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Written Answers

Volume 656: debated on Thursday 29 March 1962

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 29th March, 1962

Home Department

Local Authorities (Electoral Registration Forms)

1.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local authorities will have to bear the cost of posting electoral registration forms without compensatory relief through the general grant by virtue of the fact that they are losing authorities.

Experiments On Living Animals

2.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken recently to satisfy himself that the present powers are adequate to prevent unnecessary and painful experiments on living animals; and what action he proposes to improve the system of inspection.

My right hon. Friend is satisfied from close contact with his inspectors that the safeguards provided by the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, and the system of inspection carried out, are adequate to achieve the object of preventing unnecessary suffering without impeding useful research.

Betting Shops

3.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent communication he has addressed to the Metropolitan Police concerning conduct in betting shops.

Imported Shotguns And Air Pistols (Safety Standards)

4.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he is taking to ensure that imported shotguns and air pistols come up to the required standards of safety.

My right hon. Friend has no evidence that such weapons as are being imported at the present time are unsafe but he will be glad to consider any information to the contrary that my hon. and gallant Friend may have.

Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents

8.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that road, home, industrial and agricultural safety activities of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents are now running at a deficit of £5,000 a year; and if Her Majesty's Government will increase the total grant for all these activities in the interests of human safety.

My right hon. Friend is concerned only with the grant made to the Society in respect of its home safety activities. While my right hon. Friend is aware from the published accounts that expenditure on these activities has exceeded income in recent years, he is informed that there has been some improvement in the current financial year and that the Society estimates that this will continue in 1962–63. My right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland are proposing to make grants in the coming financial year at the same level as in the current year.

Northern Ireland

9.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what regulations govern the entry into, and employment in, Northern Ireland of United Kingdom citizens.

There is at present no control over the entry of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies into any part of the United Kingdom. The control of employment in Northern Ireland is a matter for the Northern Ireland Government.

Prisoners (Letters To Members)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange that letters addressed by detained persons to Members of Parliament shall be exempted from the normal ration of correspondence allowable in Her Majesty's prisons and institutions.

An inmate in a prison, borstal or detention centre who receives a letter from a Member of Parliament which calls for a reply may be allowed a special letter for the purpose. In addition, after two months in custody, he may be allowed one special letter to initiate correspondence with a Member of Parliament. I regret that in present circumstances it would not be practicable to increase this allowance.

Incidents, Trafalgar Square (Police Commissioner's Report)

31.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that on 17th September, 1961, in Trafalgar Square certain policemen dragged some people along by their feet with their heads scraping the street; to what extent the report of the Commissioner of Police deals with this particular incident; and if he will make available to hon. Members a copy of that section of the report concerning the matter.

This allegation, like all specific complaints about the behaviour of the police on this occasion, was fully inquired into by the Commissoner of Police of the Metropolis. I made a full and carefully considered statement on 1st March, to which I do not wish to add except to remind the hon. Member that according to police records only six members of the public sought medical attention, and the injuries in each case were slight. The answer to the last part of the Question is "No".

48.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Report of the Police Commissioner into the behaviour of the police in Trafalgar Square on 17th September refers to any address to the crowd by the Mayor of Greenwich.

No. The Commissioner's report related to the inquiries made into complaints against individual police officers.

50.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a précis of the report of the Police Commissioner into the behaviour of the police in Trafalgar Square on 17th September.

No. The object of the inquiries that have taken place was to establish whether there were grounds for taking action against any member of the Metropolitan police under the statutory provisions governing police discipline. Inquiries of this kind must necessarily be confidential.

Girls (Detention)

32.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detention centres for girls he is planning to build; and what will be the maximum time any girl can be detained there.

The Answer to the first part of the Question is one.The maximum sentence of detention is six months; but when Section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1961, is implemented it will be possible for a girl who is subject to more than one sentence to be detained for a maximum period of nine months.

Corrective Training And Preventive Detention

37.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for changes in the law regarding sentences of corrective training and preventive detention.

