Written Answers To Questions
Wednesday 19th February 1975
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Tanzania (J S Davis And Company)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further steps he is taking to obtain compensation for shareholders of J. S. Davis and Company (Tanzania) following the confiscation of this company by the Tanzanian Government.
We continue to take every opportunity to press the Tanzanian authorities to settle this and other outstanding compensation claims. My right hon. Friend raised the question of compensation during his visit to Tanzania in January, and we have received assurances that, in cases where this is due, it will be paid.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will pay an official visit to Syria.
I have no plans at present to do so.
United Nations Peacekeeping Force
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have taken place in the Security Council on the rôle and function of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.
The Security Council extended the existing mandates of the United Nations Emergency Force, the United Nations force in Cyprus and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for further periods of six months on 23rd October, 13th December and 29th November 1974 respectively.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from Ireland and Denmark regarding national rights in waters around Rockall.
I have nothing to add to my right hon. Friend the Minister of State's reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Epping Forest (Mr. Biggs-Davison) on 28th January 1975.—[Vol. 885, c. 131.]
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the sources of arms supply to African nationalist guerrillas operating in Rhodesian territory.
Comprehensive information is not available. These arms appear to come from various sources.
Indian Ocean (British Bases)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the future level of use of British bases in the Indian Ocean by the armed forces of the United States of America.
Any use in the future by the United States of British facilities in the Indian Ocean would depend upon the circumstances at the time and would be subject to the agreement of Her Majesty's Government and, where appropriate, the Government of the country concerned.
United States Embassy (Mr Cord Meyer)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the acceptability to Her Majesty's Government of the continued presence in the United Kingdom of Mr. Cord Meyer as a member of the staff of the American Embassy in London.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current situation in Cyprus.
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the earlier Question by the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane).
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on the joint review with the French Government about the future of the New Hebrides referred to in his Answer to the hon. Member for Somerset, North (Mr. Dean) on 29th January 1975.—[Vol. 885, c. 163.]
I visited the New Hebrides last month, where I met M. Stirn, the French Secretary of State for Overseas Territories. We were satisfied that appropriate action was being taken to implement the measures agreed between the two Governments last November. We plan to meet again later this year.
Pacific (Anglo-French Condominium)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement upon the future of the Anglo-French Condominium in the Pacific.
I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) earlier today.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many police officers of the Hong Kong Government have made formal complaints and other representations to the Independent Commission against Corruption since it began its investigations in February 1974; and if he will list these by rank and race, respectively.
Forty-five police officers have made formal complaints and other representations on corruption to the commission. The breakdown is:
|Gazetted officers (Superintendent and above)||4|
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Hong Kong police officers have been employed in the Independent Commission against Corruption; what proportion this is of the total investigating complement; and how many of these have served in the former Anti-Corruption Office of the Hong Kong Police Force.
Fifty-one officers of the commission were formerly employed by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. This is almost 17 per cent. of the total investigating complement of 301. Sixteen of the 51 had served at one time or another in the former Anti-Corruption Office.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many acres of land have been cleared as part of the Hong Kong Government's resettlement programme; of these, how many have been sold by the Hong Kong Government; and what is the total value of these transactions over the past five-year period.
4,218 acres were cleared between April 1954 and March 1974 for the following purposes:
|1. Public housing estates||1,528|
|2. Other public works and buildings||1,336|
|3. Grants for social purposes, public open spaces and land sales||1,354|
|(a breakdown of this figure is not readily available)|
European Economic Community
United Kingdom Membership
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he has had with the United States Government about Great Britain's future in the European Community.
I have had no formal consultations with the United States Government on this matter but they are, of course, fully aware of the reasons for our renegotiation of the terms of entry and of our decision to put the matter to a referendum.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Commonwealth Governments associated with the European Economic Community have signified their intention to sever their relationship with the EEC if Great Britain decides to end its membership.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Commonwealth Governments which are now associated with the EEC have indicated that they would end their present trade relationships with the United Kingdom in the event of our withdrawal from the EEC.
None of the Commonwealth Governments who will be signatories to the Lomé Convention have signified anything officially to us about their relationships with either the United Kingdom or the EEC in the event of our withdrawal from the EEC.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had about a possible free trade agreement with the EEC should Great Britain decide to withdraw; and what his assessment is of this alternative to continued membership.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the prospects of entering into a free trade agreement with the European Economic Community if Great Britain chooses to withdraw from the EEC.
No such discussions have taken place with the Community because the Government are working for a successful outcome to renegotiation. For the same reason it would be premature and inappropriate to express a view about possible alternative trading arrangements with the EEC.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he has had with the Canadian Government relative to Great Britain's membership of the European Community.
When my right hon. Friend accompanied my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to Ottawa last month he had a general discussion with the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs concerning relations between Canada and the EEC.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the progress of his negotiations regarding the terms of accession to the EEC.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest position in the EEC renegotiations.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement of progress in the negotiations concerning continued British membership of the EEC.
Progress has been or is being made on a number of issues and our aim is to complete the process by Easter.
European Assembly (British Delegation)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will list the names of the persons appointed as representatives of the British Parliament to the European Assembly who have not been elected to the British House of Commons.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the list published in the Official Report on 9th December 1974 in reply to a similar Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Gould).—[Vol. 883, c. 24.]
Duchy Of Lancaster (Finance)
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proposals he has for improving the finances of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Satisfactory progress has been made in reviewing the rents in charge. This review is still in progress, but I am confident that it will result in increases in net revenue and with it the capacity to undertake maintenance.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the progress of discussions on the exploitation of the natural resources of the United Kingdom for which he has ministerial responsibility.
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the exploitation of offshore oil. All the companies concerned in the development of the 12 oilfields so far declared commercial have had explained to them the Government's objectives for majority State participation as envisaged in the White Paper published in July 1974 (Cmnd. 5696). Discussions on the companies' plans for refining and disposal have also started, as foreshadowed in my statement on 6th December.
Oil Production Platforms
asked the Secretary of State for Energy on how many occasions his Department or the Offshore Supplies Office has engaged private consultant engineers to give guidance on the approval of designs for oil production platforms and the suitability of sites; how many of these consultant engineers are members of or employed by firms based predominantly in Scotland and England, respectively; and what is his estimate of the proportion of such external consultancy work as a percentage of total consultancy work undertaken by his Department or the Offshore Supplies Office.
