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Written Answers

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 15th November, 1961

Scotland

Royal College Of Science And Technology

1.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what decisions be has reached on the future of the Royal College of Science and Technology in the light of the report of the recent inquiry.

My right hon. Friend's proposals were contained in a draft scheme which was published on 19th September. As the Governors of the College and some other interested bodies have not yet sent their comments on the draft to my right hon. Friend, he is deferring further action for the time being.

Land, Clydebank (Industrial Development)

3.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what land is scheduled for industrial development in Clydebank; and what steps he is taking to find a developer to use this land.

As the town council has not yet submitted its development plan there is no formal allocation of land for industry. A site of about 60 acres was recently sold by the Board of Trade to an industrial company for the purpose of establishing a heavy engineering works.

New Maternity Hospital, Bellshill

6.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give an opening date for the new maternity hospital at Bellshill, Lanarkshire.

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer which my right hon. Friend gave the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) on this subject on 13th November.

Housing

8.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number of local authorities in Scotland, for each year from 1957 to 1960, which did not build houses.

The number of local authorities which had no houses under construction in each of the years 1957 to 1960 was 59, 79, 94 and 75, respectively.

9.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the number of local authority houses which are overcrowded according to the standards laid down in the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1935.

National Health Service (Prescriptions)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number of prescriptions dispensed under the National Health Service, and the average cost per item, for each month of the current year.

The information is as follows:

SCOTLAND
1961Number of prescriptions dispensedAverage cost per item
millionss.d.
January2·1282·6
February2·2582·4
March1·8587·0
April1·6089·9
May1·75810·1
June1·6690
July1·4392·7
August1·5191·4
September1·59*Not yet known
* Provisional.

Medical Students (Maintenance Allowance)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the amount of the grant awarded to a Scottish medical student who elects to attend Trinity College, Dublin; and whether this is the same as the amount granted to a Scottish medical student attending a provincial English university.

Scottish students attending Trinity College, Dublin, are paid, in addition to fees, the same standard maintenance allowance as those at Scottish universities living in lodgings. The maximum is £245 per annum, subject to the usual parental means test. The allowance payable to Scottish students at English provincial universities and living in lodgings is £265.

Local Authority Houses (Gross Annual Value)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average gross annual value of a municipal house, calculated on the basis of the current assessments, in the cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in each of the large burghs Scotland.

The following figures are based on information which I have received from the local authorities concerned. They are provisional pending the outcome of appeals against new valuations:

CitiesAverage gross annual value of local authority houses 1961–62
Aberdeen46
Dundee50
Edinburgh48
Glasgow48
Large Burghs
Airdrie45
Arbroath42
Ayr44
Clydebank47
Coatbridge44
Dumbarton36
Dumfries38
Dunfermline55
Falkirk43
Greenock46
Hamilton43
Inverness39
Kilmarnock44
Kirkcaldy54
Motherwell and Wishaw44
Paisley53
Perth43
Port Glasgow45
Rutherglen43
Stirling41

Transport

British Railways And British Road Services (Capital Expenditure, Scotland)

35.

asked the Minister of Transport what proportion of the capital allocated by him to British Railways and British Road Services, respectively, has been used in respect of schemes in Scotland.

The Commission estimate that 11 per cent. of British Railways capital expenditure and 5 per cent. of British Road Services capital expenditure in 1960 was attributable to Scottish services. Comparable estimates for 1961 are about 10 per cent. and 8 per cent. These are not precise figures, since rolling stock and vehicles operate between Scotland and other parts of the country.

Docks (Rochdale Committee's Report)

49.

asked the Minister of Transport when he expects to publish the Report of the Rochdale Committee on docks, parts of which have already appeared in the Press; and if he will place in the Library those parts which have already been so published.

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. I have not received the Report of the Rochdale Committee, and no parts of it have been published.

Week-End Traffic (Heavy Goods Vehicles)

52.

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of increased traffic jams at week-ends, he will consider following the French practice of excluding certain forms of heavy goods lorries from the roads at week-ends.

I understand that most other European countries (including France) do not have any such general restrictions. Since heavy goods traffic in this country is much less at week-ends than at other times, we are not prepared to impose restrictions as suggested by my hon. Friend.

Motor Vehicles (Mud-Flaps)

54.

