Written Answers To Questions
Thursday 30th January 1975
asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Department of Energy and the Department of the Environment in matters concerning atmospheric pollution.
I have been asked to reply.Yes.
asked the Prime Minister if he will take steps to transfer to the Scottish Office the responsibilities at present under the care of the Minister of the Environment so far as these relate to Scotland.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so although, of course, this Question raises issues which will need to be considered in relation to the Government's proposals for devolution.
asked the Prime Minister whether he will now transfer to himself responsibility for the renegotiations on British membership of the EEC.
I have been asked to reply.No. My right hon. Friend sees no need to alter the present arrangements whereby my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary is responsible for the overall conduct of renegotiation.
asked the Prime Minister whether he will assume overall responsibility for the management of the economy.
asked the Prime Minister whether he will assume overall responsibility for the management of the economy.
I have been asked to reply.I would refer the hon. Members to the reply which I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington (Mr. Adley).
Department Of Industry
asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the arrangements for preventing the unauthorised disclosure of information by civil servants in the Department of Industry.
I have been asked to reply.Yes. Security arrangements for all Government Departments are kept under constant review.
Ministerial Policy (Statements Of Objection)
asked the Prime Minister if he will make it the practice of his administration that Ministers will answer Questions relating to formal statements of objection to ministerial policy by accounting officers.
I have been asked to reply.No.
United States Car Manufacturers
asked the Prime Minister whether he will take up with President Ford the desirability of a British Government stake in United States car manufacturers operating in Great Britain.
I have been asked to reply.No. My right hon. Friend will be discussing current economic problems including matters of concern to the motor car industry during his present visit to Washington but I have no reason to believe that he will be raising this aspect.
asked the Prime Minister if, on his next visit to the United States of America, he will discuss with the President appropriate action in connection with oil supplies from the Arab States.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend will be discussing the various aspects of international energy policy which are of concern to the British and American Governments during his present visit to Washington.
asked the Prime Minister if, on his next visit to the United State of America, he will discuss with President Ford the question of oil supplies and the Middle East situation.
asked the Prime Minister if, when he next visits the United States of America, he will discuss with the President the question of appropriate action to be taken in connection with supplies of oil from the Arab States.
I have been asked to reply.I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker).
National Economic Development Council
asked the Prime Minister when he last took the chair at a meeting of the NEDC.
I have been asked to reply.On 8th January.
asked the Prime Minister on how many occasions in this Parliament he has attended in his official capacity occasions organised by the European Movement.
I have been asked to reply.None.
Royal Prerogative Of Mercy
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that three Secretaries of State are personally responsible for advising on the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively, he will examine the operation of the system in order to see if it would be desirable to introduce uniform criteria for the exercise of these responsibilities.
I have been asked to reply.In advising on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy the responsible Secretaries of State already apply well understood common principles.
asked the Prime Minister which Minister is responsible for arranging direct elections to the European Parliament by 1978.
I have been asked to reply.The Government's position remains as stated in the communiqué issued by Heads of Government after their 9th-10th December meeting (Cmnd. 5830). We shall not take up a position on this proposal before the process of renegotiation has been completed and the results have been submitted to the British people.
Ministry Of Transport
asked the Prime Minister if he will transfer the responsibilities for the Ministry of Transport from the Secretary of State for the Environment to the Secretary of State for Industry.
I have been asked to reply.No. The House should assume that unless and until my right hon. Friend makes a statement to the contrary, he does not intend to change the allocation of responsibility between Ministers.
asked the Prime Minister when he next proposes to visit Bonn.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.
House Of Commons
Hours Of Work
asked the Lord President of the Council if he will move to set up a Select Committee on the hours of work of Members.
The question of late sittings of the House is one which is before the Select Committee on Procedure at present.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on Government aid for historic churches in use.
Historic buildings grants are not at present made to buildings in ecclesiastical use, which are exempt from control over the demolition of listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments. A Working Party of the General Synod of the Church of England has pursued with the Government, and through the Churches Main Committee with the other denominations, the possibility of such grants being made available for historic churches in use; and has, in consultation with my Department, carried out studies of the estimated costs of repair and the resources available to meet them in sample areas.After considering these studies and other representations from the General Synod, the Government have accepted in principle the case for some measure of State aid for historic churches and other ecclesiastical buildings in use, subject to agreement being reached on the amount of aid, conditions, methods and other relevant matters, and also having regard to the implications for public expenditure. On the basis of the studies, the aid involved, which would not extend to cathedrals, is not expected to exceed £1 million per annum at 1973 prices.My right hon. Friend, in consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, will be inviting the General Synod and, through the Churches Main Committee, the other denominations, to discuss the matters to be agreed with representatives of my Department.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress is being made in speeding up planning procedures so as to ensure that there is no undue delay in house building programmes.
Circular 171/74 said that priority should be given to planning applications for housing, and, as my right hon. Friend told my hon. Friend on 27th January—[Vol. 885, c. 43–4.]—local authorities will be urged to handle planning applications for housing development quickly. In addition I shall be considering very carefully the recommendations designed to accelerate decisions on planning applications in general contained in the final report of Mr. George Dobry, QC, on his Review of the Development Control System.
Planning Applications (Local Authority Costs)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will enable local authorities to charge a fee adequate to cover expenses incurred before the withdrawal of a planning application.
Proposals for charging a fee for planning applications have been rejected on many occasions because of the cost of collection and the extra administrative burden. I am aware that Mr. George Dobry, QC, has been looking at this as part of his review of development control, and I shall carefully consider any recommendations made.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much public money has been spent on the maintenance and running, respectively, of Heveningham Hall in each financial year since it was acquired by his Department; if he will give his estimates for the current financial year and for 1975–76; and if he will also give the number of visitors during each year and the gross receipts from their admission.
