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Written Answers

Volume 649: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday, 21st November, 1961

National Finance

Invalid Tricycles (Purchase Tax)

4.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will abolish Purchase Tax on invalid tricycles.

My hon. Friend seems to have been misinformed; there is no Purchase Tax on invalid tricycles.

3½ Per Cent War Loan

13.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that the cuts accepted by Government and local government employees at the time of the national emergency in 1931 were restored when the financial crisis ended, he will raise the interest on 3½ per cent. War Loan to 5 per cent. in order that everyone who made sacrifices can be equally treated.

Unofficial Strikes (Income Tax Repayments)

14.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in order to help to deal with unofficial strikes, he will introduce legislation to make it illegal for individuals taking part in an unofficial strike to obtain repayment of Income Tax for the period of the strike.

Overseas Aviation, Ltd (Paye Deductions)

19.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action has been taken to recover from Overseas Aviation, Ltd. the money that is due to the Inland Revenue in respect of Pay As You Earn deductions made by it from its employees' earnings.

An order for the winding-up of this company was made in the High Court on 9th October on the petition of trade creditors who were supported by the Inland Revenue. Proof for the tax due is being lodged in the liquidation in which the Inland Revenue will have a preferential claim.

University Places

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is now the total number of university places in England and Wales available to men and women respectively.

Provisional figures collected at the beginning of the current session show that there are 69,625 men and 23,192 women doing full-time courses in universities in England and Wales.

Trade And Commerce

Lettuce (Import Duty)

34.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a decision has yet been reached on the National Farmers' Union application for an increase in the import duty on lettuce.

Cotton Goods (Import)

37.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the harmful effect that the dumping of cotton goods from Spain is having an the United Kingdom cotton industry; and what action he proposes to take to stop these imports.

I am well aware of the serious difficulties confronting the cotton industry at the present time as the result of imports from Spain and other sources. I propose to visit Manchester on December 8th when I shall be discussing this and other problems with the industry.

Buildings (Certificates)

38.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that certificates are being issued, in relation to buildings, purporting to be of an official nature and to guarantee the quality of the building; and if he will introduce legislation to control the issue of such certificates.

I am aware that certificates are being issued by the National House-Builders Registration Council, a body which I understand to have been approved for the purpose of Section 5 of the Buildings Societies Act, 1939. On the general issue of controlling seals of approval, I propose to await the advice of the Committee on Consumer Protection.

Advance Factory, Shotts

42.

asked the President of the Board of Trade when work will begin on the construction of the advance factory at Shotts.

I regret to say that further difficulties have arisen over the purchase of the site. I am still hoping that it will be possible to reach agreement with the vendors in the near future, but if not I shall have to consider what other steps can be taken to enable the necessary land to be acquired without undue delay.

International Trade Fair, Montreal

44.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes taking to encourage publicity for British exports at Montreal's fifth international trade fair.

European Economic Community

45.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will take power to secure that British firms or subsidiaries operating or intending to operate in the countries of the European Economic Community should notify him of this.

Immature Whisky (Exports)

48.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the percentage increase as between 1959, 1960 and 1961 to date in the numbers of gallons of Scotch whisky sold abroad of an age less than that at which it may be sold in this country.

Separate figures for exports of immature whisky are not available but it is estimated that in 1960 compared with 1959 exports in proof gallons increased by about 70 per cent., while in the first nine months of 1961 compared with the same period last year exports increased by about 40 per cent. These exports represent 1 per cent. of the value and 3 per cent. of the volume of our total exports of whisky.

Polish Eggs

49.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what measures he is taking to prevent a recurrence next spring of the dumping of Polish eggs in the United Kingdom.

The Board of Trade would consider on its merits any application under the anti-dumping legislation which the British producers might make at the time.

Jarrow And Hebburn

50.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that unemployment in Jarrow and Hebburn has for many years never been less than double the national average; and what steps he is taking to provide additional employment in the area.