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the recent fatal experience in wet conditions on the M.1, he will consider the compulsory addition of flexible mud-flaps behind front and rear wings.

We have no evidence that mud splashing was a contributory factor in this regrettable accident. In any event most of the mud and water thrown out beyond the wings, which must by law be fitted to motor vehicles, is squeezed out sideways, and mud-flaps would not help.

British Transport Commission (Vehicle Building Employees)

59.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission to extend its superannuation scheme to cover its vehicle building employees.

No. This is a matter of management for the companies concerned rather than for me.

Ambulances (Warning Device)

asked the Minister of Transport what further evidence he has obtained on amplification equipment as a warning device on priority vehicles such as ambulances; if he will extend the use of the siren now used on police or fire vehicles to ambulances; and if he will make a statement.

Experiments have shown that the effectiveness of an audible warning device depends largely upon its sound level, and that bells are more distinctive at a given level than other sounds. An amplified bell is likely, therefore, to be most satisfactory. Nevertheless, in order to meet the wishes of the ambulance authorities we have circulated for comment amending regulations which would permit the use of sirens on ambulances.

Railways

Withdrawal Of Services

46.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission that in the event of railway closures or curtailments in services, the Members of Parliament concerned shall be informed of such decisions.

No. It is already the practice of the Commission to notify hon. Members, whose constituents might be affected, of proposals for withdrawals of services. This action is taken when the Commission submits its proposals to the Transport Users Consultative Committees.

Railway Properties (Redevelopment)

50.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will set up an independent committee to advise him on the problems arising, as a result of the redevelopment of railway properties, from the threat to monuments of historical or artistic value such as the great portico at Euston station.

No. Such monuments are covered by the provisions in the Town and Country Planning Acts for the protection of buildings of special historic or architectural interest. There is already an independent Committee which advises my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government on this subject.

Capital Projects

asked the Minister of Transport what cuts have been made in capital projects of British Railways since 25th July, 1961.

I have made no such cuts. I understand from the British Transport Commission that work is going forward at the planned rate on all projects already in hand.

Roads

Central London—London Airport (Route)

47.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that as a result of traffic congestion on the road to London Airport recently many passengers missed their outward flights; and by what date he anticipates that a clear and uninterrupted passage to London Airport from the centre of London will be available.

I am aware that reconstruction on the Bath Road through Cranford is causing delay to traffic, including traffic to London Airport, but there should soon be some improvement.The route from central London to London Airport will be improved generally by the opening of the Hammersmith Flyover tomorrow, the extension of the peak-hour clearway in December and the completion of the work in Cranford early next summer. The completion of the Chiswick-Langley Motorway in 1964 should help even more.

London-Yorkshire Motorway

53.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement on the present position relating to the Leicestershire portion of the London-Yorkshire motor road; and when he anticipates completing that part and the whole of the project.

70.

asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made with procedures preliminary to the planned extension of the London-Yorkshire motorway since the publication of the scheme on 7th October, 1960; what procedures remain to be completed before construction can be commenced; and what is the minimum period in which these procedures can be completed.

The state of preparation of this motorway was described in the Answer which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner) on 24th October. Since then the connecting roads scheme for the southern half of the motorway and the side road Order for Nottinghamshire have been published in draft.We are getting on well with the statutory processes for side road Orders and land acquisition. It is not, however, possible to state a minimum period for completion of them, for this depends on the nature and volume of objections received and on whether a public inquiry is necessary.It may be possible to complete these procedures and the engineering preparation in time to make a start at the southern end of the motorway during the next financial year.

Roundabouts

51.

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that it is now common international practice to avoid the construction of roundabouts, he will give an assurance that no more roundabouts will be constructed in the United Kingdom.

No. Although we are now building an increasing number of grade separated junctions, roundabouts will still be constructed where they offer the most suitable form of junction, having regard to the physical circumstances at the crossing in question, the traffic flow, land requirements and the cost.

69.

asked the Minister of Transport what proposals he has for reducing accidents at roundabouts during fog.

Accidents in fog at roundabouts are a very small proportion of the total. General advice to drivers is given in the Highway Code, and the B.B.C. and I.T.V. usually warn drivers of the special dangers when fog is present or expected. Roundabouts, too, are normally lighted in foggy weather.