Heveningham Hall was acquired by my Department in August 1970, and the relevant figures are given below.
|Year||Gross repair and maintenance costs||Gross expenditure on opening to the public|
|Year||Visitors||Gross admission receipts|
|1974–75 (to date)||£7,818|
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will revise minimum Parker Morris standards to permit the contribution by local authorities, in suitable environments, of larger numbers of dwellings with one or two bedrooms.
I am in favour of the construction of larger numbers of such dwellings where there is a need for them, but Parker Morris standards do not prevent this. If the hon. Member knows of a difficulty in this context I should be grateful if he would write to me about it.
asked the Secretary of State for the Envronment if he will make a statement about the Government's policy towards council rent increases.
Responsibility for determining rents is being returned to local authorities under the Housing Rents and Subsidies Bill, which is now before Parliament, and any rent increases will, therefore, be a matter for them to decide. But the subsidy proposals in the Bill are such that, if local authorities restrain their expenditure on management and maintenance as they are asked to in Circular 171/74, they should find it possible to hold increases in both rents and rate fund contributions towards housing to a reasonable level in 1975–76.
Solent And Spithead
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is aware of the serious damage being caused to the beaches in the Solent and Spithead by excessive dredging; and what steps he is taking to secure the stability and maintenance of the coastline in their areas.
The Crown Estate Commissioners licence commercial dredging. They seek technical advice from the Hydraulics Research Station before granting any licence. I am not aware of any conclusive evidence that dredging has led to damage to beaches in the Solent and Spithead. Responsibility for protecting the coastline lies with the Coast Protection Authority.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has for visitors and training of archaeologists at the Roman city of Uriconium at Wroxeter, Shrewsbury; and if he will make a statement.
A meeting will be convened, to which the hon. Gentleman will be invited, with local authorities and other bodies to discuss a long-term plan prepared by my Department for the excavation and presentation of this most important site. The problem of training archaeologists is under general review, and in this connection the potentialities of this area will be taken into account.
Railway Accident, Bushey
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will announce his proposals for a public inquiry into the rail accident which occurred at Bushey, Hertfordshire, on Thursday 23rd January 1975; and if he will make a statement on his inspector's findings to date.
I have ordered an inquiry into this accident. It will be held by the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways and will open in the Stephenson Room, Euston Station, at 10 a.m. on 6th February. It would not be proper to make a further statement until the inquiry is complete.
Rate Support Grant
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimated percentage of inflation he took into account in determining the rate support grant for 1975–76.
It is not Government policy to publish their forecast of inflation.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to be able to announce his decision about the Eastbourne town centre redevelopment scheme, in respect of which a local planning inquiry was held in April 1974.
I hope to be able to announce the decision shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to amend the law so that present borrowing restrictions on the water authorities may be eased and consumer interests may be more effectively represented, either by the establishment of water consumer councils, or by requiring some or all members of the authorities to be directly elected.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will consider the hon. Member's suggestions as part of the general review of the working of the water industry which he proposes to undertake next year.
St Mary's Hospital, Paddington
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he has decided not to publish the report of his inspector's inquiry into the proposed redevelopment of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has decided to postpone this project and to withdraw the request for planning clearance. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is no longer, therefore, required to decide its planning merits or to publish his inspector's report. Any future redevelopment will require fresh planning clearance.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will propose removing the rateable value ceiling for improvement grants for houses in housing action areas.
No, but my right hon. Friend is ready to consider, without commitment, whether there is any justification for varying the rateable value limits if it can be demonstrated that in any particular areas they are preventing significant numbers of needy owner-occupiers from improving their homes to a desired standard. The RV limits do not, of course, apply to tenanted dwellings, nor to applications for intermediate or repairs grants.
House Sales (New Towns)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment under what powers he has banned, without his prior approval, the further sale of new town houses built for rent; in what form his decision has been commmunicated to the new town authorities; and on what date.
Development corporations were requested in a letter to general managers dated 25th April 1974 not to sell rented dwellings except where they were under a legal obligation to do so or where they had obtained my right hon. Friend's prior approval. Section 4 of the New Towns Act 1965 enables him to give directions to any development corporation restricting the exercise by it of any of its powers under the Act or requiring it to exercise those powers in any manner specified. The letter made it clear that the request formed part of an interim procedure pending a review of new town policy, and he did not think it necessary to invoke formal powers.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list, for each English new town, the total number of dwellings sold that had originally been built for rent up to 30th September 1974.
The information requested is as follows:
|Welwyn Garden City||885|
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment under what criteria he will be prepared to approve the sale of new town houses originally built for rent.
The criteria to be adopted will depend in the long run on the outcome of the discussions on the consultation document "New Towns in England and Wales". Meanwhile, in considering whether to give approval in a particular case, I shall have in mind particularly the level of demand for rented housing in the town in question and whatever exceptional circumstances may be adduced.
House Sales And Lets (New Towns)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list, for each English new town, the total number of houses built for sale by private developers on land made available to them by the new town, up to 30th September 1974; what percentage that figure represents of the total dwelling stock in the new town in each case; and what is the total rented stock for each new town, expressed in numerical terms.
The following table shows, in respect of each new town in England, at 30th September 1974, (a) the total number of houses built for sale by private developers on land made available to them by the development corporation; (b) the number of such privately built houses expressed as a percentage of the total number of new houses built in the town on land owned or made available by the development corporation; (c) the total remaining rented stock of the development corporation after taking account of sales of rented houses to tenants.
|(a) Privately built houses||(b) Percentage of total new houses built||(c) remaining rented stock|
|Welwyn Garden City||300||4·5||5,740|
d) below. Column ( e) shows the approximate total of rented stock, whether owned privately, by local authorities housing associations or development corporations. Both columns are based upon figures at 31st March 1974 the latest available.
