Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 721: debated on Thursday 25 November 1965

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Thursday, 25th November, 1965

Economic Affairs

Nationalised Industries (Price Increases)


asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs by what authority his Department seeks to prevent the National Coal Board and other nationalised industries from increasing their prices to the consumer.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the White Paper (Cmnd. 2808) published earlier this month on the arrangements under which certain sectors of industry, private and nationalised, are asked to notify the Government of proposed increases in price and to defer these while the justification for them is examined.

Price Increases (Early Warning System)


asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what action his Department is taking on an early-warning system on rents, rates, profits, dividends, health and insurance contributions, and goods and services, so far as announcement of increases is concerned.

The arrangements for "early warning" of price increases of goods and services were described in Cmnd. 2808. It would not be appropriate for this system to cover health and insurance contributions or rates which are really forms of taxation. Legislation is being introduced on rents, and the Government are keeping a close watch on profits and dividends.

South West


asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what are his plans for creating more jobs in the South West in view of the statement in the National Plan that the South West has a large potential reserve of labour.

The National Plan indicates that the South West as a whole is likely to share in the national problem of labour scarcity in the next few years. The Economic Planning Coun- cil and Board will be considering how the fullest possible use can be made of the region's potential labour supply.

Shipbuilding And Aircraft Industries, Northern Ireland


asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, in view of the redundancies forecast in the next few months in the Northern Ireland shipbuilding and aircraft industries, what action he has taken, or plans to take, to minimise the hardship caused by these redundancies.

Primary responsibility for action on any redundancies lies with the Northern Ireland Government, but in operating our distribution of industry policy, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is continuing to give Northern Ireland equal priority with the most needy development districts. We shall consider further action to assist Shorts, when we have our consultants' report on diversification, in a few weeks' time.

Concord Aircraft

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs to what extent the statement in paragraph 13(6) of Her Majesty's Government's statement on the Economic Situation, dated 26th October, 1964, that the Concord is an item of low priority and/or a prestige project is still Government policy; and if he will make a statement.

The statement on the Economic Situation did not say that the Concord was a project of low priority. I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave him in reply to his Question on 18th February last.

Scotland (North East And Crofter Counties)

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if, taking the figures in table 8.4 of the National Plan, he will give the relevant figures for the North East and seven crofter counties of Scotland as compared with those given for Scotland as a whole.

Average total net income, expressed as a percentage of the figure for Scotland, is 97 per cent. for the North East counties of Scotland; and 96 per cent. for the seven crofter counties.The other information in Table 8.4 of the National Plan is not available for these areas.

National Plan

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will give a detailed list of those persons, other than established staff civil servants, who assisted him in drawing up the Government's National Plan, Command Paper No. 2764.

It is not practicable to give a detailed list of such persons. In addition to the temporary staff employed in the Department of Economic Affairs and other Government Departments the preparation of the Plan involved the members of the National Economic Development Council and the staff of their office, the members of the industrial Economic Development Committees, and the officers and staff of a large number of private and public industrial organisations, including the nationalised industries as well as trade associations and trade unions.

Board Of Trade

Aviation Industry (Export Credit Guarantees)


asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he is taking to increase long-term credit in order to assist the export effort of the aviation industry.

Subject to creditworthiness of the buyer and his country, E.C.G.D. guarantees are available to cover sales of aircraft and aero engines on credit terms which ensure that the British exporter is fully competitive.

Motor Car Exports


asked the President of the Board of Trade what information he received, prior to the Copenhagen Conference, from other European Free Trade Association countries concerning their proposals to meet the complaints made by the British motor industry about the attitude of these countries towards facilitating imports of British motor cars; whether he is satisfied with the present position; and what action he intends to take to achieve better results from the European Free Trade Association system in regard to British motor exports.

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answers my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Dame Edith Pitt) on 2nd November, and to the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd) on 3rd November.

