Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 888: debated on Monday 10 March 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Monday 10th March 1975

Energy

Carbohydrates (Synthesis)

47.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what consideration is being given to the synthesis of carbohydrates as a means of producing hydrocarbon fuels.

The most direct route to fuel production from carbohydrates would be the conversion of natural carbohydrates, e.g., starch, sugar, to alcohols. The technologies for this are well established but are uncompetitive.

Fuel Costs (Industrial Users)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will revise the table appearing in the Official Report in answer to the hon. Member for Bedford on 7th February 1975, col. 655–6, in accordance with price increases of fuels already announced.

Current figures for coal are set out below. Present prices for fuel oils are thought to be similar to those quoted for end-1974, i.e. 9·5–10·5p a therm. No more up-to-date data than already advised are yet available in respect of gas and electricity.

FUEL COSTS TO INDUSTRIAL USERS
pence/therm
EnglandScotlandWales
Coal*7·1–8·38·0–8·78·2–8·4
* Prices effective from 1st March 1975.

Oil Industry (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the length of time the 16,000 jobs that have come to Scotland due to the oil-related development will last.

It is not possible to provide such an estimate. It is hoped that the expertise built up over the current period and the next few years will enable firms to compete successfully on a global basis for offshore business and thus ensure continuity of oil-related work. The number of jobs quoted covers a very wide range of industries, and diversification into other fields should, therefore, be posusible if the demand for oil-related work should fall off.

North Sea Oil

asked the Secretary of State for Energy to what extent it is the Government's policy to accept a floor price for North Sea oil; and whether the range of $6,$8 a barrel is contemplated.

We and the other member States of the International Energy Agency are considering the principle of a floor price for imported oil as one possibility for assisting the development of energy resources. It is too soon to know in what range a floor price, if adopted. would fall.

Gas Pricing

asked the Secretary of State for Energy to what extent the provisions of the Treaty of Rome apply to the pricing of gas by the British Gas Corporation.

There are no provisions in the Treaty of Rome which apply specifically to gas. British Gas, like other undertakings, is, of course, bound by the general rules on competition set out in Articles 85–90.

Oil Exporting

asked the Secretary of State for Energy to what extent United Kingdom controls over the export of oil, its destination and its use are affected by the EEC Treaty.

The Treaty of Rome provides for the free movement of goods between member States. The United Kingdom has no export controls on oil; licensing imposed exceptionally at the time of the 1973–74 oil emergency has been automatic since spring 1974 and ceased on 4th March 1975.

Energy Technology Support Unit

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the size, rôeed for the expansion of the Energy Technology Support Unit.

The Energy Technology Support Unit was set up in April 1974 with a budget for 1974–75 of £200,000. The present strength is 10 scientific and engineering grades, with four supporting clerical staff. Budget provision for 1975–76 is £400,000, which could provide for some expansion in the number of staff. The rôle of the unit is to assist my Department in establishing and assessing the technological strategy options available to the United Kingdom in the field of energy policy and to advise on possible new areas of Government-sponsored R. & D. which could contribute towards the solution of long-term energy problems. The staffing requirements of the unit are kept under review; further expansion will be determined in the light of my Department's continuing need for support and of the results of the unit's present assessment programme.

Departmental Technology Division

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy towards the size of the science and technology division of the Department of Energy; if he will list in the Official Report its current strength in each discipline there represented; and if he will make a statement.

The Energy Technology Division of the Department of Energy provides the technological input into the work of the policy divisions. It will be maintained at the strength required for this purpose, bearing in mind the ancillary rôhe Energy Technology Support Unit at Harwell, the Atomic Energy Authority more generally, and the R. & D. capabilities of the nationalised energy industries.The Energy Technology Division currently has on its strength 14 professionally qualified officers with experience in the following scientific disciplines:

Fuel Technology4
Gas Engineering1
Electrical Engineering2
Chemistry3
Industrial Chemistry1
Physics1
Mechanical Engineering4
Chemical Engineering1
Information science1

Research

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to research being currently conducted in the universities with regard to production of energy; what research from universities or other sources is now available to him; and if he will make a statement.

