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Written Answers

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 5th July, 1961

Armaments (Sale To Foreign Countries)


asked the Lord Privy Seal to what extent he is consulted about political repercussions consequent on the sale of armaments to foreign countries.

Foreign Office Ministers are consulted on all applications for the sale of armaments abroad which might have political repercussions.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Political Consultation)

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will arrange for a study to be made of the desirability of establishing a number of political chiefs of staff of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Governments.

At present the permanent representatives of member Governments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meet regularly and frequently to discuss political matters of common concern. Her Majesty's Government well realise the need to extend and develop political consultation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Our methods are under constant review, with the aim of making our unity more effective, but there would be no point in duplicating existing machinery.

United States Embassy (Nuclear Disarmament Pamphlet)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is aware of the action of the United States Embassy in London in assisting, by the loan of an addressing machine and lists of names and addresses of British citizens, in the distribution of a pamphlet on nuclear disarmament, with a covering note attacking the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; and what steps he is taking to prevent such interference in British domestic politics by the representatives of a foreign Power.

The hon. Member's Question was the first intimation I had had of this. I have made inquiries of the United States Embassy and have been assured that when it assisted the British Atlantic Committee, in the manner indicated, to distribute its pamphlet on nuclear disarmament, it had no intention whatever of interfering in British domestic politics. I also understand that the covering note to the pamphlet was not issued with all copies distributed but was only sent to some thirty publications chosen by the British Atlantic Committee.

United Nations (Finance)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if, in view of the United Nations organisation's present financial difficulties, he will make a statement thereon.

At 31st December, 1960, the expenses of the United Nations exceeded its receipts by nearly $35 million (£12·5 million). The amount assessed for 1961 is approximately $227 million (£81 million), but it is certain that a substantial proportion of this amount will not be paid, given the failure or refusal of the Soviet bloc and many other countries to fulfil their financial obligations to the organisation in the past. While it is impossible to say exactly what the present deficit is, there is no doubt that the United Nations is, in effect, facing bankruptcy.This is a cause of great concern to Her Majesty's Government, who have always paid their contributions fully. Responsibility for the present grave situation lies with these Governments who are in default and there can be no question of our underwriting the deficit.


Blyth, Bedlington And Seaton Valley


asked the Minister of Labour how many people on long-term unemployment have been found jobs in the Blyth, Bedlington and Seaton Valley areas in the last six months.

During the six months ended 7th June, 1961, the Blyth, Bedlington Station and Seaton Delaval Employment Exchanges filled 1,030 vacancies in their areas. I regret it is not possible to analyse those placed according to the duration of their unemployment.

Electrical Trades Union Election (Judgment)


asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been directed to the judgment given in the case arising out of the Electrical Trades Union election; and whether he will take steps to ensure that the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies makes a special report on this election and on questions arising therefrom.

My right hon. Friend is studying the judgment very carefully. I do not think a report as suggested would bring out the issues more clearly than the proceedings and the judgment have done.

Trade Union Elections


asked the Minister of Labour what representations he has received from the Registrar General, indicating that his powers, insofar as they relate to trade union elections, are inadequate.

I take it that the reference is to the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies. He has not made any representations to my right hon. Friend on this subject.

Royal Navy

Security (Romer Committee's Report)


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty why the authorities at Portland were not informed of the reason for Houghton's recall from Poland.

This omission was partly due to the method of keeping the personal records of Admiralty civil staff. But in 1952, prior to the Report of the Privy Councillors, character defects such as excessive drinking habits, which would not have barred Houghton from employment in a non-secret job, would not necessarily have been reported.


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will set out the security criteria of 1952 refered to in paragraph 2 of the Summary of the main findings of the Romer Committee.

I could not undertake to set out all the security criteria applied in 1952, or now, but the main change which has taken place is the greater emphasis given to the relationship between defects of character and security following the report in 1956 of the Committee of Privy Councillors in Command 9715.


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether disciplinary action is being taken against any one in the Admiralty for failing to press the inquiry with regard to Houghton to a positive conclusion in 1956.

Paragraph 6 of the summary of the Committee's findings states that the report forwarded to the Admiralty was incomplete and misleading. The summary did not attribute blame to any particular individual in the Admiralty for the failure to press the matter to a positive conclusion. My noble Friend has, however, instituted a review of the Admiralty's internal organisation for security.