I have referred the system of preventive detention for consideration by the Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders and it is now being examined by a sub-committee of that body. Meanwhile I have no proposals for amendment of the law relating either to corrective training or to preventive detention.

Driving Offences (Drunkenness)

38.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now give instructions to the Metropolitan Police regarding the desirability of police doctors being called to give evidence in cases of driving under the influence of drink.

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has not yet completed the review of his instructions referred to in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) on 15th March last. In the meantime, however, he has taken steps to ensure that the evidence of a police doctor is made available to the court by the prosecution in contested cases, together with evidence from eyewitnesses and, wherever available, the results of chemical tests showing the amount of alcohol consumed.

Young Persons (Remand To Prison)

39.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons under the age of 17 were remanded in prison during the year 1961, or up to the latest convenient date in that year; how many of those were subsequently not sentenced to imprisonment; and how many were found not guilty.

During 1961, the number of persons under 17 received on remand was 910, including 230 received at Ashford Remand Centre, which was available from 17th July. Ten were found not guilty; twenty-nine were sentenced to imprisonment; and one was ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure. The 870 otherwise dealt with included 294 sentenced to borstal, 75 to a detention centre, and 296 to an approved school.

Magistrates (Subsistence Allowances)

40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation to provide subsistence allowances and compensation for loss of earnings for justices of the peace; and if he will make a statement.

41.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now seek to revise the Justices of the Peace Act in order to provide for subsistence allowances for magistrates.

The Magistrates' Association and the Trades Union Congress have been informed that the question of the payment of subsistence allowances to justices will be examined when an opportunity for legislation arises, but that in my right hon. Friend's view, and that of my noble and learned Friend, the Lord Chancellor, there are not sufficient grounds to justify payment of loss of earnings allowances.

Press

44.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the constant movement towards monopoly of the Press; and whether he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards taking the necessary steps to maintain a free and diverse Press.

Civil Defence Personnel (Special Allowances)

45.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusions have been reached on the claim for special allowances to the relatives of members of the Civil Defence force who lose their lives whilst engaged on voluntary service in the case of aircraft crashes.

My right hon. Friend is not satisfied that there are grounds for making special provision, additional to that which already exists, for the payment of benefits in the circumstances referred to by the hon. Member.

Half-Day Closing Orders

47.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to difficulties encountered both by traders and the public in relation to half-day closing orders; and what action he intends to take to revise present arrangements.

A half-day closing order can be made only with the approval of a majority of the shopkeepers affected, and steps can be taken for revocation of an order which no longer meets with such approval. On present information my right hon. Friend is not convinced of the need for amending legislation.

Crimes Of Violence

51.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes of violence against the person and how many sexual offences, including rape, came to the notice of the police during the years 1959, 1960 and 1961; and what percentage of these offences was committed by juveniles.

The number of indictable offences of violence against the person in England and Wales known to the police in 1959 was 13,876, and in 1960 was 15,759; the provisional figure for 1961 is 17,601. The number of sexual offences, including rape, known to the police in 1959 was 20,024, and in 1960 was 19,937; the provisional figure for 1961 is 20,404.The ages of the persons committing these offences are not known, but in 1959 13 per cent. of the persons convicted of indictable offences of violence against the person and 21 per cent. of those convicted of indictable sexual offences were aged under 17. In 1960 the proportions were 15 per cent. and 20 per cent. respectively. Figures for 1961 are not yet available.

Demonstration, Parliament Square

59.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra cost was incurred by the police in dealing with the nuclear disarmament demonstration near Parliament Square on Saturday, 24th March.

Nuclear War (Shelters)

60.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will take steps to prohibit the manufacture and sale by private firms of shelters allegedly conferring protection in case of nuclear war.

Elections (Voting System)

64.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will initiate conversations with the leaders of the political parties to discuss the possibility of the introduction of a modified voting system to ensure a better and more accurate representation in the House of Commons.

Immigrants From Southern Ireland

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the net immigration from Southern Ireland into the United Kingdom in 1960 and 1961 respectively.

