Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 498: debated on Friday 4 April 1952

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

Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 4th April, 1952

Home Department, Scotland (Messengers)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on what grounds he has decided to effect a reduction of 32 posts from a total messenger complement of 155 in the Scottish Home Department; and whether, in view of the fact that this grade is recruited entirely from ex-Service men, many of whom are war disabled, he will reconsider his decision.

The reduction in the complement of messengers, as in the numbers of other grades, is being made in fulfilment of the Government's policy of reducing the numbers of the Civil Service to the lowest point compatible with efficiency. Only 14 temporary messengers have been discharged by the Scottish Home Department. Of these four have been re-employed in an industrial capacity and I understand that most of the others have also found employment.

Ministry Of Food

Near East Dried Fruit

asked the Minister of Food what has been the annual cost in recent years to his Department of cleaning the dried fruit bought on Government purchase from the Near East.

To ensure that dried fruit reaches the consumer in good condition my Department meets certain expenses which may include the expense of cleaning fruit, but which arise mostly from repacking fruit which has arrived in damaged boxes.No separate account of the expense of cleaning is kept, but in the three years ended 31st March, 1950, 1951 and 1952 the amount we paid for the reconditioning of dried fruit from the Near East was £12,640, £9,600 and £7,500 respectively. The cost of the dried fruit purchases was about £8 million in each year. A substantial part of the reconditioning expenses is, however, recovered from the shippers.

Biscuit Prices (Grocers' Margins)

asked the Minister of Food by how much grocers' margins will be increased during 1952–53 by the recent increase in the price of biscuits.

Approximately half a million pounds, which was part of the recent general increase in grocers' margins.

Civil Flying Clubs (Petrol Duty)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will extend the arrangements made last year to relieve the civil flying clubs of the increased petrol duty, so as to relieve them also of the additional duty included in this year's Budget.

Home Guard Registrations

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the present number of registrations for the Home Guard.

Home Guard registration cards received by my Department numbered 33,508 by 4.30 p.m. on 2nd April, 1952.

New Telephone Exchange, Liverpool (Site)

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General when he proposes to build a post office on the site bounded by Queens Drive, Rockville Road and Norville Road, Broadgreen, Liverpool.

This site is not in the possession of the Postmaster-General but it is the intention to acquire it for a new telephone exchange to be built as soon as possible.

Gas Works, High Wycombe

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why a licence was issued to the North Thames Gas Board to build a 6-foot brick wall round their works in High Wycombe, in view of the shortage of bricks for the housing programme.

This work was authorised in July last year because the North Thames Gas Board reported that sections of the existing corrugated iron fence were in a very poor and dangerous condition.