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Written Answers

Volume 886: debated on Tuesday 11 February 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 11th February 1975

Employment

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Department of Industry and the Department of Employment in respect of employment levels.

House Of Commons

Debates (Public Bodies)

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list in the most convenient form the number of occasions during the last 12 months on which the House of Commons has debated the affairs of each of the nationalised industries and public authorities such as the Civil Aviation Authority, indicating the total parliamentary time given to the affairs of each organisation.

The information listed below, which is taken from the beginning of the last Parliament to date, represents debating opportunities. There will, of course, be further opportunities, especially on legislation currently before the House.

European Economic Community

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if he will require Ministers who support a different conclusion to the Government's recommendation in the referendum campaign to make it clear that they are so doing on each occasion.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit).

Scotland (Employment)

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Employment on seeking a solution to the problem of Scottish unemployment.

Proportional Representation

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister what progress is being made in the study of the machinery necessary to introduce proportional representation.

Tuc (Meeting)

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister when he next intends to meet representatives of the TUC.

I hope to do so at the next meeting of the Labour Party—TUC Liaison Committee on 24th February.

Energy

Petroleum Production Licences

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied with the powers available to him to regulate changes in the ownership and control of holders of petroleum production licences.

At present holders of petroleum production licences require consent to assign or part with any of the rights granted by the licence. There are no powers at present to regulate changes in ownership or control of the licensee himself or to control agreements, such as illustrative or royalty agreements, under which a third party in effect shares in the benefits of the licence. Such changes can in practice have the same effect as assignment or parting with the rights of the licence and can therefore, if made without my agreement, frustrate the whole purpose of these necessary controls. This has always been recognised by licensees generally.Nevertheless, I think it desirable to bring forward measures in the forthcoming Petroleum Bill which will put matters into order by requiring all such changes to have my formal consent. Licensees have been made aware of my intention to do this and I expect that in the meantime any proposals for transactions of these kinds will be discussed with me before implementation. In the event of transactions taking place which do not comply with the Government's requirements, I shall be prepared to ask Parliament to give effect to the relevant provision of the Petroleum Bill as from today.

Conservation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his Department's current estimate of the overall savings in energy and cost terms that will be effected by his energy conservation measures by 30th June 1975, allowing for the abnormally mild winter at present being experienced.

Because of the many different energy-saving activities which are being carried out at present in all sectors of the community, and the many different factors which influence them, it is not possible to distinguish and quantify the effects of the measures referred to by my right hon. Friend on 9th December. The level of energy consumption is, however, being regularly monitored. The complexities associated with energy accounting do not in any way diminish the importance of energy conservation and the contribution which energy savings can make to relieving our present balance of payments problems.

Heating (Needy Persons)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has considered in his energy conservation plans the adequacy or otherwise of the level of heating in winter in the homes of poor, old, chronically sick and disabled people and families; and what information is available to him on this matter.

The Government are fully conscious of the heating needs of the elderly, sick and disabled and their families. The provisions of the recent Heating Control Order do not apply to living accommodation in general and special exemptions were designed to protect these categories. To make further provision for them is a social and welfare matter and is not the direct responsibility of my Department.

Advertisements (Illumination)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his Department's estimate of the saving in energy from the ban on daylight advertisement illumination; and what would be the saving from a ban on similar advertisements at night.

The precise energy saving resulting from the ban on daylight advertising illumination is not known but by itself will not be large. The annual savings from a total ban on similar advertisements at night might amount to perhaps ½ million tons of oil or oil equivalent, assuming average annual generating efficiency.

Electricity And Gas Appliances

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will issue a general direction to the electricity and gas industries to base their marketing activities on promoting those appliances, systems and installations that maximise the conservation of energy.

As my right hon. Friend announced on 9th December last, the heads of the nationalised fuel industries have agreed to co-ordinate their energy-saving publicity. The industries are already aware of the need to take energy conservation into account in their marketing activities.

Electricity And Gas Accounts

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will now seek to encourage the efficient use of staff and other resources in the electricity and gas industries through joint use of computers for billing; and whether any other forms of collaboration are under consideration.

Both industries fully recognise the need for efficient use of all their resources and constantly seek means to improve this. Joint use of computers for billing has been considered but was not found to be practicable.

Gas And Electricity Consumers (Personal Information)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give a general direction to ensure that area gas and electricity boards do not disclose the addresses of private consumers to other companies or individuals without the prior consent of the consumers concerned.

Electricity Boards (Bad Debts)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy of the total bad debts written off by electricity boards in 1973–74 how much related to household accounts.

Home Department

Animals (Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now take action to implement the proposals of the Littlewood Committee on Experiments on Animals published in 1965.

The Government have no present plans for legislation on this subject, but almost half the recommendations of the Littlewood Committee endorse the retention of existing controls or propose that stautory force should be given to restrictions now imposed administratively, and effect has been given to some of its other recommendations. I have under active consideration the Littlewood Committee's recommendation for the reconstitution of the Advisory Committee on the Administration of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876.

Metropolitan Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in investigations into allegations of corruption against senior officers of the Metropolitan Police arising from the pornographic trade in London's West End; whether he is satisfied with the progress of inquiries; and whether he will make a statement.

I understand that a number of reports on these investigations have been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who is considering them in conjunction with Treasury Counsel, and that further inquiries remain to be made. It would not be appropriate for me to make any statement on the matter.

Scientology

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now state his conclusions on the Foster Report on Scientology; and if he will now permit foreign scientologists to enter the United Kingdom.

I have nothing to add to my reply to a Question by the hon. Member on 25th November.—[Vol. 882, c. 60.]

Red Lion Square Inquiry

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received the report of Lord Justice Scarman's inquiry into the events which took place in Red Lion Square on 15th June 1974; and if he will arrange for the report to be published.

I have received the report and it will be published as soon as possible.

Wales

Road Signs

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy with regard to the linguistic juxtaposition of the Welsh and English languages on directional signs showing footpaths and other roadways to ancient monuments in Wales.

Welsh Assembly

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the projected total cost of setting up a Welsh Assembly as proposed in the Government's White Paper "Democracy and Devolution".

The total cost of setting up a Welsh Assembly will depend on the range and nature of its functions and a number of other factors. No meaningful estimate is possible at this stage.

Local Government Pay

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to be in a position to give the total salaries and wages bills for the persons employed in local government in Wales in the year 1973–74; and whether, in the meantime, he will give an estimate of such expenditure.

Health Services Staff

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the ratio overall of administrative staff to medical and nursing staff in the running of the health services in Wales in the year 1974, including the secretarial and other grades within the administrative and clerical group.

The information requested will not be available until later in the year.

