Written Answers To Questions
Friday, 22nd November, 1968
Ministry Of Defence
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the total expenditure of his Department on research is spent in England and in Wales, respectively.
No precise figures are available but a rough approximation shows that of the defence research expenditure borne directly on Ministry of Defence Votes, about 95 per cent. is spent in England and O·5 per cent. in Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what arrangements his Department has made with Universities in Great Britain for the institution of lectureships and appointments financed by his Department; and whether he publishes a list of all Universities entertaining such appointments;(2) what arrangements his Department makes for the tenure of appointments financed by his Department at universities; whether screening for security purposes is involved; and whether the results of any research done as a result of such appointments at these Universities is allowed to be published;(3) what steps are taken to make it clear to entrants that a particular post at a university is financed by his Department and is subject to possible screening or to other security measures.
Arrangements have been concluded with certain universities to create an additional academic post in an existing faculty to specialise in the defence aspects of its discipline. So far five such appointments have been made—at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, London (King's College), Oxford (All Souls College) and Southampton. Two further appointments are at present being considered.These appointments are financed by a grant from the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry's grant is awarded for five years in the first instance. The posi- tion will be reviewed in each case before this period expires when the grant may be renewed for a further five years. However, it is our hope that, by the end of a further five-year period, the university or college concerned will itself take over financial responsibility for the appointment.As it may from time to time be desirable for the occupants of these posts, in pursuing their researches, to have close contact with the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry is normally given the opportunity to express any comments they may wish to offer when applications have been received. Responsibility for the selection of candidates, however, and for other questions, rests with the university or college concerned.The Ministry is anxious to encourage academics appointed to these new posts to undertake both teaching and research within their discipline and to publish the results of their studies as a contribution to a better understanding of the problems of Britain's defence and oversea policy. I believe that it is generally appreciated that we could not waive security requirements if classified information were involved. More generally, however, we would wish to have as few restrictions as possible, and no difficulties are foreseen in any of the appointments so far made.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for what period and for what reasons the manufacture of cheese in the United Kingdom has been stopped.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Gwilym Roberts) on 20th November.—[Vol. 773, c. 1282.]
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the total expenditure of his Department on research is spent in Wales and in England, respectively.
I estimate that about 5 per cent. of this Department's total expenditure on research is spent in Wales and 95 per cent. in England.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that food additives within the classification of pH regulators, humectants, sequestrants, propellants, glazing agents, anti-foaming agents, anti-caking agents, release agents, firming and crisping agents are not injurious to health; what control is exercised under his regulations on the quantity of additive permissible; and if he will make a statement.
The Food Additives and Contaminants Committee has recommended in its Report on Further Classes of Food Additives that statutory permitted lists should be drawn up for these additives. Comments on the Report have been invited by the 28th February next.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security and my right hon. Friend will then consider making regulations under the procedure laid down by the Food and Drugs Act, 1955.
European Economic Community
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in the light of the projected agricultural situation in the Common Market in the years 1968–69 and 1969–70, what he now estimates to be the net cost to Great Britain's balance of payments of the various contributions to the Guidance and Guarantee Fund of the Community on the United Kingdom joining the European Economic Community.
Any estimate of the balance of payments cost of the contribution we might be expected to make would be highly speculative and I do not consider that any useful purpose would be served by giving such a figure.
Net Agricultural Output
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the average annual percentage rise in net agricultural output in the United Kingdom for the three crop years 1965–66 to 1967–68, including, if necessary, any estimated figures made by his department; and what was the similar average annual percentage rise in the immediately preceding three years, namely 1962–63 to 1964–65, and the comparable annual average percentage rise for the 12 crop years 1953–54 to 1964–65.
Estimates prepared at the time of the 1968 Annual Review (which included a forecast for the farm year 1967–68) show that agricultural net output measured over all holdings in the United Kingdom rose:—
By 3·0 per cent. per annum between 1965–66 and 1967–68.
By 4·9 per cent. per annum between 1962–63 and 1964–65, and
(Years are June-May and the growth rates are expressed in compound interest terms).By 2·6 per cent. per annum between 1953–54 and 1964–65.
Take-Overs And Mergers
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will direct the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation to prepare a report on the effect and likely effects of take-overs and mergers in British industry on Her Majesty's Government's development and special development area policy.
