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Written Answers

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 20th February, 1952

Royal Navy

Sea Warfare (History)


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what progress has been made with the official history of the war at sea, 1939–45; in how many volumes is it intended to divide the history; and when the first volume may be expected to be published.

The first volume of this history is in advanced draft form and is expected to be published next year. The history is planned in three volumes.

Recruiting Advertisement

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to a recruiting advertisement, issued by his Department, in which the Royal Navy is recommended as being involved in all important happenings and because of its traditional popularity; and whether he will give directions that this advertisement shall be withdrawn.

This advertisement, which was published last month, was one of a new series designed to illustrate various aspects of naval life. It dealt with the ceremonial side of the Royal Navy and will be balanced in future months by advertisements showing the active and military aspects.

Telephone Service

Agreement Notices (Posting)


asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether his attention has been called to the fact that the notice of termination of agreement recently sent to all telephone subscribers did not appear to conform with the usual regulations for registered letters; and whether it is no longer necessary under his regulations for registered letters to be sealed.

The notices in question were posted as printed paper packets: such packets, unsealed, are admissible to the registration service.

Public Board Officials


asked the Assistant Postmaster-General how many telephones since 1947 have been installed in the private residences of officials of each of the nationalised industries as a matter of priority on the grounds that they were necessary for the conduct of business.

Separate figures are not available, but I can assure my hon. Friend that no official is given priority for a telephone at his home simply because he is employed in a nationalised industry. Priority is allowed only in exceptional cases, e.g. where the official is directly concerned with essential emergency control or repair.

Botwnnog, Caernarvonshire

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will explain the delay in erecting a telephone kiosk at Hebron in the parish of Botwnnog, Caernarvonshire; and if he will expedite the matter.

The cable serving the locality is full; and I regret that, in view of our limited resources, we cannot at present undertake the large amount of work required to provide this kiosk.

Post Office (Government Sponsored Slogans)


asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what are the principles on which it is decided that Government-sponsored slogans shall from time to time be used in conjunction with postmarks for the cancellation of postage stamps on correspondence.

Slogans are sponsored by Government Departments, and are accepted at the discretion of my noble Friend. They must be of national importance, non-controversial, and inoffensive to public opinion at home and abroad.

British Council (Overseas Operations)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in how many Commonwealth and foreign countries the operations of the British Council are to be reduced or closed down.

The proposed economies in British Council expenditure during the forthcoming financial year will involve a reduction of operations in all of the five independent Commonwealth countries and the 22 colonial territories where the Council is represented. Reductions will also take place in 28 of the 36 foreign countries where the Council is represented. These economies will not involve closing down completely in any country.

Falkland Islands Dependencies (Hope Bay Incident)


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement concerning the armed eviction from Hope Bay by Argentine troops of a landing party from the survey vessel "John Biscoe"; and whether he will lodge a protest with the Argentine Government.

Yes. On 1st February the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey vessel "John Biscoe" landed a civilian party with stores at Hope Bay in order to re-establish the British base there. An Argentine party already on shore forced them to re-embark. The Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately informed Her Majesty's Embassy at Buenos Aires of the incident and explained that the Argentine commander had acted in error and that his instructions had been rectified.On 4th February Her Majesty's Embassy at Buenos Aires, acting under instructions from my right hon. Friend, handed a Note of protest to the Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Governor of the Falkland Islands has since visited Hope Bay in Her Majesty's frigate "Burghead Bay" and the base has been re-established without further incident.

Yugoslavia (Uk Assistance)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what military supplies have been made available to the Yugoslav Government by Her Majesty's Government; what are the financial arrangements made in respect of these supplies; and what is the total cost of those so far provided.