Column (a) as percentage of total dwelling stock
Approximate total rented stock
|Welwyn Garden City||2·3||9,000|
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment by what percentage the average period between the start and completion of houses built by English local authorities lengthened between February 1972 and February 1974.
There was an estimated increase of 22 per cent. in the time lag between start and completion of dwellings built in England and Wales for local authorities and new towns.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment by what percentage the number of dwellings completed for rent in English new towns fell in 1972 compared with 1971, and in 1973 compared with 1971; and by what percentage the number of local authority houses completed in England fell in 1972 compared with 1971, and in 1973 compared with 1971.
In the English new towns the number of dwellings completed for rent in 1972 and 1973 showed falls of 24·3 per cent. and 24·4 per cent., respectively, in comparison with the 1971 figure. The comparable falls in English local authority completions were 18·9 per cent. and 32·0 per cent. respectively.
Fire Precautions (Old People's Homes)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether a decision has yet been reached whether any problems arise within Government responsibility arising from the recent loss of life at an old people's home built in accordance with the CLASP system; and, if so, what action is proposed.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friends and I will consider what action is appropriate to each of the Departments concerned once we have the report of the committee now set up to inquire into the fire at Fairfield.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which policy changes in the consultation paper "New Towns in England and Wales" have already been imposed by Her Majesty's Government on new towns in advance of consultation, other than his ban on the sales of new town houses built for rent; under what powers; when the decision was communicated to the New Towns Act 1965.
The procedure whereby the Secretary of State issues informal advice to development corporations and the commission stems from the power of direction contained in Section 4 of the New Towns Act 1965.In order not to prejudice the outcome of a general review of new town policy which I put in hand on taking office in March 1974, new town development corporations in England and the Commission for the New Towns were asked first in a letter of 29th March 1974 not to enter into further commitments to disposal of land for private sector commercial and industrial development freehold, and secondly in a letter of 25th April not to enter into further commitments to dispose of housing land to the private sector without obtaining the agreement of the Secretary of State. In a circular issued on 5th September 1974, the same authorities were advised, inter alia and still pending the outcome of the policy review, that the Secretary of State would not normally give approval to the freehold sale of land in their ownership to private housebuilders or for private sector commercial and industrial development, and that in the immediate future emphasis should be placed on meeting the demand for rented housing.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total amount of the needs element in the rate support grant allocated for the West Lancashire District Council for 1975–76 and the percentage increase in 1974–75.
In a non-metropolitan county the needs element of the rate support grant is paid to the county council; it is not allocated to districts. Lancashire's initial 1975–76 needs element entitlement is £73·9 million, which is 50 per cent. higher than its original 1974–75 entitlement.
Manchester Underground Railway Link
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations his Department had with the officials and members of Great Manchester Council prior to his decision not to allow sufficient funds to allow a start to be made on the Picc-Vic rail tunnel project in 1975–76.
Discussions about this project have taken place at officer level over the past four years. Both my predecessor and I have visited Manchester to meet the council and the passenger transport executive. I also met a deputation from the council on the topic in London on 13th May 1974.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what discussions he has had following his rejection of the Picc-Vic project;(2) if he will visit Greater Manchester to inspect the areas affected by the proposals related to Central Manchester and the Bury road rail link interchange with the Picc-Vic rail tunnel project.
I have been invited by the Greater Manchester Council to visit Manchester, and hope to do so during the next few weeks. Under the transport supplementary grant provisions, it is for local authorities to determine their priorities within the total resources available.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what has been the total amount of Government grants given to the conurbations of Liverpool, Tyneside, Birmingham, London and Manchester during the past 10 years for road and rail projects that are related to transportation policies;(2) what were the total Government grants for transportation projects paid to the conurbations of Liverpool, Tyneside, Birmingham, London and Manchester per year over the past 10 years expressed on a per capita basis.
Information in the form requested is not available. The new system of transport supplementary grant begins on 1st April next, and local authority boundaries and functions have altered substantially. In addition, not all Exchequer grants can be attributed to particular transport schemes.
Family Farm Holdings
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what effect he estimates the gift tax will have on the size of family farm holdings over the next 10 years.
The rates of the tax are lower than were those of the estate duty and the Finance Bill provides a generous measure of relief for working farmers. The new tax is, therefore, unlikely to affect the size of family farm holdings.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in the light of increased Government subsidies to industry, he will revise the Government borrowing requirement of £6·3 billion for the current financial year.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Lamont).
Foreign Investment (European Countries)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a table showing the investment in Great Britain by Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg and the investment by Great Britain in these countries in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974.
Estimates of capital flows between the United Kingdom and other EEC countries are available only for direct investment and only up to 1972. For details of these estimates I would refer my right hon. Friend to the reply my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Trade gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) on 21st January.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a further statement about his discussions with Finance Ministers on the recycling of Arab petrodollar surpluses.
I would refer my hon. Friend to my statement of 21st January.—[Vol. 884, 1229–31.]
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the increase in the level of foreign investment in the United Kingdom since March 1974.