No. I do not think it would be appropriate to invite the Corporation to undertake a study of this sort. As far as the I.R.C.'s own role is concerned it tries to ensure as far as possible that the mergers which it supports will assist the Government's regional policy.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects the recommendations of the Weaver Report to be implemented; what advice he has given to local education authorities thereon; and whether he will make a statement.
The recommendations of the Report have been commended to the local authorities and voluntary bodies concerned, and all are in course of being implemented. The Education (No. 2) Act, 1968 requires that instruments and articles of government for the maintained colleges of education should be made by order of the local education authorities subject to my approval, and I have informed local authorities that their orders should be made by 1st April next. Parallel action is being taken to reconstitute the governing bodies of the voluntary colleges. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the circulars I have issued on this subject.
School Meals Service
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what amount has been expended each year since 1960 from Government sources on the school meals service; and what is the latest estimated annual saving due to the recent change in school meals policy.
Net public expenditure (including capital expenditure) on the School Meals Service was as follows:—
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the recent policy change expected to result in a reduction of £4 million a year in the school meals service, he will consider making available a similar sum to be spent on the development of nursery education in deprived areas.
Of the £20 million to £25 million to be spent up to March, 1972 on the urban programme announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secre- tary on 22nd July a significant part will be devoted to the development of nursery education in deprived areas.
Graduates (Us Appointments)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report the number of graduates of United Kingdom universities who took up appointments in the United States in the years 1965–66 and 1966–67 according to the same criteria as in the answer given by the Minister of State on 19th January, 1967.
The following details of graduates of universities in Great Britain, whose first appointment after graduation was in the United States, have been provided by University appointments officers.
|Graduates to the U.S.A. for:|
|(a) Research or further academic study:|
|(b) Permanent employment:|
|(c) Short term employment:|
|(d) Total of (a), (b) and (c):|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the names of the four drama schools which are recognised as efficient independent schools.
- The Arts Educational School, 142–4 Piccadilly, London W. 1.
- Italia Conti Stage School, Stockwell, London S.W.9.
- The Arts Educational School, Tring, Herts.
- The Bush Davies School, Charters Towers. East Grinstead, Sussex.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the names of the five drama schools which are recognised as efficient establishments of further education.
The five schools concerned are:
- The Birmingham School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, Birmingham.
- The Central School of Speech and Drama, Swiss Cottage, London, N.W.3.
- East 15 Acting School, Loughton, Essex.
- The London Academy of Music and Drama tic Art, Kensington, London, S.W.5.
- The Rose Bruford Training College of Speech and Drama, Sidcup, Kent.
Employment And Productivity
Furniture Industry (Fire Hazards)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she is aware of the anxiety of workers in the furniture industry about the large amount of adhesives and other inflammable materials stored in factory areas which constitute a fire hazard; and if she will take immediate steps to have all furniture manufacturing factories examined to ensure compliance with safety regulations in respect of inflammable materials.
In view of the recent disastrous fire in a Glasgow furniture factory, I am urgently considering whether, pending the Report of the Fatal Accident Inquiry which is to deal with that case, there is any special additional action which the Factory Inspectorate should take to identify and deal with factories where problems of compliance with the fire provisions of the Factories Act are particularly acute. As regards the special case of furniture factories, I shall give further consideration to the risks, especially those involved in the newer materials such as foam plastics, in the light of the Fatal Accident Inquiry Report.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she will instruct the Factory Inspectorate to carry out immediately inspections of those factories in their areas which, from their own records, are defined as suspect in relation to the Glasgow tragedy.
Any serious deficiencies as regards the fire precautions required by the Factories Act, 1961, discovered during factory inspections are brought to the notice of the occupier and are followed up to ensure that they are corrected. The kind of examination suggested is thus being carried out continuously. However, I recognise and share the acute feelings of anxiety which the recent Glasgow fire has aroused and I am considering urgently whether, pending the outcome of the Fatal Accident Inquiry into that case, there is any further action which can be taken by the Inspectorate to identify and deal with any specially urgent cases.
Polyurethane Paints (Toxic Hazard)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity, having regard to the serious side-effects experienced by people using clear and pigmented polyurethane, if she will establish an investigating team to examine the uses of polyurethane and to recommend safe-handling practices.
