Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday, 8th April, 1952
Employees, War Office
asked the Secretary of State for War how many persons were employed at the War Office at the latest date for which figures are available; and how this figure compares with the numbers employed on 1st October, 1951.
These figures are prepared quarterly and I regret that those for the last quarter are not yet available. I will send them to the hon. Member.
asked the Secretary of State for War how many of the soldiers vaccinated at Aldershot had already been vaccinated within the previous 12 months; and how long vaccination in the Services is stated to be protective against smallpox.
In an outbreak of this kind re-vaccination is offered to all men closely exposed to infection. It would take much time and effort to obtain the figures required.Under Army Regulations men are offered re-vaccination against smallpox every five years at home and every two years overseas.
Families, Gloucester Terrace, Paddington
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many families are at present living in the half way house known as 156 Gloucester Terrace, Paddington, W.2; and how many of these have been resident there for more than 6, 12 and 18 months, respectively.
The half way house referred to comprises 13 houses, Nos. 144 to 168 (even numbers) Gloucester Terrace. The Paddington Borough Council tell me that these houses at present accommodate 59 families, of whom 14, 31, and 5 respectively have been resident there for more than 6, 12 and 18 months.
Miners And Agricultural Workers
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what instructions he has issued to local authorities in the West Riding of Yorkshire in respect of the allocation of council houses to miners and agricultural workers.
I have issued no special instructions. Local authorities are co-operating with the Government to try to meet the needs of these two vital industries.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a special allocation to Sheffield of houses for miners additional to the normal allocation already authorised.
I shall be willing to authorise a further instalment of houses for general purposes in accordance with progress made.
St Ives (Steel Supply)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that the current housing scheme of the borough of St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, is likely to be interrupted and delayed, owing to the lack of about three tons of steel re-inforcing fabric; and what steps he will take to ensure that the necessary quantity of steel will be allocated to the borough in the near future.
I have issued the necessary authorisation.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that, since the increase in the quota of private building licences, many local authorities in Greater London with land available and who previously accepted transferred building licences from persons in built up areas under the terms of Circular 73/51, are now refusing to do so and that this causes hardship to persons on the housing lists of authorities who have no land for such development; and if he will issue a further circular to encourage the use of the transferable licence in order to achieve the maximum housing development.
The answer to the first part of the Question is I am aware of some such cases. I issued a circular in which advice was given on this matter in November. I am not persuaded the issue of a further circular at the present time is wise. But I am watching the position closely.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how the number of traditional houses and other types, respectively, built in the city of Stoke-on-Trent during 1951 compares with the records of other local authorities in the West Midlands regions for the same period.
I would refer the hon. Member to the published housing returns.
Private Building Licences, Herne Bay
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many licences for private building have been issued by the Herne Bay Urban District Council since 1st November, 1951; and what is the maximum number that could have been issued on the basis of 50–50 as between private and local authority building.
The council has received instalments of 70 houses. Of these they have so far issued none for private building but have promised 25. They are now awaiting plans, etc., from applicants.
Steel Allocation, Bristol
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what criterion he used when making his current allocation of steel to the bombed cities; and why Bristol was reduced from 135 to 100 tons for the quarter.
The allocation of 100 tons for period II covers the whole of Bristol's requirements for work in progress except for 17 tons which will be provided in period III.
Joint Exchequer Board For Northern Ireland (Annual Determination)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Joint Exchequer Board for Northern Ireland can be expected to make their next report.
I am not aware that the Joint Exchequer Board is called upon to make any report. If the hon. Member has in mind the annual determination by the Board of the amounts of the Northern Ireland Imperial contribution and residuary share of reserved taxes the amounts so determined are published each year in the Northern Ireland Finance Accounts.
Petrol Companies (Tax)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the large sums of money spent by the two great petrol companies in building, rebuilding, improving and decorating garages and private living accommodation for garage proprietors in different parts of the country in return for undertakings that they will buy their supplies only from one or the other company are treated as a legitimate deduction from profits for the purpose of Income Tax.
I regret I cannot supply information about the Income Tax treatment of particular concerns.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what rates of Purchase Tax are carried respectively by domestic electric, gas and solid-fuel space heating appliances and cookers; and what changes are contemplated consequent upon the D proposals.
Solid-fuel space heating appliances and all cookers are exempt from Purchase Tax. Domestic space heating appliances suitable for operation from electric mains are taxed at 100 per cent. and those suitable for operation from gas mains are taxed at 66⅔ per cent. There were no Utility schemes for these articles and they are not therefore covered by the new Purchase Tax arrangements provided for in the present Finance Bill.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of widespread misunderstanding, he will make a statement on the application of uplift to goods attracting Purchase Tax; and whether he is satisfied with the working of the present arrangements.
