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Written Answers

Volume 885: debated on Wednesday 29 January 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 29th January 1975

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Seychelles

1.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will seek to pay an official visit to the Seychelles.

Rhodesia

12.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made with regard to the release from restriction of Mr. Garfield Todd, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia.

We are urging all concerned to carry out the terms of the agreements reached in Lusaka last month which provide for the release of all detainees and restrictees. That would, of course, include Mr. Todd, whose continued restriction I deplore.

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a further statement on Rhodesia.

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in securing a constitutional settlement in Rhodesia; and if he will make a statement.

I have nothing to add to the reply I have given to the hon. Member for Cleveland and Whitby (Mr. Brittan) and the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane).

Hong Kong (Personnel)

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will review the standards of recruitment required for police and other personnel called upon to serve in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.

We are paying close attention to this question. A United Kingdom official has been appointed as the Secretary of State's personal representative on the Police Selection Board.

Fissionable Materials

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he is considering for strengthening the safeguards on the transfer of fissionable materials embodied in the non-proliferation treaty.

The International Atomic Energy Agency applies to parties to the non-proliferation treaty a system of safeguards designed to meet the treaty's requirements. The best way to strengthen this system would be for all States who have not yet done so to accede to the non-proliferation treaty.

Anguilla

15.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now make a statement on the future of Anguilla.

The review of Anguilla's constitutional status was initiated when I visited Anguilla and St. Kitts last September. In the course of pursuing this review Her Majesty's Government have now invited Mr. Bradshaw, the Premier of the Associated State, to visit London from 10th to 13th February for further discussions.

Gulf States

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied with the level of co-operation between Her Majesty's Government and the United States Administration in matters of common policy towards the Gulf States in the Middle East; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Secetary of State are visiting Washington at present for discussions, thus continuing the close co-operation which we maintain with the United States Administration over the whole range of world affairs, including those of the Middle East.

Middle East

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will pay an official visit to the Middle East.

Ocean Island

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received about the future of the Banaban people and their ancestral home Ocean Island; and if he will make a statement.

The Rabi Council of Leaders, in a petition dated 11th March 1974, asked for independence for Ocean Island. I refer my hon. Friend to what my right hon. Friend the Minister of State said in the House on 23rd January.—[Vol. 884, c. 2103–8.]

Polaris Force

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will give an assurance that his commitment to maintaining the Polaris force in no way undermines the obligation of Her Majesty's Government under Article VI of the nonproliferation agreement to negotiate any effective measures of nuclear disarmament.

Maintenance of the Polaris force in no way conflicts with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the provisions of which we shall continue to observe.

Fishing Rights

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will propose at the resumed Conference on the Law of the Sea in Geneva that, in return for recognition of an economic zone of 200 miles, coastal States should accept a system of revenue-sharing within such a zone.

At Caracas I indicated the Government's willingness to consider the concept of an economic zone of up to 200 miles. However, we could not accept that the revenue derived from the exploitation of resources lying within such a zone should be shared with the international authority.

Hong Kong (Chinese Refugees)

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about Her Majesty's Government's policy towards Chinese citizens seeking refuge in Hong Kong.

I have nothing to add to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Epping Forest (Mr. Biggs-Davison) on 21st January.—[Vol. 884, c. 314.]

Ussr

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for meeting senior members of the USSR Government.

The hon. Member will have seen the announcement that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend are to make an official visit to the Soviet Union from 13th to 17 February.

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek, on the occasion of his visit to Moscow, to promote British exports to the Soviet Union by arranging for better direct access to customers, and easier movement of customers' representatives to this country.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are his main objectives, and what are the main issues, he will be reviewing with the Soviet leaders on the occasion of his visit to the USSR.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I intend to re-establish the practice of high-level contacts between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. We shall seek to impress upon the Soviet leaders the seriousness of Her Majesty's Government's desire to build a safer and more productive relationship beneficial to both countries; to have a full exchange of views on important international and bilateral questions; and to give a new impulse to British exports to the Soviet Union and to the development of Anglo-Soviet trade as a whole.

Hong Kong (Government)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans Her Majesty's Government have for developing democratic forms of government in the Crown colony of Hong Kong.

The special circumstances of Hong Kong make very difficult any constitutional progress on the path normally followed by dependent territories. The situation is well understood locally.

Cyprus

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the progress made in the talks currently taking place between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash, representing the two communities, have made considerable progress in their discussion of humanitarian issues. They have recently started discussing political issues also. This is an encouraging development, which Her Majesty's Government fully support.

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, having regard to the undertaking and assistance given to the Turks to remove their citizens from Cyprus, what assurances he has obtained from the Turkish Government to co-operate in the return of Greek Cypriots to their homes; what steps will be taken to safeguard Greek Cypriot interests; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend has represented to the Turkish Government that, although our decision on the Turkish Cypriots was taken on humanitarian grounds and not as part of a bargain, a magnanimous gesture on their part towards the Greek Cypriots would now be appropriate.

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to exercise their right as a treaty guarantor (Cyprus) to intervene in the current Clerides-Denktash talks with a view to implementing United Nations' resolutions; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash are meeting regularly. They have made considerable progress on humanitarian issues, and they have now begun to discuss the political aspects of a settlement. This is helpful. It is for the Cypriots to decide their own future, and we do not think that intervention at this stage would be helpful.

Spain (Detained British Citizens)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British subjects domiciled in the United Kingdom are at present serving custodial sentences imposed by Spanish courts; in how many cases appeals are pending; what is the estimated average length of time required to the determination of such appeals; and if he will make a statement.

According to our records, 42 British subjects, citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, are serving sentences imposed by Spanish courts. Three have lodged appeals. The Spanish Ministry of Justice says that appeals are normally determined three to six months after they are lodged.

New Hebrides

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the progress of constitutional developments in the New Hebrides.

Work is proceeding in the New Hebrides on draft legislation to establish a Representative Assembly, and local government bodies. Work on elections is also in hand. It is hoped that the first local government bodies will be elected in May, and the Representative Assembly before the end of 1975.

