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Written Answers

Volume 887: debated on Tuesday 4 March 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 4th March 1975

Education And Science

Polytechnics And Further Education Colleges

7.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local authorities have cut polytechnics and further education colleges; and by how much.

The information is not available. The rate support grant settlement for 1975–76 allows provision for the expected increase in numbers of students taking courses at polytechnics and other maintained colleges.

Social Science Research Council

15.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will increase the allocations to the Social Science Research Council out of the total science budget.

The council's allocation for 1975–76 will, subject to Parliament's approval, amount to £8·7 million, compared with £6·8 million in the current year. This represents nearly 7 per cent. real growth, which I am satisfied is a sound judgment of the council's needs in the light of other calls on the science budget.

Comprehensive Education (Kent)

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has yet received plans for comprehensive education covering the whole of the Kent County Council's area; and if he will make a statement on the acceptability of the council's proposals.

No. The position remains as in the reply given by my right hon. Friend on 4th February.—[Vol. 885, c. 449.]

Hereford

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to make an official visit to the colleges in the city of Hereford.

Student Grants

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from students for an increase in grants.

The National Union of Students has submitted a memorandum setting out its proposals for revised grants for the academic year 1975–76. In addition, my Department has received about 1,200 letters from students, many of which were forwarded by hon. Members.

Dyslexic Children (Bullock Report)

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he intends to take to ensure that the recommendations of the Bullock Committee concerning dyslexic children are implemented.

This is primarily a matter for local education authorities. I am sure that they will be looking carefully at the report's recommendations.

North-West Region

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make an official visit to the North-West Region.

Teacher Training (West Midlands)

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on future teacher training provision in the West Midlands.

No. I shall be discussing this matter with the local authorities and the voluntary providing bodies concerned when the current review of national teacher supply policy has been completed.

Carley Hill School, Sunderland

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a further statement on the building of the Carley Hill School, Sunderland.

School Transport

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will now make a statement about school transport in the light of the report of the working party which was published in December 1973.

I would refer the hon. Lady to the answers which I gave earlier today to questions by the hon. Members for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) and Tonbridge and Malling (Mr. Stanley).

Higher Education

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent he sees a reduction in the opportunity rate for entry into higher education taking place by 1981.

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of the age group he foresees entering higher education by 1981 compared with the proportion doing so at present.

The planning figure of 640,000 full-time and sandwich course students in Great Britain in 1981 which I announced in November is estimated to make courses of higher education available for all those who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so. It allows for the number of home students under 21 entering higher education in Great Britain, expressed as a proportion of the population aged 18, to rise from 14 per cent. in 1973 to 17 per cent. in 1981.

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how the cuts in forecast public expenditure in higher education will be distributed.

As compared with the programmes as they stood when the present Government took office in March 1974, the reductions in forecast higher education expenditure in the recent Public Expenditure White Paper are almost entirely attributable to the lower estimate of prospective student demand which I announced in the House on 25th November last. I am discussing the implications of this revision with those responsible for the planning of the institutions concerned.

Reading Ability (Bullock Report)

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what priority he will attribute to the recommendations of the Bullock Committee's Report on the reading ability of children.

51.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the recommendations contained in the report of inquiry under the chairmanship of Sir Alan Bullock entitled "A Language for Life".

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) on 18th February 1975.—[Vol. 886, c. 356–7.]

School Leaving Age

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has had with regard to changing the operation of the school leaving age.

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has had regarding the need for greater flexibility in the school leaving age.

I have received many letters from hon. Members, teachers, and parents favouring an earlier summer leaving date.

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to make an announcement regarding a possible change in the school leaving age.

45.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is yet in a position to announce his decision regarding greater flexibility in the school leaving age.

I would refer the hon. Members to the reply given earlier today to Questions by the hon. Members for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. McCrindle) and Blaby (Mr. Lawson), and by my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett).

Direct Grant Schools

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what he estimates will be the net saving to public expenditure of the winding-up of the direct grant system.

My right hon. Friend has nothing to add at this stage to what he said in reply to a supplementary question by the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) on 4th February.—[Vol. 885, c. 1120.]

Educational Disadvantage

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how his plans for overcoming educational disadvantage are progressing.

The educational disadvantage unit within my Department has been at work since last September. Following a number of valuable local seminars, I intend to hold a national conference on educational disadvantage on 16th April, and a consultative paper setting out proposals for the establishment of an information centre has recently been sent to the interested parties. I am glad to say that Sir Alec Clegg, formerly Chief Education Office of the West Riding, has agreed to be chairman of governing body of this centre.

School Books And Materials

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied that the capitation allowances made to schools by local education authorities for stationery, text and library books and other educational materials is adequate; and if he will make recommendations to the authorities.

49.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the provision of textbooks in schools in view of the increase in publishing costs and the pressure for economies in local education authority budgets.

Correspondence from many areas shows that standards of provision for textbooks and other materials in 1974–75 have been lower in real terms than in 1973–74. This was a consequence of the economy measures introduced in 1973 by the previous Government, combined with the effects of rapid inflation. The rate support grant settlement for 1975–76 provides for an increase in expenditure on the education service, in real terms, to take account of the increased number of pupils and to allow for a modest improvement in levels of non-teaching costs over the 1973–74 level, including expenditure on textbooks and other items covered by capitation allowances. It is for each local education authority, however, to take its own decisions according to local circumstances and the needs of its schools.

Comprehensive Education

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local education authorities have as yet not carried out his instructions given in Circular 4/74 to prepare plans for the implementation of fully comprehensive education in their respective areas.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 31st January to my right hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Irving)—[Vol. 885, c. 336]. Since then the figure has dropped from 23 to 15.

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement on his discussions with local authorities about the introduction of comprehensive education.

My right hon. Friend told the House on 27th January of his intention to initiate discussions in cases where a local education authority's response to Circular 4/74 was unsatisfactory. The responses received are being carefully studied and no such discussions have yet taken place.

