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Written Answers

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 29 April 1954

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 29th April, 1954

Executed Prisoners (Burial)


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to provide for a statutory form of the sentence of death to be passed with the omission of the words," that your body be afterwards buried within the precincts of the prison in which you have been confined before your execution."

The Royal Commission on Capital Punishment made a recommendation to this effect, which I am considering with the other recommendations of the Commission, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will permit relatives to receive the bodies of executed prisoners and make their own arrangements for burial.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 15th April to the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis).

Ministry Of Health

Hospital Boards And Advisory Committees (Members)

asked the Minister of Health to publish in hansard a list of the membership of the regional and teaching hospital boards, and of his standing health advisory committees, giving the names and qualifications of those who are serving at the present time, the names and qualifications of those whose services have been dispensed with during the past six months, and the names and qualifications of those members who have replaced them.

I will publish the information asked for as soon as possible, but the collation of these particulars relating to nearly 2,000 persons will inevitably take some time to complete.

Sanitary Inspectors (Working Party Report)

asked the Minister of Health what action he proposes to take regarding the Report of the Working Party on the Recruitment, Training and Qualification of Sanitary Inspectors.

I and my colleagues, who are concerned in the work of Sanitary Inspectors have now considered the Report and I propose to discuss it with the interested bodies with a view to implementing the Working Party's proposals. It should not be inferred that I necessarily accept all the detailed recommendations of the Working Party.

Government Departments (Public Relations Officers)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total number of public relations officers employed by the Government Departments throughout the country.

There is no general grade of public relations officer in the Government service, but I assume the hon. Baronet has in mind civil servants employed on information work. Their total number is 2,807, of whom 853 are employed on home and 1,954 on overseas information work. These figures include clerical and typing staff, but not ancillary staff such as messengers; they do not include the staffs of the B.B.C. Overseas Services or of the British Council, since these are not civil servants.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many public relations officers were employed by his Department at the end of March, 1943, and at the end of March, 1953.

The numbers of public relations officers employed in my Department at the end of March, 1943, were: one public relations officer, five publicity officers (two part-time), one assistant publicity officer. At the end of March. 1953, my Department had no public relations officer. Press matters, broadcasting and public inquiries were the responsibility of a senior information officer.

Local Authorities (Building Bye-Laws)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government which local authorities have not so far adopted the model building bye-laws issued 12 months ago; and what action he proposes to take in that matter.

Of the 1,336 local authorities whose old building bye-laws expire this year, 1,321 have adopted bye-laws based on the model, four have drafts under discussion with me, and 11 have not prepared drafts. I have written to the 11.

Development Areas (Factories And Extensions)

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many Government-financed new factories or extensions have been built in Development Areas under the Distribution of Industry Acts since 1945; and how many are now unoccupied.

By 31st March, 1954, 764 factories and extensions of over 1,000 sq. ft. had been completed. Ten factories (including three very small ones) are at the moment unoccupied. The figure of 10 includes factories leased to tenants but immediately available for re-allocation to new tenants.