Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 28 February 1952

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 28th February, 1952

Employment

Agricultural Workers (Call-Up)

6.

asked the Minister of Labour what changes he is contemplating in the call-up of agricultural workers as the outcome of his recent discussions with the National Farmers' Union.

22.

asked the Minister of Labour what changes have been agreed on in relation to the calling up of agricultural workers.

Hitherto short periods of deferment have been allowed subject to a maximum of 12 months at a time for stockmen and six months at a time for other workers. I propose that those periods should now become the normal instead of the maximum. It will also be permissible to allow up to 12 months in all cases where it is clear that a substitute cannot be found earlier. Applications for renewal will be granted without further reference to the advisory panels where circumstances remain unchanged if efforts to find a substitute have been unsuccessfully made.

Scotland

15.

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent the number of unemployed men and women registered in Scotland now shows an upward trend.

The number of persons registered as unemployed in Scotland at 14th January, 1952, was 70,000. This total was 26,200 higher than in July, 1951, but slightly lower than in January, 1951.

Factory Inspectors

17.

asked the Minister of Labour how many factory inspectors were appointed in 1950 and 1951; how many of these were university graduates in chemistry, physics or engineering; and how many more are needed to bring the inspectorate up to the required numbers.

Twenty-six factory inspectors were appointed from the two competitions held in 1950 and 12 from the first 1951 competition. Sixteen candidates were declared successful in the second competition in 1951 and were offered appointments. Six have already taken up duty and two others have accepted and are reporting in March. Four of the candidates appointed were university graduates in chemistry, physics, or engineering.Twenty-nine more inspectors are needed to bring the Inspectorate up to the required numbers. This figure will be reduced to 21 if the remaining eight successful candidates accept appointment.

Dental Technicians

27.

asked the Minister of Labour how many dental technicians are at the present time unemployed.

Ordnance Factories, Swynnerton And Radway Green

asked the Minister of Labour how many unfilled vacancies there are for skilled and unskilled men, respectively, at Swynnerton, Staffordshire, and Radway Green, Cheshire, Royal Ordnance factories.

On 26th January, 1952, the numbers of vacancies for men at Swynnerton and Radway Green Royal Ordnance Factories were as follows:

Skilled MenUnskilled Men
Swynnerton4486
Radway Green2349
Totals67135

York

asked the Minister of Labour how many persons in the city of York at the last convenient date were registered as unemployed; how many such persons were registered as handicapped by disablement; and how many persons unemployed were shown by the latest available analysis to be in the age group of 56 years and over.

The total number of unemployed persons on the registers of York Employment Exchange and Youth Employment Office at 11th February, 1952, was 657, of whom 107 were registered under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944. The latest date for which an age-analysis of unemployed persons is available is 10th December, 1951, when the number of persons aged 55 and over registered at York Employment Exchange was 104.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries (Policy Announcements)

45.

asked the Prime Minister if he will issue a direction that future announcements on Government policy may not be made by Parliamentary private secretaries in view of the fact that questions may not be asked regarding announcements so made.

I am sure that it is already understood that Parliamentary private secretaries do not make announcements on Government policy.

Agriculture

Smallholdings

48.

asked the Minister of Agriculture to consider the institution of a land settlement policy in view of the many farm workers who desire to be tenant-farmers and are lacking in capital.

Under Part IV of the Agriculture Act, 1947, smallholdings authorities are already empowered to provide smallholdings for letting to people with agricultural experience, particularly farm workers. Loans at favourable rates of interest can also be made to people selected as tenants of such smallholdings who cannot themselves provide all the necessary working capital.

Heneage Committee Report

49.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he now has the information which will enable him to decide whether to introduce legislation to implement the recommendation made in paragraph 94 of the Report of the Land Drainage Legislation Sub-committee of the Central Advisory Water Committee.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) on 21st February.

Synthetic Polymers

50.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the successful results achieved in the United States of America by the use of certain synthetic polymers in improving soil structure for agricultural and horticultural use and, in particular, of a synthetic poly-electrolyte, known as Krilium; and to what extent steps are to be taken to make use of these discoveries in Great Britain.

I am aware of the claims which have been made recently in the United States about the use of certain synthetic polymers, particularly Krilium, as soil improvers. The Agricultural Research Council are making inquiries and will give me their advice as soon as they can.

Domestic Food Production

51.

asked the Minister of Agriculture his proposals for encouraging the domestic producer, in gardens and allotments, to increase his production of suitable food crops and domestic poultry, rabbits, etc., in view of the growing shortage of food supplies throughout the world.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton) on 20th February and the answer given to the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) on 21st February.

Common Land (Cultivation)

55.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how far he has given consideration to the possibility of the cultivation of common land after de-requisition, when such cultivation would not substantially interfere with the use and enjoyment of the land by the local inhabitants.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson) on 21st February.

Land Tribunal Decisions (Errors)

56.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the observations of the Lord Chief Justice in the case of Rex v. Agricultural Land Tribunal, South-Eastern area, ex parte Hooker; and whether he will make rules enabling Agricultural Land Tribunals to rectify mistakes in their decisions.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) on 21st February.

Agricultural Land (Loss)

58.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what acreage of land has passed out of cultivation since the war through the use, for building, industrial and other purposes, of land formerly used for agriculture or horticulture.

65.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what machinery he has for recording the amount of agricultural land which is taken for non-agricultural purposes each year, and the amount of land which comes newly into agricultural production each year; and what has been the net loss of agricultural land over the past 15 years.

The machinery for recording losses and gains of agricultural land is the annual June census of agricultural holdings, supplemented by inquiries made by my local officers. The total area of crops and grass and rough grazings in sole occupation in England and Wales in June, 1951, was 684,000 acres less than the area returned in June, 1936, an average net annual reduction of 45,000 acres. Between June, 1945, and June, 1951, rather more than half a million acres of land has gone out of agricultural use, but some 450,000 acres have been restored to agriculture and the net annual loss has been about 13,000 acres. In addition, it is estimated that over the last 15 years the area of rough grazings in common occupation has increased by 295,000 acres.

Home-Grown Fruit

59.

asked the Minister of Agriculture in view of the rising prices and growing difficulties of the importation of fresh and dried fruit, what steps are being taken to augment the home-grown supply; and what is the estimated total amounts of each to be provided in this country in 1952, as compared with previous years.

