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Written Answers

Volume 524: debated on Tuesday 9 March 1954

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday, 9th March, 1954

National Finance

Retired Service Men And Civil Servants (Pensions)

35.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many retired Armed Forces officers and how many retired civil servants, respectively, will benefit from the arrangements proposed in Command Paper No. 9092; what proportion of the estimated £250,000 is attributable to each category; and what would be the additional net cost of making the same provision for all the 16,500, or thereabouts, officers pensioned under the 1919 code, having regard to the fact that in many instances increases under the Pensions Increases Acts would be reduced.

About 8,250 retired officers and 3,000 civil servants will benefit. The estimate of £250,000 is a round figure made up of rather under £200,000 for officers and about £60,000 for civil servants. It is not possible to give completely accurate figures. The effect of the announcement of last Tuesday in Command Paper 9092 is to extend to all the 16,550 officers a concession already given to the 8,300 officers with pensions of up to £400 a year. The estimates of cost which have been given therefore represent the total cost of treating all the 16,550 officers in the same way.

asked the Secretary to the Treasury how much it would cost to raise to the rates payable to members of the Armed Forces and Civil Service who retire now, the pensions and retired pay of those who retired before such rates were introduced.

I should estimate the direct cost very approximately at £10 million. The cost for all public service pensioners would be about double this.

Tax Office, Edinburgh (Transfer)

39.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the transfer of the Inland Revenue Office from Lothian House, Edinburgh, to Sighthill, is causing inconvenience to taxpayers resident in Grange, Marchmont, Morningside and Colinton districts; and if he will consult with the Minister of Works with a view to finding offices more convenient to the taxpayer and releasing Sighthill for such Government purposes as do not call for visits from members of the public.

The present accommodation for the Edinburgh tax offices is inadequate, and as suitable accommodation is not available in the centre of Edinburgh it has been decided to move one of the offices to the Government buildings at Sighthill. This office deals with the Sighthill area and the parts of Edinburgh in that direction. I hope the consequent inconvenience caused to taxpayers will not be serious. If a taxpayer is unable to attend at Sighthill arrangements will be made to interview him at Lothian House.

Equal Pay

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the reduction in rearmament expenditure arising from the cessation of hostilities in Korea, he can now name the day asked for in the Resolution passed unanimously by this House on 16th May, 1952.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer on this subject given to him and other hon. Members today.

Civil Service

Salaries

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many Civil Service officers and staff, in the £1,000 per annum class in 1946, have not had an increase in their salaries since that date; and how many of these officers have to meet the cost of their postage, stationery, secretarial assistance, telephones, travel and living away from home expenses, and other expenses necessarily incurred in carrying out their duties to the State from their salaries.

As I told the hon. Member on 29th January, 1953, all salary scales which in 1946 included £1,000 within their range have since been increased, and no civil servant normally has to meet from his salary the expenses mentioned.

Pensioners

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many civil servants retired on pensions exceeding £375 a year since the war ended, and prior to 17th June, 1953; and how many of these have commuted their pensions.

Exact figures are not available, but I should estimate the number of civil servants who retired on pensions exceeding £375 a year between August, 1945, and June, 1953, at about 5,000. The only form of Civil Service pension which may be commuted is a compensation allowance for abolition of office. Five civil servants who retired with such compensation allowances during the period in question commuted their allowances in part.

Housing

Requisitioned Property, London

52.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the number of families in London houses in requisitioned property; what expenditure he permits on repair and maintenance of those premises; and whether he is aware that local authorities frequently find the permitted expenditure insufficient to keep these houses fit for families to live in.

The approximate number of families occupying requisitioned premises in the London area is 85,000 of whom about 56,500 are in the Metropolitan boroughs. The annual sum now allowed to a local authority for repairs to requisitioned houses is an overall average of £25 per family unit or the average of the preceding three years whichever is the less. Within this limit a local authority may spend without prior approval up to £100 on the repair of an individual unit. These limits were fixed as recently as October last, and discussions which officers of the Department have had with representatives of the authorities should help to overcome any difficulties.

