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Written Answers

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 19 May 1954

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 19th May, 1954

Royal Air Force (Oil Re-Refining)

1 and 3.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air (1) what inquiries were made by his Department and from whom as to present day costs of re-refining used lubricating oil before the decision was taken to reverse the policy of Her Majesty's Government in accordance with which all used lubricating oil has been re-refined for re-use instead of being sold for unspecified purposes;(2) what tenders he has received this year for the re-refining of his Department's used lubricating oil on which he has based his assumption that the cost of re-refining used oil is greater than that of buying new oil.

We did not ask for tenders for re-refining used aviation oil in 1954–55. Instead, we based our estimates of the cost of re-refining on the prices in the contracts for 1953–54, together with prices quoted for doing similar work. We also had available to us a great deal of information about current costs in the industry, much of which was given to us in confidence.


Mau Mau Psychology (Investigation)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government will appoint a technical group to inquire into the anthropological and psychological aspects of the Mau Mau outbreak.

In February this year the Kenya Government invited Dr. J. C. Carothers, a psychiatrist with a number of years experience in Kenya, to carry out a special investigation into the psychology of Mau Mau. He completed his report last month. Until this has been examined, I cannot say what further steps in this matter will be required.

Income Tax


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to publish a

Married, no children1155818252101,51824,76117
Married, one child25441222161,48824,73117
Married, two children376203111,47324,71617
Married, three children310194151,45824,70117
In accordance with the new taxation proposals introduced by the Minister for Finance in April, an additional surcharge of 75 cents on each £1 of chargeable income over £800 will be paid on all incomes for 1953 and subsequent years. Those with total incomes of more than £9,000 will pay the surcharge at the appropriate rate for that figure. In addition there is a personal tax at £3 per annum which is now to be doubled, and a new rate of tax at £10 is to be introduced on incomes exceeding £200 per annum.

Polynesian Archipelago (Infant Mortality Rate)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the infantile mortality rate for the islands under British control in the Polynesian Archipelago.

The usual method of calculating infant mortality rates, at the number of deaths per thousand, is not really appropriate in these cases since the total births were only 217, 53 and 15 in the Ellice, Phoenix and Line Islands respectively. If calculated at deaths per thousand the figures would be 184·3, 283 and 333, but such a calculation should be regarded with reserve.


National Service Opposition (Chinese Pupils)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what reports he statement showing the Income Tax paid in Kenya by unmarried men, by married men with no children, and by married men with one, two and three children, respectively when their incomes are £500, £1,000, £2,000, £5,000 and £10,000, respectively, the incomes being taken as earned incomes in all cases.

Following is the information:has received in respect of resistance to conscription in Singapore; and what were the grounds of the objection.

There is full public support in Singapore for registration for National Service and 98 per cent, of those estimated to be liable have registered. Opposition was expressed by the pupils of two Chinese schools, who organised demonstrations against it, giving the reason that National Service would interfere with their studies. It has been explained to them that they should first register and then, if they wish, apply for postponement of service.

Constitution (Government Decision)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to make a statement on the report of the Singapore Constitutional Commission

The decisions of Her Majesty's Government upon the recommendations of this Commission are contained in a dispatch which I have sent to the Governor of Singapore in reply to one which I had had from him upon the subject. These dispatches were published together in Singapore yesterday and copies have now been placed in the Libraries of both HousesWith only one important exception, all the recommendations of the Commission have been accepted. The two main recommendations were for a Legislative Assembly consisting of a Speaker, three ex-officio members, four nominated unofficial members and 25 elected members; and for a Council of Ministers consisting of three ex-officio and six elected Ministers. The one important recommendation of the Commission which has not been accepted was that the Speaker should be elected by the Legislative Assembly from a panel of candidates chosen by the Governor. Instead, the first Speaker will be directly appointed by the Governor and it will be left for further consideration what other method of appointment, if any, should be adopted thereafter.

Shipbuilding Orders, North-East Coast


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what orders have been placed for ships with North-Eastern shipbuilders since the 1954 Budget.

I have no information about inquiries, and shipbuilders do not ordinarily report the orders they receive until they apply for licences. However, licences for the construction of two merchant ships with an aggregate gross tonnage of 12,630 have been issued to North-East Coast shipbuilders since 6th April. 1954.

Post Office

Postmen (Recruitment)


asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will withdraw the regulation which gives preference to ex-Service men in the recruitment of postmen.

My noble Friend is at present reviewing, in conjunction with the Service Departments and the Ministry of Labour and National Service, all the arrangements for the recruitment of postmen. I am writing to the hon. Member about an individual case that he may have in mind.

Mailbag Robberies (Security Measures)

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is aware of the public disquiet over continued mailbag robberies; and what additional security measures he proposes to take to prevent a repetition of such a mailbag robbery as took place at Brighton on 11th May, 1954.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my noble Friend on 11th February in another place, of which I am sending him a copy. The question of the security of mailbags is under constant review, but it would not be in the public interest to say what our security measures are. The hon. Gentleman will, I think, have noted the success which has been achieved in catching the offenders concerned in some of the previous robberies.

Television (Colour)


asked the Assistant Postmaster-General to make a statement about the progress of British research on colour television; and if he will give an assurance that steps are being taken to see that no restrictions of false economy will handicap British science taking its proper place in speedy advance.

The British radio industry is doing a great deal of research into colour television and the B.B.C. is co-operating closely. My noble Friend has asked the Television Advisory Committee to investigate the question of introducing a colour system in this country. This is bound to take some considerable time because there are several difficult technical and other problems to be solved before a reliable and economic colour service can be provided for the public.

Antiquities, Normanton (Farming Operations)

asked the Minister of Works whether he will make a statement on the damage done to antiquities at Normanton by farming operations.

The action to be taken in this case is under consideration by the Ministry's legal advisers. I will make a statement as soon as I am in a position to do so.