Teachers Of The Deaf

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many deaf teachers are currently employed in schools for the deaf.

Exact information is not available but there are believed to be very few.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many deaf students are currently training in the United Kingdom to become teachers; what restrictions are imposed by his Department and the colleges of education, respectively, to prevent deaf graduates and suitably qualified school leavers from training and practising as teachers of the deaf; and if he will make a statement;(2) where deaf teachers can obtain the qualifications required to enable them to teach in schools for the deaf.

No information is available about the number of deaf students currently undergoing initial teacher training.Teachers of deaf children must have the status of qualified teacher and, unless, engaged solely in teaching trade, craft or domestic subjects, additional specialist qualification.No special restrictions are imposed on deaf candidates for initial teacher training provided the college concerned is satisfied as to their physical capacity for teaching, with, where appropriate, a hearing aid. On first employment deaf teachers must, in common with all other qualified teachers, satisfy me as to their health and physical capacity for teaching.In England and Wales, training for the additional qualifications to teach deaf children is available, without special restrictions applying to deaf teachers, at the Department of Audiology and Education of the Deaf, Manchester University—where a combined course leading to both qualified teacher status and the additional teaching qualification is also available; the London Institute of Education; Lady Spencer-Churchill College, Oxford; and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In addition, the diploma of the National College of Teachers of the Deaf may be obtained through a course of part-time training.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, from international sources available to him, he has any information about how the United States of America differs from the United Kingdom in the employment of deaf teachers to teach deaf children.

More teachers with hearing impairment are employed to teach deaf or partially hearing children in the United States. A direct comparison, however, is difficult, for three reasons: the range of hearing loss which individual teachers may have; the extent to which teachers are employed as instructors in practical subjects; and the difference in teaching training requirements in the United States, where I understand that teachers can qualify to teach the hearing impaired without first training as teachers of un-handicapped children.

The Arts

39.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has received representations from members of Equity and supporters of the living theatre concerning financial support for the arts; and if he will make a statement.

The Arts Council and I receive frequent representations from supporters of the living theatre, many of whom are members of Equity, over financial support for the arts. The Government's concern to maintain standards in a field in which the living theatre is a major part is demonstrated by the presentation of two Supplementary Estimates last year, of £0·75 million and £1·75 million respectively, for the Arts Council, and the proposed grant of £26·15 million for 1975–76 which I anounced in the answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss) yesterday. As he knows, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is considering the question of VAT and the theatre.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has given, or intends to give, evidence to the Annan Committee on the potential opportunities for the arts in an expanded television service.

I am considering giving evidence to the committee on the relationship between broadcasting and the arts.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to ensure that the subsidised arts reach the widest possible audience.

First, the Arts Council has increased the proportion of its grant for activities outside London and this amounts now to two-thirds. Second, the council has increased its support for arts in the regions by about 20 per cent. over the previous year and plans further to increase the grant next year. The effect of these measures has been that the four national companies now receive about one-quarter of the grant compared with over half 10 years ago. The council has strengthened its arrangements for giving advice on publicity measures and consideration is being given to the wider use of television to enable the work of the major national companies to be more widely known. Among other things, arrangements for encouraging the touring of the national companies are also being made.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to ensure that those historic buildings which form part of the national heritage and are in public ownership are widely used to house the subsidised arts for which he is responsible.

It is the duty of the trustees of the national collections to arrange for the exhibition of their collections in the most effective way. Problems of safe custody, skilled care and supervision, and the provision of the right environmental conditions severely restrict the possibility of display outside the national museums and galleries. Where, however, trustees are satisfied that these conditions are met they are, subject to their statutory or other powers, free to consider display elsewhere. An example of such an arrangement is the display now being arranged in Montacute House of a selection of portraits of the 16th and 17th centuries from the National Portrait Gallery. I shall study the success of this experiment to see how far it can be commended in other circumstances. At the present time, however, additional resources to finance such developments are restricted. Important parts of the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum are already displayed in Apsley, Ham and Osterley Houses.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to obtain finance for the arts in addition to Exchequer grants to the Arts Council and local authority patronage.

The contributions to the arts made by the general public—via the box office—and from contributions to bodies such as the National Art Collections Fund and the Contemporary Art Society, as well as to specific appeals for the acquisition of works of art, will always remain an important part of resources for the arts. Regional arts associations, themselves independent bodies, obtain a significant part of their income from private sources. It is right that this measure of independence should be sustained. I have no doubt that this support and support from industry will continue to be forthcoming.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he proposes to take to ensure that industrial patronage for the arts is encouraged and publicity recognised.

Needy Children (Clothing)

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce legislation to make it a statutory duty for local education authorities to provide certain items of school clothing, including sports and physical education kit, for children in need.

The authorities have discretionary powers in this respect and I have no plans at present for any changes in these arrangements.

School Building Programme

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will publish details of the submissions made to his Department by Warwickshire County Council for school building projects to be completed in the next two financial years.

No. All local education authorities are asked from time to time to submit details of their school building needs; they have been asked for submissions relating to the 1976–77 and 1977–78 programmes by 31st March 1975. Many of their replies form documents of substantial size which it would not be appropriate for my Department to publish.

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to be able to announce the complete restoration of the 1973 cuts in the school building programme.

I do not expect to make an announcement in the form implied by the Question. I recognise the urgent need to replace or improve some of our old schools and I have made some resources available for projects of this kind. I shall continue to do so in order that our stock of school buildings can be improvef as rapidly as economic circumstances permit.

Adult Education (Russell Report)

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in the discussions with adult education interests in respect of the Russell Committee's report; and if he will make a statement.

As a first step, officials of my Department have had informal discussions with officers of the local authority associations. I regret the delay in opening wider discussions but it is necessary to consider how best to proceed in difficult economic circumstances.

Teacher Supply

46.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has received concerning the future supply of teachers.

This is a subject on which most bodies with an educational interest give me their views during the year. I have recently received the advice of ACSTT, and have had discussions with representatives of teachers and local authority associations.

