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Written Answers

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 1 April 1952

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday, 1st April, 1952

Ministry Of Pensions (Tricycles)


asked the Minister of Pensions if he will consider the provision of protective covering against the weather for all invalid tricycles supplied by his Department.

I am anxious if possible to make some form of weather protection more generally available. There are serious technical and financial difficulties but I am having the possibilities examined at the present time. Weather protected machines are at present provided where possible to those needing a motor tricycle to get to and from their work.

Local Government

Loans, Sunderland (Interest)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what is the amount of interest charges on loans sanctioned by his Department so far as the county borough of Sunderland is concerned; and how these have been and will be affected by the recent increases in the Bank rate.

My right hon. Friend regrets that this information is not available. So far as the effect of the recent rise in the Bank rate on loans from the Public Works Loan Board is concerned, he would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Chancellor on 17th March in winding up the debate on the Budget.

Derbyshire County Council (Offices)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what representations he has received from the Derbyshire County Council regarding the provision of additional office accommodation.

An application was made to my right hon. Friend's predecessor to confirm a compulsory purchase Order relating to Smedley's Hydro. After considering the report of the Inspector who held a public inquiry, the right hon. Gentleman decided not to confirm the Order. My right hon. Friend has considered the matter again and is in full agreement with the decision of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton), and the county council were so informed on 22nd February this year.

Halstead Place, Kent (Preservation)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will list Halstead Place, Kent, as a building of special architectural and historic interest, in order to preserve this beautiful and historic mansion from demolition.

This building has been included in the provisional list for the area which has been given to the local planning authority. I shall consider the question of its future in consultation with that authority.

Town And Country Planning Act

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will introduce amending legislation at an early date to rectify the consequences on town and country planning resulting from the recent decision in the case of Burgess v. Jarvis and others in the Court of Appeal which precludes a local planning authority from serving a fresh enforcement notice where such a notice was previously served under Section 75 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, more than five years ago and has now become invalid by reason of the said decision.

I am studying the effects of this decision and will write to the hon. Member.


Defence Regulation 68Ca

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what is the result of his consultations with local authority associations about the retention of Defence Regulation 68CA; and what decision he has reached.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which my hon. Friend gave on the 25th March to the hon. Member for Hackney, South (Mr. H. Butler).

Rent Restriction Acts

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to repeal the Rent Restriction Acts.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis), on 4th March last.

National Finance

British Museum (Reading Room)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will arrange with the trustees of the British Museum to extend the hours of opening of the Reading Room of the British Museum Library.

No. I cannot, in present circumstances, authorise the British Museum to engae the additional staff that would be needed.

Home-Grown Tobacco


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why difficulties are placed by the Customs and Excise in the way of those growing tobacco for their own use, preventing them from producing a smokable tobacco, such as prohibiting the shredding by the Tobacco Growers Association of its members' own tobacco; and, in view of the need for the reduction of expenditure of dollars in importing American-grown tobacco, if he will consult with the Tobacco Growers Association to see what can be done to facilitate an increase in home-grown tobacco by the removal of unnecessary restrictions.

The home-growing, curing and manufacture of tobacco by amateurs for their own use has been allowed to proceed freely since 1948 under an extra-statutory concession, and the Customs and Excise have placed no difficulties in the way of these activities.Only one of the several associations concerned has asked for any extension of the present concession. After full consideration of their representations it was decided that it would not be proper to waive the statutory requirements so as to permit manufacturing operations to be carried out by such organisations on commercial lines, as such an extension would go far beyond the limited and amateur character of the original concession.

Private Industries And Agriculture (Subsidies)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a list of subsidies paid to private industries and agriculture for 1951–52; and to what extent he estimates that they will be varied for 1952–53.