I am not aware that there is an appreciable increase in the price of imported fruits. Imports are being restricted for the present to help the balance of payments. The production of fruit at home cannot be increased at short notice, but the acreage is likely to be higher this year and growers are developing, with every possible help from my Department, modern methods of production, storage and marketing. The supply of home-grown fresh fruit in 1952 will now depend mainly on the weather. The production of dried fruit in this country is negligible.

Usk And Ebbw Rivers Board

60.

asked the Minister of Agriculture when he proposes to set up a River Board for the Usk and Ebbw rivers, in view of the urgency of this matter and the long delay that has already occurred.

A draft Order defining a river board area that includes the rivers Usk and Ebbw was placed on deposit on Thursday, 14th February. If there are no objections to the draft Order and no delay in the subsequent stages, I hope the river board will be established in time to hold a preliminary meeting in July so as to be ready to assume its functions on 1st October next.

Smoke Nuisance, Liverpool

62.

asked the Minister of Agriculture why no reply has been sent to the medical officer of health for Liverpool by the Lancashire agricultural officer regarding the complaint that a mobile locomotive-type boiler was operating in a residential area and was emitting black smoke for long periods to the nuisance of the residents; if he is aware that modifications to this mobile boiler were suggested last year, without effect; and if he will take steps to remedy this matter.

The Lancashire Agricultural Executive Committtee are doing their best to avoid cause for complaint, and I regret that the medical officer of health has not been kept informed of progress. Unfortunately the boiler modification proposed was not found to be effective, and the trouble appears to be due to the type of fuel used. It is now proposed to use smokeless fuel when the boiler is working in residential districts.

White Fish Subsidy

63.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is yet able to announce a decision about the continuation of the white fish subsidy after the end of March, 1952.

66.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is now able to make a further statement regarding the white fish subsidy.

Yes. The Government have decided to continue payment of the white fish subsidy for a further period of four months up to 31st July. The scales and conditions of payment are still to be settled, and will be announced later. The question whether a subsidy should continue to be paid after 31st July and, if so, on what terms, will be reviewed in the course of the next few months.

Land Commissioners (Town Planning Inquiries)

64.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what directions have been given to, and what practice exists among, Land Commissioners in respect of their attendance at town planning inquiries for the purpose of giving evidence.

No specific directions about their attendance at such inquiries have been given to the Land Commissioners of my Department, but they are aware that it is not the normal practice for representatives of one Government Department to attend at an inquiry held by another Government Department for the purpose of giving evidence.

National Finance

Excess Profits Tax

67.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he anticipates introducing his scheme for excess profits tax; and whether he will include a tax on company dividends.

It has already been announced that the new excess profits tax will have effect from 1st January, 1952; for the rest, I cannot anticipate my right hon. Friend's Budget statement.

Savings Certificates

68.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many holders of the current issue of National Savings Certificates have reached their maximum holding.

I regret that this information is not available and could not be obtained without a disproportionate expenditure of time and labour.

Dog Licences

69.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the widespread worrying and destruction of sheep and poultry by dogs, he will propose an increase in the dog licence in order to reduce their numbers.

Estate Duties (Smaller Firms)

70.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take on the memorandum from the National Union of Manufacturers, dated 17th December, 1951, urging full public inquiry into the disintegrating effect of the liability to Estate Duty on smaller and medium-sized manufacturing concerns, and some immediate measure of relief pending the result of such inquiry.

My right hon. Friend is not at present in a position to make a statement on this matter.

Coi Films Unit

72.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates he has made as to the extent to which the economies to be made by suppressing the departments in the Central Office of Information concerned with the making and distribution of films will be offset by the increased cost of making and distributing films by various Departments of State.

I cannot give any figures at present, but it is the Government's intention to make a definite reduction in the scale on which Departments make use of films as a medium of publicity.

Scientists And Technologists

75.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the output of scientists and technologists per head of population in Great Britain.

The number of scientists and technologists coming from the universities and technical colleges of Great Britain with ordinary first degree and higher degree qualifications (or their equivalent) in the academic year 1950–51 is estimated to be about 1 in 3,000 of the population.

Public Boards (Untaxed Expenses)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the special rules applied by the Department of Inland Revenue in scrutinising claims for untaxed expenses made by members of public boards.

Expenses claims by members of public boards are treated in exactly the same way as those made by directors of commercial companies.

Education

University Students (Grants)

39.

asked the Minister of Education if she will maintain grants to university students at existing levels and advise local education authorities likewise.

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a circular which I have just issued to local education authorities on this matter.

School Building Programme

43.

asked the Minister of Education for an undertaking that local education authorities will be permitted to build new schools, where it is necessary, to prevent overcrowded classes.

Local circumstances vary so much that I cannot add anything in general terms to what is said in Circular 245, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

83.

asked the Minister of Education how many new schools are at present being built and how many are planned to start in 1952, under the Southampton and Hampshire County Education Authorities.

At the end of December there were two new schools under construction in Southampton and eight in Hampshire. The 1952–53 building programme includes four in Southampton and seven in Hampshire.

92.

asked the Minister of Education whether she is satisfied that her revised school building programme will provide the additional school places needed by the end of 1953.

Yes. The school building programme for 1952–53 is calculated to provide the remainder of the 1,150,000 additional places which my predecessor estimated to be required by the end of 1953.

asked the Minister of Education how many school building projects for 1951–52 have been started; and what are the names of the local authorities concerned.

During 1951 work was started on 203 school building projects included in the 1951–52 educational building programme. The names of the local education authorities concerned are:

England—Counties
Bedfordshire.Middlesex.
Berkshire.Northamptonshire.
Buckinghamshire.Nottinghamshire.
Cornwall.Somerset.
Derbyshire.Staffordshire.
Dorset.Suffolk, East.
Durham.Surrey.
Essex.Sussex, East.
Gloucestershire.Sussex, West.
Hampshire.Warwickshire.
Herefordshire.Wiltshire.
Hertfordshire.Worcestershire.
Kent.Yorkshire, North
Lancashire.Riding.
Leicestershire.Yorkshire, West
Lincolnshire-Lindsev.Riding.
London.
England—County Boroughs
Barnsley.Leicester.
Barrow-in-FurnessLiverpool.
Bath.Manchester.
Birmingham.Norwich.
Bolton.Nottingham.
Bristol.Oldham.
Burnley.Oxford.
Bury.Plymouth.
Carlisle.Preston.
Coventry.Rotherham.
Croydon.Salford.
Derby.Sheffield.
Dewsbury.Southampton.
Doncaster.Southend-on-Sea.
Dudley.Stoke-on-Trent.
Eastbourne.Tynemouth.
Exeter.West Bromwich.
Halifax.Wolverhampton.
Ipswich.Worcester.
Leeds.York.
Wales—Counties
Caernarvonshire.Monmouthshire.
Glamorgan.Montgomeryshire.
Wales—County Boroughs
Newport (Monmouthshire).