School Meals (Expenditure)

47.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of educational expenditure per pupil goes on school meals as opposed to books and equipment.

The proportions of the total recurrent educational expenditure on maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools which were spent on school meals and on books and equipment in the financial year 1973–74 were 9·1 per cent. and 4·7 per cent., respectively.

Private Education

52.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what statistics he has on the growth of private education in the United Kingdom since February 1974.

Statistics for education in England and Wales are collected annually; those for 1975 are not yet available. Statistics for other parts of the United Kingdom are the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

University Teachers (Pay)

53.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science in view of concern amongst university teachers at the delay in the negotiations for their salary increases, if he will make a statement on when he expects the negotiations to be concluded.

The negotiating committee met on 27th February, adjourned, and will meet again shortly.

Single-Sex Secondary Colleges

54.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many single-sex secondary colleges catering for the 16-plus age group there are; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards single-sex secondary colleges.

There are four single-sex sixth-form colleges either in existence or expected to start admitting pupils in the near future. The Government's policy towards single-sex education is set out in the White Paper "Equality for Women" (Cmnd. 5724).

Medical School Places

56.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many university medical school places, for men and women, respectively, have been available over each of the past four years; and how many such places are within the Yorkshire and Humberside Region.

Following is the information:

FULL-TIME UNDERGRADUATE ENROLMENTS IN MEDICINE
31st DecemberGreat BritainYorkshire and Humberside
MenWomenMenWomen
197010,3293,358593243
197110,3923,955616313
197210,5414,258660343
197310,8554,683700374
Enrolment figures for 1974–75 are not yet available.

National Portrait Gallery

55.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the Minister for the Arts will pay an official visit to the National Portrait Gallery.

Comprehensive Schools (Warrington)

57.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has received from the County of Cheshire Education Authority regarding the type of comprehensive schools to be set up in the Warrington district.

My right hon. Friend awaits the authority's response in respect of Warrington to the request in Circular 4/74 for information about the measures to be taken to complete the process of reorganisation.

School Management And Government

58.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to announce details of the committee of inquiry into school management and government.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) on 27th February.—[Vol. 887, c. 227–8.]

Moss Bank C Of E Primary School

59.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps his Department is taking to assist the need for inside toilets, a scullery and an activity room which could also be used as a dining room at the Moss Bank CE Primary School No. 3314.

Under the terms of my Department's Circular 13/74, it is for local education authorities in the first instance to decide which school building projects should be carried out within their lump sum building allocations.

Theatre Museum And Somerset House

60.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will take steps to establish the theatre museum in the Flower Market, Covent Garden instead of Somerset House; and whether he will consider the establishment of an exhibition of English pictures in the Fine Rooms of Somerset House to include a representative collection of Turner's work.

I have nothing to add to my statement on the subject during the debate on the arts on 10th February.—[Vol. 886, c. 93–104.]

Education (Monitoring Of Performance)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will describe in the Official Report the various methods which his Department is currently using to monitor performance in the educational service.

An assessment of performance unit has been set up within my Department. The National Foundation for Educational Research is conducting on behalf of the Department a feasibility study in measuring mathematical attainment. Her Majesty's inspectors have performance constantly under review and, in addition, have undertaken pilot studies for surveys of both primary and secondary education. National surveys of reading have been conducted periodically since 1948 and the Bullock Committee included in its report the results of inquiries made on its behalf. Arrangements have been made for the National Children's Bureau to include tests of reading, comprehension and mathematics as part of its national child development study of a sample of children born in 1958. Performance is also assessed by reference to statistics of public examination results.

Free Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is the age range of pupils who are at present attending free schools;(2) how many free schools have been inspected by his Department, particularly with regard to the quality of education being provided;(3) what his estimate is of the number of pupils at present attending free schools;(4) what the responsibilities of his Department are in respect of the educational qualifications of regular helpers who are in charge of children attending free schools;(5) if he will publish in the

Official Report a list of free schools which are at present operating.

The free schools listed below, which are at present included in the register of independent schools, are attended by about 100 pupils aged between 2 and 16 years. All the schools have been visited by Her Majesty's inspectors; one has been fully inspected and found to satisfy the conditions, including those relating to instruction, for final registration. Independent schools are required to employ staff capable of providing efficient and suitable instruction for their pupils, but no specific qualifications are prescribed.

  • *Balsall Heath Community School, Birmingham, 12.
  • *Bermondsey Lamp Post School, London SE1.
  • *Freightliners Free School, London N7.
  • *Manchester Free School, Manchester 15.
  • White Lion Street Free School, London N1.
  • *Provisionally registered.

Superannuation Act 1946 (Wartime Service)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will amend the regulations allowing wartime service as prescribed in the Superannuation Act 1946 to include the National Fire Service.

Technician And Business Education

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what financial provision is being made to meet the curriculum development and staff training needs arising from the work of the Technician Education Council and the Business Education Council; and if he will make a statement.

Individual items such as curriculum development and staff training are not estimated separately when total relevant expenditure by local authorities is calculated for the purpose of rate support grant. A substantial amount of the work of curriculum development is likely to be undertaken by the two councils themselves.

Further Education (Curricula)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has for funding the development of an appropriate curriculum in further education suitable to young people who will enter the colleges when part-time day release provision is extended; and if he will make a statement.

My Department does not normally give separate financial support for further education curriculum development. A significant amount of this work is undertaken by the various further education examining and validating bodies in their respective fields and I have no plans at present to change this arrangement. I agree with the view which has been expressed by a number of interested bodies that any extension of day release would need to be preceded by appropriate curriculum development.

Craftsmen

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress he has made to ensure that the work of craftsmen finds a market.

