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Written Answers

Volume 640: debated on Friday 12 May 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 12th May, 1961


United States Aid

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that the United States Government are ready and willing to give financial and technical aid as soon as Nyasaland becomes independent; and if he has had any discussions with the United States Government on this matter.

I have seen recent Press statements on this subject, but there has been no discussion with the United States Government going beyond the kind of technical assistance for which Nyasaland is already eligible from that source.


Mr And Mrs Per Wastberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what grounds Mr. and Mrs. Per Wastberg were refused permission on 10th April, 1961. to extend their stay in Kenya.

It is not the practice of Governments to disclose their reasons for refusing to allow persons to enter or remain in their territories.

Southern Cameroons

Future (Conversations)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his recent official conversations on the future of the Southern Cameroons.

The following is the statement issued after these discussions:The Commissioner of the Southern Cameroons (Mr. J. O. Field), the Premier of the Southern Cameroons (Mr. J. N. Foncha) and the Minister of Commerce and Industries (Mr. S. T. Muna) have just concluded discussions in London with the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Iain Macleod). They were returning to the Southern Cameroons after attending the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.The steps to be taken following the passage of the recent United Nations Resolution were reviewed and Mr. Foncha expressed the intention to resume his contacts with the Govern- ment of the Cameroon Republic as soon as possible, as a preliminary to the consultations between the Administering Authority and the Governments of the Republic and of the Southern Cameroons which were contemplated in the Resolution.The motions on constitutional matters recently passed in the House of Assembly of the Southern Cameroons were discussed. It was agreed that in future the Premier should increasingly preside in the Executive Council and that the Deputy Commissioner and Financial Secretary should cease to be members of the Council and of the House of Assembly. It was agreed that a Minister of Finance should be appointed.It was also agreed that the number of constituencies should be increased to 37. This would, of course, not take effect until the next general election. In addition, it was decided that the limit on the number of Ministers should be raised and it was noted that discussions had already taken place between the leaders of the Government and the Opposition with a view to establishing national co-operation at this important time in the life of the country.It was agreed, in principle, that the House of Chiefs should have legislative powers but that these should not come into effect until October 1, 1961. The question of changes in electoral qualifications was left for later consideration.The opportunity was taken for an exchange of views on the many practical problems which will require attention in the coming months.


Mr D C Hill

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the fact that Mr. D. C. Hill was unable to establish his status in the service from the authorities in Malaya following the expiration of his original period of probation, what action his Department took in respect of the recommendation by the Malayan Government that his appointment should be terminated.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Malayan Establishment regulations required a head of a department, if not withholding an increment from an officer, to render an incremental certificate stating that the work of that officer had been entirely satisfactory.

The use of increment certificates in Malaya was discontinued in April, 1953.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when an overseas Government has recommended that an officer's probationary appointment should be terminated and not extended, and it is not extended by approval of the Secretary of State, by what authority and under what circumstances the officer is permitted to continue serving on probation after the expiration of the period of probation stipulated in the terms of his appointment.

Pending the receipt of the Secretary of State's approval the continued employment of the officer is within the discretion of the employing Government.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the fact that the first two annual increments paid to Mr. D. C. Hill were not withheld, if he will give the dates on which incremental certificates in this respect were rendered by the head of his department.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, what information was given to Mr. D. C. Hill, of the Malayan Civil Service, regarding the continuation of his probationary service after 30th October, 1953, in view of the specific recommendation of the Malayan Government that his appointment should not be extended.

Local Government

Compulsory Purchase Orders, Leeds

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs When he expects to confirm the compulsory purchase order made by Leeds City Council with respect to the Kirkstall Road (West) Clearance Areas Numbers 1 and 2; and, in view of the living conditions of the people in this area, if he will speed up the necessary confirmation.

My right hon. Friend hopes to issue a decision within two or three weeks.

Home Department

Essex Fire Brigade

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the Essex Fire Brigade is under strength; in which divisions and stations there are shortages; and whether he will make a statement.

The establishment and strength of the Essex Fire Brigade on 9th May, 1961, was as follows:

* Includes 45 authorised posts not yet required.
I am sending my hon. Friend details for each division and station. I am informed that there has been a net gain of fifty-two whole-time firemen in the last twelve months and that the present deficiency is mainly due to a substantial increase in establishment last year.

