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Written Answers

Volume 478: debated on Friday 15 September 1950

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 15th September, 1950

Maintenance Orders (Prison Sentences)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men have been sent to prison for each year since 1939 for non-compliance with maintenance orders.

The number of men received into prison in England and Wales for non-compliance with wife-maintenance orders from 1939 to 1949 is as follows:1939, 1,958; 1940, 1,517; 1941, 1,412; 1942, 1,597; 1943, 1,788; 1944, 1,819; 1945, 2,182; 1946, 2,354; 1947, 2,945; 1948, 3,450; 1949, 3,365.

Road Vehicles (Statistics)

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will publish a list showing the number of mechanically-propelled vehicles on the roads at the latest known date and at 10 yearly periods previously, so far as they are available.

The numbers of mechanically-propelled road vehicles for which licences were current on the dates given below were as follows:

31st MayNumber
19504,192,672
19402,383,916
19393,052,764
19302,143,829
1921842,400
The figure for 1940 was affected by the war. That for 1921 is the earliest available.

Property Valuation (Inspection)

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning why Form C.V. 109 is being issued by the Valuation Office denoting loss of development value without any prior inspection of the premises involved.

The normal practice is for an inspection of the premises to be made before this form is issued. In some cases, for example where the property has recently been inspected for another purpose, there may be no inspection. If the hon. Member has in mind any cases, where difficulty has arisen I will look into them if he will let me have details.

Unestablished Civil Servants (Gratuities)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount so far paid out as gratuities to temporary civil servants who have resigned their employment.

Under the Superannuation Act of 1949 gratuities are payable to-unestablished staff with at least seven years' service on termination of their service, whether as a result of redundancy, ill health, age or resignation. Separate records are not kept of the amounts paid under the various causes of termination, but the total amount paid in gratuities to unestablished staff between 14th July, 1949, and 31st August, 1950, was approximately £1,850,000.

Formosa (Consultations)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state His Majesty's Government's short-term and long-term policy regarding the defence of Formosa and its future status; and what steps have recently been taken to co-ordinate this policy with the United. States policy or to urge a discussion of these problems by the United Nations.

The main aim of His Majesty's Government is to help in securing a generally acceptable and peaceful solution of the Formosan problem. To this end His Majesty's Government have been in close consultation not only with the United States Government but also with Commonwealth Governments. My right hon. Friend will also be discussing some aspects of this problem with his United States and French colleagues in New York. Naturally we shall take advantage of any opportunity which may arise within the United Nations to bring about a solution. At this juncture, therefore, it would not be appropriate to add to the statements already made on our policy regarding Formosa.

British Seaman (Imprisonment, Archangel)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent trial and sentence by the Soviet authorities of Mr. V. V. Barnes at Archangel; and what further action he is contemplating.

According to reports appearing in the Soviet Press Mr. Barnes, the Mate of the British ship "Tintern Abbey," was brought before a People's Court in Archangel last month and sentenced to serve three months' imprisonment for "hooliganism." The charge appears to have been based on the allegation of a Soviet dock worker that Mr. Barnes struck him with a length of wood while the "Tintern Abbey" was loading timber. The Soviet authorities have been asked to furnish a copy of the record of the Court proceedings and to allow a member of the Embassy staff to visit Mr. Barnes.

"British Ally"

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the Soviet Government has obliged the newspaper "British Ally" to cease publication; and what reciprocal action he proposes to take against those responsible for Soviet Government publications in this country.