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Written Answers

Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 28 January 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 28th January 1975

Social Services

Invalid Vehicles

5.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the injury accident rate per million miles for invalid tricycles and for adapted cars issued to the disabled by her Department for the year ending September 1974.

6·4 and 1·7 respectively. The figures are not precisely comparable, but they are a matter of concern, and I am studying the accident reports to see what can be done to minimise accidents.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether in the light of the latest evidence of road accident damage, she will now stop production of the Model 70 invalid tricycle and begin its replacement with adapted cars.

No. The Government's policy, announced last September, is to provide a cash mobility allowance with the invalid three-wheeler as an alternative. I am concerned about accidents to three-wheelers and am studying the available information to see what can be done to reduce them.

Vaccine-Damaged Children

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action she is taking to ensure that vaccine-damaged children receive adequate compensation.

On 4th December I announced that the scope of the Family Fund administered by the Rowntree Trust had been extended to cover all severely handicapped children. This should provide a practical measure of assistance to vaccine-damaged children and their families pending the report of the Royal Commission.

Dental Service

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will reconsider her decision not to select the south Bedfordshire area as a trial centre for an emergency dental service, in the light of the planned development in the area.

No. Resources are limited. Four trial centres, Bradford, Plymouth, Nottingham and Norwich, have been chosen in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales—with particular research criteria in mind. I regret at present I cannot increase the number of trial centres.

Liverpool (Casualty Units)

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will look into the need to establish casualty units in the Liverpool, Garston constituency.

Provision at the accident and emergency departments at the Sefton General Hospital and the Liverpool Royal Infirmary is, I am advised, sufficient to meet the needs of central and south Liverpool, including Garston.

Disregards

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will now increase to £25 the amount of earnings which can be disregarded before pension entitlement is affected.

The earnings limit was raised substantially, from £9·50 to £13, last July and we have no plans for raising it further at the present time.

59.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will seek to raise the present disregarded capital level of £800 for purposes of assessing the level of benefits.

This is being done by the Social Security Benefits Bill at present before the House.

Baby Foods

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will allow local authorities to determine the extent of the provision of baby foods in clinics under their jurisdiction.

The present situation does give rise to undoubted anomalies and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary is sympathetically re-examining the whole issue.

Child Benefit Bill

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she is going to publish her Child Benefit Bill.

Benefits (Claims)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will take steps to pay an annual no claims bonus to employed persons who make no claims for benefit during any calendar year.

Rent And Fuel Charges

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions she has held with the Supplementary Benefits Commission regarding direct payment of rent and fuel charges where this is requested by the claimant.

This is a matter for the Supplementary Benefits Commission which, as a general rule, will make direct payment of rent or fuel charges where this is necessary for protecting the interests of a claimant.

Prescription Charges

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what date National Health Service prescription charges were fixed at their present level; and to what level they would have to be raised in order to have the same value in real terms as was the case when the present charges were fixed.

The main prescription charge of 20p has applied since 1st April 1971. In November 1974, the latest date for which information is available, the equivalent charge would have been about 29p.

Car Mileage Allowance (Nurses And Midwives)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she next intends to revise car mileage allowances for district nurses and midwives.

Staff who were transferred from local authorities to the new health authorities in April 1974 can opt for the standard NHS allowances whenever it would be to their advantage. The General Whitley Council has increased these allowances twice in the last 10 months and is considering a further increase. The council also agreed on 20th January to increase the allowances for staff who chose to retain their former local authority conditions and have not so far elected to receive the standard NHS allowances.

55.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations she has received concerning the rates of mileage allowance payable to district nurses.

Representations have been made by staff organisations, health authorities and by individuals. As I said in my reply earlier today to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel), the Whitley Council on 20th January agreed to increase the allowances for staff who chose to retain their former local authority conditions and have not so far elected to receive the standard National Health Service allowances.

Private Patients

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate she has made of the number of patients visiting the United Kingdom from overseas, and particularly the Middle East and oil producing countries, on a fee-paying basis as private patients and to the National Health Service; and what is the contribution to the balance of payments.

Foreign residents visiting this country for treatment are expected to obtain it as private patients. I have, however, no information on the number of those who do so outside the NHS; and within the NHS I have no details of the proportion of revenue from private patients which was contributed by patients resident overseas.

Community Health Councils

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is satisfied with progress in the formation of community health councils; and if she will make a statement.

Not entirely. I regret that there are still 11 community health councils with incomplete membership.

Nurses

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement on the recruitment of nurses following the recent pay increases.

Information is not yet available to assess recruitment trends since the pay award.

68.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps she is taking to deal with the situation regarding nursing staff in many London hospitals, arising from the backdating of the Halsbury Report to 1st April 1974.

I am aware that the implementation with effect from 1st April 1974 of the increased annual leave for nurses, recommended by the Committee of Inquiry under Lord Halsbury, has given rise to operational problems in a number of hospitals. Where difficulties have been reported the attention of the NHS employing authority has been drawn to the Whitley Council agreement whereby leave not taken may be carried over to the following leave year. The effect of the additional leave on nurse staffing may then be spread over the period ending 31st March 1976.

Mental Hospitals

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans she has for the provision of hospitals specialising in the rehabilitation of mental patients.

Our long-term policy is that comprehensive facilities for the treatment, rehabilitation and care of the mentally ill should be provided as near as practicable to patients' homes.

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action she proposes to take on the report on Facilities and Services of Mental Illness and Mental Handicap Hospitals; and if she will make a statement.

