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Written Answers

Volume 885: debated on Monday 3 February 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 3rd February 1975

Energy

Solar Energy (American Research)

55.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will seek to arrange that the results of American research into solar energy are made available in this country.

Yes. We are playing a full part in the discussions now taking place on international co-operation in solar energy research under the aegis of the International Energy Agency, of which the USA is a member.

Oil Platforms

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the numbers, type and class of platforms which are estimated for use on the Frigg field; and if he will give the number so far on order with details of estimated cost, company from where ordered and prospective dates of delivery.

Frigg is a gas field lying across the dividing line between the United Kingdom and Norway. Four platforms are planned for the United Kingdom side of which two will be of steel and two of concrete. Three of these are currently on order. An order for one concrete platform has been placed with McAlpine in Scotland, whilst orders for one steel and the second concrete platform have been placed with UIE, France and Howard-Doris, Norway respectively. All three platforms are due for delivery this year. As regards the cost of the platforms, this is a commercial matter between the oil operator and his suppliers.

Oil Industry (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many firms are involved in Scotland in offshore oil activity; and how many firms are estimated by his Department or the Offshore Supplies Office to have the capability for such involvement.

It is estimated that about 800 firms are presently involved in Scotland in the offshore oil industry. It is not possible, however, to estimate the number of firms which have an offshore capability because of the very wide range of goods and services that make up the offshore market.

Oil Conservation (Eec Countries)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will set out in the Official Report the steps that are being taken in each of the EEC countries to curtail the use of fuel oil, gasoline and domestic heating oil.

The information is being obtained and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Oil Platform Production Sites

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what guidance is being given by the Offshore Supplies Office, in the interests of continuity of employment, to ensure that oil production platform sites have a capability inbuilt in their construction for easy conversion to general construction, engineering or manufacturing purposes.

The facilities needed for platform construction are specialised, and I am not clear that, however desirable, any guidance of the kind referred to by the hon. Member could usefully be issued at this time. If, however, he has some practical suggestions to make I should be pleased to look into them. The Offshore Supplies Office has been, and is, always willing to advise a platform contractor on diversification into other offshore activities.

Electricity Disconnections

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is able to estimate the annual number of disconnections of domestic electricity supplies.

The Electricity Council estimates the number of disconnections for debt in any year as less than 1 per centum of the number of all credit consumers.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will legislate to require area electricity boards to maintain and publish statistics relating to disconnection of supplies.

No. Area boards keep records, including numbers of disconnections, for their own administrative purposes in fulfilment of their statutory obligations.

Petrol Pricing

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will give an assurance that he will consult the Motor Agents' Association before announcing any decision on the two-tier pricing of petrol.

I am writing to the association suggesting that it meets a senior official to elaborate its views.

National Finance

Finance For Industry

56.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications for loans there have been to Finance for Industry; how many have been granted; and if he is satisfied with its operation.

Publication of information about its activities is a matter for Finance for Industry itself. However, the company announced on 14th January that it had already received about 100 inquiries representing a potential loan total of some £350 million-£400 million.

Borrowing (Public Sector)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the total borrowing requirement in the public sector in the current financial year.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave on 30th January to the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Lamont).—[Vol. 885, c. 602.]

Capital Transfer Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the financial benefits which will accrue to the United Kingdom Government in the years 1974–75 and 1975–76 from his decision that, as far as the Isle of Man is concerned, all persons domiciled in the United Kingdom and moving to the island after 12th November 1974 will be deemed to be domiciled in the United Kingdom for the purposes of the capital transfer tax.

Company Accounts And Inflation Committee

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times the Inflation Accounting Committee has met; and if he will make a statement about its work.

I understand that the Committee on Company Accounts and Inflation has had some 30 formal meetings. The committee hopes to report at about the end of March and the Government will await its conclusions with interest.

European Investment Bank Loans

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to obtain and publish a list of the loans made to British industry by the European Investment Bank in the year 1974.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30th January 1975 to the hon. Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Grist)—[Vol. 885, c. 248–50.]—which lists all the loans granted by the European Investment Bank in the United Kingdom in 1974.

Public Sector Debt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the size per head of population of public sector debt in Great Britain, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the United States of America, Japan and Sweden in the latest year for which the information is available, expressed in £ sterling.

Information on public sector debt is not available from international sources. The following estimates of central Government debt per head have been derived from national statistical publications and from population estimates included in the OECD's "Main Economic Indicators" (November 1974 issue). The table contains estimates of national debt for the United Kingdom as no separate figures are available for Great Britain.

ESTIMATES OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DEBT PER HEAD IN £ STERLING OR STERLING EQUIVALENT
Central Government debt outstanding per head at end-March 1974
United Kingdom720
France150
West Germany290
Belgium910
Netherlands450
Italy250
USA960
Japan180
Sweden610
Debt is shown at nominal values, converted into sterling at market rates of exchange. It should be noted that the figures are affected by differences in the pattern of financing of local authorities and public trading enterprises, by the inclusion of official holdings of debt and by inclusion or otherwise of Government-controlled credit institutions. Comparison between countries therefore requires great caution.

British Petroleum Company Ltd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the reason for the continued failure of Her Majesty's Government to appoint a second director to BP.

I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave in answer to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Ovenden) on 16th January.—[Vol. 884, c. 160.]

Capital Transfer Taxes (Eec Countries)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will give a list of the capital transfer taxes in other EEC countries, including rates;(2) how do the legislatures in the Federal Republic, France, the Netherlands and Italy provide for the tax on the transfer of assets of the following classifications, (

a) upon death and ( b) upon assignment during the lifetime of the owner to his children: owner-occupied property, agricultural land, small firms engaged in manufacturing, and professional partnerships, respectively.