Improvement in marketing the work of artist craftsmen is one of the principal concerns of the Crafts Advisory Committee, which is the channel of Government assistance to the crafts in England and Wales. Specific marketing outlets assisted by the committee include the British Crafts Centre in Earlham Street, near Covent Garden, the Crafts Shop at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Regional Crafts Centre, Lincoln, and the Birmingham Arts Shop run by the West Midlands Arts Association. A further assisted crafts shop is to be opened shortly at the Castle Museum, Norwich. Exhibitions, both at home and abroad, mounted or assisted by the Crafts Advisory Committee, result in sales and the commissioning of further work. An index of craftsmen, with slides illustrating their work, is available at the committee's office in Waterloo Place for consultation by potential customers who have included a number of new retailers of craft products.

Youth Service Buildings

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what were the amounts of money spent on youth service buildings, in England and Wales, over each of the past five years; and what were the amounts spent in the area covered by the new West Yorkshire County Council.

The Department's information extends only to those youth service building projects undertaken by voluntary organisations for which it has provided grant aid.The amount of grant provided for these projects in each of the past five years, which is estimated to be a little under half their total cost, is as follows:

Amount of grant
Financial YearEngland and WalesWest Yorkshire (see note)
(£000)(£000)
1969–701,09227
1970–711,00714
1971–721,17036
1972–7383337
1973–741,55947

Note: The figures relate to the former Yorkshire (West Riding) County Council together with those former county boroughs which are now part of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County. Information relating specifically to the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County is not available.

European Architectural Heritage Year

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what part his Department will play in European Architectural Heritage Year 1975.

Departmental responsibility for activities associated with European Architectural Heritage Year rests primarily with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. In my own field of responsibility the Victoria and Albert Museum recently held an exhibition designed to awaken public interest in the preservation of country houses. The museum is now arranging for the exhibition to tour the provinces.

Museums

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps designed to assist the museums in the provinces to play a more lively part in the communities which they serve.

The majority of museums and galleries in the provinces are the responsibility of the local authorities and other bodies who maintain them. It is for these bodies to decide how to plan the development of their institutions in order to meet the needs of the community. The Government will continue to make the maximum resources available to the area museum councils so that they can assist local museums and galleries to improve their standards of conservation and display and to take advantage of travelling exhibitions. The museum councils grant for the current financial year is treble that of 1973–74, and in the last year I have visited many museums in the regions which play a lively and increasing rôle in local community life.

Schools (Social And Recreational Activities)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the total allocation of funds by the Department, on an annual basis, to schools in England and Wales for social and recreational purposes.

Public Lending Right

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to make progress with public lending right.

Since I have been concerned with this complex subject there has been, and continues to be, a high level of work and progress. Investigations continue into the problems of labelling and recording books in order to determine the entitlement of authors: into the problems of sampling; and into the arrangements for payment and the accountability for public funds. Practical tests of the alternative methods are being prepared. Good progress with the preparation of the Bill is being made with a view to its early introduction.

Defence

Yf-16 Aircraft

61.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are any plans to purchase the United States YF-16 aircraft for the RAF.

Motorways (Southern England)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if there is any defence reason why travellers from Europe arriving in southern British ports should not have access to London by motorway.

North Sea Rigs

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident in which 12 Soviet trawlers surrounded a British North Sea gas rig on 26th February 1975.

On 26th February, following a report from the operating company that Russian fishing vessels were near a gas production platform in the southern North Sea, Royal Air Force Jaguar and Shackleton aircraft and a Royal Naval fishery protection vessel were sent to the area. They reported that the fishing vessels were clear of the rig and, on 27th February, that they had left.

Tidworth And Wroughton Hospitals

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the estimates and costings from which he has concluded that the amalgamation of the Tidworth Army Hospital and the Wroughton RAF Hospital will lead to a saving of about £750,000 a year to Defence Votes.

The estimated annual saving relates in the main to manpower costs. The combined hospital will need substantially fewer staff than two separate hospitals. There will be further savings in works maintenance and other running costs, offset to some extent by increased transport costs. Final details of the castings cannot be worked out until the studies on the residual medical facilities to be retained at Tidworth have been completed, but the savings should not be less than £750,000 a year.

Departmental Land (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total land area of Scotland which his Department (a) owns, or (b) has agreed access to.

The Department has approximately 45,500 acres of freehold and 6,500 acres of leasehold land, together with some 2,000 acres of foreshore. In addition, rights are held over a further 6,600 acres.

Home Department

Animal Experiments

66.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek powers to amend the law relating to animal experiments so as to prohibit all experiments save those directly designed to save human life or alleviate suffering.

We are not persuaded that it would be possible to devise scientific criteria by which experiments on animals could be limited in the way suggested.

Community Programme

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce details on the comprehensive community programme; and if he will make a statement on the level of resources which would be put at the CCP's disposal.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Allaun) on 3rd February.—[Vol. 885, c. 373–4.]

Immigration (Indian Subcontinent)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusions have been reached as a result of the Minister of State's recent visit to the Indian subcontinent; and if he will make a statement.

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

Repatriation

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men, women and children who are members of ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom have been repatriated with grants provided by his Department during each year since the scheme was started.

Information about the scheme operated by International Social Service on the Government's behalf under Section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971 is not readily available in the form requested. The following figures show the numbers of applicants and their families, together with the total numbers of individuals who left the United Kingdom under this scheme in the periods indicated:

Period (inclusive dates)Applicants and familiesIndividuals
April 1972-March 197334116
April 1973-March 197466239
April 1974-December 1974*44136
* Latest convenient date.
Deportation orders made or supervised departures arranged
Following Court RecommendationOther than following Court RecommendationReturned deportees removedIllegal entrants removed
197255028459
19734745751172
197437713455139
Notes:
(1) Figures are for all nationalities.
(2) Figures for foreign nationals removed as illegal entrants in 1972 are not available.
(3) Figures do not include seamen who deserted or overstayed.

Secretary Of State For Industry

Q3.

asked the Prime Minister if he will now dismiss the Secretary of State for Industry.

The scheme is restricted by statute to persons who are not patrial and to members of their families and households.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now state the Government's policy on the voluntary and compulsory repatriation of members of ethnic minorities.