My Department has on eight occasions commissioned a United Kingdom consulting engineer based in England to advise on the merits of designs for oil production platforms. Seven consultants have been commissioned to advise on the location or the suitability of sites for production platform fabrication. Of these two are Scottish and have been commissioned on 14 occasions and once jointly with an English consultant and once jointly with an English and a foreign consultant; four are English and have been commissioned on six occasions, including the joint consultancies; and one is foreign and has been commissioned once on a joint consultancy. Because the extent of the work involved in individual commissions varies considerably it is not possible to give an estimate of the proportion of such external consultancy work as a percentage of all consultancy work commissioned by my Department without disproportionate expenditure of staff time.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many design and consultant engineers are employed by his Department or the Offshore Supplies Office to give guidance on the approval of designs for oil production platforms and the suitability of sites; and where they are based.
Research And Development
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will publish a detailed list of the United Kingdom energy reserch and development activities included in the inventory of such activities maintained by the EEC Commission and referred to in paragraph 21 of Document 447/74 of the European Parliament.
I am arranging for the information to be placed in the Library of the House.
North Sea Oil
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy towards European Community projects for the North Sea for joint exploration; and how these fit in with his conception of the BNOC.
The proposed EEC Council regulation for support to common projects for hydrocarbons exploration, on which an explanatory memorandum has been submitted to the House—Reference No. R/3333/74, Document No. 8—is not directed towards the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, though it could find application there. I would refer the hon. Member to my remarks in the debate on 11th February.—[Vol. 886, c. 239.] Specific proposals for joint activities involving the BNOC will be considered on their merits as and when they are received after BNOC is established.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many offices of profit are within his gift whose incumbents are not recruited through the normal Civil Service channels; and what is their value.
There are 136 such salaried appointments within my gift at present occupied, and the annual cost of these salaries is £884,000.
British Petroleum (Government Shareholding)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to dispose of their holding in BP, acquired from Burmah Oil, as soon as possible.
I have nothing to add to my statement to the House on Burmah Oil of 15th January.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what steps she is taking to mitigate the effects of the recent disaster in Mauritius; and what help has already been given.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what relief aid she is giving to the Mauritius Government and people following the damage suffered from the cyclone which
|United Kingdom Milk Production (Million gallons)||Butter Imports|
|'000 tons||c.i.f. value in £m.|
|July to September 1973||…||…||…||739·50||47·3||21·13|
|October to December 1973||…||…||…||666·28||66·0||28·95|
|January to March 1974||…||…||…||653·72||120·3||52·41|
|April to June 1974||…||…||…||…||854·22||84·6||45·36|
|July to September 1974||…||…||…||727·93||104·4||59·63|
|October to December 1974||…||…||…||645·08||138·9||74·15|
passed over Mauritius last week; and if she will make a statement.
In my reply of 17th February I told the hon. Member for Rye (Mr. Irvine) that personnel from the Royal Naval communications station in Mauritius gave immediate assistance. Her Majesty's Government have made a contribution of £10,000 to the Mauritius Government's Cyclone Reconstruction Fund, and my Disaster Unit has despatched medical supplies to the value of £2,000. A Royal Navy frigate, accompanied by its auxiliary vessel, arrived at the island earlier this week to assist further in relief work.When we have had fuller information from the Mauritius Government I shall, of course, be prepared to consider what further help we can give.
Cape Verde Islands
asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether Her Majesty's Government are helping to relieve famine in the Cape Verde Islands.
A recent report by the United Nations Office of the Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO) reveals a serious situation due, amongst other factors, to a continuing drought since 1969. I am considering what assistance I might usefully provide, and to that end my Disaster Unit is in touch with the UNDRO.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will show for each quarter since June 1973 the total United Kingdom milk production in gallons and the total volume and cost of imported butter.
The information is as follows:
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farm co-operatives there are in the United Kingdom; what is the size of acreage under these co-operatives; and what is the value of this output per year.
There are two categories of co-operatives in agriculture. Co-operative societies are registered under the
|Mainly requisite co-operatives||…||…||…||…||…||124||308,343,000|
|Mainly marketing co-operatives||…||…||…||…||…||431||345,236,000|
|Mainly service co-operatives||…||…||…||…||…||…||33||42,821,000*|
|Unincorporated production groups||…||…||…||…||…||500/600 (estimate)||—|
|* This includes NFU Mutual Insurance £37,127,000.|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the productive capacity of the United Kingdom sugar beet factories in 1936 and the latest year for which figures are available.
I understand from the British Sugar Corporation that the figures are approximately as follows in thousand long tons:
|1936 (based on a processing campaign of 100 days)||1974 (based on a processing campaign of 120 days)|
|Sugar (white equivalent)||520||1,080|
|Dried molassed pulp||280||600|
|Molasses for sale||60||120|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will examine the extent to which, where new tractors are sold complete with safety cabs, certain agricultural attachments
Industrial and Provident Societies Acts and are required by law to submit an annual return for inspection. In addition, certain farmers' organisations—co-operative companies—that are registered under the Companies Act fulfil the prescribed criteria for a co-operative organisation. But there is no obligation upon them to identify themselves as co-operative companies or to supply statistical data.
The available information is as follows:
cannot be used due to the positioning of the cab; and if he will make a statement.
This is a matter for the manufacturers concerned, especially now that tractor cab regulations have been in existence for nearly eight years.
Rapeseed (Erucic Acid Content)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to ensure that all future British crops of rapeseed have a low erucic acid level.
My Department is in touch with trade and farmers' representatives with a view to overcoming the technical difficulties which stand in the way of increased production of low erucic acid rapeseed. It is expected that over the next two or three years increasing quantities of low erucic acid varieties of rapeseed will be planted.The EEC Council of Ministers has asked the Commission to consider how production of low erucic acid rapeseed could be encouraged, and proposals are expected by 1st July 1975. However, there is a continuing demand for high erucic acid rape oil for use in industry, so a total switch to low erucic acid varieties would be undesirable.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to ensure that all future imports of rapeseed have a low erucic acid level.
We have no plans to restrict the varieties of rapeseed that may be imported. Industry will continue to need rape oil containing high levels of erucic acid for certain purposes, including the manufacture of lubricants. In 1974 the United Kingdom imported about two-thirds of its total requirements of rapeseed. Although domestic production is expanding rapidly, imported supplies will continue to be important.
Erucic Acid (Product Labelling)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had with food manufacturers about the level of erucic acid being shown on the product label.
None. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler) on 18th February.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many industrial and how many non-industrial civil servants there were in the United Kingdom on the latest available date, and what were the equivalent figures for one, two, three and four years earlier.
Totals of staff in post at 1st October in each year are as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if the RAF's intention to cut back fuel consumption will include a reduction in the number of low-flying exercises in areas like the Borders.
Low-flying exercises are an essential part of operational training. While the RAF is making its full contribution to the conservation of fuel it is unlikely that the volume of low-level flying training will be significantly reduced on this account in the border counties or elsewhere. The border areas, representing about 4·7 per cent. of the total land area of the United Kingdom, receive only 3·5 per cent. of the total number of low-level flights made each year.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the pay of British officers, pilots and other personnel seconded to the service of the Sultan of Oman is met by the Sultan.
All the pay of members of Her Majesty's Forces serving on loan to the Sultan of Oman's armed forces is borne by the Sultanate.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report the latest statistics showing what percentage of pupils in each education authority in England and Wales enters full-time courses of higher education.
I regret the precise information asked for is not available, but the ratio to population of new awards to students entering higher and further education in each local education authority is published annually in Volume 5 (Finance and Awards) of "Statistics of Education", a copy of which is available in the Library.
Business Education Council
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many members of the Business Education Council are on the staff of colleges in Wales.
The information is contained in the Answer which I gave to the hon. Member on 11th February.—[Vol. 886, c. 92–4.]
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether, within the social contract, employers are permitted to vary the amount paid under threshold agreements to their employees and thus to reduce differentials between one grade and another.
The application to particular circumstances of the TUC guidance on collective bargaining and the social contract is primarily a matter for the negotiators concerned. Where there is any doubt the TUC General Council has invited unions to seek its advice. To comply with the guidance, any variation of the amount paid under threshold agreements would have to be taken into account in any increase based on the rise in the cost of living.
Mines And Quarries Act 1954
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any proposals to make relating to the Mines and Quarries Act 1954; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has, at present, no proposals for amending the Mines and Quarries Acts 1954–1971, nor has he received any from the Health and Safety Commission. Regulations amending the Acts must, of course, take account of Section 1(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and be the subject of the extensive consultation required by Section 50.
Closures And Redundancies (Us-Owned Companies)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many United States-owned companies or subsidiaries in Great Britain have notified his Department of closures and/or redundancies in each of the years since 1970.
The information requested is not available.
Share Option And Incentive Schemes
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many share option and share incentive schemes have received formal or provisional Treasury approval during 1974.
The provisions of the Taxes Acts which granted favourable tax treatment to transactions under Inland Revenue approved share option and share incentive schemes were repealed by the Finance Act 1974. Provision no longer exists for schemes to be approved.The number of schemes approved in 1974, before the Finance Act 1974 became law, was as follows:
|Formally approved||Provisionally approved|
|Share option schemes||47||57|
|Share incentive schemes||16||7|
asked the Chancellor of the the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the latest estimated cost of each central Government subsidy both on food and for the products of nationalised industries in the current financial year and showing these costs as a part of standard rate of income tax.
Following is the information:
|Nationalised industries subsidies|
|1. Compensation for price restraint:|
|England and Wales||290|
|* Excluding capital grants.|
Capital Gains Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the revenue raised by capital gains tax in each year since its introduction is estimated to have been the result of the depreciation of the currency rather than any real increase in the real value of the property.
I regret that information, in particular with respect to the length of the period over which gains have accrued, on which estimates could be based is not available.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised by capital gains tax in each of the years since its introduction; and what is the estimated yield for the current year.
I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given on 20th November 1974 to the hon. Members for Cardiff, North (Mr. Grist) and Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley).
On-Course Betting Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the loss in revenue following the abolition of on-course betting tax.
About £9 million a year.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider enhancing the attraction of British gold coins in international markets and increasing the potential profit of the Royal Mint by authorising the revival of striking multiples of two and five times the sovereign or introducing a new gold denomination weighing, for example, one ounce.
I have noted the hon. Member's suggestions.
Motor Vehicle Taxation
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in his review of the rate for motor vehicle excise licences, he will take account of the means of individuals such as the retired, particularly in rural areas which have poor public transport facilities.
My right hon. Friend will, as usual, take into account all relevant factors.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied with the United Kingdom's economic situation.
No. We face some very serious economic problems—especially inflation and the external payments deficit—which have been compounded by the enormous disturbances in the world economy. Some progress has been made on the external problems. Agreements have been reached on the recycling of petrodollars, and the prospects for world trade and for commodity prices now look somewhat less bleak. At home our first priorities must be to tackle the domestic causes of inflation, and to prevent consumption from eating into resources required for the balance of payments and industrial investment. The Government's economic policies will be directed to these objectives.
International Monetary Fund
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what economic or other conditions are attached to any further credit tranches which the United Kingdom may draw from the International Monetary Fund.
The terms of access by a member country to Fund resources are a matter for discussion at the time of an application. In the case of drawings on the higher credit tranches, a member country is expected to have provided evidence of its policies and performance targets to the Fund.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to safeguard the living standards of people living on savings income and small fixed income pensions.
Inflation remains the major threat to the living standards of people dependent upon small fixed incomes, and it has been a major objective of Government policy to alleviate this danger. High priority has also been given to the improvement of social security benefits. There was a record uprating of 29 per cent. in State pensions and associated benefits last July, and a further uprating of 16 per cent. is due in April, with another increase planned for December. The food subsidy programme has also had a significant beneficial effect, and those with money to invest will stand to gain from the forthcoming index-linked savings scheme for people of retirement age.
Mortgages (Tax Relief)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the gain to the revenue of restricting tax relief on loans for house purchase and improvement to relief at the basic rate of tax.
The gain for a full year, on the basis of estimated 1974–75 incomes and current tax rates, would be about £25 million.
Civil Service (Management)
asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the management of the Civil Service in the context of the report "Civil Servants and Change" and the Civil Service National Whitley Council's joint statement on it.