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further contacts he has had with the French Government about the future of the New Hebrides.

I visited the New Hebrides from 19th to 22nd January, at the same time as the French State Secretary for the Overseas Departments and Territories. This visit gave us a welcome opportunity jointly to review progress so far made in putting into effect the measures we had agreed in London last November.

Cyprus (British Property)

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, pending pursuit of claims for compensation against the appropriate authorities for damage suffered by British residents in Cyprus, he has any proposals for interim assistance by way of loan or otherwise to those British residents who suffered damage to their homes or property.

No. It is long-established policy that in peace time Her Majesty's Government do not compensate their nationals in respect of losses or injuries sustained in territories outside their jurisdiction. To breach this principle, even on an interim basis, might well encourage overseas Governments to evade their responsibilities in the hope that Her Majesty's Government would pay compensation.

Entry Certificates (Indian Subcontinent)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider further increasing the number of entry certificate officers employed on the Indian subcontinent.

We have now almost completed the strengthening of our immigration staffs in the subcontinent to which I referred in my reply of 19th December to the hon. Member for Harrow, Central (Mr. Grant).—[Vol. 883, c. 574–5]. It will not be possible to assess the value of such increases until the larger staffs have been operating for a longer period of time.

European Economic Community

Referendum

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with other Ministers in the EEC about the Government's plans to consult the public on the results of the Government's negotiations about the terms of entry.

My right hon. Friend has consistently made clear the Government's commitment to submit the question of membership to the British people.

51.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with other EEC Ministers regarding the Government's plans for consulting the British people through the ballot box on the question of EEC membership.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave earlier this afternoon to the hon. Member for Black-pool, South (Mr. Blaker).

52.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the progress of consideration of the method by which the Government propose to ask the British people to decide whether Great Britain should retain its membership of the European Economic Community.ment's desire to build a safer and more

European Parliament (Elections)

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the first direct elections for the European Parliament to be held in the United Kingdom.

I have nothing to add to my earlier reply to the Question from the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel).

Taxes

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he has achieved in the course of the EEC renegotiations in securing the agreement of other EEC members to the statement in the Government's White Paper that the taxes that form the so-called own resources of the Communities are not acceptable to the United Kingdom.

Heads of Government agreed in Paris that a correcting mechanism should be established to prevent unacceptable situations arising from the "own resources" system. That opens the way to what we are seeking in renegotiation, although there will no doubt be further hard negotiations on details of the mechanism.

Council Of Ministers (Meetings)

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions Ministers of Her Majesty's Government have attended the Council of Ministers since 10th October 1974; and what is the estimated number of similar occasions for the whole of 1975.

Since 10th October British Ministers have attended meetings of the Council on 21 occasions. There will be about 50 Council meetings in 1975.

Doctors And Dentists (Qualifications)

46.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have agreed to EEC plans for the mutual recognition of doctors' and dentists' qualifications; and, if so, when this assent was given.

Regional, Industrial And Fiscal Policies

47.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in renegotiations towards the objective of retaining parliamentary power over regional, industrial and fiscal policies.

Discussions are taking place on important questions relating to regional and industrial policy. No problems have arisen over fiscal policy.

Negotiations

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a further statement on the progress of the negotiations with the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave earlier this afternoon to the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd).

50.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he now expects negotiations with the EEC to be concluded.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton) on 14th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 184.]

53.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further meetings he has planned in the next month for renegotiating the terms of United Kingdom membership of the EEC; and if he will now state which problems are now outstanding and unresolved.

My right hon. Friend plans to attend the Council of Ministers meeting early in February.On the second part of the Question I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply earlier today to the Question from the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes).

57.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest position in the EEC negotiations.

58.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the progress of the Common Market renegotiations.

59.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest position in his renegotiations for continued membership of the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Members and my hon. Friend to the reply I gave this afternoon to the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd).

62.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which are the principal subjects still to be dealt with in the renegotiation of the terms of British membership of the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier this afternoon in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes).

British Membership

49.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to present to the House a detailed statement regarding the advantages and the disadvantages which accrue to Great Britain from membership of the European Economic Community.

My right hon. Friend expects to comment on these questions when he reports to the House on the results of renegotiation.

Regional Fund

54.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in the Council of Ministers to implement the decision on the EEC Regional Fund taken by Heads of Government at the Paris summit.

A useful discussion of procedural questions relating to the fund took place at the Council meeting on 20th January. Further discussions will be held at official level before decisions on the operation of the fund can be taken by the Council.

60.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the proposed EEC Regional Fund is to be controlled by the Council of Ministers or the Commission.

Decisions about the operation of the Regional Fund have yet to be taken by the Council of Ministers.

Regulations, Decisions And Directives

55.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total number of regulations, decisions and directives adopted by the EEC Council of Ministers and Commission respectively in 1974.

The respective totals were 505 and 3,431.The vast majority of the Commission instruments are concerned with the day-to-day administration of the common agricultural policy. They cover such matters as minor daily adjustments in the import or export levies on agricultural products, and their average effective life is about nine days.

Regional Policy

56.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made proposals within the EEC Council of Ministers to ensure the continued capacity of the British Government to pursue satisfactory regional policies; and what response he has received.

My right hon. Friend has made it clear, in the Council of Ministers and elsewhere, that the Government must be free to carry out regional policies appropriate to the circumstances of this country. Discussions on this matter continue.

"Luxembourg Compromise" Agreement

61.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the so-called Luxembourg compromise which specified the right of veto within the EEC Council of Ministers has been changed by recent decisions of the Community Heads of Government.

No. The communiqué makes it plain that member States are free to maintain their positions regarding the Luxembourg compromise, but there is a general understanding that they will no longer insist on attaining unanimity on every single question regardless of its importance.

Church Commissioners Property Transactions

63.

asked the hon. Member for Kingswood, as representing the Church Commissioners, what steps are taken by the Church Commissioners to avoid involvement in property companies whose activities are open to criticism in relation to the welfare of tenants.