The information the hon. Member is seeking will take some time to assemble and I shall write to him as soon as possible.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any European country makes its capital taxes subject to, or adjustable for, the current rates of inflation.

None that I am aware of, but for the capital gains tax in Sweden the acquisition cost of real property is adjusted by reference to the consumer price index if the asset was held for more than two years before disposal.

Estates Administration (Exemption From Representation)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the review concerning the £500 statutory limit in respect of which a deceased person's estate may be administered without the necessity for a grant of representation has yet been completed.

Departmental Staff (Qualifications)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether new recruits to the Treasury are given a reading list for their own free time; what these books are; and what notes and advice are given on the list.

Reading lists covering both economic and other relevant subjects are supplied to new entrants at Executive Officer level and above. The details and accompanying advice are too extensive for publication in the Official Report, and I am therefore writing to the hon. Gentleman to provide him with the information sought.

Foreign Borrowing

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what was the average rate of interest paid on British overseas borrowing for each of the last 12 months;(2) if he will publish in the

Official Report a table showing the total amount of British overseas borrowing for each of the last 12 months, indicating the total borrowed from the International Monetary Fund and from other sources, respectively.

The only figures available on a monthly basis are for foreign currency borrowing by the public sector under the exchange cover scheme and drawings on the facility for Her Majesty's Government to borrow $2–5 billion on the Eurodollar market. For 1974 these were as follows:

$ million
Public sector borrowingDrawings on HMG loan
1974—
January12
February20
March682
April749
May124
June165
July10
August125
September309
October10500
November400750
December250
2,6061,500
Most of this borrowing is on a floating basis, with interest rates related to those
£ million
Official long-term capitalNet transactions with IMFNet transactions with other monetary authoritiesPublic sector borrowing overseas
1968+16+506+709
1969-99-30-669+21
1970-204-134-1,161-2
1971-273-554-1,263+65
1972-255-415+864
1973-252+901
1974 (to end-September)-109+704
Because of the very large variety of transactions involved it is not possible to isolate the annual interest payments on each borrowing.Details of other capital and investment flows into the United Kingdom appear on a quarterly basis in "Economic Trends", which is published by the Central Statistical Office. The latest information, which covers the third quarter of 1974, is included in the December issue. There were no drawings on the IMF General Account during 1974.

Car Taxation

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will revert to licensing cars for tax purposes on the basis of horse-power of the engine.

on the market. The detailed terms are a confidential matter for the borrower and lender.

Details of other investment and capital flows into the United Kingdom from 1968 to the third quarter of 1974 are given in the December issue of "Economic Trends", published by the Central Statistical Office. There were no drawings on the IMF General Account during 1974.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what was the average rate of interest paid on British overseas borrowing annually since 1968;(2) if he will publish in the

Official Report a table showing the total amount of British overseas borrowing annually since 1968, indicating the total borrowed from the IMF and from other sources, respectively.

Net overseas borrowing by the Government and public sector was as follows:

Home Department

Juvenile Offenders

57.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will order an inquiry into the law governing the reporting of offences committed by juveniles.

Defendants' Pleas (Pre-Trial Conversations)

58.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in the light of the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Regina v. Inns, the Lord Chancellor will consider the need for rules applying to pre-trial conversations between judges and counsel about the pleas of defendants.

My right hon. Friend is not persuaded that this is a matter for formal rules. The decision of the Court of Appeal to which my hon. Friend refers shows that the court has power to act if it appears that there was not a proper plea.

Lotteries

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will ensure that, in any amendment of the law on small lotteries, the regulations governing lotteries organised by local authorities will be the same as those governing lotteries organised by sports clubs, and that private lotteries at present organised under Section 44 of the Act will continue to be permitted under the provisions of similar revised terms to those proposed for Section 45 lotteries.

Under the Government's Lotteries Bill, lotteries promoted by local authorities and societies will be subject to the same restrictions as regards the price of tickets, the value of prize and the total value of tickets sold. My right hon. Friend has no immediate proposals to amend Section 44 of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963.

Children (Age Of Responsibility)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will retain the present age of legal responsibility for children; and if he will consider making parents responsible for their children's damage.

My right. hon. Friend has no proposals for lowering the present age of criminal responsibility. The law already enables courts to order that fines or compensation orders imposed on juveniles should be paid by the parent or guardian, unless the court is satisfied that he or she cannot be found or has not conduced to the commission of the offence by neglecting to exercise due care or control. The courts also have power to bind over the parents of a child under the age of 17 to take proper care of him and to exercise proper control over him.

Comprehensive Community Programmes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present position regarding the comprehensive community programmes first announced in July of last year; how many local authorities have agreed to participate in the exercise; what the cost of the total operation is likely to be; how the creation of comprehensive community programmes will affect the existing National Community Development Project; and whether it is intended to alter the present arrangements regarding the 12 individual projects.

The Government are at present consulting local authorities and others about the development of comprehensive community programmes with a view to inviting several authorities to undertake trial runs. It is not yet possible to assess the likely cost.The development of these programmes will not directly affect the Community Development Project, the progress of which we are considering in the light of a recent management review.

Police Houses

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the practice of police authorities on making unoccupied police houses available to housing authorities by sale or lease.

The disposal of unoccupied police houses is a matter for police authorities, but we have made clear to them our natural concern that houses should not remain unoccupied for longer than is absolutely necessary. I understand that some police authorities offer their surplus houses for sale to housing authorities or are prepared to lease to housing authorities police houses which are temporarily unoccupied.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the approximate number of police houses in England and Wales which have been unoccupied for more than one month.

I regret that this information is not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

Immigration Appeals

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now take steps to revise the appeals procedure under Rule 42 of the Immigration Act 1971 to allow non-patrials under notice of deportation access to all the evidence concerning allegations against them and for hearings to be in public and with full rights of legal representation.

