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Written Answers

Volume 656: debated on Monday 19 March 1962

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday, 19th March, 1962

Employment

School Leavers, Scotland

7.

asked the Minister of Labour what proportion of young persons leaving Scottish schools in the summer of 1961 have entered employment; and what is the proportion of boys and girls, respectively, who have entered apprenticeships or employment with training for more than a year.

Over 99·6 per cent. had entered employment on 12th February, 1962. No separate figures are available showing the types of employment entered by summer school leavers as such, but 41 per cent. of the boys and 6·8 per cent. girls starting work in Scotland from July to October, 1961, inclusive, entered apprenticeships, and in addition 5 per cent. of the boys and 10·5 per cent. of girls entered employment with training for more than a year.

Index Of Retail Prices (Cigarettes)

15.

asked the Minister of Labour how many units in the Index of Retail Prices are allocated for expenditure upon cigarettes; and if he will drop cigarettes from the items making up the index in view of the findings of the report of the Royal College of Physicians entitled "Smoking and Health", a copy of which has been sent to him.

The weight for cigarettes is 70 out of 1,000. The purpose of the Index is to measure changes in the average level of prices of goods and services commonly purchased and it would be wrong to exclude any item widely purchased.

Training Centre And Rehabilitation Unit, Cardiff

18.

asked the Minister of Labour what plans he has to improve facilities for industrial rehabilitation and vocational training in Cardiff.

I intend to rehouse the Government Training Centre and Industrial Rehabilitation Unit in modern factory premises in Western Avenue, Cardiff. These will provide more suit- able facilities than the present premises and will be adequate in size to meet the likely needs of the area they serve.

Stanley And Consett

19.

asked the Minister of Labour what were the numbers of persons unemployed in the employment exchange areas of Stanley and Consett, County Durham, at the last convenient date; what percentage of the total working populations these figures represent; and how they compare with similar statistics of a year ago.

At 12th February, 703 at Stanley and 563 at Consett representing, respectively, 3·6 and 2·7 per cent. of the insured employees; corresponding figures at 13th February, 1961, were 493 and 2·5 per cent. at Stanley, and 331 and 1·6 per cent. at Consett.

East Germany

Trade

29.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give an assurance that the inter-allied regulations now in force covering transit from East Germany to this country allow full freedom of travel for East German business men and representatives of East German trade organisations to come to this country to place orders.

I am not aware of any restrictions on East German business men who wish to come to this country for bona fide trade purposes.

Leipzig Fair

asked the Lord Privy Seal why he instructed the United Kingdom representative on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council to support the recommendation to boycott the forthcoming Leipzig Fair.

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to my replies in the House this afternoon.

Oder-Neisse Line

48.

asked the Lord Privy Seal why, in a pamphlet called "The Meaning of Berlin", published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, areas to the east of the Oder-Neisse line are described as administered by Poland; and what is now the policy of Her Majesty's Government regarding the future of this boundary.

The Potsdam Agreement laid down that the final delimitation of the frontier between Germany and Poland should await a peace settlement, but that pending this settlement former German territories to the east of the Oder-Neisse line should be placed under Polish administration. Her Majesty's Government remain of the opinion that the final delimitation of this boundary cannot be formalised until there is a peace settlement, and that is why the map to Which the hon. Gentleman refers has been drawn in this way.

United Nations Disarmament Committee

51.

asked the LordPrivy Seal whether he will make a statement about the work of the United Nations Disarmament Committee, now sitting in Geneva.

It would be premature at present to make any detailed statement about the work of the Committee, which began only on 14th March. Agreement has been reached on procedure, and major speeches have been made by the Soviet and United States delegates. The Soviet Foreign Minister has tabled a draft disarmament treaty, which is based very largely on the Soviet disarmament plan of 1960. Mr. Dean Rusk has proposed, amongst other things, certain substantial measures of disarmament, which could be put into effect without delay. These include a reduction by 30 per cent. in nuclear delivery vehicles and conventional armaments, to be carried out over a period of three years. As hon. Members may be aware, my noble Friend the Foreign Secretary has on behalf of the Government warmly welcomed these imaginative proposals.

European Economic Community

52.

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he will place copies of the common agricultural policy of the European Economic Community in the Library of the House.

The objectives of the Community's common agricultural policy are laid down in the Treaty of Rome, copies of which are already available in the Library. The decisions so far taken by the Six to give effect to these general provisions of the Treaty are embodied in the regulations adopted by the Community on 14th January last. On the texts of these regulations I have nothing to add to the Answer I gave to the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Oram) on 26th February.

