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Written Answers

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1950

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 22nd November, 1950

Royal Air Force

Airmen, Germany (Leave)

4.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what special arrangements he is making for Christmas leave to be granted to airmen in Germany who would have been home on demobilisation but for the extension of military service by a further six months.

It is not proposed to make any special arrangements. It is open to airmen serving in Germany who are eligible for home leave to apply for such leave at Christmas, and leave will be granted where individuals can be spared and the necessary transport facilities are available. No discrimination will, however, be made between the airmen referred to in the hon. Member's Question and other airmen in Germany.

Anti-Submarine Aircraft

6.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what other land-based antisubmarine aircraft has been ordered to replace the obsolescent Shackleton.

None. The Shackleton is not obsolescent. It will be able to fly further and faster than current general reconnaissance types and it will be equipped with the most up-to-date anti-submarine equipment, including the latest types of weapons.

Exercise Emperor

7.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what proportion of the aircraft representing bombers in Exercise Emperor were of types in service in 1945.

8.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what was the average height at which high-flying bombers approached their targets in Exercise Emperor.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what lessons have been learnt from Exercise Emperor; and if he will make a statement.

The results of Exercise Emperor during which a number of operational techniques were tried out for the first time by both the attacking and defending forces, are still being analysed and evaluated. I can, however, say that a number of valuable lessons have already been learnt and are being applied. The exercise was well worth while and provided valuable training experience.

Auxiliary Squadrons

asked the Secretary of State for Air what increases he proposes to make in the number of Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons.

It is intended to raise further transport squadrons in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, but the number has not yet been decided. No increases are proposed at present in the number of fighter squadrons.

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will ensure that all Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons are provided with the same accommodation as regular units.

It is not our policy to discriminate between auxiliary squadrons and regular squadrons in the matter of accommodation but, as part-time units, the auxiliaries have their special requirements, and in many cases, have their messing and social accommodation in town headquarters and not on R.A.F. stations. If the hon. and gallant Member has any particular difficulties in mind, perhaps he would care to let me know, and I shall have them looked into.

Coastal Command (Hastings Aircraft)

asked the Secretary of State for Air for what purpose Coastal Command are to be equipped with Hastings aircraft.

The Hastings is to be used in the meteorological reconnaissance squadrons of Coastal Command.

Festival Of Britain (Industrial Workers)

47.

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will arrange for the "Campania," which is to be used in the Festival of Britain, to pass through the Manchester Ship Canal; and set up some special organisation to ensure that those who are engaged in industry shall see as much as possible of the Exhibition in London.

No. The Festival ship "Campania" is 70 feet in the beam and the locks of the Manchester Ship Canal are 65 feet wide. My hon. Friend is, therefore, asking me to do the impossible. The Land Travelling Exhibition which is an alternative display will, however, open in Manchester on 3rd May, 1951—the day when the Festival of Britain is declared open by His Majesty the King.With regard to the second part of the Question, advance booking facilities have been set up for the South Bank Exhibition to enable parties of visitors, including parties from industrial establishments of all kinds, to visit the Exhibition with tickets providing guaranteed admission.

Armed Forces

Centurion Tanks (Production)

54.

asked the Minister of Defence to what extent the new increased volume of production of Centurion tanks suffices to equip every unit capable of using them.

It would not be in the public interest to give the hon. Member specific information, but the object of increasing tank production is to ensure that our own and friendly forces are fully equipped.

National Service Men (Leave)

55.

asked the Minister of Defence what is the amount of privilege leave the Services propose to grant to National Service men during their two years' period of whole-time service.

National Service men in the Royal Navy are granted leave under the same conditions as Regulars. National Service men in the Army and Royal Air Force who were serving on 30th September, 1950, and whose period of colour service has been extended by six months will be eligible for 14 days additional leave, with travel warrant. This will put these men on approximately the same leave basis as Regulars. The question of leave for National Service men in the Army and Royal Air Force called up on and after 1st October last is still under examination.

Long Service Pensions

57.

asked the Minister of Defence whether he will increase Long Service pensions in view of the rising cost of living and increases in Service pay.