Since the institution of Purchase Tax, the law has laid down a common basis of assessment for all goods, so as to avoid inequities between different classes of traders. This is the wholesale value, to which sub-wholesale prices must be levelled up, and retail prices levelled down, for assessing tax. I am not aware that there is widespread misunderstanding in this matter, but if my hon. Friend has the D scheme in mind the position is that the law and practice for determining wholesale value is not affected by its introduction. As to the second part of his Question, if he cares to particularise the ways in which he regards the present system of tax valuation as unsatisfactory, I will look into them.
Domestic Heating Appliances (Tax)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that certain of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Taxes admit as a permissible charge for purposes of calculating liability to Schedule A Income Tax maintenance allowances, the cost of purchase and installation by householders of modern approved solid fuel burning appliances when fitted as replacements for old grates, whereas other Inspectors of Taxes do not so admit the charge; and whether, in the interests of solid fuel conservation he will instruct the Inland Revenue to admit such charges in all instances as a permissible item of cost when calculating liability to Schedule A tax.
The admissibility of the cost of these appliances in a maintenance claim depends on the facts of the case. If the new appliance and the appliance it replaces are both part of the building the cost of replacement is admitted in so far as it does not exceed the cost of repairing or renewing the old appliance. Any excess is, in law, inadmissible as maintenance, as is the cost of appliances that are not part of the building.
Mortgages (Outstanding Premiums, Interest)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will introduce legislation to protect the holders of existing mortgages from the increase in rates of interest in respect of the outstanding premiums.
Manual Wage Earners
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the 22,350,000 persons engaged in civilian employment are paid by piecework, or at an hourly rate, and upon whose extra efforts the additional £250,000,000 industrial production must come, and who can reasonably expect to benefit from the taxation incentives of the Budget.
Of the 9¼ million manual wage earners in industries covered by the earnings inquiry conducted by the Ministry of Labour in October, 1951, some 32 per cent. or over 3 million, were on piece rates or other payment by results schemes. Workers in some other industries are paid on piece rates. My hon. Friend will appreciate that the taxation incentives of the Budget apply to all wage earners and not only to those paid by results.No estimate is available of the number of wage earners paid at hourly rates, but payment at weekly rates is not a bar to overtime.
Personal Expenditure And Food Subsidies
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much he estimates is spent annually on drink, tobacco, amusements and gambling combined, and in food, respectively; and what would the total food bill have been had no subsidies been included.
The total of personal expenditure on drink, tobacco and entertainments, together with the net loss on gambling, in 1951, is estimated at £1,835 million. The total of personal expenditure on food is estimated at £2,867 million. The estimated cost of the food subsidies in 1951–52 was £410 million.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in which industries he expects that the extra estimated £250,000,000 national production for the current year will be achieved: and what percentage increase in volume will be required.
As I made clear in my Budget speech, it is more than usually hazardous to estimate the increase in production this year. It has not been the practice in past years to give a detailed forecast of production in each industry, and it would be even more difficult to do so in the year ahead. We have therefore taken it as a general aim to work for an increase of national output overall as large as or larger than the increase of £250 million that occurred between 1950 and 1951. Between these years the interim index of industrial production showed an increase of about 3 per cent.
Town And Country Planning Act (Review)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in his review of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, he will consider including in the classes of claimants under Part VI of the Act who will be given special treatment, owners of land taken over by a local authority for housing when development value has been paid within 12 months of the purchase by the local authority.
I regret that I cannot consider giving special treatment to further classes of claimants under Part VI of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, while the review of the financial provisions of the Act is in progress. In this review, the position of all owners of land compulsorily acquired is being borne in mind.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of private saving this year.
In the course of my Budget speech I made it clear that I was not counting on any great increase in personal saving in the coming year. I do not think it necessary or wise at this stage to attempt to give any more precise estimate of the course of personal or other private saving.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total investment last year; what was the amount of productive investment; and if he will give the corresponding estimates for this year adjusted for the change of prices.
I would refer the hon. Member to the White Paper on Preliminary National Income and Expenditure Estimates (Cmd. 8486) which explains gross fixed investment expenditure in 1951 in terms of broad sectors of activity. I said in my speech in the House on 29th January that for this year it is the Government's objective to make a cut on the average of about one-sixth of the actual supplies in 1950 of plant, machinery and vehicles to the home market for civil purposes, but to raise the level of building output. I do not propose to give any precise estimate of investment expenditure in 1952.
War Damage Claims, Sunderland
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the number of war damage claims in the county borough of Sunderland still outstanding.
No separate records are kept of war damage claims in particular areas. I therefore regret that the information is not available.