War-Damaged Cities

56.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the number of houses built in the war-damaged cities in 1951, 1952 and 1953.

Site Allocation, Longbenton Estate

59.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that the Newcastle Housing Committee are granting sites for building public houses on the Longbenton Housing Estate, but are refusing a site for a workmen's social club; and if he will refuse to sanction the allocation of sites for public houses until sites are also allocated for working men's clubs.

I understand that the layout provides for public houses (as well as churches, cinemas, etc.) and that a social club run by the Residents' Association is already in use. It was for the council to decide whether they would also provide a site for a working men's social club. Their refusal would be no justification for withholding consent to the disposal of land for other purposes.

Statyford Lane Estate, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

61.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is satisfied with the quality of the houses being built by the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Corporation on its Statyford Lane estate.

My right hon. Friend has seen reports of complaints in regard to alleged defects in some of the houses. This is in the first instance a matter for the corporation, and he understands that they are dealing with the matter.

Kingwood Common

62.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that the Henley Rural District Council are preparing to enclose part of Kingwood Common contrary to the provisions of the Nettlebed and District Commons Act, 1906; and what action he proposes to take.

No. My right hon. Friend is aware that the council wishes to use about 15 acres of the Common for housing purposes but he understands they are considering questions of procedure.

Local Government

Water Supply, Lodsworth (Extension)

60.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether the promised review of the work in connection with the Lodsworth water supply scheme has taken place; and whether he will now sanction the extension to the Lurgashall district.

Yes. The review has taken place and the extension will now be sanctioned.

Basildon Development Corporation (Chairman)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whom he has recently appointed as chairman of the Basildon Development Corporation; whether this is a full- or part-time appointment; what salary and expenses are to be paid; and whether the chairman will have to meet the cost of his postage, telephones and telegrams, stationery, secretarial assistance and office accommodation, travelling and other expenses necessary to carry out this job from the salary paid.

I have appointed Lieut.-General Sir Humfrey Gale, K.B.E.. C.B., C.V.O., M.C. The appointment is a part-time one and the salary is £1,500 per annum. Reasonable expenses incurred by the chairman in carrying out his functions will be paid from the corporation funds.

West Ham (Government Grant)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that, although the average rate for administrative counties in England for the year 1952–53 was 20s. 4d., by exercising every economy the county borough of West Ham was compelled to levy a rate of 27s. in the £, and have now had to increase this for the year 1953–54 to 28s. in the £ and whether he will therefore take some further action to assist financially this much-bombed borough.

I have informed the council that in the special circumstances of the borough I shall be prepared to make a special grant of £20,000 for the forthcoming financial year.

Ministry Of Works

Works Of Art (Commissioning And Purchase)

68.

asked the Minister of Works the total direct expenditure by Government Departments from public money on the commissioning or purchase of works of art by living artists for the most recent available year and for 1938.

No money from voted funds was spent in 1938 by Government Departments on the commissioning or purchase of paintings and drawings by living artists. About £2,400 has been spent in the present financial year.

Building Codes Of Practice (Council)

asked the Minister of Works what changes are contemplated in the responsibilities of his Department for codes of practice in building.

In agreement with the professional institutions the British Standards Institution is establishing a Council for Codes of Practice to be responsible for all work on codes of practice, including building construction and civil, mechanical and electrical engineering codes. The chairman-elect is Mr. Allan Stephen Quartermaine, C.B.E., M.C., past President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.After 31st March the services carried out by my Department for the present Council for Codes of Practice for Buildings will be undertaken by the British Standards Institution. During the 11 years that this Council has worked under the aegis of my Department some 150 codes of practice, covering nearly every aspect of building, have been published and I should like to take this opportunity of paying tribute to the value of this work and expressing gratitude to the members of the code and drafting committees, whose voluntary service has made this achievement possible.