Somerset

44.

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware of the threat to the efficiency of the education service in Somersetshire with particular reference to the nursery schools service and to the size of classes in general; and what action she proposes to take.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on 21st February.

Atc Cadets, Lancashire (Summer Camp)

78.

asked the Minister of Education whether, in view of the refusal of the governors of certain modern secondary schools in Lancashire to grant leave to Air Training Corps cadets to attend their annual camp last summer, she will advise the governors of all such schools that leave should be granted in future.

No. This must remain a matter for the discretion of the school authorities. I hope that arrangements will be made to enable schoolboys to go to camp during the holidays, as is customary in Lancashire and other counties.

Northamptonshire

79.

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware of the need to maintain the supply of books and essential material for educational purposes; and what action she intends to take on the proposals of the Northamptonshire Education Committee to reduce their forecast expenditure for 1952–53 by cutting £5,082 from the provision for books, stationery and materials in primary schools, £2,227 from the similar provision for secondary schools, 12½ per cent. from the provision for county library books and all provision for an additional book van for the schools library service.

Yes. I told local education authorities in Circular 242 that I expected proper standards of teaching to be maintained both by the employment of adequate teaching staff and by the supply of books, essential materials, and apparatus. I understand that even after the reductions quoted had been made by Northamptonshire in their forecast of expenditure for 1952–53 the amounts allowed for books, stationery and materials would still be substantially greater than those included in their estimates for the current year.

Grammar Schools

80.

asked the Minister of Education how many scholarships are available for grammar schools for boys, for girls, and for boys or girls, respectively; how many there are in each of these categories; and what statistics she has suggesting that girls win scholarships more easily than boys.

Of the 290,000 boys and 280,000 girls aged 13 in January, 1951, 50,800 boys and 51,700 girls were receiving grammar education free of charge in grant aided schools. I have no figures of places available and no other statistics which suggest that girls do better in the allocation tests than boys.

82.

asked the Minister of Education what percentage of children in Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Hampshire, respectively, receive grammar school education.

My information does not enable me to give a precise answer, but the following figures show the percentage of 13 year old children who receive a grammar education in maintained schools in the areas concerned. The figures also cover those children for whom the local education authority pay fees at direct grant schools.

Southampton21.5
Portsmouth20.4
Bournemouth21.6
Hampshire17.0

Nottingham Technical College

81.

asked the Minister of Education if she will permit the completion of that part of the extension to Nottingham Technical College on which work has already been started.

Dental Service

86.

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that the School Dental Service is understaffed; what is the extent of understaffing in Northamptonshire; and what action she intends to take on the proposal of the Northamptonshire Education Committee in their recent review of 1952–53 expenditure to omit from their forecast provision for an additional school dentist and dental attendant and for a second mobile dental clinic.

Yes. I understand that the authority have had vacancies for two dental officers and attendants for over two years and have hitherto made provision for them in their estimates. As they were unable to fill the vacancies, they have decided to provide for only one additional dentist and attendant in their estimates for the next financial year. I see no reason to question this decision provided that the authority will be prepared to revise their estimates if, as a result of the changes now proposed in the General Dental Service, it becomes easier to recruit additional school dental officers. I understand that the abandonment of the proposal to provide an additional mobile clinic will not curtail the service available to the area concerned.

97.

asked the Minister of Education if she will refuse to approve the education estimates of those local authorities who reduce the amount to be spent on the dental services.

I do not approve the estimates of local education authorities. I said, however, in Circular 242 that every effort should be made to strengthen the school dental service, and I am not prepared to accept any proposal that has the contrary effect.

asked the Minister of Education the required establishment of school dentists in the county of Kent in the month of October, 1951; and how many dentists in fact were actually employed.

I understand that at the date in question the Kent local education authority aimed at having the equivalent of 50 full-time school dentists. They were in fact employing 31 full-time and five part-time dentists, the equivalent of about 32 full-time officers.

Burnham Committee

87.

asked the Minister of Education if she is aware of the dissatisfaction among school teachers with the workings of the Burnham Committee as the machinery for salary negotiation, and if she will appoint a committee to inquire into such machinery with a view to reorganising it on a similar basis to the satisfactory wage negotiation machinery now existing in industry.

No. The Burnham Committee is established on a principle which I consider sound, namely that representatives of local authorities and teachers can be expected, even if there are difficulties at times, to reach agreement in the submission of recommendations to the Minister.

88.

asked the Minister of Education what regulations she has made to enable questions concerning the teaching profession, on which the local education authorities and her Department on the one hand and the school teachers' organisations on the other are unable to arrive at agreement, to be sent to arbitration.

I assume that my hon. Friend's Question is concerned with the remuneration of teachers and would refer him to my answer on 21st February to the question asked by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Merton and Morden (Captain Ryder).

Teachers (Unemployment)

asked the Minister of Education what regulations she has made in the case of the Burnham Committee failing to agree by negotiation to refer the matter in dispute to arbitration.

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of my reply of 21st February to a similar question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Merton and Morden (Captain Ryder).

91.

asked the Minister of Education what steps she is taking to prevent unemployment amongst teachers in the year 1952–53.

I see no reason to expect any unemployment among teachers in the coming year, if they are willing to go where there are vacancies for them.

Special Schools

93.

asked the Minister of Education what special schools are available for a child suffering from the combined defects of mental retardment and severe epilepsy.

There are eight special schools for epileptics, all of which have a proportion of children whose intelligence is below normal.

Handicapped Children

asked the Minister of Education what effect the education economies will have upon the home-tuition of physically-handicapped children.

I have no reason to suppose that any changes which authorities may make will conflict with the terms of Circular 242, in which I said that I should deplore any reduction in the standards of efficiency of special educational treatment.

Sunderland

96.

asked the Minister of Education if she has made an estimate of how many buses will be required to transport children to school if the new schools which are planned to be built in Sunderland according to the present school building programme are not built; and what will be the annual cost of so conveying the children to school.

I am not in a position to make such an estimate, but as a result of recent discussions with representatives of the local education authority I am satisfied that the revised 1952–53 building programme will suffice to meet Sunderland's most urgent needs and will help to relieve their transport problems.