Service Pensioners And Widows
67 and 68.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how far Service pensioners are included in the term public service pensioners for the purposes of pension increases;(2) how far Service widows other than, war widows will get an increase of pension as a result of the Budget proposals.
Service widows (other than war widows) and long-service pensioners of Her Majesty's Forces, including retired officers, come within the scope of the detailed consideration now being given as to the assistance to be afforded to public service pensioners. Consultations on the whole matter are still going on and I can say no more at present.
Fiduciary Note Issue
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if Her Majesty's Government will fix a ceiling to the amount of the fiduciary issue.
No. The amount of the fiduciary note issue is carefully considered, from time to time, by the Treasury in consultation with the Bank of England, and is fixed at the level necessary to satisfy the demands of the public for notes.
Government Property (Rates)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the annual expenditure of £10,000,000 in rates on Government property is spent in Scotland.
The 1952–53 gross estimate for contributions in lieu of rates on Government property is £10,214,000 for England and £603,950 for Scotland. The Scottish figure is about 1/18th of the total.
Stationery Office (Expenditure, Scotland)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the £14,000,000 of expenditure by Her Majesty's Stationery Office is spent in Scotland.
I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the gross expenditure in 1950–51. The proportion was approximately 7.9 per cent.
Excess Profits Levy (Estimated Yield)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the estimated gross yield, without allowance for the associated reduction in the rates of Profits Tax, of the Excess Profits Levy.
The hon. Member will find the information in the Financial Statement at page 25. The estimated yield of the Excess Profits Levy is £5 million this year and £200 million in a full year.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the loss of revenue which will follow from the reduced liability to Profits Tax of those companies which will not attract the Excess Profits Levy.
It is obviously impossible to make such an estimate. The question whether particular companies will or will not be liable to Excess Profits Levy can only be ascertained when their profits for 1952 are known.
North Of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board (Treasury Guarantees)
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what temporary borrowings and issues of stock proposed to be made by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board have been guaranteed by the Treasury for the year ending 31st March, 1952; and for what specific purpose or purposes the Board applied under Statutory Rule and Order 1156/S49 of 1946 for borrowing consent in respect of each of these loans.
A statement of guarantees given by the Treasury during the year ended 31st March, 1952, was presented to Parliament on 4th April. These guarantees were given in respect of moneys borrowed with the consent of the Secretary of State for Scotland for the purposes set out in Section 12 (2) of the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act, 1943.The last part of the Question is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will specify the purpose for which, under Statutory Rule and Order, 1946, No. 1156/S49, permission was given to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board to borrow under Treasury guarantee each of the sums referred to in House of Commons Paper No. 121, 1948, No. 148, 1949, No. 49, 1950 and No. 155, 1951.
The Treasury guarantees were given in respect of moneys borrowed with the consent of the Secretary of State for Scotland for the purposes set out in Section 12 (2) of the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act, 1943.
Bank Notes And Coins
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many bank notes of each variety and how many coins of each variety are in circulation at the present time; and how these figures compare with 1938.
Up to date figures for Bank of England notes in circulation are now being prepared and will appear in the Bank of England report for the year ended 28th February, 1952, which will be published in due course. Figures for the years ended 28th February, 1939, and 28th February, 1951, appear in the Bank of England Report for the year ended 28th February, 1951, which was published as Command 8317.As regards coins, the following table shows the estimated number of coins issued, less withdrawals, as at 31st December, 1951, for silver, cupro-nickel and nickel brass coins of the various denominations:
|—||31st December, 1938||31st December,1951|
|Million pieces||Million pieces|
|Threepences (nickel brass)||60||450|
Personal Incomes, Consumers' Goods And Services
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the percentage by which personal incomes have increased between 1946 and the latest convenient stated date, after payment of taxes; and the percentage by which prices of consumers' goods and services have risen during the same period.
It is estimated that personal incomes after payment of direct taxes increased by 31 per cent. between 1946 and 1951, and that the prices of consumers' goods and services generally increased by 32 per cent. during the same period.
Millard Tucker Committee
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to receive the second report of the Millard Tucker Committee.
I assume that the hon. Member means the report of the second committee under Mr. Tucker's chairmanship. I am unable to forecast when it will be made.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the public examination of Robert Hopwood Jackson at the Manchester Bankruptcy Court on 21st March, 1952, and to this debtor's admission that he had made no return of Income Tax since 1945, and owed between £12,000 and £15,000 Income Tax due over a period of seven or eight years; and whether he will look into the circumstances of this case, with a view to more effective steps being taken in future against persons who persistently ignore the requirements of the Income Tax Acts in this manner.
I have seen a report on this case but I am precluded from discussing the taxation affairs of individuals. I am satisfied that the Inland Revenue take all possible steps to secure assessment and collection of tax at the earliest practicable date.