Trunk Roads

61.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will have a report prepared and published indicating the lengths and width of all trunk roads in each county for which he is responsible; and if he will set out in the report the new road and road improvement costs in each county since the end of the war.

I regret that this information is not readily available in the form suggested by the hon. Member, and I do not think the work involved in compiling it would be justified. I would, however, refer him to the Reports on Roads in England and Wales, presented annually to Parliament. If he wishes for further information about roads in any particular county I shall be happy to obtain it for him.

Preston-Lancaster Motorway

62.

asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the increase each summer in road traffic along the A.6 between Preston and Lancaster, what progress he proposes to make this winter with the building of the projected motorway between these two towns.

The essential preparatory work for the motorway is being carried out as quickly as possible. We are making good progress with outstanding statutory processes and the detailed design. Negotiations for land acquisition have started, and although I cannot yet give a firm date for starting construction, we plan to begin construction as soon as all these processes have been completed.

Bolton-Belmont-Preston By-Pass (Link Road)

63.

asked the Minister of Transport when he intends to authorise the building of a link road to connect the Bolton-Belmont-Preston by-pass.

This is a classified road project for which the Lancashire County Council is responsible. I regret that I cannot yet say when we shall be able to include it in the "rolling" programme.

A4 Road (Knowl Hill School Crossing)

64.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will arrange for the erection of warning signs at the Knowl Hill School crossing on the main Maidenhead-Reading road A.4, in the very near future until such time as it is possible to provide central islands, in order to warn motorists of the danger of school-children crossing.

I have written fully to my hon. Friend about this matter. There are already four school signs at the point. The best protection for school-children, however, is a school crossing patrol which the county council is endeavouring to provide When one is available the appropriate additional signs will be added.

Rush Hour Traffic (Heavy Goods Vehicles)

71.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will initiate consultations with industry to secure the withdrawal of heavy goods traffic from main roads in and out of large towns during the rush hours.

The movement of large abnormal loads is already widely prohibited in the major cities during morning and evening rush hours. To extend this prohibition to all heavy goods traffic would have serious implications for industry. I should be reluctant to take this step until other proposals for alleviating congestion in rush hours have been further explored.

Billingham-Wolviston (Dual Carriageways)

72.

asked the Minister of Transport when he expects to give consent for the extension of the dual carriageway from Billingham to Wolviston on A.19.

Work began in October on the extension of the dual carriageways as far as the southern outskirts of Wolviston, and we hope to authorise a scheme to continue this improvement through the village next year.

Eastern Avenue Extension

73.

asked the Minister of Transport what further developments have taken place in respect of the extension of Eastern Avenue through the Borough of Leyton.

The draft Order in respect of the Green Man junction will be published within the next few weeks as soon as the necessary notices can appear in the Press.As for the length of road covered by the draft Order already published, we are giving detailed consideration to the special problems of property acquisition and rehousing that would arise if the Order were to be made as advertised. A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.

St Giles Circus (Improvement Scheme)

asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the fact that the one-way traffic system, which includes Tottenham Court Road, New Oxford Street, St. Giles High Street and Charing Cross Road, is to be continued indefinitely, whether the proposed £836,000 London County Council road improvement scheme at St. Giles Circus is to be completed; to what use it will be put; and what estimate he has made of the economic return on such expenditure.

Work on the redevelopment of this site has started, and the L.C.C. road scheme now estimated to cost £488,000 will proceed as planned. It will provide valuable additional capacity at this critical junction. The rate of return on the capital cost is not a complete, nor necessarily a true, measure of the value of such schemes. The one-way scheme in this area, which I have said is to be continued indefinitely, is designed to provide the best facilities for traffic under conditions as they are at present.

Shipbuilding

Marine Diesel Engines

56.

asked the Minister of Transport what the sterling outgoings have been in 1958, 1959 and 1960, respectively, arising from the manufacture in this country of foreign-designed direct-coupled marine diesel engines over 5,000 horse-power under the following headings, namely, capital payments in consideration of the acquisition of such licences, royalties on engines manufactured, and fees in other forms, such as the renewal and extension of existing licences.

"Queen Mary" (Replacement)

67.

asked the Minister of Transport whether the Cunard Line Company has yet informed him about its plans for building an Atlantic liner; and if he will make a statement.