Use is made in appropriate cases of the powers of deportation and removal contained in the Immigration Act 1971. Except in such circumstances, Her Majesty's Government are firmly opposed to the use of compulsion or inducement to secure the repatriation of members of ethnic minorities. Assistance will, however, continue to be given under existing arrangements to those who wish to go to live abroad and in whose best interests it is to do so.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men, women and children who are members of ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom have been compulsorily repatriated during each of the last three years for which figures are available; how many were deportations for illegal entry; how many for criminal offences; and how many for other reasons.

No one has been compulsorily repatriated. If my hon. Friend means deported or removed as an illegal entrant, the following is the information immediately available:

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider dismissal of the Secretary of State for Industry.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if he will dismiss the Secretary of State for Industry.

I refer the hon. Members to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) on 18th February.

Prime Minister (Visits)

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Beckermet.

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will pay an official visit to Macclesfield.

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Luxembourg.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will seek to make an official visit to Brazil.

Cbi (Meetings)

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his meeting with the CBI on 12th February.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy) on 27th February.

Q18.

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

Industry Bill

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Secretary of State for Industry on the Industry Bill at Hayes and Harlington on 15th February represented the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Social Contract

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech by the Secretary of State for Employment made at Ebbw Vale on Friday 14th February concerning the social contract represents Government policy.

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

Middle East (Peace Talks)

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his most recent discussions with the American Secretary of State on progress towards a peace settlement in the Middle East.

Yes. I and my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary met Dr. Kissinger on 15th February. Dr. Kissinger told us something of his latest trip to the Middle East. He was cautiously optimistic that an agreement involving a further Israeli withdrawal in Sinai could be negotiated during his next round of talks in the area, which starts very shortly. We continue to give our full support to his mission.

Foreign Investment

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Diplomatic and Commonwealth Writers Association on 13th February about foreign investment in Great Britain represents Government policy.

Prime Minister (Official Overseas Visit)

Q17.

I shall be attending the EEC Heads of Governments meeting in Dublin on 10th and 11th March.

Women (Equality Of Opportunity)

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Department of Employment and the other Departments concerned in respect of equality of opportunities for women.

New Zealand Prime Minister (Talks)

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his recent discussions with the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Ovenden) on 27th February.

Press (Royal Commission)

asked the Prime Minister whether he has any changes to announce in the membership of the Royal Commission on the Press.

Yes. The Counsellors of State, acting on behalf of The Queen, have approved the appointment of Professor L. C. B. Gower, FBA, Vice-Chancellor of Southampton University, as a member of the Royal Commission on the Press.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Wine Standards Board (Consultations)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on recent consultations he has had with the Wine Standards Board.

Since the establishment of the Wine Standards Board of the Vintners' Company there has been regular consultation with my Department, and the board has recently submitted to the Vintners' Company and myself a report covering its activities in the first twelve months of operation up to 31st August 1974. The report shows that the board has made rapid progress in exercising the supervisory functions assigned to it by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, under the European Community regulations for wine. The functions of its inspectorate cover the bottling and wholesale stages of the distribution chain and thus complement those of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise at port of entry and the consumer protection duties of local enforcement authorities at the point of retail sale. The report reflects great credit on the members of the board and its staff and indicates the valuable contribution made by the Vintners' Company in setting up the Wine Standards Board. I have arranged for copies of the report to be placed in the Library of the House.

Pig Producers

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many pig producers went out of business in Great Britain in 1973 and 1974 respectively.

Information in precisely the form requested is not available. The structure of the pig industry in Britain has been changing over a number of years, with a larger proportion of the herd being concentrated in the ownership of fewer and larger businesses. In Great Britain in the two periods June 1972 to June 1973 and June 1973 to June 1974 there were net reductions of 5,176 and 6,398, respectively, in the total numbers of holdings carrying pigs.

Eggs (Imports)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration he has given to suggestions that imports of eggs from France should be banned; and if he will make a statement.

We have looked carefully at the present situation in our egg market. First, my right hon. Friend and I have met representatives of the industry. We are considering the information about imports which they have given us, some of which was available only at the end of last week. We accept that imports can have some effect on prices here but we have had to reiterate that one must look at the total supply position. We produce, on average, about 98 per cent. of our total supplies. In January packing stations throughput which is usually taken to represent about 60 per cent. of our total production was 1,792,000 boxes of eggs, 110,000—or over 6 per cent.—more boxes than in January last year. Imports are estimated to have been about 70,000 boxes, which is over 30,000 fewer than in January 1974. We have also had to make it clear that we could justify seeking to control imports from other member States of the Community only if there were clear evidence that such imports were at the heart of our industry's problems.Secondly, there have been discussions with the French Government. We hope that it will now be possible to arrange discussions between representatives of our two industries which will lead to a better understanding of each other's problems.Thirdly, we are hopeful that the question of the ban which the French maintain on imports of eggs from this country because we permit the use of arsenicals in feedingstuffs for laying birds can be brought to an early and satisfactory conclusion.Fourthly, we are arranging further discussions with the French authorities on problems concerning the implementation of the Community's rules on the labelling of eggs.We hope that the industry will recognise the value of these discussions as part of a continuing dialogue which will, we hope, focus primarily on the fundamental problem of how to achieve a balance between supply and demand within the Community over the longer term. In the meantime, a combination of firm demand and a reduction in home production from the high level we saw in January and early February has resulted in some strengthening of the market.

Overseas Development

Overseas Development Agency Staff, Tolworth

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether all staff at Tolworth have been designated as mobile or non-mobile.

All my Ministry's staff stationed at Tolworth have been designated either mobile or non-mobile according to their grade, as in the Civil Service in general. The great majority of staff in the Land Resources Division and the Directorate of Overseas Surveys, include- ing the numerically large cartographic draughtsmen basic and higher grades, are currently classified as mobile.

Eec Membership (Referendum)

asked the Lord President of the Council if, when introducing the proposed legislation on the referendum on United Kingdom membership of the European Community, he will consider making provisions therein to enable British citizens resident abroad to vote; and if he will make a statement.