Overseas investment in the United Kingdom public and private sectors, net of disinvestment, in the second and third quarters of 1974, the latest period for which information is available, totalled £1,304 million.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider setting up a foreign investment board to monitor overseas influence on the economy of this country in the light of the present economic situation.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider setting up a foreign investment board to monitor overseas influence in the economy of this country in the light of the present economic situation.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider setting up an investment bank to investigate, and approve or disapprove, proposed foreign investments to be made in all branches of British industry; and whether he will make a statement.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in the light of the present economic situation, he will consider establishing a board with responsibility for monitoring the flow of foreign investment into the United Kingdom.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider setting up a foreign investment board to monitor the influence of foreign capital investment on the economy of the United Kingdom.
Interdepartmental machinery already exists for considering proposals for foreign investment in this country and their likely effect on our economy.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the tax position of a person receiving an invalidity benefit which becomes a retirement pension at the age of 70 years, so as to maintain the tax exemption applicable to the invalidity benefit.
The tax structure is kept under regular review. To allow retirement pensioners who have been receiving invalidity benefits up to age 70 to draw their retirement pension tax free could be regarded as unfair by other pensioners whose incomes are not larger. No tax, of course, is payable where an individual's only income is a national insurance retirement pension.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of private investment for 1975; and how this compares with 1974.
Forecasts for private investment as a whole have not been published except at Budget time in the "Financial Statement and Budget Report". I do not propose to depart from this practice today.
European Investment Bank Loans
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the loans granted by the European Investment Bank for projects in the United Kingdom in 1974.
In 1974 the European Investment Bank granted nine loans totalling £79·9 million for projects in the United Kingdom. The details are:
|EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK LOANS, 1ST JANUARY 1974 TO 31ST DECEMBER 1974|
|North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board||…||…||…||10·4||20 years at 9½ per cent.||Peterhead Power Station, Aberdeenshire.|
|Elf Oil (U.K.)||…||…||…||…||…||…||…||10·4||10 years at 9⅞ per cent.||Development of the Frigg gas field in the North Sea.|
|Total Oil (U.K.)||…||…||…||…||…||…|
|Aquitaine Oil (U.K.)||…||…||…||…||…||…|
|Kent and Essex County Councils||…||…||…||…||7·0||10 years at 10½ per cent.||Second Dartford Tunnel.|
|British Steel Corporation||…||…||…||…||…||8·0||12 years at 10½ per cent.||New Sinter plant at Port Talbot Steelworks.|
|British Steel Corporation||…||…||…||…||…||12·0||12 years at 10½ per cent.||Construction of bar mill at Thrybergh Steelworks near Rotherham.|
|Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation||…||…||10·0||10 years at 10½ per cent.||For on-lending to small and medium-sized firms in the development areas.|
|Lewis Offshore Ltd.||…||…||…||…||…||…||4·0||8 years at 10½ per cent.||Development of a construction yard at Arnish Point in the Hebrides for the assemble of equipment for offshore oil exploration and production.|
|Electricity Council||…||…||…||…||…||…||15·6||12 years at 10½ per cent.||Nuclear power station at Hartlepool.|
|Short Brothers and Harland Ltd., Belfast||…||…||…||2·5||5 years at 10½ per cent.||Development of low-cost commuter aircraft at the company's factory in Belfast.|
Value Added Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in order to take account of inflation, he will seek to raise the point at which traders have to register for VAT.
I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the revenue collected in the year 1973–74 from VAT on sanitary towels and toilet paper.
I regret that the information requested is not available.
Manor Of Northstead
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the criteria he uses to consider applications for the stewardship of the Manor of Northstead.
There are no fixed criteria which govern my consideration of applications for the Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead, but it is customary for the Chancellor to grant formal applications as a matter of course, except in very extreme cases.
Development Land Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to make a detailed statement on the proposed development land tax.
The statement will be issued very shortly. Copies will be placed in the Library.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied that the guidelines in the social contract and its current application will help him achieve his recent budgetary forecasts.
As I said in my Budget Statement, we have a commitment to fight both unemployment and inflation. Firm adherence to the social contract is essential if we are to achieve these ends, as the TUC has recognised in recent talks with the Government.
Eec Finance Ministers (Meeting)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the meeting held by the EEC Finance Ministers on 19th December 1974.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the meeting of EEC Finance Ministers on 19th December 1974.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the meeting of the EEC Finance Ministers on 19th December 1974.
At their meeting on 19th December 1974 the Finance Ministers had a general discussion of the consequences of the decisions on economic matters taken by the Heads of Government at their conference on 10th and 11th December. Ministers also heard progress reports on a number of monetary and financial issues and agreed in principle to the regulation implementing the Community Loans Scheme. They also had a progress report on the Sixth Draft Directive on VAT. The Council adopted a resolution on the strengthening of co-operation between tax authorities.
Motor And Construction Industries
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any proposals for preventing rising unemployment in the motor car and construction industries.
We have already assisted British Leyland with a bank guarantee of £50 million. We have also allocated additional money for public sector housing and public sector construction, in addition to loan facilities to the building societies. Both sectors will also share in the general benefits to company finance brought about by my right hon. Friend's November measures. The Government are keeping the position in both these industries under constant review.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what means Her Majesty's Government make comments and press for changes in the EEC draft budget; what representations were made in connection with the budget for 1975; and with what result.
Before the Council of Ministers establishes the draft budget the preliminary draft budget is discussed in detail at official level in various committees of the Council prior to being considered by the Budget Council. The United Kingdom representatives played an active part in these discussions, which resulted this year in a reduction of almost £500 million in the expenditure proposed in the preliminary draft budget.
Interest Rate (Small Deposits)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will remove the present limit on the rate of interest payable by banks on small deposits.
I have no plans for doing so at present, but the situation will be kept under review.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will set up a special fund to purchase small businesses which cannot be sold but which have to pay capital transfer tax and where the owner has no means outside of the business of finding the money required.