The answer to the first part of the Question is No, Sir. On the second part of the Question, I have nothing to add to the statement I made to the House on 19th October.

Shipping

Seaman, Jamaica (Treatment)

58.

asked the Minister of Transport, if he is aware that a Bristol seaman, whose name has been supplied to him, who missed his ship at Port Antonia, Jamaica, was held in prison by the immigration authorities, had his request to see the shipping agent ignored, and his request to see a priest refused, was given no towel or soap to wash himself, had to travel seventy miles in a truck and was given only bread and red beans during the eight days he was locked in a cell; and if he will take steps to prevent such treatment to British seamen taking place again.

I am having inquiries made into this incident and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Nuclear Tests

74.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what resolutions were adopted by the Political Committee and General Assembly of the United Nations on the subject of nuclear tests; which delegations voted in favour of each resolution, which against, and which abstained; and what action the United Kingdom took on each.

This information is contained in United Nations documents A/C1/PV1177, 1185 and 1187, and A/PV1043, 1047 and 1049, copies of which are available in the Library.

79.

asked the Lord Privy Seal why the representative of Her Majesty's Government at the United Nations General Assembly voted on 6th November against the resolution on nuclear tests sponsored by the Indian Government.

Her Majesty's Government opposed the resolution calling for an immediate moratorium on testing because they considered that a mere declaration that further tests should not be held would offer no protection and no security,

Katanga

75.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the agreement signed between the United Nations and the Government of Katanga confirming the arrangements for a cease fire.

89.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the situation in Katanga.

Central Government troops withdrew from the Western part of the Katanga about a week ago. In Northern Katanga the provincial Government appear to have lost control of Albertville to Baluba tribesmen. I have no confirmation of reports that Central Government troops from Kivu province have reached there. Elsewhere the situation appears to be calm, except that the refugee camp in Elisabethville remains a cause of anxiety. The cease-fire agreement between the United Nations and the provincial Government remains in force.

76.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what protest has been made against United Nations interference with communications, particularly in code, between Her Majesty's Consul-General in Elisabethville and London; and what has been the result.

None. Interruptions in communications with Her Majesty's Consul were the result of fighting in Elisabethville and consequent damage at the post office. After the fighting Her Majesty's Embassy at Leopoldville made representations to the United Nations about the earliest possible restoration of consular communications.

87.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals have been made in the United Nations for an independent inquiry to be held into the allegations by United Nations functionaries, and others, that Katanga broke the cease-fire agreement and acted aggressively in the former Belgian Congo.

88.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government will make representations through the United Nations about the supply by the West German Government of five Dornier 28 aircraft in violation of the cease-fire agreement between the United Nations and Katanga forces.

No. It is understood these aircraft were ordered through a commercial firm without the knowledge of the Federal German Government, which has taken steps to stop any further exports. Her Majesty's Government have no status to intervene.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what measures have been taken by Her Majesty's Government since the United Nations Security Council resolution of 21st February, 1961, to ensure that no British subject or British-protected person has joined the mercenary forces in the employ of the Katanga Government.

Applicants for passports who wish to travel to the Congo, or whom it is suspected may be trying to go there as mercenaries, are asked to sign a declaration that they have no such intention. Consular officers have where possible invalidated or withdrawn the passport of any United Kingdom national who takes up a military engagement in the Congo other than under United Nations command.

Vietnam

Advisory Mission

77.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the three officers in the advisory mission sent to South Vietnam are seconded from the police or the military forces.

The three officers concerned are not on secondment; they are former members of the Malayan Civil Service.

Geneva Conference Co-Chairmen (Exchange Of Notes)

85.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish the recent correspondence between Her Majesty's Government and the Soviet Government on the subject of upholding the Geneva 1954 Agreement in Vietnam.

I am placing in the Library of the House copies of the texts of the Notes recently exchanged between the British and Soviet Co-Chairmen on the situation in Vietnam.

Berlin

78.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that Mr. Khrushchev is now prepared to make concessions and compromise on his proposals for resolving the Berlin problem; and whether he is now in a position to state when negotiations are to commence with the Russians on the Berlin problem.

I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House yesterday.

Egypt (Sequestered Property)

80.

asked the Lord Privy Seal in how many cases claimants in respect of sequestered property in Egypt have been refused payment on the ground that tax clearance certificates, that were valid at the date of the claim, are now invalid; and whether he will make representations on this subject to the Egyptian Exchange Control.