The data published in the recent report relates to 1972. Data which have yet to be published indicate that in 1973 there was further progress in general towards the minimum standards set for these hospitals by my Department. Health authorities were reminded last year of the need to give high priority to attaining standards set for achievement during 1974.

Overseas Pensioners

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what negotiations she has in hand to extend reciprocal agreements with other countries in order that British pensioners resident overseas should receive increases in pensions equivalent to those which they would enjoy if still resident in the United Kingdom.

Discussions have been held with Canada, Norway and Sweden about the possibility of extending existing reciprocal agreements so as to include provision for the payment of pension increases to our beneficiaries who reside in those countries. Discussions with Barbados and Guyana are expected to begin shortly.

Fostering

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the Working Party on Fostering Practice will report; and if she is satisfied that boarding out allowances for foster children are keeping pace with inflation.

The working party still has a great deal to do, but its guide on fostering practice should be ready later this year. Local authorities are free to determine their own rates of boarding-out allowances, and I regret that we have no information on which to answer the second part of my hon. Friend's Question.

Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will make a statement on her building plans for the Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield.

The difficult economic circumstances we face mean we have only been able partially to restore the 20 per cent. cuts in the hospital building programme made by our predecessors in December 1973. As a result, it will only be possible for a very few schemes of the highest priority to start in 1975–6 and it is unlikely that these will include the Good Hope Hosptal. I shall shortly be asking regional health authorities to consider priorities for 1976–77 and thereafter.

Abortion

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will now announce the Government's policy towards the recommendations of the Lane Committee on Abortion.

I have not yet completed my consideration of the comments I have received.

69.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many abortions were notified as being carried out in England and Wales in 1973 and 1974 on women whose normal place of residence was, respectively, France, West Germany, Italy and Spain.

Notifications were as follows:

19731974*
France35,29336,541
German Federal Republic11,3266,112
Italy1,1711,730
Spain1,7632,863
* Provisional.

Benefit Payments

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount paid out, over the latest available 12-month period, in the various employment-related benefits for which the self-employed are not eligible; and what proportion this represented of the total sum paid in employment-related benefits to employees.

In 1973–74, £424 million was paid out of the National Insurance and Industrial Injuries Funds on unemployment benefit, earnings-related supplement and sickness benefit, earnings-related allowance with widow's benefit, graduated retirement benefit and industrial injuries benefits. The details are set out in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) on 22nd January.—[Vol. 884, c. 394–6.] The total amount paid out by way of benefit from those funds in that year was £3,990 million, but it is not possible to say how much of this was paid to employees.

One-Parent Families

39.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she expects to introduce a bill designed to implement aspects of the Finer Report on One-Parent Families, which would improve their standard of living and their status.

My colleagues and I have indicated in response to Questions in the House the progress we have made in implementing the recommendations of the Finer report, many of which do not require legislation. As regards those for which I am responsible, legislation is now before the House to raise the supplementary benefit disregards. Other recommendations have been implemented without legislation, including some other improvements in supplementary benefit. The question of additional financial support for one-parent families generally must be considered in relation to the child benefit scheme, details of which will be announced in due course.

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the estimated cost of introducing family allowance for the eldest child of one-parent families in April 1976.

At the rate proposed for family allowances in the Social Security Benefits Bill the cost would be about £21 million a year before tax. Taking income tax at current levels into account and assuming clawback as for second and subsequent children the net cost would be about £11 million.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is now able to say what action she intends to take to give financial assistance to one-parent families.

Easements have already been made in the supplementary benefit scheme in line with certain recommendations in the Finer Report. The increases in social security benefits in April and the doubling of the supplementary benefits disregard on part-time earnings later this year will help the large numbers of one-parent families dependent on these benefits; and family income supplement is also to go up this year. The question of additional financial support for one-parent families generally must be considered in relation to the child benefit scheme, about which I have already promised the House a statement.

Management Advisory Committees

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress has been made towards the establishment of management advisory committees as envisaged by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973.

Information about how many have so far been recognised under Section 8(1) of the Act is not readily available.

Heating Allowances

41.

asked the Secretary of State for the Social Services if she will take steps to ensure that heating allowances paid to recipients of supplementary benefits are increased to take account of increased costs of electricity, gas and coal.

Provision for normal heating requirements is included in the supplementary benefit scale rates which are, subject to parliamentary approval, being increased as from April next. The Supplementary Benefits Commission is keeping under review the level of extra heating additions which are payable where there are exceptional circumstances, such as ill-health or sub-standard accommodation. These additions were increased by one-third in July 1974.

Blind Persons

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will consider extending the invalidity benefit for the blind beyond the age of 70 years.

No. Invalidity benefit is a benefit for people of working age who are incapable of work.

Homeless Persons

45.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount of financial assistance given to local authorities and voluntary organisations during the financial year 1973–74 towards projects set up under her Department Circular 37/72 on homeless single persons in need of care and support; which voluntary organisations have been assisted; and what is her estimate of the assistance to be given during the current financial year.

My Department has no power to give financial assistance for local authority projects for homeless single people. Such projects would be eligible for urban aid or loan approval. Although grants are normally made only to voluntary organisations operating nationally some grants are exceptionally made to local projects in this field, and in 1973–74 these totalled £78,500. The organisations receiving assistance were:

LANCE: Lancashire project of National Association for Care and Resettlement of Offenders.
Brook House, Liverpool.
John Bellers Ltd.: associated with the Peter Bedford Project.
During 1974–75 my Department estimates that the expenditure will be over £90,000.

