HC Deb 21 February 1951 vol 484 cc1278-9
23. Mr. Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is satisfied that the subsistence allowance of 4d. a day paid out of civil funds for the maintenance of each of the Barbary apes at Gibraltar is still sufficient: when the amount was fixed at 4d.; and to what extent the ape population has increased or decreased since the end of the war.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I am informed that the allowance of 4d. a day each for the Gibraltar Barbary apes is still sufficient. The allowance was raised from 3d. to 4d. in 1944. At the end of the war there were 20 apes in Gibraltar: there are now 30, all, I am assured, well fed and in excellent health.

Mr. Churchill

Is it not a fact that there is an undue predominance of males?

Mr. Griffiths

I see from the records that in 1944, when the right hon. Gentleman was Prime Minister, he gave a direction that the establishment should be raised to 24 and maintained at that figure. I am glad to be able to say that we are now above establishment.

Mr. Gammans

Can the Minister say how he reconciles the statement that this amount is sufficient, in view of the fact that it costs 1s. a day to keep an ape in the London Zoo? Further, since these are State apes, borne on Civil Service funds, are they not automatically entitled to a cost-of-living bonus?

Mr. Manuel

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the hon. Gentleman who has asked this Question has not declared his interest?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these apes have any representation on the people's council which decides how much they get to live on?

Mr. Griffiths

I shall convey to them the interest of the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Mr. Harrison

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the Government still seriously accepts the legend that while these apes live on Gibraltar, the British will remain there?

Mr. F. Maclean

In view of the point of order raised a short time ago by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), will the Minister ascertain whether these apes resent being described as "Barbary" apes?

Mr. Griffiths

I shall convey to them the keen interest of the House in their welfare.

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