Written Answers To Questions
Friday, 3rd December, 1971
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the percentage increase in the price of the small loaf and the large loaf, respectively, since 18th June, 1970.
Between 16th June, 1970, and 19th October, 1971 (the latest date for which information is available from the Department of Employment's Index of Retail Prices) bread prices increased by the following amounts:
|White, 1¾ lb. wrapped and sliced||5·1|
|White, 1¾ lb. unwrapped||6·5|
|White 14 oz.||10·3|
|Brown 14 oz.||6·0|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consultations took place between him and bread manufacturers before the recent increase in the price of bread; and what reasons were given for the increase.
In accordance with the arrangements which my right hon. Friend has with the industry, the major plant bakers informed him in advance of their announcement that they intended to increase their bread prices on 6th December. They explained that the increases were necessary because of substantial increases in the costs of production and distribution.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has received a letter from Mr. L. Reeves-Smith, National Secretary of the National Grocers' Federation, on the subject of milk cartons; what reply he has sent; and what further investigations he proposes.
Mr. Reeves-Smith wrote to me last about milk cartons on 28th October, and a meeting between my officials and representatives of the National Grocers' Federation has been arranged. Following an exchange of correspondence earlier this year between Mr. Reeves-Smith and myself, my officials are collecting certain information on the cost of cartoning.
Employment (Northern Region)
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the net increase in Civil Service jobs in the Northern Region and in the Teesside County Borough, respectively, in each full year 1968 to 1970 and to October, 1971.
Readily available information relates only to staff numbers in the non-industrial sector of the Civil Service:
|(Figures in thousands)|
|Northern Region||Tesside C.B.|
|1971 (to 1st July)||-0·5||+0·1|
|*Teesside C.B. not formed until 1st April, 1968.|
asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will take into consideration, when making a decision on the purchase of replacements for the Vickers Varsity trainer for the Royal Air Force, the interests of the British aerospace industry and the unemployment position in the North-West, in particular in Macclesfield.
Naturally all relevant factors will be taken into consideration.
Electronic Noise Machines
asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will withdraw all noise machines from Northern Ireland and undertake that they will not be used in future for interrogation purposes in Ulster or anywhere else.
The machines will remain in the secure establishments where they are now kept.The Government will consider their future use in the light of the advice they receive from Lord Parker's Committee of Privy Councillors.
asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he has given instructions to British Forces that the interrogation techniques of wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise and reduced diet are not to be used without reference to Ministers.
Any proposal to undertake an interrogation in depth will be submitted to Ministers.
asked the Minister of State for Defence what is the result of his inquiries into the possibility of reducing the charges for telephone calls made by soldiers serving in Northern Ireland.
I am pleased to be able to say that we have made arrangements with the Post Office for calls from coin-operated telephone boxes in Army camps in Northern Ireland to be made at reduced charges to the troops. For operator-connected calls, the caller will be charged at the cheap rate irrespective of the time of day. For dialled calls, the caller will receive twice the normal time for each coin he inserts. The difference between these and the normal charges will be met from Defence Votes.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what requirements she imposes regarding the completion of non-departmental research projects which she finances; whether she is satisfied that these requirements are adhered to; whether there is non-productive expenditure; and how much.
The conditions which researchers are required to accept before undertaking work sponsored by my Department include a provision that progress reports on the work shall be submitted at specified intervals until the completion of the research, when a final report is required. Under these conditions, the payment of the final account can be delayed until the final report has been submitted. I also reserve the right to appoint an advisory or steering committee to consider the progress of the project or by other means keep in close touch with the researchers. In this way I am able to ensure that the progress and prospects of the work are under continuing review until the research is satisfactorily completed. I would expect these arrangements, coupled with the submission of a detailed budget before the research is started, to minimise the risk of non-productive expenditure. The Schools Council and the Research Councils themselves administer the funds made available to them.
Independent Schools (Pupils)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what was the number of pupils undergoing primary education at independent schools in 1960; and what is the latest available figure;(2) what was the number of pupils undergoing secondary education at independent schools in 1960; and what is the latest available figure.
