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Written Answers

Volume 485: debated on Friday 9 March 1951

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 9th March, 1951

Agricultural Machinery (Dollar Imports)

asked the President of the Board of Trade what types of agricultural machinery are now being imported from dollar resources; and in what quantities.

The programme for imports of agricultural machinery in 1951 from dollar sources amounts to approximately 500,000 dollars for pick-up balers and pea harvesters. Consideration will also be given to other essential requirements which cannot be met from home production or by imports from countries to which the policy for the liberalisation of trade applies.

Employment

Marine Radio Officers (Training Grants)

asked the Minister of Labour what rehabilitation or other grants are available for men wishing to train as merchant marine radio officers; and how many grants have been made for this purpose by his Department over each of the last five years.

Grants for this form of training are available only to men whose careers or training were interrupted by war service and who need training to enable them to obtain satisfactory employment. They must also have had previous service as a radio officer in the Merchant Navy or in a similar capacity in the Royal Navy. The grant covers maintenance and tuition. The numbers of grants awarded were as follows: 1946, 69; 1947, 752; 1948, 735; 1949, 146; 1950, 34.

Statutory Instrument No 311

asked the Minister of Labour if he will identify the powers, other than those specified. to which refer- ence is made in Statutory Instrument, 1951, No. 311; and why these are not identified in the instrument.

The only specific statutory powers under which this Order is made are those conferred by Section 10 of the Wages Councils Act, 1945, and referred to in the Order. The reference to other powers is a formula which is usually and properly employed in Statutory Instruments to comprehend such ancillary powers as are or might be brought into play when the specific power is exercised. These ancillary powers are provisions of the general statute law, for instance, the Interpretation Act, 1889, and the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946.

Retail Prices Index

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent the Cost of Living Advisory Committee are prepared to consider any criticism of the existing Index of Retail Prices that may be sent to them.

The Committee is now engaged on a detailed examination of the operation of the Index to date. As my hon. Friend will be aware, even if a full scale Budget inquiry is decided on, an interval of something like two years must elapse before the results can be finally assessed. I am anxious that, in the meantime, the existing Index shall be improved in any way that is found in the light of experience to be practicable. I can assure my hon. Friend that the Committee will be prepared to give full consideration to any constructive suggestion that may be sent to it. All communications should be addressed to the Secretary of the Committee at 8, St. James's Square.

Food Supplies

Statutory Instrument No 301

asked the Minister of Food if he will identify the powers enabling, other than those specified, to which reference is made in Statutory Instrument, 1951, No. 301; and why these are not identified in the instrument.

The reference to other powers is a formula which is usually and properly employed in statutory instruments to comprehend such ancillary powers as are or might be brought into play when a specific power is exercised. These ancillary powers are provisions of the general statute law (for instance, in the Interpretation Act, 1889). To include these ancillary powers in the instrument would make the preamble long and cumbersome, and tend to obscure the specific statutory powers under which the Order is made.

Milk Prices (Cumberland And Kirkcudbright)

asked the Minister of Food what price per gallon is paid by the Milk Marketing Board for milk in Cumberland and Kirkcudbright, respectively; and at what price it is retailed in these counties.

Producers' prices vary from month to month and are higher in Scotland than in England and Wales in winter and lower in summer. The prices fixed for the year ending 31st March, 1951, in Cumberland (which is within the Northern Region of the Milk Marketing Board) and Kirkcudbright (which is within the area of the Scottish Milk Marketing Board) are as follows:

Cumberland (per gallon)Kirkcudbright (per gallon)
s.d.s.d.
April224
May11
June11
July21
August22
September2928
October211¾3
November33
December33
January353
February32⅝3
March211211½
Simple Average32·53d.32·52d.
In addition producers in both counties are entitled to a production bonus which (

a) in Cumberland is at the rate of ½d. per gallon on the first 500 gallons produced each month from April to September, and 3d. per gallon on the first 400 gallons in each of the other six months, and ( b) in Kirkcudbright is 4¾d. per gallon for the first 600 gallons in October and 4½d. per gallon for the first 600 gallons in each of the months November to March. Additional pre-

miums are paid throughout Scotland and England and Wales on tuberculin tested milk at the rate of 2d. per gallon, and on milk produced from an attested herd at the rate of 2d. per gallon. Maximum retail prices both in Cumberland and Kirkcudbright are:

Per gallon

s.d.
Ordinary and Pasteurised Milk34
Tuberculin Tested and Sterilised Milk38
Certified and Farm Bottled Milk44

Smithy Coal, Devonshire

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that blacksmith's coal is virtually unobtainable in Devonshire; and what steps he is taking to make this type of coal available.

South Wales was the normal source of smithy coals for Devonshire but there are now very few coals in South Wales which are suitable for smithy purposes. Arrangements have therefore been made by the National Coal Board for Yorkshire smithy coal to be made available to any distributor whose customers can no longer manage with South Wales coals. All the distributor has to do is to place an order and the coal will be supplied. If, however, the hon. Member is aware of any blacksmiths who are still unable to obtain coal from their distributors, I would ask him to report the circumstances to the regional director of my Department at Flowers Hill, Brislington, Bristol, whereupon arrangements will be made for the delivery of the necessary supplies.

Civil Aviation (Statutory Instrument No 319)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation if he will identify the powers enabling, other than those specified, to which reference is made in Statutory Instrument, 1951, No. 319; and why these are not identified in the instrument.

The reference in S.I. 1951, No. 319, to "other powers enabling" is a formula which is usually and properly employed in Statutory Instruments to comprehend such ancillary powers as are or might be brought into play when a specific power is exercised. These ancillary powers are provisions of the general statute law, for instance, in the Interpretation Act and Statutory Instruments Act.

National Insurance (Statutory Instruments)

asked the Minister of National Insurance if she will identify the powers enabling, other than those specified, to which reference is made in Statutory Instrument, 1951, No. 306; why these are not identified in the instrument; and if she will give similar information concerning Statutory Instrument, 1951, No. 305.

The only specific statutory powers under which the two Instruments referred to are made are those respectively specified in the opening words of the Instruments. The reference to other powers is a formula which is usually and properly employed in Statutory Instruments to comprehend such ancillary powers as are or might be brought into play when a specific power is exercised. In the present instances these ancillary powers are various provisions of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act (for instance, in the Interpretation Section) and of the general statute law, for instance, in the Interpretation Act.