As I told the House on 30th April last year, civil servants must be fairly treated and there should be no discrimination against the public service as compared with other sectors. The Civil Service as a work force is entitled to the same sort of concern and consideration as any other employees. I therefore welcome and endorse the report "Civil Servants and Change" and the joint statement on it by the Civil Service National Whitley Council, which is reproduced below.The report, which has been prepared by the Civil Service Department with the full co-operation of the National Staff Side, points out that changes in society, in the work of Government and in its organisation have all had marked effects on the Civil Service. These effects claim the attention of the management of the service and are a reminder to Government and Parliament of our ultimate responsibility for civil servants as employees.As the joint statement indicates, each Department is formulating a programme of follow-up action for discussion with its departmental staff side to meet the particular problems that it faces. Ministers in charge of Departments will be giving their full support to getting results from these programmes. The Government have a duty to maintain a position as a good employer, and I am aware that this has implications for resources, including human resources, so that the Civil Service can play its full and essential part in the operation of a fair and orderly society.JOINT STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL WHITLEY COUNCIL ON THE WIDER ISSUES REVIEW REPORT
The report "Civil Servants and Change", which is now being published, is an important and welcome analysis of the major problems of the Civil Service, and what needs to be done about them. The Service is an integral part of society and is affected, like any other large organisation, by social changes. It depends on the people who work for it. They must be seen not only as the means through which Ministers govern, but also as a work force, requiring the same sort of concern and consideration as any other employees.
2. The report indicates that the confidence and effectiveness of the Service depend very much on Ministers, and on how far they can give practical recognition to their responsibilities as employers in the exercise of their wider responsibilities as Government. Otherwise there is a risk of imposing greater burdens and stresses on the Service than it can in practice bear. It also indicates that the Civil Service Trade Unions too have an essential rôle, in representing their members' interests, and seeking the greatest measures of co-operation between the management and the staff in accordance with the aims of the Whitley system.
3. Not least, however, as the report says, it will require a great effort on the part of the management of the Service, at all levels, to adapt it fast enough to meet the challenge of fast-moving and more demanding times. With this in view, each Department is now formulating for discussion with its Departmental Staff Side a programme of action to follow up this report, and their programmes should provide both a basis for and an example of better staff relations, better internal communications and better management. And at the centre the Civil Service Department must seek to ensure by the provision of resources and in other ways that the Service as a whole can continue to adapt to the needs of society, and can keep up the momentum of change.
4. Some of the required changes are already under way. A new National Pay Agreement has been concluded, which updates in the light of experience and changing economic circumstances the well-established principles for determining Civil Service pay by fair comparison. A National Agreement has been reached on facilities for non-industrial Civil Service trade union representatives; allowances have been improved; an office improvement programme has been launched; in the welfare field, voluntary health screening is being widened; improvements in personnel management are being consolidated and extended. Although much still remains to be done, Civil Service conditions are being progressively developed in these and other ways not just for their own sake, but to enable every civil servant to make his full contribution to both the ideal and the reality of an effective and responsive public service.
House Of Commons
Duchy Of Lancaster Questions
asked the Prime Minister on what subjects the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will now be answering parliamentary Questions.
My right hon. Friend will answer Questions arising from his Duchy responsibilities and Questions which relate directly to his responsibilities as the Government's chief negotiator over Government participation in existing North Sea oil licences.
|£291 allowance||£390 allowance|
|Cranhill||St. Columba of Iona|
|Westwood||St. Marys Calton|
|St. Margaret Marys|
|New Pitsligo and St. Johns|
|Angus||…||…||…||—||Kirriemuir Websters High|
|Ayrshire||…||…||—||Cumnock St. Convals|
|Girvan Sacred Heart|
|Dumfriesshire||…||Sanquhar Academy||Annan Academy|
|Dunbartonshire||…||Clydebank St. Columbas||Clydebank St. Andrews|
|Kirkintilloch St. Ninians||Dumbarton St. Patricks|
|East Lothian||…||…||—||Dunbar Academy|
|Inverness-shire||…||—||Daliburgh, South Uist|
|Lochdar, South Uist|
|Paible, North Uist|
Highlands And Islands Development Board
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many requests for authority to purchase land compulsorily the Highlands and Islands Development Board has made since 1965.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now publish a list of the schools in Scotland which would have been designated if the third scheme of designation had been agreed, and the amount of payment which would have been given to teachers in those schools.
My Department's provisional identification of the schools which would have qualified for designation under the third scheme is as follows:
|£291 allowance||£390 allowance|
|Lanarkshire||…||…||Airdrie Caldervale High||Airdrie Academy|
|Carluke High||Bellshill Academy|
|Lesmahagow High||Blantyre High|
|Cambuslang, Cathkin||Chryston High|
|Wishaw High School||Coatbridge, Rosehall High|
|Bellshill St. Saviours||Hamilton, Earnock High|
|Coatbridge St. Patricks||Lanark Grammar|
|Wishaw, Garrion Academy|
|Airdrie, St. Margarets|
|Cambuslang Trinity High|
|Coatbridge St. Ambrose|
|Coatbridge Columba High|
|Hamilton John Ogilvie|
|Lanark, St. Marys|
|Motherwell, Our Ladys|
|Viewpark, St. Catherines|
|Wishaw, St. Aidans|
|Moray and Nairn||…||Grantown Academy|
|Perth and Kinross||…||—||Alyth|
|Renfrewshire||…||…||Greenock Finnart High||Bridge of Weir, William Quarrier|
|Gourock St. Columbas||Greenock Cowdenknowes|
|Paisley St. James' High||Linwood High|
|Barrhead St. Lukes|
|Greenock Notre Dame High|
|Port Glasgow St. Stephens|
|Paisley St. Aelreds|
|Paisley Sacred Heart High|
|Linwood, St. Brendans High|
|Ross and Cromarty||…||—||Back, Lewis|
|Stirlingshire||…||…||—||Kilsyth, St. Patricks|
|West Lothian||…||Blackburn St. Kentigern||Broxburn, Our Ladys|
|£141 allowance||£189 allowance|
|St. Monicas||Lorne Street|
|Miltonbank||St. Mary's Maryhill|
|Mount Florida||St. Catherines|
|£141 allowance||£189 allowance|
|St. Rose of Lima|
|Our Lady of the Assumption|
|Angus||…||…||…||Logie Pert||Arbroath High (Primary Department)|
|Dunoon Hillfoot Street||Innellan|
|Oban St. John Episcopal||Lochnell|
|Mull, Salen||Oban Park|
|Oban St. Columbas||Port Ellen, Islay|
|Dumfriesshire||…||Auldgirth||Annan St. Columbas|
|Moffat Academy (Primary Department)||Duncow|
|Dalry Secondary (Primary Department)|
|Gartsherrie Academy, Coatbridge||Calderbank|
|Kirkhall Hareleeshill||Carstairs Junction|