Numbers of primary and secondary pupils in independent schools in England and Wales in 1960 and 1971 were as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children are eligible for free school dinners; and how many have claimed, as a proportion of those eligible, for each year since 1964.
There is no way of knowing or estimating with reasonable certainty the number of children who qualify for free school dinners but whose parents do not claim them.A 1966 survey of families with two or more children indicated that about 50 per cent. of the children of families with income at or below national assistance level were receiving free school dinners. By 1969, this proportion had increased to about 80 per cent. and was probably somewhat higher in 1970. The following information is available about the number of free school meals served in each year since 1964.
|Free Meals Provided||Free Meals as percentage of pupils present||Free Meals as percentage of Total Meals|
|Year||(thousands)||per cent.||per cent.|
|*Included free meal to fourth and subsequent children irrespective of family income.|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total number of places available at Government training centres in Scotland and England and Wales, respectively; what are the latest numbers in training; and how many are female.
Following is the information:
|Number of Training Places available on 8th November, 1971||Number in Training on 8th November, 1971|
|Total||Women included in total|
European Economic Community
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he has taken during the last two months, or intends taking before Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community, with regard to the implementation of Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome; and whether he will make a statement.
The Equal Pay Act requires the full introduction of equal pay by the end of 1975.
Young Persons (Wales)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of young persons between the ages of 18 and 22 years is currently able to find employment in Wales.
The latest available age-related estimates are for mid-1970. The smallest convenient age group is for persons aged 15 to 24 years inclusve. It is estimated that 57·6 per cent. of the home population in this age group in Wales were in the civilian labour force; 95·6 per cent. of the civilian labour force were in employment and the remainder were registered as wholly unemployed.
Tarmac Roadstone Holdings Ltd (Dispute)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many lorry drivers are involved in the dispute between members of the Wolverhampton District of the Transport and General Workers Union and Messrs. Tarmac Roadstone which has been continuing since September; and if he will make a statement on the reasons advanced by the parties for the Birmingham differential not being paid to the drivers concerned;(2) if he will now make available the services of his Conciliation Department in order to achieve a settlement in the dispute at Messrs. Tarmac Roadstone.
The dispute between Tarmac Roadstone Holdings Ltd. and the Transport and General Workers Union involved 60 drivers and ended on 10th November following agreement on rates of pay. My Department was not informed of the details of the settlement. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the parties' views.
Stoke-On-Trent (Experimental Scheme)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will include Stoke-on-Trent in the experimental scheme for employing young people on work of social value.
As the scheme is limited to development and intermediate areas, it is not possible for Stoke-on-Trent to be included.
Batley And Morley
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the percentage of unemployed persons in Batley and Morley, respectively, at the latest convenient date.
At 8th November, the percentage rates of unemployment for the Dewsbury travel-to-work area, which includes Batley, and for the Leeds travel-to-work area, which includes Morley, were 3·7 and 4·1, respectively. Rates cannot be calculated for Batley and Morley alone.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of employers currently fulfils the 3 per cent. quota of disabled people; and what steps he is taking to raise this proportion.
41·8 per cent. of employers within scope of the quota provisions of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944, fulfilled their obligation on 31st May, 1971, the date of the latest count.We have recently extended the inspection of records which the Act requires employers with a quota obligation to keep. Our disablement resettlement officers try to help those employers who are below quota by introducing suitable registered disabled persons to them, but one of the difficulties is that the registered disabled persons available when vacancies occur are sometimes unsuitable for the particular jobs.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the percentage unemployment rate for disabled workers for each year since 1945.
The percentage rate of unemployment among registered dis- abled workers in Great Britain in October each year was as follows:—
|Year||Percentage of registered disabled persons unemployed|
Sheltered Employment (Merseyside)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he proposes to take to increase employment opportunities under sheltered conditions on Merseyside.