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what inconsistency has been found to exist between the Government security policy and the security rules issued by the Admiralty.

The inconsistency referred to in the Report related to certain administrative arrangements for the handling of secret documents. Instructions have been issued for the removal of this inconsistency.

55. and 56.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty (1) who informed a junior official that Houghton was taking secret documents out of the Underwater Detection Establishment; and what were the circumstances in which such information was given;(2) whether the informant of the junior official at the Underwater Detection Establishment reported to the security officer that Houghton was taking secret papers out of the establishment.

57 and 58.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty (1) if he will state the circumstances in which Houghton was twice brought to the attention of the authorities at the Underwater Detection Establishment as a probable security risk;(2) if he will state the particulars in which the report made by the security officer at Portland, referred to in the Romer Report, was misleading.

Evidence was taken by the Romer Committee in camera and witnesses were given to understand that it would be treated as confidential. Moreover, some of the matters referred to in these Questions are relevant to disciplinary action at present in train.In these circumstances I do not feel that it would be right or fair to elaborate on the summary of the Committee's main findings which has been circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Royal Naval Minewatching Service


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he will make a statement on the Royal Naval Mine-watching Service.

The Royal Naval Minewatching Service is a civilian voluntary organisation consisting of some 5,000 men and women between the ages of 21 and 60. It will have two main tasks in war. First, to observe, plot and report the fall of mines laid by enemy aircraft in port approaches and main waterways. Second, to provide the basic local organisation for resident naval officers and naval officers in charge who would be appointed at minor ports in war—thus releasing naval reservists for other duties. The Admiralty is much indebted to these volunteers, who, apart from some twenty full-time and twenty-two part-time officers, mostly retired, give their services free.



asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what action has been taken against the person or persons in charge of Admiralty depôts where breaches of security have occurred in recent dates.

I assume that the right hon. Member is referring to naval establishments generally. Save for the Portland case, where disciplinary proceedings have been authorised in the case of the persons specifically blamed by the Romer Committee, there have been no recent breaches of security involving action against the person in charge of an establishment.

British Army



asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking to review and reduce the amount of land held under requisition by his Department for training purposes.

No land is now held by my Department under requisition. All land previously held thus, has, where there was no continuing military requirement, been released; or where it was still required, has either been bought or is held under lease or licence.

Recruits, Ayrshire

asked the Secretary of State for War how many recruits joined the Army from Ayrshire in the first five months of 1961.

Royal Air Force

Sovereign Base Areas, Cyprus


asked the Secretary of State for Air what alterations have been made to the establishment of the Air Ministry to deal with its civilian responsibilities in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus; and what has been the cost of these to date.

Five posts were created in the Air Ministry in 1960 for this purpose but in January, 1961, they were reduced to four, one of which is part-time. The total cost to date is about £10,000.The day-to-day administration of the Sovereign Base Areas is the responsibility of a civilian staff in Cyprus. Details of this staff are shown in Vote 9, Subhead T, of the Air Estimates for 1961–62.

Ministry Of Defence

Forces, Kuwait


asked the Minister of Defence what United Kingdom military forces are at present serving in the State of Kuwait.

Until last week-end, the only members of the British forces serving in Kuwait were one officer and five other ranks who were there to provide technical assistance and advice to the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.By tomorrow, the deployment of forces required for the defence of Kuwait will have been completed and a force amounting to a reinforced Brigade Group, with naval and air support, will be in position. Any subsequent moves will be for the purpose of administration and relief.

asked the Minister of Defence if he will state the hour and day on which H.M.S. "Bulwark" sailed from Karachi for Kuwait, the hour and day on which a squadron of the 3rd Carabiniers with Centurion tanks left Aden by sea for Kuwait, and the hour and day on which a detachment of the 11th Hussars with armoured cars left Aden by sea for Kuwait.

H.M.S. "Bulwark" left Karachi on Thursday, 29th June.It would not be in the public interest to give the other details for which the hon. Member asks.

German Troops, United Kingdom


asked the Minister of Defence what negotiations are taking place with the German Federal Government about the legal status of German troops to be trained in the United Kingdom.

This matter is being discussed with the Federal German Government but, as I informed the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. Kelley) last week, no agreement has yet been reached about the training of German units in this country.


Road Safety


asked the Minister of Transport whether, in the interests of safety and rescue work on the roads, he will consult with the motoring organisations and other bodies concerned, with a view to the creation of an integrated public service of road patrols and other road facilities.