In four cases known to us tax clearance certificates were valid at the time when an application for the transfer of funds under Article V of the Anglo-United Arab Republic Financial Agreement was submitted to the Egyptian Exchange Control authorities on behalf of a British subject, but ceased to be valid before approval for the transfer was given. In addition, two cases are known to us in which the application for a transfer was submitted with a tax clearance certificate which was already out of date at the time of the submission.Tax clearance certificates of the United Arab Republic are valid for only six months. Her Majesty's Embassy in Cairo has been informed that, if the validity of a tax clearance certificate expires before the Exchange Control's authority for the transfer of the funds is given, the agent in Egypt of the British subjects concerned should be able to obtain a new certificate.The Embassy is carefully watching all these cases, and will make appropriate representations to the Egyptian authorities whenever they have been shown to be at fault.

Mr Vacaric (Yugoslav Note)

84.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement on the Note recently received from the Yugoslav Government with regard to the arrest in Munich of Mr. Luga Vacaric, the former partisan leader.

86.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what reply Her Majesty's Government have sent to the Yugoslav Government's note on the arrest of Mr. Vacaric in West Germany.

The Note of the Yugoslav Government is at present being studied. I would prefer for the moment to make no statement. It would in any case be contrary to normal practice and discourteous to the Yugoslav Government for me to do so until a reply has been sent.

Information Services And British Council (Overseas Expenditure)

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) if he will now state why he is proposing to reduce British Council expenditure in foreign countries; and what form the proposed reductions will take;(2) if he will now state why he is proposing to reduce information expenditure in foreign countries; and what form the proposed reductions will take.

I cannot at present add anything to the reply given to the hon. Gentleman on 23rd October by my hon. Friend the Minister of State.

Sale Of Arms (Portugal)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what reconsideration has been given to the restriction of exports of arms and other supplies by the United Kingdom to Portugal or Portuguese oversea provinces.

There has been no change in the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the export of arms and military equipment to Portugal and to Portuguese overseas territories since my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's reply to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) on 27th June.

British Army

West Indies (Recruits)

90.

asked the Secretary of State for War how many Jamaicans and other West Indians he is recruiting into the British Army; in which regiments they will serve; and whether he will make a statement on the first recruiting interviews which have taken place.

Although there is nothing new in the concept of members of the Commonwealth joining the British Army, it is only since the decision to end conscription that we have considered sending recruiting teams to certain territories.In the case of the West Indies I have naturally wished to be very careful that this departure from previous practice would not conflict with local requirements such as the recruiting of police and local defence forces. A great deal of consultation has, therefore, been necessary with the Governments concerned.However, a recruiting team is now in the West Indies. 250 applications to enlist in the British Army have so far been received. Of these, 113 have passed the necessary intelligence test. Final selection will depend upon the medical examinations which are now taking place. It is, therefore, too early to say in which regiments or corps these recruits will serve.

Science

Radioactivity (Tests)

91.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what steps he is taking to maintain a monitoring service of the large areas of fresh water exposed to fall-out from recent nuclear tests in Russia.

A representative selection of public water sources has been monitored for several years for radioactive strontium and caesium. In addition the Government have put in hand special measures to test water supplies for Iodine 131. The first results have not shown any appreciable amount of this isotope in water supplies from large areas of fresh water.

92.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science where testing for effects of nuclear fall-out is carried on in Scotland; and if he will publish the results for various districts separately.

Radioactivity in milk is measured in samples from over 40 depots in Scotland from Orkney to Dumfriesshire. Potatoes and brassicas drawn from Scottish counties are sampled as part of the national survey of strontium 90 and caesium 137.Measurements of radioactivity in air are carried out at Eskdalemuir, and in rainwater at Kinloss.Water supplies for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are tested for radiostrontium and radiocaesium as part of a continuing programme. In addition, for the present, water from these sources and from others in Ross-shire and Inverness-shire is being tested for iodine 131.Results, showing in many cases the districts from which samples were drawn, are published in the form which gives the best guidance for the assessment of their significance.

Sierra Leone

High Commission (Staff)

93.

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations how many officers there are with the rank of second secretary or about in the British High Commission in Sierra Leone; how many of these officers have previously served in British Colonial Territories in Africa; and what are the ranks of those with such service.

