated for its use in United Kingdom hospitals.

I am aware that the production of cortisone in the United States has been increased. Clinical trials are being conducted in this country by the Medical Research Council and the results of these trials will determine the conditions for which the drug is made available here.


Surplus Rooms (Letting)


asked the Minister of Health, in view of the number of elderly people living in houses containing rooms they no longer need, if he would confer with other appropriate Departments with a view to offering inducements to let surplus rooms by ignoring a portion of the rents received for those rooms when assessing the degree of need of National Assistance.

I understand from my right hon. Friend the Minister of National Insurance that this suggestion would involve an alteration of the statutory regulations governing the administration of National Assistance. I am not satisfied that such an alteration would in fact have much effect in increasing the amount of housing accommodation available.

Improvement Grants


asked the Minister of Health how many improvement grants have been made by local authorities under the Housing Act, 1949; how many other applications for such grants have been approved by the local authorities; and whether he can now increase the total amount which local authorities may spend quarterly for this purpose.

In the time available it has not been possible to obtain all the information asked for, but I will communicate in due course with the hon. Member. As regards the latter part of the Question, the volume of these works must be adjusted to the resources available.

asked the Minister of Health how many improvement grants for rural houses under the Housing Act, 1949, have been made to date in the County of Devon.

One application has been approved but payment of the improvement grant has not yet been made.

Single Persons

asked the Minister of Health what instructions he has given, or requests he has made, to local authorities relative to the provision of housing accommodation for single persons, either in self-contained flats or otherwise.

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the circular sent out with the new Housing Manual which dealt inter aliawith the need for more small dwellings suitable for old persons and single persons living alone.

Water Supplies

Bwylchau, Denbighshire


asked the Minister of Health what progress has been made in planning a piped water supply for the Bwylchau district of Denbighshire; and at what date it is proposed to start work on the scheme.

The scheme is in an advanced stage of preparation and one of my inspectors is investigating it locally on 19th July. I am unable to say when work will commence.

Berkeley, Gloucestershire

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Berkeley, Gloucestershire, hospital are unable to enlarge until they are certain of a water supply; and when a public water supply will be available.

Afforestation, Towy Valley


asked the Minister of Agriculture which Government Departments and local authorities did he consult, either directly or through the Forestry Commission, before the proposals to acquire land for afforestation in the Towy Valley were made known.

The agricultural executive committees for the counties of Brecon, Cardigan and Carmarthen.

Leasehold Properties (Enfranchisement)


asked the Minister of Health to what extent his Department is concerned in regard to the question of enfranchisement referred to in paragraph 65 of the Final Report of the Leasehold Committee

Certain leasehold properties are held, principally for the purposes of the National Health Service. An unwarrantably extensive examination would be necessary before a figure of value could be quoted as the extent of the interest.

Dairies (Inspection)


asked the Minister of Agriculture why the inspection of dairies is not allowed to be carried out by areas in Lindsey, whereas this practice is allowed in Yorkshire; and whether he is aware that if each farm is inspected on its due date irrespective of area, considerable extra hours have to be worked and extra expenses incurred.

If the hon. and gallant Member will write to me indicating more precisely what he has in mind. I will endeavour to reply.

Ordnance Survey, Dover Area


asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that the new 2½-inch Ordnance Suryey map, scale 1–25,000, sheet 61/34, of the Dover area now being offered to the public at 3s. per sheet is inaccurate in that it shows the old town railway station, abolished more than 30 years ago, but does not show the train ferry lock opened in 1935; and if he will take steps to have this map withdrawn from circulation and replaced by a 2–-inch edition of the accurate 1-inch map, published in 1945.

I am aware that the sheet referred to and other sheets in the same series are not up to date. This series is a provisional one, which was published as soon as possible after the end of the war to meet the need of those engaged on reconstruction and planning. It had to be compiled from the best large-scale information then available, much having been destroyed by enemy action in 1941. It is not practicable to enlarge the one-inch map as suggested in the Question: the larger scale requires a more detailed and accurate survey, which is now proceeding for this edition.

