Written Answers To Questions
Thursday, 12th May, 1966
National Board For Prices And Incomes
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs when the National Board for Prices and Incomes will be reconstituted; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend hopes shortly to introduce legislation to reconstitute the Board.
Northern Economic Planning Council
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a statement on his plans for the future functions and powers of the Northern Economic Planning Council.
We do not anticipate making any change in the rôle of this or any other Council.
National Plan (Imports)
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what allowance for imports of military equipment from the United States of America was contained in the initial calculation of total imports in 1970 in the preparation of the National Plan; and to what extent it was necessary to adjust this in the light of the results of the industrial inquiry and other factors.
The figures for the National Plan included an estimate of £45 million in respect of U.S. aircraft in 1970. This formed part of the total for imports of finished manufactures in that year. Later information on the phasing of payments for these aircraft suggests that the original estimate of what should be included in imports for this item was about right.
North Sea Gas
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what consideration is being given by his Department to the development of industries based on North Sea gas; and what consultations have been held with the East Anglia Regional Council.
We are keeping a very watchful eye on developments in the North Sea and their possible consequences. Only when we are more certain about the size of the deposits and their commercial prospects will it be possible to assess whether they will provide scope for the development of industries specifically based on North Sea Gas. We shall then discuss the effect of these discoveries with the East Anglia Regional Council and other regional councils interested.
Scotland (Public Transport Fares)
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what correspondence he has had with local authorities in Scotland concerning increases in public transport fares; and whether he will refer these increases to the National Board for Prices and Incomes.
During the first half of March letters were received from a large number of local authorities in Scotland suggesting that increases in bus fares should be referred to the National Board for Prices and Incomes. The replies sent explained our reasons for believing that such a reference would be inappropriate at this stage.
National Economic Committee For The Post Office
asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a statement on the work of the little National Economic Development Council for the Post Office; and when he expects to publish its first report.
This Economic Development Committee is holding its second meeting today. It has a substantial programme of work ahead of it and has started by taking up questions of productivity and the growth of Post Office communications services within the context of the National Plan. The Committee will decide how and when to publish an account of its work.
Dry Cargo Bulk Carriers
asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the fact that the British steel industry is paying three to four times more freight costs on imported iron ore than its Continental counterparts, if he will take steps, by legislation or otherwise, to encourage the building of bigger ships, and so reduce freight rates; and if he will make a statement.
British shipyards can already build dry cargo bulk carriers up to any size likely to be used in the foreseeable future and no useful purpose would be served by requiring or encouraging British yards to build bigger ships than are ordered from them. The question of the likely effect of using bigger ships on British ore prices is for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power.
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will examine the recommendations of the Geddes Report with a view to taking the action necessary to assist North-East shipyards to obtain orders which they are at present obliged to turn down.
The recommendations in the Geddes Report are intended to enable the industry to increase its output and productivity and we are taking all possible action to enable them to be implemented within the timetable proposed by the Committee.
Board Of Trade
Hydrocarbon Gases (Monopolies Commission)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will refer the bottled supply of light hydrocarbon gases for domestic purposes to the Monopolies Commission.
I am very ready to consider any evidence that the hon. Member, or anyone else, may have which suggests that it would be in the public interest for the Monopolies Commission to investigate this trade.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will tabulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the value of investment by manufacturing industry as distinct from private portfolio investment by overseas companies in Great Britain, by companies from the United States of America in Great Britain, by European companies in Great Britain, by British companies overseas, by British companies in the United States of America, by British companies in the Commonwealth, by British companies in Europe, and by British companies in under-developed countries, respectively, in each of the last three years.
I have been asked to reply.The information available, which relates to all industrial investment other than oil, is given in the following table:
|PRIVATE DIRECT INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT (EXCLUDING OIL)|
|Investment from overseas in United Kingdom industry|
|Investment by United Kingdom industry overseas|
|† Excluding Irish Republic.|
|‡ Countries so classified by the United Nations, which include some countries in the Commonwealth.|
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the expected effect on Anglo-Nigerian trade of Nigeria's association with the European Economic Community; and whether he will make a statement.
I understand that negotiations have been concluded between the E.E.C. Commission and the Nigerian Government on the terms of a draft agreement. Details have not yet been published and we do not know when it may be brought into operation. I cannot therefore estimate the effect on our trade with Nigeria.
Regional Export Officers
asked the President of the Board of Trade what training has been provided for the export officers who visit firms to discuss export problems and to offer help.