I am regularly informed of such research, the latest information being in the Report, "Energy Research—The Research Council's Contribution ", prepared in September 1974 by the Committee on Energy Research of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils of which my Chief Scientist is a member. I am sending the hon. Member a copy. Results of publicly-sponsored research at universities or elsewhere become available to my Department through formal and informal contacts. My Chief Scientist has set up and chairs a Committee of Chief Scientists on Energy Research and Development, consisting of the Chief Scientists of Government Departments with representatives of the Science Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council, for the purpose of interchange and co-ordination of energy research sponsored directly by Whitehall Departments. Information about research in the nationalised energy industries and the UKAEA is given to me on a regular formal basis by the organisations concerned.

Home Department

Murder

49.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the practice of the police and the news media of announcing that persons who have not stood trial have murdered or killed persons and are wanted for questioning, he will propose making it a specific offence for these persons to be proclaimed as having committed murder unless they are found guilty by the courts.

No. The law of contempt of court is already available to punish statements which may prejudice a fair trial, and I am not aware of any such practice as my hon. Friend describes.

Cannabis Offences

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many persons in prison for offences relating to cannabis have previous convictions relating to drug offences;

(2) many persons in prison for offences relating to cannabis are first offenders;

(3) how many persons are presently in prison for offences relating to cannabis; and what are the figures for 1974. 1973, 1972 and 1971, respectively.

I regret that the available information does not enable such persons to be identified.

Sunday Markets

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Sunday markets began operations during 1974 and in the nine preceding years;(2) how many Sunday markets are currently operating in Great Britain.

I regret that this information is not available. Responsibility for administration and enforcement rests with local authorities, and there is no requirement that records of this kind should be kept.

Licensing Laws

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now take steps to implement such recommendations of the Erroll and Clayson Committees with regard to licensing that he regards as non-controversial.

The Erroll Committee made a number of useful recommendations for rationalising and simplifying licensing procedures which I should;

PROJECTS APPROVED FOR MANCHESTER UNDER THE URBAN PROGRAMME Manchester County Borough (1969–74)
Cost at time of approval£
Circular No. 1 (Approvals January 1969)
Capital
1.Nursery class, Plymouth Grove5,000
2.Nursery class, Claremont5,000
3.Nursery class, St. Joseph's9,385
4.Nursery class, Grimsworth9,385
5. Nursery class, Our Lady9,385
6. Nursery class, St. Mark's9,385
7. Nursery class, St. Thomas'3,500
8. Nursery class, St. Augustine's500
9.Nursery class, St. Margaret's 8,700
10.Nursery class, St. Robert's5,700
11. Nursery class, Stanley Grove9,385
12. Nursery class, St. Francis9,385
13. Nursery class, Heald Place5,700
14. Day Nursery, Longhurst Road51,500
15. Hostel for working girls54,000

expect to be relatively non-controversial. but, as a matter of legislative priority, I cannot say when it will be possible to give effect to them. The recommendations of the Clayson Committee are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Sex Discrimination

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the proposed Equal Opportunities Commission will be empowered to investigate the employment practices of organisations where there is evidence that women are under-represented in the higher grades.

Borstal, Hatfield

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions persons detained at Her Majesty's Borstal, Hatfield, have absconded during the last six months.

During the period 1st September 1974 to 28th February 1975, 29 trainees absconded from Hatfield Borstal.

Urban Aid Programme

asked the Secretary of Stale for the Home Department whether he will publish in the Official Report a list of projects in the Manchester area sanctioned under the urban aid programme.