I have no present plans for changing the procedure for appeals in cases of deportation on grounds of national security, but I will keep the matter under review.

Juveniles In Custody

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young offenders under the age of 16 years whose home is in Cheshire or Greater Manchester are held at Risley Remand Centre at the latest convenient date.

On 24th January there were two boys under the age of 16 from Cheshire and 12 from Greater Manchester.

Official Secrets Act

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to repeal the Official Secrets Act.

I am considering the implications of the Franks Report on Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 and related matters.

Textiles (Departmental Purchases)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total value of textile goods purchased by his Department during the past 12 months.

asked the Secretar of State for the Home Department what percentage of textile goods, over the last 12 months, has been purchased from British manufacturers by his Department.

All such purchases have been from British firms. While it does not necessarily follow from this that all are of British manufacture, we believe that this is the case with over 80 per cent. of such purchases.

Juvenile Detention (Costs)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present weekly cost to his Department of keeping a boy in a junior detention centre.

The estimated weekly cost of maintaining an inmate in a detention centre in England and Wales during 1973–74, the latest year for which information is available, was approximately £45. Records showing separately the cost of junior detention centres are not kept.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will instruct his Department to purchase all future textile requirements from British manufacturers.

Immigration (Indian Subcontinent)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement about the visit he made to Asia during the Christmas Recess and say what conclusions and decisions he came to concerning the waiting lists for entry and the delay in granting interviews;(2) what steps are being taken to reduce the waiting period for people from Dacca and Islamabad wishing to join relatives.

I would refer the hon. Member 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.]

Pakistani Immigrants

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applicants who have applied for British citizenship under the Pakistan Act are awaiting the results of their applications.

Since the Pakistan Bill was introduced on 14th May 1973 about 103,000 citizens of Pakistan have applied for registration as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies and there have been just over 51,000 grants of citizenship. We are in correspondence with the applicants in about half of the remaining cases, with the balance yet to be dealt with.

Law Of Trespass

59.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any proposals to implement the recommendations of the Law Commission on the law of trespass.

The Law Commission has not yet made recommendations on this subject. Working Paper No. 54 which deals with offences of entering and remaining on property was circulated for comment and criticism only.

Dogs (Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will seek powers to enable him to prohibit the use of dogs in experiments in connection with cigarette smoking.

Such experiments are controlled under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876. I am satisfied that, in accordance with the requirements of the Act, they are performed with a view to the advancement by new discovery of knowledge which will be useful for saving or prolonging life or alleviating suffering. I shall keep this matter under review.

Remanded Persons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how long the girl in Risley remand centre has been awaiting trial;(2) how long the girl in Lower Newton remand centre has been awaiting trial;(3) how long the five boys at Ashford Remand Centre, the four boys at Brock-hill Remand Centre, and the three boys at Cardiff Remand Centre, respectively, have been awaiting trial;(4) how long the 37 boys at Latchmere House, the 16 boys at Low Newton, the 24 boys at Risley, the 20 boys at Thorp Arch and the 19 boys at Winchester, respectively, have been awaiting trial;(5) how long the boys at Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Norwich, Oxford and Shrewsbury prisons have been awaiting trial;(6) how many of the 1,712 persons in custody who have been convicted and were awaiting sentence on 31st December 1974 have been on remand before trial for more than three months.

I am obtaining up-to-date information and will write to my hon. Friend.

Mr Richard Crossman's Memoirs

asked the Attorney-General what decision he has reached on the question whether to apply to the High Court of Justice for an injunction to restrain the Sunday Times newspaper from publishing or from causing the publication of the late Mr. Richard Crossman's memoirs; and what are the reasons for his decision.

It is apparent from the selection of excerpts which were published on Sunday 26th January and Sunday 2nd February that the Sunday Times representatives have taken account of the views of the Secretary of the Cabinet, and indeed this was stated in the newspaper. So long as that continues to be the position, there is no reason for an application to the court.

Overseas Development

European Development Fund

60.

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will make a statement on the creation of the European Development Fund as it affects the United Kingdom.

The new European Development Fund, on which agreement was reached in Brussels last week, will total 3,140 million units of account, or approximately £1,600 million at current rates of exchange. France and Germany will each contribute 25·95 per cent. and the United Kingdom 18·7 per cent. or about £300 million. This money will be committed over a five-year period, but disbursements will take longer than this. As a result of our participation British firms will be eligible to tender for supply and works contracts and consultancy work arising from the fund's operations.

Aid

asked the Minis-of Overseas Development what was the

£ million
1970197119721973
Total official aid flows (net)188·9235·8246·9262·5
Percentage of GNP0·370·420·400·37
The figures for 1974 are unlikely to be available until May.

Industry

Civil Aviation

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what new civil aviation projects he envisages being undertaken by his projected nationalised British aerospace manufacturing organisation.

Beyond the development of existing aircraft there will be the next generation of aircraft to replace those at present in service. What projects are undertaken will depend upon operators' requirements and the size of the potential market.

Companies (Government Shareholdings)

12.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many meetings has he had with the employees in each of the companies in which the Government have taken a shareholding since 1st March 1974.

The only companies in which the Government have acquired a shareholding since 1st March 1974 are Brown Boveri Ltd. and Scientific and Medical Instruments Ltd.—through a rearrangement of the Government's previous holding in the George Kent Group—Court Line's shipbuilding, ship repairing and marine engineering interests and Kearney Trecker Marwin Machine Tools (Holdings) Ltd. My right hon. Friend has had two meetings with the representatives of employees of the George Kent Group. He has met both management and trade union representatives of

total expenditure on overseas aid of the United Kingdom in each year since 1970; and if she will express each year's total as a percentage of gross national product.