Building And Civil Engineering (Employment)

70.

asked the Minister of Works how many building workers

LABOUR EMPLOYED IN THE BUILDING AND CIVIL ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES IN GREAT BRITAIN (Thousands)
1953(a)New workAll other work (including repairs and maintenance)Total
HousingIndustrial building (b)Agricultural buildingSchoolsAll other new work
1st Quarter295123533104407967
2nd Quarter314121435103418995
3rd Quarter317118536994271,002
4th Quarter31811853396417987
These figures exclude the building trades workers directly employed by local authorities, public utilities and private firms in other industries, e.g. brewing, shipbuilding, etc. Of these, about 30,000 men have been throughout the period employed by local authorities on new house construction. The remainder are employed mainly on repairs and maintenance.
(a) Excluding work exempted from authorisation and licensing; men engaged on such work are included under "All other work (including repair and maintenance)."
(b) These figures cover the contractors' labour force employed on the erection of factory storage premises and on work for the basic industries including gas, electricity, transport and communications. The amount of work done in this category rose during the year despite the fall in the labour force.

Employment

Women, Gravesend (Shift Work)

74.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will reconsider the recent decision of his Department to withdraw the permit previously given for women workers to do shift work in paper mills in the Gravesend area.

Permission has not been withdrawn for women to do shift work. An authorisation is current until 24th April allowing the women concerned to work a three-shift system of six turns a week.

Agriculture, Wales

72.

asked the Minister of Labour the total number of wage earners, regular and casual, respectively, engaged in agriculture in each of the 13 Welsh counties during the past five years.

Statistics of employees engaged in agriculture are not readily available by separate counties nor is it possible to identify regular and casual wage earners. The following are the were employed in each quarter in 1953 in new houses, industrial building, agricultural building, school building, repair work and all other forms of building work, respectively.

Following is the information:estimated numbers of insured employees engaged in agriculture in Wales and Monmouthshire at the end of May in each of the years 1948 to 1953.

MalesFemalesTotal
194827,2905,39032,680
194927,3904,69032,080
195025,7903,79029,580
195123,7703,20026,970
195223,4402,64026,080
195322,4003,00025,400

73.

asked the Minister of Labour how the figures of unemployment among regular and casual agricultural workers in each of the 13 Welsh counties compare with the incidence of similar conditions in each of the previous five years.

Statistics are not readily available by separate counties nor is it possible to identify regular and casual workers. The following table shows the numbers of workers, whose last employment was in agriculture, registered as unemployed in Wales and Monmouth-shire at one date in January and July in each of the years 1949 to 1953 and in January, 1954.

DateMalesFemalesTotal
1949—
10th January1,0362291,265
11th July786121907
1950—
16th January9431931,136
10th July71780797
1951—
15th January9561341,090
16th July46943512
1952—
14th January65694750
14th July39682478
1953—
12th January65989748
13th July39559454
1954—
11th January68265747

Retail Prices Index

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give figures for the change in the Retail Prices Index during each of the four years ended November, 1950, November, 1951, November, 1952, and November, 1953; and also comparative figures for the change in the average weekly earnings for the same years.

The following table shows the changes in the Interim Index of Retail Prices during each of the four years ended November, 1950, to November, 1953. Figures of average weekly earnings are collected for April and October of each year, and the table shows the changes for each of the four years ended October, 1950, to October, 1953.

YearPercentage increase in Retail Prices IndexPercentage increase in average weekly earnings
1949–502·95·1
1950–5111·910·2
1951–526·37·7
1952–532·15·4

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give comparative figures for the percentage change in the Retail Prices Index, all items, and for the change in average weekly earnings over the two-year period up to autumn, 1951, and the two-year period since autumn, 1951.

During the two years ended October, 1951, the Interim Index of Retail Prices rose by 14.7 per cent, and the average level of weekly earnings by 15.9 per cent. During the two years ended October, 1953, the corresponding percentage increases were 8.8 for retail prices and 13.5 for weekly earnings.

Scotland

Local Authority Members (Allowances)

75.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to be able to give his decision on the matter of subsistence and financial allowances for local authority members.