National Finance

Income Tax (Maintenance Allowances)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that Income Tax is being deducted from maintenance allowances paid to wives even when a definite weekly sum is allocated to a wife; and whether he will take action to deal with this problem.

Death Duties (Penrhyir Estate)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before acquiring land in North Wales, now held by the trustees of the Penrhyn Estate, in lieu of Death Duties, he will give an assurance that the tenants will be given an opportunity of purchasing their own holdings at a fair valuation.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to a similar Question by the hon. Member for Conway (Mr. W. Elwyn Jones) today.


Agriculture (Foreign Workers)


asked the Minister of Labour why he refused to approve the application of Mr. Muxworthy of Hill Farm, Pennymoor, near Tiverton, Devon, to employ a German, Wolfgang von Larisch, whose mother is married to an Englishman and resident in this country,. in view of the fact that the local Ministry of Labour office has been unable to provide Mr. Muxworthy with the additional assistant he requires from local sources.

Before recommending my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to agree that a foreigner admitted to this country on a temporary basis as a visitor may remain here for employment in agriculture, I must be satisfied, amongst other things, that the vacancy is for a skilled worker which cannot be filled from our own resources. My information is that Mr. Muxworthy had not notified a vacancy to my local office at the time he asked for permission to employ Mr. Larisch and has not done so since.

Ex-Service Men


asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made in finding employment in Government Departments and private industry for ex-Service men over 40 years of age.

I assume that the hon. Member refers to ex-Regular members of His Majesty's Forces. Discussions are at present taking place over a wide range of industry and commerce with a view to ensuring to ex-Regulars opportunities of employment appropriate to their age, ability and experience. This includes, of course, special emphasis on the older long-service man. These discussions, in which we have the benefit of the advice of the recently appointed Advisory Council, will continue until the whole range of employment has been covered. Although the employment problem of the long-service man is not generally serious at the present time, I would take this opportunity of asking how Members to exert all possible influence to ensure that all employers give special consideration to the older ex-Regulars and particularly to ex-officers. There are not a great many of them and if all employers will play their part the problem can readily be solved.In the Government service a high degree of preference is given to the ex-Regular in the minor grades and there is no discrimination against the man over 40. In most of those classes for which there are competitions there is an age concession for service in the Regular Forces. In the special competitions for ex-Regulars for the executive and clerical classes the upper age limit is 50. The provision of opportunities in Government service for ex-Regulars, especially the older men, is under constant review.

Strikes, Smithfield Market


asked the Minister of Labour how many unauthorised strikes have taken place amongst workers in Smithfield Market during each of the past three years; and on how many occasions troops have been employed.

In the year ended June, 1948, there were four unofficial strikes; in the following year, none; last year, one in addition to the present stoppage. Service personnel were used on one occasion, in the year ended June, 1948, and are being used in the present strike.

Young People (Advice)


asked the Minister of Labour what encouragement is given in all schools to pupils to undertake technical, industrial and craft employment as compared with clerical employment; and what is the proportion of openings in the former work as compared with the latter.

In general, the aim of the schools is to develop the individual attributes of children and varying types of courses are provided with that end in view. Advice on choice of employment is available through the Youth Employment Service. In giving advice youth employment officers consider primarily the qualities, aptitudes and interests of young people and encourage them to choose the available employment most suitable for them whether it be of a technical, industrial, craft, clerical or other kind. I regret that statistics are not available to enable me to answer the last part of the Question.


asked the Minister of Labour how many men registered as unemployed in Stoke-on-Trent have been out of work for 12 months and six months respectively; and how many are disabled.

The following table gives the information desired:

6–12 monthsMore than 12 months
Registered Disabled Person8173
The figures on the first line relate to registered disabled persons who are suitable for ordinary employment, i.e., they exclude severely disabled persons who are unlikely to obtain work other than under special conditions.


Teachers (Employment)


asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware of the increasing unemployment in the Greater London area of teachers trained under the emergency scheme; and what steps he is taking in the matter.


asked the Minister of Education why teachers who have completed their training under the emergency scheme are unemployed; and what steps he proposes to place them in employment.