Public Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the Government measures which have either increased or decreased public spending in Wales since 28th February 1974, showing the estimated cost or saving of each measure during the current financial year and in a full financial year.

The estimated costs of Government measures since 28th February 1974 which have increased public spending in Wales on programmes within my right hon. and learned Friend's responsibility and included in Table 3.13

£m. at 1974 Survey prices
1974–751975–76
Changes resulting from Budget statement of 26th March 1974:
Housing: acquisition, new building, municipalisation, and subsidies11·07·8
Option mortgages0·10·2
Changes resulting from the Chancellor's statement of 11th September 1974 on the construction industry:
Roads and transport0·3
Other environmental services5·1
Education and libraries, science and arts1·6
Health and personal social services2·8
Other announced policy changes:
Housing2·41·5
Health and personal social services1·01·8
Other changes:
Housing1·4
There are no decreases.

Local Authority Planning Staff

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what the increase in total planning staff in local authorities in Wales has been between the years 1972 and 1974, inclusive.

Employment

Strikes

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many working days have been lost due to strikes from 1st October 1974 to the latest available date.

The provisional figure of working days lost in the period 1st October to 31st December 1974 is 3,859,000.

Perthshire

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of unfilled vacancies, and the unemployment percentage, in the Perth and Perthshire areas.

At November 1974, 254 unfilled vacancies were held at employment offices in Perthshire and 277 vacancies were held at the Perth Careers Office, which covers a wider area. The statistics relate only to vacancies notified to employment offices and careers offices and are not a measure of total vacancies. of Command 5879. "Public Expenditure to 1978–79", in the current year and 1975–76 are as follows:—In the same month the rate of unemployment was 2·5 per cent. Owing to industrial action at local offices of the Employment Service Agency, figures for December 1974 and January 1975 are not available.

Unemployment Statistics

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make it a practice when publishing unemployment figures relating to England to show them on a grossed-up as well as on a region-to-region basis.

No. Changes in the presentation of regional unemployment statistics would normally be decided in the context of decisions on the presentation of official regional statistics generally.

Catering Industry (Immigrants)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many immigrants work in the catering industry; whether he will provide a breakdown by nationality of those immigrants working in the catering industry; and what proportion of those working in the catering industry is immigrants.

Information from the 1971 Census of Population is not yet available. The latest analysis is contained in the 1961 Census of Population which showed that there were 47,470 Commonwealth and Irish citizens and 19,830 aliens employed in the hotel and catering industry in Great Britain. These figures represented respectively 7·6 and 3·2 per cent. of the total number of persons then employed in the industry. I attach two tables showing a breakdown of Commonwealth and Irish citizens in the catering

1961 CENSUS OF POPULATION
COMMONWEALTH AND IRISH CITIZENS BY COUNTRY OF BIRTH
CATERING INDUSTRY—GREAT BRITAIN
CountryMalesFemalesTotal
Northern Ireland1,8203,3905,210
Irish Republic and Ireland (part not stated)6,14012,29018,430
Isle of Man, Channel Island and United Kingdom (part not stated)7009101,610
Canada380350730
Australia240310550
India9209001,820
Pakistan71050760
Gibraltar and Malta390330720
Caribbean Countries1,1801,3002,480
Other Commonwealth Countries4,2201,3105,530
France150160310
Germany2909101,200
Italy9008601,760
Poland7802901,070
United States of America90230320
U.S.S.R.100130230
Other Countries3,0101,7304,740
Total22,02025,45047,470
N.B. The Commonwealth countries of birth refer to the Commonwealth as constituted at the time of the 1961 Census.
1961 CENSUS OF POPULATION
ALIENS BY NATIONALITY
CATERING INDUSTRY—GREAT BRITAIN
CountryMalesFemalesTotal
France520270790
Germany5909401,530
Italy5,3902,3107,700
Poland2,1005902,690
United States of America15080230
U.S.S.R.580130710
Other3,9702,2106,180
Total13,3006,53019,830

Training Board Advisers (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what facilities exist in Scotland for the training of specialist advisers for employment by the industrial training boards.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that various facilities exist in Scotland for the training of advisers employed by the Industrial Training Boards. Formal courses for the induction of new training advisers are available at the Chesters Management Centre, University of Strathclyde,

industry by their country of birth and a breakdown of aliens by nationality. There were a further 9,970 persons, 1·6 per cent. of the total in the industry, whose nationality was not stated.

Edinburgh College of Commerce, Dundee College of Commerce and the Industrial Training Service (Scotland). These courses are available not only to training advisers from ITBs but also to training officers from industry. They are of four weeks duration and are mounted as and when there is a demand.

It should be noted, however, that the majority of the ITBs in Scotland have their own internal arrangements for training their specialist advisers as this enables boards to incorporate in courses their own particular requirements. This does not preclude advisers from attending courses run by external bodies where it is thought appropriate by the ITB concerned.

The Training Services Agency is intending to review the arrangements for the training of training advisers and training officers to see whether, in the light of recent developments, these need to be modified.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is satisfied that firms in North London are fulfilling their obligations in respect of employing registered disabled.

At the last annual review of the quota scheme in May 1974, 1,530 employers in North London, out of 1,715 with statutory obligations under the scheme, were either employing their quota of disabled people or, although below quota, had obtained permits from my Department during the previous 12 months to engage workers other than registered disabled workers.

Apprentices (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many apprentices were produced in Scotland in each of the five years to 31st December 1974 through the agency of each industrial training board.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the information is not readily available and it will be necessary to make inquiries of the industrial training boards. I shall arrange for the information to be circulated in the Official Report as soon as possible.

Training (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is being done for the training of long-term unemployed in Scotland; and whether he will make a statement on the effectiveness of existing programmes.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Training Opportunities Scheme (TOPS) has expanded very rapidly in terms of the numbers, range, duration and level of courses, and these are open to unemployed workers whatever the duration of their unemployment. In 1974, of 6,200 people trained under TOPS in Scotland 65 per cent. were unemployed with varying lengths of unemployment prior to entry. The training provided is flexible enough to be adjusted to special problems which may arise for any individual who has been unemployed for some time. Early allocation is possible to many courses in Scotland and there are vacant places in most of the engineering classes in skillcentres.

Development Areas

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what services by way of reports or analyses of available trained and untrained manpower are given to companies considering setting up operations in development areas.

Relevant information about the availability of manpower is provided by my Department as a matter of course in these circumstances.

Ethylene Oxide

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what form of inquiry is to take place into the leakage of ethylene oxide from a sterilisation plant at the premises of Cyanamid Limited at Gosport and whether the results of the inquiry will be published.