46.

asked the Secreary of State for Social Services what plans she has to publish the findings of the survey of statutory and voluntary accommodation used nightly by single homeless people.

I understand that the census of hostels and lodging houses conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in October 1972 should be published in the middle of this year.

47.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many beds are made available for single men and women, who would otherwise be homeless, by Government reception centres, voluntary hostels and shelters, commercial lodging houses or other accommodation in England and Wales.

The number of beds currently available in Government reception centres in England and Wales is 2,674. The latest available information about other accommodation for single men and women relates to October 1972, when a census of hostels and lodging houses, conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, found available, in England and Wales, 3,492 beds in local authority establishments, 12,943 in voluntary organisations and 10,162 in commercial establishments. Beds in private houses where accommodation is provided for fewer than six persons in furnished rooms were not included in the census.

53.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount of financial assistance given by her Department to institutions and organisations conducting research into homelessness among single people during the financial year 1973–74; to which projects this assistance was given; and what is the budget for this item during the current financial year.

In 1973–74 grants totalling £70,790 were made for research into aspects of homelessness among single people: to Christian Action for a pilot study on research into juvenile homelessness in the London area, to be followed by a main study, under the auspices of Hatfield Polytechnic; to the St. Mungo Community Trust for an action research project in the resettlement of homeless single men; and to the London University Institute of Psychiatry for the evaluation of the St. Mungo Trust's action research. In addition, the University of Southampton carried out a case study of single homelessness in Southampton as part of a grant-aided study of social services departments.The budget for 1974–75 is £95,000.

Alcoholism

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement about the progress of her plans to set up an advisory committee on alcoholism.

As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. KilroySilk) on 24th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 526–7.]—I hope to be able to announce the membership of the advisory committee on alcoholism very soon.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when the four special treatment centres for alcoholics promised by the last Government will be set up;

(2) when a detoxification centre for alcoholics will be set up in Birmingham to serve the West Midlands.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the experimental detoxification centres recommended in the report of the Home Office Working Party on Habitual Drunken Offenders. A centre is being built at Withington Hospital, Manchester and is expected to open in 1976. Plans are being discussed for a centre in Birmingham to serve the area of the West Midlands Regional Health Authority, but it is not possible to say when this may be in operation. Two working groups are considering the possible establishment of centres in East and South-East London.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up an advisory committee on alcoholism.

I announced the decision to set up the committee and the appointment of the chairman on 18th September 1974. I very much regret the delay in establishing the committee. Invitations were sent on the same day to a wide range of professional and voluntary bodies, local authority associations and other groups seeking suggestions for membership. Some, I regret, have only recently replied and this has held up the appointment of members, but invitations are expected to be sent out shortly.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up a working party to determine the needs of Great Britain's homeless alcoholics in terms of beds and supporting hostels.

I announced the decision to set up the committee and the appointment of the chairman on 18th September 1974. I very much regret the delay in establishing the committee. Invitations were sent on the same day to a wide range of professional and voluntary bodies, local authority associations and other groups seeking suggestions for membership. Some, I regret, have only recently replied and this has held up the appointment of members, but invitations are expected to be sent out shortly.In addition to providing advice on the general development of services for alcoholics in England and Wales, the Advisory Committee on Alcoholism will have a special responsibility, to be exercised through a sub-group, of promoting the development of services for homeless alcoholics.

Voluntary Organisations

49.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount of financial assistance given to voluntary organisations under Section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 during the financial years 1971–72, 1972–73 and 1973–74, respectively; and what is her estimate of the assistance to be given during the current financial year.

The figures are:

Financial Year£
1971–72412,000
1972–73859,000
1973–741,315,000
1974–75 (estimated)1,900,000

54.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total amount of financial assistance given to voluntary organisations by way of contributions to their funds under Schedule 4 to the Ministry of Social Security Act 1966 during the financial years 1971–72, 1972–73 and 1973–74, respectively; what is her estimate of the assistance to be given during the current financial year; and which voluntary organisaions are cur-currently being assisted.

The amount of financial assistance given to voluntary organisations by the Supplementary Benefits Commission under this provision was £23,799 in 1971–72, £37,958 in 1972–73 and £42,312 in 1973–74. The commission estimates that £51,700 will be given during the current financial year.The organisations currently receiving grants are:

  • Bayswater Hostel Association (Dulwich) London.
  • Birmingham Committee for Night Shelter.
  • Bishop of Middleton's Shelter Committee, Manchester.
  • Bow Methodist Mission, London.
  • Brotherhood of Prayer and Action, Wolverhampton.
  • Cambridge Cyrene Community.
  • Centre Point (Soho and Earls Court), London.
  • Christian Action (Homeless in Britian), Soho, London.
  • Coventry Cyrenians.
  • Dashiki Council, Notitng Hill, London.
  • Exeter Shilhay Community.
  • Newhaven Housing Association, Birmingham.
  • Oxford Cyrenian Community.
  • St. Basil's Centre, Birmingham.
  • St. Giles' Centre, Camberwell, London.
  • St. James' Shelter Group, Southampton.
  • Society of St. Francis, near Dorchester.
  • Society of St. Francis, Alnmouth, Northumberland.
  • South West Midlands Housing Association, Cheltenham.
  • Swansea Cyrenians.
  • Tyneside, Cyrenians, Newcastle.
  • Wolverhampton Overnight Shelter Group.
  • Grants have also been authorised for the Salvation Army Night Shelter for Women at Southampton and the Nottingham Help the Homeless Shelter, both of which will open during 1975.

