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Written Answers

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 20 July 1954

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday, 20th July, 1954

Local Government

Air Pollution Committee (Report)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement giving details of the progress made in recent months by the Air Pollution Committee.

Cumberland And Westmorland (Water Supply)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many schemes for improving the water supply in Cumberland and Westmorland have been put up to him by local authorities or statutory undertakers since October, 1951; how many have been approved; and the total sum involved.

Ten water supply schemes for Westmorland and 42 for Cumberland have been submitted to me since 1951. Of these, all the former and 36 of the latter have been approved to an estimated cost of £10,350 and £428,292 respectively.

Metropolitan Water Board (Additional Storage)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he has now authorised the formation of a working party to consider the storage of water in the London area.

The Metropolitan Water Board have asked me to agree to their carrying out the next stage of their programme for providing additional storage in the Thames Valley. They have been invited to provide me with a full statement of their present and prospective water resources and difficulties, so that I can the better consider their request. Their officials are at present preparing this information in consultation with officers of my Department.

Water Supply Scheme, Penybont And Llandegley

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the reason for the delay in proceeding with the water supply scheme for Penybont and Llandegley, Radnorshire.

Delay is due to amendments made to the scheme and difficulty in getting the necessary land. A revised scheme was approved in principle on 1st July, 1954.

New Towns

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the present population of each of the new towns; and their estimated target populations for 1965.

The following table shows the estimated population of each new town at 31st March, 1954, and the target population. It is expected that the latter figures will in most cases have been reached by or before 1965.

New TownEstimated population at 31st March, 1954Ultimate Population
Hemel Hempstead32,20060,000
Welwyn Garden City21,70036,500

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the total annual amount now being paid in salaries to the members of the staff of each new town.

The Reports of the Development Corporations for the year ended 31st March last, which will shortly be available, will contain information on this matter.

Gatwick Airport Inquiry (Report)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now state when the report of the inquiry into the proposed extension of Gatwick Airport will be published.


A V Roe And Company Middleton (Agreement)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the total cost of building the 90 houses built by the Middleton Corporation for letting to Messrs. A. V. Roe and Company Limited, for their employees; and how this sum is financed as between the national Exchequer, the Corporation rates, the tenants and the Company.

The houses were part of a contract for the erection of 160 houses at a cost of £232,308, excluding the cost of the site and site preparation. They were built as part of the council's ordinary programme and qualify for the normal Exchequer subsidy of £26 14s. per annum for 60years. TheCouncil contribute an additional £8 18s. per annum which the Company have undertaken to reimburse. The tenants pay the Council the rent assessed by the Council.

Company Workers' Houses (Subsidy)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether a local authority who make an arrangement with a limited company for the letting of municipally-built houses to workmen employed by the company on terms that the employers should reimburse to the local authority their proportion of the housing subsidy continue to qualify for the national housing subsidy.

Housing subsidies authorised by the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1946, as amended by the Housing Act, 1952, are paid in respect of houses erected by local authorities and are not attached to the tenancy.It follows that any agreement between the local authority and an employer about the reimbursement of the Council's rate fund contribution cannot affect the authorised Exchequer contribution.

Repairs And Rents Bill (Information)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how he proposes to make it known to landlords and tenants requiring guidance on the provisions of the Housing Repairs and Rents Act that they should approach their local authority.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Brooke) on 6th July.



asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he has now reached a decision about housing developments at Thatcham, Berkshire, following the public inquiry held on 28th April.

Ministry Of Works

Fuel Office, Hackney (Premises)


asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware of the hardship which will ensue as a result of the determination of the tenancy, on 31st July next, of the Hackney Borough Council of the premises No. 2, Reading Lane, Hackney, E.8, used as a local fuel office; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that new premises are found which are as convenient to local residents.

The premises are required to complete a medical examination centre and local office for the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. This will be a great convenience to pensioners and disabled persons resident in East London who now have to travel to Bloomsbury. My Department is giving all possible help to the borough council in finding alternative premises.

Chemical Research Laboratory


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what is the shortage of staff in the Chemical Research Laboratory: and what steps are being taken to deal with it.

At present there are 12 staff vacancies at the Chemical Research Laboratory. Nine of these are expected to be filled in the near future and steps are being taken to recruit the remaining three through the Civil Service Commission.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, the number of the present establishment at the Chemical Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; and the number 12 months ago.

The present establishment at the Chemical Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is 193, made up of 159 non-industrial and 34 industrial staff. The corresponding number in July, 1953, was 184, made up of 153 nonindustrial and 31 industrial staff.