As a result of examination in July and August, 1951, by the Service Ministries of existing stocks, and of discussions with the Yugoslav authorities, it was agreed that certain items of military equipment would be shipped to Yugoslavia as a gift. It is expected that equipment to the value of £3¼ million will be shipped within the course of the present financial year, and that further shipments will be sent next year. This equipment is being supplied without detriment to the needs of the United Kingdom Forces and is separate from the economic aid programme announced in the House on 5th July last, under which no items of direct military use are being made available.When Parliamentary approval is sought of the Supplementary Estimate for funds for assistance to Yugoslavia, an additional and separate item will be inserted to cover this military aid, and to provide for the re-imbursement by the Foreign Office of the cost of the equipment provided by the Service Ministries

Ministry Of Food

Fish Meal


asked the Minister of Food how the current production of fish meal for animal feeding compares with pre-war production; and what measures are now being taken to increase production of this essential ingredient in pig and poultry rations.

During 1951 home production of fish meal for animal feeding was 70,000 tons, approximately equal to pre-war production. All available fish not entering into human consumption and fish offals are converted into meal and the possibility of increase necessarily depends on fish supplies and the amount taken up for human consumption.

Home Canning (Tinplate)


asked the Minister of Food how much tinplate he proposes to allocate to the food industries for the second quarter of 1952; how much of this will be allocated to the fruit and vegetable canners; and how this allocation compares with that for the same quarter of 1951.

I cannot at present add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr. Baker White) on 30th January.

Meat (Overseas Purchases)


asked the Minister of Food how many private buyers he has sent overseas to purchase meat for consumption in this country; and what have been the results of this policy.

None. Our meat supplies from the principal supplying countries continue to be governed by the agreements which were made by my predecessors.

Price-Controlled Goods


asked the Minister of Food to what extent his recent decision to allow increased profits to grocery and provision merchants on a number of price-controlled goods will entail an increase in the price-controlled cost to the consumer.

The cost of these necessary adjustments will be reflected in the trading accounts of my Department. They will, therefore, like other cost changes, affect the price of food to the consumer, in due course.

Fruit And Vegetable Sales, London (Telegram)


asked the Minister of Food on what date he received a telegram from representatives of market porters concerning fruit and vegetables sale; what was the content of this telegram; and what reply he has sent.

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the telegram received on 5th February from a representative of the London fruit and vegetable market porters and of my Department's reply.

Horticultural Workers (Special Ration)


asked the Minister of Food if he will extend the special ration at present given to agricultural workers to those engaged in similar work in horticulture and market gardening.

The special cheese ration is already available to employees in horticulture and market gardening.

Bakers, Nw Area (Gas Charge)


asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that bakers in the district served by the North Western Gas Board have to pay a flat rate for gas instead of the special bakers' rate which was customary before nationalisation; if he has taken this into account in estimating the cost of baking; and if his Department will make representations to the Gas Board to re-introduce the special bakers' rate.

The change referred to had not been brought to my notice. The actual cost of gas is taken into account in estimating the cost of bread baking. It is open to the bakers to make representations to the area gas board, and, if necessary, to the Gas Consultative Council, and it would not be appropriate for me to intervene.

Hurricane, Fiji (Damage)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the recent hurricane in Fiji, saying how many lives were lost and how much damage was done.

A severe hurricane struck Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, on 28th January, causing the loss of 24 lives and serious damage to crops, communications, industrial installations and buildings throughout most of the island, including Suva, the Colony's capital. A preliminary estimate puts the damage at over £1 million. Food supplies are adequate for the present and emergency supplies of rice and sharps are being sought from Australia. Other supplies are being shipped as early as possible from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.Relief funds have been opened by organisations in Fiji and in New Zealand. The New Zealand Government have announced the gift of £10,000. Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have also announced a gift of £10,000, the necessary provision for which is being included in the Estimates for 1952–53 which will shortly be laid before the House.The Acting Governor has reported that all races and communities set a fine example of self-help and mutual assistance.The House will, I am sure, wish to join me in expressing sincere sympathy with those who have suffered and appreciation of the generous help which is being extended to Fiji by New Zealand and Australia.

South-East Asia

High Commissioner, Malaya (Directive)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that the political approach to the people of Malaya is the most important factor in rallying them to our assistance in the fighting there; what directive he has given to the new High Commissioner regarding the political advancement of the Federation; and what steps are being taken to bring these to the notice of the people.