Benefit Rates

50.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will bring forward the date of the annual review of the levels of benefit entitlement under the Social Security Act, in order to improve urgently the levels of benefit paid to single non-householders who face substantial rises in the cost of living before July 1975.

I would refer my hon. Friend to my hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis) on 14th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 69–70.]

Child Allowances

51.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she now proposes to introduce a family endowment scheme.

52.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she is now in a position to make a statement on the introduction of child cash allowances for the first child.

57.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will now make a statement on the date when family allowances will be extended to the first child.

As I told the House on 13th November—[Vol. 881, c. 418.] I shall be making a statement in due course.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, when she introduces family allowances for the first child, she will ensure that the allowances are disregarded in the calculation of social security entitlement.

I cannot anticipate the statement which I have already promised the House on the details of our child benefit scheme which will extend a cash payment to the first child.

Disabled Persons

56.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why she decided not to implement the recommendations of Lady Sharp's Report on Mobility for the Disabled; and if she will make a statement.

Mainly because Lady Sharp recommended limiting the vehicle scheme to people who need a vehicle to go to work or to support themselves or their families. This would have disentitled over 13,000 people whose claim rests only on their virtual inability to walk. The Government's proposed new mobility allowance scheme will cost an extra £15 million a year, compared with £3 million for Lady Sharp's proposals, and will benefit many more people, including disabled people who can neither drive nor nominate a driver.

Telephones

58.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she is aware that the proposed increases in telephone charges, including those for installation and for bedside extensions, will bear harshly upon many elderly or infirm people who live alone; and what provision she proposes to make for mitigating this hardship.

I would refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) on 21st January.—[Vol. 884, c. 279–80.]

64.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will discuss with the local authority associations the criteria used by local authorities for the free provision of telephones under the terms of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, in order to encourage uniformity in the consideration of needy cases.

The responsibility for determining need under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act rests on individual local authorities. I am, of course, familiar with the recommended uniform criteria for the provision of telephones which were issued by the former local authority associations, and I have no reason to think that local authorities generally are not aware of them. I will keep my hon. Friend's suggestion in mind.

Hospital Organisations (Eec Status)

60.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which hospital organisations have status within the Common Market; what qualifications are required for any such status; what advantages and responsibilities are involved; what attempts have been made to achieve comparable status for any British hospital organisation; and if she will make a statement.

Hospitals in the various member States have themselves set up two international standing committees, the Comité Hospitalier du Marché Commun, and the Comité European de 1' Hospitalisation Privée, to represent to the EEC Commission the interests of public and private hospitals respectively. National Health Service representatives sit on the former committee. Neither committee has any official status in relation to the Community.

Hospitals (London)

61.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she is aware of the inadequate hospital and medical services in the east end of London in general and the London borough of Newham in particular; and whether, in view of the concern felt by everyone connected with public services at the fact that her Department has not given the go ahead to the building of a new district general hospital in Newham, she will visit the area and discuss this and related matters with those concerned.

I am aware of the state of hospital buildings in the east end of London and of the difficulties in providing adequate primary care facilities in deprived areas. I have already written to my hon. Friend on this subject, and he will, no doubt, recall the statement my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made in the House on 2nd December last—[Vol. 882, c. 1210–16.]—when she announced plans for capital expenditure in 1975–76. I have written to the Chief Executive of the London Borough of Newham, and I have seen my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing). I have told them that if any Member of Parliament in the area wishes to bring a deputation representing all the various interests concerned about the hospital, I will be very happy to see them.

Benefit Payments (Industrial Disputes)

62.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much was paid in benefits to the families of strikers during 1974; and how much of this was payments to the families of those on unofficial strikes.

The total amount of supplementary benefit paid to families of strikers was £4,994,090. I regret that it is not possible to distinguish payments made to the families of those on unofficial strikes.

Cigarettes And Tobacco

63.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much was spent last year on cigarettes and other tobacco products sold within the National Health Service hospitals.

The information is not available. Many hospital shops are run by voluntary organisations.

Burns

65.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what specialist facilities for the treatment of burns are available in the southern half of the Trent Regional Health Authority.

Patients receive specialist treatment for burns in the plastic surgery units at Nottingham and Leicester.

National Health Service

66.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up a commission to reappraise the National Health Service in the light of developments over the past 25 years and the difficulty in maintaining some of its services.

Hospital Patients' Medical Records

67.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps are taken to ensure the complete confidentiality of hospital patients' medical records.

This is ensured by the ethical code which all doctors, nurses and other professional staff observe, and by the physical security of the records. Access to records is limited to staff who need to use them in connection with the treatment of the patients, and all staff are expected to maintain strict security and confidentiality. Beyond this, access to the records of identifiable patients is allowed only with the authority of the doctor concerned, who normally obtains the consent of the patient as well.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what rights a National Health Service hospital outpatient has to examine his medical record and case papers;(2) what rights an in-patient in a National Health Service hospital has to examine his medical record, file and case papers.

A patient, whether an inpatient or an out-patient, has no right to examine the medical records relating to him; these are compiled for the assistance of medical and other professional staff concerned in his treatment. It is for the patient's doctor to decide what information should be given to the patient.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many and which hospitals use computers to collate and record patients' medical histories.

None in England, although a small number of hospitals include in computer-based records a few items of clinical information which have been extracted from fuller manual records.

Finedon Health Centre, Wellingborough

70.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she can indicate when the construction of the Finedon Health Centre, Wellingborough, is likely to begin.

No. The Finedon Health Centre, Wellingborough, is not included in the programme for 1975–76, but the health authorities are considering it for inclusion in later programmes.