Jetty Project, Grunasund

76.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his attention has been drawn to the decision of the islanders at Grunasund, Burra Isle, Shetland, who have decided to construct a pier without any Government grant or assistance; and if he will commend such action as worthy of emulation by offering them a 50 per cent, grant.

I understand that the people of Grunasund have decided to make a small jetty for their own use and to raise the necessary funds from their own resources. While I commend their initiative, I would not feel justified in offering them a grant, more particularly as I have already agreed to make a grant of 75 per cent, of the cost of the construction of a pier at Hamnavoe to serve Burra Isle as a whole.

Rural Water And Sewerage Schemes (Grants)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what payments were made towards the cost of water supplies and sewerage schemes in Scotland under the Rural Water Supply and Sewerage Acts, for the calendar years 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

The respective amounts are:

(1) for water, £310,527; £528,035; £1,013,567; £1,329,33–8: and (2) for sewerage, £49,720; £57,863; £236,838; £146,692.

Housing Improvement Grants

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of applications for improvement grants under Section 111 and Sections 105 and 110 of the Housing (Scotland) Acts, 1950 to 1952 that were approved during each of the calendar years 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

The numbers of applications approved are:

Section 111 (private enterprise)Sections 105 and 110 (local authorities and development corporations)
195034053
195168153
195283078
19532,512235
Total4,363419

East Kilbride

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how the number of shops or branches of shops per thousand head of population in East Kilbride compares with Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paisley, Hamilton and Lanark.

The figures for which the hon. Member has asked are:

TownShopsPopulationShops per 1,000 population served
East Kilbride538,0006·6
Glasgow13,5421,089,55512·4
Edinburgh6,409466,77013·7
Paisley1,08793,70411·6
Hamilton47140,17311·7
Lanark1356,21921·7

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many shops have been let by the East Kilbride Development Corporation; how many are let now; and if he will state the average rental and occupier's rate charge per shop.

Thirteen shops have been built and let by the East Kilbride Development Corporation; there are none to let at present but the Corporation expect to build six more shops for letting this year. As regards the last part of the Question, it would not be in the public interest to require the corporation to furnish information about rents except in so far as that information is already available in the valuation roll.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) when he expects that butchers and grocers and other tradesmen catering chiefly for the housewife will be given an opportunity to open shop in each of the neighbourhood units of East Kilbride;(2) when he expects that hairdressers and other tradesmen catering particularly for women's needs will be given an opportunity to open shop in the several neighbourhood units such as Westwood and Murray in East Kilbride.

Shops providing these facilities are already available in the old and new districts of East Kilbride. Additional facilities will be provided as and when the population increases sufficiently to support them.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many dwellings have been let by the East Kilbride Development Corporation; and how many Corporation tenants earn the chief part of their living within the designated area of the new town.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how far the -anticipated industrial and commercial demands for labour at East Kilbride, for which housing must be provided in the new town, increased between June, 1953, and February, 1954; and how many extra workers are demanded as a result.

It is expected that employment will be provided for 825 workers by new projects coming forward in the period in question and to mature in 1955 and at later dates. It is not yet clear what proportion of these workers will require new housing accommodation.

British Army

Supplies, Kenya (Local Purchases)

77.

asked the Secretary of State for War how far the military in Kenya are encouraged to purchase such supplies as they may need which can be produced by local secondary industries, subject to suitability both of quality and of price.

It is the policy in Kenya, subject to the considerations which my hon. Friend mentions, to buy locally fuel, most food and the limited requirements of maintenance stores which are readily available.

Regimental Journals (Purchase)

78.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether it is with his authority that certain commanding officers are issuing orders that non commissioned officers and Regular soldiers with more than three months' service must buy copies of the regimental journal.

No, if indeed such orders have been issued. I will look into any case where this is alleged to have happened, if the hon. Member will let me have details.

Missing Personnel, Korea (Dependants' Allowances)

79.

asked the Secretary of State for War what pensions have been granted to wives and dependants of Service personnel reported missing as a result of the Korean war.

Where a pension would be payable in the event of the man's death, an allowance equal to that pension is paid from Army Votes to his wife or other dependant.