I am informed by the Health and Safety Commission that the inquiry into the incident by means of an investigation by members of the Factory Inspectorate commenced on the day of the incident. Specialist inspectors are participating in the inquiry.A prohibition notice forbidding the continued use of the plant and a similar plant at the works was issued by the inspectorate using its new powers under Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.There appears to have been a design weakness in the operation of the plant. The investigation is continuing and consideration will be given to any further action which may be required.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many sterlisation plants involving the use of ethylene oxide there are in the United Kingdom.

I am informed by the Health and Safety Commission that the use of ethylene oxide in sterilisation plants in various industries is widespread. Exact figures are, however, unavailable.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the safety precautions covering the industrial use of ethylene oxide.

I am informed by the Health and Safety Commission that the safety precautions governing the industrial use of substances such as ethylene oxide are laid down in the Factories Act 1961 and will be further strengthened by those provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 which come into force on 1st April 1975. I am satisfied that if these precautions are adhered to and the recommendations of the inspectorate are followed, ethylene oxide can be safely used in industry.

"Short-Term" (Definition)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the official definition of short-term as opposed to long-term unemployment.

Scotland

Richard Clark (Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the case of Richard Clark.

I have arranged for the publication today of the report of the committee of inquiry which I appointed in August last year to inquire into the circumstances in which Richard Clark, a three-year old child, suffered serious injury while living with neighbours of his own family in Perth.I should like first to express my gratitude to Mr. J. E. Jauncey, QC, as chairman of the committee, and to his two fellow members for the thoroughness with which they carried out their task. The damage done to this child is all the more tragic because, according to the report, it could have been prevented at several points by the action of any one of a number of people. The report provides a clear statement of events and a detailed assessment of where things went wrong, from which a number of useful lessons can be drawn for the future. The report is being sent to local authorities and health boards, and I am sure that it will be widely read by all who are concerned with the health and care of children.I am glad that the report clears up a certain confusion which seems to have arisen from the publicity which the case received last year. Richard was not, in terms of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, in the care of Perth Town Council at the time when his injuries were sustained. He was, however, the subject of what amounted to a private foster care arrangement with which the burgh's social work department was closely connected and in which it had an express duty to secure the child's welfare. The distinction here should be borne in mind when the town council's rôle is considered.The report draws attention to the need to provide field social workers with adequate support, both within their departments and otherwise, for the varied and often complex tasks with which they are often faced. Social workers are not unique in having difficult and demanding work, but they can find themselves in a position of special exposure and isolation unless support and diagnostic information from other services are readily available. This should be a matter of immediate concern to all local authorities and health boards in the arrangements they make for families which contain young children at risk.I am aware that much has already been done to help members of the caring professions to deal promptly and effectively with situations of cruelty and neglect when they are identified. There is nowadays much more public awareness of the problem of child abuse than there was a few years ago. There is greater emphasis on diagnosis and prevention in the professions concerned, and on the development of arrangements for co-operation between individuals and bodies with responsibilities in this field. It is clear, however, from this unhappy case that we still have far to go, and that greater urgency must be imparted to this work. It is for central Government to give the lead in this, and also to ensure that the necessary powers and duties are provided in legislation. I shall deal with each of these matters in turn.

The common feature of most situations of child abuse is the need for close and continuing co-operation between social workers, doctors, health visitors, teachers and others who may be involved. I have been considering the need for revised procedures in this area of joint concern and my Department is consulting interested organisations as a matter of urgency on the terms of a draft circular of guidance which has been sent today to these bodies for comment. Subject to these consultations, I propose to issue circulars of guidance, which will take account of the findings of the Richard Clark report, as soon as possible.

In view of the findings of the report my Department is also having urgent consultations with the interests concerned about the need for amending legislation to strengthen some of the existing safeguards for the protection of children at risk of injury. One opportunity for amending legislation is provided by the Children Bill, which received its Second Reading in another place on 21st January. Subject to consultation with the interests concerned, I intend to bring forward proposals for amendment of the Bill at a later stage.

Trout Farming

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce rating concessions for trout farmers.

The rating system is at present being examined by the committee of inquiry into local government finance which it is hoped will report during 1975. Any changes in the system will be considered in the light of that report.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the position with regard to the availability of EEC grant aid for trout farming.

Trout farming for the purpose of the production of food is eligible for grant aid under the Farm and Horticulture Development Scheme which is partly financed by EEC funds.

List D Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish the report of the Advisory Committee on List D schools; and if he will make a statement on their future management.

I have only very recently received the views of the Advisory Council on Social Work on the report of a committee appointed by it to consider future financial and administrative arrangements for the List D schools. I propose to publish the report as soon as possible and to consider its recommendations in consultation with the interests concerned.

George Heriot's Trust Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement to clarify the position of the terms of George Heriot's endowment.

The George Heriot's Trust Scheme, to which I assume the hon. Member is referring, provides, inter alia, that the governing body shall appoint, maintain and educate as foundationers

"not less than 150 boys and not more than 150 girls, being fatherless children".
Boy foundationers, selected by means of an entrance examination, are educated free at George Heriot's School. The governing body may also award entrance bursaries at the school
"to pupils attending public schools in Edinburgh whose parents, in the opinion of the governing body, require aid in giving them secondary education."
It may also award a number of annual and other bursaries to pupils already attending the school.Of the 1,573 pupils currently attending George Heriot's School, I understand that 109 are foundationers and 72 free-place bursars. The great majority of the pupils thus pay fees, which are currently over £110 per term.

Farms (Income)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the net income, including interest, on capital from farms in Scotland in each of the five grades for the years 1966 to 1974; and if he will make a statement.

Information about the net income from farms cannot be produced for different grades of land because the majority of farms have land of several grades.

National Finance

Self-Employed Persons

46.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he next expects to meet representatives of the self-employed.

47.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he next proposes to meet representatives of the self-employed.

Tax Evasion

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the amount of revenue lost to the Exchequer by tax evasion for each year since 1964; and if he will list the number of prosecutions for tax fraud over the same period.

I regret that it is impossible to make any estimate of the revenue lost through tax evasion.Details of the under-assessments to tax uncovered by the Board of Inland Revenue and the criminal proceedings taken over the last 10 years are given at Tables 25 and 26 in the 117th Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue (Cmnd. 5804).

Foreign Investment

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total of foreign investment in 1973 and 1974; what foreign investment was refused during the same period; what proportion of foreign investment has gone into manufacturing industry; what proportion has gone into land and property speculation; and in which fields foreign investment is over 30 per cent. of the United Kingdom's productive capacity.