Trade With United States Of America

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking, other than through polylateral international negotiations, to correct the imbalance of trade between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

I am taking all possible steps to increase our exports to this vitally important market. All the facilities available to help our exporters throughout the world are available to exporters to the U.S.A. These include financial assistance for trade missions; financial and other support for exhibitors at overseas trade fairs; E.C.G.D. facilities; the export rebate scheme; and the provision of information and advice by the Board of Trade at home and the commercial diplomatic officers at the Embassy and Consular posts throughout the U.S.A.Many promotions by retail stores in the U.S.A. featuring British goods are supported and encouraged by my Department, and my hon. Friend will be aware of the recent highly successful fashion show which received assistance and encouragement from the Board of Trade.The British National Export Council's Committee for Exports to the U.S.A., under the chairmanship of Lord Watkinson, is actively engaged in the encouragement of exports to this market. Among the services it offers is the provision of advice on marketing in America through the British Exports Marketing Advisory Committee in New York. The Committee for Exports is supporting the British Trade Centre in New York, which will open next year with assistance from the Board of Trade.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the cumulative trade deficit with the United States of America for the latest three-year period for which figures are available.

The crude trade deficit in the three-year period ended 31st October, 1965, was £493 million. It has been calculated as the difference between imports valued c.i.f. and exports plus re-exports valued f.o.b., after adjustment of the figures for the earlier part of the period to the 1965 basis.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what official representations have been made to the United States Government about the adverse effect on British exporters of the Buy American Act, in view of the fact that this Act as applied federally or by individual States is in conflict with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Imports of pig meat during the twelve months ended 30th September, 1965
Meat, fresh, chilled or frozen:
Pork (excluding offals)—
Chilled or frozen106,9871,362
Edible offals of bovine animals, sheep, goats, swine etc.—
Pig products (including edible heads and feet)474,0753,667
Meat and edible meat offals (excluding poultry liver), salted, in brine, dried or smoked but not cooked, whether or not in airtight containers:
Pig products—
Meat in airtight containers, not elsewhere specified, and meat preparations, whether or not in airtight containers:
Other prepared or preserved meat or meat offal—
In airtight containers—
Pig products—
Bacon and hams—
Ground or chopped28,552575
Ground or chopped204,3913,840
Not in airtight containers—
Pig products5,70258

We have repeatedly made representations to the United States authorities over a long period about the effect on British exports of the Buy American policies adopted by the Federal Government and by many State Governments in the United States. In the Kennedy Round of trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade we have formally represented our serious concern at the damage to our trade caused by the preference for domestics products in purchases by United States public authorities and we are pressing the United States Government in these negotiations to phase out these preferences.

Pig Meat (Imports)


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT details of the imports of pig meat in all forms during the 12 months ended 31st October, 1965.

Detailed import figures are not yet available for October, 1965. Details for the 12 months ended 30th September, 1965, are as follows:

Whisky (Export To United States)


asked the President of the Board of Trade what changes there have been in the export to the United States of America of proof Scotch whisky in botles and in bulk, respectively, over the last five years; and what has been the loss in dollar earnings as a consequence.

United States statistics show that imports of whisky in bulk from the United Kingdom have risen from about 6 per cent. of the total, expressed in proof gallons, in 1960 to about 20 per cent. in 1964. I cannot give a figure for our consequential loss of dollar earnings, but it has certainly been substantial.

Lowestoft Harbour (Sandbank)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the hazard to navigation by a sandbank outside Lowestoft harbour; and whether he will take steps to see that a lighted buoy is put on it without delay.

Yes; I am aware of the sandbank to which the hon. Member refers. I am consulting the parties concerned about the need for a lighted buoy and will write to the hon. Member.

Apples And Pears (Import Restrictions)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will change the regulations governing the importation of apples and pears under licence, so that the volume of fruit coming in during the home season is reduced and a corresponding increase made when the peak of the home season is over.

I do not propose to increase the severity of the quantitative restrictions at present applying to the import of apples and pears during the home season.

European Free Trade Association (Spain)

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he is taking to facilitate the admission of Spain to the European Free Trade Association.

I am not aware that the Spanish Government is considering applying for membership of the Association.

August Bank Holiday

asked the President of the Board of Trade what will be the dates of August bank holiday in 1966, 1967, and 1968; and whether he will give an assurance that these dates will not be altered, in view of the inconvenience this would cause to a wide range of interests.

The dates already announced for the next three years' late summer bank holidays are 29th August in 1966, 28th August in 1967, and 2nd September in 1968. We have every intention of adhering to those dates.

North-East Scotland (Skilled Craft Workers)

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to discourage the drift south from North-East Scotland of skilled craft workers.

We are actively encouraging the establishment of new industries and expansion of existing industries in North-East Scotland and some 1,500 jobs some of which will no doubt be for skilled craft workers are expected to arise from projects which have been given assistance since October 1964 under the Local Employment Acts.