Subsidies to private industries and agriculture for the financial year 1951–52 and 1952–53 are as follows:

Iron and steel7,900,0004,500,000
Watchmaking and jewel manufacturing12,00025,000
Motor industry (racing cars)25,00040,000
Cotton spinning700,000800,000

  • 1. The above list shows the amounts included in the Estimates which have been presented to Parliament for subsidies to particular industries. It does not include losses on trading by Government Departments; nor does it include expenditure provided under general policies such as housing, social services, cost-of-living, the training, resettlement and transference of labour distribution of industry, improvement of design or research.
  • 2. The total amount voted in 1951–52 in respect of iron and steel for both subsidy and trading loss was £9,840,000. There will be no trading loss in 1952–53.
  • 3. The payments to the motor industry, hotels and craftsmen are in relief of Purchase Tax. Articles such as certain types of jewellery, gold and silverware, furniture and musical instruments qualify for this relief under the scheme for assistance to craftsmen, administered by the Board of Trade (Class VI Vote 1 Subhead 0, 1951–52 Estimate).
  • 4. The figures for agriculture include crop acreage payments and the general fertiliser subsidy, which together total £520,000 for 1951–52 and £13,002,000 for 1952–53; these are part of the food subsidies, and for statistical purposes have not been included in previous agricultural subsidy figures. The attested herds scheme bonuses, which also rank as food subsidies, are included.
  • 5. The figures for the fishing industry include £1,546,000 in each year for the white fish subsidy, which is counted as a food subsidy.
  • Stallion Ownership (Taxation)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will allow depreciation to be charged on part ownership of stallions in a similar manner as it is allowed on full ownership.

    I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the question whether shares in a stallion should be dealt with as stock-in-trade for taxation purposes. This is a difficult question which is at present under consideration by the Inland Revenue.

    Pension (Increase) Acts


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the names of the bodies or organisations he is consulting on the proposed changes in the Pension (Increase) Acts, 1944 and 1947.

    I am consulting the local authorities, on whom will fall a considerable part of the cost of any further pensions increase.

    Purchase Tax (D Levels)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what means were adopted in deciding the level of the D line in connection with the recent alteration in Purchase Tax.

    As recommended by the Douglas Committee the D's were fixed at such levels as would ensure as far as possible that half the goods in each category would be free of tax. The main sources of information were the inquiries into the pattern of expenditure conducted by the Social Survey in the spring and autumn of last year.

    Light Oils (Increased Duty)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider and remove the hardship which is caused by the increased tax on petrol to persons who require and use motor vehicles because they are incapacitated by injury in industry or war service.

    The increase of 7½d. a gallon proposed in the Budget applies to all users of dutiable light oils and I am afraid that it would not be practicable to single out particular classes of users for relief in the form of remission of duty.

    Dog Licence Duty


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why sums received from the issue of dog licences are, in England and Wales, retained by the local authorities while sums which arise from dog licences in Scotland accrue for the benefit of the British Exchequer; and if he will take steps to secure equality of treatment in this matter.

    The power to levy dog licence duty was transferred to local authorities in England and Wales by Order in Council dated 19th October, 1908, made under the provisions of Section 6 of the Finance Act, 1908. The Section did not apply to Scotland.The Scottish local authority associations were consulted last year with a view to bringing the position in Scotland into line with that in England, but all three were opposed to any change.

    Arts Council (Picture Purchases)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make arrangements to enable the pictures bought by the Arts Council during the Festival of Britain to be exhibited in some suitable place accessible to Members.

    These picture have already been exhibited in London last June and July. They are now being shown, and will continue to be shown for some time, in various parts of the country.

    Medicinal Turpentine Duty (Yield)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the annual yield from the tax on turpentine used for medicinal purposes; and what is the estimated yield at the new rate.

    About £5,000 a year at the pre-Budget rate of duty of 1s. 10½d. a gallon, and about £7,000 a year at the present duty of 2s. 6d. a gallon.

    Sterling Area (Economic Plans)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will, before the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, publish a White Paper on the plans agreed upon between the Governments concerned for the redress of the trade balances and general economic development of the sterling area.