I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the Answer I gave to a similar Question by him on 27th June.


Great North Road


asked the Minister of Transport what dual carriageway construction has taken place on the A.1 road during the last two years; what is being carried out and what has been approved to date, respectively; and which are the stretches involved.

Of the 104 miles of dual carriageway now in use on the Great North Road between London and Newcastle work was completed on 45 miles during the last two years. Construction work is proceeding on a further 57 miles and work has been authorised but not yet started on a further 10 miles.Following is a list of the schemes involved:GREAT NORTH ROAD A.1(London—Newcastle)

Dual Carriageway Schemes Completed since 6 th July, 1959

Apex Corner Roundabout and dualling to Courtlands Avenue.

  • Courtlands Avenue to South Mimms by-pass, Middlesex and Hertfordshire.
  • Girtford Sidings Bridge, Beds.
  • A.428 to proposed Eaton Socon by-pass, Beds.
  • Southoe Bends to proposed Buckden by-pass, Hunts.
  • Wansford and Water Newton Diversions, Hunts.
  • Wansford Bridge—Stamford by-pass, Soke of Peterborough.
  • Stamford by-pass, Kesteven.
  • Colsterworth Diversion and improvement from "Green Parrot" Cafe to "Gem" Cafe, Kesteven.
  • Foston to South of proposed Long Bennington by-pass, Kesteven.
  • Blyth by-pass, Notts.
  • Doncaster Mill Bridge, West Riding.
  • Wentbridge by-pass to proposed Knottingley Diversion, West Riding.
  • Micklefield by-pass, West Riding.
  • Wetherby by-pass, West Riding.
  • Wetherby to Allerton Station, West Riding.
  • Allerton Station to proposed Boroughbridge by-pass, West Riding.
  • North of Boroughbridge by-pass to Dishforth Roundabout, North Riding.
  • Catterick by-pass, North Riding.
  • Catterick by-pass to Blue Anchor Farm, North Riding.

Total length approximately 45 miles.

Dual Carriageway Schemes in Progress at 30 th June, 1961

  • Stevenage by-pass, Herts.
  • Biggleswade by-pass, Beds.
  • Biggleswade by-pass, to Girtford, Beds.
  • Widening through Girtford, Beds. (Work started 2nd January, 1961).
  • Sandy to A.428 Beds, (Tempsford and Tempsford Bridge Diversions).
  • Ellington Brook Bridge to Alconbury by-pass, Hunts.
  • Colsterworth Diversion to Grantham by-pass, Kesteven.
  • Grantham by-pass, Kesteven.
  • Doncaster by-pass, West Riding.
  • Redhouse to Wentbridge, West Riding.
  • Wentbridge by-pass, West Riding.
  • Brotherton by-pass, West Riding.
  • Aberford by-pass and widening from North of Micklefield by-pass.
  • Leeming by-pass, North Riding.

Total length approximately 57 miles.

Dual Carriageway Schemes for which construction has been authorised but not yet started

  • Buckden by-pass and widening to Railway Bridge, Hunts.
  • North of Bramham Cross Roads to south of Wetherby by-pass, West Riding.
  • Allerton Station (Hopperton) Diversion.
  • Boroughbridge by-pass, West and North Ridings

Total length 10½ miles.


asked the Minister of Transport what three-lane construction has taken place on the A.1 road during the last two years; what is being carried out and what has been approved to date, respectively; and which are the stretches involved.



A. Schemes completed since 6 th July, 1959

  • Blackwell Bridge widening, Durham.
  • Framwellgate Moor—Pity-me by-pass, Durham.

Total length 1¾ miles.

B. Schemes in progress

  • Ferryhill Battery widening, Durham.

½ mile.

C. Schemes in preparation for early authorisation

  • Widening at Croxdale, Durham.

½ mile.

These schemes are all in County Durham and are on the section of A.1 which will he replaced as the principal route for through traffic by the Darlington by-pass and Durham motorways.


A. Schemes completed since 6 th July, 1959

  • 1. Fisher Lane to Milkhope Road widening.
  • 2. Blagdon Park to Stannington Road End widening.
  • 3. Peacock Gap to Moor House, Morpeth.
  • Total length 4 miles.

    B. Schemes in progress

    • Stannington Road End to High Clifton widening.