The Board of Trade's Regional Export Officers are given initial instruction on the range of services available to exporters from the Government and other bodies and are kept up to date with current developments in this field.
Exports (European Economic Community)
asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the total amount of exports to the six Common Market countries in each year from 1960 to the last complete year for which figures are available.
The following is the information:
|UNITED KINGDOM EXPORTS TO THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY|
Note: All figures include trade in diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones.
Whitehill Industrial Estate, West Lothian (Grant Application)
asked the President of the Board of Trade on what date he first received an application for grant to enable a company, the name of which has been sent to him, to set up a plant at the Whitehill Industrial Estate, West Lothian; and what action he has taken.
The company's application for building and plant and machinery grants under the Local Employment Acts was received by my Department on 18th March, 1966. As the plant and machinery had been ordered after 17th January, 1966, it was not eligible for a grant under the Local Employment Acts. This was made clear in the White Paper on Investment Incentives. As required by the 1960 Act, my Department has consulted the Board of Trade Advisory Committee about the building grant application and I understand that the Committee will consider it in the near future.
Anglo-Latin American Trade
asked the President of the Board of Trade what improvement has taken place in trading between Latin-American countries and the United Kingdom since the visits of the Foreign Secretary and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs last January; and what follow-up action has been taken by his Department since the visit to stimulate trade.
It is too soon to see the results from visits paid as recently as January. The Board of Trade, in co-operation with the Committee for Exports to Latin America, continues to direct the attention of British industry to the opportunities in Latin America and to help in exploiting them. Exports to Latin America benefit from the facilities of E.C.G.D., further improvements in which I announced on 9th May.
Mining Machinery (Exports To Australia)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the value of exports of mining machinery for the period 1955 to 1960 from this country to Australia, and the value of exports from 1960 to 1965; and what percentage of the total imports of mining machinery into that country these figures represented.
£2·5 million and £2·6 million respectively; the United Kingdom share of Australian imports, calculated from Australian statistics with a wider coverage, was about 35 per cent. and 26 per cent. respectively.
Investment Allowances (Confederation Of British Industry)
asked the President of the Board of Trade what representation he has had from the Confederation of British Industry on the proposals for investment incentives contained in Command Paper No. 2874.
The Confederation of British Industry has made representations to the Government both on the desirability of replacing investment allowances by investment grants and on specific aspects of the White Paper proposals. These, together with other suggestions from the C.B.I. for the operation of the scheme, have been the subject of extensive discussions with the Confederation.
Onions (Imports From America)
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many onions are imported into the United Kingdom from the United States of America; and what these imports cost.
9,600 tons of onions (other than pickled onions) valued at £427,000 were imported in 1965.
Furniture Trade (National Board For Prices And Incomes)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will refer the pricing of the furniture trade to the National Board for Prices and Incomes for report and recommendation.
No; on present information my right hon. Friend sees no grounds for making such a reference.
Investment Grants, Scotland
asked the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the net annual value of the investment grants offered to industry in Scotland under the Government's Industrial Development Bill.
It is expected that the amount of investment grants payable under Part I of the Bill, in respect of investment in 1966 in eligible assets in the manufacturing, extractive and construction industries in Scotland will be about £30 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether, in view of the accelerating drift of manpower from the mining industry of South Wales as a consequence of the insecurity of employment in the industry, he will make arrangements for co-ordinating the Board of Trade, the Ministry of Power, and the Welsh Office, on the present programme of pit closures, so that they are delayed until alternative employment vacancies are available.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will make a statement on his plans for co-ordinating the work of various Government Departments in South Wales to deal with the consequences of pit closures.
The Welsh Office is working in close co-operation with all the Government Departments concerned and I am satisfied that the existing arrangements for co-ordination are satisfactory. Together with my right hon. Friends, I am doing all I can to ensure there are adequate opportunities for the employment of miners affected by pit closures.
Education And Science
Children's Theatre Companies
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the result of the study he is making of the report from the Arts Council on children's theatre in Great Britain; and, in view of the importance of maintaining and extending children's theatre, what action he will take, in particular with regard to giving financial support.
I am greatly concerned that children should be brought into contact at an early age with drama of a high order. I am having a thorough survey made of drama work in the classroom and of what is being done to encourage the attendance of children at theatrical performances. I am studying the recommendations of the Arts Council's report, but I must make it plain that neither the Department nor the Arts Council has any money in this year's estimates which could be used to support professional children's theatre companies.
