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Written Answers

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 18 November 1965

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 18th November, 1965

Board Of Trade

Import Charge (Efta Consultations)

22.

asked the President of the Board of Trade, what representations he has received from member nations of the European Free Trade Association on the question of the import surcharge.

The import charge has been the subject of consultation in E.F.T.A. on a number of occasions. At the E.F.T.A. Ministerial Meeting in Copenhagen on 28th and 29th October, other E.F.T.A. countries argued that the removal of the import charge should receive the highest priority. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I re-affirmed the assurances given earlier by the British Government that the charge would be reduced and removed as soon as the balance of payments situation permitted.

Advance Factories, Scotland

26.

asked the President of the Board of Trade, how many advance factories have been built or are under construction in Scotland during the present year.

During 1965 construction work has proceeded in Scotland on 14 advance factories. None of these has yet been completed, but five are expected to be ready for occupation before the end of the year. In addition, one existing building has been purchased, renovated and occupied during the year.

Exchange Telegraph Co, Ltd (Closure Of Services)

asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he has completed his further inquiries about the closure of the Exchange Telegraph's home and parliamentary news services; and what conclusion he has reached.

I have made careful inquiries, as a result of which it is clear that the closure of these services was unavoidable for economic reasons.I am satisfied that the alternative newsgathering services which are available are adequate to protect the public from any possible detriment.

Home Department

Attempted Burglary, Hertfordshire

38.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of Hertfordshire as to whether the revolver found during the attempted burglary at Mr. Twitchell's home in Hertfordshire was found in the woods or the grounds of the house; whether this was a -45 Smith revolver; whether it was examined for fingerprints; what was the result of the fingerprint examination and whether this examination was carried out by the Metropolitan Police; and whether fingerprint evidence was given at the trial of any of the accused.

No. My right hon. and learned Friend has no reason to think that further information on these matters would assist him in considering the case.

Motor Vehicle Licence Duty (Evasion)

44.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the evasion of the payment of road vehicle licence by owners of vehicles in London and of the practice of exhibiting on the windscreen in the place of a current road fund licence a notice stating, tax applied for, or, tax in post, for months on end; and whether he will ask the Metropolitan Police to arrange for an inspection of vehicles after the 14th of any given month, which is the grace period allowed for application, to ascertain to what extent tax evasion exists.

My right hon. and learned Friend is satisfied that the Metropolitan Police take action, on the lines previously explained to my hon. Friend, to report cases in which vehicles are being used without licences, to the extent permitted by the manpower available and their many other commitments.

Pornographic Film Shows (Police Action)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that pornographic films are being shown in Soho for an entrance fee of £5 per person in spite of the fact that projectors and films have been confiscated by the police; if he will instruct the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to hold an immediate investigation of this practice; and if he will make a statement.

The situation described by the hon. Member is well known to the Commissioner of Police. As a result of police action there have been 61 convictions this year for offences relating to obscene films in London and further cases are under consideration for possible prosecution; 282 films, 43 projectors and some screens have been forfeited.

Oxford Prison (Replacement)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress has been made in plans for the closure and demolition of Oxford Prison.

A new prison to replace Oxford prison is to be built at Culham, near Oxford. Design work is proceeding but it is too early to give a reliable completion date.

Bechuanaland, Basutoland And Swaziland

United Nations Resolution

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give the reasons for Her Majesty's Government's abstention on the United Nations resolution to set up an economic development fund for the Protectorates of Bechuanaland, Basutoland and Swaziland.

The resolution was not concerned solely with the establishment of an economic development fund but dealt with a number of other matters concerning the three territories. In a separate vote on the paragraph of the resolution concerning the establishment of an economic development fund, the United Kingdom representative voted in favour, but abstained on the resolution as a whole because it contained certain other paragraphs which Her Majesty's Government could not support.I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of the resolution and the text of the statement made by the United Kingdom delegate in explanation of our vote.

United Nations

Government Policies

45.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proposal he has to increase international understanding and for strengthening the United Nations Organisation.

It is the underlying purpose of our foreign policy to increase international understanding. The steps taken by Her Majesty's Government to strengthen the United Nations Organisation include an offer to provide logistic support for peacekeeping operations, an increase in our contribution to the voluntary funds and a pledge of 10 million dollars to help restore the solvency of the Organisation.We shall neglect no opportunity of putting forward proposals which would further the success of these policies.

