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Written Answers

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 22nd November, 1961

Roads

M1

1.

asked the Minister of Transport what proposal he has to extend catering facilities on the M1; whether he is aware that the existing provision of public conveniences is very unsatisfactory; and what steps he is taking to improve them.

I have recently invited tenders for developing catering and other facilities at the Toddington site four miles north of the A.505 junction. I am also considering detailed proposals for extension of some of the facilities already available. Many additional lavatories have recently been provided at the southernmost of the two existing service areas and there are proposals to provide even more.

41.

asked the Minister of Transport what was the cost per mile of the construction of M1 to its present boundary; and what is the estimated cost per mile of the extensions now under construction.

The average cost of the length of M1 already constructed, including land, was approximately £407,000 per mile. The estimated average cost per mile, including land, of continuing this route, as motorway M6 from Dunston to Preston bypass, is approximately £699,000. There have been general rises in tender rates. The figure also reflects the cost of three major viaducts, poor soil conditions along part of the route, and improved standards embodied in the design.

49.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will take steps to ascertain the number of statutorily reportable cases of injury at the junction of the Birmingham spur with the M1.

During the first two years of operation of the London-Birmingham motorway, four personal injury accidents were reported to the police as occurring at the junction of the Birmingham spur with the M1. In these accidents three people were seriously injured and three were slightly injured.

Parking Meters

27.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will approve the proposals that have been submitted to him for the installation of parking meters in Bryanston Square, Montague Square and Wyndham Place in St. Marylebone, in view of the present inconvenience being caused to residents who are unable to leave their cars parked for short periods without risk of police action against them.

I approved the scheme and made an Order on 5th October, bringing it into operation on 27th November.

50.

asked the Minister of Transport which local authorities outside the London area have applied for parking meter schemes.

Apart from Manchester and Bristol, where parking meters are now in operation, only Southend and Brighton have so far applied to me for an Order.

Otley-Burley Road, Wharfedale

44.

asked the Minister of Transport what improvements he proposes to make to the road between Otley and Burley in Wharfedale to prevent flooding; when the road works will commence; and when they are likely to be completed.

Proposals recently approved for the removal of the weir at Otley Mill will greatly reduce, and may eliminate, the risk of flooding. If it should still prove necessary to raise the trunk road above the new flood level, the work will be carried out next summer.

Vehicle Testing Scheme

51.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take action to amend Section 66 (2) of the Road Traffic Act, 1960, so that the Section applies at any time to all cars manufactured not less than 10 years before that time.

For the effective operation of the vehicle testing scheme the criterion must be the date on which a vehicle is first registered for use on the road, which may be very different from the date of manufacture. I am unable therefore to adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion.

Sheffield-Leeds Motorway

53.

asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made in the preparatory work to enable an early start in 1964 on the construction of the Sheffield-Leeds motorway.

We are considering the objections received to the draft Scheme for this Motorway. They include a statutory objection lodged by Sheffield City Council. I am not therefore in a position to make forecasts about future progress at present.

Lydiate Ash-Great Barr Motorway

54.

asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the fact that the draft scheme for the motorway between Lydiate Ash and Great Barr was published in March, 1960, what is the case of the delay in fixing the line of route so that the scheme can be made.

Unexpected difficulties have arisen over the northern section of the line of route. These are still under consideration. We have therefore decided to proceed separately with the southern section between Lydiate Ash and Quinton. We have recently invited the Worcestershire County Council to act as our agents for the further preparation of this section which will be built in advance of the remainder of the motorway.

Leytonstone

56.

asked the Minister of Transport what counts or records have been taken during the past twelve months of the number of vehicles during peak hours converging at the Green Man, Leytonstone, at Whipps Cross and at the Baker's Arms junction, Leyton; what traffic increase is thus shown; and what further consideration has been given to means of easing congestion at those points.

During the past year the London Traffic Management Unit has made a count of this traffic. No effective comparison can be made with previous counts which were for different purposes. We are publishing draft Orders next month to show our proposals for the construction of a roundabout at the Green Man junction. Proposals for classified road improvements at Whipps Cross and at the Baker's Arms are under consideration but funds are not yet available for these schemes to be included in the road programme.

Pink Zone Scheme (Parking Places)

61.

asked the Minister of Transport to what extent the number of parking places for Christmas traffic in the Pink Zone this year will be less than two years ago; and what are the reasons for the change.