Overseas investment in the United Kingdom public and private sectors—net of disinvestment—totalled £1,815 million for 1973 and between 1st January 1974 and 30th September 1974, the latest date for which information is available, totalled £2,013 million.No record of the number of applications for exchange control consent that are refused is maintained, but the num- ber would be very small because applications unlikely to meet our requirements are unlikely to be formally submitted.Some data on foreign investment in the United Kingdom in 1973 classified by industrial sector should be available in April this year. This information will relate only to investment by overseas parent companies in their affiliates—"direct investment". The figures will include direct investment in property owning and managing but exclude investment in oil and insurance. Data on portfolio and miscellaneous investment—which include other investment in the manufacturing industries and in land and property—cannot be analysed so as to identify the recipient sector.Comprehensive information by sector of foreign investment in United Kingdom productive capacity is not available.

Capital Transfer Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the appropriate figures in columns 2, 3 and 4 of the first table in the Financial Secretary's Written Answer of 27th January to the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Baker), assuming that the asset transferred had been held for 25 years, that over that period there had been a 10 per cent. per annum rate of inflation and the value of the asset had remained unchanged in real terms, and that "tax paid" in column 2 and "tax payable" in columns 3 and 4 referred to the total of capital transfer tax and capital gains tax.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 6th February 1975; Vol. 885, c. 596], circulated the following information: An asset which had been held for 25 years and which had appreciated in the manner suggested would be liable for capital gains tax only on the part of the gain accruing from 6th April 1965.However, on the assumption that the full 25-year gain was chargeable, and that it was the value of the asset actually transferred which had appreciated in money value, and using the set of rates employed in my answer of 27th January—[Vol. 885, c.

61–8]—(not those subsequently an-

nounced in relation to lifetime gifts) the required table would be as follows:

Value of Asset Transferred (after all Tax)

Combined value of Asset and Tax Paid by Donor

Tax Payable

Tax Payable proportion of Asset Transferred

£££

Percentage

20,00026,0346,03430·17
30,00041,16911,16937·23
40,00057,67817,67844·19
50,00075,69825,69851·40
60,00095,08835,08858·48
70,000115,87845,87865·54
80,000138,28458,28472·85
90,000162,84072,84080·93
100,000189,10689,10689·11
125,000258,413133,413106·73
150,000327,721177,721118·48
175,000397,029222,029126·87
200,000466,337266,337133·17
225,000535,644310,644138·06
250,000610,220360,220144·09
275,000688,456413,456150·35
300,000766,693466,693155·56
350,000923,165573,165163·76
400,0001,079,638679,638169·91
450,0001,255,039805,039178·90
500,0001,435,322935,322187·06
550,0001,615,6031,065,603193·75
600,0001,795,8861,195,886199·31
650,0001,976,1681,326,168204·03
700,0002,156,4501,456,450208·06
750,0002,363,2321,613,232215·10
800,0002,576,8481,776,848222·11
850,0002,790,4631,940,463228·29
900,0003,004,0792,104,079233·79
950,0003,217,6942,267,694238·70
1,000,0003,431,3102,431,310243·13

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Horticulture (Fuel Costs)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, in view of the recent price increases for light fuel oils, he will now consider an extension of the fuel oil subsidy for glasshouse producers until June 1975.

All relevant factors will be taken into account in our consideration of this subsidy.

Education And Science

Deaf Children

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many special schools for children with impaired hearing are available to serve the county of Lancashire; and what proportion of these are independent establishments.

I understand that the county local education authority uses 11 such special schools, of which eight are run by voluntary bodies. Nine are in the North of England, including three maintained by other authorities, and two are selective schools in the South.

Business Education Council

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the members of the Business Education Council, stating the organisations which each member represents, and indicate in particular whether there is a representative of the further education sector in Wales.

I appointed members of the Business Education Council on a personal basis and not as representative of particular organisations. One member comes from Wales. Following is the information:

  • Mr. J. M. Bruce Lockhart, CB, CMG, OBE, (Chairman) Adviser on Post Experience Programme Graduate Business Centre City University.
  • Dr. M. A. Abrams, Director, Survey Research Unit, Social Science Research Council.
  • Mr. W. M. Allen, lately of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
  • Mr. S. Broadbridge, Principal Lecturer, North Staffordshire Polytechnic.
  • Mr. D. Bruce, MC, AFM, Principal, Kingston-upon-Thames College of Further Education.
  • Dr. E. M. Byrne, Divisional Education Officer for the Lincoln Division of Lincolnshire.
  • Mr. J. Chadderton, Director of Education, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
  • Mr. E. P. Chappell, Morgan Grenfell & Co Ltd., Merchant Bankers.
  • Mrs. J. M. Elliott, Lecturer, Tottenham College of Technology.
  • Mr. A. N. Fairbairn, MC, Director of Education, Leicestershire.
  • Mr. D. Fiske, Chief Education Officer, Manchester.
  • Mr. J. Foord, Chairman, Hull Division, Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staffs; Councillor, Humberside County Council.
  • Mr. M. Hempsell, Director, Ellis & Buckle Ltd., Chartered Loss Adjusters.
  • Mr. P. W. de L. Holmes, Head of South West Regional Management Centre, Bristol Polytechnic.
  • Mr. L. H. Jones, Principal, South West London College.
  • Mr. R. G. King, Head of Professional Studies Department, Hull College of Commerce.
  • Mr. F. F. Land, Senior Lecturer (Computing), London School of Economics.
Thousands
1970–711971–721972–731973–74
Schools*
Under fives†293318351370
Primary pupils5,4245,5095,5345,513
Secondary pupils to age 163,0603,1583,2593,561
Over 16380394403518
Non-advanced further education ‡622633654660
Higher education§470487497508
* Estimates for January in the relevant year.
† Full-time equivalents, including nursery pupils and pupils in primary schools.
‡ Full-time equivalents of students undertaking non-advanced level work at establishments of further education. 1973–74 figure is provisional.
§ Full-time students at universities, full-time equivalents of students and serving teachers undertaking advanced level work at polytechnics and other establishments of further education. 1973–74 figure is provisional.

Overseas Development

World Bank And International Monetary Fund Joint Committee (Meeting)

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will report on the outcome of the recent meeting in Washington of the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the transfer of real resources to the developing countries (the Development Committee).

  • Mr. D. Lofts, Director, Local Government Training Board.
  • Mr. T. Lovett, OBE, Councillor, Gwynedd County Council.
  • Mr. J. M. Morris, MBE, Director of Management Development, Post Office Central HQ.
  • Mr. J. F. Phillips, OBE, Secretary, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
  • Mr. C. T. H. Plant, OBE, General Secretary, Inland Revenue Staff Association.
  • Mrs. S. Platts, Councillor, Derbyshire County Council.
  • Dr. S. Rodden, Wolsey Ltd., Leicester.
  • Mr. L. D. Smith, Laporte Industries Ltd., Luton.

