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Written Answers

Volume 639: debated on Wednesday 3 May 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 3rd May, 1961

Royal Navy

Hms "Pandora"


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what has been the result of his further inquiries regarding H.M.S. "Pandora"; and whether the wreck off the Australian coast has now been identified as that of H.M.S. "Pandora".

It has not yet been possible to establish whether this wreck is the "Pandora". There is no record in the Admiralty of the ship's bell which I referred to in my Answer to the hon. and gallant Member on 25th January. We know the position in which the "Pandora" was wrecked and have asked the Australian finders of the wreck to check the position. I will write to my hon. and gallant Friend as soon as I get any more information.



asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if, in his review of naval security, he will include industrial establishments engaged on his Department's contracts.

Yes. The operation of the security arrangements for the protection of classified Admiralty contracts is being reviewed.

Survival Equipment


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will now make a further statement about the results of the recent tests of survival equipment carried out by the Royal Navy.

I am not yet able to add to the Answer I gave the hon. Gentleman on 8th March, but I will be able to write to him shortly.

Royal Yacht "Britannia"


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will enumerate the purposes for which the Royal Yacht "Britannia" has been used in the last 12 months.

Taking the 12 months ending when the Royal Yacht returns from her present cruise, she will have been used to take (i) Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret to the West Indies; (ii) for Cowes week; (iii) for Her Majesty the Queen's and Prince Philip's cruise to the Orkneys and Shetlands; (iv) for Her Majesty the Queen Mother's visit to Tunisia; (v) for Her Majesty the Queen's and Prince Philip's State Visit to Italy; (vi) for Their subsequent visit to Venice; (vii) to convey Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester to Athens for the unveiling of the Commonwealth War Memorial; (viii) and for Their subsequent tour of Commonwealth War Graves in the Eastern Mediterranean.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will itemise the total cost of £4,750,000 for the Royal Yacht "Britannia", showing the initial cost, the number and cost of refits, and the total wages bill per annum; and whether the total includes such items as fuel costs and depreciation allowances.

The itemised expenditure since 1951 on Her Majesty's Yacht "Britannia" has been as follows:—

Initial capital cost2,150,000
Crew costs (including pay, messing and clothing)1,455,000
4 refits and 4 periods of docking and essential repairs815,000
Fuel and stores330,000
The current annual bill for pay totals £200,000.In accordance with normal practice nothing is included in these figures for depreciation.

Polaris Submarine Base (Expenditure)


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what is the total expenditure that has been incurred by the Admiralty in connection with the establishment of the Polaris submarine base at Holy Loch up to 30th April.

The capital cost of facilities so far provided by the Admiralty is estimated at approximately £260,000. Running costs of these facilities and of the services rendered by the Royal Navy are estimated at £135,000 per annum. If any share of these costs falls on the United Kingdom it is likely to be very small.

Ship Construction And Repair Work

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what was the percentage of the total cost of Admiralty contract and repair work placed with shipyards and Admiralty yards situated in development areas and Northern Ireland during the years 1959–60 and 1960–61 or during the most convenient similar period.

Nearly half of the Admiralty's ship work is undertaken by Her Majesty's dockyards, none of which are in development areas. Of the remainder, about 78 per cent. of the total cost of Admiralty ship construction and repair work, including work done on behalf of other Governments, was carried out by shipyards in the development areas and Northern Ireland in 1958–59, and about 77 per cent. in 1959–60. The figures for 1960–61 are not yet available.

British Army

Hms "Dreadnought" (Model)


asked the Secretary of State for War why his security officers classified as secret photographs of a sugar model of H.M.S. "Dreadnought".

Although this model was intended only for internal consumption, the photographs were not classified as secret, and it was unduly zealous to have them surrendered.

Germany (Local Overseas Allowance)


asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking to offset the real reduction in pay suffered by British Service men in Western Germany as a result of the revaluation of the mark; and if he will make the necessary adjustment retrospective to the date of revaluation.


asked the Secretary of State for war what changes he has made in the rates of local overseas allowance payable to troops stationed in Germany, following the revaluation of the Deutschmark.