Quarters (Category Surveys)

80.

asked the Secretary of State for War the dividing line between standard and sub-standard quarters; and what machinery exists for re viewing from time to time the category in which a particular quarter has been placed.

The main criteria are size and the number of rooms. There are periodical inspections and where there is doubt there may be a special survey by a board of officers.

Trade And Commerce

Motor Car Exports

81.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the fall in car sales overseas; and what steps he is taking in this matter.

Our motor car exports in 1953, though slightly lower than in 1952, stood at the impressive figure of £104 million and have shown signs, very recently, of rising again. The Government will continue to do all it can to support and encourage the industry's determined export efforts, which this praiseworthy achievement reflects.

Anglo-Canadian Trade

82.

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent trade between Britain and Canada has in creased in the last twelve months, com pared with 1951 and 1948.

Imports from Canada in 1953 were valued at £304 million as compared with £261 million in 1951 and £223 million in 1948. Exports (including re-exports) to Canada in 1953 amounted to £161 million, as compared with £140 million in 1951 and £74 million in 1948.

Factory Space, The Hartlepools

83.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the reports of the Employment Committee for The Hartlepools on the need for the provision of additional factory space in and around The Hartlepools; and what action he proposes to take to make available additional employment of a character suitable for the unemployed persons.

This committee have discussed from time to 'time the need for additional employment in the area. A good deal of new industry has already been introduced and I understand that increased employment is expected from projects already established. We are also considering an extension to one of the Board of Trade factories.

Farm Produce (Imports, Irish Republic)

84.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether Her Majesty's Government will increase the import quotas of cattle and other farm produce from the Republic of Ireland to Britain.

Store cattle and other farm produce, such as poultry and eggs, can be imported by private traders from the Irish Republic without restriction. There are no import quotas for such produce. Fat cattle, carcase meat and certain other produce, including bacon, are at present imported on Government account.

Employment, Treforest Trading Estate

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many men and women, respectively, were employed at the Treforest Trading Estate for individual years since 1950.

Employment in factories on the Treforest Trading Estate at the 31st December of each year was:

Men and boysWomen and girls
19506,3983,823
19516,3653,883
19526,6103,632
19536,7773,997

Nominee Companies (Share Holdings)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider introducing legislation to abolish nominee companies in order that all holdings may be disclosed.

I have been asked to reply.I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger), on 8th December last.

Ministry Of Health

Sanitary Inspectors (Recruitment)

85.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied that the numbers and recruitment of sanitary inspectors are sufficient, in view of the added responsibilities imposed on them by recent legislation; and what action is contemplated to ensure a sufficient supply.

The extent to which measures now before Parliament might add to the existing duties of sanitary inspectors is doubtful. I know, however, that recruitment presents difficulties and I hope to make a statement shortly on the recommendations of the working party on the recruitment, training and qualifications of sanitary inspectors for dealing with this and associated matters.

Doctors (Group Practices)

asked the Minister of Health how many group practices have been developed in the Health Service in England and Wales, respectively.

Some 60 per cent, of general practitioners taking part in the National Health Service now practise in partnerships, but I cannot say how many partnerships would come within the definition of group practice given to me by the Central Health Services Council.

Agriculture

Pig Feeding Compounds And Cubes (Price)

86.

asked the Minister of Agriculture why the cost of the official standard ration of pig meal used as a factor in reckoning bacon pig prices, which is calculated to have fallen by £4 5s. a ton since last April, does not reflect the actual prices which farmers pay for compound pig meal and cubes which have fallen by little more than £3 a ton in the period.

My right hon. Friend's information is that the average decrease in price for purchased pig feeding compounds and cubes has been about £3 15s. 0d. per ton since April, 1953. This is only 10s. per ton less than the decrease given by the formula for the wholesale price of straight feeds. Compounds include, in addition to straight feeds, a proportion of more expensive supplements which may be increased or decreased at the discretion of the individual compounded The price of compounds must also take into account the expenses, margins, and delivery costs of merchants and compounders. These factors are normally taken into account at Annual Reviews.