Troops, Far East (Payment)

62.

asked the Minister of Defence to what extent Servicemen sent to the Far East have had their expenditure in local currencies restricted.

Except in Korea and Japan, United Kingdom Servicemen at stations in the Far East are paid in local currency without restrictions. Following is a statement showing the restrictions which apply in Korea and Japan:—1. JAPAN

United Kingdom Servicemen are paid in British Armed Forces Special Vouchers up to their current net entitlement. Exchanges from British Armed Forces Special Vouchers into yen are allowed without restriction but reverse exchanges are not allowed.

2. KOREA

  • (a) 29th Brigade and R.A.F. personnel are paid in British Armed Forces Special Vouchers up to their current net entitlement. Exchanges from British Armed Forces Special Vouchers into Korean Won are allowed without restriction but reverse exchanges are not allowed.
  • (b) 27th Brigade are dependent on American canteen facilities and are therefore paid in U.S. Military Payment Certificates. The amounts which can he drawn are limited as follows:
  • OFFICERS— Monthly

    • Brigadier—117.60 dollars (£42 sterling).
    • Colonel and Lieut-Colonel—92.40 dollars (£33 sterling).
    • Major—75.60 dollars (£27 sterling).
    • Captain—58.80 dollars (£21 sterling).
    • Lieut. and 2nd-Lieut.—42.00 dollars (£15 sterling.)

    OTHER RANKS— Weekly

    • Warrant Officer—11.20 dollars (£4 sterling).
    • S/Sgt. and Sgt—8.40 dollars (£3 sterling).
    • L/Cpls. and below—5.6 dollars (£2 sterling).
    • (c) The Royal Marine Commando, which is fully integrated with the U.S. forces, is also paid in U.S. Military Payment Certificates, and there is no restriction on the amount which may he drawn within the limit of current net pay and allowances.
    • (d) There is no restriction on exchanges from U.S. Military Payment Certificates into Korean won but reverse exchanges are not allowed. It has been suggested to local Commanders that in the troops' own interest exchanges from British Armed Forces Special Vouchers and U.S. Military Payment Certificates into local currency (yen or won) should he kept to a minimum, but no hard and fast rules have been laid down.

    Reservists (Recall)

    63.

    asked the Minister of Defence how many reservists in each Service have been recalled to the Forces; and how many of these men are still retained though their reserve obligation would normally now have expired.

    Twenty-four officers and 659 ratings have been recalled to the Royal Navy, 332 officers and 6.334 other ranks to the Army. No R.A.F. reservists have been recalled. It would not be possible without disproportionate effort to say how many of these men have completed the original period of their reserve liability.

    Industrial Disputes

    asked the Minister of Defence what is the total number of man-hours Service men have been employed to do civilian work as a result of industrial disputes.

    I regret that this information is not readily available and would involve a disproportionate amount of labour to obtain.

    Recruits

    asked the Minister of Defence if he will state the number of recruits in the Wycombe area to the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, respectively, within the last year.

    This is a matter which falls within the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Service Ministers, and I would invite my hon. Friend to address separate Questions to them.

    Overseas Stations (Civilian Employees)

    asked the Minister of Defence to what extent the terms and conditions of service of local civilian employees of the three Services in overseas stations are brought into line in the various stations concerned.

    There is close liaison between the three Services at stations abroad in determining the pay and conditions of service of locally engaged civilian employees, and any proposed changes are usually discussed by a co-ordinating Committee of the Services to ensure uniformity.

    Troops, Malaya (Age)

    asked the Minister of Defence how many of His Majesty's Forces serving in Malaya are under the age of 19.

    United Nations (Collective Measures Committee)

    56.

    asked the Minister of Defence what military committee or body of joint chiefs of staff exists to implement the decisions of the Security Council or of the Interim Committee of the Assembly.

    I presume that the hon. and gallant Member has in mind the resolution recently passed by the United Nations General Assembly which aimed at providing for united action for peace. This resolution established a Collective Measures Committee of the United Nations with the object of studying different methods which might be used to maintain and strengthen international peace and security. It also provided for the establishment of a panel of military experts which could be made available upon request by members of the United Nations who wish to obtain technical advice regarding the organisation, training and equipment of such national armed forces as might be made available for prompt service with the United Nations.