The great importance which I attach to political progress in Malaya is made clear in the Directive issued to the High Commissioner, which has received wide publicity in Malaya.Following is the text of the Directive issued to General Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer, K.C.B., K.B.E., C.M.G., D.S.O., A.D.C., High Commissioner in and for the Federation of Malaya, by the Secretary of State for the Colonies on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.This Directive was issued to General Templer on 4th February and was read at the swearing-in ceremony at Kuala Lumpur on 7th February.

The policy of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom is that Malaya should, in due course, become a fully self-governing nation. His Majesty's Government confidently hope that that nation will be within the British Commonwealth.
2. In assisting the peoples of Malaya to achieve this object, you will at all times be guided by the declaration of policy expressed in the preamble of the Federation of Malaya Agreement and by the statement of the special responsibilities of the High Commissioner contained in Section 19 of that Agreement.
3. To achieve a united Malayan nation there must be a common form of citizenship for all who regard the Federation or any part of it as their real home and the object of their loyalty.
4. It will be your duty to guide the peoples of Malaya towards the attainment of these objectives and to promote such political progress of the country as will, without prejudicing the campaign against the terrorists, further our democratic aims in Malaya.
5. The ideal of a united Malayan nation does not involve the sacrifice by any community of its traditional culture and customs, but before it can be fully realised the Malays must be encouraged and assisted to play a full part in the economic life of the country, so that the present uneven economic balance may be redressed. It will be your duty to foster this process to the best of your ability.
6. His Majesty's Government believe that the British have a mission to fulfil in the achievement of these objects, and that, even after self-government has been attained, the British in Malaya will have a worthy and continuing part to play in the life of the country.
7. Communist terrorism is retarding the political advancement and economic development of the country and the welfare of its peoples. Your primary task in Malaya must, therefore, be the restoration of law and order, so that this barrier to progress may be removed. Without victory and the state of law and order which it alone can bring, there can be no freedom from fear, which is the first human liberty.
8. In furtherance of your task, not only will you fulfil the normal functions of High Commissioner, but you will assume complete operational command over all armed forces assigned to operations in the Federation and will be empowered to issue operational orders to their Commanders without reference to the Commanders-in-Chief, Far East. You should establish the closest consultation between yourself and the Commanders-in-Chief, Far East, in matters of common concern.
9. You may assure the Malayan peoples of all communities that they can count on the powerful and continuing assistance of His Majesty's Government not only in the immediate task of defeating the terrorists but in the longer term objective of forging a united Malayan nation. His Majesty's Government will not lay aside their responsibilities in Malaya until they are satisfied that Communist terrorism has been defeated and that the partnership of all communities, which alone can lead to true and stable self-government, has been firmly established.



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has now arrived at his decision with regard to the position of the Commissioner-General of South-East Asia; and in what particulars it is his intention to alter the terms of reference in this appointment.

Mr. Macdonald's term of office has been extended for a further period beyond May. The position will be reviewed again later this year. On the Commissioner-General's terms of reference, I cannot at present add anything to the statement I made in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Tradeston (Mr. Rankin) on 30th January. 1952.

East And Central Africa (Wages Boards)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in which of the territories in East and Central Africa wages boards have been established; and for which industries.

Standing advisory boards with wage-fixing functions covering the whole territory or whole provinces exist in Kenya, Nyasaland and Uganda. Ad hoc wages boards exist in Northern Rhodesia to determine the wages of African labourers in building and civil engineering in the copper belt; of African shop assistants in the Eastern Province; and of Asian shop assistants. Ad hoc wages boards have also been set up in Zanzibar to advise on minimum wages for dairy workers; for workers in producing, packing and bagging; for carters; and for tailors.


Manpower Committee


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what means were used by the Tanganyika Committee on Manpower to consult African opinion in the territory, in view of the fact that no African members were appointed to the Committee.

This Committee decided to confine itself to a few main recommendations on basic aspects of the manpower problem, on which adequate factual information was available, without taking evidence from employers or employees of any race.