Circular No. 2 (Approvals June 1969 and January 1970)

Cost at time of approval £

Capital

1.Day Nursery, Harpurhey59,800
2.Six Family Group Homes48,000
3.Four play groups in parks960
4.St. Thomas' School: adventure playground.2,500
5. St. Edward's School: additional nursery class9,385
6.Seymour Road Infants: adaptations for one nursery class4,550
7.Hareley Hey Infants: adaptations for one nursery class.3,150
8.Whitworth Special School, Hulme: provision of 30 places11,500
9.Alexandra Park Day Nursery2,530

Non-capital

1.Equipment for childrens homes6,920 once only
2.Capitation allowances7,500 once only
3.Office equipment for schools in deprived areas2,500 once only
4.Grant to Save the Children Fund play groups2,000 once only
5.Two play centres1,000 once only
6.Family advice centre5,880 p.a.
7.Four playgroups in parks1,250 p.a.
8.Fielden Park College: training of additional nursery assistants6,450 p.a.
Circular No. 3 (Approvals November 1970 and January 1971)

Capital

1.Nursery class, Holy Name9,900
2.Nursery class, St. Stephen's9,900
3.Nursery class, St. Brigid's9,900
4.Nursery class, Mount Carmel9,900
5.Clayton day centre for the elderly16,000
6.Three play groups in parks2,900
7.Housing Advisory Service6,500

Non-capital

1.Training facilities for 20 nursery nurses10,210 p.a.
2.Grant to CSS: teaching English at home2,400 p.a.
3.Grant to CSS: home teaching for illiterates1,600 p.a.
4.National Elfrida Rathbone Society: equipment for teaching handicapped children100 once only
5.Youth Development Trust: contracting adolescents at risk5,200 p.a.
6.FSU: play groups250 p.a.
7.FSU: new centre3,400 p.a.
8.Save the Children Fund: play groups2,000 once only
9.Save the Children Fund: play centres1,000 once only
10.West Indian Association Community Centre: for equipment1,750 once only
Circular No. 4 (Approvals April and August 1971)

Non-capital

1.Language project1,500 once only
2.Grant to Youth Club Associations2,500 p.a.
3.12 additional family planning clinics9,200 p.a.
4.Expansion of domiciliary family planning720 p.a.
5.Training courses in family planning280 p.a.
6.Grant to CCR for playgroup2,000 p.a.
7 CCR promotion of public education in community relations1.585 p.a.
[Circular No. 5 dealt with Intermediate and Development Areas only]
Circular No. 5 (Approvals March 1972)

Non-capital

1.Play schemes in five parks, Easter Summer630 once only
2.YMCA Summer and Christmas camps946 once only
Circular No. 7 (Approvals September, October, December 1972)

Capital

1.Nursery Unit, St. Mary's14,300
2.Day centre for elderly, Whalley Range33,315

Non-capital

1.Youth Development Trust: family advice centre10,865 p.a.+600 once only
2.Bethesda Youth Centre: under 10s club200 p.a.
3.Youth and Community Service: volunteer organiser1,975 p.a.+150 once only
4.CCR Fair Housing Group Worker4,212 p.a.
5.CAB organiser, Neighbourhood Advice Centre, Harpurhey4,550 p.a.
6.Community Project organiser: Moss Side/Longsight2,780 p.a.

Cost at time of approval £

7.Walton Cottage Trust Day Nursery10,100 once only
8. Out of schools activities organiser2,800 p.a.
9. University settlement, day nursery6,842 once only
10.Equipment for scouts.2,500 once only
Circular No. 8 (Approvals April 1973)

Non-capital

1.Play in five parks: Easter600 once only
2.Play in three parks: Summer495 once only
3.Longsight/Moss Side community project655 once only
4. CCR: Cheetham secondary school project1,872 once only
Circular No. 9 (Approvals September 1973)

Capital

1.Catholic Welfare Society: welfare centre12,000
2. Adventure playground, Princess School3,000
3.Playgroup, D. Lewis Recreation Ground4,200
4.Playgroup, Delamere4,200
5.Playgroup, Baguley4,200

Non-capital

1. Playbus in Wythenshawe1,694 once only
2.Social worker for homeless adolescents2,000 p.a.
3.Adult education tutor 3,400 p.a.
4.Residential courses, Ghyll Head outdoor pursuits centre1,500 p.a.
Manchester District
Circular No. 10 (Approvals April 1974)