In 1959 we had 17 Christmas car parks with over 6,000 car spaces. In 1960 there were 20 parks with 2,785 car spaces. This year we shall have 10 parks with 2,130 spaces, all near the central shopping area. In 1959 and 1960 parks further out were barely used; for instance, last year eight of the parks never held more than three cars between them.

Off-Street Parking, Central London

62.

asked the Minister of Transport what progress is being made with the provision of off-street parking in the central London area.

In central London, some 2,400 new public off-street car spaces will have been opened this year, bringing the total to some 18,500 spaces. By early 1963 there will be 2,600 more spaces, including 1,070 under Hyde Park. About 10,000 further spaces are planned for the future and others are being considered. In addition I understand from the London County Council that private garages for use with new development are now being built in central London at the rate of 6,000 spaces a year.

Gosforth

64.

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that Gosforth High Street is the chief shopping centre for Gosforth and is a narrow part of the main A.1 road north, and that the Gosforth Urban District Council have under consideration a development plan for the district that would make for general safety and convenience; what consultations he has had with the local council about improvements on this part of the road; and if he will make a statement.

We have been kept fully informed of conditions in Gosforth High Street. I regret that the Urban District Council have found it necessary to object to the experimental measures we have proposed to improve safety at the Elmfield Road junction. The Council's proposal for resiting the central shopping area to the west of A.1 is primarily a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, but our Divisional Road Engineer has recently offered to discuss the road and traffic, aspects of the proposal with the Council.

Motorways

asked the Minister of Transport what mileage of motorways he intends to complete by the end of 1962.

I hope that by the end of 1962, just over 200 miles of motorway will be completed and open to traffic.

Traffic Lights

asked the Minister of Transport if he, will abolish traffic signals wherever possible and replace them, if necessary, by roundabouts, in view of the continuous movement which takes place at roundabouts compared with the stopping of at least two streams of traffic at traffic signals.

I can give no general undertaking about the replacement of traffic lights by roundabouts because the best treatment of each junction will depend on local circumstances. Within the limits of what is practicable, we aim, in each case, to adopt the solution which will give the best traffic flow.

River Stour, Canford (Footbridge)

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will take immediate steps to provide a footbridge over the River Stour at Canford, Dorset, parallel to the bridge on the main road, since at the moment the narrow hump-back bridge has no footpath on the hump and carries a large amount of traffic.

The Dorset County Council are the highway authority for this road. They have not submitted to me any scheme for the improvement of the bridge. If they do so I shall be happy to consider whether grant can be given.

A449 (Worcester-Kidderminster)

asked the Minister of Transport, if, in view of the large number of accidents and deaths that have occurred on the A.449 road between Worcester and Kidderminster, he will shortly proceed with converting the entire stretch of road into a dual carriageway.

I intend to improve this road progressively to dual carriageway standard as and when I have the funds available. I hope to authorise the constructional work between Ombersley and Crossway Green during the next financial year.

Shipping

"Bp Explorer" (Wreck Commissioner's Report)

29.

asked the Minister of Transport what action he is proposing to take arising out of the formal investigation into the stranding of the "B.P. Explorer" in the River Severn when five men lost their lives.

I have now received the report of the Wreck Commissioner who, at my right hon. Friend's request, held a formal investigation at Gloucester into this casualty. The court made no recommendations but suggested that consideration should be given to the establishment of a new navigation authority for the Severn above Bristol and Newport. This suggestion needs careful consideration and we shall, of course, examine it fully in consultation with the other bodies who exercise authority over this part of the River Severn.

Shipbuilding Orders

65.

asked the Minister of Transport how much new British shipping tonnage he expects to be ordered during 1961 and 1962.

About 750,000 gross tons of shipping for United Kingdom registry were ordered during the first nine months of 1961. I cannot forecast how many orders are likely to be placed in future months, since this is essentially a matter for the commercial judgment of shipowners.

Credit Facilities

69.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will now seek the permission of those bodies or Governments who have given him information regarding the credit facilities now being offered by the principal foreign competitors of the United Kingdom shipbuilding industry to publish all such information.

For the reasons my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) on 15th November, accurate information about credit facilities offered by foreign shipyards can in most cases be obtained only from individual tenders or contracts which are normally confidential. It would be misleading to publish partial information.

Railways

Earnings

36.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission that they should raise the average earnings of railwaymen by 5 per cent. each year for the next 10 years so that they will be receiving £1,000 a year by 1971.