Information Services

57.

asked the Lord Privy Seal by how much it is proposed to cut the Foreign Office information services in 1962–63; and if he will give details.

Cuts amounting to £220,000 will fall as follows:

£
United States of America122,000
Europe47,000
Middle East23,000
Africa—other than South Africa13,500
South-East Asia and Far East10,500
Latin America4,000
Against this, there will be new or increased provision in the Foreign Office 1962–63 estimates for improved facilities for broadcasting, British participation in the Seattle World Fair, information work in South Africa, and our risen costs are being covered.

Laos

58.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will consult with the Soviet Government in order to extend the terms of reference of the Conference on Laos to include Vietnam.

No. The International Conference at Geneva was convened on the strict understanding that discussions would be limited to the settlement of the Laotian question.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Agricultural Holdings (Disturbance Compensation)

60.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in view of the withdrawal last Session of the Agricultural Holdings (Disturbance Compensation) Bill by the private Member in charge, in consideration of an undertaking given then by the Minister, what steps he has taken to prepare a more comprehensive measure; and if a Bill will be introduced during this Session.

It remains the Government's intention to give effect to the undertaking given by my predecessor in May, 1960. Whether this can be done in the present Session depends on Parliamentary time being available.

Potatoes

61.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that there are sufficient potatoes to meet the demand before the new crop is ready; and if he will make a statement.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on the 15th March to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport).

Milk, Bacon, Flour And Bread (Retail Prices)

63.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in order to protect the consumer, and in view of the increases in retail prices of milk, bacon, flour and bread over the last six years, if he will introduce legislation to give himself powers to control retail prices of these commodities.

Over the period selected by the hon. Lady the prices of milk, bacon and flour have risen less than the cost of living as a whole. This is also true of bread since prices were decontrolled in September, 1956. Maximum retail prices for milk are, in fact, still prescribed under the Emergency Powers (Repeal) Act, 1959. I do not propose to reintroduce price control for the other commodities.

Production

64.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent the home production of the main items of food has increased since 1951; and what has been the overall increase in the net output of British agriculture since then.

Over this period there have been substantial increases in the production of nearly all farm products. The overall increase in agricultural net output between 1951–52 and 1961–62 was 23 per cent. The United Kingdom figures for individual products are given in the following table:

Increase (+) or decrease (−) in agricultural production between 1951–52 and 1961–62 Per cent.
Wheat+ 11
Barley+ 157
Potatoes− 25
Sugar Beet+ 31
Beef and veal+ 40
Mutton and lamb+ 82
Pigmeat+ 57
Poultry meat+ 284
Eggs+ 63
Milk and milk products+ 28
Horticultural crops+ 10

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with the progress which is being made in Great Britain in the field of intensive food production both as regards poultry, veal, beef and pigs, and as regards horticulture; and what steps he proposes to take in the near future to ensure that Great Britain remains adequately competitive therein.

I welcome any steps taken by farmers and growers to improve the competitiveness of their products but it is for producers themselves to decide upon the use of one system of production as against another. The assistance of my Department's advisory services is available to all farmers and growers, no matter what their system of production.

Fowl Pest (Plant Committee's Report)

65.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration he has given to the Report of the Plant Committee on the control of fowl pest; and what action he proposes to take on its recommendations.

As my right hon. Friend said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes) on 26th February, it is hoped that the Report of the Plant Committee will be published by the end of this month. My right hon. Friend is at present considering the recommendations of the Committee.

Forestry Commission Property (Value)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total capital value of the Forestry Commission's property, including growing trees.

The value of the Commission's property at cost, less depreciation where applicable, is of the order of £180 million.

Ministry Of Power

Oil Refinery, Pwllcrochan

66.

asked the Minister of Power if he will make a statement on the arrangements reached over the proposed oil refinery near Pwllcrochan, Pembrokeshire.

Agreement has now been reached, involving, among other things, the rearrangement of certain Admiralty explosives traffic, which will enable the company to proceed with its applications for leave to introduce a private Bill and for planning permission.

Gas Industry (Wage Negotiations)

69.

asked the Minister of Power what direction he has given to the Chairman of the Gas Council about the maximum pay increase to be offered by the Gas Council to its workers in the current pay rise negotiations.

None, but I have impressed on the Chairman the importance which the Government attaches to its incomes policy and the need to conduct the present negotiations within the framework of that policy.