Pupils And Students

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what were the actual numbers of pupils and students, classified on the same basis as in the table on page 95 of Command Paper No. 5879, being educated in the years 1970–71, 1971–72 and 1973–74, respectively.

The numbers are as follows:committee at the end of its meeting, which also describes the immediate and long-term work programmes proposed for the committee, to be placed in the Library of the House.

Defence

Pension Schemes (Review)

5.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete his review of Her Majesty's Forces' pension schemes.

North Sea Oil (Naval Assistance)

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the practical assistance so far offered by the Royal Navy towards North Sea offshore energy developments.

The assistance includes work by the Hydrographer, provision of mooring and towing facilities, advice from research establishments and training in diving techniques. In addition Her Majesty's dockyards stand ready to provide assistance when this would be appropriate.

Northern Ireland

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the families of British soldiers murdered in Northern Ireland about the decision to recompense families of civilians killed in Londonderry shootings on 30th January 1972.

I have received representations from, or on behalf of, the families of two soldiers killed in Northern Ireland.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement about operations in Northern Ireland since the cease-fire.

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland indicated to the House on 5th February—[Vol. 885, c. 1385]—the actions of the security forces are related to the level of terrorist activity that might occur.

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the security situation in Northern Ireland.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland this afternoon.

Aircraft Noise (Alconbury)

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is aware that there has been no effective method of noise suppression for the ground testing of aircraft at Alconbury air base since midsummer 1974; and whether he will consult with the United States Air Force and other authorities concerned in order to ensure that such noise suppression equipment is installed as quickly as possible.

Yes. The United States Air Force authorities are fully aware of the problem and have taken steps to reduce engine testing at Alconbury until noise-suppression equipment is installed.

Low-Flying Aircraft

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will ensure that the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy strictly observe the regulations regarding low flying.

Royal Yacht (Visit To Mexico)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the estimated cost of the visit of the Royal Yacht to Mexico; and what is the current running cost per day for the vessel on oil and fuel.

Costs are calculated on an annual basis. For 1974–75, during which the visit to Mexico will be made, the total costs are estimated as about £1·5 million and the costs of petrol, oil and lubricants as £112,000.

Hong Kong

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy for the future level of air defences of Hong Kong.

We do not provide air defence for Hong Kong at present, nor have we any plans to do so in the future.

Reckonable Service

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence why length of "man's service" is reckonable from the age of 18 years in the Royal Navy but from the age of 17½ years in the Royal Air Force and the Army.

Man's service, in the sense of qualifying service for pension and completion of engagement, is reckoned from age 18 in all three Services, although soldiers and airmen may count their service for gratuity from the age of 17½.

This difference stems from the fact that, until 1962, the Army and RAF reckoned engagements from age 17½ whereas the 12 years' qualifying service for a gratuity was counted from age 18. This meant that it was possible for a soldier or airman to complete his engagement without qualifying for a gratuity. To overcome this problem it was decided to count qualifying service for gratuity also from age 17½.

This problem did not arise for the Royal Navy where the rules for reckoning time for engagements and gratuities were already in line.

Chaplains (Mileage Allowance)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the mileage allowance for officiating chaplains attending Service establishments.

Chaplains are paid the Civil Service public transport rate of motor mileage allowance for use of their private cars. This was increased to 3p per mile with effect from 1st November 1974.

Pensions

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will reconsider the position in regard to Service pensions so as to provide for the payment in suitable cases of a widow's pension to women married to Service pensioners after their retirement from the Service.

The general rule in the public service is that widows' pensions are paid only where marriage occurred before the pensioner's retirement. The position may, however, be reviewed in the light of further developments in social security legislation.

Naval Construction

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many men are at present employed on naval construction both for his Department and for export; and what proportion this represents of all current shipbuilding.

We estimate that of some 20,000 men employed on naval construction, rather over half are employed on work for the Royal Navy. Naval construction accounts for about 25 per cent. of all employment in shipbuilding.

Recruits (Cadet Forces)

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent the cadet forces supply recruits to Her Majesty's Services.

I would refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given earlier today to the hon. Member for Derby, North (Mr. Whitehead).

Atlantic Yacht Race

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what provision he is making for the entry of Royal Navy crews in the multi-hull yacht race in the Atlantic Ocean in 1975.

Our aim is to encourage offshore sailing as a valuable form of adventurous training and as a recreational activity. However, in the case of the forthcoming Atlantic multi-hull yacht race, it was decided after careful consideration of the costs and other factors that an official Royal Navy entry would not be possible.

Diego Garcia

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the specific nature and scale of the proposed extensions to naval and Air Force facilities on Diego Garcia.

To provide improved facilities for refuelling, re-supply, and minor maintenance for ships and aircraft. This involves lengthening the runway, enlarging the airfield parking area, improving the anchorage and ship support facilities, and increasing fuel storage and accommodation.

Service Establishments (Closure)

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he now expects to be able to list the Service establishments to be closed and to be used for other purposes, and the individuals that will need to be re-employed, as a result of the implementation of his review of arms spending.

I have nothing further to add to the reply I gave earlier this afternoon to the hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit).

Beira Patrol

39.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give as much information as is consistent with security considerations about the operations of the Beira Patrol during the past year.

It is not the practice to disclose details of naval operations but, as I explained in answer to a Question by the hon. Member on 14th January—[Vol. 884, c. 181–2]—the patrol has been completely effective in achieving its aim of preventing oil reaching Rhodesia via Beira.

Housing (Ex-Service Men)

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is satisfied with the operation of the existing arrangements for the rehousing of ex-Service men, following their relinquishment of Services accommodation.

Not entirely, and I am taking steps to improve them. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will shortly be issuing a circular giving fresh guidance to local authorities on the housing problems facing ex-Service men and ways in which they can be helped.

Raf Wyton (Sports Facilities)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent sports facilities at RAF Wyton, Huntingdonshire have been made available to civilian clubs as recommended by the Defence Lands Committee—the Nugent Committee—on page 206 of its report.

The sports facilities at RAF Wyton are used extensively by a large number of local civilian clubs. Every reasonable request is sympathetically considered and granted subject to the needs of Service personnel. The organisations making use of the facilities during 1974 included Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire ATC, Central and East Region ATC, St. Ives and District Cubs, St. Ives Rangers, Houghton and Wyton Netball Club, Houghton Scouts, Huntingdon and District Air Scouts and Cubs, Huntingdon and District Scouts and Cubs, Huntingdon and District Mentally Handicapped Society, Wyton Bowl, Society of Model Aircraft Engineers, Ramsey Aero-Modelling Club and Charity Annual Sponsored Walk.

Goods And Services

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the effect the Government's nationalisation proposals will have on the supply of goods and services ordered by the MOD for the defence of the United Kingdom, or on behalf of foreign Governments.