Trade And Commerce
Bsi Wool Standards Committee
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that, on the British Standards Institution Committee of 23 members that recently produced draft wool definitions for use in connection with informative labelling, there was no representative of the distributive industry nor was there a representative of the consumer interests; and if he will ensure that in future both distributive trades and consumer interests are represented on such committees of the British Standards Institution engaged in producing definitions for informative labelling.
The British Standards Institution is an independent body governed by Royal Charter and is alone responsible for the constitution of its technical committees. I understand that its Wool Industry Standards Committee does not include any permanent representatives of domestic users, chiefly because they are so many and varied that their representation would make the committee unwieldy. The Committee has, however, agreed to co-opt the appropriate user representatives for discussion of any particular project and for the discussion of the definitions to which my hon. Friend refers. I understand that representatives of the following organisations have been invited to attend: the Wholesale Clothing Manufacturers' Federation, the Light Clothing Federation, the National Federation of Merchant Tailors, the Wholesale Textile Association, the Retail Distributors' Association, the Retail Trading Standards Association and the Women's Advisory Committee of the B.S.I. Following is a list of the organisations to which the draft glossary has been circulated for comment.
Following is the list:
- Crown Agents for the Colonies.
- Institution of British Launderers.
- Marks & Spencer, Ltd.
- The Secretary, Ministry of Health.
- Retail Trading-Standards Association.
- Textile and Clothing Contractors Association.
- Textile Institute.
- Wool Textile Delegation.
- G.S. Publication Section, M.E. Directorate, Army Headquarters, India.
- Association of Wholesale Woollen Merchants Ltd.
- Bradford Chamber of Commerce.
- Furnishing Fabric Federation.
- International Wool Secretariat.
- Multiple Shops Federation.
- National Association of Scottish Woollen Manufacturers.
- Wholesale Textile Association.
- Retail Distributors Association.
- Clothing Industry Development Council.
- Light Clothing Federation.
- Wholesale Clothing Manufacturers' Association.
- Apparel & Fashion Industry's Association.
- James Goldrich, James & Gordon, Ltd.
- National Hosiery Manufacturers' Federation.
- Chief Inspector of Stores, Ministry of Supply
- Chief Inspector of Clothing, Ministry of Supply.
- Joint Equipment Standardisation Committee.
- National Federation of Merchant Tailors.
- Scottish National Federation of Merchant Tailors.
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the concern arising from the fact that the committee of 23 engaged on producing wool definitions for informative labelling, contains no representative of the distributive industry or of consumer interests, but consists wholly of wool manufacturing interests; and if he will remedy this forthwith.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Gillingham (Mr. Burden) today.
Wales And Monmouthshire Industrial Estates Co (Directors)
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many directors, appointed by him to serve on the Wales and Monmouthshire Industrial Estates Company, are also fee-taking consultants in connection with these same estates.
I am informed by the company that no directors are paid fees as consultants in connection with the company's activities.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what total sum of money has been paid out and is liable from 1945 to date to the major insurance company holding the main business of insurance cover, including fire, in connection with the Government-owned estates and associated factory sites in Wales; and whether he is aware that a director of the estates appointed by him is the sole agent and if, as a matter of policy, he will in future prohibit the holding of such agencies by directors whom he has appointed.
I am informed that since 1945 the insurance business of the Wales and Monmouthshire Industrial Estate Company has been placed through two firms of brokers with 11 different companies, that the company with which the largest share of the business has been placed received from a fifth to a quarter of the total, and that no director of the Estate Company is an agent for this insurance company. It is not the practice to disclose the amounts paid to individual companies. I am aware that one of the directors of the Estate Company is also a local director of the insurance company to which the hon. Member refers but I am also informed that he declared his interest to the Estate Company before any business was placed. In the circumstances the last part of the Question does not arise.
Trading Estates Companies
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in his review of the administration of the Development Areas, he is considering the possibility of co-ordinating the work of the trading estates companies through the creation of a national board.
This suggestion will be borne in mind.
New Factory, East Kilbride
asked the President of the Board of Trade what change has been made in the decision to establish a factory at East Kilbride for the firm of John Deere and Company.
The decision to establish a factory at East Kilbride for the John Deere Company has been confirmed within the last few days after a detailed review of all the circumstances.
Token Import Scheme (American Dresses)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that a South Wales firm is offering a shipment of American dresses for sale, how many dollars were made available for this transaction, and why.
I have no details of this particular transaction, but I assume that the dresses referred to were imported under the Token Import Scheme. The scheme provides for a strictly limited volume of imports of certain traditional goods from Canada and the United States of America.