Yes. As to the second part of the Question, the area is a development district in which the facilities of the Local Employment Act are available and I shall continue to do all I can to encourage new development there. I hope that the advance factory which is being built between South Shields and Jarrow will be an added inducement to industry to go to the area.

Exports To Republic Of Ireland (Tariffs)

51.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give, or place in the Library, a list of the tariff items which it is proposed to review at his forthcoming discussions with the Irish Republican authorities; and what is Her Majesty's Government's policy in this connection.

No. Under the Trade Agreement, the review is carried out by the Irish Republican authorities and our consultations are concerned with the order of priority in which items for review are to be taken. In general, the policy of Her Majesty's Government in these matters is to secure for our exporters full opportunity of reasonable competition.

Companies (Solicitation Of Money Deposits)

52.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has, for the protection of the public, to regulate the solicitation of money deposits by companies.

Trade With Communist Countries

53.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what efforts he is making to secure a further relaxation of the embargoes on trade with the Communist countries.

The controls are kept under regular review by the Paris Consultative Group and changes are made from time to time as necessary.

Coal Exports

54.

asked the President of the Board of Trade to which countries coal was exported during October, 1961; and what were the quantities in each case.

These figures are not yet available. They will be contained in the October issue of the Trade and Navigation Accounts which will be presented to the House tomorrow.

Industry, West Midlands (Productivity)

55.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what measures are being taken by Her Majesty's Government to assist industrial concerns in the West Midlands to use new industrial techniques which will assist higher productivity and Great Britain's export trade.

Industry in the West Midlands can call on Government services in the same way as firms elsewhere. Individual firms can obtain advice about the Government and other services available through the local productivity committees of which there are eight in the West Midlands.

Cotton Textile Industry

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the artificial restriction of the cotton textile industry in this country has been accompanied by a steady expansion of production in Western Europe; and what steps he proposes to take in this matter.

There has been no artificial restriction of the cotton textile industry in this country. The reorganisation schemes under the Cotton Industry Act, 1959, were directed at the elimination of excess capacity and were a necessary preliminary to the programme of grant-aided re-equipment.

Science

Shipbuilding (Research Association)

57.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what steps he has taken to set up the proposed new shipbuilding research association.

The shipbuilding and marine engineering industries have set up an executive committee, with the encouragement of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, to bring about the formation of a new association for ship research. My noble Friend is pleased to learn that the proposals agreed within the industries will be announced tomorrow. Discussions with D.S.I.R. on constitutional matters are already well advanced, and those on details of the final financial arrangements will follow later.

Radioactive Fall-Out

58.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what reports he has received of research into the effects of radioactive fall-out on germ cells.

In December, 1960, the Medical Research Council published its second report "The Hazards to Man of Nuclear and Allied Radiations" which includes an assessment of the possible effects of radioactive fall-out on germ cells. In addition, the results of the research supported by the Medical Research Council into the genetic effects of radiation are published.

Management And Control Of Research And Development (Report)

61.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science when the Report of the Committee on the Organisation and Administration of Scientific Research will be published.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the Committee on the Management and Control of Research and Development. I would refer the hon. Member to the Written Answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Edmonton (Mr. Albu) on 14th November.

Housing

Prefabricated Aluminium Bungalows (Corrosion)

65.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what complaints he has received from local authorities concerning the advanced corrosion of prefabricated aluminium bungalows, built less than 20 years ago, which were given a life of 60 years; and what financial assistance he proposes to give to those authorities who will suffer as a result of this deterioration and the consequent need to demolish the bungalows.

Although very few local authorities have so far complained of advanced corrosion, all authorities owning these bungalows have been made aware of the problem by my Department. The basis on which financial assistance will be given to local authorities is explained in Circular 45/61, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy

Halfway House Accommodation, Essex

71.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what is the present number of men, women and children at present occupying temporary halfway accommodation in the metropolitan area of Essex; and how this compares with previous years.

I am informed by the local authorities concerned that the Answer to the first part of the Question is 301 men, women and children. As to the second part, information is not available.