I expect the supply of goods and services to my Department and foreign Governments to benefit from the more efficient use of resources and skills of the aircraft and shipbuilding industries under public ownership.

Dental Personnel

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many dental hygienists and technicians there are in each of the three Services; how many of these are trained annually; and why training for the three Services is not undertaken at the same place.

The numbers are:

Trained numbers in each ServiceTrained in 1974
Dental Hygienists
Royal Navy2712
Army4112
Royal Air Force5516
Dental Technicians
Royal Navy29 (civilians)Nil
Army8813
Royal Air Force5822
We have examined the possibility of joint training for these categories of dental personnel at one place but have concluded that this would not offer any worthwhile savings.

Bandsmen (Training)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the cost per head of training a bandsman in each of the three Services.

Nurses (Training)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many female nurses are trained annually at each of the Service training establishments; what is the estimated cost per trainee in each Service; and why the training is not concentrated at one establishment.

The average numbers under training annually are: Royal Navy 135, Army 440 and Royal Air Force 275. No costs for nurse training are available.

A large part of the training of female nurses consists of practical training in hospitals. In order to provide sufficient clinical experience and to avoid too high a proportion of trainees at any one place, their training is spread among Service hospitals. Nurses in training work under supervision as part of the staffs of Service hospitals.

Computers

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the computers at present used by each of the three Services for pay and records are due for replacement; and what plans he has for their replacement by one installation.

The computers used by the three Services for pay and records are due to be replaced in the following years: Royal Air Force 1976, Royal Navy 1978–79 and Army 1979–80. There are no current plans for their replacement by one installation.

Industry

Post Office Agency Services

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the profit margin agreed for agency services carried out by the Post Office in each of the last five years.

Two per cent. Under the terms of a new agreement applicable from 1st April 1974, the Post Office is now paid its costs plus a service fee of 4 per cent.

Postal Deliveries

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what percentage of letters was delivered on the next working day when posted first class in each of the years since the two-tier post was introduced; and what percentage was delivered on the next working day in 1950 and 1960, respectively.

I understand from the Post Office that records were not kept before 1964–65 and that since then improvements in sampling methods and the enlargement of the scope of the sample affect the strict comparability of some year-on-year figures. Subject to these qualifications, the information published in the relevant Post Office Reports and Accounts is as follows:

Per cent. delivered next working day after posting
Fully paid letters
1964–6591
First class letters
1968–6994*
1969–7093
1970–7194
1971–7292
1972–7392
1973–7489
* Half-year figures from September 1968, when the two-tier post was introduced.

St Helens

45.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when the completion of the factory which has been allocated to St. Helens will take place; how many men and women may expect to find jobs there, and what action is being taken urgently, to attract the kind of industry that will absorb large numbers of unemployed workers.

The factory is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The number of jobs to be provided depends on the type of industry attracted but is likely to be between 45 and 60. Every opportunity is taken of drawing inquirers' attention to the area. It is part of a special development area and so the full range of regional incentives is available.

Postal Charges

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will give a general direction to the Post Office to introduce a 3½p second-class postal rate to be available exclusively for use by registered charities.

"Scottish Daily News"

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the latest position with regard to releasing funds to assist the launching of the Scottish Daily News.

Scottish News Enterprises Limited was offered in July 1974 a loan subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions. This offer still stands.

British Leyland Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what advice he has given British Leyland Limited in connection with its efforts to increase its exports to Japan.

I have been asked to reply.My Department and the British Embassy in Tokyo have advised British Leyland from time to time on ways of increasing exports to Japan. However, the firm's decision on how to proceed have been based on its own commercial judgment.

Post Office Typists' Pay

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, in view of the proposed increase in postal and telephone charges, if he will issue a general direction to the Post Office to bring the pay of Post Office typists into line with general salary levels, since they now exceed general salary levels for typists by over £10 per week.

No. The Post Office tells me that the hon. Member is under a misapprehension and that it will be writing to him.

Shipbuilding (Public Ownership)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry on what dates he received written representations from the Shipbuilders and Repairers National Association in response to his suggestion that organisations should offer comments

CRUDE STEEL PRODUCTION
Million metric tons
195019551960196519701974
Belgium3·785·897·189·1612·6116·23
Denmark0·120·240·320·410·470·54
France8·6512·5917·2819·6023·7727·00
Irish Republic0·020·030·050·080·11
Italy2·365·558·4612·6817·2823·86
Luxembourg2·453·234·084·585·466·45
Netherlands0·490·981·943·155·045·83
United Kingdom16·5520·1124·7027·4428·3222·42
West Germany12·1221·3434·1036·8245·0453·23
Austria0·951·823·163·224·084·70
Finland0·100·200·270·361·171·65
Norway0·080·170·490·690·870·91
Portugal0·270·390·40
Sweden1·462·153·224·735·505·99
Switzerland0·120·150·280·350·520·60
CRUDE STEEL PRODUCTION PER HEAD OF POPULATION
Metric tons
195019551960196519701974
Belgium0·440·660·780·971·301·66
Denmark0·030·050·070·090·100·11
France0·210·290·380·400·470·52
Irish Republic0·010·010·020·030·04
Italy0·050·120·170·250·320·43
Luxembourg8·1710·4212·7513·8816·0618·43
Netherlands0·050·090·170·260·390·43
United Kingdom0·330·390·470·500·510·40
West Germany0·240·410·620·620·730·86
Austria0·140·260·450·440·550·62
Finland0·020·050·060·080·250·35
Norway0·020·050·140·180·220·23
Portugal0·030·050·05
Sweden0·210·300·430·610·680·74
Switzerland0·030·030·050·060·080·09
The 1974 figures of production per head are derived from the 1974 production estimates, divided by the 1973 population estimates.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish comparative statistics showing the numbers

on the issues raised by his discussion paper on nationalisation dated 31st July 1974.

I received comments from the Shipbuilders and Repairers National Association on the discussion paper on 30th October 1974. There have been other written representations to the Department from the association on particular points.

Iron And Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the production of steel in each of the member States of the EEC and EFTA in 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970 and the latest available year, respectively, expressing the production in millions of tons and in tons per head of population.

The information is as follows:and capacities of steel-making plants in each of the member States of the EEC and EFTA.

Figures for effective steel-making capacity and the number of steel-making plants with a capacity above 1 million tonnes in 1973 are tabulated below. Data on the number of smaller steel-making plants are not readily available.