Fluoridation

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will publish in the Official Report a list showing area health authorities together with a list of water authorities supplying them with drinking water, indicating which water authorities are fluoridating their supplies.

A list of areas in England where the water supply is fluoridated in whole or in part is being prepared so as to take account of boundary changes caused by health service and local government reorganisation. As soon as it is ready, a copy will be placed in the Library and kept up to date.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will publish in the Official Report a list of water authorities which have optional levels of natural fluoride in their water, together with a list of area health authorities now receiving between 0·9 and 1·5 ppm natural fluoride in drinking water.

It is not possible to give the information because variations in water supply arrangements generally cause the proportion of naturally occurring fluoride to fluctuate above and below these levels. A notable exception is Hartlepool, where supplies from different sources produce a constant level of about 1·4 ppm fluoride.

Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will take steps to see that in the near future three of the four operating theatres at Stepping Hill, Stockport, are either upgraded by modernisation or replaced by new modern theatres, in view of the closures there due to bacterial content, and the representations of consultants and their surgical teams about the consequential delays and inefficiencies.

The regional and area health authorities are considering possible schemes for improving the theatre facilities at Stepping Hill, but given current financial constraints I cannot forecast when a scheme would be implemented.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many consultants left the Stepping Hill Hospital of the old Stockport and Buxton Hospital Management Group, to take posts abroad in the years 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974, respectively.

Unemployed Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of those registered as unemployed in November 1974 received neither unemployment benefit nor supplementary benefit, because they were registering for work for the first time and were not in need of assistance.

Persons claiming unemployment benefit or supplementary benefit are not denied benefit on the ground that they are registering for work for the first time.

Derbyshire

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she has completed her investigations into the effects of a recent case concerning Derbyshire County Council's social services department and local medical services reported to her by the hon. Member for Ilkeston; and if she will make a statement.

Further information is being sought from the various services involved. When this is available I will consider with my advisers what action would be appropriate.

Pensions

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what rate of inflation was estimated in calculating the pension increases that will be payable in April.

I would refer the hon. Member to what my right hon. Friend said during the debate on the Second Reading of the Social Security Benefits Bill on 21st November 1974.—[Vol. 881, c. 1553.]

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the full demographic assumptions underlying the Government Actuary's estimates of the cost and finances of the pensions proposals outlined in the White Paper "Better Pensions".

The most recent projection of the future population of Great Britain, based on the estimated population in mid-year 1973, was used by the Government Actuary in his estimates of the cost of benefits and contribution income which were shown in his memorandum on the finances of the proposals in "Better Pensions". Full details, including particulars of the underlying assumptions, are given in "Population Projections No. 4 1973–2013".

Hospital Funds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will consider extending the period for which funds are allocated to the hospital service beyond the period of a year as at present.

Yes, I hope to issue for-ward capital planning figures shortly and that the revenue allocation letter for 1975–76 will give an indication of the planning assumptions to be made for 1976–77.

Health Authority Funds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when her allocation of capital and revenue funds for the year 1975–76 will be made known to regional health authorities.

Darenth Park Hospital, Dartford

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress has been made in the provision of hostel accommodation for those patients at Darenth Park Hospital, Dartford, who are capable of living in such accommodation.

In the area from which Darenth Park Hospital draws its patients, building should start this year on a project which will provide 25 residential places for the mentally handicapped, and subject to the availability of resources it is hoped to start four similar projects in 1975–76 which should provide 90 places. Further developments are planned for later years.

Spectacle Frames

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will issue a general circular to opticians reminding them of their responsibility to make their customers fully aware of the complete range of National Health Service spectacle frames before persuading them to purchase alternatives.

The main professional organisations have previously made their members aware of this responsibility, and I am asking them to reinforce the advice which they have already given. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind, perhaps he will write to me about it.

Exceptional Needs Payments

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how often her Department conducts a review of the national price list for exceptional needs payments made under the Social Security Act 1966.

I understand that the Supplementary Benefits Commission introduced the national price list in April 1973 and revised it in August 1974, and that it intends to review it at least annually in future.

Detention Centres (Juveniles)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what building projects have been authorised for 1973–74, 1974–75 and 1975–76, respectively, for the detention of young people, remanded or sentenced, under the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, for those local authorities where at present the appropriate magistrates panels are having to commit young people to Risley Remand Centre, Warrington.

Persons aged 14 and under 17 who are charged with offences before courts in the whole of one children's regional planning area and in parts of three other planning areas may be committed to Risley Remand Centre on remand or to await trial only if they are certified by the court to be too unruly to be remanded instead to the care of a local authority. To avoid the need to send such young persons to remand centres, the general aim is to provide more secure accommodation at observation and assessment centres. There were changes in the programmes for 1973–74 and 1974–75 and accordingly it may be more helpful to state the present position, which is that in the four planning areas concerned there are 21 secure places at observation and assessment centres; regional plans provide for a further 41 places of which some are in the programme proposed for 1975–76. Local authorities will shortly be informed which of these have been provisionally approved.

Family Incomes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of reference earnings, net of tax and national insurance contributions, will an unemployed man with a wife and two children earning the national average wage receive on average during the first six months of unemployment in Great Britain and the United States of America taking into account in each case income tax rebates, national insurance contributions credits, and assuming in each case that he had been in the same job at the same wage for one year.