    Korea

    Soviet Equipment (Performance)

    58.

    asked the Minister of Defence whether he will give an assurance that this country is receiving from the United States of America full reports on the performance of Soviet equipment captured or encountered in the Korean campaign now being carried on by United Nations troops, with particular reference to tanks and jet aircraft.

    59.

    asked the Minister of Defence whether he will take steps to check the comparative technical performances of British, United States and Soviet equipment in all areas where this may be possible.

    NAVYARMY
    RegularsNational ServiceRegularsNational Service
    OfficersRatings and Other RanksOfficersRatings and Other RanksOfficersOther RanksOfficersOther Ranks
    Killed442213
    Died of Wounds116
    Wounded147122336
    Missing23
    ROYAL AIR FORCE—Nil

    Food Supplies

    Sugar And Sweets

    65.

    asked the Minister of Food what is the estimated monthly increased amount of sugar needed in order to make half the present sweets ration coupons valid for either sweets or sugar.

    The hon. Member has raised one of the difficulties which would make a sugar for sweets exchange unworkable; we have no means of knowing how many people would prefer sugar to sweets, and cannot therefore estimate how much sugar would be needed.

    71.

    asked the Minister of Food whether he is in a position to announce an increase in the sweet ration or preferably the end of sweet rationing.

    Yes. The technical performance of all equipment falling into United Nations hands is carefully studied in relation to the performance of the corresponding British or United States equipment.

    Casualties

    64.

    asked the Minister of Defence what percentage of casualties among the British Forces in Korea comprises National Service men.

    The total casualties sustained in the Korean operations up to midnight, 18th November, were 51 killed or died of wounds, 173 wounded and five missing.

    Details are as follows:

    I cannot at present increase the supply of sugar going to the industry so as to enable production to be increased, and I have certainly no intention of de-rationing sweets at the present level of supplies; this would merely drive them under the counter, and enable the largest purses to get an unfair share.

    Housewives Advisory Committee

    66.

    asked the Minister of Food what is the composition of his Housewives Advisory Committee; what are the qualifications for membership; and what bodies are permitted to nominate members to serve upon this committee.

    I assume that the question refers to a committee which forms part of the organisation of the Labour Party in the constituency I represent. It has no association with the Ministry of Food and since neither the expenditure of public money nor my constitutional responsibilities as a Minister are in any way involved, I feel it is no part of my duty to give the information asked for. If, however, the hon. Member, as a matter of private interest would like to discuss the Committee with me, I should be happy to advise him on the formation of a similar body in his own constituency.

    Broccoli And Cauliflower (Import)

    67.

    asked the Minister of Food whether he can now make a statement giving the figures of the amounts of foreign broccoli and cauliflower which will be allowed to be imported into this country during the months of January, February and March, 1951.

    Bacon Factories (Quota)

    68.

    asked the Minister of Food whether he will consider revising the present quota system for the distribution of bacon pigs to bacon factories, in view of the fact that it operates unfairly in the case of those factories who were at a disadvantage in labour matters during the period chosen for the basis of the quota.

    Although this system may not satisfy a few individual curers, I think, on balance, that it is the most equitable for the industry as a whole, and I do not think I should be justified in changing it. I should add that I have very close contact with the bacon producers and this problem is one of a number on which we are having continuous and useful discussions.

    Food Parcels, Gibraltar

    69.

    asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that tea, chocolate and other rationed goods, and unrationed, are being offered by firms in Gibraltar to housewives in Britain at high prices; and what steps he proposes to take to counter this method of evading fair shares.

    Yes. I am aware of this situation. I can—and will—prosecute people in this country who offend against the Food Rationing Regulations by purchasing these food parcels, but I have no power to prevent traders in Gibraltar from encouraging them to do so. As my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade explained yesterday, however, the Colonial Office have sought the assistance of the Governor of Gibraltar in bringing this ramp to an end.

    Pork

    70.

    asked the Minister of Food to what extent supplies of pork are increasing; and whether it will be possible for more distributions of pork to be made available on the meat rations.