Non-capital

1.CCR: Play projects in four centres1,297 once only
2.Longsight Community Group245 once only
3.Junior Youth Clubs: Gorton and Wythenshawe2,004 once only
4. Project for gypsy children270 once only
5.Sailing courses280 once only
Circular No. 11 (Approvals January 1975)

Capital

1.Law Centre7,000
2." Shield ": temporary hostel2,825
3.Toy library3,200
4.Accommodation for unsupported mothers5,200
5.Resource centre for child minders12,945
6. Hulme neighbourhood projects2,000

Non-capital

1.Curriculum development leader for adult literacy project.3,400 p.a.
2. Elfrida Rathbone Society: group social worker4,500 p.a.
Circular No. 12 (Approvals January 1975)

Capital

1.George Jackson House Trust: short stay hostel32,000
2. Council for Community Relations: temporary accommodation for Asian women.2,250
3.Centre for West Indian Organisations56,217

Non-capital

1.Resettlement worker for Ugandan Asians1,600 p.a.
2. Hideaway Youth Club: detached youth work8,850 p.a.
3.Teacher/social worker in Hulme and Moss Side4,200 p.a.
4. West Indian Organisations' Coordinating Committee: pre-training classes 1,000 p.a.
5. Longsight/Moss Side community project: employment study scheme5,780 p.a.
6. In company language training for immigrant workers1,730 p.a.+ 500 once only

Immigration

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration appeals were heard by adjudication during 1974; how many appeals were successful; and what proportion of those persons entitled to appeal exercised that right.

The number of immigration appeals determined by adjudicators during 1974 was 5,568, of which 934 were allowed. About one person in three exercised his rights of appeal, but of this proportion about one in five withdrew before the hearing.

Sectarian Movements

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will seek powers to redefine the definition of charitable organisations to exclude self-styled religious cults whose principal objects consist of the recruitment and indoctrination of members.

No; my right hon. Friend and I see many difficulties in the way of such an amendment of charity law.

Crown Court Defendants (Costs)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many defendants at the Crown court were acquitted and awarded costs during the 12 months from 1st July 1973, and from 1st July 1974 to the latest available date.

In the period 1st July 1973 to 30th June 1974, 120; and in the period 1st July 1974 to 31st December 1974, 78.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many defendants at the Crown court who were acquitted during the 12 months from 1st July 1973 to the latest available date applied for their costs to be paid but were refused.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many defendants at the Crown court who were acquitted during the 12 months from 1st July 1973 to the latest available date; what was the average amount ordered to be paid; and, in the case of those dealt with by way of fine, in how many cases the amount ordered the amount of the fine imposed.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many defendants were imprisoned for non-payment of prosecution costs during the year 1974 by the Crown court and by magistrates' courts, respectively.

Offenders' Rehabilitation

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much in public funds, in Home Office grants and otherwise, has gone to NACRO in each of the past five years.

The information is as follows:

Financial years£
1970–7126,256
1971–7245,860
1972–7377,732
1973–74158,132
1974–75247,000
The figure for 1974–75 represents the estimated total liability for the whole financial year.

Community Industry (Brixton)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in addition to the urban aid programme, he has yet decided on applications for aid to community industry schemes in Brixton.

We have agreed in principle to make grants through the Voluntary Services Unit towards the costs of two schemes in the Brixton area which have some similarities to community industry schemes. An application from a third scheme is still being considered.

Magistrates' Courts (Compensation To Personnel)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ensure the provision of compensation for magistrates and court staff who are injured, or have their property damaged, as a result of their judicial duties.

There have recently been discussions between the Central Council of Magistrates' Courts Committees and the Home Office on the question of additional provision in matters of this kind. Magistrates are, of course, already covered to a large extent by existing arrangements, under, for example, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

Old Bailey Bombing (Casualties' Compensation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish details of the individual and total sums so far paid in compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to the victims of the IRA bomb attack at the Old Bailey in 1973.