The commissioners take ethical and social as well as financial considerations into account before making investments. Should questions of an ethical or social nature subsequently arise in relation to an investment they would follow their normal practice of making representations direct to the company management concerned. If the commissioners were to be satisfied that a company was nevertheless continuing to pursue undesirable policies they would consider disposing of their holding. If the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) has any particular instance in mind perhaps he would let me know.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Sugar

66.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made towards confirming contracts for the supply of sugar from the EEC producers.

Firm contracts have already been made with EEC producers for the import of substantial quantities of sugar into the United Kingdom during the current crop year, and further purchases can be expected. I am aware of no major difficulties in the conclusion of fulfilment of these contracts. If the hon. Member has evidence of any such difficulties, perhaps he could let me know.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made since Christmas with negotiations in Brussels to ensure future sugar supplies to Great Britain.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. McNair-Wilson) and others on 23rd January 1975.—[Vol. 884, c. 1721.]

Fisheries (Eec Policy)

67.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he proposes to discuss EEC fisheries policy with the EEC.

Officials of the Fisheries Departments are in regular touch with our EEC partners on all aspects of the common fisheries policy through the consultative machinery of the Community.

Beef Sales (Italy)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make representations at the Council of Ministers to the Italian Minister of Agriculture on the Italian policy of forbidding the sale of beef in shops on several days each month notwithstanding the existence of a Common Market beef mountain.

Bananas

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had with representatives of West Indian Governments on future arrangements for the importation of bananas into Great Britain in the light of the changes brought about as the result of British membership of the European Economic Community.

Discussions took place in the course of last year both at official and ministerial level. Further talks have been held in Brussels recently in the context of the negotiations for the new Convention of Association between the EEC and the ACP countries, which is likely to contain provisions relating to bananas.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the policy he intends to pursue on the importation of bananas from the West Indies in the light of the changes brought about as the result of British membership of the EEC.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims) on 21st January.—[Vol. 884, c. 307.]

Food Prices

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report the price increases on all foods subject to EEC agreements and common agricultural policy policies since the Treaty of Accession.

The following table shows the first-hand prices at January 1973 and January 1975 of the main foods subject to EEC agreements and CAP policies for which information is readily available.

PRICES OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES AND FOODS IN JANUARY 1973 AND JANUARY 1975

Price

Item

Basis

Unit

January 1973(e)

January 1975(e)

Wheat, milling, softCorn merchants prices to growers(a)£ per ton ex farm(Week ending 25th January 1973)(Week ending 23rd January 1975)
41·5559·85
Barley, maltingCorn merchants prices to growers(a)£ per ton ex farm(Week ending 25th January 1973)(Week ending 23rd January 1975)
39·7562·10
Maize, feedgrainsImport price (U.S.A.)(b)£ per ton42·7562·12
Poultry broilers (3–3½ lb.)Wholesale market(b)p per lb.13·819·6
Hen Eggs, standard home-producedWholesale market(b)p per doz.19·128·0
Beef, Scottish killed, sidesLondon Central Marketsp per lb.28·528·5
Lamb, English mediumLondon Central Marketsp per lb.28·228·7
Pork, English (100–120 lb.)London Central Marketsp per lb.18·725·0
Bacon, A1 selectionLondon National Provision Exchange£ per ton445·0785·0
Bacon, DanishLondon National Provision Exchange£ per ton525·0800·0
Butter, New ZealandLondon National Provision Exchange£ per ton491·0661·0 to 674·0
Cheese, New Zealand CheddarLondon National Provision Exchange£ per ton481·0735·0
(nominal)
Sugar, GranulatedEx refinery (cwt. sacks)£ per tonJanuary 1973(g)January 1975(g)
82·49280·00
(estimate)
Apples—
Home Grown Coxes Orange Pippin Class IWholesale markets(c)p per lb.11·611·0
French Golden DeliciousWholesale markets(c)p per lb.9·010·6
French Delicious Coloured SportsWholesale markets(c)p per lb.8·410·4
Pears—
Home Grown Conference Class IWholesale markets(c)p per lb.8·68·6
Italian PassacrassanaWholesale markets(c)p per lb.8·38·6
Peaches, South AfricanWholesale markets(c)£ per tray1·381·88
Oranges, Sweet, Medium size—
SpanishWholesale markets(c)£ per container1·382·04
IsraeliWholesale markets(c)£ per container1·882·20

Price

Item

Basis

Unit

January 1973(e)

January 1975(e)

Lemons—
CyprusWholesale markets(c)£ per container2·423·34
ItalyWholesale markets(c)£ per container1·973·45
Potatoes—
King Edwards, Lincolnshires and YorkshiresWholesale markets(c)£ per cwt.1·562·10
WhitesWholesale markets(c)£ per cwt.1·301·74
Cauliflowers—
Home grown Cornish—
Class IWholesale markets(c)£ per doz.1·181·08
Class IIWholesale markets(c)£ per doz.0·920·90
FrenchWholesale markets(c)£ per doz.1·341·18
Tomatoes, CanaryWholesale markets(c)£ per 6kg.1·322·32
Cucumbers, CanaryWholesale markets(c)p each10·818·8
MilkProducer price(d)p per gal.December 1972(g)December 1974(g)
21·6134·63
Fish—
CodAverage monthly landing price(f)£ per cwt.January 1973(g)October 1974(g)
11·1713·02
HaddockAverage monthly landing price(f)£ per cwt.10·5811·91
PlaiceAverage monthly landing price(f)£ per cwt.10·4116·95

Notes:

(a) Corn Returns—Ex-farm spot prices published by Home Grown Cereals Authority.
(b) Average of quotations received from four port markets. Published in MAFF Agricultural Market Report.
(c) Average of quotations received from nine main markets. Published in MAFF Agricultural Market Report.
(d) Total sales off farms in England and Wales. Source: Milk Marketing Board.
(e) Except where other dates are shown, the prices are average prices for the weeks ending on 24th January 1973 and 22nd January 1975 respectively.
(f) Average unit value, i.e., total price in £ ÷ total landings in cwt.
(g) These prices are averages for the month specified.

Censuses

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how often agricultural censuses are taken; and if he is satisfied that the fullest use is made of the material contained in the returns.