Five, two of which, the High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner, have previously served in British Colonial Territories in Africa.

West Africa

High Commission (Staff)

94.

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations which three Commonwealth Service officers of administrative grade serving in the British High Commissions in West Africa have previously served in other Commonwealth Relations Office posts in Africa; where they served; and for how long.

The High Commissioner in Ghana, the Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria and the First Secretary in Sierra Leone have previously served in the British High Commission in South Africa for periods of 2½ years, 1½years and 1½ years respectively.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

South African Sugar (Trading Arrangements)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements have been made for the trade in sugar between South Africa and the United Kingdom after the end of 1961.

I agreed with the South African Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. Diederichs, on 22nd September that there should be further discussions on arrangements for the trade in sugar between our two countries. These have been held during the past three weeks between my Department and the South African Sugar Association, and have led to agreement in principle on the following arrangements for the trade in sugar between South Africa and the United Kingdom after the end of 1961, when the South African Sugar Assocation's rights and obligations under the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement come to an end.The Ministry of Agriculture will purchase 150,000 long tons a year of raw sugar from the South African Sugar Association at a price of £35 15s. 0d. a ton (basis 96° f.a.s. Durban). Exports of sugar to the United Kingdom from South Africa in excess of this quantity will be made only in agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, and will be sold to buyers in the United Kingdom at the ordinary market price.These arrangements will last for the five years 1962–1966 inclusive. The provisions for the years 1964–1966 will be subject to review, and to such modifications as may be necessary in the event of any changes in the international obligations affecting the trade in sugar of either the Government of the United Kingdom or the Government of the Republic of South Africa.Discussions on the details of this Agreement will continue. But in view of the shortness of time for making arrangements for shipments in 1962, plans are being made immediately for the purchase of sugar by the Ministry for 1962.The opportunity has also been taken to review with the Government of South Africa and the South African Sugar Association the arrangements for the marketing in South Africa of sugar produced in Swaziland. The South African Government and the Association have confirmed that the existing marketing arrangements will continue unchanged. It has also been agreed that in the 1964–65 production season and subsequent years the present figure for Swaziland sugar production of 80,000 short tons should be replaced by a limit of 8½ per cent. of the total sales of South African and Swaziland sugar, thus giving the Swaziland sugar industry an opportunity of sharing in any increase in the South African markets for sugar.

Transport

Trafalgar Square (Traffic Hold-Up)

95.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cause of the severe and prolonged traffic hold-up in the early even- ing of 6th November in the vicinity of Trafalgar Square; and what attempt was made to relieve this by redirecting cars so as to minimise the congestion which was causing a delay of half an hour.

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the hold-up cannot be ascribed to any particular cause. In order to relieve the situation, police manned all junctions in the neighbourhood and gradually improved the flow of traffic, which became normal by about 7.15 p.m.

Royal Air Force

Congo (Troop Transport)

asked the Secretary of State for Air what was the last occasion on which Royal Air Force aircraft transported United Nations troops to or from the former Belgian Congo and whether it is intended to continue this service to the United Nations Organisation.

Royal Air Force aircraft have not moved major units to or from the Congo since June, but Hastings aircraft still provide a maintenance service for the Nigerian contingent.

Education

Educationally Sub-Normal Children

asked the Minister of Education (1) what is the number of teachers, by local education areas, at present in special schools who are specially trained to deal with educationally sub-normal children;(2) what is the number of people specially qualified to teach educationally sub-normal children at present serving in primary, secondary and comprehensive schools, respectively; and what was the average size of their classes at the latest convenient date.

Specialised training is not a requirement for teachers of educationally sub-normal children and no regular return is made of the number of teachers with special qualifications. A special inquiry made last July showed the following number of teachers who have taken one year special courses in the teaching of handicapped pupils (other than the blind, deaf and partially deaf) employed in special and other maintained schools.