Trade Union Adviser


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when it is proposed to appoint a trade union adviser to Tanganyika.

This is not proposed at present. It is part of the duties of the Labour Department to assist the trade union movement and officers are appointed from time to time to that Department who have had practical experience of trade union work in the United Kingdom. Mr. Armet, of the National Union of Seamen, was the most recent appointment to the Department to deal with trade union matters.


Government Staffs (Council)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made in the establishment of the Whitley Council for Civil Service staffs in Kenya; and whether the council is now functioning in regard to the various claims for improvements in the conditions of employment within the various racial categories.

The Whitley Council is not yet functioning. A constitution for a proposed Whitley Council was drawn up in July last year in consultation with the staff associations, but there has been subsequent discussion with staff associations about the functions of the proposed Council and no final conclusions have yet been reached.

Legislative Council

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to a resolution adopted by the Kenya African Union Central Committee on 21st December, 1951, strongly opposing the system of nominating African Members of the Legislative Council and requesting that the African Members of the Legislative Council in 1952 should be elected as an experiment; and whether he will take steps to carry out this suggestion.

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes." I do not propose to alter the arrangements for the appointment of the Legislative Council in 1952 to which leaders of all the Un-official groups in the Legislative Council have already agreed.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what protests he has received from the East African, Indian and National Congress and the Kenya African Union against the proposal to establish separate electorates for the Moslem and non-Moslem communities among the Indian electorate for the Kenya Legislative Council; and whether he will reconsider this proposal.

I have received a copy of a joint resolution protesting against this Measure which was passed by the Executive Committees of these two organisations. This law has been passed by the Kenya Legislative Council after extensive and prolonged discussion and I do not propose to intervene.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to a resolution adopted by the Kenya African Union Central Committee on 21st December, 1951, expressing the opinion that there is no possibility of reaching any agreement between the three main races in Kenya regarding its future constitution and demanding that a group of impartial experts should be sent from the United Kingdom to examine the situation; and whether he will consider acceding to this request.

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes." I do not propose to alter the present arrangements which my predecessor agreed with representatives of the communities in Kenya. It is most important that these communities should reach agreement on future constitutional developments, and I earnestly hope that all concerned will do their best to secure it. If they do, I see no reason why they should not succeed.

Mauritius (Teachers' Pensions)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement on the granting of pensions to aided school-teachers in Mauritius.

A Bill to provide for the payment of such pensions has recently been passed by the Mauritius Legislative Council, but the Governor's assent is being withheld pending consultation with me on certain points.


Size Of Classes


asked the Minister of Education the number of classes of over 50, and over 40 pupils, respectively, at the latest date for which figures are available.

In January, 1951, there were 35,103 classes with over 40 pupils on the registers, including 1,123 classes with over 50 pupils, in primary and secondary schools (other than nursery or special schools) maintained or assisted by local education authorities. Comparable figures for January, 1952, are not yet available.

Technical Schools


asked the Minister of Education the number of junior technical schools in England and Wales and the ratio between the number of places in such schools and the number of children in the secondary school population; and the respective figures for the county of Stafford.

In 1951 there were 296 secondary technical schools in England and Wales, attended by 4.9 per cent. of the 14-year age group in maintained and assisted primary and secondary schools. In Staffordshire the number of schools was 4 and the comparable percentage 2.3.




asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that, owing to the overspill of the Liverpool population, about 95,000 people of necessity must be housed in the Lancashire County Council area in the near future, and that Liverpool will suffer loss by such an arrangement; and what action he is taking with the zoning authority to bring the outlying areas required within the city's boundary.

My right hon. Friend is aware that houses will have to be built outside Liverpool's boundaries for a substantial number of people from the city. The information and proposals which the Liverpool Council submit with their development plan will show the scale and urgency of the need.

As regards the latter part of the Question, an adjustment of the city boundary was made last year by the Liverpool Ex-tension Act. If any further adjustment is thought to be needed it will no doubt be discussed in the first place among the local authorities concerned.