Building Research Station


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, the numbers of non-industrial staff employed at the present time at the Building Research Station; and what number was employed at this date last year.

The numbers of non-industrial staff employed at the Building Research Station and its branches on 1st July, 1954, were 410 full-time and 11 part-time. The corresponding numbers on 1st July. 1953, were 397 and 12 respectively.

Scientific And Industrial Research Department


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what expansion of the activities of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has taken place, and is planned to take place, during the present financial year.

The Estimates for this financial year provide for an increase in gross expenditure of £714,402 and for an addition to staff of 197, as compared with last year's Estimates. The expansion centres mainly on the development of the Hydraulics Research Station, the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory, the Road Research Laboratory and the Water Pollution Research Laboratory. Increased provision has also been made for work on the promotion of productivity and for grants to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what particular building projects have been undertaken as part of the 1954–55 building programme of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; and what progress has been made towards the completion of these projects.

The major works included in the building programme for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research for 1954–55 are for the Hydraulics Research Station (£159,800), the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory (£254,600), the National Physical Laboratory (£111,700), the Radio Research Station (£92,500), and the Water Pollution Research Laboratory (£115,000).The Water Pollution Research Laboratory will be completed and occupied this year, and the work at the Hydraulics Research Station should also be nearing completion. Work on the new Radio Research Station began this year and is expected to be completed in 1955–56. The full programme for the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory includes a number of buildings of which some are already finished and occupied; one further large building (the Hydraulics Machinery Laboratory) should be about completed, and partly occupied, this year. A beginning is expected to be made on two other buildings.The provision for the National Physical Laboratory is principally for the commencement of construction of a new ship tank (for research and testing on the form of ships' hulls and propellers), which is expected to take some four to five years to complete.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what increase in staff in each of the grades of administrative, technical and industrial workers are provided for in the estimates for 1954 of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; and what proposals are suggested for each year in the next five years.

The current Estimates provide for the appointment, by the end of the financial year, of 197 more staff than were provided for in the Estimates for 1953–54. Final decisions have not yet been taken about the division of the increase between individual grades and, in any event, the apportionment is subject to modification in detail as needs change. It is, however, expected that about 50 of the additional posts will be filled by industrial staff and that the great majority of the remainder will be in the scientific officer, experimental officer and assistant (scientific) classes. It is planned to make provision for a further 200 posts, of which about 50 would be for industrial staff, in each of the four financial years 1955–56 to 1958–59. No plans have yet been made for 1959–60.

Road Research Laboratory


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works as representing the Lord President of the Council, what work is being undertaken by the Road Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

The research carried out by the Road Research Laboratory falls into two broad divisions: first, into road materials and road construction (in order to show how roads can be made cheaper and more durable): second, into traffic flow and road safety. Fuller information is given in the annual reports on road research. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the 1953 report.

National Service Liability (Overseas Residents)


asked the Minister of Labour what period must elapse before a man who evades National Service by going abroad is no longer liable to call-up on return to this country.

In the normal case such a man will remain liable until the age of 26 unless he is regarded as not ordinarily resident in Great Britain.



asked the Minister of Labour the numbers of unemployed in Shrewsbury to the latest convenient date; and what proportion of this number is unemployed in the full sense and what proportion represents persons changing employment.

186 at 14th June. It is not possible to classify these into the two categories mentioned in the Question, but 79 of the total had been continuously on the registers for not more than four weeks.

asked the Minister of Labour what categories of persons are registered as unemployed in Shrewsbury.

The following table gives an analysis of the numbers unemployed at 14th June, according, to the industry in which they were last employed:

Distributive trades211233
Building and civil engineering contracting1515
National Government service10313
Local Government service1212
Catering, hotels, etc.4812
Agriculture, horticulture, etc.718
Metal goods manufacture617
All other industries and services523486
Total, all industries and services12759186

asked the Minister of Labour the average number of unemployed registered in Shrewsbury for each year since the war.

The average numbers of unemployed persons on the registers of the Shrewsbury employment exchange were as follows:

1945 (July—December)59
1954 (January—June)224
* The figures for February and March, 1947, were abnormally high owing to the fuel and power crisis. If the figures of those two months were omitted the average for the year would be 127.

Wales (Migration)


asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the migration of unemployed workers from Wales, compared with a convenient date 12 months ago, and in 1951.

I regret that there are no statistics available to show the numbers of unemployed persons migrating from Wales.