My right hon. Friend has asked Remploy to provide 40 extra places, 15 of which should be available within the next few months, and a survey is being made in consultation with all the local authorities concerned to establish the need for any further provision.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of those registered as unemployed at the latest available date were living in a household with a weekly income from all sources exceeding £15, £20, and £25, respectively, including the cash equivalents of non-cash benefits, in Scotland and in the United Kingdom, respectively.
I regret that the information requested is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of those registered unemployed at the latest available date were this year's school-leavers, in Scotland and in Great Britain, respectively.
At 8th November, out of all persons registered as unemployed in Scotland and in the United Kingdom the proportions who were school-leavers were 1·6 per cent. and 1·4 per cent., respectively.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what percentage of those registered as unemployed at the latest available date are men married to women in employment, in Scotland and in Great Britain, respectively;(2) what percentage of those registered as unemployed at the latest available date are women married to men in employment, in Scotland and in Great Britain, respectively.
At 8th November the numbers of married women registered as unemployed in Scotland and in the United Kingdom were 11,570 and 52,020, respectively. The statistics do not indicate how many unemployed women were married to men who were in employment.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of those unemployed at the latest available date in Scotland and in Great Britain, respectively, were women.
At 8th November, 19·8 per cent. of those registered as unemployed in Scotland were women. The corresponding figure for the United Kingdom was 16 per cent.
Discharged Hospital Patients (Assistance)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will instruct his staff at employment exchanges to give special consideration and help to those applicants for employment who have been discharged from hospitals after treatment for nervous breakdowns and who are disadvantaged because of certain employers' prejudicies against former inmates of such hospitals; and if he will make a statement.
It is my view that such instructions are unnecessary. Anyone leaving hospital after a nervous breakdown who is handicapped in finding suitable employment is eligible for special help through my Department's disablement resettlement services. These include a special placement service and facilities for industrial rehabilitation or, if appropriate, for training. The placement officers, disablement resettlement officers, are carefully selected and trained. During their training, particular attention is given to the problems of returning to employment after a period of mental illness and the methods of preparing ex-psychiatric hospital patients for employment are studied. I am aware that some employers are prejudiced against ex-patients of psychiatric hospitals, but disablement resettlement officers do their best, by a personal approach in most cases, to allay any apprehension an employer might have. Nevertheless, it might not always be in the best interests of someone who had had a relatively minor breakdown and made a good recovery to over-emphasise his medical history. In such cases the disablement resettlement officer would have a supportive role as regards the ex-patient but would not be prominent in dealing with the potential employer.
New Town Corporations (Staff)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of staff, including executives, employed by the new town corporations, other than in any service or productive capacity; what are their gross emoluments to the latest accounting date, the totals of revenue receivable other than from Governmental sources and the capital expenditure incurred within the same period.
Information on all these matters may be found in the annual reports, statistics and accounts published annually for each development corporation and the Commission for the New Towns. The reports of the development corporations in England and Wales for the period up to 31st March, 1971, and the report for the Commission up to the same date have been published in House of Commons papers Nos. 550 and 551.
Mortgagors (Survey Reports)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to compel prospective mortgagees to divulge the contents of a survey report, for which the prospective purchaser has paid a fee, to the prospective purchaser.
The disclosure of the contents of a building society report might mislead the purchaser. The purpose of a building society survey is to ensure that the property represents adequate security for the loan. Such a survey is not a substitute for a full structural survey of the premises. A building society is fully entitled to recover from a borrower any expenses it incurs in arranging a loan, such as valuing the security offered.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which cases arising under the Accommodation Agencies Act, 1953 are due to be heard shortly.
I cannot give details of individual prosecutions of this nature, except in so far as they clarify the law.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce amending legislation to cause flat-sharing agencies to be brought within the ambit of the Accommodation Agencies Act, 1953.
I am considering a number of issues on the Accommodation Agencies Act. Meanwhile I have no proposals to introduce amending legislation.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to introduce legislation on the subject of planning blight in this Session of Parliament.
I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 21st October.—[Vol. 823, c. 192.]