Jury Service

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the fact that in many parts of the country residents in more than half the streets are not eligible for jury service, and that large numbers of streets contain only one or two residents who are so eligible, whether he will give early consideration to this matter with a view to the introduction of legislation.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to his Question today.

Central Africa

Rhodesia And Nyasaland

52.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Her Majesty's Government will now introduce legislation providing for secession of territories from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the same manner as the West Indies Bill now provides for Colonies ceasing to be included in the British Caribbean Federation.

No. I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to my hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) on 8th March.

53.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reply he has sent to the letter he has received from Sir John Moffat, leader of the Northern Rhodesia Liberal Party, requesting assurances regarding proposals for partitioning Northern Rhodesia.

I am asking the Governor to explain to Sir John Moffat that Her Majesty's Government are not committed to such a plan, or indeed to any particular solution of the problems in the Federation; but they are ready to receive proposals, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations said on 8th March. The solution to be sought should be one that can obtain general acceptance.

54.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now make a statement on the review of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

57.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to hold a conference to review the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

I am not yet in a position to make further proposals about the resumption of the Constitutional Review Conference.

Education, Nyasaland (Report)

55.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations of the Phillips Committee on education in Nyasaland.

65.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has considered the report of the Phillips Committee on the Education of Africans in Nyasaland; and what action he proposes to take.

The Committee's Report is still under consideration in Nyasaland. Some of its recommendations have been incorporated in a new Education Ordinance passed earlier this month; and a programme of expansion of secondary education, to which the Committee attached first priority, is being launched. The other recommendations need further study, particularly of their financial implications.

Northern Rhodesia (General Election)

61.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when arrangements will be made for the General Election in Northern Rhodesia; and if this will precede the resumption of the Constitutional Review Conference on the future of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Arrangements are going ahead with a view to an election in the autumn. I am not in a position to say anything about the resumption of the Federal Review Conference.

Secretary Of State (Visit)

62.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to visit Central Africa.

I mean to visit Central Africa at the earliest convenient opportunity.

Chiefs, Nyasaland (Resignations)

63.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why so many chiefs in Nyasaland have resigned or been dismissed since the general election compared with a similar period before that election.

The resignations since the elections follow loss of public support by the chiefs concerned and hence of the inability to maintain effective administration.

Southern Rhodesia (Financial Assistance)

66.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent proposals were made by Sir Edgar Whitehead to Her Majesty's Government for financial assistance to Southern Rhodesia; and what assistance it is proposed to offer.

The discussions with Sir Edgar Whitehead were confidential and I am not in a position to make a statement.

Barotseland

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Supreme Ruler of Barotseland for the kingdom to be permitted separation within the Central African Federation.

The Litunga of Barotseland, during the recent visit of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, stated that it was the desire of the Barotse people to become a separate State with its own constitution within the Federation, and no longer administered as part of Northern Rhodesia. Similar representations were made by him to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs during his visit to the Federation last December.

Northern Rhodesia (Mr M C Kasutu)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what report he has received from the Governor of Northern Rhodesia about the case of Michael C. Kasutu, of the Northern Division of the United National Independence Party of Northern Rhodesia, following his complaint that he and his father had been victimised on political grounds.

The Governor of Northern Rhodesia, who had no previous knowledge of any such complaint, has had inquiries made and is satisfied that no member of the Kasutu family has been victimised.

Mortgages (Legal Charges)

67.

asked the Attorney-General if he will consider legislation designed to control legal charges for mortgages.

Solicitors' charges for work done in connection with mortgages have been controlled for many years. The present rates are fixed by orders made under the Solicitors Act. 1957.

Parliamentary Commissioner

68.

asked the Attorney-General whether Her Majesty's Government have now considered the Report by a Committee of Justice, presided over by Sir John Whyatt on. "The Citizen and the Administration", and in particular the Committee's recommendation for the appointment of a Parliamentary Commissioner to investigate grievances against Government Departments; and what conclusions they have reached.