    A White Paper would not add anything to the statement published after the January Conference or to the full explanations which I gave in my speech in the debate on 29th January last and in my Budget Speech of 11th March.

    Balance Of Payments (Command Paper)


    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further economic information he proposes to make available before the Second Reading of the Finance Bill.

    The half-yearly Command paper on the balance of payments of the United Kingdom will be presented to Parliament on 7th April, and on the same day I expect to make a brief statement about the sterling area gold and dollar position as at the end of the first quarter of the year.

    Foreign Travel Allowance


    asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the cost in terms of sterling of lowering to 12 years the age at which an intending traveller to Western Europe can qualify for the maximum currency allotment.

    As no record is kept of the numbers of travellers of various ages, I have no basis on which to make an estimate.

    War-Injured Civil Servants (Treatment)

    asked the Secretary to the Treasury if, in cases where civil servants contract disabilities whilst on National Service of sufficient consequence as to cause the award by the Civil Service Commissioners of Modified (War) Civil Service Certificates, and later, during their service as civil servants, of sufficient consequence as to be allowed for on premature retirement, he will make provision for some form of compensation for the loss of earnings incurred.

    I see no justification for introducing legislation to give to war-injured persons who become civil servants compensation beyond that available to those who enter other employment. War-injured persons to whom the Civil Service Commissioners issue a modified war certificate are entitled to the same superannuation benefits as the holders of a full certificate, although the test applied to them on their admission to the Service is less severe than that applied to other candidates. They thus receive more favourable treatment than candidates suffering from similar disabilities not due to war injury.

    Customs And Excise (Prosecutions)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many prosecutions have been made for Customs and Excise offences during the last five financial years.

    The figures for convictions are as follows:

    Financial Year.Number of persons convicted.
    (11 months)
    No statistical record is kept of prosecutions not involving convictions but these were very few.

    Trade And Commerce

    Productivity (Co-Ordinating Responsibilities)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade what functions concerning industrial productivity have now been taken over by his Department.

    The Board of Trade have taken over from the Treasury certain co-ordinating responsibilities in the field of industrial productivity. We now carry on our Vote, for example, the grant made to the Anglo-American Council on Productivity, and deal with such Government action as may be required for furthering, in the field of productivity, American technical assistance and co-operation among the Western European countries.

    Bedding Fillings (Specification)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will, in the interests of public health, retain the utility specification for bedding fillings until new standards have been worked out.

    The Orders which governed the utility scheme for bedding have been revoked; but the Regulations made under the Rag, Flock and Other Filling Materials Act, 1951, require that all fillings used for bedding shall conform to the same B.S.I. standards for cleanliness as were incorporated in the utility specifications.

    Australian Import Restrictions


    asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations he

    New factories exceeding 5,000 square feetExtensions to existing factories exceeding 5,000 square feet
    NumberArea square feetNumberArea square feet
    North Eastern Development Area2298,961583,300
    West Cumberland Development Area134,476216,000
    South Lancashire Development Area140,038
    Merseyside Development Area4348,926
    South Wales and Monmouthshire Development Area13297,553


    asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new factories were approved for the Development Areas of Scotland,

    has made to the Australian Government as to the need, in imposing import restrictions, to ensure that cuts in imports from sterling countries are proportionately less than in those from the dollar area.

    None. I am sure that the Commonwealth Government are fully aware of the continuing need in present circumstances for the greatest possible economy in dollar expenditure. Since the war, they have continued to restrict severely their dollar imports to essential requirements. Furthermore, I am informed that on 21st March outstanding licences were recalled with the object of making further economies.

    Development Areas (New Factories)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade how many Treasury-assisted new factories were approved for the Development Areas of Scotland, England and Wales, respectively, during 1951.

    Following is the answer:England and Wales, respectively, during 1951.