Efta (Drawback And Tariff Treatment)

asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to allow United Kingdom exporters the right to claim export rebates and drawback in addition to the benefit of European Free Trade Association preferences on exports to European Free Trade Association countries.

At the recent E.F.T.A. meeting in Copenhagen, Ministers agreed that, from the beginning of 1967 when the free trade area will be completed, exporters will not be able to claim both drawback and E.F.T.A. tariff treatment. Discussions in E.F.T.A. on the proper treatment of rebates of internal taxation—including the export rebate scheme—within the completed free trade area have not yet been finalised.

Northern Region (Employment)

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will seek to ensure the provision, within his powers, of sufficient new jobs in the Northern Region in advance of individual pit closures, particularly for middle-aged and elderly men.

I shall certainly seek to ensure that sufficient alternative employment is provided.

Pit Closures

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will consult the Minister of Power and the National Coal Board with a view to assessing the number of new jobs likely to be required as a result of the pit closures announced on 18th November, 1965.

My right hon. Friend, with whom I am in close touch, will be dealing generally with these matters in the debate this afternoon. I can assure my hon. Friend that there is full consultation locally between the Board of Trade Controllers and representatives of the National Coal Board.

Education And Science

Medical Students


asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to increase the number of medical students.

My right hon. Friend is considering, in consultation with the University Grants Committee, how a further increase in the number of medical school places can best be achieved, but he is not yet ready to make a statement on this. Meanwhile, I can say that the number of British-based students admitted to medical schools this autumn is 2,283, compared with 2,238 last year and 2,166 in 1963.

Mentally Deficient Children

49 and 55.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many residential homes for mentally deficient children are under the responsibility of his Special Services Branch; where they are located; how many children were in them at the last convenient date; and what number of staff, qualified and unqualified, were employed on that date;(2) how many educational establishments for mentally deficient children are under the responsibility of his Special Services Branch; where they are located; how many children were in them at the last convenient date; and what number of staff, qualified and unqualified, were employed on that date.

The answer is none. My Department's responsibility is limited to children who are suitable for education at school.

Latin-American Studies


asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what detailed proposals have been put forward by the University Grants Committee for the implementation of the recommendations of the Parry Committee on Latin-American Studies.

My right hon. Friend has received detailed proposals from the University Grants Committee and is considering them from the point of view of financial provision. It is not the practice in these circumstances to disclose the advice he has received.

Children (Classification As Immigrants)


asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether children born in the United Kingdom are being classified by his Department and local education authorities as immigrants under the terms of Circular 7/65.

For the purpose of Circular 7/65 children are defined as immigrants by my Department where differences in their cultural and social background and, sometimes, their inadequate knowledge of English need special attention in schools, whether or not they were born in the United Kingdom.


asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the nature of the special attention in schools by which his Department and local education authorities classify children with differences in their cultural and social background as immigrants.

This is essentially extra teaching help, which may be provided in special classes or in some other way, and which is required to give these children an adequate knowledge of the English language, traditions and way of life, and enable them to benefit fully from their education.

Minor Works Allocation (East Suffolk)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give the figures of minor works allocation to the East Suffolk Education Authority for the years 1964–65, 1965–66 and 1966–67.

The allocation was £65,000 for 1964–65 and £95,000 for 1965–66. The allocation for 1966–67 has yet to be announced.

Youth Service Development Council

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he is taking to promote the effectiveness and influence of the Youth Service Development Council.

The Youth Service Development Council of which I am Chairman is already active in all matters affecting the service. During the last year special committees have been meeting to study various aspects of the service in depth and in particular to recommend on future developments. Six new members have been added to the Council to assist in advising the Government upon the implications and implementation of the special committees' reports.

Home Department

Aliens (Political Views)


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will state the principles upon which the admission of visiting aliens holding controversial political views is not allowed; and what instructions he has issued.

Foreigners proposing to visit this country are not refused admission merely because they hold controversial political views. If, however, a foreigner's purpose in coming here is likely to prove prejudicial to the national interest, the question of refusal must be considered. Cases are decided individually on their merits.

First Offenders (Wormwood Scrubs)


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many first offenders who are minors have been held on remand in Wormwood Scrubs Prison during each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

Persons on remand are not normally received at Wormwood Scrubs. One such person aged under 21 was received in 1962, seven in 1963 and none in 1964.