    The pig population in September this year was 8.5 per cent. greater than in September last year. Most of the pigs slaughtered are, of course, needed for bacon but there should be a gradual increase in the amount of pork available.

    Calves (Market Supervision)

    asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the suffering undergone by young calves in markets; and whether he will instruct grading centres to appoint responsible men to take charge of calves which are tethered by the neck.

    Only a proportion of the calves taken to markets are intended for sale to my Department. In general the police would take action under the provisions of the Protection of Animals Act, 1911, in any cases of unnecessary suffering brought to their notice. Nevertheless, officers of my Department who visit markets have been instructed to call the attention of the market authority to any cases where they think calves are not being properly treated and particularly in those cases where calves have to be tied to rails because of insufficient penning. In addition I have assured the R.S.P.C.A. that we will look into any cases where the Society's inspectors consider that the manner in which calves are handled at a particular market appears to be unsatisfactory.

    Nigeria (Dispute)

    72.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Kalabaris have been arrested in Eastern Nigeria as a result of inter-tribal warfare; whether it is proposed to hold a commission of inquiry into the origins of this outbreak; and whether he will make a statement on the present position in the area.

    One hundred and seventeen Kalabaris have been arrested. The outbreak took place while consultations were actually proceeding with both parties about the recommendations of a commission of inquiry which had reported on the causes of the dispute. The administration is now engaged in bringing the offenders to justice, in maintaining law and order in the area, and in ensuring a settlement of the matters in dispute in the ways recommended by the commission.

    Kenya

    European Teachers

    77.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many locally-recruited and trained European teachers there are in Kenya; and what percentage of them are teaching in European, Asian and African schools, respectively.

    There are 74 European Government teachers in Kenya who have been recruited locally; 80 per cent. are employed in European, 7 per cent. in Asian, and 13 per cent. in African schools.

    School Fees

    78.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what increases in school fees in Government-aided primary and secondary schools for Asian and European children have been made in Kenya since 1948; and whether there have been any increases on Income Tax and on revenue devoted to European and Asian education over the same period.

    There have been no changes in the fees of Government-aided European schools since 1948 and a slight increase in fees in Government-aided Asian schools which has varied from school to school. Increases in the fees payable at Government schools both for Europeans and Asians were introduced on 1st January, 1949. I append a note of these changes, which involve detailed figures.There has been no increase in Income Tax during the period, nor is a specific part of the revenue allocated to European and to Asian education. I append an estimate of the rise in recurrent expenditure from Central Government funds on European and Asian Education.The following increases in Government school fees were introduced on 1st January, 1949:

    European.—Primary tuition fees increased from £4 10s. to £9 per annum. Secondary tuition fees increased from £15 to £22 10s. per annum. Secondary boarding fees increased from £60 to £72 per annum. Primary boarding fees no change.
    Asian.—Primary tuition fees ranging from 18 shillings to £3 12s. per annum, according to class, were increased to fees ranging from £1 16s. up to £5 8s. for boys and up to £4 1s. for girls. Secondary tuition fees £6 15s. increased to £7 4s. per annum for forms 1 and 2 and to £13 10s. for boys in forms 3 and 4.

    The estimated rise in the net recurrent expenditure from Central Government funds as from 1948 until 1950 on European and Asian education has been (to the nearest thousand pounds) £68,000 and £79,000 respectively. The comparable rise for education for all races has been £300,000. These figures are estimated, as actual expenditure in 1950 is not yet known. Expenditure reimbursed by fees and expenditure on African primary education from local government funds is excluded.

    Bursaries And Scholarships

    79.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Kenya Government or British Council scholarships have been given to Europeans, Asians and Africans, respectively, for university or technical training in the United Kingdom.

    At present 38 Europeans, 24 Asians and 13 Africans hold Government bursaries and scholarships for university or technical training in the United Kingdom. In addition, one African and two Asians hold British Council bursaries in this country.

    Colonial Empire

    Corporal Punishment

    80.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in which Colonies and Protectorates corporal punishment is still being inflicted as a legal punishment for any offences other than for violent attacks on prison officers.

    Corporal punishment may still be inflicted by the courts in all but a few Colonial territories. The legal position remains as set out in the detailed reply to my hon. Friend's Question of 19th April; but I have addressed Colonial Governors with a view to securing in all territories the complete abolition of such punishment, as a sanction imposed by the courts, as rapidly as we possibly can.