Monmouthshire

57 and 58.

asked the Minister of Transport (1) if, before he makes a final decision to recommend the closing of the passenger railway services in the eastern and western valleys of Monmouthshire, following the recommendations of the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for Wales and Monmouthshire, he will personally examine the road conditions which will have to sustain the extra passenger traffic brought about by closures;(2) what is the nature of the evidence he has received from the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for Wales and Monmouthshire regarding the closure of railway lines in the eastern and western valleys of Monmouthshire; if, in the light of this evidence, he will give a direction to the British Transport Commission to substitute a modified passenger railway service in this area; and if he will make a statement.

59.

asked the Minister of Transport if he has now considered the evidence from the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for Wales and Monmouthshire regarding the closure of passenger railway lines in Monmouthshire; and if, in the light of this evidence, he will direct the British Transport Commission not to close these lines until roads have been constructed in the county to the standard recommended in the highway report of the Industrial Association of Wales and Monmouthshire.

60.

asked the Minister of Transport to what extent, when considering the recommendations he received from the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for Wales and Monmouthshire regarding the proposed closures of the eastern and western valley services in Monmouthshire, he took into account the possible future increase of rail travel resulting from congestion on the roads.

We are studying the Consultative Committee's report. Meantime, I cannot comment on what the report contains or say what action my right hon. Friend proposes to take on it.

Branch Lines, Scotland (Closures)

67.

asked the Minister of Transport to what extent transport in Scotland will be affected by the proposals for closing railway branch lines.

In Scotland as elsewhere, the closure of uneconomic branch lines means a redistribution of traffic which will help to develop the best pattern of transport services for the future.

Rugby-Leicester Line (Closure)

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the anxiety in Leicester and other places affected by the decison to close the Rugby to Leicester, London Road, line; and whether he will refer to the appropriate transport users' consultative committee the question of the provision of adequate alternative services for passengers who are dependent upon those facilities, before the present ones are removed.

In approving this closure the Transport Users' Consultative Committee for the East Midland Area and the Central Transport Consultative Committee took account of the alternative services which will be available, including the proposed new bus service between Rugby and Leicester.

Transport

British Transport Commission (Advertisements)

42.

asked the Minister of Transport what general directions he has given the British Transport Commission regarding the political content of advertisements on their property.

Transport Charges

45.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take powers to give to local authorities the same measure of freedom in the fixing of transport charges as is proposed for the British Transport Commission.

Local authorities are already in the same position as all other operators of public road passenger services, including those under the control of the British Transport Commission, in regard to the fixing of charges.

Driving Tests

48.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make regulations to ensure that persons over 60 years of age who have never passed a driving test, but who still possess a valid driving licence, should now pass a test on reapplication for renewal of licence.

This would require legislation. As all such licence holders have had many years in which to gain driving experience, to force them all to undergo tests would, in my opinion, be a wasteful use of the considerable additional testing capacity which might be required.

Lorry Drivers (Working Hours)

52.

asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the increasing number of accidents caused by overdriving of lorries because of payments by result, what consideration he has given to legislation in this matter.

I have no evidence pointing to a need for legislation in this matter, but if the hon. Member will let me have any relevant material I shall be glad to consider it.

Road Vehicles (Noise)

55.

asked the Minister of Transport what consultations he has had with professional institutions and other bodies concerned with a view to ensuring that the proposed regulations for defining excessive noise from road vehicles will be effective; and whether he will provide opportunity for their consideration by independent experts before any such regulations are finally settled.

I hope shortly to circulate these proposals for comment to interested bodies. They are based on work carried out partly by a Committee of the British Standards Institution representative of most of those concerned and partly by my Department in conjunction with the National Physical Laboratory and Motor Industry Research Association. The motor manufacturers have co-operated.

Trafficators

63.

asked the Minister of Transport from what bodies and organisations he has sought evidence about the general adequacy of the trafficator lights being fitted on motor vehicles by manufacturers; and which of these organisations represents the views of private motorists.

We receive comments and advice about the terms of Regulations governing the fitting and use of direction indicators from a very large number of organisations, including representatives of manufacturers and road users, certain trade unions and the police. We give full weight to views expressed by the motoring organisations as being representative of private motorists.

English Channel (Dam)

asked the Minister of Transport (1) what consideration he has given, in view of the possibility of the United Kingdom entering the Common Market, to the practicability of erecting a dam across the Channel which would serve both as a means of transport and as a source of electrical power;(2) if he will state the estimated cost of building a dam across the Channel which would serve both as a means of transport and as a source of electrical power.

No proposals for a dam across the Channel have been made to me or to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power, and I have not the information on which to base an estimate of the cost of such a project.