Part-Time Teachers (Superannuation)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to receive the working party's report on a possible superannuation scheme for part-time teachers.
My right hon. Friend hopes to receive at least the provisional views of the Working Party before the summer adjournment.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will now announce a date for the final elimination of the 11-plus examination.
I have asked local education authorities to submit plans to me by July of this year for the reorganisation of their secondary schools on comprehensive lines. The date at which any particular authority can end selection at 11-plus will depend on the nature and timing of their own plan.
Secondary Modern And Comprehensive Schools (Voluntary Attendance)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will state the number, at the latest convenient date, of boys and girls staying on voluntarily after the statutory leaving age in secondary modern schools in the North-East, the South-East and nationally, expressed as a percentage of pupils aged 13 years in these schools two years earlier;(2) if he will state the number, at the latest convenient date, of boys and girls staying on voluntarily after the age of 15 years in secondary modern schools and comprehensive schools, expressed as a percentage of pupils aged 13 years in these schools two years earlier.
The estimated position with regard to secondary modern schools in England and Wales is as stated in the Answer given to the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. Astor) on 4th February by the Minister of State. Similar calculations cannot, however, be made for either comprehensive schools, nationally, or for individual types of secondary schools in parts of the country, as the reorganisation of the secondary school system led to such changes in school numbers between the two dates as to invalidate proportions based on them.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will state the value of schoolbuilding programmes approved in each of the years 1960 to 1965, and the amount allocated to secondary and primary schools, respectively.
The major programmes originally approved for the five years totalled £313·5 million, of which £71·5million was for primary schools, £187 million for secondary schools and £55 million for the reorganisation of all age schools. The final annual allocations (increased to allow for rising costs) were as follows:—
Schools (Statutory Walking Distance)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the local authorities which have reduced the school statutory walking distance since they received the reminder referred to in column 105 of Written Questions in the OFFICIAL REPORT of 13th May, 1965.
My right hon. Friend does not ask local education authorities to provide him with information about the extent to which they exercise their discretionary powers in this matter.
Girl Pupils (Teaching Of Mathematics)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of girls in co-educational schools and girls' schools, respectively, take up the teaching of mathematics.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to increase productivity in educational techniques in schools.
The Schools Council for the Curriculum and Examinations is engaged on a far-ranging programme of work on the school curriculum and teaching methods and the Department is grant-aiding a large number of research projects in the same field.Her Majesty's Inspectors arrange courses for teachers which help to keep them up-to-date with teaching techniques, and they give regular advice to the schools on the use and development of audio-visual aids. The Department is also supporting the Experimental Development Unit of the Educational Foundation for Visual Aids, which has issued several reports available to teachers and local education authorities.
School-Leaving Age (Earlier Termination)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will introduce legislation to amend the Education Act to allow school leavers to terminate their education on their fifteenth birthday when they have an opportunity of taking up employment.
Birds (Importation By Air)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will restrict licences for the importation of birds by air into this country to those bred in captivity.
Women, St John's Wood (Police Protection)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the complaint of Mr. Desmond Plummer, former Mayor of Marylebone, about the inadequacy of police precautions to protect unaccompanied women in the neighbourhood of Marlborough Place, St. John's Wood; and what action he will take: and whether he will make a statement.
I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that in the past six months there have been four attacks on women in this vicinity during the hours of darkness. Special attention is being given to this area particularly by means of additional plain clothes patrols. The local residents were invited by the police to a conference on 28th April at which the crime position was discussed and advice given.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fresh detention centres have been planned, are in the process of being completed, and have been completed since the passing of the Malicious Damage Act in July 1964; how many of such centres turn away people sentenced to be detained there; and where such persons go instead.
Seven detention centres additional to the 18 now in use and three extensions to existing centres are proposed; of these, two new centres and one extension are under construction. Two centres have been opened since July 1964.No person ordered to be detained in a detention centre is turned away; but in general courts are asked to ascertain that there is a vacancy before ordering detention. It is quite frequently necessary to inform courts that there is no vacancy, but as their enquiries are often tentative no firm estimate is available of the extent to which the number of places at present falls short of the demand.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the winding up of the Royal Commission on penal reform, which included the study of the control of hooliganism, what will now be his policy towards this matter; and how far it will affect seaside resorts at bank holiday weekends.