    Investments

    81.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has given further consideration to the proposal that there should be an official registration and record of all British and foreign capital invested in Colonial enterprises; and if any decision has yet been reached.

    Fiscal Policy (Research)

    82.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will request the Colonial Economic Research Committee to consider as a matter of urgency initiating research into the problem of fiscal policy in relation to colonial development.

    The subject is already receiving the attention of the Colonial Economic Research Committee.

    Jamaica (Imperial Preferences)

    83.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking to ensure that the views of the Jamaican Legislative Council expressed in an unanimous resolution on 9th September, calling for the maintenance of Imperial Preferences are brought to the attention of the British representatives at the Torquay Conference on Trade and Tariffs.

    The United Kingdom Delegation at Torquay include a Colonial Office representative who has brought the resolution to the attention of the Delegation.

    Royal Navy

    Employees, Chatham Dockyard (Pay)

    84.

    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many employees at Chatham Dockyard receive a weekly wage of £4 15s.; and what action he proposes to improve the standard of living of those workers, in view of the constant rise in prices.

    Three hundred and seventy-seven workpeople at Chatham Dockyard receive a regular weekly wage of £4 15s. Overtime, work on payment by results, and allowances for exceptional working conditions, bring the weekly earnings of three-quarters of this number to more than £4 15s. Juveniles and women paid a proportion of the men's rate are excluded from these figures.In reply to the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply I made to the hon. and gallant Member for Gosport and Fareham (Surgeon Lieut.-Commander Bennett) on 25th October.

    Atlantic Star

    85.

    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will consider giving the Atlantic Star to naval personnel who were sunk in submarines and taken prisoner of war regardless of the length of time they served at sea.

    Under the terms governing the award of Campaign Stars and Medals, naval personnel who were sunk in submarines and taken prisoner are given the Atlantic Star where they had begun to qualify for it and had not been able to complete the necessary qualifying time before capture. The Atlantic Star cannot be given to any who had not begun to earn it before being taken prisoner.

    Civilian Employees, Overseas Stations (Establishment)

    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty to what extent it is possible for local civilian employees of his Department in overseas stations to become established civil servants.

    Locally entered non-industrial staff in certain grades at Malta, Gibraltar and Simonstown are eligible for establishment, subject in some cases to a qualifying period of service, if they were appointed before 3rd September, 1939, and subject to age and nationality rules. These arrangements are at present under reconsideration following an agreement reached by the National Whitley Council this year. Locally entered industrial staff at Malta, Gibraltar and Simonstown may be established up to a number not exceeding five per cent. of the numbers borne in 1938.

    Indian Police Pensions

    asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will make representations to the Government of India to review the present rates of pension payable to retired officers of the Indian (Imperial) Police Service, in view of the great hardships which many of them are suffering at the present time.

    No. I do not consider that there are sufficient grounds at the moment for making such representations.

    Broadcasting

    Russian Interference

    86.

    asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a further statement on the interference by a Russian station making the British Broadcasting Corporation's Home Service programme difficult to hear; in particular, what was the date or dates on which representations were made; and what reply or replies have been received.

    My Department sent a telegram to the Russian Administration on 26th July about interference with the B.B.C. London Home Service.

    A further telegram was sent on 6th November when representations were also made about interference with the Northern Home Service. No reply has yet been received. The interference continues.

    91.

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he will give the reasons for the increasing distortion and interference on the radio, especially on the Home Service, in the Rye and Hastings area; and what steps he is taking to improve the service.

    This is due partly to the seasonal change in propagation conditions and partly to the acute congestion in the long and medium wavebands available for broadcasting in Europe. A Russian station is interfering with the B.B.C. London Home Service. My Department has made representations to the Russian Administration whose reply is awaited.

    92.

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he will consider trying to overcome Russian interference to the British Broadcasting Corporation's Home Service programme by a rearrangement among the available wavelengths and by using for the Home Service one of the other United Kingdom wavelengths in the medium waveband.