No. The Finance Bill already provides a significant relief for small business; the capital transfer tax on certain business assets may be paid by instalments interest free.
Taxation Changes (Publicity)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure in future that leaflets issued by the Inland Revenue describing his proposals for changes in tax rates and allowances make clear to the reader that such proposals are subject to acceptance, rejection or amendment by Parliament.
It is the normal practice of the Inland Revenue to describe Budget proposals as such in the leaflets it issues.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to publish the Sandilands report on inflation accounting.
I understand Mr. Sandilands' committee does not hope to submit its report to the Government before the end of March. The question of publication will be for decision in the context of the Government's consideration of its recommendations.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his present estimate of tax avoidance by owner-occupiers who do not declare rent received from privately rented accommodation within their homes.
It is not possible to make an estimate.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will identify the tax element in gasoline as a percentage of total retail price in each country of Western Europe.
The following is the information for EEC members:
|TAXES ON PETROL AS PERCENTAGE OF RETAIL PRICE*|
|France (Paris zone)||56·2|
|Germany (Average Aral AG)||58·9|
|* With the exception of the figures for the United Kingdom and Ireland this information is based on details of petrol prices and taxes published in the Petroleum Times.|
Treasury Staff (Qualifications)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what number and what proportion of the administrative class officials in the Treasury have economics degrees.
The administrative class no longer exists. In those grades in the Open Structure and the Administration Group approximately analogous to the old administrative class grades there are 156 officers of whom 32 per cent.—50—hold economics degrees. In addition there are 52 officers in the Treasury employed as professional economists, all of whom hold economics degrees.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what number and what proportion of the administrative class officials in the Treasury joined the Civil Service straight from university.
Sixty-five officers of the 156 in those grades in the Open Structure and the Administration Group approximately analogous to the old administrative class grades entered the Civil Service straight from university after taking their first degree.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what number and what proportion of the administrative class civil servants in the Treasury, excluding exchange arrangements or temporary release, have any experience of working either in industry or in the City.
There are 156 officers in the Treasury in the Open Structure and in the Administration Group in those grades approximately analogous to the old administrative class grades. Excluding exchanges or temporary releases, 10 of these have had substantive experience of working in industry or the City.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what growth in total public expenditure he now expects in 1975; and what was the growth in 1973 and 1974.
I would refer the hon. Member to the White Paper on Public Expenditure to 1978–79 (Cmnd
|SUPERANNUATION AND PENSION FUNDS' HOLDINGS AT MARKET VALUE OF ORDINARY SHARES IN UNITED KINGDOM REGISTERED COMPANIES|
|End 1966||End 1973|
|United Kingdom quoted companies||United Kingdom unquoted companies||Total||United Kingdom quoted companies||United Kingdom unquoted companies||Total|
|Private sector funds||1,524||12||1,536||2,884||64||2,948|
|Local authority funds||225||0||225||(575)||(15)||590*|
|Other public sector funds||420||0||420||1,324||16||1,340|
|Total in issue (B)||…||24,006||4,189||28,195||40,519||†||†|
|Percentage (A) to (B)||9·0||0·3||7·7||11·8||†||†|
|* Relates to 31st March 1974 and includes holdings of ordinary shares in overseas companies; division of holdings between quoted and unquoted roughly estimated.|
|† Not available.|
5879), published today, which provides figures for public expenditure from the financial years from 1969–70 to 1978–79. The growth rates, in volume terms, for the three financial years 1973–74, 1974–75 and 1975–76 are, respectively, 6 per cent., 7·4 per cent. and 1·4 per cent. The corresponding figures are not available for calendar years.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any proposals to introduce a wage freeze, a wages or incomes policy other than that contained in the existing social contract of any form of Government or statutory control over wages.
It remains the Government's view that firm adherence to the TUC guidelines under the social contract offers the best prospect of curbing inflation and preventing additional unemployment.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated holding of superannuation and pension funds in the equity of British industry; and what percentage of total investment in equity this represents.
The available information relates to the equity capital of all United Kingdom companies, including financial as well as industrial and commercial companies. The latest figures for the equity capital of all companies, whether quoted or unquoted, relate to the end of 1966, but figures for quoted companies are available as at end 1973. The information is as follows:
In addition to the figures shown above for independent superannuation or pension schemes, many employers make use of facilities provided by life assurance companies. Figures of company securities held by life assurance companies in respect of occupational pension business are not in general distinguished, since a single fund is maintained for all longterm business including individual pensions and ordinary life assurance. At the end of 1966 the ordinary shares held by insurance companies' long-term funds were valued at £3,022 million—quoted companies—and £46 million—unquoted companies—which represented respectively 12·8 per cent. of the equity capital of quoted companies, 1·1 per cent. of that of unquoted companies; and 11·1 per cent. of all companies.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any proposals to introduce selective import controls.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied that the present methods of measuring the pressure of demand provide the accurate data necessary for efficient demand management; and, if not, what steps he is taking to develop more accurate methods.
There is no unique way of assessing the pressure of demand at either the national or the individual industry level. A wide range of approaches is used by the Government in gauging both the pressure and pattern of demand and supply. These techniques, both quantitative and qualitative in nature, require careful interpretation. I fully appreciate the need to develop further the Government's ability to monitor the pressure of demand.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average annual growth in real domestic product per head of population, of each of the member States of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, during the periods 1948 to 1958, 1958 to 1973 and at the latest date for which figures are available, respectively.