Sub-Letting (Restrictions)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware of the extent to which restrictions on sub-letting prevent the effective use of housing; and what steps he proposes to take to ameliorate this situation.

I have no evidence of the extent to which restrictions on sub-letting prevent the effective use of housing.To the second question, the answer is "None".

Local Government

Land Drainage Scheme, Onneley

66.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what progress has been made towards providing a drainage scheme for Onneley, near Crewe.

I understand that members of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Rural District Council visited Onneley on Sunday and met the landowner chiefly affected by the land drainage scheme mentioned in my reply to the hon. Member's Question on October 24th. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as I hear further from the council.

Greater London (Royal Commission's Recommendations)

67.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs why he has not yet communicated to the House of Commons the decision of the Government in relation to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London.

The Government have not yet reached final conclusions. I shall certainly announce them as soon as they are reached.

Lake Thirlmere

68.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will consult the Manchester Corporation with a view to making Lake Thirlmere available to the public for boating and swimming; and if he will make representations to the Corporation about the desirability of opening up the shores of this lake and surrounding country to the public to enable them to walk and picnic in this part of the Lake District National Park where access is now prohibited.

Thirlmere is a source of Manchester's drinking water, and it is the Corporation's responsibility to decide whether access to the lake and its surroundings must be prohibited in order to avoid risk of pollution. It thinks it necessary at present to prohibit access because the water is not fully treated before being supplied to consumers. It intends to build purification works when it can, both for Thirlmere and for other sources, but in view of the heavy cost my right hon. Friend does not think he should press it to accelerate its programme.

Local Government Boundaries, Tees-Side

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs when he expects to receive the report of the Local Government Boundary Commission on the proposals for the reform of local government boundaries in the Tees-side area.

I understand that the Local Government Commission has found it desirable to review the north-eastern counties in conjunction with the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire. For this reason it has deferred the publication of its draft proposals for these counties until next year. Local authorities and other bodies will have an opportunity to discuss the draft proposals with the Commission before a report is submitted to me.

Uganda

Lost Counties

72.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when he will announce the names of the privy councillors who are to investigate the claims of Bunyoro and Toro to the Lost Counties, and their terms of reference.

River Nile

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in what way the British Government will associate itself with the preparations of Uganda to celebrate in July, 1962, the centenary of the discovery of the source of the River Nile.

East Africa

Famine Relief

73.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if Her Majesty's Government will make a substantial financial contribution to aid the victims of famine in Tanganyika and Kenya and the refugees from Ruanda in Uganda; and if he will arrange for the various appeals for assistance to be channelled through the East African High Commission.

As to Kenya, I have nothing to add to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell) on 16th November.I have not been asked to assist the Uganda Government in providing assistance to the refugees who recently arrived there from Ruanda. I should have to consider any request of this kind against the background of Uganda's general budgetary position.In Tanganyika we have been asked for £1 million to relieve the burden on Tanganyika's finances arising from the cost of food distribution and relief works. In view of the substantial aid already promised to Tanganyika I regret that I cannot meet this request.With regard to the second part of the Question, such a procedure would not in my view be appropriate since authorities other than the East Africa High Commission are responsible for the matters referred to.

Ministry Of Works

House Of Commons (Heating And Ventilation)

74.

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that there are alternate extremes of heat and cold in the House of Commons; and whether he will take steps to have the temperature kept constant by thermostatic control.

76.

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that some parts of the House of Commons are over-heated and under-ventilated; and whether he will take steps to remedy this.

The Chamber itself is air-conditioned and a temperature of 67–68°F. is maintained. Elsewhere, thermostats are already provided in a number of rooms and will be provided in others. The opening of windows and doors, and constant changes in the number of persons occupying rooms, affect the working of the thermostats. I am arranging for all staff to be reminded not to open windows and doors unnecessarily, and I hope hon. Members will also co-operate.

75.

asked the Minister of Works if he will have the windows of the dining rooms, libraries, committee rooms and smoking room of the House of Commons made draught-proof.