Mental Defectives, Aberdeenshire (Accommodation And Therapy)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the existing accommodation and the nature of the mental therapy provided in Aberdeen county and city in relation to mentally-deficient children and mentally-deficient adults, respectively and what steps he is taking to extend the scope of the existing services.

Mentally defective children in need of institutional care are accommodated in Woodlands Home, Cults, which has recently been extended and now has 112 beds. Ladysbridge Hospital, Banff, is being developed as a regional institution for adult defectives, and 140 beds are at present in use there for this purpose. Plans are in hand for its eventual expansion to accommodate 600 patients. The usual types of therapy appropriate for mental defectives are provided at both institutions.

Fish (Air Transport)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that in Canada fish is successfully carried from fishing ports to large consuming centres inland by air and that there is need for similar air-transport from northern Scottish fishing ports to the large consuming centres of England: and, in view of these facts, if he will now take steps to provide or arrange for such air transport of fish from Aberdeen and other Scottish fishing ports to England.

I am aware that fish is carried by air in Canada over much greater distances and from places where surface transport is less readily available than in this country. Although lobsters have sometimes been sent by air from Scotland to the Continent, I have no evidence that the advantages of air transport in this country would generally compensate for the cost.

Sawmill, Cowal


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will give particulars, including the financial set-up, of the sawmill of Swedish type that has been recently erected by the Forestry Commission in the Cowal district of Argyllshire and which it is expected will commence operations during the current year.

The sawmill is a fixed mill of a standard Swedish type with a kiln-drying plant. One of the main objects of the project is to investigate on a commercial basis the sawmilling, conversion, seasoning and other processing of the increasing supply of small-sized softwood timber from thinnings. The venture is to some extent experimental so far as Great Britain is concerned. The mill is highly mechanised with a view to reducing costs of production. The plant is owned by a private company incorporated last year, the subscribers being two Scottish timber merchants. The Forestry Commission is not a shareholder, but has advanced money on debenture to the company and has two directors on the board, which has an independent chairman.

Wind-Blown Timber


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of the timber blown down in Scotland in January, 1953, has now been moved off the ground to roadside or to local mills; and if he will make a statement on the progress of clearance.

No detailed survey has been made since my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State's statement in the House on 6th April, but it is proposed to complete one in September. Meanwhile I am informed that satisfactory progress is being made and the amount for which no arrangements have been made for working has been further substantially reduced. There is, however, no room for any slackening of effort on the part of those concerned.

Education Reports (Statistical Tables)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consult with the Minister of Education, with a view to ensuring as far as practicable that the statistical tables in their respective annual reports are of a uniform and comparable character.

The differences in the educational systems of the two countries limit the extent to which the statistics in the respective annual reports can be presented in comparable form, but there is already consultation between the Scottish Education Department and the Ministry of Education with a view to securing as great a degree of uniformity as is practicable.

Further Education (Salary Scales Working Party)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many meetings have taken place of the working party on salary scales in further education; and when he expects it to report.

The working party has met five times. Its members are fully aware of the urgency of their task, but in view of the complex issues involved, it is not yet possible to say when it will be able to report.

Hospital Reserve (Recruiting Exhibit)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the cost of his proposal to have a model of a nurse placed in the window of a shop in Princes Street, Edinburgh, in the hope of attracting recruits.

The model is part of a small travelling exhibit which cost £260. It was designed to attract recruits to the National Hospital Service Reserve and will be used in towns throughout Scotland over the next two or three years. The window space for the September display in Princes Street, and other space inside the store, have very kindly been made available free of charge by the management concerned. The only additional expenditure will be a small amount for subsistence expenses to the volunteers manning the exhibit.

Housing (Repairs And Rents) Bill (Leaflet)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will issue a booklet giving guidance to tenants affected by the provisions of the Housing (Repairs and Rents) (Scotland) Bill, and including appropriate comment on the availability of legal aid.

I am arranging to publish a leaflet giving landlord and tenants guidance on the rent provisions of the Bill. There will also be available a more comprehensive booklet suitable for local authorities and citizens advice bureaux. Information about legal aid is already available in a separate leaflet and it is, I think, unnecessary to refer to this matter in the leaflet on the new legislation.

Mechanical Potato Harvester (Experimental Work)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance he is giving in the development of a mechanical potato digger to replace child labour in the potato fields.

Experimental work on the development of a complete mechanical potato harvester is being undertaken by the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering and its sub-station in Scotland which are financed from State funds.

Welfare Foods, Aberdeen (Distribution)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements are being made for the distribution of welfare foods in the city of Aberdeen.