South-West Africa (United Nations Mission)

71.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what recommendations have been made by the United Nations Mission appointed to visit South West Africa.

The recommendations to which the hon. Gentleman refers will be found on pages 63–65 of United Nations Document A/4926 in the Library of the House.

Vietnam, Laos And Cambodia

70.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the situation in South-East Asia, with particular reference to Vietnam, Cambodia and Siam.

The situation in South-East Asia, including Vietnam, is substantially the same as when I spoke in the debate on the Address.As regards Laos, the Royal Laotian Government have now accepted the proposal by Prince Souvanna Phouma that the three Princes, representing the three main factions, should meet in Vientiane from 24th to 27th November, in order to consider the composition of a coalition government. The cease-fire is in general being observed, but there has been some increase in the number of incidents. The Conference at Geneva is continuing to make progress, though more slowly than before.The Cambodian Government severed diplomatic relations with Thailand on 23rd November. This is a matter of concern to Her Majesty's Government, who have cordial relations with both countries.

Iraq (British Prisoners)

77.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that two British civilians have been imprisoned in Iraq without trial for the past eight weeks; and what action is being taken to secure their trial or release.

Yes. No opportunity has been lost to urge this point with the Iraqi authorities, and we shall of course make such further representations as may be necessary.

Atlantic Institute (Declaration Of Purpose)

79.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in HANSARD a copy of the declaration of principles of the Atlantic Institute; where this institute is to be housed; what contribution to its cost is being made by Her Majesty's Government; and what special functions it will fulfil which could not be fulfilled by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the English-sneaking Union, and other existing organisations.

I am circulating below a copy of the Institute's Declaration of Purpose. The headquarters of the Institute is to be in Paris. Her Majesty's Government's contribution for the financial year 1961–62 is £1,500. The special function of the Atlantic Institute is, to quote the Declaration of Purpose, "to search for and propagate ideas and courses of action designed to unite the West". In particular, it will provide a clearing house for experts and politicians to exchange ideas on long-term problems confronting the Atlantic world as a whole. It is international in character and will have the advantage of the participation of like-minded countries throughout the Western World.

Declaration Of Purpose

The Atlantic Institute

The purpose of the Atlantic Institute is to search for, to stimulate, to develop, and to propagate ideas and courses of action designed to unite the West and so to aid all humanity in progress toward liberty and self-government.

Some of these courses of action are as follows:

providing essential technical educational and cultural assistance to the peoples of lesser developed nations;
working toward a concentrated and co-ordinated programme of aid to these countries so as to increase the flow of development capital from highly industrialised nations to those now striving for the economic health that is a prerequisite to independence;
working toward co-ordination of the nation al economic policies of our Governments, toward the lowering of barriers to the movement of men, capital, goods and ideas between our nations, toward joint measures for promoting vigorous economic growth, the control of inflation, and the harmonising of our financial and monetary policies and their application.

Such are the recommendations which we will make to Governments and others in position of authority and influence.

Operational programmes recommending these objectives will be announced by the Director-General as they are put under way. As citizens of nations experienced in self-government enjoying relative economic abundance, and bound together by geography and history, we share certain fundamental beliefs and goals.

We believe in the worth of the individual—man's right to be himself, to live out his life in accordance with his own abilities and aspirations—his right to speak and worship as he pleases, with freedom to associate with others of like mind and heart—his right to liberty and justice under laws of his own making, administered by men of his own choosing. We recognise the persistent urge of all men to achieve such liberties as a divine spark unquenched by periodic experiments in the totalitarian management of human affairs. Man is born to be free, not a slave of the State. We recognise that all the goals of liberty and self-government can be achieved only through economic strength, physical health and education freely available to all. For in liberty under law, the people are sovereign, their leaders their elected servants.

We reaffirm our beliefs at a time when new nations share our hope and faith and when dramatic technical developments bring the stubborn urge toward freedom to the promise of a greatly expanded reality.

Recognising that the times require a closer unity among the sovereign peoples of the Atlantic Community, we have voluntarily united in the formation of the Atlantic Institute.

Uganda (Batutsi Refugees)

80.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will invite the appropriate United Nations organisations to assist the Government of Uganda in its efforts to feed, clothe and house the 20,000 Batutsi refugees from Ruanda who are now at Oruchinga and other camps.

I understand that the Uganda Government have already been in touch with certain United Nations Agencies about aid for these refugees from United Nations sources.

Council Of Europe (Africa)

86.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what progress has been made in the Council of Europe towards establishing a common European policy towards Africa; and what part Her Majesty's Government has played in these discussions.