Monopolies Commission (Electrical Machinery And Plant)
asked the President of the Board of Trade what additional matters he has referred to the Monopolies Commission for investigation.
A new reference was made to the Commission on 4th April. The subject referred is the supply and exports of certain electrical and allied machinery and plant. The following is the full text of the reference:ELECTRICAL AND ALLIED MACHINERY AND PLANTWhereas it appears to the Board of Trade that it is or may be the fact that conditions to which the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Inquiry and Control) Act, 1948, applies prevail
Now therefore the Board of Trade in pursuance of Section 2 (1) of the Act hereby refer to the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission for investigation and report the matters of such supply and such exports.
The Commission shall as respects such supply and such exports investigate and report on—
Waste Paper (Collection)
asked the Secretary for Overseas Trade, as representing the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, what was the total amount of waste paper salvaged by local authorities for the last available 12 months; and the comparative totals for the three previous years.
In 1948 and 1949 the amounts of waste paper collected by local authorities were 310,000 and 285,000 tons respectively. No detailed statistics are available for subsequent years, but it is estimated that in 1951 about 400,000 tons were collected.I may add that the total of waste paper from all sources delivered to paper mills in 1951 was 1,078,000 tons.
Ministry Of Works
Palace Of Westminster (Fuel Cost)
asked the Minister of Works the reason for the estimated cost of fuel for the Houses of Parliament buildings rising from £18,000 in 1951–52 to £25,400 in 1952–53.
The rise in the estimated cost of fuel for the year 1952–53 is due to the increased cost of fuel oil. Estimated consumption is unchanged.
Home-Based Staff (Service Abroad)
asked the Minister of Works the number of home-based civil servants of his Department serving abroad in the clerical, executive, works group, including mechanical and electrical engineers, scientific, technical draughtsmen and other categories, respectively.
The following are the numbers of home-based staff of my Department serving abroad in the various categories:
|Works group professional grades (including mechanical and electrical engineers)||12|
|Technical works, engineering and allied grades||26|
|Supplies division technical grades||3|
Capenhurst Atomic Site (Hostel)
asked the Minister of Works why the Costain Hostel, Manor Lane, near Chester, is to be closed; what arrangements he is making to rehouse the 240 men living there; and, since lodgings are difficult to obtain in this area, and, in view of the hardship that will be caused, if he will reconsider his decision and keep the hostel open.
asked the Minister of Works what alternative accommodation has been offered to the men due to be displaced from the Costain Hostel, Manor Lane, Sealand.
As I stated on 25th March, in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock), the small number of men employed at Capenhurst who now use this hostel accommodation does not justify the retention of this hostel which has a capacity of 850. The contractors concerned have been asked to assist the men to obtain suitable alternative accommodation.
asked the Minister of Labour the national figure of registered unemployed dockers at the latest convenient date and similar figures for dockers unemployed in London and the county borough of West Ham, showing comparisons with 12 months ago.
On 4th April, 1952, there were in the ports of Great Britain 14,793 registered unemployed dock workers, of whom 4,167 were in London. Corresponding figures a year ago were 4,841 and 364 respectively. Separate figures are not available for unemployed dockers in West Ham.
asked the Minister of Labour the total number of registered unemployed in London; and the figures for each of the East London boroughs, giving separate details with regard to those employed in the tailoring and furniture industries at the latest convenient stated date and the comparison with 12 months ago.
The available figures relate to employment exchange areas. The table below gives the information desired for the Greater London area and for each employment exchange in the East London boroughs.
|NUMBERS OF UNEMPLOYED PERSONS ON THE REGISTERS AT 12TH MARCH, 1951, AND 17TH MARCH, 1952|
|12th March, 1951||17th March, 1952||12th March, 1951||17th March, 1952||12th March, 1951||17th March, 1952|
|Leyton and Walthamstow||743||1,561||10||36||39||123|
asked the Minister of Labour the number of men and the number of women registered as unemployed at the Borough Employment Exchange at the most convenient dates in January, February and March in 1951 and 1952.
The table below gives the information desired.
|NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED PERSONS ON THE REGISTERS OF THE BOROUGH EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE AT THE UNDERMENTIONED DATES:|
|15th January, 1951||604||146|
|12th February, 1951||696||123|
|12th March, 1951||620||133|
|14th January, 1952||797||362|
|11th February, 1952||973||372|
|17th March, 1952||941||394|
asked the Minister of Labour the number of skilled dental technicians who were unemployed in the London area and throughout the country, respectively, for 1949, 1950 and 1951; and the number who are now unemployed up to the latest possible date in 1952.
I regret that statistics giving this information are not available.