Subsidy Rates

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether houses generally being cheaper to build than flats and requiring less steel, he will so fix the new rates of subsidy that they will encourage local authorities to plan for houses rather than flats in their building schemes, so far as density requirements permit.

National Health Service

Ambulance Drivers, Kent, Surrey And E Sussex


asked the Minister of Health the number of ambulance drivers now employed by local or other public authorities in the counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex; and how many calls these drivers responded to in 1951.

The latest returns from the county councils show that in Kent, Surrey and East Sussex, the councils employed 554 station officers, drivers and attendants at 31st March last, and that their staff dealt with some 350,000 patients in the preceding twelve months. Ambulance drivers and attendants are usually interchangeable. Many other patients were carried under arrangements made by the councils with voluntary organisations, including the Hospital Car Service, and the whole of the public ambulance service in West Sussex was provided in this way.

Hospital Staffs (Representation)

asked the Minisster of Health whether he is prepared to extend the representation of hospital staffs on the general consultative committees to persons who are not members of the negotiating bodies represented in the Whitley Council.

The conditions governing eligibility for membership of joint consultative committees in hospitals are contained in a general Whitley Council agreement, and any question of their revision is, therefore, a matter for consideration by that Whitley Council.


Food Production


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, without going to greater expense but mainly by using broadcasting services, he will encourage the growing of more food in gardens and allotments.

Encouragement to this useful form of self-help is already given in many ways. My right hon. and gallant Friend thanks my hon. Friend for his suggestion in regard to broadcasting, and will discuss it with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Sheep Worrying


asked the Minister of Agriculture if, in view of the fact that the equivalent of 500,000 1s. 6d. rations of meat was lost in Great Britain in 1951 due to the worrying of sheep by uncontrolled dogs, he will see that every opportunity is taken to prevent a repetition of this in the year 1952.

As stated in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. J. Rodgers) on 31st January, my right hon. and gallant Friend is considering whether he can introduce effective legislation that would help farmers with this difficult problem. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. Friend have arranged to discuss the matter with the National Farmers' Unions for England and Wales and Scotland early next week.


Rural Water And Sewerage Schemes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland with regard to rural water schemes and sewerage schemes in Scotland, respectively, the value of schemes submitted to him for approval; of schemes approved in principle but not yet authorised to go to tender; of schemes authorised for commencement but not yet completed; of schemes completed; of grants promised but not yet paid; and of grants paid up to 31st October, 1951.

Following is the information:

1. Value of schemes submitted since end of war to 31st December, 1951:
2. Schemes approved in principle but not yet authorised to go to tender:
3. Schemes authorised for commencement but not vet completed:
4. Grants promised but not yet paid:
5. Grants paid up to 31st October, 1951:

Highlands Panel (Composition)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will change the composition of the Advisory Panel on the Highlands and Islands so as to secure wider representation of the interests involved.

I have been considering the composition of the Highlands Panel very carefully. At present it comprises eight representatives of Highland Local Authorities, four Members of Parliament, four persons appointed directly by the Secretary of State, one of whom retires on rotation each year, and two representatives of the Scottish Council (Development and Industry). The Chairman is the hon. Member for the Western Isles (Mr. M. MacMillan).I have come to the conclusion that the Panel would be strengthened if it included all the Members of Parliament for Highland constituencies and I am glad to announce that the noble Lord the Member for Inverness (Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton) and the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) have agreed to serve. I regret that the hon. Member for Sutherland and Caithness (Sir D. Robertson) finds himself unable to do so. In place of Mr. A. J. McKenzie, who retires on rotation, I am appointing Colonel Robert Neilson. In view of the desirability of giving close attention to the development of suitable industries in the Highlands, I have also invited the Scottish Council to nominate a third representative, to be specially chosen for his industrial experience.

Inter-Allied Reparation Agency

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Inter-Allied Reparation Agency has completed the task entrusted to it under the Official Act of the Paris Conference on Reparations.

A report on the present position of the work of the Agency has been received by the Government and copies have been placed in the Library.

National Finance

Indian Sterling Balances (White Paper)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about the recent agreement with India on sterling balance releases.