|New Monkland, Glengowan||Mount Vernon|
|Caldercruix St. Mary's||Budhill, Shettleston|
|Coatbridge St. Bartholomews||Harthill|
|£141 allowance||£189 allowance|
|Coatbridge St. Bernards||Rutherglen St. Anthony's|
|Shotts St. Patricks|
|Viewpark St. Gabriels|
|East Kilbride St. Hilary's|
|East Kilbride Long Calderwood|
|East Kilbride Blacklaw|
|Coatbridge St. Patricks|
|Coatbridge St. Timothy's|
|Newmains St. Brigids|
|Moray and Nairn||…||—||Auldearn|
|Perth and Kinross||…||Deanston|
|Dunblane St. Marys Episcopal|
|Greenock Hillend||Paisley Grammar (Primary Department)|
|Greenock, The Lady Alice|
|Greenock Larkfield||John Neilson High, Paisley (Primary Department)|
|Port Glasgow Mossyde|
|Gourock St. Ninians|
|Greenock St. Josephs|
|Greenock St. Kenneths|
|Greenock St. Lawrence|
|Port Glasgow Holy Family|
|Ross and Cromarty||…||Invergordon South Lodge||Drumsmittal|
|Selkirkshire||…||…||Kirkhope||Galashiels Glendinning Terrace|
|Sutherland||…||…||Brora High (Primary Department)|
|West Lothian||…||Harthill Greenrigg|
|Port William||Stranraer Dalrymple|
|Sorbie||Stranraer St. Josephs|
|SPECIAL SCHOOLS OR DEPARTMENTS|
|£240 allowance||£300 allowance|
|Ladyloan Roman Catholic|
|Angus||…||…||…||Arbroath Academy||Arbroath Timmergreens|
|Ayrshire||…||…||—||Kirkmichael House, Maybole|
|Bank School New Cumnock|
|Caithness||…||…||Pulteneytown Academy Wick|
|Clackmannanshire||…||Lornshill Academy Alloa|
|Dumfriesshire||…||Ednam Street (Annan Academy)||Lockerbie Academy (Sibbaldie)|
|Garvel Deaf Centre, Greenock|
|£240 allowance||£300 allowance|
|Ross and Cromarty||…||—||Dingwall Academy|
|Nicolson Institute, Stornoway|
|West Lothian||…||—||Bathgate Academy|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give figures for police recruitment in Scotland for each of the last three years, broken down into age groups.
The number of recruits to the police service in Scotland in each of the last three years is as follows: 1972, 954; 1973, 897; 1974, 1,008. Information on the breakdown of these figures by age groups is not available centrally.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many places are available in sheltered housing communities on the basis of Scottish burghs.
A survey undertaken at the end of 1973 showed the following current and planned provision of sheltered housing by local housing authorities which are burghs:
|Places in sheltered housing at end 1973||Places to be provided in sheltered housing by end 1978|
|Buckhaven and Methil||—||21|
|Places in sheltered housing at end 1973||Places to be provided in sheltered housing by end 1978|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many cases of eggs have been imported into Scotland from France in 1975.
No eggs have been imported directly into Scotland from France. Of the French eggs imported into the United Kingdom in 1975, it is estimated that some 3,200 cases of eggs have been traded in Scotland—less than 1 per cent. of total supply.
Local Authorities And Health Boards (Car Allowances)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the car allowances for members of local authorities and area health boards were last increased; and if, in view of the additional tax and rising price of petrol, he will seek to increase them.
The main rates of car allowances for members of local authorities and of health boards were last increased on 17th April 1974 and on 5th August 1974 respectively. Further increases for local authority members will be announced very shortly, to come into force as soon as the necessary order becomes effective. Mileage rates for health board members will also be increased shortly.
Area Health Boards (Debts)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much debt was written off by each health board in the most recent full financial year.
In 1973–74, the most recent year for which figures are available, debts written off by the five former regional hospital boards in Scotland were as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now abolish the 50 m.p.h. speed limit.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy towards making it obligatory for planning authorities, when considering applications for developments inside conservation areas, to consult with local preservation societies and similar groups with an interest in the area concerned.
Local planning authorities have been encouraged by my Department to arrange for publicity to be given to proposals that would significantly affect the amenities of any area. For proposals that would affect the character or appearance of a conservation area there are already statutory requirements for a site notice and advertisement in a local newspaper.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many additional units of accommodation were completed by each of the 32 London borough councils and by the Greater London Council in 1974.
The numbers of dwellings reported completed, including net gains through conversions, in London during the first nine months of 1974 were:
|NEW DWELLINGS COMPLETED AND NET GAINS THROUGH CONVERSION|
|First nine months 1974|
|Kensington and Chelsea||689|
|Kingston upon Thames||353|
|Richmond upon Thames||552|
Blind Persons (Car Parking)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to extend the orange windscreen parking badge scheme to drivers with blind passengers.
It is proposed that the revised orange badge scheme should come into operation on 1st June, and regulations to that effect will be laid before the House. Under the revised scheme, blind people registered under the National Assistance Act 1948 will be eligible to apply for a badge for use as a passenger. This concession will be reviewed after a year to see whether it has had any adverse effect on road safety.
Buses (Rural Areas)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, for rate support grant purposes in the year 1975–76, what allocation of transport supplementary grants for rural bus services has been made; and how this compares with Government expenditure in the year 1974–75 under Section 34 of the Transport Act 1968.
No specific allocation of transport supplementary grant has been made for rural bus services. Within its overall allocation each county received supplementary grant for 1975–76 on the basis of its own estimate of revenue support contributions in 1974–75, which included Section 34 payments, plus a 20 per cent. margin.
Birmingham (Sports Stadium)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is yet able to announce the use of his powers under Sections 121(2) and 124 of the Town and Country Planning Act with respect to the application by Birmingham City Council to use public open space for the purpose of building a sports stadium and club house.
No formal application has been made to my right hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will take steps to reduce the increase in the rates for 1975–76 for authorities such as the City of Westminster which are estimated, in view of the increases in the Greater London Council and Inner London Education Authority precepts, to be over 50 per cent.;(2) whether, following the increases in the Greater London Council and Inner London Education Authority precepts for 1975–76, he will take steps to protect the ratepayers of Greater London from having to pay a greater increase in rates than the average increase for the country as a whole.
I have no such plans. As the hon. Member must be aware, the rate support grant for 1975–76 and the increase order for 1974–75 were the most generous in history.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated number of dwellings in England and Wales owned by owner-occupiers, private landlords, local authorities, new town corporations and housing associations, respectively.