The Council of Europe has before it some proposals for technical assistance to Africa. The position regarding these proposals, which were embodied in Recommendation No. 279, remains as stated in my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Attercliffe (Mr. J. Hynd), on 24th July. Recommendation No. 288, on co-operation with newly developing countries, urging the governments concerned to work for a merger of the preference systems of the French-speaking and English-speaking African states, has not yet been considered by the Council of Ministers.

Central Office Of Information (Leaflet)

87.

asked the Lord Privy Seal why, and at what cost to the taxpayer, the Central Office of Information prepared for Her Majesty's Government a leaflet entitled "United Nations Day, 24th October", which includes an advertisement of, and announces its distribution by, the United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is a private organisation.

The purpose of the distribution of the leaflet, which takes place annually on United Nations Day, is to bring before the British public the aims and achievements of the United Nations. The cost to public funds of producing the leaflet, of which 250,000 were distributed—79,500 by the United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland itself, the remainder by the Central Office of Information—was £1,060.

Congo

United Nations Troops

89.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what reports he has received from the United Nations in respect of the situation arising from the murder of troops acting on behalf of the United Nations in the Congo; and what further action has been proposed by Her Majesty's Government to the United Nations.

Following the murder of thirteen Italian airmen at Kindu by disaffected elements of the Armée Nationale Congolaise, the United Nations informed Her Majesty's Ambassador in Leopoldville that more of their reinforcements were moving into Kindu. They hoped to be able to arrest the local commander of the Armée Nationale Congolaise and others responsible for the murder, who they are confident can be recognised. The Congolese Prime Minister has agreed to the United Nations disarming the Armée Nationale Congolaise troops at Kindu, at least for the period of the investigation into the murders which is to be undertaken by a joint United Nations/Congolese Commission of four members each.

98.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will protest within the United Nations against the refusal of United Nations troops to go to the rescue of Europeans who were assaulted and raped by troops of the Central Congolese army in Luluaburg on 31st October.

None of the reports which I have received give any indication that United Nations troops refused to go to the rescue of the European victims of this deplorable affair. Indeed, following the incidents the European community of Luluabourg sought United Nations protection and families were evacuated by air to Léopoldville.

8.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will place in the Library an English translation of the pamphlets, giving background information about the Congo, which are issued under United Nations auspices to Swedish troops who are part of the United Nations force in the Congo.

I have not seen the pamphlet in question, but I am looking into the matter.

Mr Lumumba (Death)

92.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what information he has received from the United Nations concerning the circumstances of the death of Mr. Lumumba in the Congolese Province of Katanga.

The report of the United Nations Commission which investigated the murder of Mr. Lumumba was published on 11th November and is now available. The report will no doubt be considered at the General Assembly from which the Commission received its mandate.

Vietnam

94.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what information he has concerning the infiltration of troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and the presence of United States troops in South Vietnam; what were the sources of this information; and if he will make a statement.

The infiltration of guerilla troops from North into South Vietnam, which has been going on for some time, has increased considerably in recent months. I am not in a position to give an exact estimate of the scale of infiltration but it is clear that it has seriously affected the security situation in the Central Plateau area.Captured documents and diaries found on the bodies of Viet Cong soldiers killed in action in South Vietnam confirm that individuals and groups of irregulars, having received training in North Vietnam have made their way through Laos, directly through the demilitarised zone and also by sea, to the South. In recent actions against the South Vietnamese army the Viet Cong have been organised in battalion strength.So far as I am aware there are no American troops in South Vietnam apart from the officers and men of the Military Assistance Advisory Group which is of course a training and advisory organisation.

Ivory Coast (Embassy Accommodation)

95.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what assistance the Foreign Office gives new foreign missions in obtaining accommodation for their staff; and what assistance was given to the Embassy of the Republic of the Ivory Coast.

The Foreign Office has taken on staff to help foreign diplomats arriving in London in this matter. One of its officers has been in almost daily touch with the Embassy of the Ivory Coast about their requirements.

Germany (Krupp Industries)

97.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement on the progress of arrangements for the disposal of the interests of Alfried Krupp in the coal and steel industries.

Under the Krupp Deconcentration Plan of March, 1953, assets worth about £12 million have been disposed of. The remainder of the coal and steel assets incorporated in the Rheinhausen company remain to be sold.

Employment

Factories (First-Aid)

99.

asked the Minister of Labour how many factories are required to have the first-aid box or cupboard in the charge of a responsible person, trained in first-aid treatment; and in how many factories are responsible persons so trained, or undergoing training to the prescribed standards.