Agricultural Products (Marketing Schemes)

asked the Minister of Food if he will reconsider restoring the potato marketing board with its pre-war powers and, in addition, power to deal with surplus potatoes.

I have been asked to reply.As I said in reply to Questions on 18th February, a support price system for the 1955 harvest has been agreed with the National Farmers' Unions subject to the level of support price to be determined for the 1955 harvest in the light of the Annual Review; and this support price system could be operated through a potato marketing board if one were reestablished. It is contemplated that the regulatory and trading powers of such a board would include power to deal with surplus potatoes.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether is now in a position to announce the results of the procedure for the initiation and approval of schemes under the Agricultural Marketing Acts which he promised he would undertake.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have now completed our review of this matter. Consultations have taken place with the National Farmers' Unions. We propose to make the following changes which can be carried out within the framework of the Agricultural Marketing Acts.In order to give Members of Parliament an adequate opportunity to study any draft scheme, we propose that the interval between the laying of a draft scheme and its debate in Parliament should normally be at least four weeks. We also propose to make arrangements so that the list of producers, which Ministers are required to furnish to the promoters of a scheme, is used solely for registration purposes and not for purposes of propaganda on the scheme. This will be done by obtaining assurances from the prospective members of the board that the official list will not be made available by the board to anyone but its own officers, or, with the approval of Ministers, any other person to whom the board would be permitted, under the relevant provisions of the Agriculture Act, to make such disclosure; and requiring that material circulated to producers on the basis of the official list should be strictly factual and impartial and should be approved by Ministers.This will mean that any propaganda, in favour of or against the scheme, can only be conducted on the basis of the register of producers compiled by the board, to which both the board and objectors will have access. So as to provide sufficient time for producers to be canvassed by both the promoters and any objectors to a scheme, a longer interval than has been customary will be allowed between the coming into force of a scheme and the closing of the initial poll of producers; this interval will normally be at least ten weeks.In addition, in order to make it quite clear that the conduct of the poll of producers is impartial, we propose that in future such polls should be conducted in their entirety by an independent person appointed by Ministers, and that the information to be given in the certificate of the result of any such poll should be prescribed in the scheme. The certificate, or such part of it as Ministers may approve, will be published. Finally, in order to provide reasonable opportunity for objectors to challenge the validity of a poll, and also to give more time for producers to register, the suspensory period between the declaration of the poll and the date on which the main powers in a scheme come into effect, should normally extend for six weeks.We intend that the time limits contemplated in this procedure should normally be adopted for all future schemes but we would wish to retain discretion to shorten or lengthen these periods if it appeared in the general interest to do so in a particular case. In our opinion these changes in procedure will provide a fair field for both the promoters of, and the objectors to, any scheme, and ensure that the poll is carried out impartially.

Royal Navy (Tuberculosis)

87.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what steps he is taking to mitigate the incidence of tuberculosis in the Royal Navy.

All men receive an annual medical examination, including chest X-ray. This is of great value in ensuring early detection of the disease and in reducing the spread of infection. In conjunction with the Medical Research Council the naval medical authorities are investigating the use of immunity measures, such as B.C.G. vaccine.

Old-Age Pensions

88.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the cost of increasing retirement pensions to £2 10s. for a single person and £5 for a married couple.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) on 30th November last.

89.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the total number of person drawing old-age pensions at the latest convenient date.

In December, 1953, there were about 4,600,000 retirement, contributory and non-contributory old-age pensioners.

Us And Canadian Wheat

90.

asked the Minister of Food the average price paid per bushel for United States and Canadian wheat, respectively, for the year 1953; and the total volume from each source imported into this country during the year.

Following is the information:

IMPORTS OF WHEAT IN CALENDAR YEAR 1953
FromEstimated average price per bushel, f.o.b.Quantity Imported
s.d.tons
U.S.A1410445,000
Canada1442,791,000

Woodpulp (Import Quotas)

91.

asked the Minister of State, Board of Trade, as representing the Minister of Materials, whether he will now relax the control on the importation of pulp for board and papermaking.