The figures requested could be estimated only at the cost of a disproportionate amount of staff time, and, since a number of assumptions beyond those given by the hon. Member would have to be made, they would in any event be of very doubtful validity.

asked the Secretaary of State for Social Services what is the net weekly spending power, after taking into account income tax, national insurance contributions, rent, rates, family allowances and selective benefits, of a man with a wife and three children earning a gross weekly wage of £25; and what percentage increase in his gross wage would be necessary today in order to raise this net weekly spending power by 20 per cent.

On the assumptions in the hon. Member's Question the family with three children aged 4, 8 and 12 would have a net weekly spending power of £27.54. To raise this net weekly spending power by 20 per cent. today to £33.05 an increase in the man's gross wage of 88 per cent. to £47.12 would be necessary, but this is on the assumption that all benefits would be instantaneously reassessed, though in practice this would not happen. This percentage increase is seriously misleading. The reason for this is that, to arrive at any realistic figure, benefits must be treated as being reassessed over a period of up to a year. Furthermore, it is not possible to take into account any possible future changes in the tax threshold and increases in income levels for benefits; these changes have the effect of increasing the family's net weekly spending power. The answer, therefore, greatly exaggerates the increase in gross income required to obtain a given increase in net weekly spending power.NOTES—1. Net weekly spending power is earnings plus family allowance plus family income supplement less tax less national insurance plus rent rebate plus rate rebate less rent less rates plus the value of free school meals and welfare milk less work expenses.2. Rent £5.00; Rates £1.44; Expenses of work £0.65.

One-Parent Families

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the net cost of paying a non means-tested benefit of £15 to all single parents, excluding widows, plus increase for children at the rates paid to widowed mothers as from April 1975.

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) on 20th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 238.]

Registrar General's Department (Public Search Room)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she expects to reach a final decision regarding the dispersal of work, including public search room facilities, as between London and other parts of the country in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) on Monday 27th January.

Medical Specialist Services (Trent Region)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what specialist facilities are available in the southern half of the Trent Regional Health Authority for the treatment of plastic surgery cases, children's surgery cases, orthopaedic cases, and chronic renal dialysis cases.

Special in-patient facilities are available as follows in the southern half of the Trent Region:

Orthopaedic—843 beds distributed among major hospitals.
Child surgery—530 beds distributed among major hospitals.
Plastic surgery (including burns)—53 designated beds in 2 units. 7 available (but not designed) in 1 unit.
Renal dialysis—10 beds in one designated unit.
In addition four dialysis beds are available at Nottingham for the treatment of acute renal diseases and two further beds will be available soon for training patients for home dialysis. Five training beds for home dialysis are also available in Derby.

Speech Therapy (Nottinghamshire)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimated number of speech therapists required within the Nottinghamshire Area Health Authority to cater for the special needs of the area, the demands from schools for services to children with speech defects, and for early diagnosis and treatment of speech and language disorders in the pre-school stages; and how many are currently employed.

As there are no generally accepted staffing standards for speech therapists it is difficult to quantify the need. The Nottinghamshire Area Health Authority at present employs 17·4 speech therapists—whole-time equivalent—and would like to employ a further 4·8—whole-time equivalent—if they were available. It is not possible to say how much of their time is allocated to the services mentioned.

Consultants' Pay

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many consultants who have contracts with the National Health Service in England and Wales are currently receiving merit awards; what is the total amount paid in the latest full financial year; and what is the amount of the highest and lowest award.

About 3,900; about £9 million in 1974–75; £1,506 for a C award and £7,947 for A+ award.

Geriatric Patients (Nottingham)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether she has estimated, on population projections, how many geriatric beds are likely to be needed in the Nottingham hospitals by 1980; what is the figure; and what plans have been prepared to meet the present and future demands for such beds;(2) how many staffed geriatric beds are available in the Nottingham hospitals; and what is the waiting list for such beds.

Based on 1971 census projections and norms in current use 760 geriatric beds will be required by 1980. There are 432 existing staffed beds and developments are either planned or in hand to provide 300 additional geriatric beds by 1980, subject to the availability of resources. 104 patients are on the geriatric waiting list at present.

Social Contract (Chancellor's Speech)

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Leeds on Friday 10th January concerning pay and unemployment represents Government policy.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 10th January on the social contract represents the official policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 10th January on the social contract represents Government policy.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Leeds on 10th January about the social contract represents Government policy.

Building Land (Minister's Speech)

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech by the Minister for Planning and Local Government to the Labour Party Local Government Conference in Manchester on 11th January on the public ownership of building land represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Industrial Relations (Prime Minister's Speech)

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his public speech at Huyton on 3rd January 1975 on industrial relations.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend did so on 9th January.

Prime Minister (Visits)

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to the West Midlands.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to do so.

Q9.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Valletta.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Glasgow.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend will be visiting Glasgow on 27th and 28th February.

Cbi (Meeting)

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his recent meeting with the CBI.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has considerable contact with both the CBI and the TUC, and he met CBI representatives at their request on 10th January. They emphasised that they were worried about unemployment as we all are, and the meeting explored in an informal and constructive way the areas of agreement between us in our fight to restrain inflation.

Motor Industry

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister whether, when he visits the United States of America, he will take the opportunity to discuss with those concerned in policy decisions the British motor car industry and the effect thereon of multinational corporations in the United States of America having investments in Great Britain.

I have been asked to reply.I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Edelman) on 16th January.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his meetings with trade unions about the car industry.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has had no official meetings with trade unions on this matter, although he took the opportunity to discuss it informally on 20th January with individual representatives of the TUC.

Hijacking

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied with the co-ordination between Government Departments during hijack attempts.

