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Written Answers

Volume 499: debated on Friday 25 April 1952

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 25th April, 1952

Ministry Of Food

Suet Supplies, Norfolk And Suffolk

asked the Minister of Food if he will remedy the shortage of suet supplies in Norfolk and Suffolk.

I am not aware of any particular shortage of suet in Norfolk and Suffolk, but if my hon. Friend will let me have particulars. I shall be glad to have inquiries made.

Slaughterhouses

asked the Minister of Food if he will open up a larger number of slaughterhouses, so as to allow greater efficiency and greater decentralisation, as well as less wastage in transit, in the slaughter of livestock.

The question of bringing into use some additional prewar slaughterhouses has been reviewed by my Department, which has been assisted by seven area advisory committees comprising representatives of the meat trade, the Farmers' Unions and the slaughtering industry. It has been found that less than a dozen could effectively be brought into use. It would not necessarily follow that a large increase in the number of slaughtering points would secure an economy in transport taking into account the arrangements for the transport of stock to an increased number of centres and for the collection of the by-products.

Liquid Milk Consumption

asked the Minister of Food how sales of milk for liquid consumption in the first three months of this year compared with the same period of 1951.

389¾ million gallons in the first three months of 1952 compared with 386½ million gallons for the same period of 1951.

Private Boarding Schools (Rations)

asked the Minister of Food whether a child at a private boarding school receives extra rations over and above the normal allocation in the same way as do children at State schools in their mid-day dinners.

Yes. The rationed food supplied is equivalent to a day scholar's domestic rations plus school dinners.

Pakistani (Deportation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he refused to protect Mr. Mubarek Ali Ahmed, a Pakistan citizen, charged with a political offence, from extradition from this country in which he sought refuge.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the question by the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. T. Reid) on 24th April.

Trade And Commerce

Prefabricated School Buildings (Imports)

asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of the prefabricated timber school buildings to be imported from Finland during the forthcoming nine months.

We have undertaken to issue licences on application during the calendar year 1952 for imports not exceeding £500,000 of prefabricated schools from Finland, providing that the price, type and specification are satisfactory. Licences issued so far amount to £76,629.

Disused Vehicle Exports

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that large consignments of disused road traction engines have recently been shipped to Belgium for scrap; and whether he will take steps to prevent the shipment abroad of such raw material which is needed for the production of British steel.

I am aware that some road traction engines were recently exported to Belgium. It is my policy not to license exports of disused vehicles unless the amount of currency to be received is well in excess of the scrap value either here or in the country of destination.

National Finance

Post-War Credits

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the average period of time between the receipt of applications for the payment of Post-war Credits and the making of the payments.

About 10 days. The majority of cases take no more than a week, but in exceptional cases, such as those where there were frequent changes of employment, it may take considerably longer to trace all the necessary records. Payment has now been made in the particular case about which the hon. Member wrote to me recently.

Customs And Excise Form

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that in Form C. 1600, issued by the Customs and Excise, persons in receipt of gifts of foodstuffs are asked whether the goods ordered were ordered by themselves or any other person resident in the United Kingdom; and, in view of the fact that the recipient of a food parcel cannot give an absolute assurance as regards the actions of all the persons resident in the United Kingdom, if he will amend the wording of this form.

The purpose of inquiry Form C. 160D is to ensure that the waiver of licence for imported gifts is confined to bona fide unsolicited gifts. No one has to make statements which he cannot substantiate, but when it is within the recipient's knowledge that the goods have been purchased from this country, the Form requires a declaration to that effect. This procedure has worked well and has provided a useful deterrent to abuse, and I am satisfied that in practice the form serves its purpose. But I am obliged to my hon. Friend for drawing attention to a flaw in the wording of the form, and I have arranged that, when the form is reprinted, qualifying words will be added to meet his point.

Surtax Payers (Incomes)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the average income of all Surtax payers for the latest financial year for which figures are available.

My hon. Friend will find information about the numbers and total income of Surtax payers in recent years in the 94th Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue at pages 134 to 140. The latest year for which information is available is 1949–50. The estimated final figures for that year give £4,064 as the average total income of Surtax payers.

Burma Credits

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sum is held by the British Government which stands to the credit of the Government of Burma.

Civil Service (Pay)

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the number of civil servants who were in the £1,000 a year class in 1946; and the number of increases in salaries they have received until the latest available date.

On 31st October, 1947, the earliest date from which reliable statistics are available, there were 8,504 established civil servants in receipt of salaries of £1,000 a year or more. The number of pay increases received since 1946 has varied from class to class and no answer of universal application can be given.

British Army

War Department Doctors (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for War the daily rate of pay of civilian medical practitioners employed on a full-time basis by the War Department.

Personal Case

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that 22491889 Private B. Miles, Welch Regiment, D.A.H.P.F.; now in Korea, was sent there in December, after being in the service six months, and is now in Seoul, in the front line 10 months after his enlistment; and whether this is in accordance with his regulations.

Yes. Under present rules a National Service man must be 19 years old and have six months' service before serving in Korea. This soldier fulfilled these requirements.

Persian Negotiations (International Bank's Statement)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the discrepancies between the text of the International Bank's statement on its negotiations with the Persian Government which he made available in the Library on 8th April and that issued by the Bank itself; and how he reconciles this discrepancy.

The text placed in the Library of the House was that communicated by the International Bank to Her Majesty's Embassy at Washington. The statement as issued by the Bank to the public differs slightly from the earlier text and I am, therefore, making copies of this available in the Library.