Written Answers To Questions
Wednesday, 3rd November, 1965
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Agricultural Support, Northern Ireland
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total payment for agricultural support in respect of Northern Ireland in the latest year for which figures are available; what this was per acre and per head of population, respectively; and how this compares with corresponding figures for the United Kingdom as a whole.
In 1964–65 total payments for agricultural support in Northern Ireland amounted to £26 million in total, including payments for Northern Ireland Votes. This is equivalent to approximately £10 per acre of crops, grass and rough grazings and approximately £18 per head of total population. The corresponding figures for the United Kingdom as a whole were £256.6 million in total, equivalent to £5 per acre and £5 per head of total population. The amount of subsidies received in various parts of the United Kingdom depends on the pattern and intensity of agriculture.
Food And Drinks (Cyclamates)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now authorise the use of sodium cyclamate as a sweetener in the jellies made from alginates.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now withdraw the regulations which permit the use of cyclamates for sweetening soft drinks.
I regret that I cannot at this stage add anything to the answer which I gave on 19th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Joyce Butler) and the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Dodds-Parker).
Foodstuffs (Home Production And Imports)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give, for each of the years 1954 to 1964 inclusive, by value and by quantity, United Kingdom-produced, and imported, respectively, wheat, hard, wheat, soft, rye, barley, oats, maize, butter, cheese, other milk products, beef, mutton and lamb, bacon and ham, other pigmeat, eggs, shell, eggs, other than shell, potatoes, and wool.
I am sending to the hon. Member figures showing the quantity of United Kingdom production and the value and quantity of imports from 1954 to 1964 for the commodities requested, and am making copies available in the Library of the House. I regret that figures of the value of home production are not available in a comparable form because, for example, considerable quantities of cereals and potatoes are retained on farms and these cannot accurately be valued. Similarly, the value of livestock output relates to live animals or whole milk, and not to meat and milk products. Moreover, wholesale prices for home-produced meat are available for only about 15 to 20 per cent. of total production. However, figures showing the value of United Kingdom output of crops and livestock for the years 1953–54 to 1962–63 have been published in Table 209 of the 1964 Annual Abstract of Statistics and for 1963–64 and 1964–65 in Appendix II of the last Annual Review White Paper (Cmnd. 2621).
Trawlers (Building Grants)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the names of individual firms, companies and/or corporations of distant water trawler owners to whom building grants were approved or made under the Sea Fish Industry Act 1962, what were the amounts of such grants; whether these grants were for freezer or conventional trawlers; and whether the grants were experimental or on a scrap-and-build basis.
I regret that the names of recipients of these grants cannot be disclosed. The total amount approved to date is £1,984,621 of which £1,837,359 was for freezer and £147,262 for conventional distant-water trawlers. In addition experimental grants approved amount to £92,000, all for freezer trawlers.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will state the number and amounts of grants, including experimental grants, made for the rebuilding of the British distant water fleet in accordance with the schemes made under the Sea Fish Industry Act 1962 for each of the three years ended 31st March, 1963, 1964, and 1965.
The following are the figures for approvals in each of the three years:
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the number of applications for building grants received from British distant water trawler owners under the Sea Fish Industry Act 1962 for the period ending 31st March 1967; and if he will in each case state the name of the applicants, the amount approved and the type of vessel, freezer or conventional, for which grants have been approved.
The number is 42 to date. I regret that the names of applicants cannot be disclosed. The amounts approved were given in my previous answer.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to extend the United Kingdom fatstock guarantee.
I cannot yet say whether any changes will be made in the fatstock guarantee next year.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the average market price per hundredweight for fat cattle from the beginning of the present guarantee year up to the latest available date; and by how much a hundredweight this has exceeded the average weekly standard price during that period.
In the current fatstock year up to 24th October the average market price for fat cattle was 176s. 4d. per live cwt., which was 2s. 0d. above the average weekly standard price. The figures for the last five weeks within the period stated are provisional.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to ensure that the proposed Meat Commission includes a representative from the National Cattle Breeders' Association of Great Britain.
As was explained in the White Paper issued in August, the Commission itself will not include representatives of any particular interests, but it will be served by Committees representative of the interests concerned. As for the composition of these Committees, I would ask the hon. Member to await the publication of the Bill.
Meat Producers (Anglo-Eire Talks)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the effect of the Anglo-Eire trade talks of July on meat producers and those engaged in ancillary industries, in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, respectively.
Since the July ministerial meeting, further discussions have been taking place between officials of the U.K. and of the Republic of Ireland, and the U.K. officials have naturally had in mind the interests of all sectors of the economy. The talks are still in progress and in the circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any particular aspect.
Corned Beef (Pet Food)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether corned beef withdrawn at the time of the Aberdeen typhoid outbreak and now not to be used for human consumption will be re-processed before being allowed to be sold for pet food.
The normal process of manufacture of such meat for pet food involves heating it to a temperature sufficiently high to remove any risk.
Ministry Of Defence
Territorial Army (Civilian Employees)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has yet formed an estimate of the effect on civilian employment of his proposals for the Territorial Army in Northern Ireland, Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom, respectively.
I cannot yet add to the Answer I gave to the hon. Member on 5th August.
Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what residual industrial and non-industrial staff will be required to service the remaining and incoming departments after the closure of the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich; whether these employees will be offered permanent work with the appropriate department; and if the names and and future prospects of those concerned will be made known without further delay.
Common services within the Royal Arsenal will continue to be provided by the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich until March 1967: thereafter, in those areas of the estate retained for Government purposes, some services will be provided by the Ministry of Public Building and Works and the remainder by the Army Department. Information about the staff who will be required will be made available as soon as possible.
Royal Ordnance Factories (Investigation)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he proposes to publish a report of the departmental investigation into the way in which work is allocated to Royal Ordnance Factories.
The investigation, which was undertaken by an official Committee, has been completed and I am consulting my colleagues on the report made to me. I will make a statement as soon as practicable.
Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (Allocation Of Buildings)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will now make a statement on further developments in the reorganisation of the Woolwich Arsenal site; whether decisions have been made on any additional Government Departments being moved into the area; and, in particular, whether a decision has been made to re-locate the Royal Mint on the Woolwich Arsenal site.