    Following is the answer:

    New factories exceeding 5,000 square feetExtensions to existing factories exceeding 5,000 square feet
    NumberArea square feetNumberArea square feet
    Industrial Development Certificates granted181,514,133531,427,266
    of which:
    Under construction6781,54016798,302
    Licensed, but work not yet started110,0009234,840
    North Eastern Development Area
    Industrial Development Certificates granted15896,991721,859,694
    of which:
    Under construction4505,12428505,144
    Licensed, but work not yet started2164,89713437,701
    West Cumberland Development Area
    Industrial Development Certificates granted197,0005378,228
    of which:
    Under construction216,000
    Licensed, but work not yet started112,600
    South Lancashire Development Area
    Industrial Development Certificates granted445,64117281,580
    of which:
    Under construction248,880
    Licensed, but work not yet started
    Merseyside Development Area
    Industrial Development Certificates granted142,088,52634733,626
    of which:
    Under construction3911,7045205,962
    Licensed, but work not yet started214,9454106,411
    South Wales and Monmouthshire Development Area
    Industrial Development Certificates granted17270,937491,467,288
    of which:
    Under construction480,94814449,917
    Licensed, but work not yet started462,963491,463
    Wrexham Development Area
    Industrial Development Certificates granted130,4627781,696
    of which:
    Under construction2741,330
    Licensed, but work not yet started17,500

    Distribution Of Industry Act (Administration)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is yet examining the question of the re-organisation of the administration of the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945; and if he will make a statement.

    It is normal practice to keep matters of this kind under review and my right hon. Friend is giving the administration of the Act his close attention.

    Stocking Manufacturers (Nylon Allocations)


    asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the allocation of nylon yarn to hosiery manufacturers is based on the amount they have exported; and what steps are taken to check the returns given by each manufacturer.

    Allocations of nylon yarn to stocking manufacturers have in the past been determined principally by their exports of nylon stockings and the next allocation will be made wholly by reference to the value of those exports. Manufacturers' records are examined from time to time by our inspectors.

    Pottery Exports


    asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent exports of pottery will be affected by the diversion of labour to the rearmament industry in North Staffordshire.

    There may be some voluntary movement of labour but I do not think that it is likely materially to affect exports of pottery.


    asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the estimated production in the United Kingdom of edible and technical gelatine for the present year; and also the amount of production in 1950 and 1951.

    United Kingdom production of edible, technical and photographic gelatines during 1950 and 1951 was:

    Edible gelatine8,2609,544
    Technical gelatine2,7262,367
    Photographic gelatine8711,155
    It is estimated that production in 1952 will be equal to that in 1951, provided demand is maintained.

    asked the President of the Board of Trade what were the quantities and value of edible gelatine of home manufacture which were exported during 1950 and 1951.

    Exports of edible gelatine produced in the United Kingdom are shown in the Trade and Navigation Accounts for December, 1951, as 23,194 cwt., valued at £385,197, in 1950, and 25,609 cwt., valued at £462,210, in 1951.

    School Caps (Shrinkage)

    asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that a large proportion of schoolboys' caps are made from material which shrinks considerably when exposed to its first rainfall; and if he will take steps to ensure that school caps and blazers are made from pre-shrunk or unshrinkable material.

    We have not received complaints about the shrinkage of cloth in school caps. As I have already informed the House during the debate on the Budget proposals on 13th March, I have received assurances from the wool industry that they will examine the possibility of introducing standards for some wool cloths, and I am bringing the hon. Gentleman's Question to the notice of the wool textile delegation.

    Scarce Imported Materials (Distribution)


    asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in view of the fact that purchases of timber supplies are now in the hands of private traders, what control or check is now kept on imports of timber and other materials required for house building.

    Every softwood importer makes a monthly return of the contracts he has placed with overseas suppliers and the timber he has imported during the month. Information is thus obtained well in advance about the supplies which will be coming into the country. Appropriate distribution of imports between housing and other uses is secured by the licensing of consumption.I understand that broadly similar arrangements apply to other scarce imported materials required for housing.