A comprehensive agricultural census is taken each June in respect of all holdings in England and Wales except very small holdings classified as statistically insignificant. Sample inquiries are held regularly each quarter, and further specialist surveys are conducted as necessary.I am satisfied that good use is made of the data collected. They are extensively analysed and most of the analyses are published. The data are an important element in the annual review of the agricultural industry.

Animals (Export)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he had been informed by 16th January, when the O'Brien. Report was debated, that the EEC Commissioners were to sell 85,000 tons of subsidised beef to the USSR that day as part of a sale of the Community's stockpile of unsold beef to reduce it from 360,000 to 230,000 tons.

The facts are not as the hon. Member has stated them. No beef has been sold to the USSR by the EEC Commission. The Commission estimate that, out of a total of 130,000 tons of intervention beef sold to traders within the Community in the course of 1974, some 85,000 tons were subsequently exported to the Soviet Union. It has been known for some months that private sales to the Soviet Union were taking place. The Commission's estimate for the whole year was announced on 16th January, and I was not aware of it at the time of the debate on the O'Brien Report that day.

Pâté De Foie Gras

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will take steps to ban the import of pâté de foie gras in view of the suffering caused to geese in the process of artificially enlarging their liver.

I do not consider this to be justified. I have received veterinary advice to the effect that the enlargement of the liver of geese fed for pâté de foie gras production does not involve any pathological change in the liver or cause suffering.

Overseas Development

Vila, New Hebrides (Hospital)

68.

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will make a statement about the progress of the work on the new hospital at Vila in the New Hebrides.

Progressive occupation of the premises has already begun; the final handover by the contractors is expected on 28th February and it is planned to move in the patients from the old British base hospital the following day. The hospital should become fully operational some time in May.

Energy

Eec Ministers (Meeting)

69.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he next expects to discuss energy policy with EEC Ministers.

Oil Industry Employment (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what training facilities are being initiated by the Offshore Supplies Office to provide skilled jobs for Scots from the development of Scottish oil resources.

The Offshore Supplies Office does not itself initiate such facilities. It does, however, actively support the initiative taken by the Training Services Agency for the setting up of the Drilling Technology Centre in Livingston and that by the Manpower Services Commission to set up an underwater training centre, in the Fort William area on Loch Linnhe, to meet the long-term training needs of divers engaged in the offshore oil and gas development programme. Both schemes will provide opportunities for Scots in the development of the oil and gas resources. My Department has also agreed to provide £300,000 to help Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, to set up a petroleum engineering centre. The centre will provide postgraduate and post-industrial experience courses in petroleum engineering.

Offshore Supplies Office

asked the Secretary of State for Energy which recommendations of the IMEG report are being implemented by the Offshore Supplies Office; and which are not.

I will send the hon. Member a copy of the memorandum submitted last year by my Department to the Select Committee on Science and Technology during the course of its inquiry into sea-bed engineering. This memorandum, together with other memoranda submitted as evidence to the Select Committee, will be published in due course as HC 266.

Oil Industry (North-East)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what efforts have been made by his Department to identify spare production capacity in the North-East of England suitable for supplying equipment now required by operations in the North Sea.

An Offshore Supplies Unit has been established in the Northern Regional Office of the Department of Industry. This unit works closely with my Department's Offshore Supplies Office and has the part-time services of an oil managing consultant. It keeps in close and regular contact with northern industry, particularly the larger firms involved in supplying equipment and services to the off-shore markets. In this task the unit is able to draw on the resources of the Offshore Supplies Office, which identifies the requirements of the offshore operators, and as far as practicable matches these with the production facilities available.

Offshore Oil

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, what studies have been commissioned by his Department at the Offshore Supplies Office into the industrial benefits and application which can be gained by the Scottish engineering industry from the development of Scotland's offshore oil resources.

None. The relocation of the headquarters of the Offshore Supplies Office (OSO) in Glasgow has, however, improved the service which the OSO is able to provide for the Scottish engineering industry.A major study of the impact of oil-related work on the Scottish economy including the engineering industry is being carried out by the Department of Industry's office for Scotland. The study has been commissioned by the Oil Task Force on which are represented the OSO, the Scottish Office and the Department of Industry. An article on the study will appear in the next issue of the Scottish Economic Bulletin, Additionally, the OSO is represented on the steering committee that controls studies into the onshore impact of North Sea oil which have been commissioned by the Scottish Economic Planning Department.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many Scottish companies have established a presence in offshore oil markets worldwide as a direct result of initiatives of the Offshore Supplies Office since its inception.

The Offshore Supplies Office provides help, advice and encouragement to forward-looking British firms which wish, either on their own or in partnership with others, to establish themselves in the offshore petroleum market. Provided they are ready to work hard at it, there is no reason why a considerable number of British firms, including Scottish ones, should not be successful either in entering this market or in expanding British capabilities that already exist in it. The part played in this process by the Offshore Supplies Office is not precisely quantifiable, but I believe that it is important and worth while.

National Finance

Eec Governments

70.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what co-ordination policies are being considered by EEC Governments in order to avoid economic recession.

At the Heads of Government Conference in December member States agreed that the aim of their economic policies should be to combat inflation and maintain employment. In the financial field the EEC countries were completely united during the recent Washington meetings on the need to set up additional international measures of recycling and financial support to mitigate the risks of serious recession, in addition to the agreement at the end of last year on the establishment of a joint EEC borrowing scheme.

Paye Offices

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer which tax districts have their PAYE affairs dealt with by offices outside their own area; and what is the location of the offices concerned.