Discussions on the allocation of buildings to establishments which are to be accommodated in the Government enclaves will be concluded shortly. Agreement has been reached with the Greater London Council for the sale, subject to contract, of over 1,000 acres of land which are surplus to Government requirements while I expect negotiations to be opened shortly with the London Borough of Greenwich for the sale of a further 18 acres.My right hon. Friend the Minister of Public Building and Works will not now require accommodation for the establishment of his Department which is being transferred from Kidbrook and this will free a further 13 acres in the Eastern area for re-allocation or disposal: no decision has been made to re-locate the Royal Mint on the Arsenal site.
Dockyard Workers (Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to raise the wages of the lower paid workers in Her Majesty's Dockyards so that they conform favourably with wages paid in other comparable industries.
I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the Answer given him on 5th August, 1965. Increases under the latest review are being paid as from 1st October, 1965.
Royal Ordnance Factory, Patricroft (Ferrous Casting)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what facilities he intends to set up for casting, both ferrous and non-ferrous, within the Royal Ordnance factory organisation now that these facilities have come to an end at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich.
Ferrous casting will be done by the Royal Ordnance Factory, Patricroft, but facilities for non-ferrous casting, which has not been done at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich, for the last eighteen months, are not at present required and will not therefore be provided elsewhere.
Visual Efficiency And Road Safety (Report)
asked the Minister of Transport what action he proposes to take on the report entitled Visual Efficiency and Road Safety, prepared and forwarded to him recently by the Association of Optical Practitioners.
The Association's Report proposes more stringent eyesight tests for drivers. A more immediate question is whether the present standard permits defects in vision which make drivers particularly liable to accidents. So far there is no evidence of a relationship between vision defects and liability to accidents. The Road Research Laboratory are working on this and research will continue.
asked the Minister of Transport what official testing takes place on remoulded, retreaded and recut tyres of motor vehicles in the interest of road safety; and if he will seek to make illegal the use of faulty or badly worn tyres.
There are no official tests but tyres of vehicles subjected to roadside checks are inspected by our examiners for compliance with the Motor Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations which require tyres to be free of any defect which might cause danger. Noncompliance with this requirement is an offence.My right hon. Friend hopes to make a regulation dealing with the use of recut tyres shortly.
Transport Problems (Lord Hinton's Report)
asked the Minister of Transport when he expects to publish Lord Hinton's report on the co-ordination of the transport system.
I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer given on 27th October to my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp).
asked the Minister of Transport when he will make a statement on Lord Hinton's Report.
I have already promised to make a statement on transport policy before the end of the year. In developing my policy I am taking account of the advice Lord Hinton has given me.
asked the Minister of Transport if he will give details of the provisions made under his regulations for the protection of the public, where transport sub-contractors operate on behalf of large-scale producers of raw and manufactured materials, in regard to frequent deliveries of loads per day and insufficient examination and maintenance of the vehicles concerned.
Like all other vehicle operators, transport contractors engaged in this type of business are under statutory obligation to ensure that their vehicles are in a roadworthy and safe condition whenever they are used on the roads. No special provisions for them would be feasible.
"Dim Dip" Headlight Campaign
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will give his support to the Manchester dimmed headlight scheme; and whether he will urge other local authorities to attempt this experiment.
Manchester and a great many neighbouring authorities co-operated in a "dim dip" headlight campaign last winter which I warmly supported. I am glad to do so again now.
Accidents (Defective Vehicles)
asked the Minister of Transport if he will introduce legislation whereby the owners of vehicles found to be in a dangerous condition after an accident to which the condition of the vehicle contributed are prosecuted at the same time as the driver of the vehicle.
No. It is already an offence to use or to cause or permit the use of a defective vehicle. The driver and owners of such a vehicle are liable to prosecution. The taking and timing of proceedings must be left for decision by the prosecuting authority. The date of the hearing in fixed by the courts.
Central London—Bromley (Traffic Congestion)
asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has in hand for the easing of road traffic congestion between Central London and the London Borough of Bromley.
The main routes between Central London and the Borough of Bromley are Metropolitan roads for which the Greater London Council is both the highway and the traffic authority. So it is for the Council to formulate and implement any necessary plans for dealing with this route.
Traffic, Central London (Christmas Period)
asked the Minister of Transport what emergency action he intends to take to prevent wide-scale traffic jams in Central London during the Christmas shopping period.
The management of London's traffic is now a matter for the Greater London Council. I understand that they will be announcing their Christmas traffic arrangements shortly.
Reflective Number Plates
asked the Minister of Transport if he will introduce legislation to compel cars to be fitted with reflective number plates, in the interests of road safety.
The reflectors required to be fitted on vehicles should provide sufficient reflective illumination for road safety purposes, but my Working Party on the Lighting of Vehicles will be considering whether any improvements are necessary. Reflective number plates may be easier to read in the dark than the number plates now required but I shall ask the Working Party to consider whether their use might also contribute to road safety.
Driving Tests, Huddersfield
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that there is a four-month waiting period in Huddersfield for driving tests; and what steps he proposes to take to reduce the waiting time.
Yes. An additional examiner was, therefore, stationed at Huddersfield last month. I hope that it will be possible to provide another at the end of the year.
Damaged Vehicles (Total Loss)
asked the Minister of Transport if he will seek to introduce compulsory registration, with local authorities of cars that have been written off after serious accidents.
Administrative arrangements exist under which insurance companies inform licensing authorities of the identity of vehicles in respect of which claims have been settled on the basis of total loss. This is a matter raising various issues, to which I referred in my replies to my hon. Friend, the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) on 16th June.
asked the Minister of Transport what is the average waiting period for Ministry of Transport driving tests for the country as a whole, and for the Slough area.
The national average waiting period is 15 weeks. At Slough it is about 19 weeks, but I expect this to fall as a result of arrangements which it has now been possible to make to bring the examining staff up to full strength.
asked the Minister of Transport between what hours, and on what days of the week, driving tests can be taken at the Ministry of Transport's driving test centres; and how many tests can be conducted by one examiner in one day.