    Scandinavian Wood Pulp


    asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if he will make a statement on supplies and prices of wood pulp and newsprint following his recent discussions with the Scandinavian Governments.

    The discussions at the recent meeting of the Anglo-Scandinavian Economic Committee about imports of wood pulp were of a general nature. I would refer my hon. Friend to the Press notice released after the talks, a copy of which I am having sent to him.

    Softwood Imports


    asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, what were the total imports of softwoods from all sources during 1950 and 1951 on Government and private account, respectively.

    In 1950, softwood imports, including boxboards, railway sleepers and poles, were 871,789 standards on Government account and 29,662 standards on private account. In 1951 the imports were 902,606 standards on Government and 849,439 standards on private account.

    Ministry Of Works

    Plant Hire (Charges)


    asked the Minister of Works whether he will, in the near future, revise or abolish the Statutory Instrument laying down the charges which may be made by contractors for the services of mechanical excavators, bulldozers and so forth; and whether, in this connection, he will take steps to ensure that arrangements can be made whereby farmers and landowners can have work carried out by such mechanical devices at the lowest economic rates.

    I am at present reviewing the statutory control of plant hire rates to see whether and when it can be discontinued and hope to reach a decision shortly.As regards the second part of the Question, my right hon. Friends have informed me that, in England and Wales, many of the county agricultural executive Committees carry out work involving the use of crawler tractors and bulldozers for farmers and landowners on contract terms applicable to agricultural operations; and that, in Scotland, a land drainage machinery service is operated by the Department of Agriculture for minor arterial drainage at charges which do not exceed the maxima laid down in the Statutory Instrument.

    Buildings, Oxford (Demolition)


    asked the Minister of Works if he will rescind the licence for the demolition of buildings adjoining St. Hugh's College, Oxford, in view of the shortage of hospital beds for certain purposes in Oxfordshire and the proved usefulness of these buildings in the last war.

    No; the work is already in progress. Before issuing the licence I took into account all the representations which were made to me. These did not include any suggestion that the buildings should be used as a hospital in peacetime.

    Building Materials And Housing Act (Loans)


    asked the Minister of Works if he will give a list of the companies who have received facilities from the building materials and housing fund under the provisions of the Building Materials and Housing Act, 1945, together with details of the financial provisions for each company.

    Loans were made to two companies; £55,412 to Woolaway Constructions, Ltd., and £125,000 to Scottish Slate Industries, Ltd.

    Commercial Garages (Building Licences)


    asked the Minister of Works how many licences, respectively, to build and to extend commercial garages have been granted since and including November, 1951; and on what principles priority is given to these projects over housing schemes.

    Since 1st November, 1951, licences to a total value of £270,000 have been issued in England and Wales for 101 new commercial garages and 121 extensions. These schemes have no priority over housing.

    Dilapidations Claim, Kent

    asked the Minister of Works what is the amount of the claim for dilapidations by the Kent County Council outstanding as a result of his Department's occupation of Halstead Place, Kent.

    I do not feel at liberty to disclose the amount of the claim and my hon. Friend should address his Question to the Kent County Council.

    Palace Of Westminster (Lighting)


    asked the Minister of Works if he will ensure that all the principal corridors, lobbies and chambers of the Palace of Westminster are adequately lighted during the hours in which visitors are admitted.

    We try to ensure that corridors, lobbies and chambers of the Palace of Westminster are adequately lit when visitors are admitted, with due regard to economy. If the hon. Member will let me know which particular parts he considers unsatisfactory, I will do my best to make improvements.


    asked the Minister of Works if he will secure improvements in the lighting arrangements in the Members' tea rooms.

    A long-term scheme is in hand for the improvement of lighting throughout the Palace but it will be some time before the tea room is reached.


