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Written Answers

Volume 498: debated on Friday 28 March 1952

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 28th March, 1952

Forestry Officers, Malaya

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Report of the Federal Forest Administration, Malaya, for 1950, reveals that forest research was seriously impeded by the diversion of three specialists to duties unconnected with the forest; and whether they have now been able to return to their specialist employment.

At the time in question a number of officers, including specialists, were taken from their normal duties to assist in urgent resettlement. All the specialist officers of the Forestry Department have now resumed their normal duties.

Commonwealth Relations

Technical Co-Operation Scheme, South And South East Asia

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations by how much it is now estimated that actual expenditure on the Technical Co-operation Scheme for South and South East Asia will fall short of the amount included in the estimates of his Department for 1951–52; and what are the reasons for this shortfall, and the items included in it.

The original Estimate of United Kingdom expenditure for 1951–52 was £500,000, but at the time this was made, there were no means of knowing how the scheme would develop. Largely because of operative difficulties inherent in starting a new international scheme of this kind, progress has been slow and the Estimate was reduced to £54,300, the excess being surrendered in the recent Supplementary Estimate. The reduced Estimate has proved to be still on the high side and actual expenditure in 1951–52 will be approximately £24,000.Technical assistance is given in response to requests made by the Governments in South and South East Asia themselves, and the shortfall in expenditure does not arise as the result of the exclusion of any items. Requests for assistance in this field involving a higher degree of expenditure are expected in 1952–53.

Economic And Research Services

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations by how much it is estimated that the expenditure of his Department on Commonwealth Economic and Research Service will fall short of the amount included in the Estimates for the current year; and what are the reasons therefore.

The provision made during the current year for Commonwealth Economic and Research Services in the Commonwealth Services Vote has been fully expended with the exception of that for a loan of £27,500 to the Executive Council of the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux to meet the cost of the extension of the Commonwealth Mycological Institute building at Kew.The Executive Council of the Bureaux has not applied for the issue of this loan as it has not as yet been possible to commence building the proposed extension.

Abattoir, Sunderland

asked the Minister of Food whether a decision has yet been reached about the site of the proposed new slaughterhouse at Sunderland.

No. The second site to which I referred in my answer to the hon. Member on 25th February would be suitable from a building standpoint but objections have been raised to its use for a slaughterhouse. These objections are being considered.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many new passports and how many renewals were issued in each of the years 1946 to 1951, inclusive; and the total number of staff employed in the passport offices in each of these years.

The total numbers of new passports issued and old passports renewed at the Passport Office in London and the branch Passport Offices at Liverpool and Glasgow during the years 1946 to 1951 inclusive, with the numbers of staff employed at the three offices are shown in the subjoined table. The winter staff figures represent the basic complements of the Passport Office. These were supplemented each year during the summer months by seasonal staff engaged on a temporary basis up to the totals shown.

YearNew PassportsRenewalsStaff Employed

County Planning Committees (Composition)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if, in order to ensure maintenance of maximum food production he will arrange for distinctive agricultural representation on county planning committees.

The composition of planning committees is a matter for local planning authorities to settle, subject to the requirements of the First Schedule to the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, and I have no power to intervene. County councils do, however, invariably consult the Ministry of Agriculture when preparing their development plans, as well as in the course of day to day development control.

Housing, Sunderland (Cast-Iron Pipes)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what he is doing to ensure that a sufficient quantity of cast-iron pipes shall be made available to ensure that the new houses being completed on the Sunderland housing estates shall have water supplies on their completion.

Ne Industrial Estates Ltd

asked the President of the Board of Trade the amount of factory space administered by the North-Eastern Trading Estates Company Limited, at present vacant and not being used.

Apart from three units (13,000 sq. ft. at West Auckland, 19,000 sq. ft. at Aycliffe, 6,000 sq. ft. at Bede) which have been allocated, but which are not yet actually occupied, no factory space administered by North Eastern Industrial Estates Ltd. is at present vacant and not being used.

New Terminal, Southampton Docks

asked the Minister of Transport the approximate starting date for the new passenger and cargo terminal at Southampton docks.

I am unable to say when it will be possible to authorise this work. So far no formal application to me for authorisation has been made.