Normally nine tests are booked for each examiner between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and eight on Friday between 9 a.m. and 4.15 p.m. (one less in the London Area). Programmes have to be curtailed on the shorter days in winter. In addition, centres are open one Saturday each month when three tests per examiner are conducted between 9 a.m. and 11.15 a.m. The tests actually conducted are fewer than these figures, partly because seven per cent. of candidates fail to keep their appointments.
Long-Distance Lorries, Tamworth (Checks)
asked the Minister of Transport if he will institute an examination for long-distance lorries passing through Tamworth, Staffordshire, as to the mechanical maintenance of the vehicles in question.
A number of spot checks of goods vehicles have been carried out this summer on roads leading to Tamworth and these will continue as opportunity arises.
Vehicles (Certificates Of Fitness)
asked the Minister of Transport if he will give the details of the name of the appellant, the decision appealed against, and whether the Minister has reached a decision on the appeal outstanding at 31st March and referred to on page 5 of the Annual Report of the Traffic Commissioners 1964–65 in appeals against area mechanical engineers on certificates of fitness.
This appeal was by R. L. Orsborn and Son Ltd. against decisions of the Certifying Officer for the East Midland Traffic Area limiting to three years the duration of the Certificates of Fitness issued for two vehicles. My decision to dismiss the appeal was issued on 1st June, 1965.
Portbury Dock Scheme
asked the Minister of Transport what progress he has made with consideration of the Portbury Dock Scheme since 16th June; and when he will come to a decision.
There have been consultations with the National Ports Council and Government Departments; and with the Economic Planning Councils on the regional implications of the Interim Ports Plan, of which the Portbury scheme is an important element.I hope to announce my decision shortly.
Luton-Moorgate (Closure Proposal)
asked the Minister of Transport what study he has made of the arrangements for the co-ordination of commuter services into the Kings Cross—St. Pancras area, in view of the proposals to close the Luton—Harpenden—Moorgate line; and if he is satisfied with them.
The proposal published by the Railways Board is to close to passengers a section of line between Kentish Town and Kings Cross, involving the withdrawal of three trains a day one way and two the other between Luton and Moorgate. There is no proposal to withdraw the rest of the local service, which terminates at St. Pancras; indeed I understand that it is the Board's current intention to augment it slightly at peak hours.I cannot comment in advance on the merits of the proposal, on which the Transport Users' Consultative Committee will be reporting to me. Co-ordination of services in London is a statutory responsibility of the Railways and London Boards. In considering the closures proposal I shall pay special attention to this aspect.
asked the Minister of Transport if he will issue a general direction, in the public interest, to British Railways to speed up freight deliveries.
No. Such a direction would not be appropriate.
asked the Minister of Transport when the railway super-annuitants will receive a pensions increase to bring them into line with the Pensions Increase Act recently awarded to other sections of the public service.
The question of increasing the pensions of railway super-annuitants is primarily a matter for the British Railways Board.
asked the Minister of Transport if he will issue a general direction, in the public interest, to British Railways to introduce better rates of compensation for lost freight.
No. This is a matter between the Railways Board and their customers. Under Section 43 of the Transport Act 1962 the Board are free to make the use of their services and facilities subject to such terms and conditions as they think fit.
Road Improvements, Shropshire
asked the Minister of Transport what request he has received for loan sanction for road improvements in the village of Admaston in Wellington from the Shropshire County Council; what reply he has sent; and if he will make a statement.
I have no record of having received any request for loan sanction for road improvements in the district mentioned.
Dawley New Town (Access Roads)
asked the Minister of Transport what decision he has come to concerning the access roads to Dawley New Town and the representations made to his Department by the Development Corporation.
I am very conscious of the importance of good access roads to the Dawley New Town area. This is taken fully into account in considering the future roads programme.
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the traffic chaos at the Ferrybridge-Knottingley roundabout being constructed at the A.1/A.645; and whether he will expedite the building of the flyover as a matter of urgency.
Works of this nature are bound to cause traffic difficulties. Fresh arrangements for the completion of the project are being considered urgently in consequence of the appointment of a receiver and manager for the affairs of the contractor. The need for expeditious completion of the flyover will be borne in mind.
asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the delay in the start of construction of the Thorne by-pass, he will arrange for the building of a temporary bridge over the canal at Thorne.
No. A temporary bridge would not give value for money. The power-operated gates which I am providing will help to reduce delays here.
asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has for improving road safety on the M.4 motorway during foggy conditions.
The elevated section of M.4 already has remotely controlled signs for diverting traffic from the motorway in case of obstruction. Advance warning signs are already placed at the entrances to motorways and we are experimenting with a remotely controlled system on the M.5 which gives advance warning of hazardous conditions including fog and obstructions. Experience with this over the present winter will be necessary before we can judge its effectiveness. We are also examining other systems and hope to reach a decision shortly as to whether any are worth while introducing. I am considering what further useful research can be undertaken but it is already clear that the basic remedy lies in driving within the limits of visibility and using headlights in daylight fog, as the Highway Code advises.
asked the Minister of Transport (1) what studies he has made of the causes of accidents on motorways in fog; and what additional steps he now proposes to guard against their repetition in the future;(2) what new warning systems he now proposes to introduce on motorways in order to provide adequate signals in the event of an obstruction caused at a time when visibility is seriously restricted.
asked the Minister of Transport if he will institute a warning system on main roads leading to the MA motorway, to be used when fog has caused its closure.
I would refer the hon. Members to the Answer I gave today to the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. Dudley Smith).
South Coast Trunk Road (Fareham Section)
asked the Minister of Transport what is now the proposed time table for the construction of the Fareham section of the South Coast Trunk Road; how urgently this is being considered; and what is the present delay between the programme as intended in summer 1964 and as now planned.
I am considering this scheme with other urgent proposals elsewhere for the next extension of the trunk road programme. I hope that sufficient information from the consultants will be available soon to enable me to publish a draft Order fixing the line of the new road.
asked the Minister of Transport what steps he is taking to support the Fareham Urban District Council in setting up a new circulation of through traffic within Fareham, in view of the congestion that is now endemic there.