Effective steelmaking capacity million metric tonsNumber of plants with capacity above 1 million metric tons
Belgium17·38
Denmark0·50
France28·17
Irish Republic0·20
Italy28·15
Luxembourg6·54
PRODUCTION OF TINPLATE
Million metric tons
195019551960196519701973
Belgium0·010·090·130·190·270·29
France0·130·320·600·540·800·85
Italy0·050·040·170·250·330·37
NetherlandsN.A.0·060·160·250·470·46
United Kingdom0·680·831·211·201·311·28
West Germany0·210·270·340·530·750·86
NorwayN.A.N.A.N.A.0·020·050·05
PortugalN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.0·05
PRODUCTION OF TINPLATE PER HEAD OF POPULATION
Kilogrammes
195019551960196519701973
Belgium21014202729
France3713111616
Italy113567
NetherlandsN.A.614203634
United Kingdom131623222323
West Germany45691214
NorwayN.A.N.A.N.A.51214
PortugalN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.5
Irish Republic, Luxembourg, Denmark, Austria, Finland and Sweden produce either a negligible amount of, or no, tinplate; no information on tinplate production is available for Switzerland.

Departmental Staff

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many members of the staff of his Department in each grade are engaged (1) full-time and (2) part-time in the supervision of the affairs of (a) Govan Shipbuilders, (b) Cammell Laird (c) Harland and Wolff, and (d) the nationalised companies acquired from Court Line.

Netherlands6·11
United Kingdom28·910
West Germany58·817
Austria4·71
Finland1·60
Norway0·90
Portugal0·50
Sweden6·41
Switzerland0·60

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the production of tinplate in each of the member States of the EEC and EFTA in 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, and in the latest available year, expressing the production both in quantities and in per capita terms.

The information is as follows:

Full-timePart-time
Under Secretary1
Assistant Secretary1
Assistant Solicitor1
Senior Legal Assistant1
Principal23
Chief Accountant1
Higher Executive Officer11
Executive Officer21
Clerical Officer1
In the Department's Shipbuilding Policy Division, one branch under an Assistant Secretary is engaged almost exclusively on work on the shipbuilding companies referred to in the Question and their subsidiaries, and officers in another branch spend significant amounts of time on the ship-repairing companies acquired from Court Line. Advice is also obtained from officers in the Industrial Development Unit and the Finance and Economic Appraisal Division, and from accountants and solicitors in my Department.

Environment

Lorries

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made with the creation of a road network for heavy lorries.

My Department is now analysing the very full response to my consultation paper on routes for heavy lorries. Since the issues involved are complicated, it will be some time before decisions can be reached.

Grass (Conservation)

48.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps are being taken to encourage area officers of the Property Services Agency to conserve, rather than waste, grass in their grass areas.

Positive steps are already taken by the Property Services Agency to ensure that where operational, environmental and economic factors allow, grassed areas are let or the grass is sold.

Rate Support Grant

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the total amount of rate support grant that will be paid to local authorities in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight English regions served by a regional economic planning council in 1975–76; and what was the figure for each of the last five years;(2) what is the amount, per head of population, of the rate support grant that will be paid to local authorities in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight regions of England served by a regional economic planning council in 1975–76; and what were the figures for each of the last five years.

Details of the total amount of rate support grant paid to economic planning council regions during the years 1970–71 to 1973–74 are not readily available. The overall total of grant and amount per head of population for Scotland, Wales and England for those years is:

1970–71
Grant £ millionPer head £
Scotland232·7544·77
Wales134·15949·07
England1,745·84137·74
1971–72
Grant £ millionPer head £
Scotland271·0851·96
Wales155·04456·938
England2,017·95643·74
1972–73
Grant £ millionPer head £
Scotland316·4760·74
Wales179·51165·64
England2,348·48950·72
1973–74
Grant £ millionPer head £
Scotland404·0877·53
Wales224·30181·59
England2,873·69961·90
Subject to any further increase order, current figures for 1974–75 are:

Grant £ millionPer head £
Scotland517·82099·36
Wales313·238113·52
England3,833·63982·56
Economic RegionsGrant £ millionPer head £
Northern320·969102·63
Yorkshire and Humberside466·58595·28
North West599·41890·91
East Midlands303·59681·63
West Midlands398·44776·91
East Anglia130·74574·36
South East1,290·99676·14
South West322·88376·77
The resources element of the grant in England and Wales for 1975–76 payable to an authority is based on its estimated expenditure for that year. This information has yet to be provided by authorities and therefore no details are currently available.

Recreation (Public Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total amount of public money spent under all headings on sporting, recreational, cultural and leisure activities in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight English regions which are served by an economic planning council in the last year for which figures are available; what were the amounts in each of the preceding five years; and what are the estimated figures for the next three years.

Public expenditure in England on sport and recreation is estimated as follows:

£ million
1968–6925
1969–7026
1970–7131
1971–7242
1972–7362
Information is not available on expenditure in each economic planning region. The figures include expenditure by my Department, the Sports Council, the Countryside Commission, the English Tourist Board and the Forestry Commission. Capital expenditure by local
SLUM CLEARANCE: HOUSES DEMOLISHED OR CLOSED
196919701971197219731974 (1st nine months)
Northern7,1635,3407,4605,7746,8832,024
Yorkshire and Humberside11,24413,64312,00613,85810,4063,753
East Midlands5,4826,2396,6695,5985,8164,180
East Anglia1,6592,0681,5031,7661,271443
South East11,3289,50612,32010,2418,9663,403
South West1,9941,6151,5121,1211,109359
West Midlands10,8757,5769,9347,2976,7932,992
North West17,20419,48816,05918,46520,14912,800
Wales2,2842,3292,5941,9782,1641,500
Scotland17,84717,34520,55418,51816,4798,583
These figures relate to the revised economic planning regions constituted on 1st April 1974.

Cavity Walls

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's estimate of the balance of benefits in energy and cost terms of insulation of cavity walls in the average three-bedroom house.

authorities in England and Wales is also included, but information on current expenditure is not available. A comparable figure for 1973–74 is not available as returns of local authority capital expenditure are incomplete. There is no reliable means of estimating total expenditure in 1974–75 or future years.

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales have responsibility in their respective countries. Cultural activities in England are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.

Slum Clearance

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total number of houses, fit and unfit, cleared by local authorities under all headings in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight English regions served by an economic planning council in the last year for which figures are available; and what were the figures for each of the last five years.

The numbers of houses demolished or closed under slum clearance powers, in the first nine months of 1974 and the previous five years are given below:

Costs and benefits of thermal insulation vary according to the type, size and existing construction of a house and its climatic location. They also depend on the extent to which the householder opts to save fuel or to enjoy higher temperatures. Thus no general answer is possible.My Department is conducting a range of experiments to determine optimum forms and levels of insulation and the savings achieved in practice.

Railways (Subsidies)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will introduce legislation to ensure that local authorities are not prevented from subsidising local railway lines which they wish to keep open.