    Elderly Persons (Committee)


    asked the Minister of Labour, in view of the fact that the employment of the elderly so largely concerns women, if he will increase the representation of women on his committee set up to deal with this problem.

    Building Workers, Greater London


    asked the Minister of Labour how many building trade workers are unemployed in the London Region, giving separate figures for each trade and labourers; and what are the comparative figures for March, 1951.

    The March figures are not yet available.The table gives the information for February with comparative figures for February, 1951.

    Occupation11th February, 195212th February 1951
    Carpenters and joiners488202
    Slaters and tillers6635
    Plasterers, etc.261123
    Painters and decorators4,0422,908
    Plumbers, gas fitters, etc.210104
    Builders' and general labourers2,3521,732
    All other occupations911623



    asked the Minister of Labour what were the figures of unemployed recorded at the Stirling Employment Exchange at the latest convenient date; and what were the figures on the corresponding date last year.

    Five hundred and fifteen at 17th March, 1952, and 371 at 12th March, 1951.

    Disabled Persons, Sunderland


    asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that 76 severely disabled persons in Sunderland have been unemployed for over two years, he will re-examine the question of building another Remploy factory in Sunderland or of providing suitable employment for these persons in some other way.

    As I informed the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Ewart), on 6th March, I can see no prospect of another Remploy Factory being opened in Sunderland in present circumstances. The existing factory at Pallion will be able to absorb a few of the severely disabled and my local officers will continue in their efforts to find suitable work for others.

    Pottery Industry


    asked the Minister of Labour to what extent it is intended to withdraw labour from the pottery industry for re-armament work in North Staffordshire.

    Coalmining (Foreign Workers)


    asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the number of foreign workers given employment in the mining industry since the end of the war; and the total so employed today.

    The total number recruited under organised schemes was 19,400; the number still employed on 15th March was 12,300.

    Dock Workers

    asked the Minister of Labour how far the dock working system known as the Shaw, Savill and Albion Scheme, has been put into force at any home port, and with what result.

    AreaPortRegisters as at
    18th March, 195218th March, 19501st July, 1947*
    Garston and Widnes9851,036
    Ellesmere Port212172
    Runcorn and Weston Point7381
    TYNE AND WEARNewcastle and Dunston725634
    South Shields494556
    North Shields413368
    * The National Dock Labour Scheme came into force in June, 1947. Figures for individual ports for that date are not available.

    National Service

    Call-Up (Under 45)


    asked the Minister of Labour how many men are there at present in the country under 45

    The engagement of dock workers for general dock work on a regular weekly contract under the system to which my hon. Friend refers operates at present only in the London Docks. About 3,700 workers are employed on these conditions.

    asked the Minister of Labour the figure of the total number of registered dock workers in the Port of London, Liverpool and Mersey ports, Clyde, and Tyne, respectively; and the comparative figures for 1950 and 1947.

    The following figures in respect of the areas in question have been furnished by the National Dock Labour Board:years of age who have not served full-time in one of the Fighting Services for a minimum period of 18 months.

    About three and a half million, of whom about a million are medical rejects.

    Agricultural Workers


    asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that the call-up of agricultural workers is going to have serious effect upon production; and if he will give further consideration to total exemption of this class.


    Ayrshire Hospital Incident (Report)


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he has taken to satisfy himself that arrangements made in Ayrshire hospitals for reception and the expeditious treatment of patients are adequate.

    The hon. Member has no doubt in mind recent Press reports on an incident at an Ayrshire hospital. I have asked the regional hospital board for a report and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

    Herring For Oil And Meal (Prices)


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the new prices of herring for oil and meal.

    I am sorry that I cannot add anything yet to my reply to the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Hoy) on 25th March.

    Houses, Merrylee (Purchase)


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications to buy houses at Merrylee have been received to date by Glasgow Corporation.