As a result of the Old Bailey bomb explosion in 1973 the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board has received 105 applications for compensation. 91 cases have been resolved, interim awards have been made in 10 cases, awards have been offered in two cases but not yet accepted, and there are a further two cases under inquiry. In one case there was no award. The amount of compensation paid so far is as follows:

  • £50–£100 27 awards (including two interim awards).
  • £101–£200 36 awards (including one interim awards).
  • £201–£300 12 awards (including two interim awards).
  • £301–£400 6 awards.
  • £401–£500 7 awards (including one interim award).
  • £501–£1,000 7 awards (including two interim awards).
  • £1,001–£2,000 3 awards (including one interim award).
  • £3.500 1 award (interim award).
  • £8,000 I award (interim award).
The total sum paid as at 7th March 1975 is £37,543, including £8,357 in interim awards.

Education And Science

Student Grants,(Parental Contribution)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he has of the percentage of parents who fail to pay the full parental contributions to the grants of their student children.

Teacher Training

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the number of students in courses of initial teacher training at the latest date for which figures are available; and what he expects the numbers to be in each of the next five years.

The provisional figure for October 1974 is about 112,600 recognised students in colleges and departments of education, including colleges of education—technical—and art teacher training centres. The estimated number for 1975 is about 105,000. Policy for future years is still under review.

Workers Educational Association Members

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will attempt to merge the salary scales paid to WEA tutors and lecturers in university extra-mural departments.

No. The Department makes a grant to the WEA but does not prescribe salary scales.

Colleges Of Education

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what his policy will be towards colleges of education with a notional student population of 600 or less which fail to attract their quota of in-service training students.

In-service training is expected to build up over a period of years as the teaching force expands, and planning will need to be adjusted as the situation develops.

Examination Fees

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in view of the fact that some local education authorities, having paid the fees for the CSE examinations, stipulate that parents may pay the fees for any O level subjects taken, although it is a recommendation of the teacher that it is in the pupils' interest to take both examinations, if he will advise local education authorities to pay for all examination fees, particularly for children of widows whose only income is supplementary benefit.

This is a matter for decision by local education authorities, who would normally be expected to take account of all the relevant circumstances including their general policy on the entry of candidates for two examinations.

Nursery Education

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the expenditure per capita on nursery education in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire for the latest period for which figures are available.

In the financial year 1973–74 the recurrent institutional cost per pupil in the one nursery school maintained by the former Hampshire Local Education Authority was approximately £200. There were no nursery classes in primary schools. A comparable costing is not available for the one nursery class in the area of the former Wiltshire Local Education Authority, where there were no nursery schools. There were no nursery schools or nursery classes in the former Dorset Local Education Authority.

Mary Ward College, Nottingham

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received in regard to the future of Mary Ward College, Nottingham; and if he will make a statement.

The Governors of the Mary Ward College and the Catholic Education Council agreed to my proposal that the Mary Ward College should cease to admit students to initial teacher training and the last were admitted in September 1974. I have had representations about this matter from hon. Members, from the National Union of Students and from individual students at the college. A particular matter of concern has been whether the remaining students should complete their course at Mary Ward or elsewhere. This and other matters related to the run down of teacher training in the college are shortly to be discussed by my Department with the interested parties.

Post-Graduate Students

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many post-graduate students there are currently studying in British universities; what percentage of these is foreign students; and what are their countries of origin.

There are about 47,000 full-time post-graduate students, of whom 33 per cent. are from overseas. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible, listing the country of origin of overseas full-time post-graduates in 1973–74, the latest year for which this information is available.

Raw Material And Commodity Supplies

asked the Prime Minister if he will set out in the Official Report the terms of his recent initiative concerning world raw materials and commodity supplies.

I did so in a speech to the Leeds Branch of the Labour Friends of Israel at Leeds on 9th February, a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House.

Civil Service

Government Advertising

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the membership of the Independent Advisory Committee on Government Advertising; by whom they are appointed; and by what method.