The revision, as a result of the revaluation of the Deutschmark, of local overseas allowance rates for troops stationed in Germany is still being considered. I shall write to the hon. Gentlemen as soon as a decision has been reached.

River Ouse (Re Bridge)

asked the Secretary of State for War why the Royal Engineers are to build a temporary bridge across the River Ouse at York in the course of the next few weeks; what expenditure will be involved; and by whom it will be borne.

It is part of the normal annual training programme of the Royal Engineers to construct a bridge across a river. The training value is far greater if the exercise can be of some real value. That is why the Royal Engineers have previously constructed temporary bridges over the River Ouse at points where they will be of use to the public. The cost in this case will be about £120. This is no greater than usual and the cost will as usual be borne on the Army Vote. The proposed site is only four miles from the bridging stores depôt and it would cost as much to erect one in any other suitable site.

Royal Air Force

Middleton St George Airfield


asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will make available the Royal Air Force station at Middleton St. George for civil flying.

This airfield is already available to civil aircraft for diversion purposes and may also be used for occasional civil flights provided the permission of the commanding officer is obtained beforehand.

Queen's Flight

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will state the composition of the Queen's Flight of aircraft; how much it cost initially; what is the total annual running and maintenance cost; and to what use the aircraft are put when not being used by members of the Royal Family.

The Queen's Flight at present consists of three Herons, two Whirlwinds and one Chipmunk. The initial cost of these aircraft was about £420,000. The annual running and maintenance costs are about £225,000. Aircraft of the Queen's Flight may be used by senior Ministers and other important passengers, such as the Chiefs of Staff, when they are not needed by members of the Royal Family.


Small Factories (First-Aid Workers)


asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made in the training of first-aid workers in small factories employing less than 50 people since the passing of the order made under the Factories Act, 1959.

The First-aid (Standard of Training) Order, 1960, which comes into force on 1st July, 1961, applies to factories employing more than 50 workers. The voluntary training organisations have made a special effort to increase their training courses this year to meet the needs of industry.

Industrial Accidents


asked the Minister of Labour in which industries the increase of accidents to young persons was most serious during 1960.

The accident statistics are now being analysed and the information asked for will as usual be published in the Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories.

Supervisors In Industry (Committee)

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider, having regard to the close and intimate connection that the members of the National Union of Manufacturers have in the selection and training of supervisors in their employ, co-opting a member of the National Union of Manufacturers on to his Committee for the Selection and Training of Supervisors in Industry.

I do not wish this Committee to be too large and I would prefer, therefore, not to add to its membership. I hope, however, that the knowledge and experience of members of the National Union of Manufacturers can be made available to the Committee, and I am writing to the hon. Member about how this can be arranged.


North Circular Road


asked the Minister of Transport what proposals he has for improving the North Circular Road by providing dual carriageway throughout its length.

My plans are to provide dual carriageways throughout on the North Circular Road with 2-level junctions where necessary. Preparatory work is in hand on a number of schemes, and amongst those I hope to authorise within the next two or three years are a flyover at Brent Cross, a dual carriageway scheme from Great North Way to Bowes Road and the Silver Street diversion. The further schemes needed will be carried out as resources permit.

Gants Hill, Ilford (Flyover)


asked the Minister of Transport if he is yet in a position to give his decision regarding the proposed flyover at Gants Hill, Ilford.

No. The engineering problems here are very complex. I hope to write further to my hon. Friend very shortly.

Newport-Chepstow Road (Penhow)


asked the Minister of Transport what reply he has sent to Mr. D. W. Dando, of 27, Pantbach Road, Birchgrove, Cardiff, who wrote to him on 14th April about the surface of the Newport to Chepstow road west of Penhow.