The toxic hazard of the polyurethane paints and lacquers depends upon the amount of uncombined isocyanate that they contain. Three types of polyurethane paints may contain free volatile isocyanate and are often used in factories. The toxic hazard is normally low when they are applied by brush but may be quite high when they are sprayed. H.M. Factory Inspectorate recommend adequate exhaust ventilation and enclosure of the work being done when the concentration of isocyanate vapour has exceeded the threshold limit value of 0·02 parts per million. This is a matter with which the Chemical Branch of the Inspectorate has been concerned over the last few years and there does not seem to be a case for a further special investigation.
Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (Boilermakers' Claim)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what is the estimated percentage increase in rates and earnings arising from the claim of boilermakers employed by the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders; what element of productivity is involved; if the claim is consistent with the Government's incomes policy; and if she will make a statement.
Negotiations are continuing between the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, Limited and the Amalgamated Society of Boilermakers, Shipwrights, Blacksmiths and Structural Workers, and until a final settlement is reached it is not possible to estimate the effects on rates and earnings. The Gov-
|TOTAL NUMBERS REGISTERED AS UNEMPLOYED AND PERCENTAGE RATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE AREAS COVERED BY THE PENZANCE AND HELSTON EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGES|
|Total registered unemployed||Percentage rate|
|* For October, 1967 and earlier dates, the percentage rates relate to the Penzance, St. Ives and St. Mary's travel-to-work area. In a recent review, St. Mary's was excluded from the travel-to-work area. The October, 1968 rate has been calculated on this revised basis and is thus not strictly comparable with the earlier figures. Calculated on the former basis, the rate for October, 1968 would be 7·0 per cent.|
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Jewish-Arab Relations (United Nations Mission)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will now instruct the United Kingdom representative to promote a resolution of the United Nations to the effect that the United Nations Mission should not only visit the West Bank territory of Israel and investigate alleged inhuman treatment, but should also visit Arab lands to investigate the position of Jews in these territories.
No. Our position was made clear by our vote in favour of Security Council Resolution No. 259(68), and by the explanation thereof given by my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Caradon.
ernment are looking to both parties to keep the requirements of the productivity, prices and incomes policy firmly in mind.
Unemployment (Penzance And Helston)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (1) what were the numbers unemployed in the Penzance and Helston employment areas for the months of October in each of the eight years since 1960;(2) what was the percentage of unemployed in the Penzance and Helston employment areas for the month of October in each of the eight years since 1960.
Following is the information:
Passport Office (Giro Account)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why the Pasport Office Accounts Department has no account with the Post Office Giro.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is studying the applicability of the Post Office Giro system to its work and this study will, of course, include the work of the Passport Office.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the introduction of voting machines in Parliamentary elections; and if he will make a statement.
I would refer the hon. Member to my remarks on this subject on 18th November during the debate on Second Reading of the Representation of the People Bill.—[Vol. 773, c. 928–29
Traffic Penalties (Diplomatic Missions)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which are the countries whose diplomats have declined to pay traffic penalties in the Metropolitan area; and on how many occasions.
During the first ten months of 1968 there were 12,566 cases in which members of Diplomatic Missions did not respond to a fixed penalty notice issued under Section 80 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967. Particulars are as follows:
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||411|
|Federal Republic of Germany||140|
|Republic of Ireland||145|
|Trinidad and Tobago||3|
|United Arab Republic||238|
Court Proceedings (Press Reports)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what suggestions he has received from the Press for improvements in the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act, 1967 with regard to the reporting of proceedings; and whether he will make a statement.
I have received from the Press and other sources a number of suggestions relating to these provisions. One or two procedural matters have been dealt with by amendment of the Magistrates' Courts Rules or the issue of circulars to the courts. I do not, however, think that the time has yet come to reconsider the provisions of the Act, which were fully debated by Parliament less than two years ago.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated cost of the proposed adaptations to Reading Jail; and how this compares with the net cost of providing equivalent accommodation on an alternative site.
The extent of the adaptations, which would be phased over a period, has not yet been finally decided. The cost is however likely to be less than half that of equivalent new accommodation elsewhere.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what proportion of the expenditure of his Department on research is spent in England and in Wales, respectively.