I would refer the hon. Members to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave on 29th June to the hon. Members for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans), Merton and Morden (Captain Ryder) and

CollegeDate of end of course 1950No. appointed to teaching posts (report of June 30)No. not yet appointed to teaching posts (report of June 30)Total number completing the course
WandsworthMay 202242243838262262
Forest (Walthamstow)June 2585311163148832120
CamdenJune 281741742424198198
126 men and 87 women are due to complete a course at the Trent Park College on 15th July. It is too soon to say how many of them will have obtained posts by the end of their course.


asked the Minister of Education whether he will provide posts for teachers who have recently completed their course under the Emergency Training Scheme,, pending replies by 2nd October next, from local education authorities to his Department's circular requiring forecasts of the number of teachers who will be employed in September, 1951.

The Ministry of Education is not an employer of teachers. Employment of teachers is the responsibility of the local education authorities or school governing bodies, and my right hon. Friend's action in informing authorities in Circular 222 of the estimated availability of teachers in the coming school year, and the advice he has given to Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton), of which I am sending them copies together with the Circular to local education authorities which was issued on 29th June.


asked the Minister of Education how many trained teachers are due to leave this term the Wandsworth, Camden and Trent Park emergency training colleges; and how many of these have been found posts in teaching establishments.


asked the Minister of Education how many teachers trained under the Emergency Teachers' Training Scheme in the Greater London area are unemployed.

Following is the answer:appoint teachers now against requirements for the school year as a whole, reflect this position. The forecasts for which my right hon. Friend has called in the Circular are needed to estimate the requirements for teachers in the school year 1951–52, and have no bearing on the supply of teachers in 1950–51.


asked the Minister of Education what improvement has taken place in regard to trained teachers awaiting posts; and whether payment of fares or temporary accommodation expenses will be offered to those willing to take posts some distance from their homes.

Of the 225 men mentioned as being without teaching posts in the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend on 25th May, 81 were reported to the Ministry as having obtained posts by the end of June. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No."

92 and 93.

asked the Minister of Education (1) how many qualified teachers are available for employment now and how many vacancies exist; and whether he can estimate the number of teachers available and number of vacancies in September, 1950, giving separate figures for men and women;(2) how many students are now in training at emergency training colleges, and how many will be available for teaching appointments at the end of each month until 1951, giving separate figures for men and women.

Circular 222, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, contains all the information that is available on the points he raises.

asked the Minister of Education the number of emergency trained teachers who have received appointments in Wales, Glamorgan and Cardiff, respectively.

The numbers of emergency trained teachers employed in all maintained schools and establishments on 1st June, 1950, were respectively:— Wales, Men, 694; Women, 245; Total, 939. Glamorgan, Men, 166; Women, 57; Total, 223. Cardiff, Men, 63; Women, 20; Total, 83.

Building Programme


asked the Minister of Education what is the size of the complete educational building programme for 1951–52; whether this includes provision for colleges of further education and for extending the school meals service; and what is being done to ensure that the programme has relation to available sources of materials and building labour.

The total estimated cost of the educational building programme which my right hon. Friend will be able to sanction for 1951–52 is about £52.5 million, which includes provision for colleges of further education. The Minister regrets that the resources available will not enable him to re-establish, during the financial year 1951£52, a programme for extending the school meals service at existing schools; provision is, however, made for a meals service in new schools and for such minor works at existing schools as are necessary to maintain the efficiency of the service.On the last part of the Question, the educational building programme is part of the national investment programme, which is drawn up in relation to the resources of capital, labour and materials likely to be available for the country as a whole. Local education authorities have been asked to keep in mind local or regional shortages in the supply of building labour when putting forward proposals for the 1951–52 programme. On a number of occasions, they have also been asked to keep the labour position in mind when selecting methods of construction. In deciding which proposals can be sanctioned for inclusion in the 1951–52 programme, my right hon. Friend will be advised by the Ministry's regional priority officers, who are in close touch with the regional building committees. These committees, sitting under the auspices of the Ministry of Works, are responsible for the award of starting dates, the purpose of which is to avoid overloading the resources of building labour available in each region.


asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that the restrictions he is imposing on the school building programme in London are likely to result, by 1952, in there being about 30,000 London children of school age for whom there will be no room in the schools; and what steps does he intend to take to prevent an educational crisis in London two years hence.