My right hon. Friend will not hesitate to propose that the courts and the police should have stronger powers to deal with hooliganism if this proves necessary. The maintenance of public order in seaside resorts, as elsewhere, is a police responsibility; it will continue to be effectively discharged.
Football Pitches (Invasion By Supporters)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the public danger caused by the increasing tendency of football supporters invade the field of play in congratulation of their team, he will take steps by legislation or otherwise, to prohibit such conduct.
No. My right hon. Friend does not consider that legislation for this purpose would be justified.
Metropolitan Police (Allegations)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the allegations made by Mr. McGuire against the Metropolitan Police and their decision to hold an independent inquiry into these allegations, who is to conduct these investigations; and whether he will give an assurance that it will be someone, or some organisation unconnected with the Metropolitan Police against whom the allegations have been made.
I understand that the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has had Mr. McGuire's allegations fully investigated by a senior officer of the Metropolitan Police not connected with the case and not in the same branch of New Scotland Yard as the officers involved. The allegations were of conduct which, if substantiated, would amount to a criminal offence, and I am informed that the Commissioner intends to refer the report of the investigation to the Director of Public Prosecutions for his consideration in accordance with section 49(3) of the Police Act 1964.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the proposed system of parole for longterm prisoners will be in operation; and to what extent he anticipates that this reform will reduce overcrowding in prisons.
The necessary powers will be sought in the Criminal Justice Bill, which is to be introduced this Session. The proposed scheme will, I hope, go some way towards relieving the existing overcrowding in prisons but it is not possible to assess at this stage the extent of the relief.
Ministry Of Labour
Development Districts, Northern Region (Training Assistance)
asked the Minister of Labour what has been the expenditure under the Local Employment Acts to assist expanding firms in the North-East development districts with training costs in the year ended 31st March.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Cleveland (Mr. Tinn) on 27th April.
Conditions Of Employment And National Arbitration Order (Prosecutions)
asked the Minister of Labour how many prosecutions of employers and workers there have been under the Essential Work Orders and under the Conditions of Employment and National Arbitration Orders, respectively; what was the outcome of such prosecutions; and to what extent prison sentences were imposed.
I regret that the information asked for with regard to the Essential Works Orders is not now available.There were 109 prosecutions of work-people, involving 6,281 individuals, and two of employers under the Conditions of Employment and National Arbitration Order. There were convictions resulting in fines in 70 cases, of which one also involved the imposition of prison sentences.
Horticultural Industry (Selective Employment Tax)
asked the Minister of Labour how many are engaged in horticulture in the County of Holland in respect of whom the Selective Employment Tax will have to be paid; and whether any unemployment will be caused by the imposition of this tax.
I regret that figures of employees engaged in horticulture, as distinct from those in general farming, are not available for particular counties. As regards the second part of the Question, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture has received from the National Farmers' Union representations regarding the effect of the tax, which he has undertaken to consider carefully.
Temporary Import Charge (Abolition)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the fact that the import surcharges was a breach by Her Majesty's Government of international obligations when the proposes to abolish it.
I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the Answer given by my hon. and learned Friend on Wednesday. 11th May.
Ministers Of The Crown (Free Accommodation)
asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will refer to the National Board for Prices and incomes the value of free accommodation, in addition to their salaries, provided by Her Majesty's Government for Ministers.
Selective Employment Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will so draft the Finance Bill as to remove the discrimination in the effect of the proposed Selective factures of raspberry jam and against producers of raspberries.
There will be no such discrimination in the Finance Bill.
British Petroleum Company
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the United Kingdom Government's present holing in the British Petroleum Company; and what total divides have accrued for each of the last five years.
Her Majesty's Government holds £162,000,000 Ordinary Stock and £1,000 Preference Stock, and is subscribing for 12,461,538 new Ordinary Shares of £1 each. When fully paid these Shares will be converted into Stock and Her Majesty's Government will then hold £174,461,538 Ordinary Stock.The following dividends and payments out of a capital reserve have been received in the last five financial years:
|Dividends||Payments out of capital reserve|
|Year ended 31st March, 1962||13,125,049||—|
|Year ended 31st March, 1963||14,062,549||—|
|Year ended 31st March, 1964||13,500,049||2,250,000|
|Year ended 31st March, 1965||16,200,049||2,700,000|
|Year ended 31st March, 1966||19,079,569||4,387,500|
Tax Officers (Resignations)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many senior grade tax officers have resigned from the Inland Revenue in each of the last five financial years; how many of these were under 30 years of age; and by what approximate number the Revenue is undermanned in this grade.