Approximately 9 per cent. of the expenditure on research by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government is spent on Wales.
Rugby Portland Cement Company (Alkali Inspection)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many visits the alkali inspector has made to the premises of Rugby Portland Cement Company, Rugby, during the past five years.
The Alkali Inspectorate have visited the premises on 64 occasions.
Defence Training (Land Use)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will set up a planning commission to consider the land used and required for defence training purposes in the United Kingdom.
Planning Inquiry Commissions can in certain circumstances be appointed under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1968, to deal with specific development proposals. That is not the issue here. The Government does of course keep land used for defence purposes under constant review.
Std Calls (Guildford)
asked the Postmaster-General (1) what is his current estimate of the percentage of subscriber trunk dialling calls attempted from the Guild-ford area between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. which fail because lines from Guildford are engaged:(2) what is his current estimate of the percentage of subscriber trunk dialling calls from the Guildford telephone area which fail by reason of plant defects.
During October, 0·9 per cent. calls failed because trunk lines from the Guildford area were engaged, and 4·8 per cent. because of plant defects. The congestion which built up during the summer has now been greatly eased by an extensive programme of major works in the area. The five trunk centres are being extended at a cost in excess of £1 million enabling over 1,000 additional trunk circuits to be provided. Merging this new plant into the system is a complex operation which is bound at times to cause some temporary disturbance to the service, but in the last few months there has been a progressive reduction in the percentage of calls failing due to the Post Office.
Mortgaged Properties (Forfeiture)
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what was the number of forfeitures of mortgaged house properties declared by the courts in the last 12 months for which figures are available; in how many such cases were the forfeitures executed; and what were the corresponding figures for 1966.
I regret that these figures are not available.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that the cut back in advances to local authorities for housing is putting those authorities who conformed to the revised quotas at a disadvantage compared with those who committed themselves to numbers in excess of their revised quotas; what progress he has made in his discussions on this matter; and if he will take into account the extent to which past quotas were used in fixing future quotas.
As some authorities entered into firm commitments to borrowers in excess of their quotas, quotas for other areas were reduced in order to keep faith with these borrowers. There was no way of avoiding these re-
|North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board*||South of Scotland Electricity Board|
|January, 1974||January, 1975||January, 1974||January, 1975|
|Planned Out put Capacity (MW)||…||1,747||2,322†||7,416‡||7,358‡|
|* Mainland inter-connected systems.|
|† Includes Atomic Energy Authority's Dounreay Station—280 MW.|
|‡ Induces Atomic Energy Authority's Chapelcross Station—196 MW.|
Land Ownership (Registration)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek powers to compile a register of landowners owning land in excess of 500 acres.
No. Information sufficient for most purposes is already publicly available in the Register of Sasines. In addition appropriate statutory powers exist—for example those of the Land Commission and the Highlands and Islands Development Board—to obtain information about land ownership in particular cases.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what supply and demand projections he has made for teachers for the year 1969–70.
I would refer my hon. friend to the Table on page 68 of Education in Scotland in 1967 (Cmnd. 3549). The figures will be revised as later information becomes available.
ductions, but discussions will shortly be opened with the Local Authority Associations on the method of distribution for next year, and my right hon. Friend will take into account among others, the considerations the hon. Member has mentioned.
Electricity Generation (Capacity)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the planned capacity, in megawatts sent out, of the South of Scotland Electricity Board and the North of Scotland Hydro Board, for January, 1974; and if he will give an estimate of the planned capacity of each of these Boards for January, 1975.
The information is as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many part-time teachers in terms of full-time teaching posts are employed in Scotland in 1968; and whether he will make approximate comparisons with 1966 and 1967.
1,021 in January, 1967 and 1,371 in January, 1968. This information, which relates to public and grant-aided schools, including nursery and special schools, is not available for 1966
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he hopes to meet representatives of the Educational Institute of Scotland on the future recruitment and training of teachers of technical subjects.
I am considering the Institute's request for a meeting.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland for what reasons he proposes to divide teachers of technical subjects into teachers of craft and non-craft subjects with separate training for each category.