Warwickshire

asked the Minister of Education if she is aware that the economy proposals of the Warwickshire County Council will mean the closure of all nursery schools in the county; and whether she will give an assurance that she will oppose these measures.

Yes. I have now informed the local education authority that I cannot agree to this proposal since all the nursery schools concerned are fulfilling an urgent local need.

Classes (Size)

asked the Minister of Education what steps she is taking to reduce the size of classes where the number is over 40 children per class.

During the next few years the school roll will be increasing so rapidly that I cannot hold out any hope of a general reduction in the number of classes of over 40 children even if we increase the number of teachers at the greatest possible rate which we seem likely to be able to achieve.

Apsley House (Public Admission)

94.

asked the Minister of Education the anticipated cost of opening Apsley House as a national museum; and what amount it is estimated would be obtained by way of revenue if a reasonable charge for admission were made.

The cost of opening Apsley House as a national museum is expected to be approximately £9,000 per annum. It is proposed that the charge for admission shall be 1s. per head. The number of visitors cannot be forecast with any accuracy, but it would require an attendance of 180,000 visitors per year, or about 3,460 per week, to make the opening of the house a self-supporting venture.

Commonwealth Relations

Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate And Swaziland

100.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what is the present policy of Her Majesty's Government in relation to Bechuanaland and the two adjacent British Protectorates.

The policy of Her Majesty's Government in relation to Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland is to promote the social and economic welfare of the peoples of all three territories and to foster the growth of representative institutions.

Self-Governing Territories (Uk Assistance)

101.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will set out in tabular form details of the United Kingdom's assistance to the Dominions of the Commonwealth by way of gifts and loans since the war.

The financial assistance given since the war by Her Majesty's Government to the self-governing Territories of the Commonwealth is as follows:

  • Moneys set aside for purchase of supplies for flood and fire relief in Canada in 1950—£100,000.
  • Technical assistance under the Scheme for Technical Co-operation in South-East Asia: 1950–51—£2,015; 1951–52—£35,000 to £49,000 (estimated).
To these figures should be added the very considerable sums of capital raised on the London market by companies operating in Commonwealth Territories and of loans raised here by Commonwealth Governments, municipal authorities, statutory bodies, etc., in the course of normal financing operations.

Uk Publicity

102.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what means the Government employ, following his decision to abandon the lecture service of the Central Office of Information, to spread knowledge and information in this country about the Commonwealth; and how much money the Government is now spending for this purpose.

Publicity in the United Kingdom about other Members of the Commonwealth is a matter for their Governments and their official representatives in this country.Her Majesty's Government is, however, most anxious to promote knowledge in this country of the Commonwealth as a whole, and to this end will continue to maintain close liaison with the Press, the B.B.C., and interested societies and organisations. Films about the Commonwealth will continue to be available from the Central Film Library, reference material from the Central Office of Information, and official publications on sale through the Stationery Office.It is not possible to say what these activities will cost in the coming year, since the Central Film Library is being re-organised and the cost of the section containing films about the Commonwealth cannot be estimated.

Trade And Commerce

Cotton Industry

105.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if the Cotton Import Committee, set up under the chairmanship of Sir Richard Hopkins, has now reported to him on the question how, in the current foreign exchange position, cotton can best be supplied to the United Kingdom cotton industry on the most advantageous terms as to quality and price.

I have at present nothing to add to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 31st January.

Monopolies Commission Reports

106.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he is taking on the reports of the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission.

The responsibility for action following a report of the Monopolies Commission rests on the Minister who is the competent authority in respect of the goods which are the subject of that report. Perhaps the hon. Member would put down a Question to the Ministers concerned with the particular reports in which he is interested.

Clothing Supplies, North-East Scotland

107.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that there is a shortage of winter clothing in the north-east of Scotland; and what is the cause of this and what steps he is taking to make it good.

Recent reports from this area do not indicate a shortage of any kind of clothing. If the hon. and learned Member will let me have particulars of any shortage which has been brought to his notice, I will look into the matter.

Resale Price Maintenance

108.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take on the unanimous recommendations of the Committee on Resale Price Maintenance, particularly the recommendation that steps be taken to render illegal the application of sanctions which extend beyond the remedies open to an individual producer for any breach of resale price maintenance conditions.

Textile Production

110.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the index number of the volume of textile production in the United Kingdom for the second half of 1951, taking 1938 as 100 and for which the United Nations survey gives an index of 116 for the first six months of the year.

No official comparison of changes in the volume of textile production in the United Kingdom between 1938 and the post-war years is available. It is, however, estimated that, taking 1946 as 100, production in 1935 was about 143, and in the first six months of the year 1951, was 154. The comparable figure for the last six months of 1951 was about 140. Comparisons over such a period should, of course, be interpreted with caution.

Bullion And Specie Account

109.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will resume publication in the Trade and Navigation Accounts of the bullion and specie account which used to be included in prewar issues.

I have considered this suggestion with some care, but I am not convinced that the value of these figures would justify the expense of their publication. If, however, my hon. Friend has any particular arguments to put to me about the usefulness of publishing them, I should be glad if he would let me know, so that I can consider the matter further.

Census Of Production Form 330

111.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the cost of the Census Production Form 330 for any convenient number of copies.

112.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will reconsider the Census of Production Form 330 recently issued to the electrical engineering trades; and whether, in view of the necessity to concentrate on increased production, he will postpone the completion date.

No. Most firms find the time allowed for completion sufficient. In the relatively few cases where extension of time is needed for special reasons, the Census of Production Office always considers the request sympathetically.

Arc-Lamp Coloured Gelatines

114.

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many import licences have been issued since 1945 for arc-lamp coloured gelatines from the United States of America; and what has been the total expenditure on such gelatines.

There is no record in my Department of the issue of any import licences since 1945 for arc-lamp coloured gelatines, as such, from the United States of America. It is, of course, possible that some may have been imported under a licence issued for some more general description, but arc-lamp coloured gelatines are not separately specified in the trade returns of the United Kingdom.

Factories (Development Areas)

115.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the increasing number of unemployed in Sunderland, he will allow the North Eastern Trading Estates Company to commence work in the proposed specially designed standard factory.

The building of factories in the Development Areas in advance of demand was deferred indefinitely by the previous Government early in 1951, and the present shortage of steel and need to restrict capital investment are such that I do not think that I would be justified in reversing this decision.

Furniture And Textile Goods (Price Increases)

120.

asked the President of the Board of Trade which articles of clothing and furniture have increased in price since October, 1951.