    C. Schemes in preparation for early authorisation.

  • 1. Peacock Gap to Pottery Bank widening.
  • 2. Patterson's Cottages to Lodge at Charlton Mines north of Alnwick.
  • Total length 1½ miles.

    asked the Minister of Transport when he intends to relay that section of road on the A.1 between Chilton Buildings and Ferry Hill which at the moment is in a bad condition.

    The defects in this section of A.1 are due to mining subsi- dence. Mining is expected to continue for some years and until the likelihood of subsidence has ceased long-term reconstruction of the road cannot be undertaken. In the meantime repairs including resurfacing are carried out as and when necessary. The Durham Motorway will in due course replace this part of A.1 as the principal through route to the North.

    County Durham


    asked the Minister of Transport what new schemes for highway development are contemplated in the next three years for County Durham; and what major schemes are on the priority list for the county.

    The most important trunk road project planned for the immediate future in County Durham is the Darlington by-pass motorway on which I hope to be able to start construction later in the present financial year. Work should also start this year on the widening and realignment of the A.1 at Croxdale.I have recently informed the Durham County Council that I shall be prepared to consider for grant during the three-year period 1961–62–1963–64 the following major schemes on classified roads:

    • Holdforth Diversion (A.177).
    • Durham City Relief Road.
    • Axwell Park, Winlaton Hill, Improvement (A.694).
    • King George Road Diversion (A.19).

    Other schemes, including smaller improvements, which may be considered for grant during this period will be notified to the county council as soon as practicable.

    Port Talbot By-Pass


    asked the Minister of Transport whether he will expedite the final approval for the Port Talbot bypass; and what plans he has for some of the work to be commenced either when the work on the Baglan—Britton Ferry Road or when the work on the Sandfields—Baglan link road has been completed so as to ensure the best possible use of men, material and equipment.

    I am studying the report of the inspector on the public inquiry held in April and I will announce my decision as soon as possible. Work will then start as soon as the necessary land is acquired. The contract will be let by competitive tender.

    Sandford Link Road


    asked the Minister of Transport whether he will give an assurance that there will be no delay in the completion of the Sandford link road.


    Common Market (Shipbuilding And Ship-Repairing)


    asked the Minister of Transport what investigations he has made into the effect which Great Britain's entry into the Common Market will have on the British shipbuilding and ship-repairing industries.

    For most ships and ships' equipment no tariffs are imposed by this country or by the Six so that entry into the Common Market would affect these industries only indirectly through its effect on our economy as a whole.


    Railway Stations (First-Aid Facilities)

    asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether he is aware of an incident, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Kettering, in which first-aid facilities were not readily available at St. Pancras station; and whether he will refer this incident and the general question of the availability of first-aid services to the appropriate transport users' consultative committee for its consideration;(2) whether he is satisfied that adequate first-aid facilities are provided at railway stations; and what general directions he has given, or proposes to give, to the British Transport Commission regarding this matter.

    The provision of first-aid facilities at railway stations is a matter of railway management for which British Transport Commission is responsible. The Commission tells me that at least one first-aid box is provided at every railway station, that first-aid train- ing for railway staff, though voluntary, is systematically organised throughout British Railways, and that over 20,000 railway staff pass examinations in first-aid each year. I have not hitherto received any representations about the first-aid assistance available at railway stations and do not consider that I should be justified in giving any general directions to the Commission on this subject.As regards the incident at St. Pancras station, I understand that there was some delay in dealing with an injury to one of the hon. Member's constituents, but that a railway policeman gave first-aid and offered to call an ambulance. The Commission is considering whether it is possible to provide a more suitable first-aid post at this station than the police office.I do not think that there are sufficient grounds for me to refer this incident to the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for London or the general question of first-aid facilities to the Central Transport Consultative Committee. Users of railway services are entitled to make representations direct to the consultative committees.

    Post Office

    Telegraph Pole, Ripon


    asked the Postmaster-General why a telegraph pole was erected on land owned by Mrs. D. Pearson, or Redroof, Harrogate Road, Ripon, without her permission; and if he will ensure that permission of the owner is always sought in such cases.

    I think there must be some misunderstanding here. My information is that the grass verge on which the pole was erected is part of the public highway. The permission of the Ripon Corporation was obtained in accordance with the usual practice of securing the consent of the owner or highway authority as appropriate.