Draughts in these large rooms are mainly due to the large areas of windows rather than to ill-fitting window frames. The provision of double glazing to the lower parts of the windows of most of the rooms has considerably reduced the draughts, but further improvement can only be achieved by extending it to the whole of the windows. This will be difficult and costly, but I will consider whether it could be done.

Telephone Service

Exchanges, London (Personnel)

78.

asked the Postmaster-General what is the present shortage of personnel in the London telephone exchanges.

Except in the Continental exchange the general shortage of female telephonists in London has now been overcome, though there are temporarily small variations in the position at individual exchanges. There is at present still a shortage of some 400 fully trained male telephonists, on an establishment of 3,361.The Continental exchange which employs linguist telephonists has vacancies for 56 women and 60 men on a total establishment of 1,207. Staff are in training to cover these vacancies.

Lichfield

82.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that, notwithstanding previous undertakings given by his Department, there is still general dissatisfaction about the failure to provide a proper telephone service in the Lichfield area; and whether he will investigate the case of Messrs. Thomas Robinson, Sons & Co. Ltd., who require an adequate telephone service at Shenstone near Lichfield.

Progress is not as rapid as I would wish in the Lichfield area but I am doing all I can to improve matters. A relief exchange was opened in August and new cables have been laid. 212 telephones have been put in during the past twelve months, and a further 56 are about to be. I expect the new automatic exchange to be opened next summer, and I hope then to provide telephones for nearly all the 180 applicants at present waiting.When Messrs. Thomas Robinson, Sons & Co. Ltd. open their new branch at Shenstone next April two lines will be available. I shall not be able to provide then all the lines they need in April but further lines will be ready in July. I propose to write to the hon. Member in detail on this case.

Rentals (Rebates)

85.

asked the Postmaster-General what arrangements are made to give a rebate on rentals in cases where telephone subscribers are unable to use their lines due to failure of service for which the subscriber is not responsible.

Telephone subscribers are not entitled to abatement of rental for failures of service, but telephone managers have discretion to allow rebates in individual cases.

Residential Subscribers

86.

asked the Postmaster-General what action he is taking to encourage the use of telephones by residential subscribers.

In order to encourage the use of the telephone I have made several reductions in call charges during the past year or so. Trunk call charges have been reduced during the cheap rate period; local call charges for residential subscribers have been reduced from 3d. to 2½d.; the rate of charge for local calls in areas with subscriber trunk dialling has been reduced, in the cheap rate period, from 2d. for 6 minutes to 2d. for 12 minutes; and the cheap rate period itself has been extended to cover the whole of Sunday. The extension of subscriber trunk dialling will, I hope, continue to stimulate the use of the telephone.

Waiting Lists

84.

asked the Postmaster-General if he will state the size of the waiting list for telephones in each telephone area in Great Britain and Northern Ireland at 30th September, 1961; and what proportion this bore in each case to the total number of subscribers in each area.

The figures are as follows:

Telephone AreaWaiting List (30th September, 1961)Waiting list as a percentage of total number of subscribers
Aberdeen1950·3
Bedford1,0572·0
Belfast1,0301·2
Birmingham5,5183·8
Blackburn9191·4
Bournemouth2130·3
Bradford3530·4
Brighton1,1361·0
Bristol3580·4
Cambridge6861·1
Canterbury1,0161·4
Cardiff1,2511·6
Chester8051·5
Colchester1940·4
Coventry2,6874·2
Dundee310·1
Edinburgh2000·2
Exeter60·01
Glasgow9510·5
Gloucester5181·1
Guildford1,4492·3
Lancaster4811·1
Leeds9831·1
Leicester3840·5
Lincoln1,0822·0
Liverpool4760·3
London/CentreNilNil
London/CityNilNil
London/East6940·4
London/North3400·2
London/North WestNilNil
London/South East480·02
London/South West1,3820·5
London/West2,7141·3
Manchester4,3792·1
Middlesbrough6811·3
Newcastle·on·Tyne1,6071·5
Norwich2090·5
Nottingham4250·4
Oxford2,2083·8
Peterborough1580·4
Plymouth450·1
Portsmouth1,2402·1
Preston9981·3
Reading3,3634·5
Scotland West1,3381·4
Sheffield1,0551·4
Shrewsbury3930·8
Southampton2730·5
Telephone AreaWaiting List (30th September, 1961)Waiting list as a percentage of total number of subscribers
Southend-on-Sea1,9613·3
Stoke-on-Trent650·1
Swansea940·2
TauntonNilNil
Tunbridge Wells3690·6
West Midland2,5983·1
York3760·7