Figures are not available on an internationally comparable basis for periods before 1950, nor, at present, for later than 1972. The following table shows the average annual percentage rate of growth in gross domestic product at constant purchasers' values per head of population, as defined by the OECD, for the periods 1950 to 1958 and 1958 to 1972. Figures for New Zealand, Portugal and Yugoslavia are not available.
|GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT AT CONSTANT PURCHASERS' VALUES: PER HEAD OF POPULATION|
|(Average annual percentage rates of growth)|
|Sources: National Accounts of OECD Countries, 1950–68; National Accounts of OECD Countries 1961–72; Manpower Statistics 1950–62 (OECD); GDP for the United Kingdom is as defined by the OECD, but consistent with figures published in National Income and Expenditure, 1963–73.|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, taking the £ as 100p today, what its equivalent purchasing power, expressed in terms of new pence, was in 1914, 1938, 1947 and 1951, respectively.
Taking the internal purchasing power of the pound as 100p in December 1974, the latest available date, its value is estimated to have been:
The basis for these estimates is given in "The Internal Purchasing Power of the Pound", a leaflet released by the Press and Information Service of the Central Statistical Office.
Eec Grants And Loans
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report the total of grants made by various funds of the European Community to projects and undertakings in the United Kingdom for each of the years 1973 and 1974, naming those where the annual grant is in excess of £500,000 or other convenient figure as the respective authority for that expenditure.
The total of United Kingdom receipts for 1973 and 1974, other than from loans, from the European Communities is:
|£m. 1973||£m. 1974|
|European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)—|
|Guarantee Section (under various Community instruments)||63||112|
|Guidance Section (under Council Regulation (EEC) 1353–73)||—||0·02|
|European Social Fund (under the Council Decision of 1st February 1971)||—||22|
|European Coal and Steel Community (under Article 55 of the Treaty of Paris)||—||1|
|10 per cent. refund for the costs of collecting "own resources" (under Article 3 of the Council Decision of 21st April 1970)||13||19|
|Euratom (under various Community instruments)||0·1||1·5|
Capital Gains Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much capital gains tax in the last financial year was levied from the privately-rented element of owner-occupied housing.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will tabulate in the Official Report the approximate amounts of investment in productive industry in the United Kingdom for each of the years 1970 to 1974, indicating broadly the sources of such capital investment.
Information on investment in fixed assets by the industries covered by the index of industrial production—the total of mining and quarrying, gas, electricity and water, construction, and manufacturing—is given in the table below.
|Gross Domestic Fixed Capital Formation|
|£ million at current prices|
|1974 (first three quarters only)||3,666|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure that new allowances for retirement pensioners are being properly coded for PAYE purposes.
Where the information available to the Inland Revenue indicates that a taxpayer is likely to be entitled to the new age allowance, appropriate provision is being made in his PAYE coding for next year.
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.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 29th January 1975; Vol. 885, c. 182], gave the following information:Because the notices of coding being sent to taxpayers are also accompanied by a leaflet which describes my proposal for an age allowance as such.
asked the Attorney-General if he is now able to announce whether he has received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning the strength of the evidence available to prosecute persons associated with the convicted architect, Mr. Poulson, in his activities in this country and in Malta.
I have received advice from the Director on several occasions on these matters, but investigations are still proceeding. I hope to be in a position to make a statement on their progress soon.
asked the Attorney-General what expert advice is obtained prior to a decision by the police to seize allegedly pornographic magazine material.
These are matters for the police, for whom I have no ministerial responsibility. The Director of Public Prosecutions is available to advise the police.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if the limits on length of journeys for animals exported for slaughter, as presently laid down in the Balfour Assurances, will continue to apply; and if he will clarify the conditions under which licences will be issued;(2) if the EEC draft directive on intra-community trade in live animals—64/432/EEC as amended—applies to sheep; and under what international and legally enforceable code the export trade in sheep from the United Kingdom will operate, particularly to France which had not signed the Balfour Assurances for sheep;(3) if the Balfour Assurances on the export trade in live animals for slaughter will continue to operate; and if so for what countries.
The Balfour Assurances were undertakings given by the Governments of Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and West Germany on the treatment of animals exported from this country for slaughter. They are being superseded by more comprehensive safeguards for animal welfare which have been sponsored by the European Economic Community and by the Council of Europe.EEC Directive 64/432, as amended, contains health provisions for cattle and pigs, with incidental welfare benefits. Directive 74/577, adopted on 18th November 1974, deals with the humane slaughter of cattle, sheep and pigs. It will become fully operative throughout the Community by not later than 1st July 1975.The welfare of farm animals during transport between member States will be safeguarded by another directive which the Commission is expected to put to the Council of Ministers shortly. It will give effect in Community law to the Council of Europe Convention, already ratified by six EEC member States, including France, on the welfare of animals during international transport. In the convention, the accent is on ensuring that the animals are fit to travel and on avoiding delays rather than on precise distance limits. Applications for licences will be considered for exports to member States of the European Economic Community and to such other countries as can provide adequate safeguards for the animals in question. There will be close veterinary control.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received suggesting that EEC regulations on eggs are not being applied equitably and fairly throughout the Common Market; what assessment he has made of the likely impact on the United Kingdom market of imports from the Community; and if he will make a statement.
Various sections of the industry have from time to time suggested that the EEC regulations on eggs are not equitably and fairly applied throughout the Community. I have no evidence of this. But if there were such evidence I would ensure that it was followed up in the appropriate way.The level of imports from the Community varies from time to time, but the total quantities involved are small, amounting to less than 3 per cent. of supplies last year. The availability of imported eggs has some influence on prices here, but the main factor is the level of home production.
Cereals (Growers' Incomes)
asked the Minister of Agricuture, Fisheries and Food what estimate has been made by the European Commission of the increase in United Kingdom cereal producers' incomes in 1974; and how this compares with estimates prepared by his own Department.