Since 31st October, 1951, manufacturers' maximum prices for most kinds of utility furniture, men's shirts and underwear, cotton knitted goods, and children's light outer clothing have been increased. However, prices of these and other textile goods in the shops are now settled largely by competition, and many goods are on sale at prices below the maximum.

Utility Goods Scheme

121.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will now make a statement on the future of the utility goods scheme.

No; but I shall make a statement on this matter at the earliest possible moment.

Scarce Metals (Use For Model Making)

122.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will announce the terms and conditions on which model-makers may acquire small quantities of steel and other scarce licensed materials for their own use.

There is no restriction on the supply of small quantities of iron and steel. Details of the distribution scheme for these materials are given in the "Notes for Consumers," published by the Stationery Office, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy. Copper and zinc may be used without licence in the making of models, provided the metals are five per cent. or less by weight of the finished article. The use of nickel is prohibited, except under licence. Licences for any of these materials are not ordinarily given except on export grounds.

Motor-Cycles (Hire-Purchase)

123.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the added importance that will attach to motor-cycles as a consequence of the coming re-deployment of labour due to re-armament, he will exempt these machines from the hire-purchase order.

Textile And Clothing Industries (Employment)

125.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the high percentage of unemployed and temporary unemployed amongst the cotton operatives in Stalybridge; and what action he is taking to help to counteract the present serious recession in the textile industry.

I am aware of the difficulties which the textile industries are facing at the present time and the resulting effect on employment amongst cotton operatives in Stalybridge and elsewhere. Through the Cotton Board, I am keeping in close touch with the industry about their difficulties; but they can be resolved ultimately only by a revival of the buying of textiles throughout the world.

127.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the clothing factory of Montague Burton Limited, Leeds, is now working short time; and what proposals he has whereby the serious situation developing in the textile and clothing industries can be overcome.

Yes, I am well aware of the general decline in demand for textiles and clothing, both at home and abroad, in recent months and I am watching the position closely in consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Labour.

North Eastern Trading Estates Limited

126.

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many people, men and women, were employed in the factories administered by the North Eastern Trading Estates Limited on 31st January, 1952.

The latest date for which official statistics are available is 5th January, 1952, when factories administered by the North Eastern Trading Estates Limited were employing 16,481 men and boys and 25,782 women and girls, making a total of 42,263.

Contracts, Argentina

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the recent successes by German firms in obtaining contracts from the Argentine for trolley omnibuses and power station equipment, what steps he took to assist British firms in tendering for these contracts; and if he will make a statement.

As a result of action by Her Majesty's Embassy in Buenos Aires, the time limit for submitting tenders for the trolley-bus contract was extended. Although the United Kingdom prices were lower, the contract was obtained by a German concern which, I understand, offered quicker deliveries and more extended terms of payment. As to the contract for equipment for the power station at San Nicolas, which I assume is

Statutory Quota1948–491949–501950–51
First Features 45 per cent.Supporting Programme 25 per cent.First Features 40 per cent.Supporting Programme 25 per cent.First Features 30 per cent.Supporting Programme 25 per cent.
Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.
Gaumont-British48·132·434·223·132·022·9
Odeon47·230·534·324·432·023·2
A.B.C.47·031·036·225·631·027·0

that referred to by the hon. Member, Her Majesty's Government were not asked for assistance.

Asparagus Imports

asked the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements have been made this year for the importation of asparagus from abroad; and what are the rates of duty applicable for the various importing dates.

Fresh asparagus may be imported this year under open general licence from a number of European and other sources except between 16th April and 30th June during which period imports will not exceed 100 tons and will be made under licences issued to individual importers.The rates of duty on imports of asparagus from foreign countries are as follows:

  • 1st January to the last day of February—4d. per lb. or 10 per cent. whichever is the less.
  • 1st March to 15th April—1½d. per lb. or 10 per cent. whichever is the less.
  • 16th April to 30th June—4d. per lb.
  • 1st July to 31st December—10 per cent. general ad valorem duty.

British Quota Films

asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentages of British quota films were shown as first features and what percentages as second features by Associated British Cinemas, Limited, Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, Limited, and Odeon Theatres, Limited, in the years 1948–49, 1949–50 and 1950–51, respectively.

The following table shows the average quotas achieved by each of the companies concerned:

Steel (Imports From Japan)

asked the President of the Board of Trade the quantity of steel imported from Japan since 1st January.

3,120 tons of steel were imported from Japan during January.

Emigrants To Empire Countries (Ages)

124.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will furnish any statistics as to the age-distribution of emigrants from this country to Empire countries for 1951, or for the latest year for which the information is available.

I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the detailed statistics for 1950 as published in the "Board of Trade Journal" of 3rd November last, together with summary figures for 1951. Detailed information in respect of 1951 will probably not be available until May of this year.

Police

Flats, Peckham Rye

129.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the cost of building the flats for metropolitan police at Peckham Rye; the cost per flat; the cost of the pram shelters and workshop which is provided on this estate; when the building was commenced; the contract time for completion; and when it is estimated the estate will be completed.

The tender accepted for the construction of the 24 flats which are at present being erected was £56,686, subject to the usual conditions about variation of costs of labour and materials. It was later decided to incorporate certain Civil Defence protective measures at an estimated cost of about £4,000.The site cost £5,850, and site preparation, including the bringing in of services, cost £6,480. Exclusive of these costs and the cost of the Civil Defence measures, the cost per flat (including three sets of inspectors' quarters) on the basis of the tenders is £2,091. The proposal to construct a building to provide pram shelters and a workshop is not being proceeded with.The work began on 28th August, 1950. The contract period ends in June, 1952; the work is expected to be completed by the end of 1952. It is not known when the additional block of six flats, which is to be built on the site, can be started.

Cadets (National Service)

130.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consult with the Minister of Labour as to the desirability of exempting from National Service in the armed forces men who have enrolled as police cadets in under-manned forces and who intend continuing in the police service.

No. The experience gained by police cadets during their service with the armed forces is of great value and makes them better policemen.

Oaksey Committee Report

133.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the results of the discussions on the implementation of Part 2 of the Oaksey Committee Report on Police Pay and Conditions.

Discussions are still proceeding with the interests represented on the Police Council with regard to recommendations of the Oaksey Committee dealing with representation, negotiating procedure and the administration of discipline. I have every hope that it will be possible reasonably soon to re-submit these issues to the Police Council; how soon it will be possible to reach finality depends upon the course of the discussions, and the measure of agreement reached, on the Police Council. As the hon. Member will be aware the pay claims made last year on behalf of the federated ranks were in fact brought before an independent tribunal and effect was given to the tribunal's recommendations.