As from 28th June the corporation of Aberdeen, as local health authority, took over from the local office of the Ministry of Food the responsibility for the local distribution of welfare foods. The corporation is, in fact, continuing the same distribution arrangements as were previously in operation in the city.

Fish-Meal And Oil Factory, Peterhead


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made with the construction of the fish-meal and oil factory at Peterhead; and if he will give an undertaking that it will be completed in time for the summer fishing of 1955.

The Herring Industry Board is about to obtain tenders for the adaptation of the building acquired for the factory. Some of the plant has been procured and most of the remainder should be delivered within the next few months. The Board has every reason to expect that the factory will be ready for the summer fishing of 1955, but I am not in a position to give an undertaking.

Local Authorities (Income)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the income of local authorities in Scotland, classified according to source for 1952–53, ended 15th May.

The estimated income of Scottish local authorities in 1952–53 so far as separate figures are available, according to services, was as follows:

£ thousands
1952–53 year ended 15th May
Capital Receipts:
Government grants2,222
Sales and other sources1,798
Other income:
Payments in lieu of rates—Part V of Local Government Act, 19481,288
Government grants48,372
Housing: rents, etc.*10,467
Revenue-producing undertakings*15,058
Miscellaneous income13,320
Total Income204,127
* Gross income apart from rates and grants.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the income of local authorities in Scotland from Government grants, classified according to services, for 1952–53, ended 15th May.

The estimated income of local authorities in Scotland in the year 1952–53, from Government grants (including grants. in respect of capital works) was as follows:

£ thousands
1952–53 year ended 15th May
Allocated to specific services:
Local health authority services1,836
Roads and bridges2,522
Fire Service379
Other services2,271
Not allocated to specific services*:
Equalisation and transitional grants under the Local Government Act, 19486,110
* Grants in lieu of rates on Government property are regarded as rate income and are not included in this table.

New Towns (Staff Salaries)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was paid annually in salaries to the staff of the new towns of Glenrothes and East Kilbride in each year since 1948.

The information requested by the hon. Member is as follows:

GlenrothesEast Kilbride
Period from:££
8.8.47 to 31.3.49Nil11,948
Year ended 31.3.5015,70535,919
Year ended 31.3.5125,68941,876
Year ended 31.3.5232,83551,173
Year ended 31.3.5336,62166,659
Year ended 31.3.5434,85068,700

Members (Service Retirement Pensions)


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence the number of right hon. and hon. Members of this House who are in receipt of Service retirement pensions; and the total sum involved for 1953 and the estimated cost for 1954.

Twelve. The sum involved in 1953 was £4,973 1s. 4d. The estimated figure for 1954 is £4,996 7s. 9d.

British Army

Balaclava Centenary (Ceremonies)


asked the Secretary of State for War if he is now in a position to state the date and place of the centenary celebration of the Thin Red Line, 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, at Balaclava.

I am informed that ceremonies will take place at Skail in Strathnaver and Dornoch on a date in August yet to be appointed, at Stirling on 9th and 10th October, in London on 16th and 17th October and in Glasgow on 24th October.

Royal Lincolnshire Regiment (Band)


asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he has taken to maintain the strength of the band of the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, now stationed in Germany, in view of the large number of members of the band who

KilledWoundedMissingPrisoners of War
OfficersOther RanksOfficersOther RanksOther RanksOther Ranks
Canal Zone352267
I regret that the breakdown of these figures between Regulars and National Service men and by age for which my hon. and gallant Friend asks is not readily available.

National Service Men (Annual Training)


asked the Secretary of State for War if he will arrange for highly skilled men, when called up for annual training, to be put at skilled work commensurate with their training instead of at work which requires no skill of any kind.

have given notice that they will be applying for their discharge.

My right hon. Friend knows the position and is watching it, but he has not found it necessary to take any special steps at present.

Home Guard Service (Medal)


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a statement regarding the issue of a medal for Home Guard service.



asked the Secretary of State for War the numbers and percentages of casualties among National Service men and Regular Service men, respectively, during the last 12 months; and how many were under the age of 20 years.

In the year ended 30th June, 1954, the following casualties, excluding deaths and injuries from accidents and disease, were reported:but this can never be done to the full extent because the Army's requirements never exactly correspond to the particular skills of National Service men.


asked the Secretary of State for War if he will arrange for men to take their three weeks' training during the period of their annual leave from their employment if they desire to do it at this time.