I assume the hon. Member refers to Tax Officers (Higher Grade). The figures are:
|Total resignations from established T.O.H.G. posts||Resignation of T.Os. (H.G.) under 30 years of age|
Anglo-American Double Taxation Agreement
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the relief from the United Kingdom tax on dividends due to United States shareholders under the protocol to the double taxation agreement with the United States of America signed on 17th March will have to be claimed by repayment.
As a general rule, Yes. But the Inland Revenue is preparing, in consultation with those concerned, a scheme under which companies which are willing to do so may be authorised to give relief at source on dividends paid to residents of the United States through approved collecting agencies in the United Kingdom. Similar arrangements will be made for dividends paid by subsidiary companies to United States parent companies. The Inland Revenue will announce details of the arrangements as soon as they have been settled.
Ministry Of Defence
Head Of Defence Sales (Appointment)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he still intends to appoint a super-salesman for the export of arms.
I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. Joseph Kevin McNamara).
Midshipman Robert Fynn
asked the Secretary of State for Defence why Midshipman Robert Fynn of H.M.S. "Lincoln" is not allowed to proceed on leave to his home in Rhodesia.
This case has been reviewed on the lines indicated on 27th April by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force. I am happy to say that we have been able to agree to Midshipman Fynn's application, and also to that of Junior Technician Burlin which was raised by the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Mr. Evelyn King) on 27th April.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will uphold the sovereignty of Gibraltar in future talks with Spain so that she can remain a free and independent member of the Commonwealth.
Gibraltar is a colony and not an independent member of the Commonwealth. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said on 25th April, we have no doubt as to our rights of sovereignty over Gibraltar, so this is not a matter which we intend to raise at the talks.
Central Europe (Disengagement)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress made by Her Majesty's Government towards disengagement in Central Europe since 16th October, 1964.
We have been ready to consider all proposals in this field that do not upset the military balance in Europe or perpetuate the present division there. None has been made that meets this criterion. If we succeed in our efforts to get a non-proliferation agreement and a comprehensive test ban treaty, we may achieve the sort of confidence in Central Europe which is essential for arms control measures in the region.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what stocks of carrots were held in Great Britain at the end of the latest month for which figures are available.
It is estimated that some 3,000 tons of marketable carrots, or 1 per cent. of the 1965 crop in Great Britain, remained on farms at the end of April, 1966.
Tenant Farmers (Rents)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, in view of recent increases in rents, he will submit the question of rents charged by landlords to tenant farmers to the National Board for Prices and Incomes.
Selective Employment Tax
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the cost to horticultural growers of the selective employment tax.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Holland with Boston (Mr. Body) yesterday.
British Motor Corporation Western Germany
asked the Minister of Technology what discussions he has had with the British Motor Corporation since the announcement that their principal West German franchise holder was contemplating ending his association with the company.
No formal discussions have taken place, but we are informed that the franchise holder concerned is to continue to represent the B.M.C. in Western Germany.
Minister For Economic Affairs (Speech)
asked the Prime Minister if the public speech of the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs concerning Great Britain and the Common Market at Stockholm on Friday 6th May represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.
Selective Employment Tax
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will seek to increase the subsidies paid to the local authorities so as to cover the additional cost imposed by the selective employment tax.
I assume that the hon. Member has housing subsidies in mind. The proposed new basic subsidy will meet the difference between loan charges incurred on the capital cost of providing housing at the current borrowing rate and the loan charges which would have been incurred if the borrowing rate had been 4 per cent. and will then make a proportionate contribution to any additional cost of building.
Clean Air Act (Electric Heaters)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will seek to permit local authorities to pay grants, under the Clean Air Act, to householders who wish to instal electric radiant heaters in areas where smokeless solid fuels are difficult to obtain.
Direct acting heaters were excluded from grant because of the strain which they would impose on electricity supplies at peak periods. After consulting his right hon. Friend the Minister of Power, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government has concluded that the time is not yet ripe to alter this. His right hon. Friend informs him that, overall, supplies of solid smokeless fuels are adequate, although it may not always be possible to obtain the fuel of one's choice.
Public Building And Works
Building Regulations (Relaxation)
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what decision he has made in respect of the application for exemption from the fire regulations in the case of the farm improvement application made by Mr. W. G. Wilcocks of Hartnoll Farm, Tiverton, Devon, on 20th April to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, whose reference number for the application is F1397/12 E; and whether he is aware of the urgency of this application to enable the provision of grain-drying and storage facilities to be ready in time for the harvest.