Local Education AuthorityTeaching in special schoolsTeaching in other maintained schools
ENGLAND
Counties:
Berkshire1
Buckinghamshire2
Cambridgeshire13
Cheshire1
Cornwall1
Derbyshire72
Devon2
Durham11
Essex127
Gloucestershire3
Hampshire15
Hertfordshire43
Huntingdonshire1
Isle of Ely1
Isle of Wight2
Kent1213
Lancashire106
Leicestershire1
Lincs. (Kesteven)1
Lincs. (Lindsey)3
Middlesex914
Norfolk1
Northumberland21
Nottinghamshire3
Oxfordshire11
Somerset1
Staffordshire92
Suffolk, East12
Suffolk, West1
Surrey63
Sussex, East42
Sussex, West31
Warwickshire111
Wiltshire1
Worcestershire41
Yorks, North Riding21
Yorks, West Riding41
London6423
County Boroughs:
Barnsley1
Barrow-in-Furness1
Birkenhead1
Birmingham304
Blackpool11
Bolton1
Bootle2
Bournemouth1
Brighton1
Bristol3
Coventry11
Croydon2
Darlington1
Derby2
Dudley1
Eastbourne1
East Ham21
Gateshead1
Gloucester1
Great Yarmouth1
Grimsby41
Local Education AuthorityTeaching in special schoolsTeaching in other maintained schools
ENGLAND (cont.):
County Boroughs (cont.):
Huddersfield1
Kingston upon Hull1
Leeds52
Liverpool142
Manchester2
Newcastle upon Tyne21
Northampton2
Norwich1
Oldham1
Oxford3
Portsmouth1
Preston2
Reading1
Rochdale2
St. Helens1
Smethwick1
Southport11
Stockport11
Tynemouth1
Walsall21
Warrington1
West Ham52
Wigan1
WALES
Counties:
Breconshire1
Glamorgan43
Monmouthshire12
Pembrokeshire3
County Boroughs:
Cardiff7
Merthyr Tydfil2
Newport (Mon.)2
Swansea1
TOTALS304137
In addition eleven such teachers were employed in special schools not maintained by local education authorities.The maximum size laid down by Regulations for a class of educationally sub-normal pupils is 20; but my right hon. Friend has no information as to the actual size of such classes in schools other than special schools.

asked the Minister of Education what is the number of children in England and Wales, county by county, who are classified as educationally sub-normal; and what were their age groups at the last convenient date.

The following table gives for the area of each local education authority in January, 1961, the number of educationally sub-normal children who are receiving special educational treatment, except for those receiving it in the ordinary schools, the number of which is not known.

ENGLAND
Counties
Bedfordshire224
Berkshire275
Buckinghamshire507
Cambridgeshire151
Cheshire163
Cornwall74
Cumberland88
Derbyshire398
Devon202
Dorset127
Durham577
Essex1,383
Gloucestershire555
Hampshire224
Hereforshire80
Hertfordshire487
Huntingdonshire39
Isle of Ely75
Isle of Wight10
Isles of Scilly1
Kent854
Lancashire1,334
Leicestershire130
Lincs.—Holland77
Lincs.—Kesteven119
Lincs.—Lindsey206
Middlesex1,316
Norfolk93
Northamptonshire184
Northumberland232
Nottinghamshire243
Oxfordshire128
Peterborough Jt. Education Board37
Rutland1
Shropshire137
Somerset338
Staffordshire503
Suffolk East89
Suffolk West19
Surrey917
Sussex East228
Sussex West323
Warwickshire530
Westmorland28
Wiltshire169
Worcestershire223
Yorks. East Riding90
Yorks. North Riding310
Yorks. West Riding790
London4,100
County Boroughs
Barnsley55
Barrow-in-Furness98
Bath115
Birkenhead117
Birmingham1,290
Blackburn108
Blackpool165
Bolton169
Bootle114
Bournemouth81
Bradford309
Brighton191
Bristol363
Burnley76
Burton-upon-Trent5
Bury71
ENGLAND (cont.):
County Boroughs (cont.):
Canterbury13
Carlisle106
Chester20
Coventry387
Croydon203
Darlington68
Derby197
Dewsbury69
Doncaster90
Dudley99
Eastbourne70
East Ham66
Exeter24
Gateshead26
Gloucester168
Great Yarmouth2
Grimsby119
Halifax107
Hastings68
Huddersfield152
Ipswich104
Kingston upon Hull179
Leeds663
Leicester166
Lincoln68
Liverpool1,845
Manchester751
Middlesbrough171
Newcastle upon Tyne350
Northampton73
Norwich161
Nottingham422
Oldham79
Oxford113
Plymouth286
Portsmouth290
Preston98
Reading151
Rochdale123
Rotherham132
St. Helens94
Salford93
Sheffield538
Smethwick137
Southampton151
Southend-on-Sea116
Southport6
South Shields142
Stockport155
Stoke-on-Trent143
Sunderland218
Tynemouth75
Wakefield75
Wallasey119
Walsall223
Warrington154
West Bromwich153
West Ham171
West Hartlepool82
Wigan10
Wolverhampton152
Worcester23
York91
WALES
Counties
Anglesey75
Breconshire11
Caernarvonshire43
Cardiganshire15
Carmarthenshire43
Denbighshire83
WALES (cont.):
Counties (cont.)
Flintshire7
Glamorgan227
Merioneth8
Monmouthshire62
Montgomeryshire53
Pembrokeshire25
Radnorshire6
County Boroughs
Cardiff306
Merthyr Tydfil
Newport (Mon.)132
Swansea136
Totals (England and Wales)35,347
Details of the ages of the children in the areas of individual authorities are not available. The numbers of children in special schools for educationally subnormal children, classified by age in January, 1960, for the country as a whole can be found on page 172 of my Department's Annual Report for 1960.