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind National Service men attending annual camp during their obligatory part-time service: this is normally for 15 days. Those in the Territorial Army and most of those in the Army Emergency Reserve are in units. It is very important that a unit should go to camp as a whole and special arrangements for individuals can therefore only be granted for extreme compassionate reasons. For men in the Army Emergency Reserve who are not in units it is, however, usually possible to arrange their annual training at times convenient to them.

"Operation Termite," Malaya


asked the Secretary of State for War if he will make a statement about the success or otherwise of "Operation Termite" in Malaya.

The success of operations such as this can only be assessed in the long term.

Soldier's Death, Malaya (Information)


asked the Secretary of State for War the circumstances in which T/22789685 Lance-Corporal Brian Jefferies was killed by accidental shooting in Malaya on the night of 5th May; why the commanding officer was not permitted to disclose details of the case; if he is aware of the additional distress and anxiety caused to the parents of this soldier for more than two months by the absence of any information from the War Office concerning the loss of their son other than a formal notification of his death; and whether he will re-examine the method by which the parents of serving soldiers are notified in cases of this sort, with a view to avoiding such delay in future.

I now have the court of inquiry proceedings and I am arranging for a more detailed report to be sent to the parents at once. I am also writing to the hon. Member. I fully realise the anxiety of parents and can assure the hon. Member that in more normal cases full information is given very early. I am going into the question as to whether even in abnormal cases of this sort the procedure can be expedited.

Retired Brigadiers (Pensions)


asked the Secretary of State for War the rate of pension for a retired brigadier at the end of the 1939–45 war; and what variations have taken place since.

Under the post-war code which took effect on 19th December, 1945, the standard rate for a brigadier was £900 a year. The 1951 improvements which apply to officers retiring after 31st August, 1950, increased this to £1,000 a year and added a terminal grant of £1,000.

Trade And Commerce

East-West Trade


asked the President of the Board of Trade on what dates the Consultative Group Co-ordinating Committee on East-West trade has met since his official talks with Mr. Stassen; what problems remain to be solved; and if he can now say when he will be able to make a statement on the relaxation of strategic controls.

The Co-ordinating Committee on East-West trade has been almost continuously in session for several weeks now. As to the other parts of the Question, I am not in a position to add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend on 13th July.

Scottish Mining Areas (Factory Space)


asked the President of the Board of Trade how much new factory space has been provided in each of the last five years in the developing mining areas of Scotland; how much is expected to be provided in the current financial year: and whether he will take steps to give greater publicity to the needs of these areas for alternative light industry.

According to the latest information available to the Board of Trade, the area of new factory space provided in the developing coalfield areas of East and West Fife, Alloa, the Lothians and Ayrshire in each of the last five calendar years was as follows:

sq. ft.

These figures relate to new factories and factory extensions of over 5,000 sq. ft. for which Industrial Development Certificates have been issued. They do not include new buildings and extensions approved for the National Coal Board.

It is impossible yet to say what factory space will be provided this year. The Board of Trade will continue to consider sympathetically applications for Industrial Development Certificates for these areas and to bring their advantages to the notice of suitable industries.

Industrial Development Certificates

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many approvals by his Department of new factory buildings and extensions there have been in Wales and in Great Britain, respectively, during the first quarter of 1954.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the number of Industrial Development Certificates. There were 15 in Wales and 612 in Great Britain.

New Enterprises, Wales

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new manufacturing enterprises have been started in Wales, with Government aid and with private capital, from 1950 up to the latest date for which he has information.

National Finance

Dentists' Incomes (Disclosure)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what general precedents in the post-war period exist for the action of the Board of Inland Revenue in supplying details of the income of dentists to the Ministry of Health.

There are no general precedents, but similar information has been supplied in respect of general medical practitioners, with the full agreement and co-operation of the professional association. For both doctors and dentists the information has been supplied in order to facilitate negotiations about remuneration under the National Health Service.

National Savings


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what purposes the £6,013, million of National Savings are put.

Deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank and the ordinary departments of the Trustee Savings Banks are invested by the National Debt Commissioners in Government and Government guaranteed securities. Money raised by the issue of National Savings certificates, defence bonds and other securities on the Post Office Register is paid into the Exchequer and is available for any purposes for which by Act of Parliament borrowed moneys may be used.

National Debt


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the National Debt is held by the banks in this country.

Post-War Credits


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications he has so far received for the repayment of post-war credits due in respect of people who would, if still living, be 65 years of age, or over, in the case of men, or 60 years of age, or over, in the case of women.

This information will be available in the next two or three days. I will have it circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT as soon as possible.

Light Petroleum Oils (Duty)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give consideration to the removal of the duty on light petroleum oils used for weed-killing purposes.