There are many difficulties about this, but I shall consider the point.

Employment

Social Contract

62.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in the light of the recent miners' settlement, he will reconsider his decision not to publish as a White Paper the guidelines of the social contract.

No. The TUC guidelines on pay were, however, published in paragraph 34 of the TUC report on "Collective Bargaining and the Social Contract" which is as follows:

"34. In summary, the General Council's recommendations to negotiators in the coming period are as follows:
  • (i) although the groundwork is being laid for increasing consumption and living standards in the future, the scope for real increases in consumption at present is limited, and a central negotiating objective in the coming period will therefore be to ensure that real incomes are maintained;
  • (ii) this will entail claiming compensation for the rise in the cost of living since the last settlement; taking into account that threshold agreements will already have given some compensation for current price increases;
  • (iii) an alternative approach would be to negotiate arrangements to keep up with the cost of living during the period of the new agreement;
  • (iv) the twelve month interval between major increases should in general continue to apply;
  • (v) priority should be given to negotiating agreements which will have beneficial effects on unit costs and efficiency, to reforming pay structures, and to improving job security;
  • (vi) priority should also be given to attaining reasonable minimum standards, including the TUC's low pay target of a minimum wage of £30 for a normal week, if not more than 40 hours for those aged 18 and over;
  • (vii) a continuing aim is the elimination of discrimination against particular groups, notably women; improving non wage benefits such as sick pay and occupational pension schemes; and progress towards four weeks annual holiday;
  • (viii) full use should be made of the conciliation arbitration and mediation services of the CAS to help towards a quick solution of disputes.
  • The General Council will keep the developing situation under review, and will expect unions in difficulties in conforming to the spirit of this policy to inform the General Council of the circumstances and to seek their advice, or to respond to an invitation to discuss the situation with them."
    The council's report was overwhelmingly endorsed at the TUC conference in September, where section (vi) of paragraph 34 was amended so as to specify £30 rather than £25 as the minimum wage target.

    Retail Price Index

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what will be the effect of the forthcoming increases in the price of coal, and the consequential rise in the price of electricity and steel, on the retail price index.

    The prospective increase in the price of coal to domestic consumers is expected to increase the retail prices index by about one-quarter of 1 per cent. relative to its present-January 1975-level. The increase in domestic electricity charges resulting from higher coal prices could add a further one-fifth of 1 per cent. to the index.I regret that no reliable estimates are available of the other indirect effects on the index of the increase in coal prices.

    Unfair Dismissal (Reinstatements)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment in how many cases reinstatement has been recommended by industrial tribunals under paragraph 17(2) of Schedule 1 to the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974.

    The relevant information relating to the period since the provisions of Schedule 1 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act came into opera- tion, is not yet available. I shall write to my hon. Friend to give him this information as soon as I can.

    Court Line

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many ex-employees of Court Line are currently still unemployed; and into which categories of employment they are divided.

    I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that of the 1,120 Court Line employees made redundant, 96 were still registered as unemployed on 27th February 1975. A breakdown of this figure by job category is as follows:

    Job CategoryNumber still registered as unemployed
    Management Staff24
    Data Processors1
    Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations Officers3
    Engineers7
    Flight Deck Officers (including pilots)38
    Sales Representatives2
    Drivers/Labourers/Storemen5
    Ground operations workers3
    Clerical and Secretarial workers3
    Air and Ground Hostesses10
    96

    Eec Social Fund (Scotland)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total sum received by Scotland in 1973 and 1974 from the EEC Social Fund; and what percentage proportion this represented of the United Kingdom allocation and the total disbursement from the fund.

    Approximately £10 million or 20 per cent. of the United Kingdom allocation and 5 per cent. of total disbursements.

    Eec Surveys

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what surveys the EEC has asked his Department to carry out; what use the EEC has told his Department it intends to make of the results of these surveys; and what will be the estimated charge on United Kingdom funds.

    Community surveys using uniform definitions and methods are carried out to provide internationally comparable statistics which are needed but not otherwise available for the member countries. Allocations from the EEC budget are made towards their cost. The following statistical sample surveys have been or are being carried out either under regulations of the Council or by agreement between member countries and the Commission.

    Survey of employers' labour costsAssociated Council (EEC) regulation
    Industrial sector (index of production industries):
    1973Agreement (as if 2259/1971 applied)
    1975328/1975
    Services sector (distribution, banking, finance, insurance):
    19743192/1973
    Surveys of the structure and distribution of earnings of employees
    Services sector:
    1974–75*178/1974
    Labour force sample (household) survey
    1973Agreement (as if 2723/1972 applied)
    19752640/1974
    Surveys of retail prices
    1973 (pilot)Agreement
    1975Agreement
    * This survey is being integrated in the New Earnings Survey 1975 as explained in the February 1975 issue of the Department of Employment Gazette.
    The objects of the surveys are outlined in the preambles to the Council regulations and explanatory memoranda to Parliament.The estimated charge on United Kingdom public funds of the labour force sample surveys are about £250,000 for 1973 and £⅓ million for 1975. The net cost of other surveys is expected to be marginal.

    Social Services

    Child Minders

    63.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is satisfied with the current level of supervision of, and support for, childminders by local authorities; and if her Department will offer advice to those engaged in this activity and to the local authorities concerned.

    I accept that there is much more that could be done in this field and I hope that many other authorities will follow those which already assist child minders through training, advice and the supply of equipment. I attach the greatest importance to the development and expansion of child minding as a valuable form of day care and to providing minders with the support and recognition which will encourage those who are unregistered to register and seek help in raising their standards. My Department will help to the fullest extent that the limitation on resources permits, and we have recently made grants under the urban aid programme to initiate seven new child minder support schemes. The day fostering experiment which a number of local authorities are undertaking at my Department's request should, when evaluated, throw further light on the contribution which we can best make to this importantly developing activity.

    Smoking (Hospitals And Clinics)

    64.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will prohibit all smoking in hospitals and health clinics; and if she will make a statement on the steps she has so far taken to discourage this practice.