Under my proposals all teachers of technical subjects would be qualified to teach all the subjects in this group up to the ordinary grade of the Scottish Certificate of Education. Specialisation was contemplated only for teaching to the Higher grade. I am now reviewing my proposals in the light of the comments that I have received.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent he estimates farm rents have risen during the last 10 years.
The estimated increase in Scottish farm rents over the past 10 years has been 6·3 per cent. per annum compound.
Single School-Leaving Date
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what consideration he is giving to a single school-leaving date in 1969–70;(2) what consideration he is giving to a single school-leaving date after the raising of the school leaving age in 1972–73.
In the light of views expressed by education authorities I have concluded that I would not be justified in proposing the adoption in the near future of a single date. It is too soon to consider what should be done after the raising of the school leaving age in 1972–73. The Education (Scotland) Act 1962 does not provide for the fixing of a single leaving date and I am considering this aspect in connection with the forthcoming Education Bill.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the number of additional pupils in Scottish schools, if a single school-
|1968 (Provisional only)||…||…||10,921||Not Available||26,061||Not Available|
leaving date is in operation when the school-leaving age is raised in 1972–73.
Any estimate would depend on an assumption about the pattern of leaving dates which was being superseded. If it were the present pattern, there would be, at January, 1973, an additional 15,000 pupils attributable to the combined effect of raising the leaving age and introducing a single leaving date, of whom 5,000 would be attributable to the latter factor only. At January, 1974 the corresponding figures would be 40,000 and 8,000.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his policy towards establishing nursery schools under the auspices of local authorities.
Since 1966, education authorities have been permitted to establish new nursery classes in existing schools or other buildings for the purpose of encouraging married women teachers with young children to return to teaching. Under the Government's recently announced urban programme a limited number of new nursery schools and classes are expected to be established in areas of social deprivation within the next 18 months, and I hope that some further expansion of this kind may be possible as resources become available.
Mathematics (Examination Passes)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the number of passes in higher and "O" level mathematics for 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968, respectively.
The numbers taking the "O" grade and "H" grade examinations for the years 1964–67 are as follows. For the sake of comparisons the presentations for the examinations are also given.
Pre-School Play Groups
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his policy towards helping pre-school play groups.
I make an annual grant to the Scottish Pre-School Play Group Association. The establishment of preschool play groups is a matter for local interests; a number are known to receive assistance from education authorities, with the encouragement of my Department.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish the details of the 1970–71 school-building programme in Scotland.
I shall be in touch with education authorities about this early in 1969.
Primary School Pupils
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what was the total number of pupils in primary schools in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968, respectively.(2) what is the estimated number of pupils in primary schools in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972.
The actual or estimated numbers of pupils in primary schools* at January of each of the years in question are as follows:
|* Including education authority, grant-aided and independent primary schools and departments but excluding special schools and classes. The published statistics do not include pupils in independent primary schools.|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many primary schools have been built since 1945; and what proportion of primary pupils are in schools built post-war.
718 to end-September, 1968. Probably more than one-half of the primary pupils are in post-war accommodation.
Borstal Training (Girls)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many girls there are in borstals in Scotland between 17–21 years of age; how many are pregnant; and how many have babies under one year old.
On 12th November, 54 girls between the ages of 17 and 21 years were undergoing borstal training in Scotland; two were pregnant; and four had babies under one year old.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Education Institute of Scotland, with a view to his seeking to ensure that external degrees are provided by Scottish universities; and if he will make a statement.
I have had no such discussions. The introduction and administration of degree courses is a responsibility of the universities themselves.
Livingston New Town
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the density of building in the New Town of Livingston for the Craigshall East, Craigshall West, Almard West and the Almard South precincts taking into account any houses being built or planned to be built.
13, 15·4, 15·1 and 8·5 dwellings per acre respectively.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what savings or benefits he estimates will be made by the dropping of the paired organ principle.
It is too early yet to evaluate the financial or other effects of the Industrial Injuries (Benefit) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations, 1968, which only came into operation on 17th July, 1968. These Regulations also extended the provisions to enable interaction between an industrial injury and any disability arising from post-accident non-industrially caused conditions to be taken into account in the assessment of disablement and transitional arrangements still cover certain claimants receiving benefit by virtue of the superseded paired organs provisions.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consultations took place, and with what bodies, about the paired organ principle before the Greater Disability Regulations were introduced.