Fireworks (Accidents)


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to control sales of fireworks more effectively to prevent accidents, particularly to young children, and to prevent misuse.

The sale of firework is already subject to certain statutory requirements, and their manufacture and storage are also controlled. My right hon. and learned Friend is not at present satisfied that the introduction of further restrictions would be practicable, or more effective in preventing accidents than the safety publicity undertaken each year, but he is watching the position very closely.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of serious injuries this year resulting from accidents caused by fireworks.

I regret that this information is unlikely to be available until February of next year.

Durham Prison (Use Of Armed Picquet)


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he has decided to use armed troops at Durham gaol; and if he will make a statement.


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what orders have been given to the soldiers guarding Durham Prison; and whether they are ordered to shoot to kill in the event of an attempted escape.

As the House will be aware, following a review of security risks concerning the special wing recently brought into use at Durham Prison, and after consultation with the Chief Constable of Durham, I have arranged with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, for the Army to provide an armed picquet within the prison. I am satisfied that, for the time being, this is a necessary precaution against the possibility of an armed raid. The picquet's instructions are to use such force only as may be necessary. It would not be in the public interest to give further details.

Children In Care

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children are in care in the county of Kent due to the inability of their parents to find a dwelling in which to live; how many children are in care from Rochester and Chatham for the same reason; and what is the average cost per week of keeping a child in care throughout the country and in Kent, respectively.

The information asked for in the first two parts of the Question is not readily available. During the year ended 31st March, 1965, 236 children of homeless families were received into care by the County of Kent under the Children Act, 1948, and of these 33 were from the City of Rochester and the Borough of Chatham. In the financial year 1964–65, the average cost per week of maintaining a child in care was £5 13s. 2½d. for England and Wales and £6 0s. 2½d. for the County of Kent. This excludes administrative costs which cannot be apportioned between the maintenance of children in care and other functions of the children's service.

Robbery, Hertfordshire (Shooting)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why, in view of the facts that Prisoner Brett has consistently claimed innocence of the shooting charge for which he is now imprisoned, and that there are many doubt- ful points in connection with this case, he still refuses adequate facilities to this prisoner to obtain evidence from the Hertfordshire police in regard to the offence for which he was convicted.

It is primarily for the chief constable to decide what information he can give the prisoner and I understand that, having already given him a good deal of help, the chief constable has decided not to make further inquiries about his case unless my right hon. and learned Friend asks him to do so. If he needs further information from the police for his consideration of this or any other case, my right hon. and learned Friend does not hesitate to ask for it, but in this case he feels that no useful purpose will be served by requesting further information.

Non-Payment Of Fines (Imprisonment)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the average lengths of terms of imprisonment imposed by the courts during 1964 for the non-payment of fines under £5, between £5 and £10, and between £10 and £20, respectively; and in how many of such cases maximum terms of imprisonment were imposed.

Captain Twitchell (Police Investigation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, why the police have not investigated the claim that Tom Browne fired the shot wounding Captain Twitchell, in view of the facts that this man has a criminal record and was known to be in the vicinity of the actual firing and that evidence is now available that he was connected with this incident.

The police did investigate this claim but could find no grounds for any further action against Browne, who had previously been arrested on charges of being concerned in the robbery during which Mr. Twitchell was shot, but was discharged by a magistrates court on grounds of insufficient evidence.

South Arabian Federation

Supply Of Arms


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is satisfied with the system whereby sultans of the South Arabian Federation receive obsolete British arms on the authority of the British High Commission; and what steps he takes to ensure that those armaments are not resold by the sultans so as to rind their way into the hands of anti-British tribesmen.

So long as activities organised from outside the area threaten public order in the Federation it is necessary to distribute limited quantities of arms for defence purposes to the rulers and State forces. I am naturally concerned to ensure that the issue of such arms does not exceed the justifiable requirement and I am very anxious that it should cease altogether as soon as circumstances allow.No system of control can be foolproof but it is against the interests of the rulers themselves to allow arms to fall into unreliable hands.


Road Projects (Deferred Schemes)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion in money terms, of the Scottish road projects which had been due to start in the six months August, 1965, to January, 1966, is represented by the nine trunk road schemes being deferred.

The two Ayrshire schemes mentioned in the reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward M. Taylor) on the 29th October have been released from deferment as a result of the designation of the Ayr development district. The remaining seven deferred schemes represent 2·6 per cent. of the value of the trunk road schemes due to be started.

