Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what was the extent of the damage caused by the typhoon in Hong Kong; and what steps Her Majesty's Government propose to take to assist the people made homeless by the typhoon.
Mr Sydney Irving: I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
Mr Sydney Irving: The purpose of the Clause is to extend the Income Tax concession given in 1956 to certain Savings Bank interest to interest on Co-operative shares and Penny Bank accounts. It is not proposed to ask that the concession should be extended to Co-operative loan capital, because there is a statutory limit on Co-operative shares of £500 and of £50 in Penny Bank accounts. There is none on loan...
Mr Sydney Irving: That is the top rate. Therefore, under the present law a person with £20 in Co-operative shares will have to pay tax on the interest up to £15, while a wealthy person with thousands of pounds invested may get off scot-free in this respect. For over 100 years co-operative societies have encouraged thrift, have canalised the small savings of the working class, and have followed the practice...
Mr Sydney Irving: Will the hon. Gentleman deal a little more fully with the dangers of the transfer of past savings from the Co-operative movement, or any other small savings organisation of that sort into Government channels, particularly in view of the reference in the Royal Commission's Report to delusive saving? Is there not this danger? Has it not happened and cannot the hon. Gentleman do something about it?
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration he has given to the proposals sent to him by the West Kent Main Sewerage Board and other sewerage authorities that dried organic fertilisers from sewage purification plants should be eligible for subsidy under schemes made in accordance with the Agriculture (Fertilisers) Act, 1952.
Mr Sydney Irving: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a number of sewerage authorities are having difficulty in disposing of these fertilisers because of the competition from subsidised fertilisers? In view of the benefit to farmers and ratepayers by way of rate relief, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that there is no prejudice in his Department against this type of dried organic manure...
Mr Sydney Irving: Is it not time that the isolation of these teachers from the rest of the teaching profession was ended? Is the hon. Lady aware that, despite the recommendation of the Royal Commission, there are many people who still believe that these occupation centres should come under the jurisdiction of her colleague the Minister of Education?
Mr Sydney Irving: In view of the concern felt by a number of local authorities in the area of the Dartford-Purfleet Tunnel, will the right hon. Gentleman receive a deputation?
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Minister of Power what steps he is taking to ensure adequate supplies of boiler fuel for domestic purposes during the winter.
Mr Sydney Irving: Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that much of this coke is of an inferior quality and not acceptable to householders? Will he, therefore, take steps to improve not only quantity but quality?
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that the majority of representatives of downstream authorities at a meeting on 1st December expressed themselves as being unable to support the proposal for a Thames flood barrier until more technical information is supplied; and if he will now state what steps he is taking to provide this...
Mr Sydney Irving: While thanking the Minister for his Answer, may I ask him to bear in mind the very real anxiety of some of the downstream authorities and, in particular, the fear that any improvement in the upper reaches of the river above the barrier can be achieved only at the expense of the downstream authorities and so add to their difficulties?
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what method he is adopting to recruit additional inspectors to deal with the increased number of planning appeals; and what increase he proposes in the establishment.
Mr Sydney Irving: Can the Minister say how long it will be before we can hope for some reduction in the rather vexatious delays in these appeals? Can he also say what time he is aiming at achieving in this respect when establishment is completed?
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Minister of Transport when he anticipates that work can commence on the by-pass at Swanley on the A.20.
Mr Sydney Irving: While thanking the Minister for his Answer, may I ask whether he will give an assurance, in view of the very serious accident rate on this road, and the fact that it is one of the five worst bottlenecks in the country, that whatever economies may be necessary this year this project will not be among them?
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the Minister of Transport when he expects to publish the draft orders for the diversion of the A.2 at Dartford.
Mr Sydney Irving: asked the President of the Board of Trade what recommendations have been made by the Export Publicity Council and its three study groups.
Mr Sydney Irving: But is not the President of the Board of Trade able to give any indication of the sort of advice and recommendations that the Council has given? Does it not give the impression that this is a pretty low rate of productivity for a very high-powered Council that has been in existence for fourteen months, especially in view of our critical export situation? Will not he consider his Answer again?