The following is the information requested:Court Shipbuilders. No similar meetings have taken place with Kearney Trecker Marwin Machine Tools (Holdings) Ltd.

Workers' Co-Operatives

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how he proposes to monitor the financial performance and how he proposes to provide for accountability to Parliament for expenditure of public funds by his Department in grants to workers' co-operatives.

As with all offers of assistance under the Industry Act, assistance to workers' co-operatives will be monitored in a manner commensurate with the amount of public money involved. The normal arrangements governing accountability to Parliament will apply.

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what profit he expects to be made in the years 1975–76 and 1976–77 by the workers' co-operatives at Kirkby and Meriden; and whether these co-operatives have entered into planning agreements with the Department of Industry.

Both of these important innovations in industrial organisation expect to become profitable after initial losses. I cannot, however, disclose their individual financial forecasts. No arrangements for information beyond the normal procedures for monitoring Government investment have been made.

Kirkby Manufacturing And Engineering Co-Operative

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the particular grounds for making a grant to the Kirkby Manufacturing and Engineering Co-operative under the Industry Act; and whether he will make a statement.

The Government decided to provide a grant because they have confidence in the workers at Kirkby who, after the failure of the five previous private owners to provide continuing employment, expressed their readiness to assume responsibility for the success of the enterprise, to maintain jobs in an area of unacceptably high and persistent unemployment and submitted plans to do so.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the forward order book for each category of product manufactured at Kirkby Manufacturing and Engineering Company Limited; what is the expected net profit before tax on each category; and what percentage of each category will be exported.

It is not the practice to disclose information as to the commercial affairs of companies applying for selective assistance.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish the balance sheet of Kirkby Manufacturing and Engineering Company as at 15th January 1975, showing the return on capital employed, including public funds.

No. Kirkby Manufacturing and Engineering Ltd. is, however, subject to the usual Companies Act requirements as to the filing of accounts.

Aircraft

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make it his policy to consult every employee in the aircraft industry in respect of his proposals for nationalisation of that industry.

Our consultation process provides all interested parties with the opportunity to put foward their views.

Steelworkers And Miners (Redundancy)

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many applications from his Department to the European Coal and Steel Community for assistance in the retraining, rehousing and redeployment of redundant British steelworkers are still awaiting replies.

Two. One concerns 44 redundant workers from BSC's Whitehead works, and the other 180 workers at Brown Bayley Steels Ltd. who will become redundant over next few weeks.

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will now publish all the correspondence relating to the EEC proposals concerning the financing and studying of proposals relating to redundant steelworkers and miners.

There has been no correspondence between my Department and the Commission concerning further United Kingdom studies to be funded under Article 46 of the Treaty of Paris. Proposals for studies into the possibility of re-employing redundant coal and steel workers have been the subject of face-to-face discussions between officials of my Department and the Commission.

Paper

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will discourage the wasteful use of paper by companies, public authorities, including nationalised industries, pressure groups and other bodies, in the production of publications, frequently on glossy paper, for prestige purposes.

I expect that, in the current economic climate, those responsible for producing such documents would avoid the use of high-grade papers for purely prestige purposes and, indeed, reduce the quantity of any paper used for such purposes. The question of the most effective means of discouraging such practices is one of the matters being put to the Waste Management Advisory Council which was recently set up by the Government.

British Leyland

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will report on discussions which have taken place with British Leyland.

The team led by Sir Don Ryder is at present conducting, in consultation with the British Leyland management and trade unions, an overall assessment of British Leyland's present situation and future prospects. I have undertaken—[Vol. 883, c. 1727.]—to report to the House as soon as possible on the team's recommendations and their financial implications.

Postal Charges

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will refuse to sanction the proposed rises in postal charges unless they contain special postal rates for overseas periodicals and books.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the speech I made in replying to his motion on the Adjournment on 30th January.

Shipbuilding And Ship Repairing

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will accept the submission of the Shipbuilders and Repairers National Association that ship repairing companies should be excluded from his nationalisation proposals, as their activities are different from shipbuilding.

The SRNA's submission was carefully considered, but the Government do not intend to vary their decision that the larger ship repair companies should be taken into public ownership. My right hon. Friend will make a full statement as soon as possible.

Unemployment (South Yorkshire)

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps he is taking to bring down the unemployment figures in the South Yorkshire area.

Firms in South Yorkshire, where unemployment is at about the national average, are eligible for intermediate area benefits.

Engineering (Processing Machinery)

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what consultation he is having with the engineering industry with a view to increasing the production of processing machinery of the varieties in demand from OPEC countries.

My Department is in constant touch with the engineering industry in general about the balance of supply and demand. Joint consultations between Government and both sides of the process plant industry in particular are also undertaken in the Process Plant Working Party of NEDO and in the NEDC itself.

Aircraft Design

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many design teams he estimates exist in the Western world, excluding the United States of America, which are capable of designing a complete civil airliner.

I understand that in the Western world, outside the United States, there are seven major firms with design teams capable of undertaking complete aircraft with 50 seats or more and about twice this number capable of undertaking smaller aircraft or parts of large aircraft.

European Economic Community

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what discussions he has had with leaders of British industry about British membership of the EEC.

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what recent discussions he has had with leaders of British industry about British membership of the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Members to my reply to similar Questions by the hon. Members for Morecambe and Lonsdale (Mr. Hall-Davis) and Harrogate (Mr. Banks) earlier today.

Factories (Sunderland)

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the employment of men and women, respectively, in Government-owned factories in Sunderland at the latest available date; and what were the figures a year earlier.

In December 1974 there were 5,298 men and 3,756 women employed and in December 1973, 5,800 men and 4,201 women.

Norton Villiers Triumph

39.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement on progress towards setting up a workers' co-operative at Norton Villiers Triumph.