    Postal And Telephone Services, Sheffield

    78 and 79.

    asked the Postmaster-General (1) when he expects work to begin on the planned automatic telephone exchange and new sorting office in Sheffield;

    (2) what steps he proposes to take to reduce the waiting list for telephone service in Sheffield and to introduce subscriber trunk dialling services in Sheffield; and if he will make a statement about his plans for the development of the telephone arid postal services in Sheffield.

    A start on the new telephone exchange building will be made in the next few weeks. Subscriber trunk dialling facilities cannot be provided in the present exchange, but the new exchange—which is expected to be ready for service early in 1965—will provide these facilities. Additional cables and equipment are being installed in Sheffield, and I hope by mid-1962 to provide service to most of the applicants at present waiting.As regards the postal services, the plans include the construction of a new main sorting office which will be fully mechanised. This is programmed to start in 1964, depending upon availability of the site. Development of the other sorting offices and modernsation or reconstruction of some public offices are also planned.

    Giro System

    asked the Postmaster-General if he will now make a statement about the introduction of the Giro system into the General Post Office.

    Telephone Service

    Telephone Number (Complaint)


    asked the Postmaster-General why the telephone number Welbeck 4440 is continuously unobtainable; and whether he will investigate the matter.

    The traffic to this number has been very heavy. My staff are in close touch with the firm about its telephone arrangements and are doing all they can to help it.

    Victoria Exchange

    asked the Postmaster-General whether he will undertake a survey as to the length of time taken by telephone operators to answer callers dialling 100 on the Victoria, London, exchange during each 60-minute period of the day; and if he will make a statement.

    I am sorry that the service at the Vitcoria Exchange is not as good as I would like. The average time taken by telephone operators to answer calls has been about 10 to 15 seconds. This has been due to a large increase of traffic at a time of staff shortage.These figures of time-to-answer are based on the regular observations taken at telephone exchanges, and I do not think that a special survey at the Victoria Exchange is necessary.I hope that with the introduction of subscriber trunk dialling at Victoria next week there will be an improvement.

    Wireless And Television

    Bbc Satellite Stations (North And West Devon)

    asked the Postmaster-General if he has now received the stage 3 proposals for satellite stations from the British Broadcasting Corporation; and what plans are evisaged for North and West Devon to improve reception.

    The B.B.C. has not yet put its proposals for stage 3 to me. I understand it is carrying out a series of engineering tests before its proposals are finalised. Until I have received and considered its proposals I cannot say what it may be possible to do in this stage for North and West Devon.

    Ita Stations, Devon And Cornwall

    asked the Postmaster-General if he will give the number of stations opened by the Independent Television Authority in Devon and Cornwall this year; and how many more stations are planned.

    The I.T.A.'s stations at Stockland Hill (Devon) and Caradon Hill (Cornwall) began transmissions on 29th April. The Authority is still completing its main network stations and has not yet submitted to me its plans for smaller stations in areas not adequately served at present.


    asked the Postmaster-General what information he sought, before satisfying himself regarding the arrangements for checking advertisements on television for medicines and drugs, regarding the membership of the Independent Television Association's advertising advisory committee and of the programme companies panel of medical advisers; and if he will publish the information he received regarding their names and qualifications in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

    It is the duty of the I.T.A. to appoint its advertising advisory committee and to comply with its advice. Membership is shown in an appendix to the I.T.A. Annual Reports to me which are presented to the House. The I.T.A. also notified me of the names of the medical consultants who advise the special copy committee of the programme companies in the day-to-day acceptance of advertisements. Details are given below:I.T.A.—ADVERTISING ADVISORY COMMITTEE


    • Mr. Glanvill Benn—Chairman of Benn Bros., Publishers. Member of the Council of the Advertising Association.