China Clay Workers, St Austell
asked the Minister of Labour how many men employed at china clay pits in the St. Austell district registered as unemployed at each of the Camborne and Redruth Employment Exchanges since 1st January, following with- drawal of transport provided by the employers, and how many are still registered.
Following the withdrawal of transport facilities 36 china clay workers have registered as unemployed at Camborne and 92 at Redruth Employment Exchanges. The numbers still registered are 5 and 22 respectively.
asked the Minister of Labour what information he has as to the numbers of people who have transferred from textiles to engineering in recent months.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Minister of Labour how many textile workers are unemployed or working short time, at Braintree and Bocking, Essex.
About 410 textile workers are registered at the Braintree Employment Exchange and youth employment office, mainly at a result of short-time working.
asked the Minister of Labour to what extent training and employment, under special, sheltered, conditions has developed during 1951; how many Remploy factories were operating at December, 1951; and how many disabled persons were employed therein; what extension and experience gained under the home workers schemes there has been; and what have been the results of the arrangements for obtaining Government contracts for Remploy factories.
At the end of 1951, about 10,800 persons were being provided with sheltered employment and 680 were being trained as compared with 9,700 and 640 at the end of 1950. During the year 4 new Remploy factories were opened and 5 additional workshops were set up by voluntary organisations. Ninety Remploy factories were operating at the end of 1951 and employing over 6,000 severely disabled persons (an increase of about 1,000 over the number employed at the end of 1950). Remploy home-working schemes were providing employment for 124 disabled persons at the end of 1951 (as against 159 at the end of 1950). The difficulty of finding sufficient suitable work to afford home-workers regular and remunerative occupation continued to restrict the operation of these schemes. The value of Government contracts completed by Remploy during 1951 was 25 per cent. above the 1950 figure.
Supervisors (Training Within Industry)
asked the Minister of Labour to what extent the service of training within industry for supervisors was further developed during 1951; what were the numbers trained during that year under each of the three separate headings; and what are the total numbers so trained since the service became available.
During 1951, the number of firms in Great Britain which have adopted the scheme of Training Within Industry for Supervisors increased from 2,724 to 3,008, while a considerable amount of follow-up work was carried out amongst firms which had previously adopted the scheme. T.W.I. continued to be used in all those industries and services where it had previously been adopted and notable instances of its use to an increasing extent were the National Coal Board, the British Electricity Authority, and British Railways. There was also development to a marked degree amongst medium and small-sized undertakings. The policy was continued of training here persons from overseas to enable them to spread the use of T.W.I. principles in their own countries.
In the course of the year, 15,651 supervisors were trained in job instruction, 19,608 in job relations and 6,673 in job methods. Since the scheme was started in 1944, 193,095 supervisors have been trained in job instruction, 125,572 in job relations and 37,299 in job methods.
asked the Minister of Labour if he will give particulars relating to the training and employment of blind persons at the close of 1951, as compared with the end of 1950, namely the total number of registered blind persons in gainful employment, the number receiving training, the number of special workshops for the blind recognised by his department as eligible for financial assistance, the number of persons employed therein, and the amount of financial assistance given to all recognised organisations providing employment for blind persons.
The information for which the hon. Member asks is:
|1. The total number of registered blind persons:|
|(a) in gainful employment||10,404||10,917|
|(b) receiving training||945||898|
|2. Number of workshops for the blind recognised by the Ministry of Labour and National Service as eligible for financial assistance||70||70|
|3. Number of blind persons employed therein||4,064||4,132|
|4. Financial assistance given to all recognized organisations providing employment facilities||£261,863||£290,318|
asked the Minister of Labour what action has been taken, arising from the report published in January, 1951, of the Working Party appointed to investigate the facilities for the employment of blind persons in industry and in public and other services.
Some of the more important recommendations affect local authorities, and I am arranging to send the right hon. Member a copy of a circular which is on the point of issue to these authorities. The attention of all Government Departments has been specially called to the range of work which can be undertaken by the blind, and the number of blind persons employed by them has risen from 240 to 280 in the past year. An additional rehabilitation centre has been opened in Scotland, and the need for additional facilities elsewhere is being explored in consultation with local authorities. Recommendations in respect of the training of blind adolescents are being followed up by the Departments concerned.
National Service, Wales (Deferment Appeals)
asked the Minister of Labour if he will arrange that appeals for deferment from National Service from appellants residing in South Wales and North Wales, respectively, shall be considered in centres more conveniently situated than Bristol or Chester, respectively.
asked the Minister of Labour where appeals for deferment of call-up under the National Service Act of appellants from Wales take place.