Land Compensation Act, 1961
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to amend Section 6 and Section 7 of the Land Compensation Act, 1961, to ensure that a person shall be entitled to at least the existing use value of their property.
I should prefer to complete our review of the land compensation code before deciding what legislative changes would be desirable.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what instruction or advice he has given local planning authorities that in planning applications, plans, documents or specifications should be produced in metric measurements.
National Freight Corporation
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what financial objective has been given to the National Freight Corporation; and over what period of years such objective is to be sought.
I hope to agree with the National Freight Corporation in the near future a formal financial objective to cover the period 1972 to 1976.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what requirements he imposes regarding the completion of non-departmental research projects which he finances; whether he is satisfied that these requirements are adhered to; whether there is non-productive expenditure; and how much.
Research carried out by persons and institutions financed by my Department must be directed towards the gathering of new knowledge or the development of new techniques, and must be directly related to the needs of developing countries and likely to be of benefit to their social or economic development in the foreseeable future. When a project is approved, a scheme defining the objectives, timetable and budget is issued and the research is required to conform to these specifications. If it does not, the project is discontinued, but I am generally satisfied that research projects financed by my Department do so conform.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will give the terms of the agreement reached between the Ruler of Sharjah and the Iranian Government through the good offices of Her Majesty's Government, over future arrangements in respect of the Island of Abu Musa.
The texts of the documents incorporating the agreement have not been published, but the following is an extract from a statement made by the Ruler of Sharjah on 29th November setting out the terms of the agreement.EXTRACT FROM TRANSLATION OF STATEMENT MADE BY THE RULER OF SHARJAH ON 29TH NOVEMBERWe have agreed with the Imperial Government of Iran, with respect to Abu Masu Island, on the following:
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the annual receipts from death duties came in the most recent year from estates with a gross value of £10,000–£99,999, £100,000–£499,999, £500,000–£999,999 and £1,000,000 and over, respectively; and what was the number of estates in each category.
The available information relates to net capital value. On this footing, the proportions for 1969–70 are 55; 34; 4 and 7 per cent., respectively, and the numbers of estates in each category are 38,404; 1,437; 39 and 19.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the £60 million additional expenditure by Government Departments will be spent in Wales; and how many additional jobs will be created as a result.
The additional expenditure in Wales will be about £9 million. No precise estimate can be given of the number of additional jobs that will be created.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much gaming machines licence duty has been paid during each of the years in which it has been levied; and what proportion of the total amount collected was in respect of holiday season licences.
The figures are as follows:
|Financial Year||Duty Paid (£'000)|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for the latest convenient period of one year, how many cases of illegal immigration have been detected, showing separately those people who have arrived by sea and by air; how many of such illegal immigrants have been returned to the countries from which they came; and how many persons have been convicted of offences connected with the organisation of such illegal immigration.
The information available to me is that from 31st October, 1970, to 31st October, 1971, 15 cases of illegal immigration were detected; 12 of these were attempts by sea and three by air. Forty-eight people arrived by sea and 14 by air. All have been returned to their countries of origin save two, for whom passports have not yet been obtained. Twenty-two people were convicted in connection with illegal entry during the same period.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many cases of failure by husbands to pay maintenance for a wife have been brought before the courts since August, 1971;(2) how many orders for attachment of earnings to secure maintenance payments have been made since August, 1971; and how many of these have not been complied with.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many cases of failure to pay maintenance have been brought before the courts since August, 1971; how many orders for attachment of earnings to secure maintenance payments have been made since that date; and how many of these have not been complied with;(2) in cases where attachment of earnings orders have been made to secure maintenance payments, how many notifications of change of employment and earnings have been made to the courts since August, 1971; and in how many cases a fine has been paid for failure to notify such changes.
I would refer my hon. Friends to the reply which I gave yesterday to similar Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward).—[Vol. 827, c. 138–9.]
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what amount was given in the last full year by his Department to the National Marriage Guidance and Family Council for the preservation of marriage; what was the cost to the State for legal aid in divorce cases in the same year; and if he will increase the amount spent on marriage preservation in the future.