All the necessary measures to implement the traffic arrangements now proposed in Fareham can be taken by the Council without reference to me. But I know about the Council's intentions and they have my support.
asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he will take steps to improve the arrangements for dealing with public transport between Bideford and Barnstaple, bearing in mind the congestion caused by Bideford Bridge and the frequent hold-ups on the Bideford-Barnstaple Road;(2) what he proposes to do to alleviate the bottleneck caused by the existing Bideford Bridge.
Proposals for widening the carriageway of Bideford Bridge are being examined with the trustees who own the bridge. Other measures to improve traffic flow in Bideford are also being studied. The measures under consideration would benefit all traffic, including public transport.
Oxford Northern By-Pass
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will give an assurance that the conversion of the Oxford nothern by-pass, A.40, to a dual carriageway will not be deferred as a result of the Government's recent economy measures.
No decision has yet been taken by the Government on the future of the arrangements for deferring public expenditure announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 27th July. But I am still planning on getting this scheme started by spring, 1967.
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that industry and commerce on Humberside would welcome an earlier start to his plans for the development of roads in the Humberside region than 1970; and whether he will state what part of the network will be the first stage.
Yes. I shall be considering in due course the possibility of including a part of the proposed network in the next roll forward of my trunk roads programme.
Newport-Wolverhampton Road (Double White Lines)
asked the Minister of Transport what are his reasons for declining to authorise double white lines approaching the Shifnal turn off the Newport-Wolverhampton A.41 road near Woodcote.
As my hon. Friend explained in his letter of 21st September to the hon. Member, double white lines should be used only where poor visibility and the average speed of vehicles make it essential that drivers should not cross the centre of the road. At this junction there is good forward visibility in either direction on the main road, and the approaches are adequately signed.
asked the Minister of Transport if he will state, giving the mileage in respect of each, those motorways or lengths of motorway for which no line had yet been proposed, a draft scheme had been published, a scheme had been made, tenders had been invited, a contract had been placed, which were under construction, and which were in use, respectively, as at 31st October.
The following is the position as at 31st October:
|Motorways in Use|
|M.1 (including M.10)||London-Yorkshire—||Miles|
|M.2||Medway Motor Road||25¼|
|A. 1(M)||Doncaster By-pass||15½|
|M.62||Stretford-Eccles By-pass (Classified motorway built by Lancs. C.C.)||6|
|M.5||Filton By-pass (Classified motorway built by Glos. C.C.)||2¼|
|Motorways under Construction|
|Page Street-Edgware Bury Lane (Hendon motorway)||4¼|
|Edgware Bury Lane-Aldenham||4|
|Aston-Tinsley (including part of Thurcroft Link)||6½|
|Severn Bridge and Approaches||6½|
|M.5||Midland Motorway Links—|
|M.6||Midland Motorway Links—|
|Motorways under construction (cont.)|
|Aycliffe-Bradbury (including Bridges)||5¼|
|A.40(M)||High Wycombe By-pass—|
|M.1||London-Yorkshire: Barlborough Morthen||7|
|A.40(M)||High Wycombe By-pass—|
|Handy Cross-Burkes Road, excluding Loudwater Viaduct||4¾|
|Section of Thurcroft Link||1|
|M.6||Midland Motorway Links—|
|M.5||Midland Motorway Links—|
|South of Quinton-Great Barr||10|
|A.40(M)||High Wycombe By-pass—|
|Handy Cross-Burkes Road, Loudwater Viaduct only||¼|
|South of Strensham-East of Almondsbury||41|
|Easton-in-Gordano - East Brent||20½|
|West of Killington Reservoir-South of Hackthorpe||21|
|Draft Scheme Published|
|A.40(M)||Beaconsfield & Gerrards Cross By-pass||7½|
|East of Carnforth-West of Killington Reservoir||15|
|Preston By-pass-North of Westhoughton||13|
|M.62||Lancashire - Yorkshire: Lofthouse-A.1||10½|
|Line not yet Published|
|Page Street-North Circular||2|
|North of Westhoughton-Manchester||9¼|
|M.56||North Cheshire Motorway||26|
|Blackfell-White Mare Pool (Classified motorway to be built by Durham C.C.)||3½|
Ministry Of Aviation
London Airport (Alcock And Brown Memorial)
asked the Minister of Aviation what plans he has for relocating the Alcock and Brown Memorial from the north side of London Airport so that it may be seen by passengers going in and out of the Oceanic Building.
The statue will be resited close to the Oceanic Building in the central terminal area. It will be visible from the main road leading to and from this building.
London Airport (R34 Airship Model)
asked the Minister of Aviation what further steps he will take to give prominence to the model of the R34 Airship, which made two crossings of the Atlantic with 31 occupants on each occasion in 1919, so that it can be seen by more passengers in the Oceanic Building.
The model is already prominently suspended over the concourse and can be seen by passengers and their friends; a plaque giving details of the flight is also displayed.
Aircraft Arrivals (London Airport)
asked the Minister of Aviation how many aircraft arriving at London, Heathrow, Airport between 8 o'clock in the morning and 6 o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, 10th October were directed to a flight path over the parish of Datchet, Buckinghamshire.
134. Because the traffic flow at Heathrow is normally from east to west, aircraft landing at Heathrow usually do not pass over Datchet, but on the day in question the wind was easterly and the normal traffic flow had to be reversed.
asked the Minister of Aviation what was the minimum interval between arrivals of aircraft at London Airport at peak periods on Sunday, 10th October; and in how many cases contraventions of the rules governing height and noise were observed.
The minimum interval between arrivals of aircraft at London (Heathrow) Airport between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 10th October was between one and two minutes. As the times at which aircraft land are taken to the nearest minute, it is not possible to express this more exactly.There is no evidence to suggest that any pilot approaching to land on 10th October disobeyed his instructions from Air Traffic Control. A sample check of heights between 7.45 and 8.47 a.m. showed no infringements.
Aircraft (Right To Detain)
asked the Minister of Aviation if he will take steps to ensure that rights of arrest of aircraft exercised by him at airports in the United Kingdom under his control are also given to those public bodies controlling the civil airports where he has relinquished control.