I am very pleased to be able to report that the workers at the Small Heath plant of Norton Villiers Triumph Ltd. no longer oppose the setting up of the co-operative at Meriden. I hope that Norton Villiers Triumph and the co-operative will soon be in a position to conclude the agreements which are a condition of Government assistance to the co-operative.

Postal Services

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, before approving the proposed increases in postal charges, he will set up an independent inquiry into the efficiency of the postal services.

No. The proposed increases are already under scrutiny by the Price Commission and the Post Office Users' National Council. The efficiency of the postal services can best be helped by a speedy return to economic pricing.

51.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will give a general direction to the Post Office not to abandon Saturday postal deliveries.

No. But if the Post Office proposed to abolish these deliveries it would have a statutory duty to consult the Post Office Users' National Council, and I should then be concerned with the outcome of the discussion.

Co-Operative Development

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what consideration he has given to the introduction of legislation to establish a co-operative development agency.

The Government are considering the proposal to establish a co-operative development agency, and are in touch with the Co-operative Union and other interests. No decisions have yet been taken.

Textiles

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what discussions he has had with representatives of the textile industry with a view to alleviating their current difficulties.

46.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps he is taking to support the wool and textile industries of Yorkshire and Lancashire at the present time.

I believe that the present difficulties are due mainly to lack of demand in the textile industry. It is to be expected that demand will recover if the present high level of consumer buying of textiles continues. The Government have taken further steps recently to contain disruptive imports.

Manufacturing

45.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps he is taking to encourage the development of, and investment in, manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's policies for the regeneration of British industry were outlined in the White Paper, Command 5710, published in August 1974. I have brought before the House a new Industry Bill to give effect to those policies.

Northern Region

47.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he is satisfied with industrial progress in the Northern Region.

We are continually working to promote industrial development in the Northern Region.

Steelworks

49.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will now make a statement concerning the future of the Shotton, Ebbw Vale and East Moors steelworks.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Mother-well and Wishaw (Dr. Bray) earlier today.

Steelworkers (House Purchase)

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what action he is taking to encourage steelworkers to take up the loans for house purchase at low rates of interest which are available from the European Communities.

In consultation with my Department and the steel industry my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is urgently considering how these loans can be made available to assist in the housing of steel-workers in a way which would accord with the European Commission's conditions and with United Kingdom housing practices.

National Enterprise Board

50.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects the National Enterprise Board to be operating; and if he will name the members of the board.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave in reply to a Question earlier today by the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West (Mr. Grylls).

Telecommunications

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will clarify why the level of capital expenditure on telecommunications is about £500 million per annum whereas the annual turnover is only £1,200 million.

Subject to the availability of resources, the level of investment is determined by the demand for expanded and improved services which is still very high. I am satisfied that the current level of investment is justified. Turnover is related to the level of cervices used and to pricing policies and has been affected by price restraint in recent years. But the Post Office has now referred proposals for tariff increases to the Price Commission.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry why he is securing loans for Post Office telecommunications bearing 10 to 14 per cent. interest when the return on capital investment in recent years has been only about 7 per cent.; and if he will make a statement.

The rate at which I lend money to the Post Office is governed by the National Loans Act 1968. The low current return on capital is the consequence of price restraint, for which I am paying compensation directly to the Post Office. The Government's policy of phasing out subsidies for price restraint should of course lead to higher rates of return on capital.

Postal Deliveries

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what percentage of letters are delivered by first and second deliveries, respectively.

I understand from the Post Office that on average on Monday to Friday 86 per cent. of letters are delivered on the first and 14 per cent. on the second delivery.

Scottish Daily News

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on his official discussions on 28th January with representatives of the Scottish Daily News.

My meeting on 28th January was to enable me to ascertain the progress being made towards establishing the Scottish Daily News.

Companies (Employees)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will give by standard economic planning region the number of companies employing under 100 and under 500, respectively, showing the total number employed by each group in each region and indicating where possible how many of these companies are privately owned.

The only information available in my Department on this subject relates to local manufacturing units—rather than companies—recorded in the register of businesses maintained by the Business Statistics Office (BSO). The latest date for which a size breakdown by region is available is 1972.Because the BSO's register of businesses is not wholly reliable for units employing 1–10 persons, no regional breakdown has been attempted. It is estimated, however, that in 1972 there were about 50,000 units employing in total about 250,000 in this size range in manufacturing industry. The detailed regional data for the size bands 11–99 employees and 100–499 employees are given in the accompanying table.The employment figures are, in the main, taken from Census of Production returns and are the average numbers employed in the units over a period of 12 months as reported in the census. Additional employment information is obtained from the Annual Census of Employment.

MANUFACTURING UNITS BY EMPLOYMENT SIZE BY COUNTRY AND STANDARD REGION 1972
summary table for units employing 1–499
Employment Size Group
Country/Region (as at 1972)0–1011–99100–499
North:
Number of Units· ·1,692550
Employment· ·55,651128,154
Yorkshire and Humberside:
Number of Units· ·4,4621,285
Employment· ·147,721271,688
East Midlands:
Number of Units· ·3,447981
Employment· ·116,209204,554
East Anglia:
Number of Units· ·1,256281
Employment· ·41,99661,807
South East:
Number of Units· ·15,5662,767
Employment· ·467,119574,930
South West
Number of Units· ·2,363569
Employment· ·76,317120,651
West Midlands:
Number of Units· ·5,4761,402
Employment· ·180,167299,492
North West:
Number of Units· ·5,7671,608
Employment· ·192,750350,679
Wales:
Number of Units· ·1,367462
Employment· ·45,74799,804
Scotland
Number of Units· ·3,800928
Employment· ·123,840197,755
Northern Ireland:
Number of Units· ·746307
Employment· ·27,91867,386
Total number of Units50,000*45,94211,140
Total Employment250,000*1,475,4352,376,900
· · Not available.
* Estimate.