Fishing Boat "Mayflower" (Incident)


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement regarding an incident near Eyemouth on 15th November when a French fishing boat cut through the nets of the Port Seton fishing boat "Mayflower"; and what steps he is taking to prevent a recurrence of such interference.

The skipper of the "Mayflower" alleges in a statement made to my Department that, while fishing in good visibility, a French trawler twice cut through his nets.International regulations governing signals to be shown while fishing operations are in progress are designed to prevent such incidents.

Economic Planning (Highlands And North-East Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the Scottish Economic Planning Board and the Scottish Economic Planning Council will have completed their studies of the Highlands and North-East Scotland.

I would refer the hon. Member to my hon. Friend's Answer to the hon. Members for Banff (Mr. Baker), Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Wolrige-Gordon), Berwick and East Lothian (Sir W. Anstruther-Gray), and South Angus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) on 17th November.

Ministry Of Defence

Women's Royal Army Corps (Strength)


asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the present strength of the Women's Royal Army Corps, Territorial Army, and the Women's Royal Army Corps, Army Emergency Reserve, shown separately as officers and other ranks; whether he is aware of the uncertainty caused to all ranks by the delay in announcing the effect on them of the Government's proposals to reorganise the Reserve Forces; and if he will make a statement.

The numbers are as follows:

OfficersOther Ranks
Women's Royal Army Corps (Territorial Army)3153,769
Women's Royal Army Corps (Army Emergency Reserve)1186
I have nothing to add to my answers yesterday about the reorganisation of the Reserves.

Reserve Forces (Cost)


asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT details of the discrepancy of £13,860,000 between the cost of the Reserve Forces, Territorial Army, and Cadet Forces shown in the Defence Estimates for 1965–66 as £24,140,000, and the figure of £38 million given as the cost of the present Reserve Army system in his statement to the House on 29th July last; for what purposes this balance is provided; and on which Votes the amounts are carried.

£24·14 million is the net amount of Army Vote 2, which includes the cost of pay, allowances and general grants to all Reserve Forces (including the Regular Reserve and Cadets), but does not include for example, the cost of their supplies (Vote 6) or equipment (Vote 7). The figure of £38 million was given by my right hon. Friend as the total cost from all votes of the Territorial Army and the Army Emergency Reserve.

Local Government

Premises, Redhill (Use)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will fix an early date for the inquiry into the appeals concerning the use of the Reigate Sea Cadets premises at Shenley, Hooley Lane, Redhill, in view of the urgency of the matter to the owners, and the delays caused by the planning authority's indecision.

My right hon. Friend has provisionally reserved dates in February and March in case the local planning authority ask for a local inquiry into these appeals.

Ministry Of Power

Oil Heating Installations (Advertising)


asked the Minister of Power by what authority the privately-owned oil industry has been asked to stop advertising because the gas and electricity supply industries had advertised services which they proved unable to provide.

No specific authority is necessary for the Government to discuss matters of national interest with private industry. I explained to the leading oil companies the action which the nationalised industries were taking to suspend advertising for the next three months. I was informed of the companies' intentions and was satisfied that the scale of their advertising of oil heating in the next month or two would be modest and limited.



asked the Prime Minister what steps he proposes to take to implement the policy in Command Paper No. 2739 on immigration; and if he will make a statement.

I have nothing to add to the full statements of Government policy which have already been made to the House.

Southern Rhodesia


asked the Prime Minister if he will give an assurance that the declaration of independence by Mr. Smith will not cause him to alter his previous intention of accepting the views of any Royal Commission which may be set up following the resumption of talks either with Mr. Smith or any other accredited Rhodesian leader.

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement I made on Tuesday. The first prerequisite is a return to constitutional methods.

No 10 Downing Street

asked the Prime Minister what further repairs are being undertaken in No. 10 Downing Street.

Despite the £1 million spent in 1960 to 1963 on repair and renovation of Nos. 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street, it has become clear that repairs are required to the State Drawing Room of No. 10 Downing Street. It was not considered necessary at the time of the major reconstruction to strip off the wall in question, and it is now probable that dry rot was present at that time. Furthermore, some damage was done during the reconstruction which may have made the condition of the wall worse.The necessary work, estimated to cost about £15,000, has been put in hand. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Public Building and Works has now carried out a searching inquiry and I am studying his report.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Brambell Committee (Report)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a further statement on the publication of the Brambell Committee Report.