134.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that the local authorities have now refused to implement paragraph 138 of Part I of the report dealing with widows' pensions; and if he can yet give the results of the negotiations on this point.

The specific increases in widows' benefits recommended by Lord Oaksey's Committee on Police Conditions of Service were given by the Police Pensions Regulations, 1949. The recommendations made by the Committee in the paragraph of their report to which the hon. Member refers were referred to0020a working party appointed by my predecessor to report to the Police Council on this and other aspects of the police pensions scheme. I understand that the report of this working party will be available shortly, but I have not yet received it and I do not therefore know the views of its members.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to allow the right to have negotiating and arbitration machinery to decide matters of police pay and conditions, as requested by the Police Service Federation.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave today to her Question No. 133.

Widows' Pensions

138.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what would be the estimated annual cost of giving pensions to all police widows at the minimum rates provided in the Police Pension Regulations, 1949, as amended.

The Police Pensions Regulations, 1949, as amended, provide for the payment of flat-rate police widow's ordinary pensions of 19s. 2d., 23s. and 26s. 10d. a week for the widows of officers of ranks below inspector, inspector and above inspector respectively. The estimated additional cost of raising to these rates pensions previously awarded at lower rates is £65,000 per annum.The Police Pensions Regulations also provide for the payment at the discretion of police authorities of supplementary pensions of 26s. or 30s. a week to certain widows who do not qualify for National Insurance benefit. The estimated additional cost of paying supplementary pensions at these rates to police widows who now have their pensions supplemented by smaller amounts under earlier Regulations is £250,000 per annum. The total estimated additional cost is therefore £315,000 per annum.

Transferred Service (Pensions)

142.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision is made under his regulations and what circumstances have to be fulfilled for a police officer, who has served in a police force and then joins another police force, to be allowed to have calculated in his favour his service in the former force for the purpose of pension.

Where a regular policeman transfers from one police force to another with the consent of the chief officer of the first force, he is entitled under the Police Pensions Regulations to reckon his pensionable service in the first force as pensionable service in the second force. Where service in the two forces is not continuous, the police authority of the second force may, in their discretion, allow the man to reckon as pensionable service in the second force the whole or part of his pensionable service in the first force on payment of a proportionate part of any gratuity or return of pension contributions which he received on retirement from the first force.

Displaced Persons, Germany (Visas)

131.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent it is the policy of his Department to permit displaced persons still resident in Germany to visit their relatives in this country.

Displaced persons may be granted visas, subject to the usual safeguards, and if I am satisfied that a genuine visit is intended.

Albert Hall (Car Parking)

135.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider a revision of the rules with regard to the parking of cars at the Royal Albert Hall, in view of the inconvenience of the present arrangements.

The rules governing the parking of cars at the Royal Albert Hall are contained in the directions to constables issued by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis under the powers conferred upon him by Section 52 of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, and I have no power to revise those directions. I have, however, consulted the Commissioner of Police who tells me that he has reviewed the existing arrangements and does not consider any alteration desirable.

Taxi-Cab Drivers (Employment)

136.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements have been made, or decisions reached, in respect of the proposals made to him by taxi-cab drivers to avoid unemployment or under-employment.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 31st January to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Finchley (Mr. J. E. Crowder).

Illegitimate Children (Law)

137.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been drawn to the report of a joint committee appointed by the British Medical Association and the Magistrates Association in respect of the law in relation to the illegitimate child, of which a copy has been sent to him; and, in view of the importance of the subject and the recommendations of the report, whether Her Majesty's Government will consider the implementation of the recommendations.

I would refer to the reply given on 21st February to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker).

Robberies With Violence

139.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how far the cases of robbery with violence have shown increases in recent months.

During 1951 the number of cases of robbery with violence was considerably smaller than in 1950. There have been no increases in recent months beyond the usual seasonal variations in this type of offence.

Civil Defence Staff College

140.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the tactical wing of the Civil Defence Staff College to be completed, and the first course to take place.

Construction of the tactical school to accommodate 50 students is proceeding satisfactorily in the grounds of the Civil Defence Staff College at Sunningdale Park. Steps are being taken to select the necessary additional staff and to prepare the instructional material for this school. It is too soon to give a firm date for the holding of the first course.

Cruelty To Children

141.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of cases of neglect or cruelty to children before the courts for the years 1946–51, separately.

The persons convicted of the offence of neglect or ill-treatment of children in the years 1946–50 numbered 1,068, 1,045, 1,040, 907, 974, and, in the first nine months of 1951, 775, respectively.

Remand Home, Cardiff

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the male staff at the Remand Home, Cathedral Road, Cardiff, are paid £5 7s. per week, less stoppages, and that they sometimes have to work 72 hours a week; and whether, in view of the responsible nature of the duties involved, he will give sympathetic consideration to a review of these salary rates.

Any review of these scales of salary is a matter for the negotiating body, representing employers and workers, which has recently been set up to deal with the pay and conditions of service of staffs of remand homes and other residential establishments for children.

Driving Offences (Drunkenness)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the continued high rate of deaths and injuries on the roads and the need to use every means of reducing the number of casualties, he will take steps to make a blood test for alcohol compulsory in the case of a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident which causes death or injury to any person.

No. While I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend as to the importance of bringing to justice those who cause road accidents under the influence of drink the proposal involves a serious encroachment on personal liberty and on my present information I would not feel justified in proposing such a fundamental alteration of our law.

National Health Service

Opticians (Registration)

143.

asked the Minister of Health whether the Committee appointed by his predecessor to examine the need for the registration of opticians has yet made its report; when it will be published; and whether he will make a statement.

Lincoln County Hospital (Chapel)

144.

asked the Minister of Health for an assurance that a chapel will be built in due course at the Lincoln County Hospital costing at least £10,000, since that was the amount given by the Shuttleworth Trust for this purpose.

I certainly intend to see that when building conditions permit a chapel is provided at the hospital at such cost as is necessary for the purpose.

Hearing Aids

145.

asked the Minister of Health the total number of Medresco hearing aids paid for up to March, 1951.

One hundred and eighty-nine thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight.

147.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will exempt from payment for hearing aids people who have already been examined and placed on the waiting list.

There are about 100,000 outstanding applications, and I cannot undertake to exempt so large a number.

148.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that Mr. R. H. Watson, of 25, East Norfolk Street, Carlisle, has been waiting to be supplied with a bone-conduction hearing aid since October, 1949; and when aids of this kind will be available.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Edward Evans) on 29th November last.