Ministry Of Health

Immigrants (Health Checks)

47

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that an immigrant from Kenya suffering from active leprosy for the past 22 years was admitted to this country nine weeks ago and is now a patient at the General Infirmary at Leeds; and what checks or examinations were made at the port or point of entry.

I understand that this man is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who was travelling on a United Kingdom passport. As such he was not subject to medical examination under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962. Like any other entrant, whether immigrant, visitor or returning resident, he would have been medically examined under the Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations if his appearance or any other factor had caused infectious disease to be suspected; but I gather that in his case no such suspicion arose and that, therefore, a medical examination was not carried out.

Motorised Tricycles (Waiting List)

asked the Minister of Health how many names are on the waiting list for motorised tricycles for disabled people; and what percentage of these people have been waiting for periods of more than three, six, nine and 12 months, respectively.

750 on 12th November; 28 per cent., 17 per cent., 10 per cent. and 11 per cent. respectively. In most of the cases where people have been waiting more than six weeks the reason is difficulty in finding a suitable garage; and nearly all the applications more than six months old are for electrically propelled tricycles for which special storage and charging facilities are necessary at the patient's home.

Hospitals

Emergency Power Supplies

asked the Minister of Health to what extent hospitals in Hertfordshire have independent power-generating facilities to enable them to continue work in operating theatres in the event of a power failure; and whether he will make a statement.

Most hospitals with operating theatres have these facilities and arrangements exist, in the event of a power failure, to cover the essential needs of those without permanent standby generators.

19601961196219631964
£s.d.£s.d.£s.d.£s.d.£s.d.
Unmilled cereals211611917821101121792311
Bran and pollards2119620182041020103201610
Oilcakes and meals and fish and meat meals310532192379839274055
Other animal feedingstuffs28342713027411201822185
Weighted average price of all imported animal feedingstuffs2345222824211231432583
The above figures have been calculated by dividing the total c.i.f. value by the total quantity imported, including imports from Great Britain. But in order to obtain an average value of imports of unmilled cereals, it has been necessary to estimate the quantity of wheat imported for animal feeding. This has been valued at the average price of all wheat imports including wheat for milling; to this extent, therefore, the average price of unmilled

Proposed New Hospital, Headington

asked the Minister of Health when work will begin on the building of the proposed new hospital on the Manor Road site at Headington, Oxford.

The work of planning the new hospital is well in hand, but no date for the start of building has yet been decided.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Intensive Animal Husbandry (Brambell Committee Report)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, when he replied to the hon. Member for Petersfield's Parliamentary Question on the Brambell Committee's Report on 3rd November, he was aware that part of the contents of the Report were being revealed simultaneously at a conference.

Animal Feedingstuffs (Northern Ireland Imports)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the average price of imported animal feedingstuffs in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years.

The average prices per ton of animal feedingstuffs imported into Northern Ireland in each of the last five years have been as follows:cereals for animal feeding is likely to be on the high side. The average figures are unlikely to give an accurate reflection of price movements from year to year because of changes in the proportions of the individual commodities in each group; for example, within the unmilled cereals group, the proportions of imported wheat, barley, maize etc., will have changed from one year to another and this affects the average price of this group.

Duphavac Vaccine

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that the anti-brucellosis vaccine Duphavac has been used successfully in foreign countries in a drive against the disease in cattle, and gives no positive results in the brucellosis test; and if he will examine this vaccine with a view to its use in this country.

We have no evidence that Duphavac has been used successfully in the control of brucellosis abroad. The vaccine is also known as Strain 45/20, and its properties have been under investigation for some time at research establishments in this country. Further consideration will be necessary before a decision can be reached.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what communication he has received on the anti-brucellosis vaccine, Duphavac, from a firm wishing to import it; and what reply he has sent.

We have received an application for a licence to import Duphavac. It is being considered in the light of evidence about the properties of the vaccine. A reply will be sent to the applicants as soon as possible.

Economic Affairs

Regional Research

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs whether he will now make a statement on arrangements for economic research on regional problems.

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research has been commissioned to carry out a three-year project with the following terms of reference:

"To build up a theoretical and empirical framework for the analysis of regional economic development and the consideration of regional policy in the U.K., especially in relation to problems of national economic development."
Professor A. J. Brown, at present Professor of Economics at Leeds University, has agreed to direct such a project from the late summer or early autumn of 1966. He will be free to devote some time to the project from February, 1966.