Petrol Costs

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the estimated increase in industrial costs in 1975 which will result from increases in petrol prices since the November budget.

There are no comprehensive statistics on the use of petrol by industry. It is thought that the rise in petrol prices since the November budget would have added broadly ½ per cent. to average industrial costs and that of this about one-half would represent the effect of higher VAT charges.

These and other figures on the employment size of United Kingdom manufacturing units will be published by the BSO shortly in the Business Monitor series.

Information on the ownership of these units is not readily available.

Ship Repairing

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he can now say when he proposes to publish the White Paper on the public ownership of the ship repairing industry.

I shall make a statement to Parliament as soon as possible on the Government's proposals.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many firms in the ship repairing industry have applied for financial aid to the latest available date.

To date three companies engaged wholly or mainly in ship repairing have made application for financial aid.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many ship repairing firms there are in Wales.

There is one major ship repairing group, and five other companies wholly or partly engaged in ship repairing, in Wales. There are also a number of small firms which are engaged in general engineering and some ship repairing activities.

Textiles

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will take steps to establish an automatic regulator for the import of textiles.

I am examining in detail the value of and the implications for the use of statistical criteria as a guide to action by Government to restrict imports of textiles.

British Leyland

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what further discussions he has had with British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd. concerning the restructuring of the home and overseas manufacture and distribution of its products; and if he will make a statement.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave earlier today to Questions by the hon Members for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Lamont) and Ealing, Southall (Mr. Bidwell).

Foreign Borrowing

asked the Secretary of State for Industry to what sectors of the British economy have Arab funds made a significant contribution; and what State corporations have drawn a figure exceeding $100 million from Arab and Iranian oil surpluses.

I have been asked to reply.There has been little identifiable direct investment in British industry by the oil producers to date. Details of the sources of borrowing by individual public sector bodies are confidential to the borrowers and lenders unless they decide otherwise. The drawing of $400 million by the National Water Council under the Iranian line of credit has, however, been publicised.

Wales

Independent Schools (Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total amount of public expenditure on independent schools in Wales for the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will express the total expenditure per capita of each pupil attending such institutions.

In the financial year 1972–73 expenditure by local education authorities in Wales in respect of pupils attending independent schools amounted to £158,272. The numbers of children supported in this way are not known and figures of expenditure per capita cannot, therefore, be calculated.

Self-Build Housing

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give advice to local authorities on ways to encourage groups of people who wish to build their own homes on a self-build basis.

Nursery Education

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number of children in each local education authority and in Wales in full- or part-time nursery education; and if he will express each total in each authority area, and for Wales, per 100 children of nursery age.

The table below gives for each authority in Wales:

  • (a) the number of pupils aged under five in a nursery school or in a nursery class in a primary school who were receiving education either full-time or part-time in January 1974;
  • (b) the figures in (a) expressed per 100 children aged three and four;
  • (c) the number of pupils aged under five in other classes in primary schools; and
  • (d) the figures in (c) expressed per 100
  • (a)(b)(c)(d)
    AuthorityNumber of PupilsPercentageNumber of PupilsPercentage
    Clwyd8176·94,00333·6
    Dyfed6107·03,59341·3
    Gwent2,34716·54,56432·1
    Gwynedd2,70240·95838·8
    Mid Glamorgan5,57831·84,53225·9
    Powys52119·31,03938·5
    South Glamorgan1,58513·22,87323·8
    West Glamorgan2,37022·13,13629·3
    Wales Total16,53019·624,32328·8

    Prices And Consumer Protection

    Television Sets (Credit Sale)

    52.

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will amend the Hire Purchase and Credit Sale Agreements (Control) Order 1973 and the Control of Hiring Order 1973 in order to reduce the initial payments which retirement pensioners are required to make for television sets in hire purchase or credit sale agreements.

    The object of the credit restrictions is to reduce consumer demand and in the absence of any case that particular hardship is caused to one section of the community it seems right that all consumers should be treated alike.

    Weights And Measures Inspectors

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what action is being taken to recruit and train the additional weights and measures inspectors and similar expert staff needing to enforce the increasing volume of consumer protection legislation.

    Local authorities are responsible for the recruitment and training of weights and measures inspectors and other expert staff. An essential feature of the 1975–76 rate support grant settlement is that there should be no expansion in present local authority staff numbers other than that necessary to meet inescapable commitments. However, new consumer protection legislation comes within this category.

    children aged three and four.

    if she will list in the Official Report the number of weights and measures staff in post and the number of vacancies for such staff existing in each of the London borough councils at the most recent convenient date from sources available to her in annual reports of the authorities concerned.

    All the information for which my hon. Friend asks is not available from the annual reports of the local authorities concerned. But I am obtaining information from another source which I shall send him shortly.

    Consumer Advice Centres

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what steps she is taking to ensure that the local consumer advice centres now in operation, or soon to be opened, will be involved in carrying out the Government's prices policies.

    Local consumer advice centres are already involved in various aspects of the Government's prices policy. They refer appropriate problems to the Price Commission's regional offices, which are developing liaison with them. They work very closely with local authorities' weights and measures departments, which are responsible for enforcing orders under the Prices Act 1974. Many centres also collect and display information about local prices; this helps consumers and encourages local price competition.

    Credit Rating Lists (Sale)

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will consider introducing legislation to make the sale of the credit ratings of private individuals illegal.

    Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 no one will be permitted to operate a credit reference agency unless licensed by the Director General of Fair Trading. Licences will not be granted unless the director general is satisfied that that person is fit to operate in this field. In those rare cases where they become available, the bulk records of such agencies will normally be of interest only to other agencies. However, in view of the concern expressed about the recent case I will draw the attention of the director general to the point raised by my hon. Friend.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Rabbits

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take to reduce the rabbit infestation in north Bedfordshire.

    This is a matter for occupiers of the land concerned. Advice on control techniques is available from my Department.

    Milk

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration is being given to the idea of central collecting points for milk by the Milk Marketing Board; what discussions have been held with NUAAW and other bodies representing agricultural interests; and if he will make a statement.

    Collection of milk from farms and consultation with interested organisations are matters for the Milk Marketing Board.

    Productivity

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what statistics of agricultural productivity per worker and per acre are available for the United Kingdom and other members of the EEC; and if he will publish the latest figures in table form in the Official Report.

    For the United Kingdom, information on the gross agricultural product per person engaged in the industry was provided in Table 18 of the 1974 Annual Review While Paper (Cmnd. 5565). Corresponding figures are not readily available for other members of the EEC but the European Commission's 1974 Report on the state of agriculture in the Community provided the following figures for the annual rate of growth in labour productivity in the Six:

    LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY
    CountryAnnual Rate of Growth 1967–69 to 1971–73
    Per cent.
    W. Germany5·7
    France4·1
    Italy5·2
    Netherlands6·5
    Belgium7·8
    Luxembourg3·7
    The Commission shows a figure for the United Kingdom of 5 per cent. but the figures in Cmnd. 5565 indicate an annual growth in productivity in the United Kingdom of 6½ per cent. for this period.I regret that corresponding figures for productivity per acre are not available. In the case of the United Kingdom this is because of changes in the definition and coverage of the agricultural acreage statistics.

    Rod Licence Charges

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many objections he has received to the proposed charges to take effect from 1st April 1975 of the Southern Water Authority for rod licences as specified in the authority's notice dated 14th November 1974 relating to the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1972; and if he will make a statement.

    Metrication

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will have discussions with the European Council of Ministers and Commission to ensure that all directives and regulations relating to the dairy industry specify metric and imperial measures, in view of the popular preference to retain traditional units of measurement in the dairy industry.

    Community legislation naturally embodies the international system (SI) of units of measurement. However, it was agreed at the time of accession that the United Kingdom could retain imperial units for its own use at least until the end of 1979, and beyond for special reasons.

    Civil Service

    Pensions (Former Civil Servants)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what would be the estimated cost to the Exchequer of restoring to established civil servants who left the service from 1960 onwards the pension benefits to which they would have been entitled upon transfer had Section 6 of the Principal Civil Service Scheme 1973 been in operation from 1st January 1960 to the date of inception of the scheme; and what he estimates to be the number of such civil servants reckoned to have lost such accrued benefits during such period.

    Information on which to base an estimate is not readily available. To carry out the necessary research would involve a disproportionate cost to public funds.

    Secretaries (London)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what salaries and allowances are currently being paid to personal and senior personal secretaries in central London in the public service.

    The salaries and allowances currently being paid to personal and senior personal secretaries in central London in the Civil Service are:SALARY SCALES(INNER LONDON RATES)

    Personal Secretary:

    £1,957; £2,027; £2,097; £2,167; £2,240 £2,315; £2,390.

    Senior Personal Secretary:

    £2,277; £2,384; £2,491; £2,598; £2,705; £2,812.

    The above rates include an Inner London weighting of £410 but exclude threshold payments of £229·68.

    Personal secretaries and senior personal secretaries may also qualify for typing and shorthand or audio proficiency payments ranging from £63 to £252 per annum.

    Higher Grade Civil Servants

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service if, in view of recent salary awards, he will publish an up-to-date list of the information given to the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on 12th December 1974, using the same lower limit of £7,000.

    The salary information given in my reply to the hon. Member on 12th December 1974—[Vol. 883, c. 239–40.]—remains unchanged except for the top three grades whose salary revisions following the Government's acceptance of the recommendations of the Top Salaries Review Body are as follows. These are paid in two instalments in the case of the top two grades:

    Permanent Secretary

    • £18,675 from 1st January 1975.
    • £21,000 from 1st January 1976.

    Deputy Secretary

    • £14,000 from 1st January 1975.
    • £15,000 from 1st January 1976.

    Under Secretary

    • £12,000 from 1st January 1975.

    Her Majesty's Stationery Office

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement on the loss to HMSO of the advertising account for "Trade and Industry" and its transfer to a private agency.

    By agreement between the two Departments, and after consultation with the staff side of HMSO, the responsibility for selling advertiseing space in "Trade and Industry" was transferred in 1974 to the Department of Industry, which has now engaged a contractor to undertake the necessary canvassing.

    Government Offices (Dispersal)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service (1) how many civil servants are currently employed in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight English regions which are served by regional economic planning councils; and what were the figures for each of the past five years;(2) how many Civil Service jobs have been dispersed, under the policy of decentralisation of central Government functions, to Scotland, Wales, and each of the eight English regions which are served by regional economic planning councils in each year since the scheme began; and what are the projected figures for each of the next five years.

    The information needed to answer these Questions is not readily available and I am not, therefore, able to give my hon. Friend detailed replies today. I hope to be able to publish full answers shortly.

    Oil Industry

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants are employed in Scotland and England, respectively, in each of the Petroleum Production Division of the Department of Energy, the Offshore Supplies Office, the North Sea Oil Support Unit and the Scottish Industrial Development Office; and what are the costs involved.