The requirements apply to factories with more than 50 employees, which number about 22,000. With regard to the second part of the Question statistical information is not available.

Royal Navy

British Honduras (Relief Work)

104.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what were the main tasks undertaken by H.M. ships "Troubridge", "Londonderry" and "Vidal" in relief work in British Honduras.

The Frigate H.M.S. "Troubridge" with 51 Army personnel, 4 civilians and approximately 25 tons of relief stores embarked, arrived Belize on 2nd November. She remained there for thirteen days, during which time her main tasks were to cater for the entire U.K. force ashore for a week, to act as sole communications link for Belize for four days, and for two days to act as Flight Information Centre controlling the airfield circuit. In addition, the 80 officers and men she landed daily rendered a variety of assistance in maintaining law and order, clearing up, burial of the dead, salvaging tugs, lighters, etc., rendering medical treatment, supplying drinking water and operating electricity generators.The Frigate H.M.S. "Londonderry", which was at British Honduras from 7th to 12th November, brought 85 tons of relief stores and 10 doctors from Jamaica to Belize. Stan Creek and twelve other small villages, where she took part in resoration work and rendered medical assistance.The Survey Ship H.M.S. "Vidal" arrived Belize on 15th November and is still in British Honduras. She brought more troops and stores, particularly temporary camp structures to accommodate 500 people near Stann Creek. Her main duty is to re-survey and re-mark the sea approaches to Belize, but, of course, she will continue to assist in general relief measures. In particular, her helicopter is useful for communications flights.These efforts reflect the greatest credit on the entire ships' companies. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies has expressed his appreciation and this is being passed on the officers and men concerned.

Hms "Terror", Singapore

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty when a new petty officers' block will be constructed in H.M.S. "Terror" in the Naval Base, Singapore.

The building of the additional accommodation required for petty officers is the second stage in the provision of extra accommodation in H.M.S. "Terror". Instructions are being given to consultant architects to proceed with designs. When they are complete we shall, as part of our normal procedure, review the project to see that the need remains and that it cannot be met by the use of any other Service accommodation.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that the cooking equipment of H.M.S. "Terror" in the naval base at Singapore is of so antique a type that no cook in the Royal Navy, other than those in H.M.S. "Terror" who have had specific experience, has sufficient seniority to have had experience of this type; and if he will have it replaced by modern cooking equipment.

British Army

Military Medal

107.

asked the Secretary of State for War approximately how many recipients of the Military Medal prior to 3rd September, 1939, are now alive; and what would be the cost of now giving them parity of treatment with recipients of the medal after the said date.

I have no record of how many survive who won this medal before the Second World War. But in all fairness we could not pay the financial benefits only to the living; and if we paid them also to the estates of those who have died the cost would be above £2 million.

Recruiting (West Indies)

110.

asked the Secretary of State for War why, when he recruits men for the Army in the West Indies, he requires them to pay their own fare to Great Britain.

In order to get ahead with recruiting in the West Indies, I have introduced this temporary stipulation to prevent the possible abuse of the enlistment procedure by those who might wish to get a free passage to this country with no genuine intention of serving in the Army. My Department will refund the cost of their passages to all recruits who complete three months' service.

Imperial War Graves Commission

111.

asked the Secretary of State for War how many persons are in the full-time employment of the Imperial War Graves Commission.

Married Quarters, Germany (Caravans)

asked the Secretary of State for War on what basis he intends to allocate the caravans ordered for married families in the British Army of the Rhine, specifying the relevant garrisons and the expected time of despatch; and what relief they are expected to give to the shortage of married quarters.

Caravans will be alloted according to need; but they will be optional, and a family which declines the offer of a caravan will not thereby lose its place on the list for a normal quarter. Deliveries are expected to begin early next month, and to be completed by the end of February, 1962. The provision of these caravans will make a direct contribution to solving the problems of those garrisons in the British Army of the Rhine where the shortage of married quarters is most acute. Their mobility enables them to be moved to wherever the need is greatest. They will first be allotted to the following garrisons:

Dortmund.Nienburg.
Fallingbostel.Paderborn.
Herford.Dusseldorf.
Hilden.Verden.
Iserlohn.Wolfenbuettel.
Lippstadt.Wuppertal.

National Service Men

112.

asked the Secretary of State for War if, in his proposals for extended conscription, he will include provision for a gratuity as compensation to those affected.