Following are estimates based on the 1971 census and information about subsequent changes:
|STOCKS OF DWELLINGS, ENGLAND AND WALES DECEMBER 1973|
|Rented from local authorities or new town corporations||4,930|
|Rented from private owners and other tenures||3,090|
Rail Freight Facilities (Grants)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when the scheme for providing grant towards rail freight facilities as outlined in Section 8 of the Railways Act 1974 will come into operation; and if he will make a statement.
Plans for administering the rail freight facilities grant have now been worked out in conjunction with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, who will be responsible for the scheme in their respective countries. Applications can be accepted for grant in respect of projects initiated after 31st July 1974, the date of Royal Assent. The rate of grant is to be 50 per cent. of the cost of eligible facilities and the balance will qualify as capital allowances for corporation tax purposes in the normal way. This could mean that a company paying corporation tax might have to find as little as 24 per cent. of the cost of providing its rail freight handling facilities.An explanation of the scheme together with notes for guidance of applicants can be obtained from the Departments concerned.
Roads And Traffic
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will complete his reassessment of future traffic in the light of changes in the rate of population growth and of the rising price of fuel; and what effects this will have on his policy for roads.
As I announced on 17th June last year, I have reviewed the priorities for the road programme within the resources likely to be available over the next few years. As I then stated, I am satisfied that, after making full allowance for substantial shift of freight and passenger traffic from road to rail, a continuing national road programme is necessary on both economic and environmental grounds; although as the White Paper "Public Expenditure to 1978–79" (Cmnd. 5879) makes clear, this can no longer be regarded as a growth programme.The Transport and Road Research Laboratory has today published a report giving new forecasts of vehicles and traffic. This updates earlier forecasts and takes account of the rise in the price of fuel, the current economic outlook and the lower rate of population growth now expected.In the light of this work my Department is issuing today a technical memorandum giving guidance on the forecasts to be used for all departmental work on planning and design of roads. It will be made available at public inquiries and used to support individual schemes. The memorandum is based on current policy and forecasts. It will be kept constantly under review and amendments issued when necessary. Because of the inevitable uncertainties about trends in fuel prices and the rate of economic growth we have taken three sets of forecasts based on different assumptions—a most probable, a higher and a lower. In our present difficulties it is essential to ensure that valuable resources are not wasted by building roads before they are needed, and I am arranging that all my new road proposals shall be tested against the lowest forecasts. Even on such a cautious basis the total number of vehicles is forecast to continue to rise substantially so that the continuing national road programme is justified on both economic and environmental grounds.
Psychiatric Hospital Patients
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will consider changing the wording on the form issued in psychiatric hospitals informing patients of a change in status, when they are regraded from being a formal to an informal patient, so that the patient clearly understands that he is free to leave from the date of signing and that he may, if he so desires, continue to receive treatment as an informal or voluntary patient.
No. The text of the form was decided last year after careful consideration.
Seed Potato Marketing Board
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many members are appointed to the board of the Seed Potato Marketing Board for Northern Ireland; whether all members on the board finished their term in office; if not, why not; what is the salary of the general manager, executive staff, chairman, vice-chairman and members; and what were the expenses of each member over the 1973–74 season;(2) what is the number of the total staff employed by the Seed Potato Marketing Board (Northern Ireland);(3) when the present vice-chairman of the Seed Potato Marketing Board (Northern Ireland) took up his position with the board; and what position he held before taking this appointment;
(4) what are the investments of the Seed Potato Marketing Board (Northern Ireland); what has been the return on investments for each year from 1961 to 1974; where producers' money is invested; and who is receiving the benefit from such investments.
The Seed Potato Marketing Board for Northern Ireland has nine members, of whom three are appointed by the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland and the remainder are elected by producers. A new board took office on 1st July 1974 and all members on the previous board completed their term of office on 30th June 1974. One appointed member, who had an interest in two large seed potato exporting companies, resigned in September 1974 as he felt that, with the proposal of the board to restrict its sales of potatoes for foreign export to a limited number of merchants, it was proper that he should not continue to serve on the board.The present vice-chairman of the board was appointed as a member of the board with effect from 1st July 1974. I understand that he was subsequently elected by the board as vice-chairman. He held the position of senior assistant secretary in the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture until his retirement in April 1974. At 6th February 1975 the total number of staff employed by the board was 15.On the remuneration and expenses of the board and its staff and the investments of the board, I would refer the hon. Member to the annual report and accounts of the board. The investments are on behalf of producers and the sole beneficiaries of the returns on the investments—after taxation—are the producers.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why the Seed Potato Marketing Board (Northern Ireland) has attempted during the past two seasons to rationalise the potato industry by setting up an exporter-orientated monopoly of six merchants and at the same time reducing other merchants.
I understand that in introducing revised arangements for the marketing of the crop, the board's two aims have been to eliminate speculation within Northern Ireland in the sale of seed potatoes intended for export and to improve the efficiency of selling Northern Ireland seed potatoes in overseas markets. The board therefore proposed to sell potatoes for foreign export at the ports rather than ex-farm and to select a small number of exporting merchants, on the basis of recent sales performance and experience, with whom it would deal on foreign shipments; profits were to be shared between the board—on behalf of growers—exporting merchants and supply merchants, but because of difficulties in securing the co-operation of merchants the board did not proceed with these proposals for the 1974–75 season.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Seed Potato Marketing Board (Northern Ireland) has at any time subsidised freight expenses to any merchant; and, if so, whether all merchants were notified of this subsidy.
I understand that from time to time assistance from the board in relation to foreign exports has been available to merchants and over the years all merchants registered with the board have been advised of the existence of these facilities.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions between 1972 and the present date the Seed Potato Marketing Board sold Pentland Dell seed at below the arranged price; and in what quantities.
The disclosure of the details of specific transactions is a matter for the board.
Potato Exports (Subsidy)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether United Kingdom ware subsidy was paid on Maris Peer seed exported to Portugal between 1971 and the present date; whether these seeds were processed through the Seed Potato Marketing Board (Northern Ireland); and whether they were included in the finalised tonnage figure, exported, as issued by the Seed Potato Marketing Board at the end of season.