149.

asked the Minister of Health the number of applicants waiting to be supplied with bone-conduction hearing aids; and how long such applications have been registered.

155.

asked the Minister of Health how many people are waiting for the bone-conduction type of hearing aids; and what progress is being made with the production of them.

About 4,000 are waiting, but the actual period of waiting is not known. Clinical trials of an experimental aid are now in progress.

Roter Tablets

146.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that, owing to the import restriction announced last November, many people are finding it difficult to obtain Roter tablets; that this is likely to cause widespread misery among the many people suffering from peptic ulcers who are now totally dependent on Roter therapy; and what steps he intends to take to remedy this position.

I am advised that these proprietary tablets cannot be regarded as essential. I am therefore unable on medical grounds to recommend that import restrictions should be waived in this case.

Dr Kroll, Germany

150.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that public subscriptions are being raised to send patients to a Dr. Kroll in Germany; and whether he will arrange for suitable treatment in such cases to be offered by the National Health Service in this country instead.

I am aware that public subscriptions have been raised for this purpose, but I am advised that all suitable treatment for such patients is already available within the National Health Service.

Mental Health Officers

152.

asked the Minister of Health why it has been decided that mental health officers in the North-East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board area should be retired at the age of 60 years in view of the recent decision to allow the retention of civil servants up to the age of 65 years.

I am not sure just what my hon. Friend has in mind. If he will let me have more particulars I will gladly look into them.

Rehabilitation Centres (Surgical Appliances)

153.

asked the Minister of Health if the provision of artificial limbs and surgical aids for those entering rehabilitation centres is affected by the charges recently announced.

There is no intention to introduce a charge for artificial limbs, for most surgical aids needed by the seriously disabled nor for any appliances supplied to patients who are resident in hospital rehabilitation centres.

Spectacles (Shop Sales)

154.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will introduce legislation to forbid the sale of ready-made spectacles in shops or by house-to-house canvassers.

I think we should await the report of the Inter-departmental Committee on the Statutory Registration of Opticians before considering this question.

Tuberculosis (Research)

156.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the Americans have discovered a new drug which is claimed to be a cure for tuberculosis; and whether he will cause his research department to investigate the value of this drug, and approach the United States Government with a view to being supplied with quantities of this new cure.

asked the Minister of Health what progress is being made in British chemical and medical science, similar to that announced in the United States of America, in the synthetic preparation of new anti-tuberculosis drugs, isomers of niacin, and in clinical tests of their efficacy.

I am advised that not much is known, as yet, about the drug in question, but active research is already in progress here as well as in the United States.

Housing

Selected Mining Areas (Special Programme)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now make a statement about the early provision of more houses for miners.

Yes. The Government have sanctioned a special housing programme for selected mining areas. The purpose is to get more men working in the mines so as to increase coal output as rapidly as possible. Local housing authorities are continuing to co-operate wholeheartedly. But in some key areas more houses are urgently needed than the authorities themselves can build without unduly burdening their rates. The National Coal Board has, therefore, set up a special Housing Association which it will finance. This Association will work in close accord with the local authorities, and supplement the fine efforts they have made and are making. The additional houses will be built with all possible speed. They will be let both to existing miners who are badly housed, and to newcomers accepted for underground work. They will be of the same standards as council houses. The project has been discussed by the National Coal Board with the miners' leaders and the Board intend to discuss the arrangements for letting the houses with the National Union of Mineworkers.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland asks me to say that the present arrangements under which the Scottish Special Housing Association, in co-operation with the National Coal Board and local authorities, build houses for miners in expanding coalfields in Scotland will continue.

Exchequer subsidyHousing authority's Rate subsidyCounty Council contribution (where appropriate)
£s.d.£s.d.£s.d.
General standard subsidy for ordinary house261408180
Special standard subsidy at Minister's discretion for houses for the agricultural population (S. 3 (1) of Act of 1946 to be amended)3514021002100
Special standard subsidy at Minister's discretion for areas of low rents and substantial housing responsibilities (S. 3 (2) of Act of 1946)3514021002100
Extra subsidy at the Minister's discretion in heavily burdened areas (s. 7 of the Act of 1946) not exceeding490Corresponding reduction from the general standard subsidy.
Extra subsidy for houses on expensive sites (S. 38 of the Act of 1949) where the developed site costs more than £3,000 per acre for each £1,000 or part thereof in excess, disregarding any excess over £10,000250150
Ordinary subsidy for flats on expensive sites (S. 4 and Part II of the First Schedule to the Act of 1946 as amended by S. 37 of the Act of 1949). An escalator provision according to the cost of the developed site as follows:—

Cost per acre of site as developedExchequer subsidyRate subsidy
£s.d.£s.d.
More than £1,500 but not more than £4,0005216017120
More than £4,000 but not more than £5,00054901830
More than £5,000 but not more than £6,0005510018100
More than £6,000 but not more than £8,00057001900
More than £8,000 but not more than £10,0005819019130
More than £10,000 but not more than £12,000601802060
More than £12,000£60 18s. 0d. increased by £1 19s. 0d. for each additional £2,000 or part of £2,000 in the cost per acre of the site as developed.£20 6s. 0d. increased by 13s. 0d. for each additional £2,000 or part of £2,000 in the cost per acre of the site as developed.

Subsidy Rates

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is now able to make any statement with regard to the review of housing subsidy.

Yes. I have re-reviewed the position and consulted the associations of local authorities and the London County Council. I hope to introduce the necessary legislation at an early date but the House will wish to be aware without delay of the rates of subsidy proposed.These are as follows:

Special subsidy for flats on expensive sites in blocks of 4 storeys or more with lifts (S. 4 and Part III of the First Schedule to the Act of 1946 as amended by S. 37 of the Act of 1949). An escalator provision as follows:—

Cost per acre of site as developedExchequer subsidyRate subsidy
£s.d.£s.d.
More than £1,500 but not more than £4,000636022170
More than £4,000 but not more than £5,000641902380
More than £5,000 but not more than £6,000660023150
More than £6,000 but not more than £8,000671002450
More than £8,000 but not more than £10,000699024180
More than £10,000 but not more than £12,000718025110
More than £12,000£71 8s. 0d. increased by £1 19s. 0d. for each additional £2,000, or part of £2,000 in the site as developed.£25 11s. 0d. increased by 13s. 0d. for each additional £2,000, or part of £2,000, in the cost per acre of the site as developed.