It would appear from the information now available to my Department that the carrying out of the approved programme for 1950 and that which my right hon. Friend expects to be able to approve for 1951–52 should ensure that there will be sufficient school places. The prospects can be assessed more closely when my right hon. Friend has before him the results of the census, which I understand the authority have made, of the accommodation at their disposal in existing schools.

Teachers' Superannuation


asked the Minister of Education why compound interest is now charged in respect of teachers' late contributions under the Teachers Superannuation (War Service) Act, 1939; and if he will excuse the payment of interest in cases when the teacher was invited by his Department to pay by instalments without reference to interest.

The practice of charging interest in respect of teachers' contributions is governed by rules made under the Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1925. I understand, however, that there is some doubt as to the application of these rules to war service contributions, and the question is at present being re-examined. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as the point has been cleared. In the meantime, the latter part of the Question does not arise at this stage.

School Accommodation, Hove

89 and 90.

asked the Minister of Education (1) whether he is aware that the new Hangleton Infants School, Hove, which was opened last year is already overcrowded; that the nursery class is not operating because the available space is being used for an infants' class; that the average class has 40 pupils instead of the proposed 30; and why, in the circumstances, it is proposed to use the adjoining space for building a junior school instead of extending the infants' school;(2) whether he is aware of the anxiety among the residents in the Hangleton and Sunninghill housing estates at Hove with regard to the provision of infants and junior schools; why permission has been refused to build a new school on the available site adjoining Hangleton Park playing field; whether he is satisfied that this is a suitable site; and whether he will hold a local inquiry into this and related matters concerning the provision of school accommodation in this area.

I am informed that Hangleton County Infants' School is full, and that the nursery classroom must be temporarily used for the accommodation of children of compulsory school age. The pressure is due partly to the large numbers of infants now passing through the schools as a result of the high birthrate of recent years and partly to the shortage of junior school accommodation in the area. This shortage will be made good on the completion of two junior schools which have been included in the educational building programmes for 1950 and 1951. My right hon. Friend sees no reason to question the local education authority's decision to build the Hangleton Junior School on a site adjoining the Infants' School, or their estimates of requirements of school accommodation for this area.

School Attendance


asked the Minister of Education whether, in view of the fact that a number of mothers in Birmingham and district go to the hop fields for two or three weeks in September when school holidays have finished and that many desire to take their children with them, he will advise the education authority concerned not to prosecute parents for the non-attendance of their children at school during that period.

My right hon. Friend cannot condone breaches of the law of school attendance. The numbers of parents affected are too small to warrant a special adjustment of school holidays in Birmingham, but it is open to such parents to apply to the school authorities for leave of absence for their children to accompany them on their annual holiday for not more than two weeks in any educational year. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of Circular 218 to local education authorities dated 19th April in which this matter is dealt with.

Trade And Commerce



asked the President of the Board of Trade what allocation of newsprint he has made to the Soviet Embassy for the publication of each of their periodicals and daily news-sheets in the United Kingdom.


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has now authorised the purchase from Canada, Scandinavia and other sources of sufficient newsprint to allow the daily and weekly newspapers to restore their size in the immediate future.

We have authorised the import of all the newsprint which is likely to be available from any source for some time, but the total is still short of our needs.



asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the more satisfactory balance of trade with Canada and the scope for further trade expansion to the benefit of both countries, he will assure the Canadian Government that the more that Canada buys from this country the more timber, newsprint and livestock products this country will buy from Canada

The hon. Member may, I think, rest assured that the Canadian Government are aware that our policy is, as indicated by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to the hon. Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell) on 4th July, to obtain as much of our requirements from Canada as we can afford to pay for in dollars.

Russian Timber

99 and 100.

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) from what ports Russian timber will be shipped this year; and how the freight charges per standard of this timber from each port in question will compare with freight charges for Swedish timber from Stockholm and Finnish timber from Helsinki;(2) whether the prices recently agreed for Russian soft timber are lower than the prices at which Swedish and Finnish timber of similar qualities was available last November.