My hon. Friend will be glad to hear that we have been able to improve a little on the time-table I indicated previously and that the Report will now be published on Wednesday, the 1st December.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what new instructions have been issued to the British delegation at the United Nations about the presentation of Her Majesty's Government's policy on the Rhodesian and other African problems.

I have nothing to add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on Tuesday 23rd November.


Adolescent And Child Psychiatric Patients

asked the Minister of Health, what recommendation he has made to regional hospital boards on the number of beds for adolescent and child psychiatric patients per million of the population, respectively; and what are the actual numbers in use at present in England and Wales.

Boards have been advised to provide special units for mentally ill and seriously maladjusted adolescents and children on a scale of 20 to 25 beds per million population, and 20 to 25 beds per million population plus 25 beds per region, respectively. At present 183 (about 4 per million) and 474 (about 10 per million) such beds, respectively, are provided.

Ministry Of Health

Drug Addiction (Brain Committee Report)

asked the Minister of Health when the Brain Committee will be making its report on drug addiction; and whether he will make a statement.

The Report has been published today and I have arranged for copies to be available in the Library. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are most grateful to the Committee for their careful examination of this difficult problem. The Government are fully alive to the importance of preventing an increase in addiction to heroin and cocaine and of doing everything possible to reverse the trend discussed in the Report. In conjunction with my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland I am already consulting the General Medical Council and the medical profession about the recommendations. I will make a further statment as soon as possible after these consultations have been completed.

Post Office

Special Stamps

asked the Postmaster-General if he will list all the new stamps which have been introduced since October, 1964, and which he proposes to introduce in the future, showing in each case the name of the designer, the fee paid or to be paid to him, and the cost or estimated cost of introducing each new stamp.

The production costs of all issues since October, 1964, together with an estimate for the first two issues of 1966, amount to £114,000. In addition, designers' fees amount to £10,000, including the normal fee—fixed in 1958 —of 250 guineas for each design used. Details are given in the attached list. Twenty-eight commemorative stamps have been or will be issued in all, bringing in an estimated philatelic revenue of £590,000.Apart from the two issues shown, I have not yet decided how many stamps

IssueValuesDesignerCost of Production
8th July, 1965—
Commemoration of Sir Winston Churchill's Life.4d.David Gentleman and Rosalind Dease19,427
1s. 3d.
19th July, 1965—
700th Anniversary of Simon de Montfort's Parliament.6d.Stewart Black4,258
2s. 6d.Professor R. Guyatt
9th August, 1965—
Salvation Army Centenary3d.M. C. Farrar Bell11,901
1s. 6d.G. Trenaman
1st September, 1965—
Joseph Lister Centenary4d.P. Gauld13,537
1s. 0d.F. Ariss
1st September, 1965—
Commonwealth Arts Festival6d.David Gentleman and Rosalind Dease3,003
13th September, 1965—1s. 6d.
25th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.6s. 4d.David Gentleman and Rosalind Dease21,179
9d.J. A. Restall
1s. 3d.David Gentleman and Rosalind Dease
8th October, 1965—
Opening of Post Office Tower3d.Clive Abbott7,482
1s. 3d.
25th October, 1965—
20th Anniversary of United Nations3d.G. Matthews6,951
1s. 6d.
15th November, 1965—
International Telecommunication Union Centenary.9d.J. A. Restall5,391
1s. 6d.
25th January, 1966—
Robert Burns4d.G. F. Huntly12,900 (estimated)
1s. 3d.
28th February, 1966—
900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey.3d.Designs not yet selected8,200 (estimated)
2s. 6d

asked the Postmaster-General what is the extra cost of designing, producing and printing the double-sized postage stamps as compared to a normal square postage stamp; how many issues of double-sized postage stamps have been made since October, 1964; and what has been the extra cost compared with that of ordinary stamps.

The extra cost of designing, producing and printing double-sized postage stamps depends on the number printed, the nature of the design, e.g., number of different colours used, and so on. It may vary from £2,000 to nearly £20,000. There have been nine special issues since October, 1964, one stamp celebrating the 700th anniversary of Simon de Montfort's Parliament was

should be included in any of next year's special issues, or who the designers should be. I cannot, therefore, give an estimate of the costs of production.