    When in hospital smokers may be under great stress and I do not think a total prohibition would be justified but hospitals and health centres can reinforce by example the fact that cigarette smoking is dangerous and causes lung cancer, bronchitis and heart disease.The advice given to hospital authorities in June 1971 emphasised the rôle of hospitals in setting an example to patients and visitors, and that if smoking was allowed the wishes of non-smokers should be respected. It was also suggested then that smoking was undesirable in wards. I am not entirely satisfied with current practice and will shortly be sending out further advice.

    Pensions (Over-80S)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average length of time it takes to process a pension for someone over the age of 80 years; if the preparations for such a pension can be undertaken in advance of the recipient's 80th birthday; and if she will make a statement.

    In the great majority of cases an entitlement notice is issued to the pensioner within two to four weeks of the receipt of a claim to pension accompanied by the necessary documents. The Department invites those people approaching age 80 who can be identified from its records as having a possible title to make a claim three or four months before their 80th birthday. Advance preparations for others can only be made if they approach the Department before their 80th birthday. If my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind, I shall be glad to look into it.

    Huntington's Chorea

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what research is currently being sponsored by her Department, by the Medical Research Council or by voluntary bodies into the possibilities of genetic screening for members of families with a history of Huntington's Chorea; and if she will make a statement.

    Research into the incidence and family distribution of Huntington's Chorea is being carried on by the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and by Dr. A. J. Caro of East Dereham, Norfolk. The latter study, which includes also work on genetic counselling, is supported from funds provided by my Department. I am not aware of any research sponsored from voluntary sources.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what facilities are available for the treatment of Huntington's Chorea; and if she will make a statement;(2) what is her estimate of the number of people suffering from Huntington's Chorea in the United Kingdom.

    Huntington's Chorea is a chronic disease of the central nervous system which, in the early stages, is usually treated symptomatically by family doctors with support from other community services. As regards hospital services, facilities for diagnosis and assessment of the condition are generally available, but I am aware that more units for younger disabled people are needed and my Department has been encouraging their provision. In each region there are also specialist centres for the provision of genetic counselling.There are no statistics of the incidence of this condition but I understand that the number of people suffering from it is believed to be some 3,000.

    Radiographers

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the shortfall in radiographers for therapeutic purposes in each area health authority;(2) what is the shortfall in radiographers for diagnostic purposes in each area health authority.

    Information on the numbers of staff in post in the new area health authority areas is not yet available. Information on shortfall is not kept centrally and, indeed, there is no nationally accepted standard of complementing for radiographers which would enable the extent of the shortage to be identified objectively. I would refer my hon. Friend to the overall numbers said to be required at 1st April 1972 in each region in my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) on 7th November 1974—[Vol. 880 c. 217–8]. I shall write to my hon. Friend giving a breakdown of these figures as between diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the percentage of students to fully trained radiographers; how many students are at present in training; what indications there are of the numbers applying for training in the next session; and if she will make a statement.

    Information on the number of students actually in training or on the number applying for training is not available centrally. In 1973 the total student intake in England was 932 and the total number who qualified was 663; the length of courses varies between two and three years. These figures can be related to the number of 4,878 qualified staff in post—whole-time equivalent—at 30th September 1973.

    Hospital Waiting Lists

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people in the Trent Regional Health Authority area are on the waiting list for hospital treatment; and if she will make a statement on the policy of her Department to bring such numbers down to a reasonable level.

    On 31st December 1974, the latest date for which comprehensive figures are available waiting lists totalled 46,197. This total has obviously increased as a result of the consultants' industrial action.

    Tidworth Army Hospital

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what alternative hospital facilities will be made available for civilians who have made use of the Army Hospital at Tidworth, currently scheduled for closure by April 1977.

    Existing National Health Service hospital facilities at Salisbury, Winchester and Basingstoke will be available for civilians when Tidworth Army hospital is closed. Facilities at Wroughton RAF hospital will also be available for servicemen and their families.

    Nottingham City Hospital

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the proposal for a new ward block scheme for the Nottingham City Hospital was first formulated; how many times it has been deferred; and whether the latest deferment is by the decision of the Trent Regional Health Authority.

    The proposals was formulated in 1971. For planning purposes a start in 1974–75 was assumed, but this was later revised to 1975–76 because other schemes were considered to have higher priority. The Trent Regional Health Authority is currently considering its priorities for 1975–76 within its overall budget.

    Highbury Hospital, Nottingham

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the proposal for a new unit for mentally handicapped adults at the Highbury Hospital, Nottingham, was first formulated; how many times it has been deferred; and whether the latest deferment is by the decision of the Trent Regional Health Authority.

    The proposal was formulated in 1971. For planning purposes a start in 1974–75 was assumed. This was later revised to 1975–76 because changes in the basic specification necessitated some redesign. The Trent Regional Health Authority is currently considering its priorities for 1975–76 within its overall budget.

    Trade

    Ussr (Loan)

    65.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if the long-term credit facilities of up to £950 million that he has agreed to grant the USSR will necessitate increased borrowing by the United Kingdom from the Arab or other overseas countries in order to service the obligation.

    The need for borrowing arises from our balance of payments difficulties. The Anglo-Soviet Credit Agreement which is designed to increase the level of trade between the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom should help to alleviate the situation.

    Tourism

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will set out in a table the amounts of Government support for each of the national and regional tourist boards in the United Kingdom, the total amount each board receives from local authorities and from other sources and the amount of direct expenditure on promoting tourism by local authorities in total and in each of the regions.

    The level of Government support for the three national tourist boards is set out in their annual reports available in the Library of the House.The amounts for 1974–75 were set out in my answer to the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mrs. Ewing) on 27th February 1975.—[Vol. 887, c. 238.] Regional tourist boards do not receive direct support from Government. Current information about local authority support for their programmes and the authorities' direct expenditure on tourism is not available; but the broad pattern of support for the regional boards from the national tourist boards and local authorities may also be found in the annual reports.

