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Written Answers

Volume 650: debated on Friday 1 December 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday, 1st December, 1961

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Jerusalem War Cemetery)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what action he has taken to assist the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to permit them to obtain access to the Jerusalem War Cemetery to carry out a complete rehabilitation of the cemetery and to arrange for its permanent maintenance; and whether the Jordan and Israeli Governments have agreed the proposals put to them by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, in view of the fact that funds, labour and materials have been provided.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery is on Mount Scopus, an enclave within the Jordanian sector of Jerusalem, for the protection of which the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation has a special responsibility. Negotiations over the cemetery are therefore primarily the responsibility of the Truce Supervision Organisation, although the Israel Government is in de facto control of that part of the area where the cemetery is situated.Her Majesty's Government have every sympathy with the wish of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to carry out repairs to the cemetery and have made repeated attempts to assist the Commission to gain access to the cemetery for the workmen and materials required. Her Majesty's Government have not only consulted the Truce Supervision Organisation many times over the past few years but have also made separate approaches to the Israel and Jordan Governments. The present position is that the Israel Government have made conditions about the access to and proposed arrangements for the repair of the cemetery which are unacceptable to the Jordan Government.Her Majesty's Government are examining with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission other possible solutions. Her Majesty's Government attach great importance to the proper maintenance of this cemetery and hope that political considerations will not continue to hold up this work.

Ministry Of Health

National Health Service Charges

asked the Minister of Health how much has accrued from the increased health service charges and contributions to date; and what is the estimate for the current financial year.

The estimated revenue (England and Wales) in the current financial year from the National Health Service contribution and the charges for prescriptions, dentures, spectacle lenses and amenity beds is about £164½ million of which some £96 million had been received by 31st October.

Welfare Foods

asked the Minister of Health if he will now give the quantities of concentrated orange juice, cod-liver oil and vitamin tablets taken up in the period 1st June to 30th September, 1961, comparable figures for the previous four months and for the same period in 1960, and the percentage difference between the two periods in 1961.

Information is collected only on a quarterly basis. The available figures are given below. Those for the quarter ended 30th September, 1961, are provisional.

Quarter endedOrange juiceCod liver oilVitamin A and D tablets
24th September, 19605,501,931565,784562,708
1st July, 19614,603,360607,632572,075
30th September, 19611,862,000182,000262,000
Percentage decrease between B and C607054

Home Department


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the figures of net im-

19571958195919601961 (first 10 months)
West Indies23,00015,00016,40049,70057,700
West Africa2,2001,000750-5505,100
East Africa6504001502502,300


(1) A minus sign denotes a net outward movement.

(2) Figures for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland are not available.

Spectacle Frames (Cellulose Nitrate)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider taking powers to ensure that wherever possible cellulose nitrate is not used in the manufacture of spectacle frames.

I will keep a watch on this problem with the help of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health and will give it further consideration if it becomes clear that the risk is greater than our present information suggests.

Telephone Service

Commonwealth Countries (Charges)

asked the Postmaster-General what are the prospects of introducing cheaper telephone calls between Great Britain and the countries of the Commonwealth.

I can see no immediate prospect of introducing lower charges for telephone calls from Great Britain to the other countries of the Commonwealth. The present charges have remained unchanged since the war, and compare favourably with the charges made by other administrations for calls over comparable distances.

migration for each of the last five years from India, Pakistan, West Indies, West Africa, and East and Central Africa, respectively.



asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the average number of prisoners in Scottish prisons over the past 12 months.

The average daily number of prisoners in Scottish prisons in the twelve months ended 21st November, 1961, was 2,452.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total number of prisoners detained in Scottish prisons at 1st November, 1961.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the weekly cost of keeping a prisoner in a Scottish prison.

For the year ended 31st March, 1960, the most recent period for which figures are available, the average net weekly cost per prisoner in Scottish prisons, including staffing but excluding expenditure on buildings, was £7 11 s. 8d.

Road Schemes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many new road projects, trunk roads and Class 1 road improvement schemes, respectively, will be carried out in Scotland in each of the next five years; what is the estimated cost of each; and what is the starting date and the finishing date of each project.

I regret that it is impossible to forecast individual projects in as precise terms as the hon. Member wishes. I am, however, considering what further information can be given about the principal trunk and motorway schemes which I hope to undertake over the five-year period.



asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what progress is being made with research into the causes and cure of arthritis.

