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Written Answers

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 14 September 1950

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 14th September, 1950

Ordnance Depot, Weedon (Fire)

asked the Secretary of State for War what was the result of the inquiry that was held after the destruction of 250,000 rifles by fire at Weedon ordnance depot in March of this year.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. and learned Member for Northants, South (Mr. Manningham-Buller) on 25th July.

Experiments (Living Animals)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many experiments have been performed on living animals with and without anæsthetics in 1949; and what are the corresponding figures of experiments carried out for the purpose of cancer research only.

In 1949, 154,369 experiments with anæsthetics were performed on living animals, of which 24,448 were carried out for the purpose of cancer research. The corresponding figures for experiments without anæsthetics are 1,555,314 and 50,895.

Royal Navy (Officers' Pay Increases)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table showing how much increase in pay is given to the officers of the different grades of the Royal Navy, and a further statement of how much this amounts to in the money they actually get to spend after having deducted the various taxes and charges they have to pay.

I would refer the hon. Member to the White Paper on Service Emoluments, Command 8027, which gives in Appendix I the increases in pay for the various ranks of officers in the Royal Navy. With regard to the second part of the Question, the extent to which officers' pay is subject to tax and other deductions depends on individual circumstances, and no general statement can be made.

Wooden Houses, Scotland

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many timber houses the Forestry Commission have erected in Scotland from imported timber; and how many from Scottish timber.

Two hundred and ninety-six prefabricated wooden houses have been imported for the Forestry Commission of which the erection of 64 is completed. In addition 163 houses have been constructed from Army huts, and work is proceeding on a further 21; the origin of the timber in these huts is not known but some Scottish timber has been used in their conversion.

Women's Land Army

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has now reconsidered the decision to disband the Women's Land Army.

No change is proposed in the arrangements for the disbandment of the Women's Land Army.

Subsidies (Meat And Fish)

asked the Minister of Food what was the total amount of subsidy and grants paid during 1948 and 1949 and the estimated amounts for 1950 for meat, fish and their products.

The subsidies borne by my Department, covering both home-produced and imported supplies, during the two financial years ended 31st March, 1950, and the estimated subsidies for the year ending 31st March, 1951, are as follows:

Year to 31st March, 1949Year to 31st March, 1950Year to 31st March, 1951 (estimated)

Cotton Garments (Import)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the cost of cotton shirts and other similar goods imported from Hong Kong is appreciably below that of the manufacture of comparable articles in Great Britain; and whether he is satisfied that such importations will not prejudice the wages and conditions of British workers.

United Kingdom manufacturers do not in general produce garments comparable with the cheap types imported from Hong Kong. There is no evidence that sales of home-produced cotton shirts and other goods have suffered by these imports, or that wages or employment of clothing workers in this country are being prejudiced.

Night Baking Committee (Membership)

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will now make any further statement about the proposed Committee on Night Baking.

Yes. I am in a position to announce the membership of the Committee, which is as follows:

  • Sir Frederick Rees (Chairman).
  • Miss Mary Sutherland, C.B.E., J.P.
  • Mr. H. L. Bullock.
  • Sir John Falconer.
  • Mr. Geoffrey Marchand, C.B.E.
In addition, the trade unions and employers' sides of the industry have each been asked to nominate two technical assessors. It is expected that the Committee will hold its first meeting towards the end of the month.

National Service (Students)

asked the Minister of Labour whether the concession whereby intending students at universities can be released at the end of 18 months' service if this enables them to start their university course in October, 1950, and not postpone their admission another whole year will also apply to National Service men similarly placed next year with respect to the University Session beginning October, 1951.

Supply Ships, Korea (Compensation)

asked the Minister of Transport what arrangements the Government have made for compensation for seamen who may be killed or injured, or for ships which may be lost or damaged, while carrying troops or their equipment to Korea.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he can give an assurance that, in the event of the death, injury or loss of effects of members of the crews of British merchant ships engaged in support of the United Nations' operations in Korea, compensation will be payable by the Government on the same terms and conditions as it was during the last war.

Following on representations by the National Maritime Board the Government have agreed that the wartime schemes for compensation shall be applied in the case of crews of British ships which are employed in carrying troops or their supplies to, or in transit for, Korea, and compensation will be paid in the circumstances prescribed, and on the conditions laid down, in those schemes. Any compensation paid will be subject to adjustment for any benefit payable under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Acts.The position as regards the ships is normally covered by insurance, but the Government have agreed that, if the insurance cover of a ship chartered on their behalf ceases to apply because of her employment in Korean waters, they will pay the sum that would otherwise have been payable by the insurers, together with an agreed sum in respect of loss of earnings in the event of total loss.