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Written Answers

Volume 529: debated on Monday 5 July 1954

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday, 5th July, 1954

Germany (Spandau Inquiries)

7.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement with regard to the inquiries which have taken place in Germany concerning defects in the Spandau security system.

As I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis) on 28th June, these inquiries are still proceeding.

Diplomatic Privileges And Immunities

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state the international organisations with establishments in the United Kingdom whose personnel enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities; and if he will also state the numbers of personnel involved.

The United Nations, the International Labour Office and the Brussels Treaty Permanent Commission have establishments in the United Kingdom whose personnel enjoy privileges and immunities appropriate to their status, in accordance with the provisions of the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) Act, 1950, and the Schedule thereto. The total number of personnel involved is 52. Of this number, only one official enjoys the full range of privileges and immunities contemplated in Part 2 of the Schedule to the Act of 1950. The others enjoy the more limited immunities and privileges listed in Part 3 of the Schedule.

Ministry Of Food

Food Hygiene

38.

asked the Minister of Food if he will take steps to make it obligatory on all tradesmen to wrap up all foodstuffs in clean white paper and to use scoops and tongs when handling loose or unwrapped food.

Bye-laws relating to clean wrapping and the avoidance of contamination have been adopted by almost all local authorities, upon whom the responsibility for administering the Food and Drugs Act rests.

Thiourea

36.

asked the Minister of Food how many cases of contamination of fruit by thiourea have now been reported to his Department.

Comet Aircraft Accidents (Inquiries)

48.

asked the Attorney-General if he is able to give the date on which the inquiries will open into the two Comet accidents.

Certainly by the end of October at the latest and, if possible, earlier.

Pensions And National Insurance

Ex-Prisoners-Of-War, Japan (Compensation)

50.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how much the Government of Siam have paid for the Siam-Burma Railway built by British prisoners-of-war; and what amount has been received by each prisoner-of-war or the dependants of those who have died.

The sum of £355,000 has been paid by the Government of Siam in respect of the Burma-Siam Railway. This has to be distributed between several Governments whose nationals were employed in building it. The share of the United Kingdom Government is about £170,000. I hope to be in a position before the end of the Session to make a statement about the distribution of this money and also that available from the realisation of the remaining Japanese assets in the United Kingdom.

Pneumoconiosis

51.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of applications for certification for pneumoconiosis in the Nottinghamshire coalfield for the years 1951, 1952 and 1953; and the number certified for 1951, 1952 and 1953, respectively.

The pneumoconiosis medical panel dealt with 44 such applications under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Acts in 1951, 58 in 1952, and 72 in 1953; the numbers certified in those years were 21, 19 and 25, respectively.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) how many persons resident in Staffordshire and believed to be suffering from pneumoconiosis have appeared before the board in each year since 1951; and haw many were diagnosed, and how many

CASES DEALT WITH BY THE STOKE-ON-TRENT PNEUMOCONIOSIS MEDICAL PANEL
Preliminary X-ray examinationsFirst examinations (clinical)
TotalDiagnosedNot diagnosed
1951791735544191
1952913771575196
19531,6371,3151,147168

Tuberculosis

52.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of applications for certification under the Industrial Injuries Act as suffering from tuberculosis, since the disease was prescribed and the number of applications that have succeeded, to the nearest convenient date.

Up to the end of last month some 4,150 claims were received from persons who appeared prima facie to be covered by the regulations, and of these about 3,500 were successful.

Public Assistance (Newcastle Under-Lyme)

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many persons are in receipt of National Assistance in the borough and rural district of Newcastle-under-Lyme; and how many of these are old-age pensioners.

At 30th March, 1954, the number of regular weekly grants of National Assistance in the area covered

not diagnosed, as suffering from the disease;

(2) how many persons resident in the borough and rural district of Newcastle-under-Lyme and believed to be suffering from pneumoconiosis have appeared before the board in each year since 1951; and how many were diagnosed, and how many not diagnosed, as suffering from the disease.

Separate figure for the areas mentioned are not available, but the following table gives details of cases under the Industrial Injuries Act dealt with by the Pneumoconiosis Medical Panel at Stoke-on-Trent. This panel covers Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, as well as Staffordshire.by the board's office at Newcastle-under-Lyme, which extends slightly beyond the borough and rural district, was 4,275. Of these, 357 were being paid in supplementation of non-contributory old-age pensions and 2,423 in supplementation of retirement pensions. Some of the grants covered the needs of more than one pensioner.