My only right to detain an aircraft for landing, housing and parking charges is a contractual right, and the public authorities who control airports are at liberty to create a similar right by a contract of their own. I have a statutory right to detain aircraft only for the statutory navigation service charges. No corresponding statutory charges are levied by other public authorities at their aerodromes, except as the agent of my Ministry.I have in mind legislation to confer on public authorities a statutory right to detain and sell aircraft in respect of which landing, parking and housing charges remain unpaid, not unlike the rights of harbour authorities under Section 44 of the Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847.
Stamps (Special Issues)
asked the Postmaster-General what instructions he has given to the staff of the Post Office in order to enable them to identify any unauthorised stamp from those of the new stamp issues, which are increasing rapidly.
Details of new stamp issues are circulated to Post Office staff approximately two months, and again one week, before the stamps are put on sale.The staff has standing instructions on the treatment of postal items bearing unauthorised stamps. No special instructions have been necessary.
asked the Postmaster-General whether he will introduce a commemorative stamp issue in 1966 relating to the Norman Conquest rather than to the Battle of Hastings alone; and whether he will include one value commemorating the offering of the Crown to William at Berkhamsted.
I will certainly consider the hon. Member's suggestion.
asked the Postmaster-General how many special issues of commemorative stamps there have been since he has been in office; and how many stamps were issued on each occasion.
Eight special issues. There were eight stamps in the Battle of Britain issue, and two in each of the others.
asked the Postmaster-General if he will tabulate his plans for celebrating Scottish heroes, scientists, literati and historical events on lines similar to those celebrating similar English people and events.
I assume that my hon. and learned Friend has commemorative stamp issues in mind, and I would refer him to my reply of 27th October to the hon. and gallant Member for Wembley, North (Wing Commander Sir E. Bullus).
asked the Postmaster-General what steps he will take to ensure that village sub-postmasters in the lower income bracket receive an adequate return for their work and so permit the continuance of this valuable service to rural communities.
The remuneration of sub-postmasters is based on the amount of Post Office business they transact, but certain minimum payments apply however little the work involved. I am currently reviewing sub-postmasters' remuneration in conjunction with the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters.
International Air Exhibition (Telephone And Telegraph Requirements)
asked the Postmaster-General what plans he is making to ensure adequate telephone and telegraphic communications for British and foreign exhibitors at the First International Air Exhibition to be held at Farnborough next year.
Preliminary plans are being made to meet the probable telephone and telegraph requirements of exhibitors, Press and public so far as these can at present be foreseen. The Telephone Manager is in close touch with the exhibition organisers and the plans will be developed as specific requirements become known.
Postal Facilities, Aberdeen
asked the Postmaster-General if he will make a statement on his plans to improve postal facilities in and to the City of Aberdeen.
The opening of the Forth Road Bridge enabled us to introduce a new combined air and road service to accelerate the delivery of some five million of the letters which pass between London and Aberdeen each year.A new Head Post Office was opened in Aberdeen last month. The sorting office has some of the latest mechanical handling equipment, including the first tilted belt parcel sorting machine to be installed in Scotland. A self-service suite gives a 24-hour service for the purchase of stamps and postal orders. Aberdeen is included in the first stage of the programme for introducing, on a nation-wide scale, the very latest electronic letter coding and automatic sorting machines.
Postal Services Greater And Central London Areas
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that a further worsening of postal services in the Greater and Central London areas is likely; what steps he is taking to prevent this; and if he will make a statement.
As the House knows, in August I decided to take certain measures to improve labour utilisation and maintain advertised standards of service. These included an intensified recruiting campaign for postmen; the employment of women and part-timers to meet problems of under-staffing; an extension of the scheduled finishing time of the first delivery in towns by 15 minutes; consolidation of the number of letter deliveries in London sub-districts to two on Monday to Friday and one on Saturday; and advancement of the times of some collections. In the last four months vacancies for full time postmen in the London Postal Area have been reduced by about 500, in addition we are now employing about 170 full time postwomen and some 290 part-time staff.Nevertheless we are still short of staff in London and regular diversions of work have been arranged to minimise the possibility of delays. The quality of service now being given throughout the country has not deteriorated as compared with that in September of last year. We are continuing our recruitment drive and we shall do everything we can to maintain the advertised services.
Wireless And Television
Rescue Services (Walkie-Talkie Sets)
asked the Postmaster-General if he will take steps to authorise the use of local radio communications between beach lifeguards and rescue services by introducing a citizens' radio wave band and by licensing the radio equipment which is specifically designed for this purpose.
I believe the hon. Member has in mind the use of imported walkie-talkie sets. These operate on or about a frequency band (27 Mc/s) allocated to other uses to which they would cause and from which they would suffer interference. I am advised that they could sometimes be blotted out altogether. Also, their technical quality is such that they cause interference to television reception. Though I will not now, therefore, adopt the hon. Member's proposal I am prepared to meet his purpose by authorising the use of approved equipment operating in the appropriate frequency bands, as I have already for the purposes of mountain rescue.
Bbc 2 (South-West Coverage)
asked the Postmaster-General what steps are being taken to give the South-West coverage of B.B.C. 2; and when the South-West can expect this service.
The extension of B.B.C. 2 coverage is a matter, in the first place, for the B.B.C. The Corporation tell me that its station already in service in South Wales brings B.B.C. 2 to some viewers in the Bristol Channel area; but that, though further stations are being planned to extend the coverage of B.B.C. 2 in the South-West, it is too early to say when these additional stations are likely to open.
University Of The Air (Strathclyde University)
asked the Postmaster-General when Strathclyde University may expect a decision on its application for a licence for a low-power transmitter to broadcast education courses and programmes by television in connection with the University of the Air.
The Government are at present considering in detail the practical questions the introduction of the University of the Air would involve. The part that any particular University might play would depend on the outcome of this general study.
Television Licences (Deaf And Dumb Persons)
asked the Postmaster-General if he will consider giving a rebate on television licences to deaf and dumb persons.
My right hon. Friend has considered with great sympathy the possibility of introducing concessions of one kind or another for various groups, including the deaf and dumb. But he has been forced to conclude that it would be impracticable to do so without creating serious anomalies.