In its annual report to the Council on the agricultural situation in the Community (R/3408/74) the European Commission estimated that incomes on cereal farms in the United Kingdom were likely to practically double between 1972–73 and 1973–74 and that some further increase was expected in 1974–75. These estimates were based on information supplied by my Department relating to net incomes on specialist cereal farms. Net incomes on general cropping farms increased by rather less.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how much of the rise in sugar prices to £285 per ton was attributable to the cost of purchasing EEC raw sugar at premium prices;(2) how much of the rise in sugar prices to £285 per ton was attributable to losses incurred in the collapse of the Paris sugar market;(3) how much of the rise in sugar prices to £285 per ton is attributable to increases in the price of sugar beet to United Kingdom growers;(4) how much of the rise in sugar prices to £285 per ton was attributable to losses incurred in borrowing sugar for the domestic market, which had been purchased on the world market for export;(5) how much of the rise in sugar prices to £285 per ton was attributable to the cost of compensating other Commonwealth Sugar Agreement countries following the agreement to purchase sugar from Guyana at £145 per ton;(6) how much of the rise in sugar prices to £285 per ton was attributable to losses incurred in buying sugar on the world market, which failed to obtain sufficient subsidy to bring its price within the EEC price range under the Lardinois scheme.
The new price was determined in accordance with the Price Code, as modified by a certificate of the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection issued under paragraph 83 of the code. Details of the cost increases which were taken into account are confidential to the three main sugar refining companies concerned.
Eec Grants And Loans
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the disbursements of the EAGFF of the EEC for the year 1974 showing the amounts received in each of the member States for each of the main commodities supported by the fund.
This information is not yet available as the financial statements of member States on their expenditure in 1974 under guarantee section of the EAGGF are not due to be submitted to the Commission of the European Communities until the second half of February.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what has been the annual change in the acreage devoted to the production of
|ENGLAND AND WALES: ESTIMATED CROPPED AREA AND OUTPUT OF FRUIT FROM ORCHARDS GROWN COMMERCIALLY*|
|TOTAL CROPPED AREA ('000 acres)|
|OUTPUT ('000 tons)|
|TOTAL CROPPED AREA ('000 acres)|
|OUTPUT ('000 tons)|
|* The area of mixed orchards and orchards growing other varieties of fruit and nuts during the past ten years is estimated to have been about 2,600 acres with an annual outpt of about 2,600 tons.|
|† Includes damsons and gages.|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the volume of apples, pears, plums, cherries and other tree fruits imported
|Apples||Pears and Quinces||Plums*||Cherries|
|* Including bullace, damsons, greengages and mirabelles.|
|† Figures for December 1974 are not yet available.|
apples, pears, plums, cherries and other tree fruits in England and Wales over the course of the past 10 years;
(2) what has been the change in annual volume of apples, pears, plums, cherries and other tree fruits produced in England and Wales over the course of the past 10 years.
The information is as follows:from abroad for each year from 1965 onwards.
The following table shows imports of tree fruits of kinds grown in the United Kingdom on a commercial scale:
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on agricultural rents in the light of the recent decision to lift the control on business rents.
We are considering the matter.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the approximate proportions of the major categories of food for human consumption in the United Kingdom derived from the United Kingdom, the original six members of the EEC, Denmark and Eire, Commonwealth countries, and the rest of the world respectively for each of the years 1972 and 1974.
The United Kingdom produced nearly 55 per cent. of its supplies of food for human consumption in 1972–73, the latest period for which this analysis is available. Import statistics for agricultural commodities do not show whether imports were intended for human consumption or not. It is not, therefore, possible to tell what proportion of imports from a particular country are intended for human consumption as against use for animal feed or for various industrial purposes.
Food Subsidies (Administration)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total number of civil servants in his Department administering food subsidies on (a) 1st June 1974, (b) 1st November, and (c) 1st January 1975; and what was the annual administrative cost on each date, including both salaries and administrative overheads.
On each date the number of civil servants administering subsidies in my Department and the total cost were as follows:
|1st June 1974||40||£165,881|
|1st November 1974||117||£484,812|
|1st January 1975||127||£536,748|
Church Commissioners (Farm Tenancies)
asked the hon. Member for Kingswood, as representing the Church Commissioners, whether it is the policy of the Commissioners in letting farms to give preference, subject to evidence of competence, to farmers' sons wishing to take over tenancies on the death or retirement of their fathers.
Yes. The Commissioners' policy is to accept a tenant's son in succession to his father provided he has proved himself and has adequate financial resources to run the farm at an agreed proper rent. If for some special reason a son who fulfilled these requirements could not be offered the tenancy, the Commissioners would endeavour to offer him the tenancy of another Commissioners' farm at the first opportunity. The Commissioners welcome the fact that the tenancies of many of their farms have been in the same families for generations.
Textiles (Departmental Purchases)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total value of textile goods purchased by his Department during the past 12 months.
In the 12 months ending 31st December 1974 the Ministry of Defence purchased textile goods to the value of about £33 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of textile goods over the last 12 months has been purchased from British manufacturers by his Department.
In the 12 months ending 31st December 1974 the Ministry of Defence purchased about 96 per cent. of its requirements for textile goods from British manufacturers.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the function served by the Combined Cadet Force.
The Combined Cadet Force is a voluntary part-time force organised in schools which continue education to the age of 18 or above. It is intended to provide the framework of a disciplined organisation, through which young people who wish to join may develop qualities of endurance, self-reliance, leadership and responsibility. It is also designed to encourage those who are interested to take up a career in the Regular or Reserve Forces.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the evidence to which he has referred as indicating that the Combined Cadet Force performs a useful function.