I have also recently discussed the priorities for regional research with representatives of regional planning councils, who are now considering which projects they would regard as the most urgent. The Department are also prepared to consider proposals for projects on regional economic matters from those working in the field.

Prices And Incomes Policy (Earnings)

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, on what basis increases in earnings are measured to give a guide to the progress of his incomes policy; and what calculation Her Majety's Government have made of the increase in earnings over the last year.

There are a number of different ways in which movements in wages and salaries are measured. The different series of figures vary in content, in coverage and in frequency. The main series published by the Ministry of Labour are:

  • (i) Index of weekly wage rates. This relates to about 15 million manual workers whose wages are subject to collective agreements, statutory orders and arbitration awards, and is calculated monthly.
  • (ii) Index of weekly wage rates. This has approximately the same coverage and is calculated monthly.
  • (iii) April and October inquiries into earnings and hours. These figures which are published twice a year, cover nearly 6½ million manual workers. Total earnings (including bonuses, overtime pay, etc.) are recorded on an hourly and weekly basis by industry or sector (not occupation) both in terms of cash and in index form.
  • (iv) Monthly index of average earnings by industry group. This covers about 7 million manual and non-manual workers. The gross earnings of weekly and monthly paid employees are analysed by industry.
  • (v) Average earnings of administrative, technical and clerical employees. This information is collected in October each year and covers about 3½ million salaried employees. Average earnings are analysed by industry group.
  • (vi) Occupational earnings in engineering and other metal-using industries. This information is collected in January and June each year and covers about 1 million adult male manual workers. It comprises more detailed information about earnings analysed by occupation.
  • In addition, the following statistics are prepared by the Central Statistical Office:—(vii)

    Total wages and salaries. This information is compiled quarterly and annually as part of the national income statistics and is based on Inland Revenue data. It covers all wage and salary earnings and includes the effect of changes in the numbers employed.

    (viii) Total domestic incomes. These are similarly compiled quarterly and annually as part of the national income statistics. They cover profit incomes (including income from self-employment and rent) in addition to wages and salaries.

    These different series of figures are used for different purposes. The Ministry of Labour figures provide information on the various factors affecting wages and salaries, such as changes in hourly rates and in working hours. The Central Statistical Office figures estimate the total wages and salaries paid.

    From the point of view of the general prices and incomes policy, it is the trend in total earnings per head over the economy as a whole which is the most significant figure, since it is this which needs to be set against the long-term trend in production per head. Unfortunately, it takes more time for information about earnings to become available than information about wage rates and, as the above list shows, there is no single comprehensive index of earnings per head. Taking all the available figures into account, it appears that weekly earnings per head have been rising by about 7 per cent. on average over the past year.

    Education And Science

    School Building Programme, Woodstock

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, if he is aware of the overcrowding of Wood- stock Primary School; what action he proposes to take; and if he will make a statement.

    A four class instalment of a new school at Woodstock is included in the 1966–67 school building programme. This will relieve pressure on the existing school as well as providing for additional children.

    Royal Commission

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, if, in view of the unrest in the teaching service and the need to determine the priorities in education, he will advise the setting-up of a Royal Commission to examine what resources, both human and financial, can be made available to remedy the present deficiencies.

    I would refer the hon. Member to my Answer today to the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Sir D. Kaberry).

    Nursery Facilities

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, how many new nursery schools have been established in England and Wales during the period 1st January to 31st October, 1965; and how many extra teachers have been recruited as a consequence.

    None, but on the expansion of nursery classes, as distinct from nursery schools, I would refer my hon. Friend to the Under-Secretary's reply of 1st July to my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short). I am about to announce to local education authorities more flexible arrangements for relating nursery expansion to the recruitment of qualified women teachers returning to service. Authorities who satisfy these revised requirements for expanding their nursery facilities will be encouraged to set up new nursery schools, as well as new classes, if suitable existing premises are available.

    Ministry Of Labour

    Stoppages And Lost Working Days

    asked the Minister of Labour if he will give separate figures for the number of stoppages, and the number of working days lost in total and per worker for coal, for electricity supply, for gas, for British European Airways and the British Overseas Airways Corporation, for railways, for the other undertakings formerly owned by the British Transport Commission, and for the private sector, including steel, for the years 1948 to 1964.