    The allocation to the various B.B.C. programmes of the limited number of long and medium wavelengths available by international agreement to the United Kingdom was planned after exhaustive study to provide the best overall reception for the country as a whole. Any rearrangement which would improve reception in one area would be to the detriment of another. The remedy for interference problems is more likely to be found through the existing international machinery for co-operation in telecommunications matters and my Department is therefore pursuing that method.

    Telephone Service

    Grantham And Sleaford

    89.

    asked the Postmaster-General how many new subscribers have been added since the war to the Grantham and Sleaford exchanges, respectively; and how many applications for telephones are outstanding in each case at the last convenient date.

    About 675 and 215; at 30th September there were 103 and 58 applications outstanding.

    Cridling Stubbs

    87.

    asked the Postmaster-General when the village of Cridling Stubbs will be provided with a public telephone kiosk.

    Congress, Sheffield

    96.

    asked the Postmaster-General how many telephones were placed at the disposal of the Sheffield Peace Congress; what representations were made to him by the Sheffield members of the National Guild of Telephonists in the matter; and what was his reply.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Heeley (Mr. P. Roberts) on 20th November, 1950. A protest has been received from the Sheffield Branch of the National Guild of Telephonists to which, in view of the pronouncements in this House, no reply is necessary.

    Blackpool

    asked the Postmaster-General what is the present delay in Blackpool between the time of application for a new telephone and its instalment; and when he estimates there will be an improvement in the position in the Blackpool area.

    A few weeks in priority cases, where plant is available, and longer in other cases. Some improvement is expected in the next few months, but there is a severe shortage of plant in the area.

    Television

    Northern Ireland

    88.

    asked the Postmaster-General when the technical reconnaissance for Northern Ireland was carried out preparatory to the establishment of a television station.

    I understand that the B.B.C. has nearly completed a technical investigation to determine the most suitable site for a television station.

    Wales

    93.

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he has yet had clearance for the television station at Wenvoe, near Cardiff.

    I understand that the B.B.C. is still awaiting the formal agreement of the local authority.

    Post Office

    Small Stores (Shortage)

    97.

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the shortage of small stores, such as ringing plungers for the 300-type telephone, I.R.V. wire and large staples, is interfering with the work of the Post Office Engineering Department; and what steps he is taking to increase supplies.

    These shortages of small stores are due to temporary supply difficulties, which, I hope, will soon be overcome.

    Festival Of Britain Stamps

    98.

    asked the Postmaster-General if he can yet state what will be the designs of the 2½d. and 4d. stamps to be issued during the Festival of Britain.

    Fog Dispersal Experiments

    100.

    asked the Minister of Supply when he expects to be able to announce that experiments on a new form of Fog Investigation Dispersal Operations have been completed.

    British Army

    Stores Depot, Kenya

    101 and 103.

    asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether he will make a statement on the decision to abandon the original project for a military stores-holding depot at Mackinnon Road, Kenya;

    (2) in view of the decision to abandon the scheme for a military stores-holding depot at Mackinnon Road, to what extent he will reimburse the Kenya Government for the expenditure it has incurred in providing road, rail and other services commensurate with the importance of the original project.

    As indicated by my hon. Friend's predecessor on 2nd December, 1947, a store-holding organisation was established at Mackinnon Road to accommodate essential stores from the large quantities which had been accumulated in India and other areas by the end of the war. Accommodation was not available in the United Kingdom, and Mackinnon Road, having regard to its geographical position, was selected as the most suitable site for the project.While the construction of the Depot was proceeding, however, it fortunately proved possible to continue to use sites in the Middle East for store-holding purposes on a large scale, and work on Mackinnon Road was accordingly reduced in scope. The stage has now been reached when, particularly in view of the needs of the Army under the rearmament programme, the expenditure of further money on Mackinnon Road can no longer be considered desirable. About £1¾ million has been spent, against an original estimated cost for the project of some £10 million. All removable assets will be salvaged for use elsewhere. The House will appreciate that the project might well have been instrumental in safeguarding stores valued at more than £100 million, and can be regarded as a justifiable form of insurance.So far as I am aware, the only substantial expenditure which the Kenya Government have incurred in connection with the depot at Mackinnon Road is in respect of improvements to road communications from Mombasa. The War Office have reimbursed the Kenya Government the extra cost of maintaining the existing road and have also agreed to refund the cost of surfacing a new road to a higher standard than would be required for normal civil traffic.