Mr. Dando has been told that the cause of the present condition of the road has been under investigation and that arrangements for remedial works to be carried out as soon as possible are under discussion between the Monmouthshire County Council, as my agents, and the contractors.



asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made by his Department with the preparation of the trunk road improvement scheme in Newcastle-under-Lyme; and, in particular, when he will approve the necessary works on the three sections, respectively, from the City General Hospital to Grosvenor Garage, from Grosvenor Garaga to the London Road via Upper Green, and from Upper Green junction to the Milehouse roundabout.

My agent authority, the Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, are making steady progress with the preparatory work, but I cannot say yet when it will be possible to start constructional work or how the scheme would best be divided for that purpose.

Road Markings (European Agreement)

asked the Minister of Transport when the Government intend to ratify the European Agreement on Road Markings of 13th December, 1957.

The European Agreement on Road Markings of 13th December,

PedestriansPedal cyclistsMoped ridersPedestriansPedal cyclistsMoped riders
Before motorway was opened (1958–59*)53150586
After motorway was opened (1959–60*)51041353
* 2nd November to 1st November.


Oil Pollution, Shoreham


asked the Minister of Transport what action he is taking to trace the source of the thick tarry oil patch nearly a mile wide which is threatening to pollute beaches in Sussex.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to an oil patch at Shoreham which was mentioned in the Sunday Times of 23rd April. This was inspected on the previous day by H.M. District Officer of Coastguard, who reported several small patches of oil on the beach over a distance of 150 yards. He could not find any large floating patch and has been unable to trace the source of the pollution.

1957, which was signed by the U.K. on 25th February, 1958, subject to ratification, requires acceding Governments to make it an offence to cross or straddle a continuous line. The application of the double white line system in this country is not yet complete. Until it is, the old single solid line, which it is not an offence to cross, will remain on some roads. As long as this is so we are not in a position to meet the requirements of the Agreement and ratify it.

A5 And A45 (Accidents)

asked the Minister of Transport if he will state the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed and injured on the section of A.5 and A.45 which M.1 has relieved of motor traffic during the 12 months before the opening of M.1, and the corresponding figures for the 12 months after the opening of M.1.


Buses (Size)

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has yet reached a decision on the proposal to increase the maximum permitted size of buses in this country.

Yes. New Regulations increasing the permitted maximum length and width of public service vehicles to 36 ft. and 8ft. 2½ ins, as laid down in the 1949 United Nations Convention on Road Traffic will be laid before Parliament shortly. The Traffic Commissioners will have power to limit the use of the larger buses for regular services on particular routes. Further, if experience shows that the presence of contract and foreign coaches of this size in central London causes great traffic difficulty, it may prove necessary to place restrictions on them in that area; none will, however, be introduced at present.

Telephone Service



asked the Postmaster General what steps he is taking to ensure the efficient working of the London Extended Dialling system, so as to avoid misrouting and overloading, particularly for Ashford, Middlesex, to the central exchanges and vice versa.

The capacity of the route between London and Ashford has been increased, but more circuits are needed to cater for the unexpectedly heavy increase in traffic. We are providing these as quickly as possible.I am sorry that there have been difficulties because of overloading and misrouting. I am looking further into this latter point and will write to my hon. Friend as soon as I can.


asked the Postmaster-General what success he has had in removing the initial delays and difficulties of the Ongar Telephone Exchange.

Since the opening of the Ongar automatic exchange last November, calls requiring an operator have been handled at Epping. There were difficulties at first, mainly because of illness among the telephonists at that exchange. I am glad to say the position has now improved.

Ministry Of Aviation

Life-Saving Equipment


asked the Minister of Aviation if his attention has been called to a statement by a commercial firm, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Stockport, North, to the effect that they supply 85 per cent. of the survival equipment for the joint Services; if he is aware that there are three or four other companies capable of supplying his Department's requirements; and to what extent it is his policy to concentrate production of this vital equipment on one firm.

Yes. Of the life rafts bought for the joint Services, about 85 per cent. by number and 55 per cent. by value come from the firm in question. Its proprietary designs are especially well suited to most of the air-borne requirements. On the basis of some of these designs there is now competitive tendering.