asked the Minister of Education how many trained psychiatrists are employed by him to test children reported as educationally subnormal by head teachers; and how long a period of time elapses between report and test.

Local education authorities have a duty to ascertain which children in their area require special educational treatment. For the purpose of testing children believed to be educationally sub-normal they usually employ school medical officers with special training and educational psychologists. Psychiatrists are not ordinarily engaged in this work. Every attempt is made to test a child as soon as possible after he comes to the notice of the local education authority. The period varies according to local conditions; delays are often unavoidable owing to a shortage of qualified staff and I am looking into this aspect of the matter.

National Finance

Personal Incomes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of incomes before tax, for the latest convenient 12-month period, totalled under £400 per annum and under £600 per annum, respectively.

On the basis of the estimated numbers of incomes published in the National Income Blue Book 1961 the figures for the calendar year 1960 are about 30 per cent. and 50 per cent. respectively. The combined incomes of a married couple are counted as one unit.

Ministry Of Health

Drugs (Ingredients)

asked the Minister of Health, in view of the allergy to aspirin experienced by many people suffering persistent stomach troubles, if he will introduce legislation to ensure that the manufacturers of drug remedies containing aspirin advertise the fact by the use of the trade name in the list of ingredients.

No. The hon. Member has written to me about this, and I would refer him to my reply.

Employment

Pit Closures, Fife

asked the Minister of Labour what is the expected increase in unemployment as a result of pit closures in Fife.

No long-term unemployment is expected although some men may be out of work for short periods until other coal mining vacancies are available.

Firm, Gainsborough (Redundant Workers)

asked the Minister of Labour how many unfilled vacancies for women there are in the Gainsborough area; and what steps he has taken to secure employment for the redundant employees of the National Folding Box Company in Gainsborough.

There were seventeen vacancies for women on 8th November. My local officers have already placed in other employment the five redundant workers who have so far registered. The company is planning to transfer some of the workers affected to an associated firm in Gainsborough and little difficulty is expected in securing alternative work far the remainder.

Government Training Centre, Long Eaton

asked the Minister of Labour how many persons have received training at the Government Training Centre at Long Eaton during each of the past three years; what plans he has made regarding alternative centres to which trainees could be sent in the event of its closure; what is the size of the staff; and to how many of them will comparable alternative employment be offered.

The numbers are: 169 during 1958; 178 during 1959; 208 during 1960. In the nine months ended on 11th September, 1961, 138 persons completed training. During this period, places have been provided for training an average of 320 persons a year.If it is decided to close the centre, immediate arrangements will be made for any persons awaiting training and who have not started their course to be allocated to other centres. Most of those now in training will be able to complete their courses at the centre; places at other centres will be allotted to the remainder.The total staff of all grades at the centre is 33. It is hoped that the majority of these will be offered comparable employment elsewhere.

Trade And Commerce

Hovercraft

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on the present position of the development of hovercraft.

Four private firms have now almost completed the development of commercial prototypes of various kinds based on the hovercraft principle, in collaboration with a subsidiary company of the National Research Development Corporation.