Coal (Transport)

asked the Minister of Power if, in view of the danger to health caused by diesel fumes and the congestion caused on the roads, especially in towns, he will issue a general direction to the Gas Council that its coal should be carried as far as possible by rail instead of road.

The gas industry is very willing to use rail haulage when it is economical to do so, but it would be outside my right hon. Friend's responsibility to direct particular types of traffic to particular classes of transport.

Subsidence

asked the Minister of Power (1) what was the cost to the National Coal Board for the year 1961 of damage by subsidence;(2) what was the cost to the East Midland Division of the National Coal Board for the year 1961 of damage by subsidence.

These figures will be published in the National Coal Board's Report and Accounts for 1961.

Ministry Of Aviation

Missiles

70.

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the approximate total cost to Her Majesty's Government for research, development and production, respectively, to any convenient recent date, of the following missiles, namely, Blue Steel, Bloodhound, Blue Streak, Firestreak, Red Top, Blue Water, Thunderbird, Malkara, Seacat, Vigilant and Seaslug.

No. It would not be in the public interest to give such detailed information about our weapon programmes.

71.

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the names of all missiles ordered from foreign countries during the last ten years, and the country of origin and the approximate monetary value of the order for each missile.

During the past ten years the Ministry of Aviation and its predecessor the Ministry of Supply has purchased or is in the process of purchasing the following missiles: SS11 and AS30 from France; Sidewinder, Bullpup and Skybolt from the United States of America. It is not in the public interest to disclose the monetary value of these orders.

Hospitals

Broadmoor (Death Of Patient)

72.

asked the Minister of Health if he will state the circumstances in which a patient, who died in Broadmoor on 7th March at the age of 87, spent 76 years of his life in Broadmoor, having been committed at the age of 11 for an offence of arson; how many patients now in Broadmoor have spent 50 years or more there; and if he will make a statement.

This severely subnormal epileptic needed hospital care throughout his life. During his earlier years it was not available elsewhere. Latterly, a move might well have harmed him. Three.

Nurses

73.

asked the Minister of Health to what extent the staffing of hospitals by nurses is now dependent on a sufficient number of immigrants being available.

Available information is incomplete but suggests that about 7 per cent. of all nursing staff are from the Commonwealth.

Hospital Land, Woking (Public Auction)

74.

asked the Minister of Health if he will not proceed with the public auction on 3rd April of five acres of hospital land at Kettlewell Hill, Woking, in view of the decision of the Surrey County Council last December to acquire part of the site compulsorily to provide a new county primary school.

The auction is to be held in accordance with Government policy on the disposal of surplus lands.

Ministry Of Health

Smoking And Health

75.

asked the Minister of Health whether he proposes to introduce legislation to give effect to any of the recommendations of the Report of

FatalNot fatal
ImportedNot importedImportedNot imported
1. Number of cases (a)158
2. Number vaccinated1(b)1(c)4(c)
3. Number whose vaccination state is uncertain1
Notes
(a) The total includes 2 associated cases notified from Ilkley Urban District.
(b) Possession of a valid International Certificate, has been treated as evidence of vaccination.
(c) Vaccinated after being in contact with smallpox.

the Royal College of Physicians on Lung Cancer.

None of the recommendations within my responsibility requires legislation.

Welfare Officers (Younghusband Report)

78.

asked the Minister of Health what consultations he has had with the Minister of Education concerning the implementation of the Young-husband Report in connection with the training of local authority welfare officers seeking the National Certificate of Social Work Training; and whether he will make a statement.

Middlesex Dental Centre

79.

asked the Minister of Health how many cases of over-prescription under Regulation 19 have been referred to the Middlesex Local Dental Committee in each of the past three years.

Midwives, Sunderland

77.

asked the Minister of Health what is the establishment of domiciliary midwives in Sunderland; and how many domiciliary midwives were employed in Sunderland on the latest available date. Miss Pitt: Thirty-three; 31.

Smallpox, Bradford (Vaccination)

asked the Minister of Health what was the condition as to vaccination of the smallpox cases in the recent outbreak in Bradford.

General Practitioners, Sunderland

76.

asked the Minister of Health how many practitioners are on the medical list of the Sunderland Executive Council.