Installations, London

87 and 88.

ask the Postmaster-General what is the average length of time that applications for telephones remain on the order list in the London Centre Area, the London City Area, and the London North West Area, respectively;(2) what is the longest outstanding application for telephone service in the London Centre Area, the London City Area, and the London North West Area, respectively.

In the City and Centre Areas of London most orders are completed within eight weeks, and in the North West Area in about three weeks. The time varies with the size and type of the equipment required in individual cases.In none of these areas is there any outstanding applications, in the sense of applications held up because of shortage of lines or exchange equipment.

Fixed Assets (Expenditure)

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in the light of current expenditure on telephone development, he is satisfied that capital expenditure planned for 1961–62, as shown in the official publication entitled "Post Office Prospects, 1961–62", is adequate to meet the growing requirements; and if he will make a statement.

The Post Office plans to spend £119 million on fixed assets in 1961–62. This is sufficient to maintain last year's level of expenditure on new telephone connections and generally to make good progress.

Telephone Apparatus And Exchange Equipment (Tenders)

asked the Postmaster-General what has been the result of his invitation to firms outside the Bulk Supply Agreement to tender for the supply of telephone apparatus to the value of £120,000 and exchange equipment to the value of £490,000 under the reservation clauses of the Bulk Supply Agreement.

I assume that the hon. Member has taken his figures from paragraph 60 of the Third Report from the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 1960–61, where, however, they were transposed. The correct figures are given in the Post Office paper at Appendix 7 to the Report.The result of the tendering has been that orders for telephone apparatus to a value of about £450,000 have been placed with firms outside the Bulk Supply Agreement. As regards exchange equipment, tenders were received for only a limited number of the items and were declined since the prices were sub-

Telephone AreaOrder List
30th June, 196131st July, 196131st August, 196130th September, 1961
Aberdeen1,3541,3281,1761,081
Bedford2,9712,9082,8692,574
Belfast3,0222,9862,7852,654
Birmingham8,5468,6908,4888,293
Blackburn2,3002,1992,0882,093
Bournemouth1,7101,5911,4951,460
Bradford2,2342,1612,0171,845
Brighton4,1323,8043,6673,412
Bristol2,1852,1492,0371,887
Cambridge2,3092,2922,0822,052
Canterbury2,6682,5712,4422,472
Cardiff3,8873,7763,7193,591
Chester2,0311,9291,8971,804
Colchester1,3481,2411,1781,150
Coventry4,8334,8344,7354,696
Dundee585611500507
Edinburgh1,1241,133934962
Exeter928903857790
Glasgow4,5154,3173,9703,855
Gloucester1,3531,3851,4121,187
Guildford2,9612,9452,9112,770
Lancaster1,5411,5361,4411,398
Leeds3,1622,9572,8032,688
Leicester2,0131,7531,6891,643
Lincoln2,3722,2642,2202,195
Liverpool3,6243,5923,4083,355
London/Centre5,8345,8976,2406,536
London/City4,8974,8424,3964,711
London/East5,1564,4783,4442,942
London/North5,8145,5664,8984,165

stantially higher than for the same items provided under the Agreement. Further tenders are being invited.

Answering Machines (Rental)

asked the Postmaster-General whether he has now decided to reduce the rental charge for answering machines which are rented out to doctors.

The tariff changes I announced on the 24th July included a reduction of £2 in the quarterly rental for an answering machine. The new rental of £8 a quarter came into effect on the 1st September.