The information is given in the following table:

TABLE
Tax districts having their PAYE affairs dealt with outside their own area and the location to which work is transferred:
LONDON AREA
PaddingtonBradford
HornseyCrewe
RegentCrewe
Cavendish 2Exeter
AldwichGateshead
Cavendish 1Gateshead
Charing CrossGateshead
GrosvenorGateshead
KnightsbridgeGateshead
St. GilesGateshead
Soho 3Gateshead
StrandGateshead
BelgraviaManchester
BrookManchester
CharterhouseManchester
ChelseaManchester
City of London (26 Districts)Manchester
CurzonManchester
Euston 1Manchester
Euston 2Manchester
Finsbury 2Manchester
Hanway (part)Manchester
HolbornManchester
HoxtonManchester
Kings CrossManchester
KingswayManchester
MayfairManchester
Pall MallManchester
PiccadillyManchester
St. GeorgeManchester
St. JamesManchester
St. MaryleboneManchester
ShoreditchManchester
Soho 2Manchester

SpitalfieldsManchester
Stratford 1Manchester
Stratford 2Manchester
Stratford 4Manchester
WaterlooManchester
Westminster 3Manchester
WhitechapelManchester
Dagenham (part)Manchester
BloomsburyPlymouth
Hanway (part)Plymouth
WelbeckPlymouth
BramleyPortsmouth
ChiswickPortsmouth
Croydon 1Portsmouth
Hammersmith 2Portsmouth
HurlinghamPortsmouth
Hammersmith 1 (part)Portsmouth
BryanstonSheffield
Soho 1Sheffield
ColindaleShipley
EdgwareShipley
HarlesdenShipley
Kensington 2Shipley
Notting HillShipley
SurbitonShipley
UxbridgeShipley
Watford 1Shipley
Wembley 2Shipley
LanghamStoke
Westminster 2Stoke
Bethnal GreenWashington
DalstonWashington
Romford 1Washington
Tottenham 1Washington
WoodfordWashington
ActonEdinburgh
CamberwellEdinburgh
ClaphamEdinburgh
Croydon 3Edinburgh
FinchleyEdinburgh
HampsteadEdinburgh
HayesEdinburgh
HollowayEdinburgh
HounslowEdinburgh
IslingtonEdinburgh
Maida ValeEdinburgh
NorwoodEdinburgh
PutneyEdinburgh
Shepherds BushEdinburgh
SouthallEdinburgh
StreathamEdinburgh
TootingEdinburgh
WandsworthEdinburgh
WillesdenEdinburgh

Provincial

Manchester (17 districts)Bootle
Reading 1Portsmouth
Redhill 2Portsmouth
Slough 1Edinburgh
Woking 1Edinburgh

Scotland

The PAYE affairs of all the 62 Scottish districts are dealt with at East Kilbride.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the number and percentage of tax districts in each region whose PAYE affairs are dealt with by offices outside that region.

The only region affected is London and the South-East, where the PAYE affairs or 112–40 per cent.—of the 277 districts are dealt with by offices outside that region.

Road Fund Licence

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the amount of the road fund licence when it was first introduced; and what was the date and the average earnings at that time.

It was introduced on 1st January 1921. For cars the annual rate was £1 per horsepower with a minimum of £6. A flat rate vehicle licence for cars was introduced on 1st January 1947 at an annual rate of £10. The average weekly earnings of male manual workers aged 21 years and over in October 1946 were £6·04. Similar information for 1921 is not available.

Capital Movements

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what were the totals of private investment capital in (a) land and property and (b) industry, which moved from EEC countries into the United Kingdom in 1973 and 1974;(2) what were the totals of private investment capital in (a) land and property and (b) industry, which has moved from the United Kingdom to other EEC countries in 1973 and 1974.

The available information relates to the total of investment by parent companies in overseas affiliates—"direct investment". Preliminary estimates for 1973 indicate a range of £330 million-£410 million for United Kingdom outward direct investment in other EEC countries and around £50 million for inward direct investment from other EEC countries. These figures include direct investment in property owning and managing as well as in other industry and commerce, but the analysis of the totals for 1973 into these components will not be available until the spring of this year. The figures include reinvested profits and are net of disinvestment. Most outward investment other than reinvested profits is financed by borrowing overseas. Figures of portfolio and miscellaneous investment—which include other investment in land and property—and oil investment cannot at present be analysed so as to identify transactions with other EEC countries.

District Valuer's Office (Knowsley)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take action to increase the staff at the district valuer's office so that appeals against Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council lodged in 1973 can be heard as soon as possible.

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report the amount of income tax per week payable in the current financial year by a married man with two children of school age and no other allowances whose income from all sources is £25, £30, £35, £40, or £45 per week, respectively.

Assuming both children are under 11, income is wholly earned and gross income includes family allowance, the figures for 1974–75 are:

Gross weekly incomeWeekly tax
££·p
250·03
301·68
353·33
404·98
456·63

Income Tax Code Notices

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the note attached to coding notices relating to age allowance (P.354) does not state that the suggestion that this allowance should be introduced is one which is subject to parliamentary approval.

Capital Transfer Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what studies have been made of the effects of the proposed capital transfer tax on agricultural holdings;(2) if he will make a statement on the effects of the capital transfer tax on agricultural production in the United Kingdom.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd January 1975; Vol. 884, c. 437], gave the following information:The effect which the capital transfer tax might have on agricultural holdings, and agricultural production, were taken into account in arriving at my decision to provide special relief from the capital transfer tax for working farmers.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is now able to make a statement on the effects of the capital transfer tax on the future planting programmes of private foresters.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd January 1975; Vol. 884, c. 437], gave the following information:No. As I stated in the debate on Clause 17 of the Finance Bill, I am looking into the representations which have been made about the capital transfer tax and forestry.

Defence

West Germany (Offset Agreement)

71.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total deficit to date under the offset agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom since the agreement came into effect.

The current offset arrangements between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom entered into force in March 1971 and will expire in March 1976. The sterling equivalent of local defence expenditure in Germany since then amounts to about £950 million. Under the terms of the offset agreement Her Majesty's Government have so far received a total of DM440 million in annual instalments of DM1I0 million, equivalent to £18 million per annum at the present rate of exchange. We also benefit from the Federal Government's agreement to make and promote purchases of British civil and military services. Military purchases by Germany amounted to about DM681 million over the period of the agreement up to the end of June 1974.

Eec Legislation

asked the Attorney-General what arrangements he has made for the supply of regulations of the EEC to the courts of the United Kingdom.