Scotland

Direct Grant Schools

80.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the

AMOUNT OF GRANT PAID TO EACH DIRECT GRANT SCHOOL IN SCOTLAND, NUMBER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY PUPILS ON THE ROLL OF EACH SCHOOL, AND THE NUMBER OF STAFF IN THE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY DEPARTMENTS OF EACH SCHOOL FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 1960–61
Name of SchoolAmount of grant paid 1.4.60–31.3.61Number of pupils on roll*Number of teachers employed†
Primary departmentSecondary departmentPrimary departmentSecondary department
Cities
ABERDEEN
Albyn School for Girls28,3552632251120
Convent of the Sacred Heart Secondary School for Girls14,74098145611
Robert Gordon's College62,760244846848
St. Margaret's School for Girls21,115197188717
DUNDEE
High School59,0505445231440
EDINBURGH
Daniel Stewart's College313,95045648274156
The Mary Erskine School for Girls483473
George Watson's College
615851
George Watson's Ladies College467496
George Heriot's School50,5005579301858
John Watson's School25,120223144714
Melville College25,2202072951020
St. Mary's Cathedral Choir School2,550181612
GLASGOW
Craigholme School18,670169166615
Hutcheson's Boys'94,4202315891481
Hutcheson's Girls'232659
Kelvinside Academy20,810208386826
Laurel Bank School25,580244329830
The Park School18,980223244922
St. Aloysius' College40,845264506834
Westbourne School for Girls12,6102292951023
Counties
AYR
Marr College, Troon49,27073246
CLACKMANNAN
Dollar Academy54,940248467936
DUMFRIES
Benedictine Convent School5,570347427
St. Joseph's College11,08071392520
DUNBARTON
St. Bride's School, Helensburgh17,270161182523
PERTH AND KINROSS
Morrison's Academy for Boys53,9361183001040
Morrison's Academy for Girls158265
RENFREW
St. Columba's School, Kilmacolm16,910222178921
* As at January, 1961.†As at October, 1961.

amounts of grant made to each of the direct grant schools in Scotland, the number of primary pupils and the number of secondary pupils on the roll of each of those schools, and the number of staff in the primary and secondary departments, respectively, at each school, in the last financial year for which figures are available.

New Industry, Fife

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take immediate steps to attract new industries to Fife, in view of the economic consequences of the recent decision to close Rothes Colliery.

I have been asked to reply.I shall continue my efforts to encourage new and expanded industry in those parts of Fife which are development districts and I shall be prepared to add to the list of those districts any locality where I consider that high and persistent unemployment is threatened.

School Children, Lanarkshire (Lost Clothing)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total number of articles of clothing belonging to school children that were lost from schools in Lanarkshire in the last five years; and what was the total financial cost to the local education authority of replacing these articles.

I understand that the education authority could not extract this information from many individual records without considerable work which I would not feel justified in asking it to undertake. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind, I should be glad to have inquiries made into it.

Science

Cancer Research

81.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science, in view of the recent report on the connection between smoking and lung cancer and the increase in the incidence of this disease, if he will consider extending research on cancer by increasing the grant made by Her Majesty's Government for this purpose.

The recent report by the Royal College of Physicians is an invaluable summary of results obtained over the years by reputable researchers all over the world, including those supported by the Medical Research Council. The publication of the report, therefore, does not call for a review of the Medical Research Council's programme of cancer research, which is constantly expanding and has in fact almost doubled over the last five years. My noble Friend is satisfied that the Medical Research Council is taking every opportunity to promote new and promising lines of study, and he can find no evidence that the Council is impeded in this by lack of funds.

Meat Research Institute (Site)

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science whether he will now state the proposed site for the meat research centre.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science when he expects to be able to announce the site chosen for the proposed meat research organisation.

After full consideration of all the factors involved, the Agricultural Research Council has entered into negotiations with the University of Bristol for a site for the Institute in association with the University Veterinary School.

Gambia

Civil Servants (Pensions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many ex-members of the Colonial Service or Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service are receiving pensions from the Government of Gambia; and how many of these are receiving increases less than those received under the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1959, of the United Kingdom.

Although information about the number of such pensioners paid in the United Kingdom is readily available, a number are paid elsewhere. I am therefore consulting the Acting Governor and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as I have the complete figures.

Sierra Leone

Civil Servants (Pensions)

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations how many ex-members of the Colonial Service or Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service are receiving pensions from the Government of Sierra Leone; and how many of these are receiving increases less than those received under the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1959, of the United Kingdom.

Pensions increases granted by independent Commonwealth Governments are a matter for those Governments.

Education

Unqualified Teachers, Kent

asked the Minister of Education how many uncertificated teachers are employed in schools in the County of Kent.

On 31st March, 1961, 315 unqualified teachers were employed in primary and secondary schools maintained by the Kent local education authority. In addition, the Canterbury authority had three such teachers.