    Hill Farming Act (Improvement Schemes)


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many comprehensive schemes on a township basis have been demanded and/or accepted under the Hill Farming Act, 1946.

    Under the Hill Farming Act, 1946, applications have been received from 60 crofting townships. Of these, 25 have had comprehensive schemes of improvement formally approved, 9 have had schemes approved in principle, while the proposals for 10 townships are being examined. In 18 cases proposals had to be rejected.

    Salmon Fisheries Acts (Prosecutions)


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prosecutions there were for salmon poaching in Scotland; how many convictions secured; and how many sentences of imprisonment imposed in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1949, 1950 and 1951.

    The following is the information:

    Number of Persons Proceeded AgainstNumber of Persons ConvictedNumber of Persons Sentenced to Imprisonment

    Education (Expenditure)


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland his estimates of the total educational expenditure of local authorities in Scotland for 1951–52 and 1952–53; of the percentages to be met from rates and from Exchequer grants, respectively; and of the amounts of direct grants and administrative expenses in connection with education by his Department.

    The expenditure of education authorities in Scotland for 1951–52 met from public funds is at present estimated at £38,170,545, of which 28.6 per cent. will be met by rates of 66.3 per cent. by grants from the Education (Scotland) Funds, and 5.1 per cent. by Exchequer Equalisation Grant. The estimates of the education authorities for 1952–53 are not yet available. Direct grants, other than to education authorities are estimated at £2,927,618 for 1951–52 and £2,646,018 for 1952–53. The administrative expenses of the Scottish Education Depart- ment, including the cost of inspection, for those years are estimated to be £299,820 and £322,261 respectively.

    British Honduras (Broadcasts From Guatemala)


    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that attempts are being made by broadcasts from Guatemala to subvert the loyalty of the people of British Honduras; and what steps he proposes to take.

    Yes. These broadcasts are greatly resented in British Honduras, and I have received a strong and unanimous protest about them from the unofficial members of the Executive Council of the Colony. I am confident that the people of the Colony will not be moved by these attacks from their traditional loyalty to the Crown; Her Majesty's Government will continue to give the Colony every support in its political and economic development.

    National Insurance

    Unemployment Benefit


    asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he will now raise the rates of unemployment pay to meet the steadily-growing cost of living.

    Increases in the rates of unemployment benefit are included in the proposals to which reference was made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget statement.

    Health Pensioners, Irish Republic


    asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware that three different rates prevail for National Health Insurance pensioners who have gone to reside in the Republic of Ireland; when legislative effect is given to the Budget proposals there will be four rates; and since these persons contributed on the same basis as pensioners now residing in Britain, who are all receiving the higher rates, what he is going to do to remove these anomalies.

    This matter is being considered in connection with the proposed changes in the National Insurance scheme.

    National Health Service

    Private Patients (Pharmaceutical Prescriptions)

    asked the Minister of Health what representations he has received requesting that medicines prescribed by doctors outside the National Health Service may be supplied to patients, free of charge, as part of that Service; and what reply he has made.

    I have received a number of representations to that effect, but could hold out no prospect of legislation to permit such an arrangement, which would in any case mean a substantial increase in the cost of pharmaceutical services.

    Hearing Aids

    asked the Minister of Health if he will make arrangements for patients to have deaf aids adjusted at their local hospitals.

    I intend in due course to arrange for a more localised distribution and maintenance service; but while the pressure on the existing centres remains so great it will only be possible to disperse the service gradually.

    Service Personnel (Emoluments)


    asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence what steps are being taken to increase the daily rate of pay of Regular soldiers, to compensate them and their wives and families for the increase in the cost of living, consequent upon the withdrawal of £160,000,000 in food subsidies.

    None. The emoluments of Service personnel, which include issues in kind of foodstuffs, are reviewed from time to time to take account of any marked alteration of conditions. Service men and their families will benefit from the increased family allowances and income tax reliefs, announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Speech.