I would ask the hon. Member to await the debate on the Second Reading of the Army Reserve Bill.

Troops, Far East (Home Leave)

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will arrange for more personnel of the Far East Land Forces to obtain United Kingdom leave during their tour of duty.

I fully recognise the importance of home leave for troops stationed in the Far East, but I regret that the heavy costs involved prevent my extending the existing arrangements, which generally allow one visit every two years for married men whose families are not with them.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

European Economic Community

116.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in the negotiations with the European Economic Community, Her Majesty's Government intends to ask for derogations concerning the market arrangements for liquid milk in Great Britain.

Negotiations with the European Economic Community on agricultural arrangements will not start till after the New Year. They will be kept confidential and I cannot disclose the Government's detailed proposals on specific commodities.

Local Government

Gypsies

113 and 114.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) what action has been taken by his Department following the recommendation in the Report of the Survey on Gypsies and other Travellers in Kent, that a national decision as to the policy to be followed should precede the making of any long-term arrangements to deal with the problems involved;(2) what action was taken following representations in 1958 on behalf of all local authorities in Staffordshire that the problem of gypsy and other nomadic caravan dwellers was a national one and that his Department should set up a working party to examine the problem, including the carrying out of a national survey, and to make recommendations.

The hon. Member has, I understand, seen a copy of the letter the Ministry sent to the Kent County Council in 1953, following the survey to which he refers, and I have written to him more recently about the Staffordshire report, which suggested that the best hope of solving the problem lay in the provision of controlled sites by local authorities.

West Indies

Passports (Children)

115.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will ask the Federal Government of the West Indies to instruct the Commission in the United Kingdom for the West Indies, British Guiana and British Honduras to reply to correspondence from the hon. Member for Heywood and Royton dated 16th October; and whether he will review all the existing arrangements covering the issue of passports to juveniles in these territories whose parents, now resident in the United Kingdom, have made application for their children to join them here.

I understand that the hon. Member has received from the Commission in the United Kingdom for the West Indies, British Guiana and the British Honduras, a reply to his letter of the 16th October, giving the information for which he had asked.The arrangements in certain West Indian territories for issuing passports to young people under 18 whose parents are in the United Kingdom and wish their children to join them, are designed to ensure that the young people do not arrive here without proper arrangements for their care and protection. It is hoped that similar arrangements will in time be adopted by all West Indian territories.

West Africa

Commodity Prices

117.

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what consultations have taken place between Her Majesty's Government and Commonwealth countries in West Africa with a view to stabilising the price of their exports to the Common Market, if Great Britain should enter the market.

The stability of commodity prices will be of great importance to West African Commonwealth countries whether we join the Common Market or not. It is indeed a worldwide problem to which consideration is being given in various international bodies, as for example in the case of cocoa in the F.A.O. Cocoa Study Group on which this country and West African Commonwealth countries are represented.

Royal Air Force

Khormakgsar Station, Aden

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will take steps to improve the sewage disposal facilities in the Royal Air Force station at Khormakgsar, Aden.

A contract will shortly be let for the connection of the drains at Royal Air Force Khormakgsar to the Aden Government's new main drainage system which is designed to meet the needs of the population as a whole and is almost complete.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what facilities are available for the supply of hot meals to transit passengers in the Royal Air Force station at Khormakgsar, Aden.

In the normal case, where the aircraft has stopped for refuelling only, light refreshments are served in the passenger lounge. If there is a protracted delay or passengers have to stay overnight, meals and accommodation are available at Red Sea House about five miles away. By next May we plan to have a new transit mess at Royal Air Force, Khormakgsar which will provide additional facilities, including hot meals, for 100 airmen.

Gan Personnel (Leave)

asked the Secretary of State for Air what leave facilities are available for Royal Air Force personnel stationed in Gan.

There are some recreational facilities on the station and spare seats on Royal Air Force aircraft provide limited opportunities for free leave travel to Singapore. The tour of duty on Gan is restricted to one year because of its isolation. Those who serve there may accumulate leave to take on their return to the United Kingdom.

El Adem Station (Accommodation)

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many Royal Air Force personnel still sleep in tents in the Royal Air Force station at El Adem.

None of the men stationed at El Adem sleep in tents. Detachments of the Royal Air Force Regiment, when carrying out field training in the area, may live under canvas or even completely in the open.

Married Quarters, El Adem And Tobruk

asked the Secretary of State for Air what is the size of the waiting list for married quarters in El Adem and Tobruk.

There is a waiting list of 194 officers and airmen of whom 63 have their families with them in private accommodation in Tobruk.