I assume that these Questions relate to the hearing by the umpire of appeals against determinations of military service (hardship) committees in regard to postponement of call-up on grounds of exceptional hardship. Such appeals from South Wales are normally heard in Cardiff, and those from North Wales in Manchester. Occasionally cases from South Wales are heard in Bristol to avoid delay. They can also be heard in London if the appellant so requests or agrees.
Factories, Wales (Fire Certificates)
asked the Minister of Labour how many of the Government-owned factory premises in the light factory programme of Wales are still without their accredited fire certificates under the Factories Act.
I understand that the hon. Member has in mind factories occupied by tenants of Wales and Monmouthshire Industrial Estates Ltd. I am having inquiries made as to the present position regarding certification of such factories and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible as to the result.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the pre-war output of beef in Scotland; what was the output in 1948–49; and what is the estimate for 1951–52.
The output of beef in Scotland pre-war was 112,000 tons; the output in 1948–49 was 88,000 tons and the forecast for 1951–52 is 101,000 tons.
Mental Hospital Patients
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the total number of patients within mental institutions and homes in Scotland, and the proportion of these over 65 years of age.
The total number of patients in mental hospitals in Scotland at 1st January, 1952 was 20,049. The only available statistics of age distribution relate to the age of certified patients on admission. During the first four months of 1949 and 1950, respectively, out of 869 and 893 such admissions, 320 and 326 were patients over 60 years of age.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of patients in Woodilee Mental Hospital; and the proportion of these over 65 years of age.
The number of patients in Woodilee Mental Hospital on 3rd April, 1952, was 1,232 and of this number 366 were over 65 years of age.
Police Services (Per Capita Cost)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the cost per head of population of the police forces in Scotland, excluding the cost of the Special Constabulary.
The cost of the Scottish police service per head of population in the year ended 15th May, 1951, was 20s. 1d. The estimated costs in the years ending 15th May, 1952 and 1953 are 23s. 10d. and 25s. 2d., respectively. These amounts include the cost of the Special Constabulary, which is small, and cannot readily be isolated.
Hill Farming Improvement Schemes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the names, respectively, of the 25 comprehensive schemes for improvement formally approved, the nine schemes which have been approved in principle, and the 10 other townships which are being examined, under the Hill Farming Act, 1946.
No. Applications for assistance under the Hill Farming and Livestock Rearing Acts are treated as confidential and the information desired could not be disclosed without the consent of the applicants.
Catto Committee (Report)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to receive the report from the Catto Committee; and if he proposes to publish all or any part of the report.
I understand that the Committee expects to present its report next month. I intend to publish it as soon as possible thereafter.
Corporation Houses, Glasgow (Sale)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons who are tenants of existing houses belonging to Glasgow Corporation or persons needing accommodation for reasons of ill health, or persons on the Corporation's waiting lists who, in accordance with the customary procedure of the Corporation would be offered Corporation houses within the next year, have made application to purchase houses at Merrylea.
I am told that by 4th April applications had been received from 24 persons in the first group, 104 in the second and seven in the third.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of applicants for corporation houses in the city of Edinburgh at present on the waiting list; the number of applications for private building licences received this year; the number of such applications from persons on the waiting list; and the number of houses for which private building licences are being granted.
There are 19,214 applicants on the Corporation's emergency waiting list which covers families at present living in over-crowded or unfit houses and homeless persons.The Corporation had 480 applications for private building licences on hand at the beginning of 1952 and have since received 128 more, including 38 from persons on the waiting list. Against this they have issued 117 licences to individuals and bulk licences for 92 houses to be sold to approved purchasers.
Ministry Of Pensions
Limbless War Pensioners
asked the Minister of Pensions whether the Committee appointed to advise him on cardiovascular disorders and mortality rates of limbless war pensioners, have yet concluded their inquiries; and what action he proposes to take for the fullest consideration of the Committee's report and findings.
No. When the report is available I propose to consider it in consultation with my principal medical advisers and subsequently with my Central Advisory Committee.
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will increase the rate of the unemployability supplement, in view of proposed increases in rates of National Insurance benefits.
No. The supplement paid to the unemployable war pensioner was increased from 30s. to 35s. a week in June last, and he will benefit further from the increase in pension rates recently announced.As regards the allowance for the wife of a war pensioner receiving the supplement I propose, as I informed the hon. and gallant Member for Morecambe and Lansdale (Sir I. Fraser) on 18th March, to consider this matter when my right hon. Friend the Minister of National Insurance has worked out his proposals.
asked the Minister of National Insurance what estimate he has of the saving that would be made, if proposals being made by him to raise the pensionable age of men from 65 to 67 years of age, and for women from 60 to 62 years of age, were introduced.