The Home Office grant to the National Marriage Guidance Council was £70,000 in 1970–71. The grant for 1971–72 will be the same. The practice has been to fix these grants in advance for a three-year period and the amount of the subsequent grant is at present under review. The estimated cost of legal aid in divorce proceedings in 1970–71 was £4,993,000, of which £3,937,000 represented litigation costs.
Scottish Transport Group
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial objective has been given to the Scottish Transport Group, and over what period such objective is to be sought.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 12th November, 1971, by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding).—[Vol. 825, c. 287–8.]
Foreign Visitors (Medical Care)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek powers to require visitors from countries abroad which have no reciprocal arrangements for medical care to produce on entry a certificate of insurance cover against illness while they are in Great Britain, in view of the fact that the Government advises British citizens to take out such insurance cover when they go abroad.
No. The advice given to British citizens is for their own protection, but no foreign Government require British visitors to produce certificates of insurance. It would, in any case, be administratively impracticable to impose such a requirement on foreign visitors to this country.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will seek powers to exclude all persons in receipt of National Insurance retirement pensions from National Health Service prescription charges.
We see no reason to alter the existing arrangements, under which everyone who is aged 65, or over or who is under 65 and cannot afford to pay the charge, is entitled to exemption or a refund.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many claims for industrial injury benefit have been brought before Commissions by those suffering from Raynaud's Disease; what action he is taking to recognise this disease as an industrial disease; and whether he will make a statement.
Two appeals have been brought before the Commissioners this year, arising from claims made under the accident provisions of the Industrial Injuries Act; in both cases the Commissioners decided that injury benefit was not payable. The question whether Raynaud's phenomenon should be prescribed under the Act is under consideration by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council as part of its broader inquiry into the vibration syndrome. Any decision on prescription must await the completion of the Council's investigations.
"Strategy For Pensions"
asked the Secretary of State or Social Services if he has received a letter from Mr. L. Reeves-Smith, National Secretary of the National Grocers' Federation on the White Paper Strategy for Pensions; and what reply he has sent.
Mr. Reeves-Smith wrote about the proposals for the self-employed. He has been informed that, since it is impracticable to charge the self-employed a fully earnings-related contribution under the new scheme on the same basis as employed persons would pay, it is proposed that the self-employed should pay to the basic scheme a flat-rate contribution plus an earnings-related contribution on any Schedule D earnings between £1,000 and the same upper earnings limit as will apply to employed persons. It is not proposed that self-employed people should contribute to the reserve scheme.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take into consideration the report on the prospects of increased cigarette sales which includes the information that cigarette sales have recovered nationally to a greater extent than seemed likely in July, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, West, when reviewing the agreement into which be entered with the tobacco industry.
In discussion with the industry I will take account of all that is relevant. But a survey carried out for my Department in July indicated a 6 per cent. drop since last year in the number of people who smoke; a further survey was carried out in October and indicated that this drop has been maintained and may even have been slightly improved upon. Estimates for consumers' expenditure on cigarettes which have been obtained independently of this survey also show that there has been little change since July in the volume of cigarettes sold (in millions of lbs.); in July this was 5·6 per cent. down on last year, and in September it was 5·5 per cent. down.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the cigarette advertisement in the Observer Magazine, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, West, did not conform with his agreement with the tobacco industry; and what action he now proposes.
The advertisement to which the hon. Member referred was not inconsistent with my agreement with the tobacco manufacturers since it related to a brand of cigarettes which is only just starting to carry the health warning. When the agreement was reached, it was understood that it would be some months before all the packets of cigarettes leaving the manufacturers could be so marked. This stage is expected to be reached by the end of the year.
Expatriate Retirement Pensioners
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will introduce legislation to enable expatriate retirement pensioners to benefit from pension increases; and if he will make a statement.