NOTE.—The following housing subsidies continue unchanged in amount:—

Exchequer subsidyRate subsidy
£s.d.£sd.
Extra subsidies in areas subject to mining subsidence (S. 6 of the Act of 1946) not exceeding200100
Extra subsidies for preservation of character of surroundings (S. 39 of the Act of 1949) not exceeding5002100
Grants to persons other than local authorities for the building of new houses for members of the agricultural population (S. 3 of the Act of 1938 as amended by S. 13 of the Act of 1946)1500
Grants to local authorities for hostels (S. 40 of the Act of 1949)£5 per bedroom.
Grants to local authorities for reconditioning (Ss. 15 and 25 of the Act of 1949)Three-quarters of the estimated loss.One-quarter of the estimated loss.
Grants for building experimentsAt discretion.

I propose that the increased rates of subsidy should apply to houses completed after 28th February.

Statutory Tenants (Successors)

157.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware of the hardships caused to members of families who are living with parents as sub-tenants and who are regarded as trespassers on the death of the parents and are liable to be turned out of a home in which they have lived all their lives; and if he will take steps to give protection to such people.

My right hon. Friend is advised that where the successor of the original statutory tenant of a house, whether the successor be widow, widower or child, has created a lawful subtenancy of part of the house, the subtenant would be protected by the Rent Restriction Acts on the determination of the interest of the tenant.

Foreign Students (Accommodation)

158.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is satisfied with the accommodation available for foreign students; and whether he will consider compiling a list of institutions other than universities where they can obtain satisfactory instruction and living conditions.

Suitable accommodation is usually available for foreign students who can, if they wish, obtain advice from the British Council. The British Council is also prepared to offer general advice to foreign students including information on educational facilities.

Un Technical Assistance (Uk Contribution)

159.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state, up to the latest available date, the amount spent out of the British contribution of £760,000 to the United Nations Expanded Programme for Technical Assistance to under-developed countries; and what information he has as to the main reasons for any under-spending of the sum contributed.

From 1st July, 1950, to 30th September, 1951, the sum of £73,941 was spent from the United Kingdom contribution of £760,000.Information from the Secretariat of the United Nations, which is responsible for this expenditure, does not show the reasons for underspending. It should be borne in mind that technical assistance is a new scheme which has been slow in getting under way.

British Council, Cairo (Activities)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the present position with regard to the activities of the British Council in Cairo.

The British Institute in Cairo was destroyed in the riots of 26th January and the offices of the British Council were extensively damaged. Nevertheless the Council's representative has been able to arrange for some activities to be resumed and he is trying, with the support of Her Majesty's Embassy, to lease new premises.

Cairo Riots (British Casualties)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the full list of British subjects who were killed or who suffered injury in the recent riots in Cairo can now be published.

Information has been received from Her Majesty's Ambassador in Cairo to the effect that the following were killed:

  • Mr. J. McLeod Boyer.
  • Mr. J. I. Craig.
  • Mr. H. A. Kennedy.
  • Mr. C. F. A. Jones.
  • Mr. Norman Williamson.
  • Surgeon-Commander William Sloan Miller.
  • Mrs. Margaret Crawford.
The following are missing and must be presumed to have lost their lives:

  • Mr. D. S. Crawford.
  • Mr. Eric Waldmeyer.
  • Mr. G. J. J. Thibaut.

The following were admitted to hospital as casualties:

  • Mr. Ivone Kilpatrick.
  • Mr. N. E. I. Thomas.
  • Mrs. Gladys Elinor Rhead.
  • Judge Hume Barne.

Ministry Of Food

Cheese And Bacon Rations

asked the Minister of Food to what extent the cheese and bacon rations have not been fully taken up since the period of the recently increased prices of 10d. per lb.

The period which has elapsed since the increases came into force is too short to afford any reliable evidence.

Staff Reductions

asked the Minister of Food how many of his Department's staff have been given notice of discharge since 1st November, 1951; what further reductions are contemplated; and what particular activities are being abandoned or curtailed.

The staff of the Ministry of Food has been reduced by 180 between 1st November, 1951, and 1st February, 1952, mostly through retirement, resignation and transfer of staff which have not been replaced. Some members of the staff have received notices of discharge.It is estimated that some 300 staff will be saved by the abandonment of food advice work, the curtailment of public relations activities, and the elimination of other minor functions. Notices of discharge have not yet been issued although some of the officers concerned have had preliminary warning.The decision to end National Registration should result in a saving of some 1,500 staff in local food offices, spread over the next three months.

Oils And Fats (Trade Allocation)

asked the Minister of Food the amounts of the cuts in the allocation of oils and fats to the various trade users, and the estimated effect on the production of the different classes of foodstuffs affected.

The effect of the cuts is, with minor adjustments, to take away the increases in allocations given

Exchequer contributionRate contribution
Contributions increased in amount:
Subsidy for houses for the general population (section 84 of 1950 Act):—
Houses of 3 apartments or less£3915s.0d.£135s.0d.
Houses of 4 apartments£425s.0d.£145s.0d.
Houses of 5 apartments or more£4615s.0d.£1510s.0d.
Special subsidy for houses for the agricultural population (section 85, to be amended):—
Houses of 3 apartments or less£5115s.0d.£135s.0d.
Houses of 4 apartments£545s.0d.£145s.0d.
Houses of 5 apartments or more£5815s.0d.£1510s.0d.
Subsidy for self-contained hostel units (section 84 (7))£200s.0d.£90s.0d.
Additional contributions unchanged in amount:
Houses in remote areas (section 84 (5))Variable
Houses in clearance areas and on central sites (section 84 (3))Up to £20Half Exchequer contribution
Lifts in flats (section 84 (4))£70s.0d.do.
Mineral support (section 86)Up to £2do.
Preservation of character of surroundings (section 88)Up to £5do.
Building experiments (section 90)Variable
Other contributions unchanged in amount:
Hostels (not self-contained) (section 89)£7 per bedroom
Grants for agricultural cottages provided by private persons (section 100, to be amended)
Subsidies for improvement of housing accommodation (sections 106 and 116)
I propose that the increased rates of subsidies should apply to houses completed after today, 28th February, 1952.

Trusteeship Territories (Reports)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make available to hon. Members of the House copies of the reports represented

to trade users during 1950. Production is also affected by other factors, such as the cuts in private imports of sweetened fat, but it should not fall below the 1949 level.

Scotland (Housing Subsidy Rates)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a statement about the review of the housing subsidies in Scotland.