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Written Answers

Volume 486: debated on Friday 13 April 1951

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 13th April, 1951

Hong Kong (Requisitioned Tanker)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement in regard to the requisitioning at Hong Kong of the Chinese tanker "Yung Hao."

The Governor of Hong Kong has requisitioned the tanker in the public interest, after full consultation with His Majesty's Government, under powers given by Hong Kong regulations. Had this vessel been released it might well have been of assistance to the Chinese and North Korean troops by carrying oil in furtherance of the Korean campaign in which they are fighting the United Nations, including British Forces. In view of the security risks to our own and other United Nations Forces it was important, therefore, not to allow the vessel to proceed to China. The Governor of Hong Kong had power simply to detain the vessel or alternatively to requisition it. In view of our own requirements he decided to requisition.

Ministry Of Works

Government Offices (Parking)

asked the Minister of Works if, in view of the recommendation in paragraph 82 of the Report on London Traffic Congestion, 1951, of the Ministry of Transport that adequate space should be provided for car parking in plans for new Crown and Crown leased buildings, he will give the number of such buildings where such car parking space has been planned; and the number where it has not been planned.

Thirteen Crown buildings are now being planned for use as Government offices in the London area. All these will have parking facilities. There are no plans for the construction of any further Crown leased buildings in London.

Houses, Wales (Crown Occupation)

asked the Minister of Works how many houses in Glamorgan and Cardiff, respectively, are still occupied by Government Departments; and where a list of these houses may be obtained.

Seventy-seven houses in Glamorgan, of which 56 are in Cardiff, are occupied by Government Departments. There is no central list of these properties, but if the hon. Member desires information in any particular instance I will try to provide it.

Indian Medical Department (Ex-Members)

asked the Minister of Education how many ex-members of the Indian Medical Department underwent the special clinical course in order to take the Conjoint Diploma and thus acquire British registrable qualifications; and how many of these succeeded in taking the diploma.

I have been asked to reply. Grants were made by the Ministry of Education on behalf of the Commonwealth Relations Office, to 29 ex-members of the Indian Medical Department, to enable them to read for the Conjoint Diploma. Twenty-two were sucessful in obtaining the Diploma, 6 of those unsuccessful are now taking the course again without assistance from public funds, and the other is studying, at his own expense, for the Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery of the Society of Apothecaries.

Steel Supplies (Reduction)

asked the Minister of Supply if he is aware of the shortages of steel in the motorcar industry; and if he has any statement to make upon the position of steel supplies.

Yes. I indicated to the House on 7th February last that, owing to raw material difficulties, steel production was likely to fall in 1951. I propose to make a full statement shortly about raw material supplies for steel making, which are appreciably below requirements. Intense efforts to collect home scrap will be necessary to minimise the reduction in steel output.

Because of the defence programme and the need to maintain essential production, it will not be possible to satisfy all demands for steel. The Government have, therefore, decided to reduce exports of steel and also to restrict deliveries to the home market. Licensing control will be extended to exports of semi-finished steel, pig iron and alloy steel as from 16th April, and all other types of steel as from 14th May. Deliveries of steel to the home market will generally be somewhat less than last year although, of course, there will be exceptions.

The Government are examining possible arrangements for controlling the distribution of steel in the home market,

CountrySurface postage for a 20 grammes (or 1 oz.) letterAir Mail Letter Rates
Rate from the U.K.Sterling equivalent to the U.K.Rate from the U.K.Sterling equivalent to the U.K.
(Pence)(Pence)
Belgium46·7There is no air mail rate of postage. Letters prepaid at the surface rate of postage are conveyed by air from the U.K. to these countries whenever acceleration in delivery would be secured thereby.There is no air mail rate of postage. Letters prepaid at the surface rate of postage are conveyed by air to the U.K.
Denmark46·2
Holland44·5
Sweden45·0
Switzerland47·8
France46·1*Letters up to 20 grammes forwarded by air without extra charge.
Italy47·53·43d. per 5 grs.IN ADDITION TO SURFACE POSTAGE
Norway45·41·8d. per 20 grs.
Finland47·51·1d. per 5grs.
Portugal46·93·57d. per 20 grs.
Turkey46·16·09d. per 20 grs.
Brazil46·91s. 0d. per ½ oz.2s. 2½d. per 10 grs.IN ADDITION TO SURFACE POSTAGE
Chile46·91s. 0d. per ½ oz1s. 2d. per 5 grs.
Egypt24·26d. per ½ oz.2½d. per 10 grs.
U.S.A.4·31s. 0d. per ½ oz.1s. 1d. per ½ oz.
Australia2·41s. 3d. per ½ oz.1s. 2½d per ½ oz.
Canada3·31s. 0d. per ½ oz.1s. 0d. per ¼ oz.
India4·51s. 0d. per ½ oz.1s. 1½d. per ½ oz.
Pakistan6·51s. 0d. per ½ oz.1s. 7½d. per ½ oz.
South Africa2·01s. 0d. per ½ oz.9d. per ½ oz.

* The French Government have recently announced their intention to increase this rate by 20 per cent.

in case this becomes necessary. Industry will be consulted before any detailed scheme is introduced.

Post Office (Foreign Mail Rates)

asked the Postmaster General how the foreign letter rates of the United Kingdom compare with those of other countries.

For the most part the outward foreign air and surface letter rates from this country are lower than those of other countries to the United Kingdom. Examples are given in the following schedule.

Chronic Sick, Cardiff

asked the Minister of Health whether he will give an estimate of the number of chronic sick in Cardiff awaiting admission to hospital.

The waiting list for] chronic sick beds in National Health Service hospitals in Cardiff on 31st December, 1950, was 61.

Courts-Martial, Malaya (Convictions)

asked the Secretary of State for War how many soldiers were sentenced by courts-martial in Malaya during 1950; and what were the crimes and the sentences.

During the calendar year 1950, 11 officers and 149 other ranks were convicted by courts-martial in Malaya for the following offences:Stealing and fraud, 23; striking a superior, 14; desertion, 1; absence without leave, 13; disobedience/insubordination, 37; misuse of vehicles, 2; drunkenness, 5; conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline, 45; other offences, 20.Details of the sentences awarded are not readily available.

Coal (Pithead Costs)

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what was the average cost, per ton, at the pithead of coal, on any convenient date in each of the years 1947 to 1950, for delivery inland and for export; and also the latest convenient date.

The figures of the average pithead proceeds published by the National Coal Board do not differentiate between internal and export sales. Average pithead proceeds for all sales were:

s.d.
1947403
1948472.5
19494711.5
1950 (first three quarters)4710.7
The average f.o.b. value of coal exported is given in the Trade and Navigation Accounts as follows:

s.d.
1947477
1948741
1949730
1950738
The latter figures include a variable element of internal transport costs, and there are also differences in quality between the coals covered by them and those covered by total proceeds.