Order Lists

asked the Postmaster-General what the size of the order list for telephones was in each telephone area in Great Britain and Northern Ireland at 24th July, 31st August, and 30th September, 1961.

I regret that figures for the 24th July are not available. I give below figures for the 30th June and 31st July besides August and September.

Telephone AreaOrder List
30th June, 196131st July, 196131st August, 196130th September, 1961
London/North West3,2963,3202,9352,784
London/South East3,3613,1602,6432,492
London/South West6,2225,9195,5895,324
London/ West9,2558,8528,4587,929
Manchester9,0779,3689,4409,277
Middlesbrough1,9981,9681,8661,800
Newcastle-on-Tyne4,4344,3894,3224,143
Norwich941972921928
Nottingham1,7401,6401,6101,462
Oxford3,9984,1164,1273,940
Peterborough836867802833
Plymouth732712678679
Portsmouth2,5782,5672,4102,395
Preston3,5353,4103,2732,958
Reading4,8834,8824,8044,854
Scotland West3,5583,3183,1623,146
Sheffield3,3893,3633,1672,976
Shrewsbury1,3811,3491,2561,207
Southampton1,4501,4401,3901,380
Southend-on-Sea3,7773,7623,5963,509
Stoke-on-Trent1,2391,2611,1001,040
Swansea1,1051,010963895
Taunton597512526484
Tunbridge Wells1,9371,8691,7631,676
West Midland5,8615,7465,5795,243
York1,4181,3921,3731,327

Public Kiosks (New Coin Boxes)

asked the Postmaster-General if he will state the dates on which pay-on-answer coin boxes will be introduced in the Inner London area; and whether he will make a statement.

As the hon. Member knows the new boxes were installed in the Palace of Westminster last month. A start was made yesterday on fitting them in public call offices in Westminster and the City, and they will gradually be extended to all areas where subscriber trunk dialling (STD) has been introduced.

Post Office

Postal Services, Accrington

81.

asked the Postmaster-General what investigations he has made into the complaints he has received about deterioration of postal services in the Accrington area since they were brought under the Blackburn Post Office; and what has been the result.

All complaints of delay to mail to and from Accrington have been thoroughly investigated. There is no reason to think that delay has been caused, or the services worsened, by the transfer to Blackburn of the work of sorting and dispatching mail posted in the Accrington area. On the contrary, the change has enabled useful improvements to be made in the latest posting times at the Accrington Post Office for first delivery next weekday in many parts of the country.

Capital Expenditure

83.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he will state the proposed figures of capital expenditure planned for the Post Office for the years 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64 and 1964–65, respectively.

Present plans envisage capital expenditure on fixed assets of £119 million in 1961–62 and £129 million in 1962–63. I hope that a further increase will be possible in the succeeding two years.

Giro System

89.

asked the Postmaster-General whether he has now completed his study of the practability of a Giro system in Post Office operations as recommended by the Radcliffe Committee; and if he will now make a statement.

Special Stamps

asked the Postmaster-General whether he intends to issue a set of commemorative stamps on 1st January, 1962, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the transfer of the National Telephone Company's undertaking to the General Post Office.

Sierra Leone

High Commission (Staff)

90.

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will give the name of the First Secretary in the British High Commission in Sierra Leone who has previously served in the British High Commission in South Africa; and in what capacity he served in this Commission.

Embassies And Consulates, Africa (Staff)

91.

asked the Lord Privy Seal in which British embassies and consulates in African countries there are officers with a rank of second secretary and above who have previously served in British Colonial Territories in Africa; and what positions these officers now hold.

There are ten such officers serving in the following British embassies and consulates in African countries and holding the posts indicated:

  • British Embassy, Mogadishu, Somaliland, First Secretary.
  • British Consulate-General, Hargeisa, Ethiopia, Consul-General.
  • British Consulate, Mega, Ethiopia, Consul.
  • British Consulate, Buea, Republic of Cameroun, Consul.
  • British Consulate, Usumbura, Ruanda Urundi, Vice-Consul.
  • British Consulate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, First Secretary.
  • British Consulate, Elisabethville, Congo, (1) Vice-Consul, (2) Vice-Consul.
  • British Embassy, Tripoli, Libya, First Secretary.
  • British Embassy, Khartoum, Sudan, First Secretary.