No. As I explained in my reply on 29th June to my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Erroll) with a very few exceptions, of a special nature, the duty on light hydrocarbon oils is charged regardless of the use to which the oils are put and I am not prepared to extend the list of exceptions.

Higher Technological Education


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the plans he has announced for development of higher technological education in Leeds and Birmingham apply only to work in the universities; or whether it also includes the upgrading of technical colleges.

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes" and to the second "No."

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, arising from the developing needs of technological education, he will issue instructions to speed up financial allocations; and if he will make representation on the University Grants Committee appropriate to the needs of modern science.

If the hon. Member will look at the membership of the University Grants Committee, he will no doubt agree that the Committee is not in need of stimulation in either respect.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the financial allocation by the University Grants Committee in the field of technological training for 1953; and the estimated expenditure for 1954.

Recurrent expenditure on technological education is financed from recurrent grants notified to Universities from the funds put at the disposal of the University Grants Committee at the beginning of the present quinquennium (1952–57). These grants are applicable to university expenditure generally and are not allocated to particular fields of study.The recommendations which I have received from the University Grants Committee for developments in higher technological education will necessitate some increase in the resources at the disposal of the Committee, but, as indicated in my statement of 13th July, I am still considering the timing of these developments.As regards capital expenditure, a considerable constructional programme is being carried out with the assistance of non-recurrent grants to improve and enlarge the accommodation at Universities for technological work. The cost, exclusive of fees and equipment, of the new buildings for these studies which are being started in 1953 and 1954 is estimated at approximately £2·7 million, most of which will be met by grant. Further extensions to this programme are under consideration.

Civil Service (Staff Transfers)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a large number of established civil servants, now employed by the Ministry of Food at West Hartlepool, are being given the alternative of either transferring to distant places to fill vacancies, or resignation; whether he is further aware that additional posts in the Inland Revenue and National Insurance Departments are being occupied by temporary appointees; and, in view of the hardship involved, if he will give directions for the whole matter to be reconsidered.

I understand that out of a complement of 15 only 4 of the established staff in the Ministry of Food's office in West Hartlepool are being compulsorily posted away from the locality. There are no temporary staff of the appropriate grade in the local office of the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. There are three temporary officers of the appropriate grade in the local office of Inland Revenue.Every effort has been made to secure local postings so far as possible, but I am satisfied that it would not be right to offer the three posts in Inland Revenue to the Ministry of Food's staff, bearing in mind, on the one hand, the claims of Inland Revenue's staff elsewhere for posting to this locality, and, on the other, the fact that the personal circumstances of the 4 Ministry of Food officers do not warrant inclusion in the highest priority category for local posting.

98 and 99.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps he is taking to alleviate the hardship falling upon established civil servants displaced by the closing of the Ministry of Food offices in Merseyside;(2) whether Government employment can be found in Merseyside for established female civil servants with family responsibilities, who are affected by the closing of the Ministry of Food offices there.

Over the country as a whole about 4,000 of the 5,400 established civil servants made redundant by the end of food rationing have been posted to other Government Departments, in most cases, without resort to compulsion, in the areas in which they were previously serving. This satisfactory progress has been the result of the wholehearted co-operation of my right hon. Friends and their Departments, and of the co-operation which there has been at every stage between the Departments concerned and staff representatives.While it was never to be expected that every redundant officer could be posted locally, every effort has been made to avoid causing hardship, and full regard has been paid to the personal circumstances of individuals, including such factors as family responsibilities and physical disability. In this respect, men and women have been treated alike.In Merseyside, local postings have been found for all those whose personal circumstances are such as to justify their inclusion in the highest priority category.

University Grants Committee

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer who are the members of the University Grants Committee; their respective occupations and qualifications for membership; to what matters, other than general suitability, is regard had in making these appointments; and, in particular, what steps have been taken, or will be taken, to secure representation of industry, both of employers and of organised workers, on the Committee.

The present composition of the University Grants Committee is given below. While the members of the Committee are chosen to cover among them the main fields of university study as well as certain interests outside the university, they are selected for their personal qualifications and serve in a personal capacity, and not as representatives. I do not propose to make any change in this respect.

Chairman (full-time)

Dr. K. A. H. Murray. B.Sc., Ph. D., M.A., D.Litt.: Previously, Rector and Bursar: Lincoln College. Oxford.

Vice-Chairman (part-time)

Sir David Hughes-Parry, M.A., LL.M., LL.D.. D.C.L.: Professor of English Law and Director of Institute of Advance Legal Studies, in the University of London.