In addition to the stamps listed, I shall also be issuing 4d. regional stamps early next year. Final details have not yet been settled, but I do not expect the cost to be very high.

treble size, the others double size and the total extra cost was about £87,000. The estimated philatelic revenue for these issues was £480,000.


asked the Postmaster-General what effect the Rhodesia emergency has had upon postal services and telecommunications between the United Kingdom and Rhodesia; and whether he will make a statement.

There is no indication so far that the Rhodesia emergency has had any marked effect on the volume of postal traffic. Telecommunications traffic in the first few days following U.D.I. was, however, very heavy with some delay to telephone calls. The volume is still above normal but delays have been reduced and the quality of service is normal.As a part of the exchange control measures I have suspended the Postal Order and Money Order services to Rhodesia, and the Cash on Delivery (C.O.D.) service for parcels.

Christmas Cards (Postage Rates)

asked the Postmaster-General why it costs 2½d. to send a Christmas card to the United States of America by sea mail and 3d. to send a similar card to another part of the United Kingdom.

Christmas cards are charged at the printed papers rates. Those sent overseas enjoy the advantage of the very low printed papers postage rates that we provide in the interests of exports and which were specially exempted from the recent tariff increase. In the inland service this consideration does not apply, and we charge a rate which approximates more closely to the actual cost.

Telephone Service


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the telephone service has become slow and unreliable and compares unfavourably with services available in other industrialised countries; what steps he will take to remedy this situation; and if he will make a statement.

The telephone service is now suffering from a most inadequate provision of capital over the years and from the fact that demand and use are growing at a far higher rate than was estimated two years ago. A new and greatly enlarged capital programme has been approved but the backlog will take some time to overtake. Meanwhile subscribers in congested areas will experience some difficulties. But I cannot accept that the service as a whole is slow and unreliable and shall be glad to investigate any specific complaints the hon. Member would like to send me.

Wallington Exchange (Automatic Working)

asked the Postmaster-General when he expects the Wallington, Surrey, telephone exchange to be con- verted to an automatic service; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend is planning to convert the Wallington manual exchange, to automatic working, with S.T.D., in 1968. Work on the new exchange building will start immediately. The new automatic equipment is being manufactured and installation will start as soon as the new building is ready.


National Research Development Corporation (Report And Accounts)

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will arrange for the 16th Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the National Research Development Corporation to be laid before the House.

This was done yesterday. Hon. Members will note that the Report is in a new format and that the Appendix on development projects has been rearranged. These changes follow suggestions made by hon. Members during the passage of the recent Development of Inventions Act.


Severn Bridge Approach Road (Cost)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what additional cost is involved in the substitution of a new contractor to complete the approach road to the Severn Bridge, following the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the original contractor.

The additional cost, if any, cannot be stated until the work is completed and matters outstanding with the original contractor have been settled.

National Finance

United States Gold Reserves

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will give an account of the measures he has taken, through international agencies, bilateral action, and the London gold pool managed by the Bank of England, to assist the United States Federal Authorities to safeguard their gold reserves.

The United Kingdom has taken a full part of measures designed to maintain a stable international payments system and an orderly market in gold. We have been glad to co-operate with the United States authorities to achieve this end.

Malt And Grain Spirit

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the quantities of malt spirit and grain spirit, respectively, distilled in Scotland during the year to 30th September, 1965; and what were the quantities of both distilled in the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The quantities of malt spirit and of grain spirit distilled in Scotland and in the United Kingdom as a whole in the year ended 30th September, 1965, were as follows:

Proof gallons
United KingdomScotland
Production by distilleries using malt only (malt spirit)39,348,59139,176,567
Production by distilleries using malt and other materials (grain spirit)95,824,59089,413,536

Import Surcharge

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in detail the commodities which are affected by the Import Surcharge.

No. The goods which are not subject to the Surcharge are listed in Schedule 1 to the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1964.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the revenue from the Import Surcharge since its introduction.

£169 million to the end of October, 1965. This is the net figure, after deducting drawbacks.


Harrow Road, Wembley (Accidents To Pedestrians)

asked the Minister of Transport, how many accidents to pedestrians have occurred in Harrow Road, Wembley, between its junction with High Road, Wembley, and the new roundabout at Sudbury, in the past five years; and if he is aware that pedestrians have difficulty in crossing this stretch of road because of the volume of traffic and the speed at which it travels.

During the past five years 18 accidents, involving injury to 19 pedestrians and the death of one, occured on this stretch of road. I have not received representations about difficulties in crossing the road but, of course, the Greater London Council is the highway authority.