Royal Navy

Organisation And Methods Branch

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what steps have been taken to improve and enlarge Organisation and Methods and Work Study procedures at headquarters in pursuance of Recommendation 9 of the First Report of the Select Committee on Estimates in Session 1959–60.

The strengthening of the Organisation and Methods Branch to which I referred in my statement on 14th February has taken place. The additional six staff have completed or will shortly complete their training. Steps are being taken to extend the services of the Organisation and Methods Branch to establishments overseas. Certain security responsibilities have been transferred elsewhere so that the directing staff can concentrate more on assignment work.

Costings

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if the Way Ahead Committee has completed its investigations into the central costings machinery of the Admiralty; and what alterations are anticipated.

The review of the Secretariat by the Way Ahead Committee has not yet been completed. The evidence so far has not shown a prima facie case for amalgamating the units employed on costings into one costings branch.The Departments of Navy Accounts and Expense Accounts have been amalgamated and are being concentrated on one site in Bath. A small addition has been made to the staff of the central costings unit.

Production Expenditure Machinery (Review)

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what steps have been taken to review and improve the machinery for estimating and controlling the cost of projects in the material departments of the Admiralty in pursuance of Recommendation 12 of the First Report of the Select Committee on Estimates in Session 1959–60.

The review of the machinery for controlling Admiralty production expenditure is continuing. This is a comprehensive examination and will of necessity take some time. Some changes in financial procedures have already been introduced, and other measures will be taken as they arise from this study.

Scotland

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 each of the small burghs in Scotland, and for each landward area of the counties.

I do not have complete figures, but the information available to me is given in the following table. These figures are provisional pending the outcome of appeals against the new valuations.

AVERAGE GROSS ANNUAL VALUE OF LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSES, 1961–62
Counties
£
Landward Area
Aberdeen40
Angus39
Argyll35
Ayr38
Banff36
Berwick41
Caithness27
Clackmannan41
Dunbarton45
East Lothian42
Fife48
Inverness39
Kincardine37
Kinross40
Kirkcudbright36
Lanark42
Midlothian43
Moray39
Orkney24
Perth37
Renfrew49
Ross & Cromarty32
Roxburgh38
Selkirk39
Stirling43
Sutherland32
West Lothian37
Wigtown36
Zetland22
£
Small Burghs
Alloa39
Barrhead51
Batheate39
Bearsden51
Buckhaven & Methil51
Buckie40
Cowdenbeath48
Dunoon37
Elgin38
Forfar38
Fraserburegh39
Galashiels44
Gourock59
Hawick43
Helensburgh50
Irvine44
Johnstone48
Kilsyth40
Kirkintilloch51
Lochgelly48
Montrose38
Musselburgh46
Peterhead41
Prestwick44
Renfrew53
Rothesay38
St. Andrews51
Saltcoats44
Troon43

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide the best available estimate of the average gross annual value of a municipal house in the landward area of each county in Scotland, in the burghs of Ballater, Huntly, Inverurie, Kintore and Old Meldrum.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Written Answer which I have given to the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. W. Hamilton) today. I regret that I do not have figures for the burghs mentioned.

Statutory Inquiries (Rules Of Procedure)

asked the Attorney-General when he expects to make rules for the regulation of the procedure to be followed in connection with statutory inquiries held by or on behalf of Ministers in accordance with Section 7A of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958, as amended by Section 33 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1959; and whether he has yet consulted the Council on Tribunals in this connection.

My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor is at present engaged in consulting the Council on Tribunals about rules of procedure for planning appeals and for inquiries relating to the compulsory purchase of land by local authorities. Draft rules have been submitted to the Council for its comments and my noble Friend will be in a position to make the rules as soon as he has had an opportunity of considering the views of the Council.