    • *Mr. F. W. Addams, B.Sc., F.P.S., F.R.I.C.—Joint Secretary and Registrar of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
    • Mr. H. F. Chilton—Incorporated Society of British Advertisers.
    • *Sir Guy Dain, M.D., Member of the Council of the British Medical Association.
    • Professor S. R. Dennison, C.B.E., M.A., Professor of Economics, Queen's University, Belfast. Member of the Ulster Committee of I.T.A.
    • Mr. R. Diplock—Secretary of the Retail Trading-Standards Association.
    • Mr. J. Fergus—Member of the Scottish Committee of I.T.A.
    • Mr. L. W. Needham— Advertising Association.
    • *Mr. G. R. Pope—British Code of Standards Committee.
    • *Mr. W. Stewart Ross, F.D.S.R.C.S. Eng.—British Dental Association.
    • Mr. R. C. Sykes—Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
    • *Mr. R. F. Tyas—Ministry of Health.
    • * Five of the eleven members (excluding the Chairman) of the Committee are concerned particularly with standards of conduct in the advertising of goods or services for medical or surgical purposes. They represent the British Medical Association, the British Dental Association, the Pharmaceutical Society, the Ministry of Health and the British Code of Standards Committee (the latter is a body composed of Press, periodical and advertising interests for the voluntary control of medical advertising in media other than television).


    • Dr. A. H. Douthwaite, M.D., F.R.C.P.—Senior Consulting Physician at Guy's Hospital (nominated by the British Medical Association).
    • Mr. R. D. Emslie, M.D.S. (nominated by the British Dental Association).
    • Dr. K. A. Williams, B.Sc., Ph.D. (analytical chemist).
    • Professor A. C. Frazer, M.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.P.—Professor of Medical Biochemistry and Pharmacology.
    • Professor Sir Derrick Dunlop, B.A., M.D., F.R.C.P. (nominated by the British Medical Association).
    • Sir John Richardson, M.V.O., M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P. (nominated by the British Medical Association).

    NOTE.—Consultants are free to take a second opinion.


    Teachers (Mathematics And Science)


    asked the Minister of Education what are the numbers of teachers with specialist qualifications in science and mathematics who are teaching these subjects in grammar, technical and other State schools; what are the numbers of unfilled vacancies in the two subjects; and what is the anticipated shortage of such teachers for each of the years 1962 to 1965.

    In March, 1960, there were 13,837 teachers in maintained schools who had a degree in mathematics or science. It is likely that these teachers were teaching their own subjects. A special inquiry of maintained secondary schools in 1958 showed 244 vacancies for mathematics specialists and 260 for science specialists, since when the position has not changed significantly. It is not possible to give figures of vacancies for mathematics and science teachers for each of the years 1962 to 1965 but it is clear that more such teachers, particularly for mathematics and physics, will be required to meet the needs of the schools.

    Grammar School Entrants


    asked the Minister of Education what were the numbers of entrants to grammar schools for the years 1958, 1959 and 1960; and what are the estimated figures for 1961 and 1962.

    The numbers of entrants to maintained and direct grant grammar schools were 147,000 in 1958 and 142,000 in 1959. For the years 1960 to 1962 I estimate these numbers approximately, as 130,000, 125,000 and 120,000.

    Council On Tribunals (Second Report)

    asked the Attorney-General when the Second Report of the Council on Tribunals will be published.

    National Finance

    Income And National Insurance Benefits

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much, in monetary terms, each of the following forms of income, before tax, has increased from January, 1946, until the last convenient date, namely, rents, dividends and interest, National Insurance benefits, and wages and salaries.

    Between 1946 and 1960 personal income from rent, dividends and interest rose by £1,127 million (90 per cent.), National Insurance benefits by £858 million (545 per cent.) and wages and salaries by £8,630 million (175 per cent.). All these figures are in monetary terms and before deducting taxes.

    Home Department

    Metropolitan Police Force (Disciplinary Proceedings)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if a defendant in disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force is allowed to make public the copy of those proceedings with which, by regulation, he is supplied.

    I am considering this matter and I shall communicate with the hon. Member as soon as possible.


    Coal Reserves (Underground Gasification)

    asked the Minister of Power if he will appoint a committee to consider and report upon the mining of coal under built-up areas; and if he will include in the terms of reference a direction to report upon the feasibility of extracting gas from the coal measures under towns and cities without mining the coal.

    I have decided that there would be no advantage in appointing a committee to consider matters for which existing legislation appears to make reasonable provision. The work already done on underground gasification has shown that it is most unlikely to prove an economic method of exploiting coal reserves in this country.

    Trade And Commerce

    Tobacco Industry (Monopolies Commission's Report)

    asked the President of the Board of Trade when the Report of the Monopolies Commission on the supply of cigarettes and tobacco, and cigarette and tobacco machinery, will be published; and if he will make a statement about its contents.