Subsidy under a United Kingdom ware export allowance scheme was paid on Maris Peer potatoes shipped to Portugal from Northern Ireland in 1972 provided that they satisfied the conditions of that scheme. I understand that although most of these potatoes were purchased from the Seed Potato Marketing Board by the exporting merchants the board had no involvement either in the export arrangements or in the acceptance of the shipments for subsidy payments; and the tonnage involved was not included in the finalised tonnage figure of exports for the season subsequently issued by the board.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much United Kingdom ware subsidy has been paid on ware potatoes shipped to Syria since spring 1972.
A United Kingdom export allowance amounting to £23,545·80 was paid on Northern Ireland ware potatoes exported to Syria in 1972. No subsidy has been paid since.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which Gerard Larmour of 29 Orritor Crescent, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was removed from Omagh RUC station, and on what happened so that when his mother saw him in Cookstown RUC station at 8 p.m. she saw heavy bruising on his abdomen and it was observed that he had large areas of bruising on his body;(2) if he will investigate the circumstances in which Peter McKenna of 11 Lisson Drive, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was detained by the RUC at 7.30 a.m. on Friday 31st January 1975 and removed to the South Tyrone Hospital at 10.30 p.m. on the evening of 31st January 1975;(3) if he will investigate the assaults on constituents of the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and their treatment in humiliating and degrading ways in Cookstown RUC station on 31st January 1975 and 1st February 1975, together with the medical evidence that supports these matters.
On 31st January and 1st February 1975 a total of eight persons were questioned at Cookstown RUC station. Gerard Joseph Larmour, Peter McKenna and one other subsequently alleged that they had been assaulted. These complaints are being investigated in accordance with the statutory procedure. When the investigations have been completed the procedure requires that a report shall be made to the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.No complaints have been made by any of the other five persons.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on what was said by the RUC to Joseph Corey of Dunamore, Cookstown, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday 1st February; and in what circumstances.
I understand that Patrick Joseph Corey was arrested on 1st February and questioned. No charges were preferred and he was released on 3rd February. No complaint has been made to the RUC about the matter.
Behaviour Complaints (Investigation)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is satisfied that complaints of improper behaviour by the authorities are fully investigated so far as the Roman Catholic population of Northern Ireland is concerned.
Lord Gardiner's Report
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions are being held with the Press Council, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Broadcasting Authority in order to consider, and give effect to, the recommendations of Lord Gardiner's Committee set out in paragraphs 73 to 76 inclusive of its report.
These recommendations are being studied. The Press Council, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Broadcasting Authority have not yet been consulted. I will do so as necessary, but I would of course welcome any comments they may wish to give me.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons in Northern Ireland have been charged with the misuse of their legally held firearms over each of the last five years; if he can give details of how they were misused; and how many prosecutions were successful.
This information is not immediately available. I will write to the hon. Member.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to make a decision about a dredger for Coleraine Harbour Board.
With the agreement of the Coleraine Harbour Commissioners, the National Ports Council is investigating the commissioners' proposals concerning the acquisition of a dredger. The council's report is expected shortly. A decision will be made when the report has been considered.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the independent report on the Foyle system, which resulted from the investigation by two Canadian experts 18 months ago, to be available.
I understand that the Foyle Fisheries Commission expects to receive this report in April 1975.
|Northern Development Area||…||10||10||12||49||77|
|South-West Development Area||…||1||1||1||2||6|
|Merseyside Development Area||…||5||5||9||29||52|
|Scottish Development Area||…||10||11||16||52||94|
|Welsh Development Area||…||1||2||7||22||42|
|Northern Development Area||…||89||90||81||71||92|
|South-West Development Area||…||6||8||7||5||6|
|Merseyside Development Area||…||60||60||57||41||53|
|Scottish Development Area||…||99||98||83||95||109|
|Welsh Development Area||…||44||48||42||40||55|
|* All expenditure is gross and the totals include some small items which cannot be broken down by area. The boundaries of the assisted areas have altered over ten-year period.|
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what talks are going on within the EEC on methods of protecting the textile industry.
The GATT Multifibre Arrangement provides for protective action to be taken against disruptive imports of textiles. There are weekly meetings in Brussels about the application of the arrangement to the Community's textile imports. Additionally, when appropriate, discussions take place in the context of the Community's Association Agreements. We have agreed with our partners in the European Community to seek restrictions on knitwear and woven fabrics and garments from the main low-cost Asian suppliers where such restrictions can be justified within the provisions of the Multifibre Arrangement.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the amount of public money spent, in total and per head of population, creating jobs in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight English regions served by an economic planning council in the last 10 years.
The information is not available in precisely the form requested. The table below shows the amount spent on regional preferential assistance by assisted areas.
Population figures are not readily available for individual assisted areas but expenditure per head in present development
|Development Areas (including special Development Areas)||22·6||19·8||18·4||23·6|
|All assisted areas||11·8||10·4||9·7||13·2|
The above figures take no account of the differential value of tax allowances which were available at various times in the period.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many jobs have been created by his Department's activities in Scotland, Wales and each of the eight English regions served by an
|EMPLOYMENT ASSOCIATED WITH PROJECTS OFFERED ASSISTANCE UNDER THE LOCAL EMPLOYMENT ACTS|
|Financial year||Northern||Merseyside||South Western||Total England*||Welsh||Scottish||Intermediate Areas||Total|
|The totals have been rounded and do not necessarily add.|
|* Including assistance offered in the former Development Districts; coverage of area has varied over time.|
|† Less than 500.|
|EMPLOYMENT ASSOCIATED WITH PROJECTS OFFERED ASSISTANCE UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE INDUSTRY ACT|
|Yorkshire and Humberside Region||…||…||…||…||1||12|
areas and intermediate areas since 1970–71 has been:
economic planning council in each of the last 10 years.
Information is not available in precisely the form requested. Additional employment expected to arise in the assisted areas from projects assisted under the Local Employment Acts and in the economic planning regions from projects assisted under Section 7 of the Industry Act, for the years 1964–65 to 1973–74, is set out in the tables below:tables would have arisen without Government assistance.
British Steel Corporation
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the cost to the British Steel Corporation of the Beswick proposals; and whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to fund the corporation the total cost of the social obligations imposed on the board.
There should be no cost penalty to the BSC in carrying out the recommendations as regards steelmaking of my right hon. and noble Friend, with which the BSC was in agreement. Most of the plants involved were profitable last year, and leaving aside short-term cyclical changes in demand we shall need the steel these plants can make until new developments become fully effective. On the provision of alternative employment, this concept has, as I said in my statement on 4th February, still to be examined and discussed more fully.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how far the acceptance by Her Majesty's Government of the Beswick proposals was consistent with the articles of the ECSC Treaty.