    Tracked Vehicles (Road Damage)

    asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the extent of damage to road surfaces and consequent danger to road users caused by tanks and other Army tracked vehicles; and whether he will give instructions that such vehicles should normally be carried on transport carriers and that, where this is not practicable, a very low speed limit should be imposed.

    Tanks are invariably transported on road transporters or by rail on all moves except on manoeuvres or on purely local journeys for which it would be uneconomical to use road transporters. Speed limits are imposed on all tracked vehicles travelling on roads. If the hon. Member has any particular cases in mind, I shall be glad to look at them.

    Courts-Martial, Malaya

    asked the Secretary of State for War how many soldiers were tried by court-martial in Malaya up to 31st October; and what were the offences and sentences.

    The number of soldiers tried by courts-martial up to 31st October, 1950, and details of the sentences awarded are not readily available. From 1st May, 1948, to 31st August, 1950, however, 465 officers and men were convicted by courts-martial in Malaya for the following offences: Manslaughter, 2; robbery, 2; stealing and fraud, 67; striking a superior, 47; desertion, 11; absence without leave, 49; disobedience-insubordination, 65; drunkenness, 21; conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline, 112; other offences, 89.

    Overseas Stations (Civilian Employees)

    asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent it is possible for local civilian employees of his Department in overseas stations to become established civil servants.

    A number of locally engaged War Department non-industrial civilians at certain stations abroad have been established under a National Whitley Council agreement of 1939. A new agreement of July, 1950, enables establishment schemes to be introduced for such employees in other areas where appropriate, subject to approval of permanent complements for each station, to the individual having a minimum period of service and to the usual rules governing the appointment of established civil servants.

    Gordon Memorial College, Khartoum

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what plans exist for the future development of the Gordon Memorial College, Khartoum.

    The Gordon Memorial College has at present some 350 students and it is hoped to incorporate the Kitchener School of Medicine in it next year. £E200,000 have been spent on buildings and equipment during the last five years and the expenditure of approximately £E550,000 on the college's development is envisaged during the next five years. By 1955 the student population is expected to be about 800, and it is hoped to bring the college to full university status between 1955 and 1960.

    International Monetary Fund

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason sums due to the International Monetary Fund through borrowings by this country are not shown amongst items of External Debt or in the Finance Accounts.

    I presume the hon. and gallant Member's Question refers to the sterling resources of the International Monetary Fund which are invested with the Exchequer and which consist for the most part of the United Kingdom's subscription to the Fund. These "borrowings" are repayable in sterling. They are, therefore, classed as "internal debt" and shown as such on page 55 of the Finance Accounts for 1949–50.

    Maps, Cumberland And Westmorland

    asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress is being made with the publication of air photo mosaics ordnance survey maps of Cumberland and Westmorland on both medium and large scales.

    The Ordnance Survey has not published any large or medium scale air photo mosaics of Cumberland and Westmorland and does not contemplate doing so. Provided suitable air cover is available, however, such mosaics can be produced to meet specific orders. Because of the small demand for air photo mosaics, the Ordnance Survey has curtailed its original programme for their publication as one of its normal services and, from the beginning of the year, has restricted the publication of new mosaics to areas of Great Britain that had been partly covered before that date. A note to this effect was issued by the Director-General in February, 1950, and I am arranging for a copy of this note to be sent to the hon. Member.

    Patients, Wales (Expenses)

    asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction in rural areas in North Wales owing to the means test imposed on National Health patients who have to visit hospitals in urban centres; and what action is proposed by him to remedy this defect in the health service.

    I presume the hon. Member is referring to the assessment of need when patients claim their expenses in travelling to and from hospital. This arrangement, which applies to urban and rural areas alike, was introduced to prevent abuse while still protecting cases of genuine hardship. I am not contemplating any further change.

    Juvenile Delinquency

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that cases of juvenile delinquency have fallen appreciably in number except for children 8 to 13 years of age; and why this is so and what remedy he has in mind.