    The following table gives figures for coal mining, electricity supply, gas supply, air transport, railways, road transport, and for all other industries and services. I regret that information is not available in the precise form asked for.

    IndustryNumber of stop-pages in the years 1948 to 1964Number of working days lost in the years 1948 to 1964
    In totalPer 1,000 workers
    Coal mining23,6258,628,00011,600
    Electricity supply71124,000700
    Gas supply3558,000400
    Air transport3142,0001,200
    Railways981,226,0002,500
    Road transport7333,283,0007,200
    All other industries and services11,84936,991,0001,900

    Overseas Development

    Interest-Free Loans

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development to which countries loans free of interest have now been made in accordance with her statement of 21st June.

    Her Majesty's Government have agreed to make loans free of interest to nine overseas Governments as follows:—Afghanistan: £200,000 for the purchase of commercial vehicles and spare parts.Ceylon: £2 million, being part of loans totalling £3·57 million towards the international operation led by the World Bank.Ethiopia: £2 million towards development projects.India: £25 million, out of total aid of £30 million, for 1965–66 offered earlier this year at a meeting of the Aid-India Consortium (held under the aegis of the World Bank).Pakistan: £4 million for the purchase of goods from Britain.

    In addition, the following loans, for which provision has already been made in the Estimates, but for which no agreement had been signed at the time of my statement of 21st June, will be made interest-free:

    Gambia: £400,000 for development purposes.

    Kenya: £3 million towards the cost of development projects in the year 1965–66.

    Tanzania: £7·5 million towards the cost of development projects over a two year period.

    Uganda: £6 million towards the cost of development projects over a two year period.

    These loans will be repayable over periods of 20 years in the cases of Afghanistan and Ethiopia and 25 years in the remainder.

    The cost of these loans will be borne on the Overseas Aid (Bilateral) Vote. Parliament will be asked in due course to approve a Supplementary Estimate in respect of the current financial year. Meanwhile, if necessary, advances will be obtained from the Civil Contingencies Fund.

    Telephone Service

    Applicants, Petersfield

    asked the Postmaster General how many applicants for telephones are on the waiting list in the 28 exchange areas serving the Petersfield constitutency.

    Leaving aside orders under inquiry or being met, there were, at 30th September, 547 applications for service on the waiting list of the 28 exchanges serving the Petersfield constituency. There were no such applications at 11 of the exchanges; 41 were spread in small numbers over 12 exchanges, and the remainder were as follows:

    Exchange AreaWaiting ListRelief Expected
    Horndean (part)323Beginning January, 1966
    Liphook88Summer 1966
    Petersfield44Spring 1966
    Alton30Summer 1966
    Wickham21Spring 1966
    In the preceding 12 months the number of exchange connections in the constituency increased by nearly 1,200, but I am sorry it was, nevertheless, not possible to prevent the waiting list from increasing. Demand for telephones is rising faster than the system can be augmented and althought we have embarked on an expanded capital programme it will inevitably take time to overcome the backlog and meet further growth.

    National Finance

    Motor Cars Registered In Southern Ireland (Entry Into Northern Ireland)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many hire cars registered in Southern Ireland and driven by United Kingdom residents entered Northern Ireland in each of the six months from April to September, 1965; and whether he is satisfied with the working of the new regulations for these.

    The figures are as follows:

    April129
    May203
    June376
    July334
    August389
    September288
    These figures are for first entries only; a vehicle included in the figures may have crossed the land boundary a number of times during its period of hire.The answer to the second part of the question is "yes".

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many private cars registered in Southern Ireland entered Northern Ireland for the first time in each of the six months from April to September, 1965; and how this figure compares with previous years.

    The figures for 1964 and 1965 are as follows:

    19641965
    April3,3056,832
    May4,5746,196
    June4,9327,594
    July6,40810,113
    August7,56012,221
    September4,0266,055
    Total30,80549,011
    Figures for earlier years are not readily available.

    Non-Industrial Civil Service (Pay)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the total administrative cost of Her Majesty's Government for the year from October, 1964; and what was the total for the preceding year.

    The latest figures available of the pay of the non-industrial Civil Service are £473 million for the year ended 31st March, 1965, and £433 million for the previous financial year. These sums do not include Post Office pay.