The Medical Research Council is supporting an expanding programme of research on all aspects of rheumatic diseases, and, while the specific causes of arthritis have not yet been discovered, considerable progress has been made in methods of treatment.


Driving Licences (Lanarkshire)

asked the Minister of Transport if he will publish details showing how many driving licences were issued in Lanarkshire in each of the last five years, and the estimated issue for each of the next five years.

The total number of driving licences issued in Lanarkshire in each of the last five years for which full details are available, is set out below:

Year endedProvisional licencesFull licencesTotal
30th November, 195661,551138,831200,382
30th November, 195779,570140,080219,650
30th November, 195864,395135,576199,971
30th November, 195962,34395,238157,581
30th November, 196063,55059,576123,126

Provisional licences valid for six months instead of three months were introduced on 1st March, 1958.

The introduction of full driving licences valid for three years instead of one year started on 1st September, 1957, and was spread over three years. These changes account for the drop in the figures for the years 1958–60.

The number of driving licences which it is estimated will be issued in the next five years is set out below:

Year endingProvisional licencesFull licencesTotal
30th November, 196167,10064,100131,200
30th November, 196270,12067,120137,240
30th November, 196373,45069,940143,390
30th November, 196476,78072,070148,850
30th November, 196580,10074,550154,650

Trade And Commerce


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is satisfied with the effectiveness of anti-dumping legislation in this country; and what experience he has of the effect of the anti-dumping legislation of the United States of America on British exports.

I am satisfied that British legislation is effective. Certain features of the United States legislation have occasionally caused inconvenience and expense to British exporters suspected of dumping, but since the war anti-dumping duties have been imposed on only one commodity imported from Britain.

European Economic Community

asked the President of the Board of Trade what study he has made of the steps needed, in the event of the United Kingdom signing the Treaty of Rome, to prevent injury to the wattle industry of East and Central Africa from competition with quebracho extract exported by France and Italy.

The importance of the wattle industry of East and Central Africa is a factor which the Government will have very much in mind when examining with the E.E.C. countries the related problems of the Common External Tariff and the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Countries

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the proportions of British imports obtained from Commonwealth countries and of British exports sold to Commonwealth countries as listed in Part IV of the Trade and Navigation Accounts, have declined during the first 10 months of 1961 to 37·8 per cent. and 38·9 per cent. of total imports and exports, respectively; and what steps he proposes to take to reverse this trend.

Yes. Although our imports from and exports to the Commonwealth have on the whole been rising in recent years, our trade with other countries has been rising faster. We can best contribute to the expansion of trade in both directions with the Commonwealth by continuing our policies of maintaining a high level of activity at home and developing and putting to the fullest use the many methods of trade promotion in which Governments co-operate closely with the efforts of private business.

New Industries, Ashington- Morpeth Area

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress is being made to attract new industry to the Ashington-Morpeth area of Northumberland; how many jobs are envisaged; and whether he will make a statement.

Unemployment in both the Ashington and the Morpeth Employment Exchange Areas is slightly below the national average and more than 400 jobs are in prospect. I should not therefore be justified in making special efforts to attract new industry to the area. But I shall keep the situation in this part of Northumberland under review.

Factories (Sale)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state the original cost of the 500,000 square feet of factory space sold by him in 1960–61, and the total price realised.

It is not possible to give the total original cost of these factories since they include premises transferred to the Board of Trade by other Government Departments for which no such figures are available. The total price realised from the sale of these factories was £910,000.

Development Districts, North-East

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state as percentages the unemployment in development districts in the North-east as against the total unemployment in all development districts, the total amount of factory space provided, the number of estimated jobs and the amount of loans and grants.

The answers to the various parts of the hon. Member's Questions are as follows:—The percentages wholly unemployed in Development Districts in Northumberland, Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire at mid-October, 1961 were:—

Per cent.
Bishop Auckland Group3·1
Hartlepools Group4·1
Seaham Harbour3·1
Sunderland Group4·1
Tyneside S.E. Group4·5
The percentage wholly unemployed in all Development Districts in England, Scotland and Wales at the same date was 3·7 per cent.The total amount of space in Government factories and extensions in the same area for which approval has been given under the Local Employment Act during the period 1st April, 1960, to 9th November, 1961, is 701,796 sq. ft.For the same area, the total number of new industrial jobs estimated to be in prospect is approximately 11,000 and the total amount offered in financial assistance under Section 3 and 4 of the Local Employment Act during the period mentioned is £580,437.