Coal Prospecting, Rivelin Valley

54.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he yet has any statement to make on the National Coal Board's request to prospect for coal in the Rivelin Valley in Sheffield's green belt.

Yes. The interested parties have been consulted about proposals to prospect for coal on one site comprising 54 acres of land in the Valley and the Coal Board will in due course be authorised to proceed. My right hon. Friend has today written to the hon. Gentleman about this matter.

Electricity Charges (Church Premises)

55.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will give a general direction to the British Electricity Authority that church premises are no longer to be charged on the standard commercial tariff for electricity consumption.

No. The majority of the area boards have arrangements for churches based on the special nature of their use of electricity, so that churches usually pay less than if they were charged as commercial undertakings.

Royal Navy (Discharged Personnel)

57.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty which authorities are normally advised by his Department of the names and addresses of men discharged from the Royal Navy on the basis of services no longer required.

Under the normal discharge routine the names and addresses of men discharged from the Royal Navy, for whatever reason, are given to the Ministry of Labour and National Service, the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, and to the Head Office of the National Association for Employment of Regular Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen.

United States Nationals (Residence Permits)

59.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many citizens of the United States of America have had permission to reside in this country withdrawn in each of the years 1945 to 1954, inclusive.

No figures are kept of refusals to grant extensions to aliens, of which there are large numbers every year. I cannot therefore give the information requested, but it is known that it has been necessary in a considerable number of cases in each of the years since 1945 to refuse extensions to individual United States nationals who are, like other foreigners, subject to the Aliens Order, and must qualify under general aliens policy if they are to be allowed to prolong their stay.

Agriculture

Crichel Down Inquiry

60.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his Parliamentary Secretary, during or before his visit to Crichel Down on 15th November, 1952, had before him a copy of the correspondence sent to himself on 10th June. 1952, by the hon. Member for the North Dorset Division.

I assume the hon. Member refers to the correspondence sent to my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary in this House on 13th June, 1952. It was my noble Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary in another place who visited Crichel Down on 15th November, 1952. He saw that correspondence.

Rabbit Traps

asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress has been made towards finding a satisfactory alternative to the gin trap for catching rabbits.

Some half dozen humane rabbit traps have been produced in recent years and a number of others are being developed. Of those produced so far the most promising appeared to be the Imbra, which has been subjected to field trials by county agricultural executive committees. As I mentioned in the reply I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wembley, North on 3rd June, a report on these trials has been placed in the Library. Particulars of all these traps will be placed before the Humane Traps Advisory Committee.

Shipping (Oil Pollution Convention)

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when he will publish a White Paper on the Convention signed at the International Conference on Oil Pollution held in London in April, 1954.

A White Paper containing the texts of the Final Act of the International Conference on Pollution of the Sea by Oil, 1954, and the Convention will be presented to Parliament and published about the middle of this month.

New Factory, East Kilbride

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons he expects to be employed by the Sunbeam Electric Company of Chicago at its East Kilbride factory; the area of factory space required and when he expects the factory to be completed.

I have been asked to reply. When the factory is in full production the company hope to provide employment for approximately 2,000 persons. The factory will have an area of 210,000 sq. ft. It is hoped to start construction in the autumn; all concerned wish to see it erected as soon as possible, but I should hesitate to make a forecast of the completion date.

asked the President of the Board of Trade at whose expense the Sunbeam Electric Company's factory at East Kilbride is to be built; whether it will be let or sold to the company; and what is the estimated cost of construction of the factory.

The factory will be built by Scottish Industrial Estates Ltd. with funds provided by the Board of Trade under the Distribution of Industry Acts, 1945 and 1950, and will be let to the company. It would not be in the public interest to disclose the estimated cost of the factory.

Sewerage Scheme, Howey

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government on what date the sewerage and sewage disposal scheme for Howey in the Colwyn Rural District Council area was received by his Department; and why the scheme is not being proceeded with.

A revised scheme was received on 25th November, 1953. Correspondence with the rural district council ensued and a public inquiry was held last week. A decision will be communicated to the council as soon as possible.

Palace Of Westminster (Staff)

asked the Minister of Works whether he will publish a list of the numbers in different trades employed by his Department wholly or mainly in the Palace of Westminster; and how the total compares with 1938.

The information is contained in Appendix R of the Report of the Select Committee on House of Commons Accommodation &c., copies of which are available to hon. Members in the Vote Office.