No. The import quotas for woodpulp have been gradually increased over the last two years. They were imposed for balance of payments reasons and further relaxation depends upon the development of our balance of payments position.

Uganda

Co-Operative Societies

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many cooperative societies have been registered in Uganda since 1945; how many applications for registration are now being considered; and how many have been refused.

Since registration began in July, 1947, 897 societies have been registered. Four applications are now being considered; none has been refused.

Kabaka Of Buganda (Finances)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is now able to give a correct up-to-date statement of the amount of money which the Kabaka of Buganda has accepted from public funds.

My right hon. Friend regrets that in answering the hon. Member's Question on 24th February he inadvertently misled the House. By that date the Kabaka had received £1,833 6s. 8d. from the Uganda Government, and not £1,333 6s. 8d. as was stated. Since then a further instalment of the allowance has been paid and the total sum which the Kabaka has received, excluding the payment made on account of his hotel bills, now amounts to £2,500.

West Indians (Uk Employment)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what advice or warning is given to West Indians intending to come to this country about the difficulties of obtaining work.

The Government of Jamaica, which is the Territory principally concerned, issues warnings through the public Press from time to time emphasising the difficulties likely to be encountered in obtaining work in this country, and strongly advising individuals against proceeding to the United Kingdom unless they have made definite arrangements for employment and accommodation in advance.

Regular Officers (Retirement)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence how many Regular officers of the three Armed Services retired since the war ended, and prior to 17th June, 1953.

Civil Defence Corps And Afs (Sick Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the side pay of members of the Civil Defence Corps and Auxiliary Fire Service who are injured on duty.

It has been decided that members of the Civil Defence Corps who suffer loss of earnings as a result of injury on duty should receive sick pay broadly analogous to that of the Home Guard, and that members of the Auxiliary Fire Service in similar circumstances should receive sick pay based on that of a part-time fireman. Entitlement to such sik pay will be for a period of 26 weeks.

Roads, Lanarkshire

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware that there have been 50 fatal and nearly 1,000 other casualties on the Carlisle․Cumbernauld and Carlisle․Glasgow roads in Lanarkshire since 1950, in regard to which the county council have submitted projects to eliminate accident black spots; if he will state the number of fatal and other road accident casualties since 1950 in the East Kilbride area where, in the same period, he has authorised three times as much road expenditure as on all other trunk and classified roads in the county; and whether he will make a statement.

I know of the accident record and it will be my aim to approve schemes for the elimination of black spots as rapidly as available funds permit. There have been no fatal and 96 non-fatal road accident casualties in East Kilbride since 1950. In reply to the last part of the Question I cannot add to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend on the 19th February about road expenditure in East Kilbride.

Telephone Service, Scotland

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General the average number of private telephones, and of public call-boxes, respectively, per thousand head of the population in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paisley, Hamilton, Lanark and East Kilbride.

The figures are as follows:

Private telephonesPublic call offices
(per 1,000 head of population)
Glasgow790·8
Edinburgh1140·8
Paisley510·8
Hamilton410·5
Lanark881·7
East Kilbride610·9

Scottish Aviation Ltd (Prestwick Airport)

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how much was paid to Scottish Aviation, Ltd., for services rendered as managers of Prest-wick Airport during the war; and how much has been paid in compensation to this company.

During the war, Scottish Aviation Ltd., were reimbursed the expenditure they incurred in running Prest-wick Airport, and received in addition a management fee of £10,000 a year. A payment of £22,500 was made on account of the compensation due in respect of the requisitioning of the company's property, and the balance formed part of the agreed settlement to which I referred in answer to the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) on 3rd March.

Civil Aviation (Passenger Service Charge)

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused by air passengers having to pay the 5s. airport charge separately; and whether he will now take steps to have this added to and included in the ordinary air fare ticket or, alternatively, have it discontinued.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made on this subject in the course of Monday's debate on civil aviation.