Members (part-time)

Dr. E. D. Adrian. O.M., M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P., P.R.S.: Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. President of the Royal Society.

Professor W. M. Arnott, T.D., B.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.P.E.: William Withering Professor of Medicine in the University of Birmingham.

Professor J. F. Baker, O.B.E., M.A., D.Sc., Sc.D., M.I.C.E.: Professor of Mechanical Sciences and Head of Department of Engineering in the University of Cambridge.

Sir George Clark. LL.D., D.Litt., P.B.A.: Provost of Oriel College, Oxford. President of the British Academy.

Professor J. W. Cook, D.Sc., Sc.D., Ph.D., F.R.S.: Regius Professor of Chemistry in the University of Glasgow.

Mr. J. C. Gridley, C.B.E.: Chairman. Vacuum Oil Co. Ltd.

Sir Geoffrey Heyworth, LL.D.: Chairman, Unilever Ltd. Member (part-time) National Coal Board.

Dr. E. J. F. James, M.A., D.Phil.: High Master, Manchester Grammar School.

Professor W. R. Niblett, B.A., B.Litt.: Professor of education in the University of Leeds.

Professor G. W. Pickering, M.B., F.R.C.P.: Professor of Medicine in the University of London and Director of Medical Clinic, St. Mary's Hospital.

Mr. E. L. Russell, C.B.E., M.A.: Chief Education Officer, City of Birmingham.

Professor H. G. Sanders, M.A., Ph.D.: Professor of Agriculture in the University of Reading.

Mrs. J. L. Stocks, B.Sc.(Econ.): Deputy President, Workers Educational Association; previously Principal Westfield College, University of London.

Professor T. E. Wright, M.A.: Professor of Humanity in the University of St. Andrews.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the need to expand representation on the University Grants Committee, if he is now prepared to overhaul existing representation and submit a scheme to this House comparable with existing needs.

Raw Material Sales (Loss)


asked the Minister of State, Board of Trade, as representing the Minister of Materials, how much profit or loss was made on the sale of the £125,000,000 stocks of raw materials previously held by the Ministry of Materials after allowing for the stocks retained as a strategic reserve, calculated at the same prices.

Including a provision for interest, administration and storage charges, there will be a loss of the probable order of £25 million. This figure, of course, contains a forecast for the current financial year. Transfers to strategic reserves are made at the market price ruling at the date of transfer.

Pensions And National Insurance

Old-Age Pensioners (Emergency Assistance)


asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he has yet decided to give emergency assistance to old-age pensioners to enable them to await the report of the Government actuaries now considering the whole National Insurance scheme.

The National Assistance Board are ready to consider the applications of any pensioners in need at the present time.

War Widows (Benefits)

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the reasons on which he bases his decision to give a war widow with two children less benefit than they would receive if dependent on National Assistance.

As the pension of a war widow is payable irrespective of means it is, of course, not comparable with National Assistance payments. It is, however, by no means always the case that the amount which a war widow with two children receives by way of pennon, rent allowance and family allowance is less than the amount she would receive if she were wholly dependent on National Assistance.

Colonial Territories

Taxation, Kenya


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what goods Purchase Tax is now payable in Kenya; and at what rate.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the present rate of company tax obtaining in Kenya.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the present rates of Income Tax and Surtax obtaining in Kenya.

Both taxes are assessed on a sliding scale which is too long for me to give here. I am sending the right hon. Member a copy of the Ordinance governing the present rates. To these should be added the surcharge, of which I gave details in answer to the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir R. Acland) on 19th May.

Cyprus (Self-Government)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will apply to Cyprus Clause III of the declaration which the Prime Minister signed with President Eisenhower, upholding the principle of self-government.

Clause (iii) of the Potomac Charter reflects what has been for many years the policy of Her Majesty's Governments of all parties in regard to the political advance of all Colonial Territories, including Cyprus.

Fodder Production, Jamaica

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the need to increase the production of food in Jamaica; and whether, to encourage the production of cattle and pigs on the island, he will direct the Department of Agriculture there to prepare plans for the increase of fodder production or importation.

Both the Jamaica Government and I are well aware of this. In order to increase fodder production the Jamaican Department of Agriculture has been engaged for several years in pasture improvement work and has lately made significant progress; its advice is also being sought and followed increasingly by local farmers. Plans for the next development period in Jamaica include substantial further provision for pasture improvement.Research into animal nutrition is going ahead. Increased supplies of improved animal feedingstuffs, prepared locally, are available and licenses for importing feedingstuffs are readily granted.