The Indian Finance Minister and I have exchanged letters extending until 30th June, 1957, the Financial Agreement of 14th August, 1947 (as modified by later letters) which expired on 30th June, 1951. The letters, which give formal effect to undertakings already entered into between the two Governments are being issued as a White Paper today.The letters follow the lines of the agreement concluded by my predecessor with Pakistan last summer and announced to the House on 20th July, 1951, except that in this instance we have proceeded by an exchange of letters instead of by a new Agreement. We have followed the Pakistan precedent by providing that the sum of £310 million shall be transferred at once from India's No. 2 account to her No. 1 account as a Currency Reserve; it is the intention of the Government of India not to draw on this sum and they undertake not to do so without previous consultation with us.Provision is also made for releases of sterling from the No. 2 account over the six years beginning 1st July, 1951, at a rate not exceeding £35 million a year, except that the two Governments may consult together if in any year India's requirements are likely to exceed that sum; any balance still remaining on the No. 2 account at the expiry of the Agreement will be transferred automatically to the No. 1 account.

Purchase Tax And Utility Schemes (Report)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a further statement about the Report of the Douglas Committee on Purchase Tax and Utility Schemes.

I am making arrangements for the Report to be available in the Vote Office tomorrow afternoon.

Thou. sq. yds.Thou. sq. yds.Thou. sq. yds.Thou. sq. yds.Thou. sq. yds.Thou. sq. yds.
Deliveries by United Kingdom manufacturers of carpets and rugs (including carpets, carpeting and rugs faced with wool, hair, cotton and rayon)(c)16,375·3(a)23,726·230,414·635,527·941,068·140,243·4(b)
Of which, for the home market including the Channel Islands (c) (e)12,743·2(a)16,858·419,999·025,059·628,643·626,108·9(b)
Exports of carpets, carpeting and rugs faced with wool, hair and cotton of United Kingdom manufacture (d)3,650·66,908·910,393·610,436·812,156·114,009·1
Total imports of carpets, carpeting and rugs faced with wool, hair and cotton794·11,411·63,573·22,902·16,529·08,940·1
Re-exports of carpets, carpeting and rugs faced with wool, hair and cotton (d)97·1126·2179·4190·6233·3286·3
Retained imports of carpets, carpeting and rugs faced with wool, hair and cotton (f)697·01,285·43,393·82,711·56,295·78,653·8
(a) Including only carpets, carpeting and rugs of wool and hair (including carpets and rugs on wool or jute base).
(b) Not completely comparable with previous years. These figures now include a small amount of rugs not previously classified to this heading.
(c) Year ending November.
(d) Exports of oriental carpets imported and processed in the United Kingdom are included with re-exports, except for the years 1946 and 1947 when they were not separately distinguished.
(e) Including ships fittings and supplies to Government Departments, Local authorities, the National Coal Board, British Railways and other public utility undertakings, and N.A.A.F.I.
(f) Imports less re-exports as defined in note (d).

Trade And Commerce

Carpets And Rugs (Production)

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in respect of each of the years 1946 to 1951, inclusive, the aggregate production, in square yards, of carpets and rugs in the United Kingdom; the amount, in square yards, exported; the amount placed on the home market in each of these years; and the amount, in square yards, of imports in respect of each of the years 1946 to 1951.

The following table shows total deliveries of carpets and rugs by United Kingdom manufacturers, the amount of this total which was supplied to the home market, and the quantities imported and exported, in the years 1946 to 1951.

Film Finance Corporation (Borrowing)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now able to make a statement about the Government's intentions in regard to the provision of funds for the National Film Finance Corporation.

The operations of the National Film Finance Corporation, and other measures designed to put the United Kingdom film producing industry on a profitable basis, have undoubtedly caused an appreciable improvement in the industry's prospects. This progress, however, needs to be consolidated, and for this purpose the Corporation may need some further capital. We have, therefore, decided to introduce at an early date legislation to enable a sum of up to £2 million to be borrowed from non-Governmental sources. In the meantime, there will be no interruption of the work of the Corporation.