I have been asked to reply.Yes. There are always lessons to be learned, but the two recent incidents involving British aircraft showed that the arrangements for co-operation between Government Departments worked well.

Northern Ireland

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister whether he has had any recent discussions with the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic about strengthening security arrangements at the border between the Republic and Ulster.

I have been asked to reply.Security co-operation and the border area were among the matters discussed during Mr. Cosgrave's visit to London on 1st November 1974. They have also been the subject of several subsequent exchanges between London and Dublin at both ministerial and official level.

European Economic Community

asked the Prime Minister whether the decision that Ministers will be free to support a different conclusion from the Cabinet's on the Common Market issue applies to himself.

The decision the Cabinet reaches will be one which I shall commend to the House and to the country.

Top Salaries

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister on what dates, respectively, he received from Lord Boyle recommendations relating to salaries of higher-paid judges, civil servants, &c.; and what period of delay occurred before his announcement of the Government's decision.

I have been asked to reply.There was no delay. The Top Salaries Review Body submitted its Report on 18th October 1974 and my right hon. Friend announced the Government's decision nine weeks later on 20th December 1974.

Education And Science

Cancer Research

71.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he is taking to ensure that there is no curtailment of the overall resources devoted to research in 1975 into the causes and cure of cancer.

The main Government support for cancer research is through my Department's grant-in-aid to the Medical Research Council which continues to give high priority to this area of research. There is regular consultation between the council and the Health Departments in whose resources for cancer research no reduction is foreseen. Substantial expenditure is also undertaken by voluntary bodies.

University Central Council For Admissions

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many persons applied to the University Central Council for Admissions in total and as as a percentage of the relevant age group of the total population this year, and for each of the past five years.

Applications for the current year are not complete and the age analysis for 1973–74 is not yet available. The figures for the five-year period beginning 1969–70 are as follows:—

Total number of candidatesPercentage Age Group*
Under 2021 and over
1969–70116,7354·30·5
1970–71123,9844·70·5
1971–72124,3594·70·5
1972–73124,6344·70·6
1973–74125,780
* The denominator for the under-20 applicants is taken as the 18 to 20 age group and for applicants 21 and over as the 21–24 age group.
† Not available.

Burton-On-Trent

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is the estimated total cost of the proposals for the reorganisation of secondary education in Burton-on-Trent; and what are the estimated costs for each main element of the proposed reorganisation;(2) what examination he made of the financial resources available to Burton-on-Trent in considering the proposals for the reorganisation of secondary education there; and what information was supplied to him as to the sources from which funds will be drawn and the amounts from each source;(3) what problems of suitability of existing secondary school buildings in Burton-on-Trent it is anticipated will arise under the proposed reorganisation of secondary education; and how is it proposed that such difficulties will be solved.

The proposals envisage the utilisation of existing facilities, and little difficulty is expected to arise with respect to the suitability of buildings. A small amount of additional accommodation will be required at the Hillside School which, together with necessary adaptations to other premises, will be financed by the Staffordshire Education Authority from its minor works resources. Use of these does not require specific approval by my right hon. Friend for the particular sums involved.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what element, if any, there will be of schooling upon split sites in the proposal for the reorganisation of secondary education in Burton-on-Trent; and, in, so far as any such element is to be of short duration, to what extent that is to be subject to any future housing development.

The enlarged and reorganised voluntary controlled school will function in three sets of buildings on a single campus. The premises of the Dovecliffe and Horninglow Schools which are to form a proposed new school are about half a mile apart. It is understood that in the view of the Staffordshire authority requirements for additional places in this area may in due course justify two separate schools. The enlarged Paget School will include initially the Anglesey buildings a mile or so away but the authority intends to enlarge the buildings on the main site when resources permit.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what changes in the present system of providing single-sex schools will be required by the proposal to reorganise secondary education in Burton-on-Trent.

The present single-sex schools are the boys' grammar school and the girls' high school. The grammar school is to be enlarged as a mixed comprehensive school incorporating the premises of the high school which is to be closed.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what changes in the present system of providing Roman Catholic schooling only for children whose parents wish them to have it is required by the proposal to reorganise secondary education in Burton-on-Trent.

None. Co-operation is envisaged at sixth form level between the reorganised Hillside School and the Robert Sutton Roman Catholic Comprehensive School.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the current staff to pupil ratio in the three Burton grammar schools and in the non-grammar secondary schools in Burton-on-Trent.

In January 1974 the pupil-teacher ratio in the three grammar schools averaged 15·6 and in the non-grammar schools 18·9.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the numbers of staff will be increased in the secondary education catchment area as a result of the proposal to reorganise secondary education in Burton-on-Trent; and what will be the ratio of pupils to staff under these proposals.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received for and against the proposals for the reorganisation of secondary education in Burton-on-Trent to date; and how many parents and ratepayers have signified their approval and disapproval of the proposed reorganisation, respectively.

Four petitions and letters from two groups of teachers, two groups of local government electors, one individual and one group of schoolgirls were received objecting to the proposals, and one letter supporting them. It is not possible to say how many of the signatures were those of parents or ratepayers, and many people signed more than one of the petitions.

Secondary Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of secondary pupils at State schools in England and Wales receive education which is at least in part comprehensive.

In January 1974,60·2 per cent. of pupils in maintained secondary schools—excluding middle deemed secondary schools—were in comprehensive schools.

School Building Programme (Ormskirk)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the allocations he has made for school buildings in the Ormskirk constituency for 1975–76.