Metropole Hotel, Brighton (War Compensation)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how long the Metropole Hotel, Brighton, was occupied by Crown Forces during the war; what assessment was submitted as a claim for war damage; what sum was, in fact, paid; and what time elapsed between submission of claim and actual payment.

This hotel was occupied by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force from October, 1941, to February, 1946. It was derequisitioned on 15th December, 1946. I have no details of the claim made by the owners against the War Damage Commission. My hon. Friend presumably has in mind, however, the claim made by the owners under Section 2 (1) (b) of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, for the cost of making good the damage caused by Air Force occupation. A formal claim for an amount already provisionally agreed was submitted on 3rd September, 1947, and was paid on 3rd October, 1947. It would be contrary to well-established practice to make public the amount paid.

Landrace Pigs (Atrophic Rhinitis)

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will inform all owners of Landrace pigs individually of the standstill order being imposed owing to the outbreak of atrophic rhinitis, in order to minimise the risk of spreading this disease, hitherto unknown in this country.

Following confirmation of the existence of atrophic rhinitis last May, notices restricting the movement of all Landrace pigs imported in 1953, and their progeny and all other contact pigs were served on 514 owners under the Atrophic Rhinitis Order, 1954. The restrictions on 511 of the farms have since been removed and I hope it will be possible to lift the restrictions from the remaining three farms shortly.

Education (Grammar School Places)

asked the Minister of Education if she will publish in HANSARD a list of local education authorities in whose areas the grammar places form less than 20 per cent. of total secondary places and no premises for grammar places are at present being constructed; and a list of those authorities in whose areas the grammar places form more than 50 per cent. of the total secondary places and new premises for grammar places are at present under construction.

On 30th April last there were eight authorities—Blackburn, Bolton, Bristol, Isles of Scilly, Rutland, Stoke-on-Trent, West Bromwich and West Hartlepool—in whose areas grammar school premises were not under construction, and where, in January, 1953, less than 20 per cent. of the total secondary places in the maintained and assisted schools were secondary grammar places; and four authorities—Westmorland, Caernarvonshire, Merionethshire and Pembrokeshire—in whose areas such premises were under construction and where the percentage was more than 50.The new premises in these latter areas will not result in any addition to the number of grammar school places because they will replace existing premises, some of which will continue to be used for educational purposes.

Ministry Of Food (Livestock Marketing Payments)

asked the Minister of Food if he will not impose restrictions on the acceptance of livestock at markets where the normal throughput has not been exceeded.

With the return to freedom the operators of the markets will decide what stock they can accept for sale. My Department is prepared to examine for the guarantee payments all the animals for which the necessary facilities for certification have been provided.

Telephone Service Glamorgan

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General how many applications for telephones in the Pentyrch, Radyr, Lisvane, Sully, St. Nicholas, Bonvilston and Peterston-super-Ely areas of the county of Glamorgan, respectively, remain outstanding; how many of these have been outstanding for more than two years; and if he will now meet all applications of two years and more.

The figures are:

OutstandingOver 2 years
St. Nicholas30
Additional plant will be provided during the next two years which should enable most of these applicants to be connected.

Bbc (Portuguese Service)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will reconsider the recommendation of the Committee of Inquiry into the Overseas Information Services to discontinue the British Broadcasting Corporation service to Portugal, in view of the ancient alliance between Portugal and this country, and the importance of these programmes in promoting friendship, helping exports to Portugal, and spreading information.

Her Majesty's Government will, naturally, take full account of the considerations raised by my hon. Friend in their examination of the Drogheda Report.

European Defence Community (Commander-In-Chief)

asked the Prime Minister whether the British division dedicated by Her Majesty's Government to the European Defence Community will be under the command in peace-time of the British commander-in-chief in Germany or the commander-in-chief of the European Defence Community.

There will be no commander-in-chief of the European Defence Community. The British division which Her Majesty's Government have dedicated to the European Defence Community will, in peace-time, be under the operational command of the commander of the European Defence Community corps in which it is placed. The E.D.C. corps commander, in turn, will be responsible, through the appropriate superior headquarters, to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. The British commander-in-chief, Germany, will continue to be responsible for the administration and maintenance of the division.

Ministry Of Transport (Cromwell Road Scheme)

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what action he is taking to assist in rehousing those people whose homes have been compulsorily acquired by his Department for the Cromwell Road extension scheme.

I am arranging for those tenants who were in occupation when my Department bought the houses to be offered alternative accommodation.