No firm prices were offered by Swedish or Finnish exporters in November 1949 for 1950 shipment. The price being paid to Russia is below that asked this year by those Swedish exporters from whom we have not yet bought. The first shipload from Russia is expected to arrive approximately a fortnight today with about 700 standards, all of which could be used in housing. The timber will be shipped from the Kara Sea, the normal range of White Sea ports, Leningrad and Baltic ports in the Russian-occupied zone of Germany. Timber is not normally shipped either from Stockholm or from Helsinki, but in comparison with current rates of freight from Finnish and Swedish timber loading ports, rates from the White Sea will, as usual, be higher, and those from the Baltic ports in Russian-occupied Germany lower.

Utility Overalls


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will take steps to improve the qualities and supplies and reduce the price of workmen's boiler suits and overalls.

Deliveries of utility overall cloths to the home market have risen by over 20 per cent. in the last 12 months, but in view of the very heavy demands both for the home and overseas markets, the Committee which I have set up under the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Secretary is giving special attention to measures to secure a further increase of supply. I cannot accept that the quality of utility overalls is unsatisfactory. It has been necessary to raise the statutory maximum prices for these goods in view of the increase in the price of cloth resulting from the increased cost of raw cotton.

Waste Paper


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the great difficulty now experienced by manufacturers of board and carton packings in obtaining enough waste paper; to what extent this is due to a falling off in the collection of waste paper by local authorities; and if he will state the countries from which waste paper is being imported.

Yes. The shortage of waste paper is due to a decline in local authorities' collections, accompanied by an increase in consumption for the man-facture of packaging materials. Waste paper is now being imported from Holland, Sweden, and to a small extent from Norway.

Business Names


asked the President of. the Board of Trade by what authority the Registrar of Business Names, Bush House, Strand, London, W.C.2, has issued leaflet R. 19, of which Note 7, of the section dealing with names, places upon the applicant the onus of showing that a name is desirable, whereas Section 116 (1) of the Companies Act, 1947, places no such onus upon the applicant, but, on the contrary, only permits the Registrar to refuse registration where he satisfies himself, in any particular case, that a name is undesirable.

The leaflet to which the hon. Member refers has no statutory effect but contains notes which are given for the guidance of the public and is, in fact, headed "Notes for guidance." Note 7 is to the effect that names which include a proper name which is not the name of the proprietors will not be allowed except for valid reasons. The Registrar has, in many cases, taken the view that, in the absence of valid reasons, the use by an applicant of a name which is not his own is undesirable.

Hotels (Government Assistance)


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that hotel-keepers who are seeking to attract foreign tourists are handicapped by Purchase Tax on hotel equipment; and whether he will give them any relief.

The Government recognise that the cost of hotel equipment is at present high and that the incidence of Purchase Tax makes it an especially heavy burden for the hotel-keeper. They are particularly anxious that this circumstance should not stand in the way of the provision of more and better accommodation for tourists from the dollar countries of North America, especially in the Festival year 1951. Accordingly, after consultation with the British Travel and Holidays Association and representatives of the hotel industry, the Government have decided, as an exceptional meaure, to make a contribution for one year only towards the cost of equipping or re-equipping dollar-earning hotels during the current financial year.

Contributions will be made under two heads:

  • (1) in respect of expenditure incurred during the year ending the 31st March, 1951, on well-thought-out and comprehensive schemes for the initial equipment or re-equipment of hotels which, in the opinion of an independent advisory committee, will be likely substantially to increase or improve the accommodation available and suitable for American and Canadian visitors. Exceptionally, large schemes of capital equipment which cannot be completed by 31st March, 1951, may, if approved by the date, be eligible for contributions in respect of expenditure incurred up to a reasonable date thereafter;
  • (2) in respect of replacement expenditure during the year ending 31st March, 1951. In this case the amount of the contribution will be related to the proportion of the hotel's bedroom capacity actually occupied by American and Canadian visitors during the calendar year 1951.
  • The details of these arrangements, for which the Board of Trade will be responsible, will be worked out as quickly as possible, in close consultation with the British Travel and Holidays Association and the hotel industry.