Under the terms of my Department's Circular 13/74, the Lancashire Local Education Authority has been given a lump sum authorisation of £5,731,000 for building projects at primary and secondary schools in 1975–76. It is for the authority to decide what proportion of these resources should be devoted to projects in the Ormskirk area.

Medical Students

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his estimate of the number of medical students likely to be admitted to medical schools in each of the next five years.

Present plans provide for over 4,000 pre-clinical entry places in Great Britain by the end of the decade. The following estimates for the intervening years are approximate, and subject to variation:—

1975–763,400
1976–773,550
1977–783,650
1978–793,750

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many medical students were admitted to medical schools in each of the last 10 years; and how many qualified in each of these years.

The figures for medical schools in Great Britain are as follows:—

Intake of pre-clinical studentsStudents obtaining a first registrable medical qualification
1964–652,4071,805
1965–662,4781,939
1966–672,5021,933
1967–682,5602,105
1968–692,6932,126
1969–702,6952,114
1970–712,8782,190
1971–723,0322,343
1972–733,3232,289
1973–743,2762,594
1974–75*3,275
* Provisional.

Civil Service

Disabled Persons

72.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what steps he is taking to ensure that all Government Departments employ at least 3 per cent. registered disabled.

The responsibility for the employment of registered disabled rests with departmental Ministers; my Department's role is an advisory one. In consultation with the Department of Employment we are constantly seeking ways to encourage Departments to employ more disabled persons, and also to encourage disabled persons to seek employment in the Civil Service.

Promotion Boards

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if it is standard practice to ensure that there is at least one woman member on a promotion board.

Whenever possible, promotion boards consist of both men and women. Departments have been asked to pay special attention to ensuring that women play their full part in the selection of staff for promotion, subject to the requirement that only fully suitable officers should be appointed to promotion boards.

Veterinary Staff

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether the basic entry grade for the veterinary staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is also the career grade; and how many promotions are usually required for civil servants to reach their career grade.

There is no specified career grade for veterinary staff in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, or for other civil servants, but many of them are promoted beyond their entry grade.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the normal avenue of promotion for veterinary officers.

The normal avenue of promotion to higher grades for veterinary officers entering the Veterinary Officer Grade is through the grade of Divisional Veterinary Officer.

Scientists

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the basic entry grade and the career grade for scientists joining the Civil Service with good honours degrees.

The entry grade for scientists joining the Civil Service with a good honours degree but with no additional experience is the Scientific Officer grade. There is no specified career grade. Most direct-entry scientific officers, which include those with honours degrees, reach the Senior Scientific Officer grade, the best reach Principal Scientific Officer and some may progress further.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the salary maximum for Government scientists in their career grade; and how this compares with veterinary staff in their career grade.

Scientific and veterinary staff enter the Civil Service in any of a number of grades depending upon each individual's qualifications and experience. There are no specified career grades. The following tables show the current salary maximum for each grade in the Science Group and the Veterinary Officer Class. The salary figures shown in respect of the Veterinary Officer Class are currently under review.

SCIENCE GROUP
Gradecurrent salary maximum*
£
Chief Scientific Officer (Lower Band)10,950
Deputy Chief Scientific Officer9,440
Senior Principal Scientific Officer7,750
Principal Scientific Officer5,550
Senior Scientific Officer4,441
Higher Scientific Officer3,371
Scientific Officer2,675
Assistant Scientific Officer1,899
VETERINARY OFFICER CLASS
Gradecurrent salary maximum*
£
Assistant Chief Veterinary Officer8,850
Regional Veterinary Officer8,100
Deputy Regional Veterinary Officer (VI)/Senior Research Officer I7,750
Deputy Regional Veterinary Officer7,116
Divisional Veterinary Officer/Senior Research Officer II6,284
Veterinary Officer I/Research Officer I4,505
Veterinary OfficerII/Research Officer II3,843
* Excluding London Weighting where applicable and threshold payments.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what proportion of promotions in the scientific Civil Service are "merit" promotions.

All promotions in the Civil Service are on merit and are normally made to posts with fixed gradings. In some areas of work, such as research, where a system of fixed grading is not possible, there is provision to adjust gradings where both the needs of the work and the level of an individual's contribution warrant it. Promotions in these areas are sometimes called "merit" promotions, but it would not be possible to quantify them without disproportionate cost. At senior levels there is a formal scheme for "individual merit promotion" for staff working in science and technology and this accounts for about 20 per cent. of all promotions at those levels.

Government Advertising

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the total cost of Government advertising in the 12 months to the latest available date; how much of that total was placed with American-owned or American-affiliated advertising agencies; and if he will ask the Central Office of Information to place more of the total with British firms in future.

The independent Advisory Committee on the Appointment of Advertising Agencies nominates agencies for Government accounts. In the financial year 1973–74 the total cost of Government advertising was £19,791,000. Approximately 40 per cent. of this total was placed with advertising agencies which are associated with American interests; the remainder with British agencies.

Government Bookshops

asked the Minister for the Civil Service why there are Government bookshops in Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester and not in Newcastle or Leeds.

There is at present insufficient demand for Government publications in the Newcastle or Leeds areas to justify an official bookshop.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service why a loss of £348,971 was incurred on the operation of the Government bookshop in London for the last accounting year; and whether he is satisfied with its efficiency.

The losses in Her Majesty's Stationery Office London bookshops in 1973–74 occurred mainly in respect of mail orders and were due to sharp increases in costs which could not be offset by price increases under the Prices Code.I am considering proposals made by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in conjunction with outside consultants designed to increase the efficiency of the distribution and sale of Government publications.

Computers