As the hon. Member will have gathered from the statement made today by my right hon. Friend the Minister of National Insurance, he is making no such proposals.
asked the Minister of National Insurance whether, in view of the increase in the cost of living index, he will give further consideration to increasing the pensions of those widows who are still in receipt of 10s. per week.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Members for Finchley (Mr. J. E. Crowder), and Goole (Mr. G. Jeger), and the hon. and gallant Member for Merton and Morden (Captain Ryder) yesterday.
Assistance (Increased Rates)
asked the Minister of National Insurance what representation he has now received from the National Assistance Board with regard to an increase of the National Assistance scales.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given yesterday to the right hon. Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill) copies of the draft Regulations and the Explanatory Memorandum are now available in the Vote Office.
asked the Minister of National Insurance what benefits he proposes to give the registered blind which will improve the assistance they at present receive.
I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given yesterday to the right hon. Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill). Copies of the draft Regulations and the Explanatory Memorandum are now available in the Vote Office.
Royal Air Force (Engineering Dilution)
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air when the working party appointed to inquire into the dilutee problem is expected to report.
This working party, which was set up by the former Secretary of State for Air to consider problems arising from the operation of the Temporary Relaxation of Existing Customs Agreement, 1939, and which consisted of three representatives of the Amalgamated Engineering Union and three officials of the Air Ministry, met twice under the chairmanship of the then Under-Secretary of State.Following these meetings no formal report was submitted but the Air Ministry drafted a proposed modification of the 1939 Agreement for consideration by the Executive of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. The latter were unable to accept it and have not put forward any alternative proposal. My noble Friend is now considering, in consultation with the Minister of Labour, what further steps can be taken to solve these problems.
Re-Armament Programme (Us Aid)
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence what is the proportion of arms aid from the United States of America to national arms expenditure in the United Kingdom.
The United States Government do not publish the cost of the equipment which they supply to other countries as military aid. I regret, therefore, that I am not in a position to provide the information requested.
Persian Oil Dispute (International Bank's Negotiations)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the International Bank's negotiations in the Persian oil dispute.
Hon. Members will doubtless have seen reports in the Press of the statement made by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on their recent attempts to make arrangements for the interim operation of the Persian oil industry pending a settlement of the dispute. The statement explains fully how the Bank came to offer its services, what was the nature of its proposals, how these proposals were viewed by the parties to the oil dispute, and how the discussions proceeded in London and Teheran and were eventually suspended by mutual agreement between the Bank and the Persian Government.The Bank was acting as a neutral and impartial intermediary between the parties to the dispute and its position in this respect is clearly brought out in the statement. I do not think it would serve any useful purpose if I attempted to summarise or to comment on the statement in detail. But in view of its importance as a record of what took place I have arranged for the text, as communicated to Her Majesty's Embassy in Washington, to be placed in the Library of the House.Hon. Members will note that the Bank, in the words of the statement, sees no prospect of going forward with its proposal in the immediate future. While I should be the first to welcome any sign from Teheran which would justify further efforts to find an acceptable basis of agreement, I am bound to say that at the moment I agree with the Bank.I am sure the House would wish me to express appreciation to the Bank for its initiative and for the time and patience which the negotiators have devoted to the execution of their difficult task.
Parcels (Revenue And Expenditure)
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what was the income and expenditure for the latest convenient year for those Post Office services specified in Statutory Instrument No. 557 of 1952; and what are the expected increases of revenue as a result of the increased charges.
The estimated revenue and expenditure during the year 1951–52 in respect of inland parcels and parcels sent to the Irish Republic are:
|To Irish Republic||80,000||85,000|
House Of Commons (Revenue)
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will give details of the amounts of moneys paid for stamps, embossed stamped envelopes, telegrams and other services, in the House of Commons Post Office for each of the years from 1946 to the latest convenient stated date.
The records prior to 1949 have been destroyed. For the last three financial years the figures are as follows:
|National Insurance stamps||8,039||11,205||10,451|
|National Savings stamps||147||22||50|
|National Savings certificates||110||61||791|
|Money Orders issued||2,136||2,227||2,027|
Chadwell Heath (Postal District)
asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he will consider extending the area of the Ilford postal district to include the district of Chadwell Heath, now included in Romford.
No. The change would lead to delays and the extra work could not in any case be handled in the Ilford sorting office, which is already taxed to capacity.
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has now had the opportunity of considering the position of railway pensioners or superannuitants; and if he will make a statement.
I cannot yet add to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Merton and Morden (Captain Ryder) on 31st March.
Road Passenger Transport (Fuel Cost)
asked the Minister of Transport if he can give an estimate of the present approximate amount of motor fuel consumed annually by public road transport passenger service vehicles in the United Kingdom; and what is the estimated cost of such fuel at post-Budget cost.
No. The necessary information is not available.