    The Report was published today. It covers the supply of (a) cigarettes and manufactured cigarette and pipe tobacco, and (b) machinery for the manufacture or packaging of cigarettes or of cigarette or pipe tobacco.Two references were made to the Monopolies Commission on 29th November, 1956, and as the two subjects were closely connected the Commission has dealt with them both in one Report.The Commission finds that the Imperial Tobacco Co. (of Great Britain and Ireland) Ltd. supplies nearly two-thirds of the total home supplies of cigarettes and tobacco (its share was 63·4 per cent. in 1959 and had declined each year from 78·8 per cent. in 1955). At the time of the Report no other manufacturer was found to be supplying as much as one-third of the total home supplies, although Gallaher Ltd. was not far below that figure (its share having risen year by year from 11·2 per cent. in 1954 to 29·3 per cent. in 1959).Imperial has financial interests in two other tobacco manufacturers, the British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. (which does not supply the home market) and Gallaher Ltd. The company also controls, through its subsidiary, Ardath (U.K.) Ltd., the manufacture and sale of Ardath brands in the home market.The largest supplier of cigarette and tobacco machinery is the Molins Machine Co. Ltd., in which Imperial and British-American Tobacco each hold 25 per cent, of the equity. Of total home supplies of machinery in 1958, 56·5 per cent. was supplied by the Molins Machine Co. Ltd. and 40·5 per cent, was supplied to Imperial. No other manufacturer supplies, nor does any other user take, as much as one-third of the total United Kingdom supplies.The main conclusions and recommendations of the Commission are:

    Cigarettes and tobacco
  • (i) the monopoly position of Imperial, as such, does not operate against the public interest nor may it be expected to do so.
  • (ii) the retention by Imperial of its shareholding in Gallaher operates and may be expected to operate against the public interest. The Commission recommends that Imperial should divest itself of any direct or indirect financial interest in Gallaher.
  • (iii) Imperial's practice of allowing a bonus to distributors conditional on the grant to the company of a proportion of their display facilities operates and may be expected to operate against the public interest. The Commission recommends that
  • (a) Imperial should terminate its existing Bonus Agreements.
  • (b) any bonus or allowance granted to a distributor by any tobacco manufacturer, whether by written agreement or otherwise, should in future be related solely to that distributor's turnover in the products of the manufacturer concerned,
  • (c) any such bonus or allowance should be completely dissociated from the grant of continuing advertising or display facilities by distributors (special arrangements for "campaign" advertising are in the Commission's view in a different category and unobjectionable),
  • (d) no tobacco manufacturer should in future enter into an arrangement with a distributor the effect of which is that if the distributor advertises a competing product he must also advertise that manufacturer's product.
  • (iv) Machinery—Neither the monopoly position of the Molins Machine Co. Ltd nor the position of Imperial as the preponderant buyer nor any things done by either company in this connection operate or may be expected to operate against the public interest.
  • The Report is unanimous, subject to a note of dissent by Professor G. C. Allen, in relation to resale price maintenance. The Commission concludes that on balance of a number of con- siderations, and so long as competition between manufacturers continues on the present scale, this practice is not against the public interest in the cigarette and tobacco industry. Professor Allen disagrees with this conclusion and considers that the practice should be abolished in this industry.

    One member of the Commission, Dr. L. T. M. Gray, did not take part in the inquiry because of his connections with the machinery industry. Another member, Mr. Ashton W. Roskill, Q.C., did not take part because he was only appointed to the Commission during the closing stages of the inquiry.

    As soon as the industry has had time to consider the Report, I propose, as a first step, to consult it on the various matters to which it gives rise, and to see how far it is prepared to give effect to, or co-operate in giving effect to, its conclusions.

    Northern Rhodesia

    Elections (Qualifying Percentages)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in relation to his proposed constitutional changes in Northern Rhodesia, he will give an estimate of the percentages of African and European voters, respectively, that will be represented by the qualifying condition of 400 votes.

    It is not possible to give a firm estimate as this will depend on the delimitation of constituencies, registration and the size of the poll. But as an illustration, if it were possible for the African and European electorates to be distributed evenly throughout the constituencies, and if there were a 70 per cent. poll, a successful candidate would have to secure 12½ per cent. of the European vote (about 280) and 400 (about 6 per cent.) of the African vote. The Governor's dispatch (Cmnd. 1423) in paragraph 13 explains the reasons for having either a percentage or a fixed number in the qualifying percentage.