    Softwood (Quota-Holders' Remuneration)

    asked the President of the Board of Trade what the softwood quota-holders' remuneration is; and whether he is satisfied that, in general, it is sufficient.

    Softwood quota-holders are remunerated by the allowance of a discount from the statutory prices at which they resell. The margins are reviewed annually: those at present applicable are 7 per cent. to first-hand quota-holders and 5½ per cent. to secondhand quota-holders. The rates were last adjusted in July, 1949, and the rates applicable for the past and the coming 12 months are now under review. I am satisfied that the rates fixed have, in general, been sufficient.

    Stockings (Exports)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the contribution to exports in dollars and sterling from fully-fashioned hose in cotton and wool.

    The value of exports of women's full length fully-fashioned cotton stockings in the first five months of this year was £147,000, of which £27,000 was the value of exports to the dollar area and £89,000 to the sterling area. Fully-fashioned stockings of wool are not distinguished from other types of wool stockings in the Trade Accounts; exports of women's full length wool stockings in January-May, 1950, were £114,000, of which exports to the dollar area were £1,600 and to the sterling area £38,000. These figures do not include exports by parcel post, details of which are not available.

    Off-Licences, London


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to state, in respect of the City of London and the County of London, the number of applications for justices' off-licences under Section 28 (2) of the Licensing Act, 1949, the number refused, the number of appeals and the number of successful appeals.

    The following are the figures:

    No. of applicationsNo. refusedNo. of appealsNo. of successful apeals
    City of London55NilNilNil
    County of London1525*5*3*
    * Including one application refused on the ground of want of jurisdiction: an order of mandamus was made by a divisional court and the application was subsequently granted by the licensing justices.

    Colonial Servants (Voting)


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what specific grounds persons recruited from this country to the service of Colonial Governments abroad are made ineligible to vote by post or proxy at elections in this country.

    In accordance with the decision of Parliament the general rule is that a person is not entitled to vote unless he is resident in the United Kingdom. The only exceptions are members of the Forces, Crown Servants paid wholly out of moneys provided by Parliament, and the wives of both. There is not the same case for making an exception for Colonial Crown servants as for United Kingdom Crown servants abroad.

    Civil Defence (Enrolment Eligibility)


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will shortly make a statement defining which category of Z reservists may be enrolled in the Civil Defence organisation.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on 25th May to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Finchley (Captain Crowder).

    Charities (Sunday Sporting Events)


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that a number of sporting events in Manchester and elsewhere in aid of recognised charities, intended to take place on a Sunday, have been cancelled following the threat of common informer proceedings; and what action he proposes to take to make it possible for such events, operating on a non-profit basis, to take place without the participants being subject to the penalties present operative in law.

    I have seen a few recent Press reports, but regret I cannot hold out hope at the present time of introducing amending legislation on the very controversial question of which Sunday entertainments in aid of charities forms part.

    Aliens, United Kingdom


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many aliens have entered Britain annually since the war; and what is the estimated present population of non-naturalised aliens who now live more or less permanently in the United Kingdom.

    The total number of aliens, including visitors, seamen, Ministry of Labour permit-holders and others, who entered the United Kingdom in each of the years 1946–49 is as follows: 1946, 311,932; 1947, 563,369; 1948, 657,661; 1949, 645,728.During the same years the number of aliens who left the United Kingdom were: 1946, 291,227; 1947, 501,000; 1948, 593,532; 1949, 619,199.It is estimated that on 31st May, 1950, the number of aliens over 16 years of age registered with the police as having been in the United Kingdom over two months was 425,578. Many of these are still here on a temporary basis and it is not possible to estimate what number can be regarded as a permanent addition to our population.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the total number of aliens at present resident in the United Kingdom, exclusive of citizens of Eire; and the respective numbers of each nationality involved.