Wireless And Television

Television (Colour And Linage)

asked the Postmaster-General (1) what discussions he has had with television authorities in Europe, particularly France, on the question of adopting a standard 625 line system, in view of the fact that France has some monochrome production on 819 lines at the moment;(2) if he is aware of the developments of coloured television in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and to what extent his engineers are in touch with Russian developments and experiments in this field;(3) if he is aware of the Czechoslovakian intention to have a national coverage of their national games on coloured television by 1964; and to what extent his Post Office engineers have been in touch with these developments;(4) what information he has on the developments of coloured television in the United States of America; and whether they are developing on similar lines to that of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

My engineers are in close touch with other European administrations, including France, Czechoslovakia and the U.S.S.R., on the development of colour television and on the question of the line standards to be used in Bands IV and V. I am well acquainted with colour television developments in the U.S.A.

asked the Postmaster-General if he will list all the reasons advanced to him from his Television Advisory Committee against the introduction of coloured television in the near future.

I would refer the hon. Member to paragraphs 43–45 of the Report of the Television Advisory Committee, 1960, a copy of which was sent to him on 1st June last year.

asked the Postmaster-General what were the details of the proposals submitted to him by the British Broadcasting Corporation on 9th December, 1960, asking for approval to start an experimental coloured television service; and if he will publish the terms of his reply.

The B.B.C. asked permission to start, in about November this year, an experimental public colour television service which initially would put out one hour of live studio programmes and up to four hours of film transmissions weekly. On the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) on 14th February.

asked the Postmaster-General (1) what are the fresh proposals recently made to him by the British Broadcasting Corporation on the introduction of an experimental coloured television service;

(2) what was the nature of his reply to the British Broadcasting Corporation's recent proposals on coloured television.

The B.B.C. have made no new proposals for a colour television service; what they have done is to present their case again. As regards my reply, I would refer the hon. Member to my answer of 10th May to the hon. Member for Openshaw (Mr. W. R. Williams).

asked the Postmaster-General whether the technical subcommittee of the Television Advisory Committee have themselves considered how long it would take to effect a changeover of line standards from 405 to 625; to what extent would present television sets and the industry itself be affected; and whether they have estimated how long it would take to introduce national coverage of a coloured television service once the decision has been made.

The Technical Sub-Committee to which the hon. Member refers is a sub-committee set up by my Television Advisory Committee to advise it on various matters. It does not report to me. I would refer the hon. Member to paragraph 48 of the Report of the Television Advisory Committee, 1960, which said that "any proposed changeover to new line standards would require to be made in accordance with a long-term phased programme which should take account of the interests of the viewers, the Broadcasting Organisations and the Radio Industry. The 405-line services would need to be continued for many years so that there would be no question of 405 line receivers becoming prematurely obsolescent."


Teachers' Salaries

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has yet considered the letter about teachers' salaries, dated 28th March, sent to him from Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen, signed by 47 full-time certificated members of the staff and supported by a letter signed by the staff of Marr College, Troon; and what reply he has sent.

A reply was sent to the teachers at Robert Gordon's College saying that I would bear the views expressed in mind in my consideration of the matters in question.

Local Authorities (Grants And Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish figures showing the total amount of Government grants in each of the last five

YearTotal amount of Government GrantsPercentage of grant to net expenditure*
£ thousands
Rest of Scotland44,82963
Rest of Scotland48,62163
Rest of Scotland53,77959
Rest of Scotland62,42863
Rest of Scotland68,16465
* i.e. gross expenditure less miscellaneous receipts (rents, fees, etc.)

years given to each of the city, county and large burgh local authorities; and what percentage this sum represented of the total annual expenditure of each of these authorities during this period.

I regret that, owing to the complications introduced by joint expenditures, figures showing the relationship of grants to expenditure are not available for individual local authorities except the four counties of cities. The following table contains information relating to the four cities and to the rest of Scotland as a whole for the years 1954–55 to 1958–59. Full information is not yet available for later years.

Hospitals (Staff)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will publish figures showing the shortage of hospital staff and the nature of this shortage in the respective Regional Hospital Board areas in Scotland;(2) if he will publish figures showing the shortage of hospital staff and the nature of such shortage in the respective Hospital Board of Management areas throughout the Western Regional Hospital Board area in Scotland.

Comprehensive statistics of this kind are not available. I should, however, be glad to look into any specific point the hon. Member may have in mind.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish figures showing the number of consultants, specifying the nature of their speciality, attached to Glasgow hospitals at the latest convenient date.

The following is the information for 31st December, 1960:

Infectious Diseases5
Venereal Diseases1
Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases10
Orthopaedic Surgery15
Thoracic Surgery2
Dental and Oral Surgery12
Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery16
Plastic Surgery3
Gynaecology and Obstetrics24
These figures include both whole-time and part-time hospital staff, and also University staff with honorary hospital appointments.