South Cameroons

Cameroun Republic (Representation)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action Her Majesty's Government's representative at the United Nations is taking to ensure that the inhabitants of the South Cameroons will obtain full democratic rights of representation in the future Federal Republic of the United Cameroons.

Now that the United Nations has determined that trusteeship should terminate on 1st October, it is for H.M.G. as Administering Authority, with the Governments of the Southern Cameroons and the Cameroun Republic, to work out the details. I have no doubt that the aim of all concerned will be to provide proper representation of the Southern Cameroons in any federal organs.

Colonial Territories


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in what territories under the rule or protection of the Crown legislation has been introduced on the lines of Section 2 (1) of the United Kingdom Homicide Act, 1957; and in what territories the local rule differs from that enacted in the United Kingdom.

The reply to the first part of the Question is:

British Solomon Islands, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the New Hebrides (as regards British subjects), St. Helena, and Uganda (subject to the amendments).
In all the other territories the local rule differs from that enacted in the United Kingdom Act of 1957.

St Helena

Bahraini Prisoners


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will take steps to ensure that the three Bahraini political prisoners on St. Helena are receiving all the mail, books and documents addressed to them at Mundens Prison, and that their letters are being delivered.

I understand that there was some delay in the delivery of one mail. That is being investigated. Apart from that I have no reason to support that mail is not being delivered safely. I will certainly look into any specific cases if the hon. Member will write to me.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food


asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the calves qualifying in England and Wales for the rearing subsidy as potential beef stock were hornless in 1960; and if he gives advice to certifying officers on the desirability of attaining the 89·5 per cent. of hornless calves reported in Scotland under the subsidy scheme last year.

Statistics of the proportion of hornless calves qualifying for the calf subsidy in England and Wales are not available. Calf certifying officers are aware of our policy for encouraging the dehorning of calves and the National Agricultural Advisory Service do all they can to encourage the practice.



asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assistance Her Majesty's Government are providing for the English School and the Orde Wingate School in Ethiopia; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.The British Council assists the General Wingate School in Addis Ababa by recruiting the headmaster and other British staff on behalf of the Ethiopian Government, and by making a contribution to their salaries. It also gives a modest subsidy to the English School. In addition, the offer has been made of a capital grant, to be divided between the two schools, of £100,000, to be applied by the British Council subject to certain conditions. The offer of this help to the Wingate School has been accepted in principle by the Emperor. The proposals include an increase in the recurrent aid at present given to the Wingate School by the British Council.Discussions will now take place with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education in regard to the Wingate School and with the Governors of the English School on the details of the project.

Council Of Europe

British Representation (Cost)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the annual cost to Her Majesty's Government of sending British representatives to meetings of the Council of Europe and of its committees.

The annual cost to Her Majesty's Government of sending British representatives to meetings of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe and to the committees of the Consultative Assembly for the four years from 1st April, 1957, to 31st March, 1961, is as follows:

1.1st April, 1957—31st March, 195811,431
2.1st April, 1958—31st March, 195911,471
3.1st April, 1959—31st March, 19609,510
4.1st April, 1960—31st March, 19619,465
The final figure is liable to some slight increase in respect of committee meetings held towards the end of the year 1960–61.

Ministry Of Defence

Congo (Aircraft)

asked the Minister of Defence, in view of the policy of the United Nations and Katanga authorities, respectively, what consideration he gave to possible danger to the security of contiguous British territories before Royal Air Force aircraft were provided to fly United Nations forces to Katanga.

It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to support the United Nations operation in the Congo. If the Security Council Resolution of 21st February can be successfully implemented, any dangers to security in the area are likely to be considerably reduced.

Hebrides Missile Range

asked the Minister of Defence what arrangements have now been made to provide facilities for missile-firing practice in the Hebrides to other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

As I told the House last year, we have offered the use of the Hebrides missile range to our allies in N.A.T.O. Under arrangements reached with the United States Department of Defense, a United States artillery battalion will use the range during a fortnight this June.