    It is estimated that on 31st May, 1950, the number of aliens over 16 years of age who had registered with the police as having been in the United Kingdom for over two months was 425,578.The principal nationalities included in this figure were: Austrian, 10,132; Belgian, 5,620; Chinese, 9,657; Czech, 6,190; Danish, 5,026; Dutch, 9,099; Estonian, 5,682; French, 15,163; German, 46,697; Hungarian, 5,031; Italian, 21,104; Latvian, 13,784; Lithuanian, 6,954; Norwegian, 6,114; Polish, 145,756; Russian, 38,903; Swiss, 12,952; Yugoslav, 9,474; United States, 17,615.

    Water Tank, Pembroke Dock


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action his Department proposes to take regarding the static water tank at Bush Camp, Pembroke Dock, where a child was drowned two years ago, and where another child was nearly drowned last week.

    This is a matter for the Pembrokeshire County Council who, as fire authority, have leased the property from the Pembroke Borough Council. I am sending a copy of my hon. Friend's Question to the county council.

    Electoral Registration (Service Men)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his regulations permit a regular officer in the Royal Air Force, at present serving in Great Britain and whose address but for service would be in Eire, to vote.

    In order to be registered as an elector and to vote, a member of the Forces must make a service declaration, and Section 10 (5) (a) of the Representation of the People Act, 1949, requires him to state in his declaration that he is, or but for his service would be, residing at a specified address. This address must, of course, be in a constituency returning a Member to this House.

    Artificial Limbs


    asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that an ex-Service man requiring a new socket for an artificial limb had a fitting at Portsmouth three months ago; that he has been told to attend again in July, and will have to wait four or five months after that for the final fitting; and whether, in view of the distress caused by such delay, he proposes to take any measures to expedite repairs and the provision of new artificial limbs.

    I assume that the hon. and gallant Member is referring to Mr. G. H. Smith. I am sorry that there has been delay in providing Mr. Smith with a new socket for his artificial limb. He attended for fitting on 30th June and the limb should be available for his use in about a fortnight's time. In the meantime, his duplicate limb has been made serviceable. On the general position of repairs, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply I gave in the House on 4th April to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Selkirk (Mr. Macdonald).

    Town And Country Planning

    Harlow New Town


    asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what is the number of applications through all authorities for houses at Harlow; how many have been built and occupied; how many are in course of erection; and, in view of the great demand, what is the estimated future progress in providing accommodation at Harlow.

    No information is at present available as to the number of applications made to local authorities. The number of houses erected, under construction on 24th June, and expected to be under construction at the end of 1950 at Harlow were given in my reply of 27th June to the hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Molson).

    Clay Mining, Devonshire And Cornwall

    asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning what are the acreages on which clay mining takes place, or is contemplated, in Devonshire and Cornwall.

    About 1,700 acres are now used for pits, plant and waste tips, and approximately 2,000 acres are taken up by pits and waste tips not at present in use. The area of future workings is now under consideration.

    Schuman Plan


    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information has been received by His Majesty's Government from the French Government as to the nature, functions and powers of the supra-national authority proposed by M. Schuman; and whether the speech of the Secretary of State for War at Colchester on 1st July represents Government policy in this matter.

    The French Government has communicated to His Majesty's Government a document drawn up by its experts to facilitate the preparation of a draft Treaty implementing the proposals put forward by M. Schuman on 9th May. This document is under discussion at the Paris Conference. As it was given to us in confidence, I regret that I am not in a position to reveal its full contents. I presume however that the hon. Member will have read the summary of the document issued by M. Monnet last week and reported in the Press at the time. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer to the replies given by the Prime Minister, to which I have nothing to add.

    South Korea

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in order to assist the suppression of aggression in Korea, His Majesty's Government will propose to the Security Council that an International Brigade be voluntarily recruited amongst citizens of the smaller law-abiding members of the United Nations.

    No; steps are already being taken to implement the resolution of the Security Council of 27th June calling upon members of the United Nations to furnish assistance in repelling the armed attack on South Korea.

    Turbo-Jet Engines (Ussr)


    asked the Minister of Supply what was the last date and occasion of the supply of Nene turbo-jet engines to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

    Coal Industry

    Domestic Supplies

    asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of the estimated increase in the supplies of coal available for household use in the present year, he will now consider increasing the maximum quantity permissible for delivery during the summer months to a uniform rate of 24 hundredweight all over the country.