Persons drawing British retirement pensions overseas already benefit from pension increases if they live in countries which have agreed under reciprocal arrangements to pay their pension increases here. Nearly one-third of all retirement pensioners abroad are covered by these arrangements, which we are endeavouring to extend to as many countries as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the value of national insurance pensions as a percentage of average earnings for each year since 1948.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) on 26th April, 1971. The average earnings figure for October, 1971 is not yet available.—[Vol. 816, c. 39–40.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services by what amount the purchasing power of the retirement pension has been reduced since 21st September.
As measured by the movement in the General Index of Retail Prices between September, 1971 and October, 1971, the purchasing power of the retirement pension for a single person has fallen by 3p (0·6 per cent.). The corresponding reduction for a married couple is 6p (0·6 per cent.).
Trade And Industry
Steel Industry (Pipes)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions have taken place between his Department and the British Steel Corporation regarding the discovery of oil in the North Sea; and what plans the Corporation has submitted to him for approval in the near future to manufacture steel pipes to the specification required for piping the oil ashore.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. Douglas) on 29th November.—[Vol. 827, c. 23.]
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what requirements he imposes regarding the completion of non-departmental research projects which he finances; whether he is satisfied that these requirements are adhered to; whether there is non-productive expenditure; and how much.
Each non-departmental research project is the subject of a negotiated contract or agreement. Payment is conditional on satisfactory performance of the work and provision is made for termination if the contractor defaults or if it is no longer considered worthwhile to continue; in the latter case, termination may be by mutual agreement. I am satisfied that these requirements are adhered to. It is, however, in the nature of research that there may be nonproductive expenditure; for example, though the work may be satisfactorily carried out, the results may not come up to expectation; or there may be a reassessment of the original objective. In such cases, nevertheless, expenditure can only rarely be said to be completely non-productive. It is thus not possible to give accurate figures for non-productive expenditure as such, but the proportion is very small.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) whether he proposes to accept the recommendation of the Select Committee on Science and Technology that purchase preference be given to those firms which contribute most to the economy and to national objectives in the computer field;(2) whether he accepts the recommendation of the Select Committee on Science and Technology that the Government should sponsor a substantial programme of development for computer hardware, software and related electronics.
The far-reaching recommendations contained in the recent Report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology on "The Prospects for the United Kingdom Computer Industry in the 1970's" are being considered.
Trading Stamps Act, 1964
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many officials in his Department are wholly engaged on work arising from the Trading Stamps Act, 1964.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is aware that a small helium-lifted British airship is now under construction and nearing completion; if he will give consideration to some of its possible uses outlined in the document forwarded to him by the hon. Member for Ilkeston; and if he will receive representations from those technically qualified to give them about other commercially viable uses for the airship in question.
I take it that the hon. Member is referring to the Goodyear airship now being assembled at Cardington, about which he wrote to my Department on 26th October. I shall, of course, be glad to consider any further representations about the use of airships which the hon. Member or others may wish to make to me.
European Economic Community
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT details of the agreement on harmonisation of generalised systems of tariffs preference of the United Kingdom and the European Community recently made in Brussels.
The recent agreement was confined to establishing a one-year period of transition after entry for such harmonisation. This will allow time for details to be worked out for applying the Community's scheme to the enlarged membership.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has yet reached a decision on the matter of origin marking, particularly with regard to footware, so far as protection against deceit is concerned.
I believe that the Bill which my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, South-East (Mr. Peel) has introduced will provide an effective answer to the possible need for stronger general safeguards against the consumer being misled into thinking that imported goods are British. If so, I have already said that we will support it.
Cotton Textiles (Commonwealth Quotas)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether it is his intention to retain quotas on imported Commonwealth cotton textiles after a tariff is imposed.
As I told the House on 29th November, the Government are considering in the light of the employment situation and recent international developments in the textile trade whether there is any need for further action at the present time in relation to the industry.
Private Sector Housing
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of housing in Wales at the latest available date is being built for private ownership; what the perecentage was in June 1970; and what estimate he has made of what it will be in five years time.
About 61 per cent. at 31st October, 1971, compared with about 57 per cent. at 30th June, 1970. No estimate can be made for 1976.