I have no reason to believe that anything in my right hon. and noble Friend's interim report on the steel closure review is inconsistent with the provisions of the Treaty of Paris.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will set out in the Official Report a comparative table showing the original proposals for the reorganisation of the public sector of the steel industry in the United Kingdom and the changes and revisions accepted by Her Majesty's Government.
I assume the hon. Member has in mind the Government's review of the steel plant closures proposed by the British Steel Corporation. I would refer him to the table at the end of the interim report of my right hon. and noble Friend
|By all companies||For United Kingdom registration|
|From English yards (Completed)||From Scottish yards (Completed)||From all yards||From United Kingdom yards|
|Still on order||…||…||…||…||14||4||—||—|
|No supply ships were ordered from yards in Wales or Northern Ireland.|
the Minister of State, Lord Beswick, which was circulated in the Official Report for 4th February.—[Vol. 356, c. 773–4.]
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what will be the cost of additional subsidies necessary to offset losses in revenue to the British Steel Corporation resulting from his recently-announced decision to delay the corporation's investment plans.
I have not delayed the corporation's investment plans; I have agreed with the corporation the deferment of certain steel plant closures, but there is no intention that this should prevent the corporation from pushing on with its investment programme as quickly as practical.
Oil Industry (Shipping)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) of the number of supply ships for offshore petroleum development ordered in each year from 1970 to date for construction in United Kingdom yards, how many have been built, respectively, in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland;(2) how many supply ships for offshore petroleum development have been ordered by British owners in each year since 1970 to date; and, of these, how many in each year have been ordered from yards in the United Kingdom.
Precise information is not available. The following table gives details of the number of supply ships ordered in 1970 to 1974 by companies engaged in offshore petroleum development:
Development Promotion Firms
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list all organisations directly or indirectly responsible to, or financed by, his Department now concerned with industrial development and industrial promotion in Wales; and what was the amount of Government finance allocated to each organisation for its work for each year from 1966 to 1975, respectively.
The Welsh Industrial Estates Corporation (WIEC) has the function of managing land leased to it by the Secretary of State and of developing the land by erecting or extending industrial buildings in accordance with the directions of the Secretary of State. The capital expenditure of the WIEC is borne upon the Department's Vote, and all its receipts, after deduction of those required to be retained for meeting its expenses, are paid over to the Secretary of State. Payments made to the WIEC and net revenue receipts remitted to the Secretary of State in each of the following financial years were as follows:
|Year ending 31st March||Capital expenditure||Net revenue receipts|
|1975 (estimate)||5 600,000||1,800 000|
Government-Subsidised Companies (Sales)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his policy towards the selling of goods below the cost of production by companies in receipt of Government subsidies.
Subject to the Price Code, prices charged by companies receiving Government financial assistance are primarily a matter for the companies' commercial judgment. A company's ability to sell its products profitably is, however, an important element in the appraisal of viability which is always undertaken when selective assistance is being considered.
Ipd Co-Operative (Kirkby)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what evidence he has that the IPD Co-operative at Kirkby is selling goods at prices below the cost of production.
I cannot disclose detailed financial information supplied to me by companies in confidence for monitoring purposes. The trading performance of KME Limited will be made public when the company produces its accounts in accordance with the Companies Act.
Post Office Finance
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) how much of the expected £300 million Post Office loss for 1974–75 is accounted for by the Giro operations;(2) how much of the expected £300 million Post Office loss for 1974–75 is accounted for by telephone and telecommunications services;(3) how much of the expected £300 million Post Office loss for 1974–75 is accounted for by the postal services.
The estimated deficits for each business are:
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much of the expected £300 million Post Office loss for 1974–75 is accounted for by the deficiency payment to the Post Office Pension Fund.
The Post Office estimates that the payment will be £100 million.
Eec (Capital Movements)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) what was the total of British direct and portfolio investment in each of the Common Market States; and whether the trend is increasing or diminishing;(2) if he will indicate the total Community investment in the United Kingdom by State in each of the past five years.
I have been asked to reply.I have nothing to add to the information given in the answer to my hon. friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) on 21st January.—[Vol. 844, c.
302–6.] Figures for portfolio, oil and miscellaneous investment are not available. Direct investment other than oil in the eight Common Market States as a whole has fluctuated from year to year, but the recent trend has been upwards, as has that of total overseas direct investment other than oil.
Post Office (Mail-Sorting Equipment)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proportion of the automatic mail-sorting equipment bought two or three years ago by the Post Office is not yet in use.
No equipment of this kind has been brought into use within this period.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether any promotional support was given to British firms which have recently obtained contracts for the supply of capital equipment to Namibia.
Following my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs' statement of 4th December—[Vol. 882, c. 1555–66.]—no promotional support—BOTB contributions towards outward missions, for participation in trade fairs or exhibitions, for market research or for studies of projects—has been offered to British firms exporting to Namibia.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give an assurance that the terms of any trade agreement reached, following the Prime Minister's visit to the USSR, will include provision that there should be no flag discrimination against the use of British shipping.
I can assure the hon. Member that we will continue to resist, where- ever practicable, attempts by any Government to discriminate against British shipping.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the value of exports of printing machinery and supplies for each of the past five years.
Figures for the exports of printing machinery and parts are published under SITC(R) 718.22 and 718.29 in Table IV of Volume I of the appropriate Annual Statement of the Overseas Trade of the United Kingdom for 1970 to 1972 and in Table VI of the December issues of the Overseas Trade Statistics for 1973 and 1974.
European Economic Community
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage of total United Kingdom imports and total United Kingdom exports, imports from and exports to the other countries now members of the EEC formed in 1974 and each of the previous five years.
Following are the percentages by value:
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will extend entitlement to the Chirstmas bonus in future years to those receiving a 100 per cent. disablement pension.
Most persons with a 100 per cent. disablement pension, other than those in full-time work, also receive other pensions and benefits which were included as qualifying benefits under the Pensioners' Payments Act 1974. I am, however, aware of the individual case which I think my hon. Friend has in mind.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the number of NHS hospital beds available, per head of the population, in each of the regional health authorities; and what were the figures for 1970, 1965, 1960, 1955 and 1950, respectively.
Following are the figures for 1973, being the latest year available,
|AVERAGE DAILY NUMBER OF AVAILABLE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE BEDS PER 1,000 POPULATION BY REGIONAL HOSPITAL BOARD AREA|