    As I said last week I hope that the increase in the supply of coal to domestic users may permit larger deliveries this year than were made last year. I decided, however, after consultation with the Coal Merchants' Consultative Committee, and with the agreement of their members who represent the Cooperative Movement, that it would be unwise to increase the maximum amount which may be delivered in the northern areas during the summer months.

    Consumers' Councils

    asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will publish an up-to-date list of the names of the members of the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council and the Industrial Coal Consumers' Council, together with a separate list of any individuals holding more than one appointment in connection with a nationalised undertaking; and what those appointments are.

    As the Annual Reports of both these Councils will be presented within the next week or two and will contain an up-to-date list of members with information about any other appointments which they hold, I hope that the hon. Member will agree that it is unnecessary to publish a special list at the present time. I will send the hon. Member copies of the Annual Reports, as soon as they are available.

    East African Forces (Officers)

    asked the Secretary of State for War how many King's and Governors' commissioned African officers are serving in the East African Forces.

    Food Supplies (Origin)

    asked the Minister of Food if he will publish a table showing details of the total supplies of the various foods consumed in the United Kingdom in 1949; and the percentage of home produced and imported.

    Detailed information about food supplies in 1949 has already been published in the Ministry of Food Bulletin for 24th June, 1950, and I am sending the hon. Member a copy. The following table gives a summary of this information:

    (Home production includes production by self-suppliers. Imports include quantities for re-export)
    TotalPer cent.Per cent.
    CommoditySupplies '000 tonsHome-ProducedImported
    Wheat and Flour (as wheat equivalent).7,1842278
    Oils and Fats (crude oil equivalent).1,2621387
    Sugar (refined value).2,5482080
    Meat (including canned-product weight).1,7064555
    Bacon and Ham3275743
    Fish (including Canned Fish).1,2168119
    Condensed Milk1766139
    Dried Milk644654
    Shell Eggs4656931
    Egg Products (dried egg equivalent).13?100
    Dried Fruit191100
    Citrus Fruit389100
    Milk for human consumption as liquid.7,659100
    Potatoes for human consumption.5,805982

    National Assistance (Stoke-On-Trent)

    asked the Minister of National Insurance how many people are receiving National Assistance payment in Stoke-on-Trent; what is the average weekly amount paid out: and how many of the recipients are old age pensioners and persons over 65 not in receipt of a contributory pension.

    On 27th June, 8,804 persons were receiving regular weekly grants of National Assistance from the Board's office at Stoke-on-Trent (which covers territory extending outside the area of the county borough). Of this total, 3,956 were receiving retirement pension, 767 were receiving non-contributory or blind pension and 354 were over pensionable age but not receiving any type of pension. The grants take into account the needs of dependants, some of whom would be pensioner wives. I regret that separate information about the amounts of National Assistance paid in particular localities is not available.

    Scotland (Smallpdx)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Asiatic seaman was suffering from any illness when he was taken to the smallpox compound at Robroyston; and whether, when he was discharged from Knightswood Hospital on 23rd March, he had recovered from the chickenpox for which he had been quarantined.

    When this seaman was discharged from Knightswood Hospital he was regarded as having recovered from his supposed chickenpox. When smallpox was diagnosed retrospectively after it had occurred in persons with whom he had been in contact, he was admitted to Robroyston Hospital for final investigation to make certain that infectivity had ceased.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date the doctor who entered Haermyres Hospital on 27th March, suffering from an abdominal complaint, was vaccinated as a smallpox contact.

    Cement Prices

    asked the Minister of Works why German cement is being offered for sale at West Hartlepool at £6 2s. Od. per ton and at £7 7s. 0d. per ton loaded on lorry at Middlesbrough when the price of home cement is £3 8s. 6d. per ton.

    This cement is being imported by private firms and the selling price is not controlled. This is not part of the 80,000 tons of cement and clinker which are being imported under arrangements made with my Department and sold at the price of home cement.