Domestic Incomes And Product
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs how far the growth of incomes has kept in line with the growth of output in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
Between the first half of 1964 and the first half of 1965 total domestic incomes rose by over 6½ per cent., while gross domestic product at constant prices, grew by about 2½ per cent.
Economic And Social Survey, Lancashire (Publication)
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether it is proposed to publish the economic and social survey on the part of Lancashire north of the Ribble, which has been commissioned from a research team in the Department of Economics at Lancaster University.
The initial results of the survey have been received and we expect to sanction publication when the material now in preparation is complete.
Board Of Trade
asked the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the extent to which British exports are now more or less competitive than they were 12 months ago.
Up to September this year our exports have shown a substantial increase, of more than 6 per cent. in value, over the same period of last year. Competitiveness however depends on many factors, some of which, such as design, service and availability, cannot be measured; even price movements are difficult, often impossible, to compare directly.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state the European Free Trade Association preferences enjoyed by the main categories of goods from Portugal on import into this country and the similar preferences granted by Portugal to imported British goods.
Goods qualifying for E.F.T.A. tariff treatment imported into Britain from Portugal pay duty at the normal E.F.T.A. rate, currently 30 per cent. of the basic protective duty.E.F.T.A. goods imported into Portugal benefit from a similar E.F.T.A. rate of protective duty, with the exception of those goods covered by Annex G to the Convention. This Annex makes special provision for Portugal in recognition of her relatively less-developed economy. The duty on Annex G goods is at present either 70 per cent. of the basic duty, or is being reduced according to special timetables agreed by the Council.
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make representations to the Portuguese Government as a member of the European Free Trade Association to abolish their import quota of 75 built-up cars of each make annually in view of their reserves of $900 millions.
No. The quota on built-up cars is applied by the Portuguese Government in accordance with a special arrangement sanctioned by the Council of the Association and designed to assist in the development of a Portuguese assembly industry.
Motor Vehicles And Components (Exports)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make fresh representations to the new Norwegian Government in regard to their obligations under the Stockholm Convention to reduce the duties on motor vehicles and components.
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will make fresh representations to the new Norwegian Government in regard to their obligations under the Stockholm Convention to reduce the duties on motor vehicles and components;(2) what reasons have been given by Norway for the failure to reduce duties on motor vehicle imports from Great Britain except built-up buses, in accordance with the Stockholm Convention.
The action of the Norwegian Government in maintaining these duties is permissible under the Stockholm Convention. However, we have made clear our dissatisfaction with this decision, which we regard as contrary to the spirit of E.F.T.A. We shall continue to pursue this issue as opportunity arises.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what reduction has been made by the Norwegian Government in import duties on motor vehicles and components in accordance with her European Free Trade Association obligations under the Stockholm Convention.
The tariff on bus bodies, which are manufactured in Norway, has been reduced in the normal way. Complete buses of E.F.T.A. origin benefit from this because they are subject to duty on the value of the engine and chassis only, while non-E.F.T.A. buses pay duty on their total value. Norway does not manufacture other motor vehicle components, or any complete motor vehicles, and consequently there are no other protective duties in this field which she is obliged to reduce under the Stockholm Convention.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make representations to the new Norwegian Government in regard to the recently increased investment and sales taxes on motor cars.
No. The Norwegian investment and sales taxes on motor cars are internal taxes of a revenue nature which do not discriminate against cars of British manufacture.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that European Free Trade Association countries have not accorded to British vehicle exports the benefits of a free trade area, he will propose at the forthcoming Copenhagen conference of European Free Trade Association members the replacement of Article 6 of the Stockholm Convention by a provision corresponding to Article 17 of the Rome Treaty.
asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent has Portugal reduced her tariffs on motor vehicles and components in accordance with her obligations under the Stockholm Convention.
The duty on assembled vehicles has been reduced to 80 per cent. of the basic duty, and Portugal now intends to apply a similar reduction to the duty on "completely knocked down" vehicles imported for local assembly. The remaining duty has in each case been declared a revenue duty; certain aspects of this procedure are currently under examination in E.F.T.A.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what reduction has been made by Switzerland of her tariff on motor vehicles and components with undertakings made by her at the Stockholm Convention.
The tariffs on heavy commercial vehicles, and on those vehicle components of which there is Swiss production, are being reduced at the normal rate; they now stand at 30 per cent. of the basic duties.Tariffs on other vehicle components, and on light commercial vehicles, which are not produced in Switzerland, have been declared revenue duties under Article 6 of the Stockholm Convention and are not being reduced.The tariffs on private cars have been reduced by varying amounts, usually in excess of 50 per cent. of the basic duty. The remaining amounts have been declared revenue duties and are not being reduced.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the effective advantage given by Danish import regulations to cars of German make over those of British make, after payment of Purchase Tax.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the reduction made by Denmark in the customs duties on cars since the formation of the European Free Trade Association has been more than offset by the consequences of their abolition of duty on unassembled car units, since the latter benefits only Germany and the United States of America which have arrangements for assembly in Denmark; and whether, in view of this and of the recent increase of purchase tax on cars imported to Denmark, he will have consultations with the Danish Government on imports of British cars, particularly as Denmark has a favourable balance of trade with the United Kingdom.
Danish import regulations give an advantage to British, not German, cars. Imports of complete cars from Germany are subject to a 12 per cent. duty as opposed to 3·6 per cent. on British cars. There is no duty on components imported for assembly in Denmark. Manufacturers who assemble there, and these include both German and British firms, thus enjoy some advantage over those who do not.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations have been made to the Swiss Government, under the European Free Trade Association Agreement, in regard to the substitution of alternative sources of revenue to replace those on imported motor vehicles and components now retained by the Swiss Government for revenue purposes; and with what results.
None. The remaining duties on motor vehicles imported into Switzerland from E.F.T.A. have been declared revenue duties in accordance with Article 6 of the Stockholm Convention and there is no requirement that they should be reduced or abolished. Duties on vehicles and components of which there is domestic production are being reduced in accordance with the Convention.