My right hon. Friend is aware of the urgency and is proposing to grant the relaxation of the Building Regulations for which Mr. Wilcocks has applied. The local authority concerned has been asked to give the necessary notice to this effect to the owners and occupiers of adjoining premises in accordance with Section 8 of the Public Health Act 1961.
Special Stamp (H G Wells)
asked the Postmaster-General if he will issue a stamp to commemorate the centenary of the birth of H. G. Wells.
I did consider this suggestion very carefully before settling the 1966 special stamp programme, but it did not prove possible to meet it. I will however hear the suggestion in mind.
Hooligans And Vandals (Control)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what further plans he has for the control of hooligans and vandals.
I do not think that any change in the machinery for police or judicial action is called for, but I would like to see more local and community social experiments designed to alter the conditions in which behaviour of this kind develops. I will gladly lend my support and assistance to such experiments.
Lay Magistrates (Abolition)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in view of the disparity of sentences pronounced by lay magistrates on offenders who commit exactly similar offences, if he will seek to abolish such posts within the Scottish legal system.
Lay magistrates play a useful and necessary part in the summary criminal courts of Scotland today. I know of no sufficient reason for their abolition.
Derelict Sites (Clearance)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the progress being made in the clearance of derelict sites, especially in areas experiencing coalmine closures; and if he will give the latest statistical information showing the progress made in the last three years in Scotland.
Steady progress has been made in the last few years but a great deal needs doing and I should like to see schemes coming forward more quickly. The information requested is as follows:
|Number of Schemes||Acreage||Cost|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will give further details of the number of kidney machines for the treatment of chronic renal failure which will be in use in Scottish hospitals by the autumn.
I am sorry that the statement which I made to the Scottish Grand Committee on 10th May (Column 52 of the OFFICIAL REPORT) inadvertently understated the expansion of these facilities which is planned. By autumn there should be 8 to 10 additional kidney machines in operation in Scottish hospitals for the treatment of chronic renal failure, making 12 to 14 in all; 5 in Edinburgh, 3 to 5 in Glasgow, 2 in Dundee and 2 in Aberdeen. This should enable 36 to 42 patients to be treated.
Vehicle And Driver Licensing (Centralisation)
asked the Minister of Transport what plans she has for streamlining the present system of licensing vehicles and drivers.
My right hon. Friend is consulting the various interests concerned about the possibility of centralising vehicle and driver licensing work, utilising a computer. This is a long-term project, and it will be some time before she can announce firm plans.
Motor Vehicles (Headlamps)
asked the Minister of Transport when she will give her decisions on new vehicle lighting regulations.
On 10th May, 1966, my right hon. Friend circulated draft regulations to control the fitting of headlamps on motor vehicles and asked for comments by 15th June. Subject to this consultation she intends to make the regulations effective this autumn. Her Working Party on the lighting of vehicles is now considering the circumstances in which headlamps should be used during darkness. She hopes to have its advice soon.
Driving Tests (Waiting List)
asked the Minister of Transport how many learner-drivers are awaiting driving tests; what is the average waiting period; and how these two figures compare with the position a year ago.
513,000 and 12 weeks now, compared with 511,000 and 13 weeks this time last year.
asked the Minister of Transport if she will invite the motor insurers to make available to her the McKinsey Report, with a view to a copy being placed in the Library for the information of hon. Members.
No. The McKinsey Report was, I understand, commissioned by the British Insurance Association for management purposes. Its contents and recommendations are, therefore, primarily a matter for the insurance market If as a result of their consideration of the report, insurers think that changes affecting my right hon. Friend's responsibilities are required they will no doubt advise her accordingly.
asked the Minister of Transport at what percentage of their capacity liner trains were running during the month of April.
The Railways Board have told my right hon. Friend that during the four weeks ended 30th April, 1966, the number of loaded containers carried by the daily freightliner service on the London-Glasgow route represented about 70 per cent. of the available capacity and on the London-Manchester route about 30 per cent.
M5 And M6 (Link)
asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the fact that the estimated time of completion of the M5 the M6 link has been given at various times as being June 1968, autumn 1968, not before 1969, and before the end of 1969, if she will give an assurance that the last date still stands.
Yes. But my right hon. Friend has emphasised before the engineering and other difficulties in building new major roads in urban areas.