    The information is as follows:

    Number of staffApproximate annual costs based on average salary
    £
    Petroleum Production Division:
    Scotland526,000
    England72315,000
    Offshore Supplies Office:
    Scotland100374,000
    England53224,000
    North Sea Oil Support Unit:
    Scotland53210,000
    England
    Scottish Industrial Development Office:
    Scotland151381,400
    England

    Defence

    Departmental Staff

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he can yet say whether the defence cuts announced in his statement of 3rd December 1974 will result in any reduction in the number of civil servants employed by the Ministry of Defence.

    As I said on 3rd December, the reductions in directly employed civilians will be about 30,000, approximately half of whom will be civilians locally entered abroad.

    Textiles (Departmental Purchases)

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will instruct his Department to purchase all future textile requirements from British manufacturers.

    Royal Yacht And Queen's Flight

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost in the latest most convenient year of the Royal Yacht and of the Queen's Flight; and to what account they were charged.

    The costs of the Royal Yacht and the Queen's Flight in the financial year 1973–74 were of the order of £1·65 million and £1 million respectively. These costs continue to be borne on the defence budget.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Official Report the annual cost of the Queen's Flight and an account of its rôle in defence.

    The annual cost of the Queen's Flight is of the order of £1 million. It is primarily established to provide for the routine official journeys of the Royal Family within the United Kingdom and Europe. It has also been used for many years by the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers, the Chiefs of Staff and distinguished foreign visitors.Special considerations of flight safety, aircraft safety and physical security apply to the air movement of Her Majesty the Queen, other members of the Royal Family and the non-Royal passengers who use Queen's Flight aircraft. These requirements can best be met by a self-contained specialist Service unit. Apart from the peace-time communication flights carried out for Ministry of Defence passengers, its defence role is to supplement military air transport resources in emergency or war.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will undertake to withdraw the Royal Yacht "Britannia" and the Queen's Flight as a contribution to the reduction in defence expenditure.

    Tidworth Garrison Hospital

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are his plans for the future of the Tidworth Garrison Hospital; and whether he will make a statement.

    The Defence Medical Services Inquiry Committee recommended that the Army hospital at Tidworth and the RAF hospital at Wroughton should be amalgamated and that the future location and responsibility for running the new amalgamated hospital should be studied by the Ministry of Defence. These studies are at an advanced stage and I expect to be able to make an announcement shortly.

    Northern Ireland

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence under what circumstances private David Armstrong was shot dead at Curdwood Park Ulster Defence Regiment Centre, Belfast, on 28th January 1975.

    Private David Armstrong of the Ulster Defence Regiment sustained a fatal gunshot wound on the evening of 28th January 1975 at Girdwood Park Barracks, Belfast.The circumstances of his death are under investigation by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, assisted by the Royal Military Police, and a report will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Northern Ireland in due course.No person has yet been charged with an offence arising from this incident.

    Recruiting Publicity

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what study he has made of the effect of Armed Forces recruiting advertisements on industrial employment; and if he will ban recruiting advertisements on television and in the Press which could damage industrial production by attacking industrial jobs as dull and routine.

    To the extent that the Armed Services and industrial employers compete in the same labour market, recruiting publicity for the Forces must inevitably have an effect on industrial employment. Advertisements for the Forces portray the career advantages the Services have to offer, such as the variety of Service life and the acquisition of skills and experience; the latter stand recruits in good stead when they return to civilian life and are of great benefit to industry at that stage. I do not think that such advertisements constitute a threat to industrial production or that there is a need to ban them.

    Officers' Pay

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many serving officers, and of what rank, receive basic pay in excess of £7,000.

    The total number of serving officers receiving basic pay in excess of £7,000 a year in each of the three Services is as follows:

    Royal Navy and Royal Marines289
    Army459
    RAF282
    Total1,030
    These are officers of the rank of Captain RN—with at least six years' seniority—Colonel RM, Brigadier, Air Commodore and above; medical and dental officers of the rank of Surgeon Commander, Lieutenant Colonel and Wing Commander—with at least eight years' seniority—and above; Army and RAF legal officers of the rank of Colonel and Group Captain—with at least six years' seniority—and above; and a few others. Basic pay has been taken as including X factor but excluding threshold payments.

    South Africa (Supplies)

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if it is his policy to impose an absolute ban on the supply of all military equipment and military spare parts to the Union of South Africa; and, if not, what items will continue to be supplied.

    The policy of Her Majesty's Government was set out in the statement which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made to the House on 4th December 1974.—[Vol. 882, c. 1550.]

    Cadets

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what opportunities exist for those who do not attend schools that continue education to the age of 18 years to join the Combined Cadet Force.

    They may join a local detachment of the Army Cadet Force, the Sea Cadet Corps or the Air Training Corps, as may those who attend schools which do not have a Combined Cadet Force contingent.

    Expenditure

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consultations he has now had, and is now having, with NATO allies and other nations likely to be affected by the proposed cuts in defence expenditure.

    I cannot yet add to what I told the House in the defence debate on 16th December 1974. The consultations with our allies are still in progress and are expected to be completed later this month.

    19701971197219731974
    ROYAL AIR FORCE STATIONS
    Home
    Acklington1927112322
    Brawdy52
    Chivenor10010790104111
    Coltishall4639273650
    Leconfield5659585052
    Leuchars5240444145
    Lossiemouth93786
    Manston29
    Thorney Island911131074
    Valley72891007974
    Other United Kingdom stations9312
    Overseas
    Akrotiri149521
    Bahrein31
    Sharjah3
    Singapore43
    Total Royal Air Force460487460379534
    ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATIONS
    CuldroseNot available516173
    Lee-on-Solent38109128
    Portland111031
    Prestwick9712
    Other Units255
    Total Royal Navy3873192249

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many vessels and aircraft are available for air-sea rescue work, civilian and military; and where they are situated.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consultations he has had with representatives of shipbuilding firms likely to be affected by the proposed cuts in defence expenditure.