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) to what extent the conditions of Finland's entry to associate membership of the European Free Trade Association have been fulfilled as regards the reduction of customs duties on cars;(2) what steps are being taken to press the Government of Finland to reduce customs duty on British cars in accordance with undertakings given when associate membership of the European Free Trade Association was granted.
The reduction of customs duties on cars was not a condition of Finland's entry into associate membership of E.F.T.A.; nor were any formal undertakings to reduce these duties given by the Finnish Government. I agree, however, that it would be consistent with the spirit of the FINEFTA agreement for such reductions to be made; and we shall continue to press this on the Finnish Government.
asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he will raise at the Copenhagen conference of European Free Trade Association members the Finnish hire purchase regulations which discriminate against cars from Western Europe.
These arrangements, which are intended to discourage imports of Western European cars for balance of payments reasons, do not appear to have had a significant effect on trade. But I nevertheless consider the discrimination objectionable, and I shall continue to press for its removal.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what special action he is planning to obtain better trading conditions for motor car imports to countries in the European Free Trade Association.
I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer which I gave to the right hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd) today.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress was made at the Copenhagen conference of European Free Trade Association members towards implementing the Stockholm convention as regards duties on vehicle imports.
I received an assurance at Copenhagen from the Portuguese Minister of Economy that Portugal will apply the same reduced rates of duty to "completely knocked down" vehicles as she now applies to assembled vehicles. Other E.F.T.A. countries have implemented their obligations under the Stockholm Convention in this field, but some have retained revenue duties which have no protective effect. We consider these not to be consonant with the spirit of the Convention, and in these cases we shall continue to pursue this issue as opportunity offers.
Chicken Raising Businesses (Rate Exemption)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will take steps to see that owners of chicken growing businesses enjoy the same rate exemption on their buildings and installations as other persons engaged in agriculture.
I have nothing to add to my reply on 3rd August to a Question by the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior).
Water Inquiry, Manchester (Cost)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will indicate the cost of the public inquiry into the City of Manchester's Draft Water Order 1965.
Much the greater part of the cost of the Inquiry consisted of expenses incurred by the parties. My right hon. Friend has no information about these.
Car Dump, Humberston
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why he has not carried out his undertakings to clear the scrapped car dump in Wilton Road, Humberston, near Grimsby, which is still causing concern to the local inhabitants; if he will see that this is done forthwith; and if he will make a statement.
An enforcement notice, effective from 15th May, 1965, requiring a reduction in the height of the car dump to 10 feet, was served by the Lindsey County Council. As this was not complied with, the firm was prosecuted and fined in August, 1965.I understand that the County Council are awaiting a report from their inspector, and my right hon. Friend has asked them to let him know quickly whether any further action is required to ensure compliance with the enforcement notice.
Access Roads, Dawley
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government by what criteria he decided to accept the planning requests for access roads to the new town of Dawley.
Road access to Dawley has hitherto been considered in relation to an eventual population in the new town of 90,000. The question may have to be reconsidered following the recommendation in the West Midlands Study regarding the possible expansion of the adjoining areas of Oakengates and Wellington.
Ministry Of Labour
Fairfield Shipbuilding And Engineering Company
asked the Minister of Labour what communications he has received from the 27 rival trades unions whose out-of-date and restrictive practices caused the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company to lose £800,000 on one ship, and finally to go into liquidation; and if he will make a statement.
I have received no communications about the liquidation of the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company from unions with members in the company's employment. I understand that the company's present difficulties are due to a number of factors.Some progress is being made in securing more efficient use of labour in shipbuilding, but more needs to be done. I shall lose no opportunity of encouraging further action by managements and unions.
Secretary Of State's Visit
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his recent visit to the Caribbean and Washington.
The purpose of my recent—and first—visit to Bermuda, British Honduras and the Bahamas was to see as much of these territories as possible in the short time available; and to have discussions with members of the Government, Opposition leaders and other representatives of public opinion.In all three countries I was encouraged by the developments which are taking place. In the Bahamas and British Honduras the new constitutions for internal-self-government which were introduced in January, 1964, are working well: in Bermuda a Joint Select Committee of both Houses of the Legislature is considering constitutional change and I hope that their recommendations will lead to advance there also.Economically, Bermuda and the Bahamas are heavily dependent on tourism, and British Honduras on an increase in agricultural production. I was glad to see the expansion which is taking place in all three.In Washington I had most useful talks with representatives of the United States Government over a wide range of colonial affairs.I should like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those concerned with drawing up the full programmes which enabled me to see so much of the countries and meet so wide a cross-section of the peoples.
Hadrami Bedouin Legion
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what proposals he has for strengthening the Hadrami Bedouin Legion.
The High Commissioner in Aden has submitted proposals for some increase in the size of the force. These are under consideration.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will state the total number of full-time women teachers employed in secondary schools in England and Wales, and the total number of full-time women teachers employed in secondary schools within the London borough of Sutton;(2) if he will state the total number of full-time male teachers employed in secondary schools in England and Wales, and the total number of full-time male teachers employed in secondary schools within the London borough of Sutton;(3) if he will state the total number of full-time women teachers employed in primary schools in England and Wales, and the total number of full-time women teachers employed in primary schools within the London borough of Sutton;(4) if he will state the total number of full-time male teachers employed in primary schools in England and Wales, and the total number of full-time male teachers employed at primary schools within the London borough of Sutton.
The information is set out in the following table:
|NUMBER OF FULL-TIME TEACHERS JANUARY 1965|
|England and Wales||Schools in the area of the present London Borough of Sutton|
|Primary and Secondary Schools|
Committee On Remuneration Of Ministers And Members Of Parliament (Report)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has now considered with those concerned, and with what result, the recommendation contained in paragraph 69 of the Report of the Committee on the Remuneration of Ministers and Members of Parliament; and whether he will now take steps to give effect to such recommendation.
It will be for the new House of Commons Services Committee to recommend whether any steps should be taken to extend the services provided to Members.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the total cost in a normal financial year of making a concession to registered blind persons by increasing the Income Tax age exemption limits by the amount of the special blind person's allowance.
I cannot give a precise figure but the cost would be small.