69.

asked the Attorney-General when Her Majesty's Government expect to have completed examination of the Report of the Committee of Justice presided over by Sir John Whyatt; and when they will announce their conclusions.

The consideration of this Report raises difficult questions of both principle and practice, examination of which must necessarily take an appreciable time. I regret that in these circumstances it is not possible for me to add anything to the Answers I have already given on this subject or to say how soon the Government's consideration of the Report is likely to be completed.

Pensions Appeal Tribunals (Members' Pensions)

70.

asked the Attorney-General what consideration has been given to the provision of pensions for those who have served for many years as full-time members of pensions appeal tribunals; and whether he will introduce legislation to provide pensions in these cases.

Former full-time members of pensions appeal tribunals accepted their appointments on terms which did not include any provision for pension or gratuity; apart from the President there are now no full-time members and there is no prospect of legislation on this subject.

Commonwealth Relations

Former Civil Servants (Pensions)

73.

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what recent assurances he has received from Dominion Governments in relation to the pensions of former members of the Colonial and Overseas Services who were formerly employed in the territories which have now become independent Dominions within the Commonwealth.

None. No such assurances are necessary. Agreements providing for the continued payment of pensions are made between the British Government and the Government concerned at the time when a dependent territory becomes independent.

Tanganyika

Economic Aid

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will state the total value of economic aid in grants or loans given or promised to Tanganyika since 1957.

Since 1st April, 1957, Her Majesty's Government have made available to Tanganyika in grants and loans, including money entrusted to the Colonial Development Corporation for investment there, a total of £18,014,000. Details of the total economic aid promised to Tanganyika in connection with her achievement of independence were given by my right hon. Friend, the then Colonial Secretary, in a statement to the House, on 4th August, 1961.

Malta

Talks

76.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement on his talks with the Prime Minister of Malta.

Education

Children's Teeth (Caries)

77.

asked the Minister of Education what proposals he has for reducing the present high incidence of caries in school children's teeth.

My right hon. Friend and his right hon. Friend the Minister of Health have been discussing with local authority and the professional associations suggestions for improving the school dental service and promoting higher standards of dental care. We hope shortly to issue advice on these important matters.

School Building, Cardiff

78.

asked the Minister of Education if he is aware of complaints by parents in Splott and Adams-down, Cardiff, about the absence of proper buildings for secondary education in the area; and what provision he proposes to make in his next building programme.

No. I have not received any proposals from the Cardiff Local Education Authority for new school provision in this area. Any such proposals would be considered on their merits.

79.

asked the Minister of Education when the Church in Wales will be authorised to build a new secondary school in Cardiff in order that the existing all-age schools may be reorganised as junior schools; and whether he will make a statement.

The first of the two secondary schools required to reorganise the Church in Wales schools in Cardiff is now under construction. The second project will be considered for inclusion in the 1964–65 building programme.

asked the Minister of Education why he has not sanctioned the building of the Llandaff Church in Wales Primary School in the 1963 building programme; and whether, in view of the overcrowding in the present school, he will give further consideration to this matter.

I accept that a new school is needed but there are others in Cardiff more urgent and this project cannot therefore be included in the 1963–64 building programme.

Youth Club, Liverpool (Grant)

80.

asked the Minister of Education why he has refused to allow the youth club at Stanley House Community Centre, Liverpool, to proceed under the Social and Physical Training Grant Regulations, 1939, in view of the fact that the Liverpool Education Committee and his Department have agreed on the need for the youth club.

I regret that action on this application for grant under the Social and Physical Training Grant Regulations, 1939, has been deferred because the building programmes covering the three year period 1960–63 have been fully allocated. I have told the sponsors what action they should take to have their proposal considered for inclusion in the 1963–64 programme.

Grammar Schools, Faversham (Future)

81.

asked the Minister of Education if he will make a statement on the future of the William Gibbs and the Queen Elizabeth Grammar Schools, Faversham.