Pupils, North Kent (School Transport)

asked the Minister of Education what is the annual cost of transporting scholars to and from the Isle of Sheppey and Faversham, Sittingbourne and the Medway towns.

I understand that the current annual cost of transporting pupils from the Isle of Sheppey to school on the mainland is £5,493 and from the mainland to schools in the Isle of Sheppey £5,402.

asked the Minister of Education how many scholars of all grades are transported daily from the Isle of Sheppey to mainland schools.

I understand that 312 pupils travel daily from the Isle of Sheppey to schools on the mainland. All but one of these pupils go to schools in the Sittingbourne area.

National Finance

Estate Duty

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to a revision of the system employed to calculate Estate Duty payable on the death of a jointress or cesser of an annuity, where the capital value of agricultural land includes its prospective future value for building purposes, and when the revenue therefrom is at present calculated on the actual rent at the date of death.

The method of computing the Estate Duty payable in such circumstances is statutory. If my hon. Friend will send me details of any particular case he has in mind I shall be glad to look into it.

Local Government

Planning Applications

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is satisfied that applicants for planning approval are receiving appropriate advice from local authorities, so that planning appeals are not being lodged needlessly with his Department; and if he will give new guidance to local authorities to explain to applicants when their plans stand no chance of eventual approval.

Local planning authorities have more than once been asked to discuss proposals for development with applicants for permission, and where they think it necessary to refuse permission to explain their reasons clearly. They have to deal with very large numbers of applications for permission but they do try to give appropriate advice. My right hon. Friend does not think that new guidance would help at the present time, but the matter will be kept in mind.

Wireless And Television

Transmitting Stations, Llanddona And Holyhead

asked the Postmaster-General when the Llanddona and Holyhead transmitting stations will be in operation; and which areas will receive better television reception as a result.

The B.B.C. hopes to open the Llanddona television station soon after Easter and the Holyhead station in about a year's time. These stations will improve reception throughout practically the whole of Anglesey and along the North-West Wales coastline from Nevin to Llandudno.

Technical Co-Operation

Technical And Commercial Education

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation whether he will set up a clearing house for information and research on the content and organisation of technical and commercial education.

I hope that the Council for Technical Education and Training for Overseas Countries to which I referred in my reply on 15th March to my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bullard) will serve as a clearing house and act as a focal point for studies in this field.

British Army

Denbury Camp, Devon (Fire)

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a statement on the result of the inquiry into the death by fire of two boy soldiers from Oundle and Aberdeen at Denbury Camp, Newton Abbot, Devon, on 10th March.

First, may I take this opportunity of expressing my deepest sympathy with the boys' families.The inquest was opened on 13th March, and established the cause of death in each case as carbon monoxide poisoning. A board of inquiry is being convened, but regulations require that it should not sit until the inquest, now adjourned, has been completed. I much regret, therefore, that I cannot give my hon. Friend any further information at present but I shall gladly do so at the earliest opportunity.

Trade And Commerce

Sunderland

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a further statement on the Government's projects in Sunderland which were under consideration under the Local Employment Act in December, 1961.

Of the four projects under consideration in December, two have been rejected. The other two are being considered on the basis of revised requirements put forward by the applicants.

Sulphate Of Ammonia

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the price at which sulphate of ammonia is exported to Eire was a factor taken into consideration when deciding to increase the duty on imported sulphate of ammonia.

The protective duty on sulphate of ammonia has not been increased. An anti-dumping duty was imposed on 3rd March on sulphate of ammonia from the Soviet zone of Germany because I was satisfied that dumped imports from this source threatened material injury to the British industry. In reaching this conclusion I took account of all the relevant factors, including the British producers' costs of production and profits and, in relation, to these the general level of their export prices.

Roads

Oxford Street (Traffic Diversion)

asked the Minister of Transport what stage he has reached in working out detailed proposals with regard to the traffic diversion from Oxford Street; and whether they have yet been submitted for criticism and consideration to the Westminster City Council.

I am considering the many comments, including Westminster City Council's, which I have received on the outline proposals announced last August. I am also considering other important aspects, such as possible alternative routes for buses. I shall certainly consult the Westminster City Council again and also the other interests concerned.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has studied the technical report prepared for the committee of residents concerning his outline proposals for the diversion of east-bound traffic from Oxford Street to Upper Brook Street, Brook Street and Grosvenor Square; and whether he is now prepared to receive representations from that committee.

The report, which is a detailed one, is still being studied. When my study is complete, I shall be getting in touch with the committee.