Portugal (Rhodesian Representation)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Rhodesian Government are channelling their relations with Portugal through their own accredited diplomatic representative or through Her Majesty's Ambassador.
As was made clear by my right hon. Friend on 1st November, Her Majesty's Government do not accept that Mr. Reedman is the "Accredited Diplomatic Representative" of Rhodesia in Lisbon, nor has he been received by the Portuguese Government in that capacity. Whilst I cannot say what instructions Mr. Reedman may have received from the Rhodesian Government his presence in Lisbon does not affect the responsibility of Her Majesty's Government for the conduct of Rhodesia's external affairs with the Portuguese Government.
Cheltenham Hospital, (Ear, Nose And Throat Cases)
asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to reduce the time which children have to wait for ear, nose and throat treatment at Cheltenham General Hospital.
I am in touch with the South Western Regional Hospital Board about this problem.
The Board hopes to provide some extra beds for ear, nose and throat cases at Cheltenham General Hospital next year and are considering whether a medical assistant should be appointed in this specialty. The hon. Member may rest assured that urgent cases are seen by the consultant within a very few days.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of prisoners per year who receive parole and are paroled to the care of probation officers.
Prisoners are not at present released on parole except for certain temporary purposes. Provisional figures of those released on licence during 1964 are a follows—
|Detention during Her Majesty's Pleasure||2||0|
|Imprisonment—persons under 21 when sentenced||1,272||60|
Combined Police Traffic Squad, South-West England
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give figures to show to what extent the new South-West Regional Traffic Squad has been successful.
The combined police traffic squad which has been set up to operate experimentally until the end of the year in south-west England has received encouraging support from the public, but it is too early yet to assess its success statistically.
Police Forces, England And Wales (Strength)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the strength of the police forces of England and Wales on 1st October, 1964, and 1st October, 1965, respectively.
Returns of strength are made by police forces at the end of every month. The numbers of men and women officers available for ordinary duty in the police forces in England and Wales on 30th September, 1964 and 30th September, 1965, respectively, were as follows:
|Carmarthen and Cardigan||322||14||350||16|
|Leicestershire and Rutland||630||16||657||17|
|Mid-Anglia (prior to 1.4.65)||—||—||743||21|
|Isle of Ely||141||6||—||—|
|Yorks, East Riding||297||7||287||9|
|Yorks, North Riding||626||12||628||13|
|Yorks, West Riding||2,375||104||2,356||105|
|* Including Carlisle.|
|Cities and Boroughs|
|City of London||743||15||723||16|
|Total for all Forces||77,454||2,616||79,364||2,778|
|† Following alterations in the boundary of the Metropolitan Police District, 136 men and 4 women were transferred on 1st April, 1965, from the Essex Constabulary to the Metropolitan Police Force.|
Zambia Civil Servants Association
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what reply she has made to the Zambia Civil Servants Association about their request to shorten the period that an ex-non-designated officer must spend in Great Britain before he can re-apply for a post on an O.S.A.S. contract.
No reply has yet been made to the Zambia Civil Servants' Association because I have received a further relevant communication from the Government of Zambia which is now being studied. I have thought it right to defer a reply until I have completed my consideration of their Government's views.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development when the hon. Member for Rye may expect to receive a final reply to his letter of 29th January, 1965, to which the last interim reply was received on 15th July, 1965, with regard to the problem of Achimota pensioners.
A letter on the subject of Achimota pensioners was sent to the hon. Member on 2nd November. I hope to send him a reply on the outstanding question of overpayments shortly.
Consultative Assembly Of The Council Of Europe
asked the Prime Minister what changes have been made in the composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The right hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Christopher Soames) has been appointed a member of the United Kingdom delegation to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe in the place of the right hon. Member for Barnet (Mr. Reginald Maudling).
Public Building And Works
Harcourt Room (Redecoration)
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what was the cost of redecorating the Harcourt Room in 1964; what was the cost of redecorating it in 1965; and why extensive redecoration took place within twelve months.
The cost of redecorating the Harcourt Room was £5,750 in 1964. The object of the latest work, which cost £380, was to provide a more suitable background for the display of Sir Winston Churchill's painting given to the House of Commons by Lady Spencer Churchill, and of the paintings lent by the Tate Gallery.Both the earlier and recent redecorations were carried out at the request of the Advisory Committee on Works of Art in the House of Commons.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons in Scotland are known to be suffering from epilepsy, and what are the comparable figures for 1950, 1955, and 1960, respectively.
Epilepsy is not a notifiable disease and there are no statistics available from which it is possible to obtain a true picture of its incidence.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken in Scotland to implement the recommendations of the Cohen Report on the care of epileptics; and what plans he has to further develop the existing facilities and services for epileptics in Scotland.
The Cohen Committee surveyed the position in England and Wales and their main recommendation, that diagnostic and treatment facilities for epileptics should be provided at special centres, has not been applied in Scotland because there is no unanimity of view that this is the right way for the service to develop. I have decided, however, that it would be helpful to have an authoritative review of the current position and I am asking the Scottish Standing Medical Advisory Committee to undertake such a review.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now publish the results of his inquiries into the Cadco affair.
I will make a statement in due course about the aspects of the affair which fall within my province.
Scottish Ambulance Service
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is satisfied that the standards of the Scottish Ambulance Service are adequate; and if he will make a statement.
The Scottish Ambulance Service offers a reasonable service to the public, but improvements always can be and are being made. The older types of ambulance are gradually being replaced by new improved models and I am considering proposals made by the Service following the review I requested earlier this year with the aim of introducing full double manning and better assistance with stretcher cases.
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh (Central Laundry)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people will be employed in the central laundry which it is proposed should be built at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh; and by whom they will be employed.
It is provisionally estimated that about 130 staff will be employed when the laundry is in full production. Their employing authority will be the Board of Management for Edinburgh Northern Hospitals.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if the estimate that rates in Scotland would rise by 4 per cent. has proved to be accurate; and what increase there will be this year in the total amount raised in local rates in Scotland compared with 1964–65.
No. The total amount raised in local rates in 1965–66 is likely to be about £10 million more than in 1964–65.