The draft of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Benefit) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations, 1968, was considered and approved by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, whose membership includes, with others, representatives of insured persons and employers.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he intends to publish a booklet to explain how the Greater Disability Regulations will operate in order to assist claimants.
The amended regulations, apart from the limited field of paired organs, make no change in the long standing general provisions regarding the extent to which disablement due to pre-accident conditions may be taken into account in the assessment of disablement. These provisions are now extended to cover post accident conditions suffered by the more seriously industrially injured. The existing general leaflet is being suitably revised and arrangements are being made for the extended provision to be brought to the notice of existing pensioners and to new claimants. The staff of the local offices of my Department are always ready to advise and help claimants on this or any other aspects of the Industrial Injuries scheme.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what methods the Government will have at its disposal to deal with the serious influenza threat likely to reach this country around Christmas; if he is satisfied that the A2 virus vaccine will be available in sufficient quantities in time; and whether he will make a statement.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what shortages exist in supplies of immunisation vaccines against all types of influenza; what steps are being taken to overcome such shortages; and whether special priority is being given to persons at risk.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what supplies of vaccine are available against Hong Kong influenza; and if he will make a statement.
Vaccination against influenza may be desirable for the protection of persons suffering from certain chronic diseases (for example, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic heart disease, chronic renal disease and diabetes) in whom an atack of influenza might be dangerous, and guidance on this has been given to medical practitioners. There is a shortage of monovalent vaccine prepared from the variant of A2 virus isolated in Hong Kong in July, 1968. Manufacturers are giving priority to its production and some vaccine is being imported, but supply is unlikely for some time to meet all possible demands. Because of concentration on the Hong Kong variant, supplies to wholesalers of the polyvalent vaccine have necessarily been curtailed and there has recently been difficulty in some areas in obtaining polyvalent vaccine.I have requested manufacturers to have regard in their marketing arrangements to the need to make vaccine available to hospitals and local health authorities wishing to vaccinate staff at risk because of contact with patients, and to pharmacists for prescription by general medical practitioners.The resources of the National Health Service are available for the treatment of influenza.
Drugs (Comparative Cost Charts)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many comparative cost charts in the form of a bookmark he has issued; how often he proposes to issue similar charts; and if he will make a statement.
One, experimentally. Further issues will be considered in the light of the results.
Disabled Driver's Badge
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Advisory Committee on the Health and Welfare of Handicapped Persons have now considered the suggestion for a revised form of disabled driver's badge in accordance with the answer given by the Minister of Health on 12th July, 1968; and what conclusion has been reached.
The advice of my Advisory Committee, which I accept, is that it would be unwise to replace a design which has become well known. Badges may, however, be issued for display both at the front and rear of cars. Any Question relating to privileges for badge holders would be for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, who would be glad to inquire into any case of difficulty.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the average total cost per prescription to the National Health Service in each year from 1960 to date; and what number of prescriptions were issued in those years.
Numbers and costs of prescriptions dispensed by Chemists Appliance contractors in England and Wales for the years 1960 to 1967 and the period January to August, 1968 were as follows:—
|Prescriptions (Millions)||Average total cost per prescription d.|
Nuclear Energy (European Collaboration)
asked the Minister of Technology what recent moves there have been concerning collaboration with European countries on nuclear energy matters.
The U.K.A.E.A. have been pursuing for some years a development programme on centrifuge technology for the enrichment of uranium.Work on similar lines has taken place in the Netherlands and in the Federal Republic of Germany. The United Kingdom and these two countries have now agreed to issue the following statement:—
"A meeting will take place in The Hague on Monday 25th November between Ministers of the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom. It will be attended by the Rt. Hon. Anthony Wedgwood Benn, M.P., Minister of Technology and by the Rt. Hon. Frederick Mulley, M.P., Minister of State. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on behalf of the United Kingdom; for The Netherlands by Mr. de Block, Minister of Economic Affairs and Mr. de Koster, State Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for the Federal Republic of Germany by Dr. Stoltenberg, Minister of Scientific Research and Mr. Lahr. State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the implications of recent developments in relation to the technology of the gas centrifuge method of uranium enrichment, a field in which the three countries have been particularly active; and to consider the possibility of establishing collaboratve arrangements for the exploitation of this method of uranium enrichment".