My noble and learned Friend has arranged for the Official Journal of the European Communities, by which EEC Regulations are promulgated to be supplied to 12 selected court centres in England and Wales, together with other essential publications on EEC law. Officers responsible for all courts have been informed of these arrangements. Other Ministers are responsible for the administration of courts in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Civil Service

Government Offices (Dispersal)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if the five Government Departments involved in dispersal to Merseyside will give special consideration to Kirkby in the selection of sites for new office accommodation.

Of the five Departments scheduled to move work to Merseyside, one—the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys—is to go to Southport, as indicated in the programme announced by the Lord President on 30th July 1974. No decision has yet been made on the siting of offices for the other four Departments—the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Agricultural Research Council, the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office—but I am happy to draw their attention to my hon. Friend's Question.

Education And Science

Burton-On-Trent

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he was given about the uses to which the charitable funds of the endowed grammar schools of Burton-on-Trent are intended by the trust deed to be put, in the proposals for secondary reorganisation in Burton-on-Trent; and what will be the effect of the proposals on the funds.

My right hon. Friend was given no information about these funds. Their application is a matter for the trustees under the scheme regulating the trust. If the approval of the proposals relating to the schools involves any modification of the scheme my right hon. Friend will be prepared to make an order accordingly under Section 1(2)(a) of the Education Act 1973.

Degrees (Falsification)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement as to the progress he is making with solving the problem of bogus degrees.

I have been consulting various organisation and individuals on ways of tackling this problem and am now considering their advice, in particular, on the question of introducing legislation.

Socio-Economic Groups

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will state the percentage of entrants into sixth form colleges by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(2) if he will state the percentage of entrants into grammar schools by socioeconomic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(3) if he will state the percentage of entrants into comprehensive schools by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(4) if he will state the percentage of entrants into direct grant schools by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(5) if he will state the percentage of entrants into colleges of education by socio-economic group in 1964 in the latest year for which figures are available;(6) if he will state the percentage of entrants into technical colleges by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(7) if he will state the percentage of entrants into colleges of further education by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(8) if he will state the percentage of entrants into polytechnics by socioeconomic group in the latest year for which figures are available;(9) if he will state the percentage of entrants into residential colleges of adult education by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available;(10) if he will state the percentage of entrants into universities by socio-economic group in 1964 and in the latest year for which figures are available.

My Department does not collect information on the socio-economic group of students entering different educational establishments. Some information, derived from a sample survey, on the socio-economic groups of the fathers of pupils and students living at home and attending certain types of school or college in 1971 has been published by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (HMSO 1973) in the General Household Survey Introductory Report. A copy of this is available in the Library and I would refer the hon. Member to tables 7.7 and 7.8 in particular on pages 234 and 235. I would also refer him to the reply I gave to a Question by the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) on 27th November 1974—[Vol. 882, c. 182.1—about the parental occupation of home candidates accepted for university places in 1970 and 1973 through the Universities Central Council for Admissions.

School Leavers

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many comprehensive pupils in England and Wales leave school as soon as possible, expressed both as a percentage of the total and numerically.

In 1971–72 92,230 pupils left comprehensive schools at minimum school leaving age. This represented 34·5 per cent. of pupils of the age group in comprehensive schools in January 1972. Due to the raising of the school leaving age no pupils left school in 1972–73 at minimum school leaving age The figures for 1973–74 are not yet available.

Diocese Of Canterbury (Educational Endowments) Order

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, why he has not placed a copy of the Diocese of Canterbury (Educational Endowments) Order 1974 to amend the Education Act 1973 in the Library or Vote Office; and if he will take immediate steps to remedy this.

No such order has been made. There is in draft an order which it is proposed to make under Section 2 of the Education Act 1973. Notice of the proposal to make the order, which does not amend the Act, has been given in accordance with that section and I am at present considering representations which have been made to me about it.

Teachers (Industrial Action)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will invite local education authorities to record and publish the places, dates, duration and number of children affected by industrial action taken by teachers.

No. This must be a matter for decision by local education authorities.

Bullock Report

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he now expects to publish the Bullock Report.

I hope that this report will be published in the second half of February.

Tomlinscote School, Camberley

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he proposes to take following Surrey County Council's application for sanction for the building of temporary accommodation for the additional pupils due to attend Tomlinscote School, Camberley, Surrey, from September 1975.

My Department has not received an application for sanction for the provision of temporary accommodation at this school. A statutory proposal for its enlargement, notice of which was published by the authority last November, is now under consideration in the Department.

Employment

Training

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the regulations governing travelling and subsistence allowances for Government training courses run by his Department.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that under the Training Opportunities Scheme (TOPS) run by the Training Services Agency, trainees who travel more than two miles to their training establishment receive reimbursement of fares by public transport over the most economical route. Disabled trainees, to whom the two-mile rule does not apply, receive reimbursement of fares irrespective of the length of journey. Trainees who travel by car are paid the cost of petrol and oil within the limits of the cheapest form of public transport.Trainees receive a basic training allowance, which varies according to age and number of dependants. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a leaflet containing the current rates. In addition trainees receive either a free mid-day meal on working days or a meal allowance in lieu. An allowance is also paid to cover the cost of lodgings to trainees who have to live away from home while attending the training establishment.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will give the numbers of persons trained or retrained under Government auspices during the year 1973 and during the year 1974 to the latest available date.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the number of persons who successfully completed courses of training under the Training Opportunities Scheme in 1973 was 39,930. In the period 1st January to 30th September 1974, the latest date for which figures are available, the number was 34,706.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the target figure for the year 1976 relating to the number of workers to be trained or retrained under Government auspices.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the target for people to be trained under the Training Opportunities Scheme this year is 60,000, and the target for 1976 is still under consideration.

Young Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any proposals to improve and simplify the allowances payable to young people who have to leave home to obtain suitable employment or training.

Yes. My right hon. Friend has decided that from 1st February 1975, all allowances to young people in such circumstances will be provided under the Employment Transfer Scheme The benefits available under this scheme are not means-tested and were substantially improved in August last year. In future, young people who receive these benefits will also be eligible each year for assistance with the cost of four home visits so long as they are under the age of 18. In view of these improvements no new applications will be accepted under the special Training Allowances Scheme for young people, which is means-tested and has lately been little used.

PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 17 FOUND GUILTY OF INDICTABLE OFFENCES IN STOCKPORT MAGISTRATES' COURTS
Magistrates' Courts197119721973
Stockport County Borough106302321
Stockport Division137
Stockport County (Cheadle)10862
Stockport County (Stockport)5879
There is no direct comparability between the figures for 1971 and those for later years because of changes in legislation.The cost of providing data on non-indictable offences, offence details and the children convicted for more than one offence would be disproportionate.The figures for 1974 are not yet available.

Violent Crime (London)

Home Department

Borstal (Feltham)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to improve the present situation at Her Majesty's Borstal Institution, Feltham, following recent escapes there; and whether he will make a statement.

Action has been taken to improve security inside the institution and work on an improvement to perimeter security will begin shortly. It is hoped that building work will start in 1976 to replace the existing borstal by a new institution with much higher security standards.

Child Offenders (Stockport)

asked the Secretary State for the Home Department how many children were convicted of offences in the Stockport courts in the years 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974, respectively; for what offences they were convicted; and how many were convicted of more than one offence.

The information as requested is not readily available. Information relating to the number of persons aged under 17 found guilty, in Stockport, of indictable offences in 1971, 1972 and 1973 is as follows:statistics are available as to the extent to which crimes of violence in London are committed by immigrants.

I know of no statistics which indicate the birthplace of those who commit these offences.

Immigration (Indian Subcontinent)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on his recent visit to Pakistan;(2) if he is satisfied with the present waiting period of dependants on the Indian subcontinent wishing to join their families in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to a Question by the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) on 15th January—[Vol. 884, c. 126]—and the debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill on 23rd January.—[Vol. 884, c. 1998–2020.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated number of dependants waiting to join their families in the United Kingdom from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, respectively, to the latest available date.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to a Question by the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Fowler) on 15th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 116.]

Illegal Immigrants

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many illegal immigrants were repatriated between 1st November 1973 and 1st February 1974 to Pakistan; and how many have since returned to the United Kingdom;(2) how many illegal immigrants repatriated between 1st November 1973 and 1st February 1974 to Pakistan have made application for re-entry to the United Kingdom.

Nineteen men were removed to Pakistan during this period as illegal entrants. A visa has been authorised to enable one of them to return; no information is readily available as to how many of the others have applied for visas.

Industry

Hs146 Aircraft

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the amount of money paid by his Department for the continuation of work on the HS146 since his statement to the House on 9th December 1974 and the costs incurred by Hawker Siddeley Aircraft Ltd., on the project over the same period.

We anticipate that the cost of continuing work will be clarified as the tripartite talks progress.

Wales (Employment Prospects)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will now publish all the correspondence relating to the three European Commission studies concerning redundant steel workers and mine workers in South Wales.

I assume the three studies to which my hon. Friend refers are:

  • (a) A project put forward by Professor George of the University College, Cardiff, for a study of the employment problems in South Wales;
  • (b) A study of the effectiveness of measures to assist redundant steelworkers; proposed by the British Steel Corporation; and
  • (c) A study of the effects on the local labour market of moving a Government office to South Wales; proposed by the Department of Employment.
  • Only two of these studies, (

    a) and ( b), are the concern of my Department. Both projects were suggested by my officials in discussions with officials of the EEC as studies which might be jointly sponsored. There has been no correspondence between my Department and the Commission on these particular studies. I have already published my letter to the Wales TUC concerning Professor George's project.

    House Of Commons

    Members' Accommodation

    asked the Lord President of the Council what further consideration he has given to the question of the provision of Members' accommodation.

    Prices And Consumer Protection

    National Consumers' Agency

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection when she will announce the membership of the National Consumers' Agency.

    The Government have decided that the organisation described in the White Paper "National Consumers' Agency" (Cmnd. 5726) would more appropriately be called the National Consumers' Council, since it does not have executive powers.I am pleased to announce that the first chairman of the council will be Mr Michael Young.The council will have about 15 members, whom I shall appoint. Five of the appointments will be made from among candidates put forward by the following organisations, which I am inviting to suggest names for my consideration: Consumers' Association, Co-operative Women's Guild, Housewife's Trust, National Consumer Protection Council, National Council of Social Service, National Council of Women of Great Britain, National Federation of Consumer Groups, National Federation of Women's Institutes, National Housewives' Association, National Union of Townswomen's Guilds.

    Shoes (Imports)

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she is satisfied with the operation of the Trade Descriptions Act in view of the widespread practice of stamping imported shoes with the names of British firms; and if she will make a statement.

    The Trade Descriptions Act 1972 requires origin marking for all imported goods to which a United Kingdom name or mark is applied. Any evidence that the Act is being contravened should be brought to the attention of local weights and measures authorities who enforce the Act.

    Scotland

    Schools (Western Isles)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will specify what applications he has from Inverness County Council for building new schools and improving existing schools in the Western Isles.

    In addition to the secondary school projects listed in my reply to the hon. Member's Question on 18th June 1974—[Vol. 969, c. 137]—Inverness Education Authority has provisionally submitted for consideration, in connection with the allocation of capital investment for 1976–77, the replacement of Lochboisdale Primary School.

    Fishery Protection (Cruisers)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many fisheries cruisers are in the fishery protection fleet in Scotland; and how many have been operative in each of the last six months.

    Because of crewing problems only four of the five Scottish fishery protection vessels were operative in August and three in the other months with the exception of December, when, as a result of a mechanical fault, now corrected, in one vessel, two were in operation.

    School Leavers

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Scottish comprehensive pupils leave school as soon as possible, expressed both as a percentage of the total and numerically.

    In session 1973–74, of a total of 77,485 leavers from all education authority schools in Scotland with a comprehensive intake, 45,625—58·9 per cent.—left on attaining school leaving age.

    Grant-Aided Schools (Pupil Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average subsidy per pupil in Scottish grant-aided primary and secondary schools.