Since the local education authority and the governors have not reached an agreement on the future of the grammar schools in Faversham, no proposal requiring my decision is yet before me.

Artificial Respiration (Instruction)

82.

asked the Minister of Education if he will circularise local education authorities with a view to encouraging teachers to give instruction in mouth to mouth, mouth to nose and closed chest cardiac resuscitation.

No. Instruction in artificial respiration must be carried out by someone with knowledge and experience of the subject. This is particularly important where new techniques are involved, and it is not a matter for me to recommend any particular method. I am sure local education authorities will act on the best medical advice they can get.

Major School Building Projects

asked the Minister of Education whether he will now make a statement on the value of the projects completed, started and proposed, respectively, in each of the years of the building programme for primary and secondary schools during the five years from 1960–61 to 1964–65; and whether it is still the Government's intention to start work costing £300 millions in this period.

The figures for 1960–61 to 1963–64 inclusive are as follows:

MAJOR SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS
(to nearest £ million)
Financial yearCompletionsStarts
1960–61 (actual)4557
1961–62 (estimated)4563
1962–63 (estimated)5864
1963–64 (estimated)6555
These figures total, with rounding, £240 million, four-fifths of the way towards the five year total of £300 million, which we shall be able to reach provided that economic conditions as they affect long-term public investment are favourable.

Local Education Authorities (Economy Measures)

asked the Minister of Education what education authorities have announced, as economy measures, reductions in the estimated teaching staff to be employed in 1962–63.

As I said in reply to a Question from the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) on 22nd March, I understand that the Carmarthenshire Local Education Authority proposes to reduce its teaching strength at the end of this month. I know of no other authorities which intend to make reductions in their teaching staff for economy reasons.

Trade And Commerce

Scottish Tourist Board

84.

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent it is intended that the Scottish Tourist Board shall benefit from the sum granted by Her Majesty's Government to the British Travel and Holiday Association which has ben increased from £1,000,000 to £1,400,000.

Increased publicity for Scotland, planned with the advice of the Scottish Tourist Board, will be included in the expanded "Come to Britain" campaign run by the British Travel and Holidays Association. In addition the Association proposes to increase by about one-third its payments to the Board for services in connection with the attraction of overseas visitors.

Ministry Of Health

Anti-Smoking Clinics

asked the Minister of Health what plans he has for setting up anti-smoking clinics in hospitals and chest clinics throughout the country.

I am considering the possibility of setting up some clinics experimentally and am seeking the advice of my Standing Medical and Mental Health Advisory Committees.

Employment

Disabled Persons

asked the Minister of Labour what was the number of disabled persons registered for employment at employment exchanges at the latest convenient date in March; and what was the comparative figure on the same date in 1961.

pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th March, 1962; Vol. 656, c. 87–8] supplied the following information:On 19th March, 1962 there were 53,195 registered disabled persons unemployed in Great Britain compared with 49,723 on 20th March, 1961.

Roads

Epping New Road, Buckhurst Hill

asked the Minister of Transport what decision he has made on the best method of improving the safety of the Epping New Road in the area of Buckhurst Hill, Essex.

I am hoping to advertise clearway regulations later this year to apply to the section of A.11 between Trinity House and Bell Common. The question of constructing lay-bys on the part of the road through Epping Forest is still under consideration.

National Finance

Invisible Trade And Long-Term Capital Movements

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the distribution by area of United Kingdom invisible trade and long-term capital movements for the same years and areas as in Table 6 of the White Paper on Balance of Payments, 1959 to 1961, Command 1671.

I regret that the estimates in respect of invisible and long-term capital transactions with these individual areas are not sufficiently reliable to publish in more detail than is already given. I would draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to the breakdown between the rest of the sterling area and the non-sterling world provided in Tables 2 and 3 of the White Paper to which he refers; to the area breakdown of travel transactions given in Table 10; and to the breakdown of Government loans in Table 11. I would also remind him of the detailed estimates of direct investment given in an article in the "Board of Trade Journal" for 6th October last, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.