Ministry Of Aviation

Site, Thorp Arch

asked the Minister of Aviation whether arrangements have now been made for the use of the whole of the area recently occupied by the Royal Ordnance Factory at Thorp Arch; and what steps are being taken to bring unoccupied land and buildings into occupation.

The whole of the site of the former Royal Ordnance Factory has now been sold with the exception of 127 acres which have been taken over by the Prison Commission and by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Hospitals

Consultants

asked the Minister of Health if he will state the number of consultants, indicating whole-time and part-time separately, under contract to each regional hospital board on 31st December, 1959, 31st December, 1960, and at the most recent date for which figures are available.

Following are the figures for 1st July, 1960. The next corresponding figures thereafter will be for 30th September, 1961, and I will send them to the lion. Member when they are available.

Regional Hospital BoardWhole-time paid (number) (a)Part-time paid (number) (b)Honorary (number) (c)
Newcastle1242915
Leeds832571
Sheffield11830412
East Anglian681322
North West Metropolitan17356832
North East Metropolitan1234465
South East Metropolitan13247812
South West Metropolitan16941321
Oxford571674
South Western792868
Welsh12519714
Birmingham20834033
Manchester9337911
Liverpool6824825
Wessex711811
NOTES:1. The figures exclude consultants holding locum appointments only.2. Some consultants hold whole-time appointments shared between two or more regional hospital boards or between regional hospital boards and boards of governors of teaching hospitals: these consultants are included in column (

a) under each of the regional hospital boards with which they are in contract.

Ministry Of Health

Sight Tests, Manchester

asked the Minister of Health whether he will state the number of sight tests carried out by ophthalmic optician, and ophthalmic medical practitioners in Manchester in May, June, July, August, September, and October in 1959, 1960, and 1961, respectively.

Following are the figures:

Number of sight tests given in Manchester by
(a) Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners(b) Ophthalmic Opticians
1959—
May8915,545
June1,1406,983
July1,1746,926
August6616,763
September1,2718,408
October1,4239,156
1960—
May1,2727,203
June8995,488
July9837,129
August6877,139
September1,2838,066
October1,2598,273
1961—
May1,0166,142
June1,1546,551
July8716,396
August5296,384
September1,1817,646
October1,3578,001

Home Department

Drunkenness

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many persons were proceeded against on charges involving drunkenness on Sundays in 1960 in England, Scotland, and Wales, respectively.

Scotland

Glasgow University

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many grant-aided students had their courses of study terminated at the end of their first year at Glasgow University during session 1960–61.

The information available to me does not enable me to differentiate between students whose courses are terminated and those who leave University for personal and other reasons.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish figures showing the total revenue allocation by the University Grants Committee for the current financial year to Glasgow University, and the total cost to the Government and local authorities, respectively, of allowances being paid to students at present studying at Glasgow University.

It will take some time to ascertain how far all the information asked for is available, but inquiries are being made and my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury will write to the hon. Member.

Housing Subsidies

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what is the total amount of the housing subsidies payable in Scotland in the current year; and what is the estimated amount payable in the next three years;(2) what is the total amount of subsidy payable in the current year in respect of housing accommodation for the agricultural population; and what is the estimated amount payable in the next three years.

The total amount of housing subsidies estimated to be payable in the financial year 1961–62 is £19,704,240. Of this, £181,425 is in respect of permanent housing for the agricultural population (including that provided privately). I am not at present in a position to provide estimates for future years.

Trade And Commerce

South Caernarvonshire

asked the President of the Board of Trade what are his plans for the establishment of new industries in South Caernarvonshire, particularly the Pwllheli district.

As the hon. Member knows, South Caernarvonshire is a difficult area to which to attract industrialists, but we shall continue our efforts to interest suitable firms in it and the facilities of the Local Employment Act are available to any who will provide additional employment. Several firms have visited the area with our encouragement, but I am sorry that none has yet decided to establish itself there.

Ministry Of Defence

British Forces, Europe

asked the Minister of Defence to what extent British forces in Europe are trained and equipped to conform to the doctrine, announced by General Norstad at the recent conference of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation parliamentarians, that nuclear weapons must be available for use if necessary during operations designed to impose a pause.

British forces in Europe are trained, deployed and equipped to meet the agreed requirements of the N.A.T.O. Supreme Commander in accordance with accepted N.A.T.O. strategy. It would be wrong to inform a possible aggressor in advance of the circumstances in which nuclear weapons would or would not be used.