    In 1949, the number of juveniles, including children aged 8 to 13, found guilty of indictable offences at magistrates' courts fell appreciably as compared with 1948, but in 1950 the numbers have been rising again. Provisional figures for the first nine months of 1950 for England and Wales show that 19,767 boys and girls under the age of 14, and 11,772 aged 14–17. were found guilty of indictable offences and dealt with in magistrates' courts. The figures for the corresponding period of 1949 were 18,820 and 11,446. The increases were thus 947 and 326, or 5 per cent. and 2.8 per cent. The relatively greater increase in the under 14 group cannot be assigned to any one cause. Local authorities generally are acting on the memorandum on juvenile delinquency which was issued in April, 1949, by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education and myself.

    Day Nurseries (Cost)

    asked the Minister of Health what is the gross cost of day nurseries per child per day in London, Croydon, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, in 1947–48, and at the present time, respectively.

    The costs are estimated by the local authorities concerned to be as follows:

    GROSS COST OF DAY NURSERIES PER CHILD PER DAY
    1947–1948Latest Figures
    s.d.s.d.
    London90123
    Croydon8397
    Birmingham89110
    Liverpool811911
    Manchester7897
    Sheffield5171

    Water Supplies

    Schemes (Grants)

    asked the Minister of Health how many water schemes in England and Wales have been approved, and how many completed, under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Act, 1944; and what is the total amount of Government grant to date.

    Grants under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Act of 1944 have to 31st October, 1950, been promised finally or conditionally in 713 cases. The total amount so promised is £7,004,000, of which £1,166,000 has been paid. Information regarding the number of these schemes actually completed on 31st October is not readily available.

    asked the Minister of Health how many water schemes in the county of Cumberland have been approved, and how many completed, under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Act, 1944; and what is the total amount of the Government grant to date.

    Grants under the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Act have, to 31st October, 1950, been promised finally or conditionally in nine cases. The total amount so promised is £16,300 of which £5,800 has been paid. I understand that three of the schemes in question have been completed.

    asked the Minister of Health whether the scheme for providing water for a part of the county of Rutland from Leicester is to proceed; and whether he will give an assurance that, if sufficient water is not available from this source, he will sanction smaller schemes as an alternative.

    The scheme has not yet been formally submitted to me and I understand that it is still being discussed by the interested authorities. It would, therefore, be premature for me to comment on possible alternatives.

    Suffolk

    asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the Blyth Rural District Council are still carting water to villages in that area, including schools at Yoxford, Rendham and Knodishall; and when he intends to introduce legislation for the supply of water to rural districts upon the basis of a national or regional scheme in view of the prolonged hardship endured by the countryside population.

    The council's northern and southern area water supply schemes, designed to enable piped water to be brought to these three and many other villages in the district, have received my general approval, and I have invited the council to place advance orders for the necessary materials and to prepare to let contracts. I am unable to make any statement about prospective legislation.

    Housing

    Gipsies (Caravans)

    asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to alleviate the serious position that is developing for gipsies in finding places where they and their caravans can be accommodated.

    I am considering with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary what information there is available to us on this matter, and am not yet in a position to say whether further steps may be required.

    Rural Workers

    asked the Minister of Health how many cottages for rural workers have been built in England and Wales since 1945 by local authorities; and how many by private individuals.

    The number of houses built in rural areas is given in the Housing Return, September, 1950. Precise figures are not available as to the numbers erected specifically for agricultural workers, but the numbers of local authority houses let to such workers are also shown in the Return.

    asked the Minister of Health how many cottages for rural workers have been built in the county of Cumberland since 1945 by local authorities; and how many by private individuals.

    For the number of houses built by rural authorities and by private enterprise I would refer the hon. Member to Appendix B to the Housing Return, September, 1950. Separate figures of the numbers erected specifically for agricultural workers are not available.

    Potters Bar

    asked the Minister of Health why he has refused to increase beyond one-fifth the fraction of the Potters Bar Urban District Council housing allocation for 1951 which may be used in licences for private building, although that council have represented to him the exceptional demand for private licences in their area.

    On the information available to me I do not think that the case has been made out.