Board Of Trade
Selective Employment Tax
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the latest estimate of the rise in productivity per man hour in retail distribution consequent upon the introduction of the Selective Employment Tax.
No official estimate has been made of changes in productivity in distribution because of the lack of comprehensive information about the hours worked particularly by working proprietors and part-time employees. There are also problems of measuring changes in output in this service industry.
Office Development Certificates (Greater London)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the number of office development permits issued in the Greater London area in each quarterly period since the permit scheme began, divided as between the former London County Council area and the rest of Greater London, showing also the total square footage covered by each figure.
Quarterly statistics of the number and floor area of permits issued in the Greater London Council area and in Central London were published in the Board of Trade Journal of 27th September, 1968. Figures for the former London County Council area are not available.
Footwear Exports (Soviet Union)
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that in the first seven months of this year the exports of men's leather footwear to the Soviet Union declined by 23 per cent. in value compared with the same months of last year; and what was the reason for this decrease.
Yes. Some seasonal fluctuation in exports to particular markets must be expected, especially with a fashion product. Figures for the first nine months of 1968 show a 9 per cent. decline compared with the same period in 1967.
Gas Water-Heaters (Imports)
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the aggregate value of gas water-heaters currently being imported duty-free from Nantes in France by the gas industry in an almost-completed state, and which are being completed in Liverpool by the addition of one nut before being placed on the home market.
I am not aware that any such duty-free importations have taken place. The Board of Trade have made no recommendation for such imports to be relieved of duty.
Trade Descriptions Act (Publicity)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will issue a booklet for general distribution giving details for the retail distribution trades and the consumer of the Trade Descriptions Act.
The main provisions are outlined in a leaflet entitled "The Trade Descriptions Act—What it does to protect you" which has already been given a wide distribution and may be obtained free of charge from U.K. Publicity Section, Board of Trade, 1, Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.
Development Areas (Employment)
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the number of new jobs provided in 1964–65 and 1967–68, respectively, in the development areas.
Full information, covering new jobs arising in all types of activity, is not available. In respect of completed projects in manufacturing industry for which industrial development certificates were issued, estimates of new jobs arising when the projects are fully manned were provided by the applicants for certificates as follows:—April, 1964 to March, 1965–29,200.April, 1967 to March, 1968–34,900 (provisional).
asked the Minister of Transport to what exent in reaching his provisional conclusion that local train services between Newport and Gloucester should not be grant-aided, he sought the views of the Severnside Survey on projected long-term developments in the area.
I did not directly seek the views of the Severnside Survey, but before reaching my decision I consulted the Welsh Council and the South West Economic Planning Council.
asked the Minister of Transport to what extent in deciding that he would not offer grant aid for local services between Newport and Hereford, he sought the views of the Monmouthshire County Council and the North Monmouthshire Development Council about the repercussions on areas within the Welsh Development Area.
I did not directly consult the Monmouthshire County Council or the North Monmouthshire Development Council, but before reaching my decision I consulted the Welsh Council, the West Midland Economic Planning Council, and the Welsh and the West Midland Transport Users Consultative Committees.
asked the Minister of Transport what was the value of investment projects submitted to his Department by British Railways during 1967 and the first part of 1968; how many, representing what value, were submitted together with a discounted-cash-flow assessment; how many of the remainder, representing what value, were submitted with assessments of the rate of return on investment; and how many of those containing no such assessment, representing what value, were replacement schemes.
The estimated total cost of 29 major individual projects submitted to my Department by the British Railways Board in the period 1st January, 1967, to 30th September, 1968 (some of which are still under consideration) was £138 million. 13 projects estimated to cost £104 million were accompanied by assessments based on discounting techniques: the balance were accompanied by assessments in some other form. There was an element of replacement in nearly every scheme put forward.
Weaver Junction—Carlisle Line
asked the Minister of Transport what representations he has received regarding the proposed electrification of the Weaver Junction to Carlisle line; what reply he has sent; and if he will make a statement.
I have received a few representations from members of the public, but I can add nothing to what I told the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) on 5th November last.—[Vol. 772, c. 76.]
asked the Minister of Transport what proportion of the total expenditure of his Department on research is spent in Wales and in England, respectively.