    Egg And Poultry Imports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the level of imports of eggs and poultry products from France for the latest available three months; and how this compares with the corresponding figure for the preceding year.

    Following is the information:

    £ thousand cif
    October-December 1973October-December 1974
    Eggs (including dried and frozen)973763
    Poultry products (including dead poultry, liver and other poultry preparations)107124

    Fishing Vessels

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what date he has fixed for the introductions of new regulations for fishing vessels.

    I intend to make new Fishing Vessels (Safety Provisions) Rules next month, Parts I, III and IV of which are to come into force on 1st May 1975 and the remaining provisions at intervals thereafter.

    Scottish Exports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proportion of Scotland's export trade is with the EEC, including the rest of the United Kingdom.

    Trade figures are not compiled separately for individual countries within the United Kingdom.

    Investment Overseas

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what are the average rates of return, after overseas tax, on United Kingdom direct investment overseas in the Commonwealth developing countries, Canada, the United States of America, EFTA, EEC, South and Central America and the overseas sterling area, respectively.

    The information available on average rates of return—after overseas tax—relates only to United Kingdom direct investment overseas excluding oil, banking and insurance, and was published in Table 40 of Business Monitor M4, Overseas Transactions 1972, a copy of which is in the Library.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the net outflow of United Kingdom direct investment in the Commonwealth developing countries, Canada, the USA, EFTA, EEC, South and Central America and the overseas sterling area, respectively, for the last available year.

    The information available relates to United Kingdom direct investment overseas, excluding oil, and the latest figures are for 1972. These were published in Table 17 of Business Monitor M4, Overseas Transactions 1972, a copy of which is in the Library.

    Public Lending Right

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will consider extended copyright as a means of a self-financing public lending right.

    To extend the period of copyright while making the revenue derived during the period of extension public property would be a fundamental change in the basis of copyright in this country. It would not be right to make such a change in advance of the report of the Departmental Committee on Copyright which has now been sitting for one year and has, I understand, received a number of submissions on this matter.

    Crestwood Properties Limited (Mortgage Register)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade when missing pages 138/141 of the mortgage register of Crestwood Properties Ltd. (Company Register Number 951352) will be replaced in the public file at Companies House.

    No pages are missing from the mortgage register, nor are any documents missing from the company's file. Documents are allocated a serial number within each company's file at the time of initial examination but occasionally—for example, should the document not be accepted for filing—the number is not subsequently used. On the file in question, document numbers 82 and 139 to 141 had not been used. The file numbering had been corrected only to number 138 when it was released.As part of the microfilming process all files are examined and an internal notice is attached listing any apparent discrepancies for correction. If the file is required for a public search during this process it is released with the notice, which invites a searcher to seek an explanation, still attached.

    Civil Service

    Opposition Parties (Government Finance)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the current annual expenditure from Exchequer funds on salaries of and facilities for the Leader and Whips of Her Majesty's Opposition and their staffs.

    The total annual cost for both Houses is about £65,000. Of this amount, the cost of the salaries payable to the Opposition Leaders and Whips is £31,000.

    Public Service Pensions

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is his estimate of the cost per annum of introducing a scheme to extend the provision for payment of a public pensioner's pension to his widow for three months following his death, to all those whose service ceased before 1st April 1972 and whose wives are still living.

    On such limited information as is available it is calculated that the annual cost, excluding that for the Armed Forces, for those widowed from a current date would be about £2 million or £3 million decreasing gradually over the next 20 or more years.

    Energy

    Household Appliances

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing the average amount of heat generated from normal household appliances per £1 charged at current prices from the use of oil fuel, gas and electricity, or as nearly as possible from such figures as are available to him.

    Because of the great variety of tariffs and types of heating appliances and the many different ways in which such appliances are used, it is not possible to provide any precise and universally acceptable figures about the heating performance of domestic appliances.However, the following table gives some ranges of typical average figures for the amount of heat generated from some appliances per £1 expenditure on fuel and power. These figures are no more than an illustration of the kind of differences one might expect between appliances, and it is not possible at present to deduce any single average value.

    Heat emitted per £1 expenditure on fuel or power at February 1975 prices
    Therms1
    Domestic central heating
    Electric off-peak storage heaters5 –6
    Gas fired central heating4½–6½
    Oil-fired central heating4 –4½
    Solid fuel fired central heating5 –8
    Domestic room heaters (exclusive of water heating)About
    Electric fires (radiant and convective)2·5
    Gas fires (combined radiant and convective)3 –6
    Paraffin heaters (flueless)4 –5
    Solid fuel open grate fires3 –4
    The ranges in the above table are mainly due to differences in tariffs and charges, efficiency of different appliances and amounts of heat consumed.

    Coal Prices

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the average United Kingdom price of one ton, respectively, of domestic coal, anthracite coal, dry steam coal, industrial coal and coking coal on 1st March 1974; what is the present average United Kingdom price of each of these; what percentages these increases represent; and what will be the respective percentage increases at 1st March 1975 compared with 1st March 1974.

    Coal prices show wide variation depending on the grade or

    1st March 1974 (£/ton)February 1975 (£/ton)Percentage increase1st March 1975* (£/ton)Estimated percentage increase since March 19741st April 1975* (£/ton)Estimated percentage increase since March 1974
    Domestic coal:
    Bituminous10·112·827·012·827·013·837·0
    Naturally smokeless†16·219·319·019·319·021·533·0
    General:
    Industrial coal7·613·780·017·9136·0
    Coking coal9·617·380·022·9139·0
    Source: National Coal Board.
    * The figures for March and April 1975 are estimates; for domestic prices allowance has been made for the summer discount.
    † Separate data is not available for anthracite and dry steam coals.

    Environment

    Architecture (Rural Housing)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will hold discussions with the RIBA, the Countryside Commission and the Council for the Preservation of Rural England about creating a more traditionally rural design for local authority housing in country areas;(2) what guidance is given by his Department to local authorities about the style of architecture to be observed on council house developments in rural areas.