The evidence consists in the continued strength and vitality of the individual contingents of the Combined Cadet Force, the high regard in which they are held by the schools and the enthusiasm of the members for the various activities of the force. I have already promised to write to the hon. Member on the recruiting aspect.
Fishery Protection Vessels
asked the Secretary of State for Defence in how many incidents fishery protection boats have been involved with foreign vessels fishing illegally in British waters over the last five years; and in how many cases prosecutions resulted.
During the past five years, Royal Navy fishery protection vessels have, in addition to making many routine boardings, investigated 125 foreign fishing vessels for infringements of the fishing regulations; all but two were successfully prosecuted. Of these, 56 were convicted of illegal fishing in British waters.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many fishery protection boats there are; and of the total, how many are applied to use in Scottish waters.
As the House will be aware from my answer on 5th December 1974—[Vol. 882, c. 607]—there are, at present, eight mine countermeasures vessels and one fast patrol craft in the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron, but other units of the Fleet assist as necessary. As far as the inshore fishery protection duties of the Royal Navy are concerned, the waters of the British Islands are treated as a whole and vessels are not allocated to particular countries.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what reduction or reductions in the fishery protection fleet is, or are, pending; and if he will publish such details in the Official Report.
No reduction in the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron is contemplated.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the defence budget of the United Kingdom has been spent on fishery protection boats in each of the last five years.
Royal Navy vessels employed on fishery protection duties operate as an integral part of the Fleet and their cost cannot sensibly be separately identified within the defence budget.
Education And Science
Higher Education (Overseas Students)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many overseas students from (a) Commonwealth and (b) non-Commonwealth countries are included in the revised figure of 640,000 higher education students for the year 1981; and how this compares with the breakdown of the previous figure of 750,000.
In planning higher education numbers for 1981 allowance is made for overseas students as a whole but there is no differentiation between those from Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries. Nearly half of these students are following postgraduate courses, mainly in universities, and places required for overseas students as a whole within the 640,000 higher education total cannot be estimated until I have completed the discussions with universities and maintained institutions described in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Luard) on 25th November 1974.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science in order to assist educational authorities allocate grants to students, if he will circulate guidelines with regard to the provision of information about the true income of parents applying for assistance.
For students receiving mandatory grants, provisions concerning the income of parents and the parental contribution are set out in statutory regulations. In addition, my Department issues general guidance to local education authorities by means of circulars and other publications.
School Heating (Holiday Periods)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will carry out an inquiry into how many schools throughout the country kept heating plants and domestic hot water circuits left on in schools which remained unused during the Christmas holidays, in order to establish whether greater economies in fuel consumption could have been achieved;(2) if, in the interests of energy conservation, he will take steps designed to ensure that schools which remain unused during holiday periods, do not waste heat unnecessarily.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy is holding urgent discussions with local authorities on energy conservation, which will include economy in the use of fuel when buildings are not occupied. In most schools automatic controls shut off the heating and hot water plant during weekends and holidays, except when it is activated by a frost warning device. Many local authorities have fuel efficiency officers who assist schools to operate their plant economically, and my Department is encouraging all authorities to adopt such good housekeeping arrangements. I do not think a special inquiry is needed.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is satisfied with the number of universities in North and Mid-Wales, and the number of places for students in Wales.
University development is related to the needs of Great Britain as a whole, and current provision of university places is consistent with the Robbins principle.
Students (Cost Distribution)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is now the estimated total value of spouses' contribution to the cost of married women's higher education.
About £1 million per annum.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is now the estimated total value of the parental contribution to the cost of students' higher education.
The latest estimate available is about £63 million for 1973–74.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give an assurance that he intends to reintroduce free milk into schools; and when he expects to be able to do this.
I regret I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend on 22nd January.—[Vol. 884, c. 416.]
Halesowen And Stourbridge
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the latest figures he has available for men and women in Halesowen and Stourbridge who are working short time.
Currently there are 600 males and 3,200 females known to my Department to be on short-time working in the Stourbridge employment office area. The comparable figures for Halesowen are 22 males and 16 females.
Theatres And Clubs
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take steps to ensure that those who engage in public entertainment in theatres and clubs, and are exposed to hazards such as electricity, are given similar protection at law to those who are generally employed in industrial occupations.
An entertainer working in a club or theatre will be protected by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 when the general provisions of that Act come into operation on 1st April 1975.
Health And Safety
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what guidance the Health and Safety Commission or Health and Safety Executive will be giving to inspectors to enable them to decide when they should serve a prohibition notice under Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974;(2) what guidance the Health and Safety Commission or Health and Safety Executive will be giving to inspectors to enable them to decide if an activity involves a risk of serious personal injury for the purposes of Section 22(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th January 1975; Vol. 885, c. 16], gave the following information:The Health and Safety Commission has informed me that guidance is being given to all inspectors of the Health and Safety Executive in the form of general guidelines, instructions and training. This is a continuing exercise to enable such guidance to be sharpened and revised in the light of experience of these new procedures.Prohibition of use of premises and plant is not, of course, a new power for inspectors, but the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 has created new and more flexible procedures.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if his Department treats the loss of a finger or broken arm as falling within the classification of serious personal injury for the purposes of Section 22(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th January 1975; Vol. 885, c. 16] gave the following information:I am informed by the Health and Safety Commission that such risks would be regarded by it as a risk of serious personal injury.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report the number of rigs which are currently exploring for oil and gas in the North Sea, the number in operation in January in each of the past seven years, and the total number in each of the past seven year on an annual basis.