Rates

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will forecast the average percentage rate increase likely to be levied by local authorities in Greater London for 1975–76 on the assumption that these authorities follow the guidelines set out in his Department's Circular 171/74.

It is not possible for me to make such a forecast. It is for individual authorities to make decisions on their expenditure in the light of the guidance in Circular 171/74.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will ensure that statements made to London ratepayers by officials of his Department make it clear that his forecast of a 25 per cent. average rate increase for 1975–76 does not apply to local authorities in Greater London.

I have always acknowledged that there will be variations around the figure of 25 per cent. and that London's particular problems will mean the average rate increase for London boroughs will be significantly above 25 per cent.

Local Authority Planning Staff

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what the increase in total planning staff in local authorities in England has been between the years 1972 and 1974 inclusive.

Street Lighting

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's estimate of the balance of benefit in energy and cost terms between the cost of earlier replacement of lights switched on and off at frequent intervals and the saving through such operation of lighting.

It is not possible to give a simple answer; the economics of switching off lights vary according to the electricity tariff, the type of lamp and the cost of replacing it. Frequent switching on and off does shorten the life of a tubular fluorescent lamp, but unless it is in an inaccessible place where it is difficult to replace it is usually more economic to switch off. In Government offices occupants are encouraged to turn off unnecessary lights every time.

I have been asked also to reply.The balance must depend on the size, nature and use pattern of each particular installation, and the relevant detailed information is not available to the Department.

Food Processing Factories

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the standards of health in food processing factories.

I have been asked to reply.Food processing factories, like other food establishments, are subject to the requirements of the Food Hygiene (General) Regulations 1970, which the local authorities enforce. The regulations are designed to ensure that the consumer receives food that is kept clean and is safe to eat, and includes provisions concerning the health of the food handlers. Strict enforcement of the regulations should ensure satisfctory standards.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Non-Proliferation Treaty

49.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement outlining action taken so far by Her Majesty's Government under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In pursuit of the policy outlined in the Queen's Speech, we are participating actively in discussions in the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament and elsewhere with the aim of finding practical measures by which multilateral disarmament under strict and effective international control can become a reality.

Cyprus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British subjects still live in the part of Cyprus under Turkish military occupation; and whether he is satisfied as regards their personal safety and the security of their possessions.

There are 194 British residents of United Kingdom origin remaining in the Turkish-held areas of Cyprus. Responsibility for their personal safety and the security of their possessions is a matter for the Turkish authorities, to whom we have made repeated representations on their behalf.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate has been made of the financial losses suffered by British subjects living in the part of Cyprus under Turkish occupation; and what steps he is taking to obtain compensation.

A realistic estimate of financial losses sustained by British subjects in Cyprus is not practicable while access to certain areas of the island continues to be prohibited by the Turkish military authorities.On steps to obtain compensation, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Brotherton) on 29th January and to my right hon. Friend's statement on Cyprus of 5th February.—[Vol. 885, c. 367–8; c. 1374–83.]

Civil And Political Rights

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the Government are taking towards ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

I have nothing to add to the reply my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Members for Arundel (Mr. Marshall) and Greenwich (Mr. Barnett) on 18th December 1974.—[Vol. 883, c. 1556–7.]

Civil Service

Wales

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many people were employed in the Civil Service in Wales in the years 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73 and 1973–74, respectively; and what were the total salaries and wages bills for those personnel in the same years.

The information needed to answer this Question is not readily available and I am not, therefore, able to give the hon. and learned Gentleman a detailed reply today. I hope to be able to publish an answer shortly.

Government Offices (Dispersal)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service 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.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 3rd February 1975; Vol. 885, c. 398–9], gave the following information:The first co-ordinated Civil Service dispersal initiative in peace-time began in May 1963 following the Flemming Report. Records of posts dispersed from London date from that time but they were not maintained on a yearly basis until October 1969. Information about dispersal from London in the period May 1963 to 30th September 1969 and each year subsequent to 30th September 1969 is given below. The posts shown as planned for dispersal include those to be dispersed from London as a result of the decisions announced by the Lord President on 30th July 1974. It is not possible to give projected figures for each of the next five years, but the programme is planned for completion over a 10-year period. The figures do not include posts set up in new organisations established outside London under Government location policies.

NUMBER OF POSTS

Scotland

Wales

Northern Region

Yorkshire and Humberside

North West

East Midlands

West Midlands

East Anglia

South East

South West

Totals

Period May 1963 to 30th September 19692,0247872,1332561,789502381,1925,37132814,168*
Years ended 30th September:
19701,630165797859883486424,196
19718302191412059677691331492,729
197220046041237355292321731,727
19731691855924643262041,193
19747093633476172321581,589
Total5,5622,1793,2051,1054,1031262791,2096,7801,05425,602
Total posts planned to be dispersed as at 1st October 19748,8907,4923,8604,640507831,9451,90029,560†
Grand Total14,4529,6717,0651,1058,7431762791,9928,7252,95455,162

* Figures prior to 30th September 1969 exclude the Post Office which is now a Public Corporation but include the Department for National Savings.

† This total does not include the Manpower Services Commission, the Health and Safety Commission and the Inland Revenue on which decisions were deferred at the time of the Lord President's announcement last year; nor the 1,000 posts in the Property Services Agency to be dispersed from London to regional offices but whose precise distribution among these offices has not been decided.

Northern Ireland

Firearms

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many licensed firearms have been used for assassination or attempted assassination in Northern Ireland;(2) how many licensed firearms have been stolen in Northern Ireland since January 1973;(3) how many licensed firearms have been used for armed robbery in Northern Ireland since January 1973.

This information is not immediately available. I shall write to the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many hand guns have been stolen in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964;(2) how many rifles of larger calibre than ·22 have been stolen in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964;(3) how many ·22 rifles have been stolen in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964;(4) how many air rifles, gas rifles and air pistols have been stolen in each year since 1964;(5) how many shotguns have been stolen in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964;(6) how many firearms have been stolen from the police in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964.

Licences for:
Full year 1st August to 31st JulyPart year 1st November to 31st JulyPart year 1st August to 31st October (same year)Part year Any continuous period of 14 days
19642,840165110445
19652,825180135430
19663,0601,315140390
19672,11539090375
19683,6851,6451,5051,925
19691,245330310500
197092013535305
19719706030240
1972810851575
1973720110Nil50
19749501001580

This information is not immediately available. I shall write to the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many firearms have been stolen from the Army in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964.

The information is as follows:

196912
19701
197118
1972148
197355
197425
Figures for 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968 are not readily available.

Clay Pigeon Shooting Clubs

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many clay pigeon shooting clubs there are in Northern Ireland.

Game Licences

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many game licences have been issued in Northern Ireland in each year since 1964.