National Finance

Building Societies (Profits Tax)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on the subject of the effect of

£ million
FundNominal amount of Stock held at 31st March, 1961Cost PriceValue at 31st March, 1952 of Stock now held and bought on or before that dateMarket value of Stock held at 31st March, 1961
Stock bought on or before 31st March, 1952Stock bought after 31st March, 1952TotalStock bought on or before 31st March, 1952Stock bought after 31st March, 1952TotalStock bought on or before 31st March, 1952Stock bought after 31st March, 1952Total
National Insurance Fund63200263631942575860190250
National Insurance (Reserve) Fund8034541,2577424261,168603480365845
Industrial Injuries Fund72227299682032715953179232
Hospital Endowment Fund*1313*1010**99
* The figures in respect of stock held in the Hospital Endowment Fund which was bought before 31st March, 1952, are marginal (£160,000 or less) and have been excluded from this table.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what diminution of Surtax revenue there would be in the year

the increase in Profits Tax upon building societies.

My right hon. and learned Friend received a letter from the Building Societies Association, and letters from two individual Societies.

National Insurance And Hospital Endowments Funds (Securities)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state, in respect of securities now held by the National Debt Commissioners in the National Insurance Fund, the National Insurance (Reserve) Fund, the Industrial Injuries Fund and the Hospital Endowments Fund, the total cost of securities bought in and before the financial year ended in 1952, the value of those securities at the end of that year, their value today or at the latest convenient date, the total cost of securities bought since that year and their value today or at the latest convenient date, giving separate figures for each fund.

The information required is set out in the following table:1961–62 and in a full year, respectively, under the provisions of Clause 11 of the Finance Bill, were all the income of those who were over the age of 65 years on 17th April, 1961, and retired, to be deemed to be earned income for Surtax purposes.

I regret the information is not available on which to base an estimate.

Home Department

Licensing Bill (Wales And Monmouthshire)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many communications, for and against, respectively, the provisions of Clause 6 of the Licensing Bill, he has now received from individuals and organisations, respectively.

Since the beginning of last year I have received communications from 57 organisations and from 890 individuals in favour of Sunday opening in Wales and Monmouthshire and from 1,884 organisations and 4,476 individuals against.

Indian Hemp (Convictions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of convictions in Great Britain for being in illegal possession of Indian hemp for the years 1938 and 1955 to 1960, respectively; and what were the corresponding figures for the London Metropolitan Police district.

Chapter V and Chapter VI.1st and 2nd Class Honours45·868·9
Chapter V* and Chapter VI.3rd Class Honours62·890·0
Chapter IV and Chapter VI.Graduates in secondary schools (Article 39)41·365·7
Chapter IVGraduates in primary schools35·860·1
Chapter VITeachers of art, music, commerce, technology (graduates or graduate equivalents).45·771·8
Chapter VITeachers of domestic subjects (Group III), educational handwork, physical education.35·870·3
Chapter IVNon-graduate teachers of general subjects (three-year trained)54·8
Chapter VITeachers of domestic subjects (Groups I and II)
* Chapter IV in 1956.
† The figures in this column include six of the seven instalments of equal pay.

Local Government

Local Government Act, 1933 (Section 76)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he has yet received the working party report

The numbers of convictions for offences involving cannabis (Indian hemp) were as follows:

YearGreat BritainMetropolitan Police Area (included in column 2)



asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the percentage increase since 1956, for men and women, respectively, in the maximum salaries of non-promoted teachers of the following categories, namely, Chapter V, 1st and 2nd Class Honours, Chapter V, 3rd Class Honours, Chapter IV, Graduates Secondary, Chapter IV, Graduates Primary, Chapter IV, Non-Graduates, and Chapter VI.

The following are the percentage increases in maximum salaries of non-promoted teachers since 1st January, 1956.on Section 76 of the Local Government Act; and if he will make a statement thereon.

I have been in consultation with the local authority associations on this subject, but I am not yet ready to make a statement.