Total expenditure by my Department on road and transport research in 1967–68 was £3·07 million of which £2·28 million was in respect of the Road Research Laboratory. This research is of benefit to Wales (and Scotland) as well as England.
Local Taxation Offices
asked the Minister of Transport how many vehicle licence offices are at present located in Scotland; how many persons are employed in them; and what offices will be closed when the new central licensing arrangements are introduced.
The information is as follows:
|Existing Local Taxation Offices (Those to be closed under centralisation marked*)||Staff Number (at 31.3.68)|
asked the Minister of Transport how many persons employed in vehicle licence and taxation offices will be made redundant in consequence of the new central licensing proposals; and what steps he is taking to protect the salary and promotion prospects of these employees.
It is too soon for the amount of redundancy to be assessed. Our aim will be to keep it to a minimum. Local taxation office staff will have the first opportunity to apply for posts in the new organisation and, as I explained when moving the Second Reading of the Bill today, provision is made for compensation to be paid to staff who lose their employment or suffer loss of pay.
Lorry Drivers (Working Hours)
asked the Minister of Transport whether the reduction in permitted working hours to 10 per day for lorry drivers is to be made before the wage increase at present under negotiation is implemented.
I have not yet decided when to implement Section 96 of the Transport Act, 1968.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the gross national product was spent in the public sector in each year from 1960 to date.
The table below shows total public expenditure on goods and services as a percentage of gross national product at factor cost. The public sector expenditure includes expenditure on imported goods and services which cannot be separately indentified.
Income Tax (International Comparisons)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much a married man with two children earning £2,500 a year gross pays in Income Tax; and, from information available to him from international sources, what is the sum paid in tax by a man with the same responsibilities and similar income in France, West Germany and the United States of America, respectively;(2) how much a married man with two children earning £5,000 a year gross pays in Income Tax; and, from information available to him from international sources, what is the sum paid in tax by a man with the same responsibilities and similar income in France, West Germany and the United States of America respectively;(3) How much a married man with two children earning £7,500 a year gross pays in Income Tax and surtax; and, from information available to him from international sources, what is the sum paid in tax by a man with the same responsibilities and similar income in France, West Germany and the United States of America, respectively;(4) how much a married man with two children earning £10,000 a year gross pays in Income Tax and surtax; and, from information available to him from international sources, what is the sum paid in tax by a man with the same responsibilities and similar income in France, West Germany and the United States of America, respectively.
The details asked for are given in the table below:—
|TAX PAID BY A MARRIED MAN WITH TWO CHILDREN UNDER 11|
|Annual earnings||U.K.||France||West Germany||U.S.A.|
Full Employment (Definition)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the level of unemployment which he officially defines as full employment; and when the Government plans to achieve that situation.
There is no official definition of full employment, but it is one of the aims of the Government's policy to reduce unemployment from its present level.
asked the Minister of Transport when he anticipates that the road improvements on the A4 in the Borough of Colne will be completed.
The Curzon Street diversion should be open to traffic in both directions about the middle of next month although final work on the scheme will not be completed until the end of next March. I hope it will be possible to start on the High Street extension early in the new year. This part of the scheme is expected to take four months to complete.
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that, since 9th November there have been five accidents, involving eight fatalities on the A4 Bath Road between Woolhampton and Hun-gerford; to what extent these accidents are attributable to the volume of Traffic in excess of the designed capacity of the road; and what improvements are pro posed to reduce the likelihood of repetition of these tragedies.
I understand that since 9th November four accidents involving seven fatalities have occurred on this section of the A4. One further fatality occurred as a result of an accident in Thatcham on 1st November. There is no conclusive evidence that these accidents resulted from the volume of traffic exceeding the design capacity of the road. The M4, when completed, will relieve the A4 of considerable volumes of traffic.
asked the Minister of Transport when he expects the construction work on the M4 in the Chippenham constituency will begin; and when it will be completed.
I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer given to the hon. Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry) on Monday, 11th November.—[Vol. 773, c. 9.]
Occupational Health Services
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what advice he has given to hospital authorities on setting up occupational health services to look after their employees.
None as yet. I would refer my hon. Friend to my answer to the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) on 4th November.—[Vol. 772, c. 18]