    The grant payable for 1973–74 represents an average of £105 per pupil. Final figures are not yet available for 1974–75.

    Secondary Pupils

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of Scottish secondary pupils at State schools receive education which is at least in part comprehensive.

    In January 1974, 98 per cent. of secondary pupils in education authority schools in Scotland attended schools with a comprehensive intake.

    Stornoway Trust

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his proposals for crofting tenure reform will in any way affect crofts on land owned by the Stornoway Trust.

    Crofters on land owned by the Stornoway Trust will have the same rights under the proposed crofting reform legislation as crofters on other estates.

    Chapeldonan

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if there is to be a public inquiry into the South of Scotland Electricity Board power station application in respect of the site at Chapeldonan, Girvan.

    Devolution

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the current numbers of staff, of the rank of principal and above, working full time in the constitutional section of the Scottish Office.

    As I explained in reply to the hon. Member on 18th November 1974—[Vol. 881, c. 333]—the Scottish Office has a special co-ordinating administrative division for devolution matters under an assistant secretary. One of the two branches in the division is headed by a principal. The total strength of the division is now nine full-time staff.

    Sports (Facilities)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if it is the policy of sports councils to encourage multi-sports clubs so that facilities are economically used to the maximum; if they give additional support to clubs which engage in multi-sport activities; and if he will make a statement.

    It is the policy of the Scottish Sports Council to encourage multi-sports clubs. The number of sports for which a club proposes to use its facilities is one of the factors the council takes into acount when considering applications for assistance under its scheme of capital grants to local voluntary sports bodies.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give an estimate of the upper, lower and average cost of providing an association football, rugby union and a hockey pitch by local authorities; if an estimate can also be made of the cost of providing a pitch and shower-bath facilities; and if he will make a statement.

    The costs vary considerably and depend to a large extent on local circumstances. I understand from the Scottish Sports Council that basic construction costs of pitches in Scotland are of the following order:

    Association Football pitches£3,000-£3,500
    Rugby Union pitches£4,000-£6,000
    Men's Hockey pitches£1,700-£3,200
    In addition, the cost of providing a building with shower facilities is about £15 a square foot.The foregoing figures do not include the cost of land and may be substantially affected by such factors as type of soil, location and, for buildings, access to water and electricity.

    Gross National Product

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland for each of the 10 most recent years for which figures are available, what were the contribution to gross national product of the Scottish public sector, the nationalised industries in Scotland, and the Scottish private sector, respectively.

    This information is not available in the form requested. Estimates of gross domestc product are published regularly in the Scottish Economic Bulletin and in the Scottish Abstract of Statistics. Estimates of Scottish gross domestic product by industrial sector will be published in the next issue of the Scottish Economic Bulletin.

    Employment

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland for each of the 10 most recent years for which figures are available, what were the numbers employed in Scotland in the nationalised industries, the private sector as a whole, and in private sector manufacturing industry.

    This information is not available in the form requested. Regular estimates of employment in Scotland, analysed according to the 1968 Standard Industrial Classification are, however, published in the Scottish Economic Bulletin and in the Scottish Abstract of Statistics.

    Industrial Production

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland for each of the 10 most recent years for which figures are available, what were the output in Scotland of the nationalised industries, the private sector as a whole, and in private sector manufacturing industry.

    Industrial Investment

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland for each of the 10 most recent years for which figures are available, what were Scotland's share of total fixed investment and the shares of nationalised industries and private sector industry in Scotland, respectively.

    Information on total capital expenditure in Scotland is not available. The following tables show Scotland's share of United Kingdom fixed capital formation for the nationalised industries—excluding steel—and capital expenditure by manufacturing industry for the latest periods available.

    Nationalised Industries (excluding steel)—Fixed Capital Formation
    Scotland as a percentage of United Kingdom
    1964–658·6
    1965–668·5
    1966–678·1
    1967–688·4
    1968–698·8
    1969–7010·3
    1970–7110·5
    1971–7211·3
    1972–7312·1
    Capital expenditure by manufacturing establishments
    Scotland as a percentage of United Kingdom
    19639·1
    19648·4
    19659·1
    196610·3
    19679·1
    196810·4
    196910·6
    197010·4
    19717·9
    19728·1*
    * Provisional.
    † Including capital expenditure by nationalised establishments.

    Eec Grants And Loans

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report the total receipts in cash terms to Scotland from the following European Economic Community sources for the period 1st January 1973 to 1st January 1975; (1) the Social Fund, (2) the European Investment Bank, (3) the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, and (4) the European Coal and Steel Community; and what percentage of the total disbursement from these funds within the United Kingdom went to Scotland.

    Information in the form requested by the hon. Member is not readily available. I refer him to my replies to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) on 26th November 1974 and to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) on 23rd January 1975 which gave information on sums committed for identifiably Scottish projects or expenditures.To that information should be added a £4 million loan approved by the European Investment Bank in December 1974 for a steel fabrication project in Lewis.Commitments and approvals towards identifiably Scottish projects and expenditures account for approximately the following percentages of commitments and approvals in respect of the United Kingdom in the period up to December 1974:

    per cent.
    (1) EEC Social Fund20
    (2) European Investment Bank16
    (3) European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund Guidance Section) Individual Projects Scheme21
    (4) European Coal and Steel Community Funds20
    N.B. There are other EEC contributions, e.g. EAGGF guarantee payments, for which Scottish figures are not readily available.

    Trade

    Textile And Footwear Imports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the current level of imports of textiles, garments and footwear from COMECON countries and the Far East.

    Following is the information for January-November 1974:

    £ thousand c.i.f.
    COMECON CountriesFar East*
    Textiles13,02183,571
    Garments10,262160,742
    Footwear11,08114,649
    * Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, North Korea and Republic of Korea.

    Holiday Travel

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade, whether he can yet state when he expects compensation to be paid for those who suffered loss of holidays due to the collapse of tour operators in 1974.

    My right hon. Friend expects to be able to introduce a Bill shortly, and I would ask hon. Members to await the submission of his proposals to the House.

    Oil Imports