Appointments to the Independent Advisory Committee on Government Advertising are made by Civil Service Department Ministers. The committee is chaired by Sir David Barran, Director of Shell Transport and Trading Company. Other members of the Committee are Mr. W. B. Morrell, Managing Director of Westminster Press Limited; Sir George Pope, Director of Times Newspapers; Mr. Howard Thomas, Chairman of Thames Television, and Mr. Frank Rogers, Chairman, East Midland and Allied Press Limited.Members of the committee are chosen to ensure that the advice of widely experienced commercial users of advertising agencies and of media operators is available to the Government.

Civil Servants

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the number of non-industrial civil servants in the United Kingdom on 1st March 1975 and 1st March 1974.

The number of staff in post on 1st March 1974 was 697,059, of whom 514,659 were non-industrial civil servants.On 1st January 1975, the latest date for which figures are available, the total was 693,921, of whom 517,030 were non-industrials.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the total annual amount paid in salaries to non-industrial civil servants at 1st March 1975 and at 1st March 1974.

Information for these particular dates is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The provision made in Supply Estimate for salaries to be paid to civil servants during the years ended 31st March 1975 and 31st March 1974 amounted to £1,354 million and £1.287 million respectively, of which £1,066 million and £1,006 million was to be paid to non-industrial civil servants.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what steps are currently being taken to reduce the numbers in the industrial Civil Service.

The Civil Service must be staffed to carry out the work which the Government give it to do. Departments exercise stringent control over the numbers of civil servants they employ and regularly have to justify their manpower requirements to the Civil Service Department.

Government Hospitality

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the total cost of Government hospitality for all Departments since 1st March 1974.

The expenditure from the Government Hospitality Fund for all Departments for the period 1st March 1974 to 28th February 1975 is £192,354.27. Expenditure by the Government Hospitality Fund on behalf of Departments for "on repayment" services is £56,954.10 for the same period.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the annual cost to the Exchequer of each of the boards, committees and organisations to which Government Ministers have the power to appoint to the latest available date, and for each of the previous five years.

The information is not readily available and could be compiled only at a disproportionate cost.

Palace Of Westminster

Health And First-Aid

asked the Lord President of the Council what figures are available of the number of accidents and cases of onset of illness occurring in the Palace of Westminster; if he will recommend to the Services Committee that a manned first-aid room be opened; and if he will make a statement.

During the last year 25 accidents and 14 cases of sickness have been reported to the police.As my hon. Friend may know, there is a first-aid room next to the Members' Families' Waiting Room at the northwest corner of the Lower Waiting Hall just off the Central Lobby. All police constables are qualified in first-aid. Certain Members of Parliament who are qualified medical practitioners are, when in the precincts, normally available to help with emergencies. If an ambulance is required an emergency call should be made through the Security Control Centre, Extension 3333, which will also inform the Police Room, giving the location of the casualty. Police will direct the ambulance to the appropriate gate. First-aid boxes are positioned in 18 different locations in the precincts and outbuildings, together with instructions regarding first-aid arrangements.

Eec Membership(Referendum)

asked the Lord President of the Council what is his estimate of the cost to public funds of the forthcoming referendum on the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to my reply of 6th March to the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeet.—[Vol. 887, c. 462.]

North-West Region(Appointments)

asked the Lord President of the Council (1) if he will list in the Official Report the annual budgets of all the boards, committees and organisations to which Government Ministers have the power to appoint in the North-West Region of England for each of the past five years;

  • (2) if he will list in theOfficial Report the names of the people serving on the boards, committees and organisations to which Government Ministers have the power to appoint in the North-West Region of England;
  • (3) if he will list in the Official Report all the boards, committees and organisations to which Government Ministers have the power to appoint in the North-West Region of England;
  • (4) if he will list in the Official Report what emoluments are paid to members of each of the boards, committees and organisations to which Government Ministers have the power to appoint.
  • I have been asked to reply.The information is not readily available and could be compiled only at a disproportionate cost.

    House Of Commons

    Members' Salaries

    asked the Lord President of the Council what would be the present salary scale of an MP on the basis of the percentage increases since 1974 which have been received by permanent secretaries and deputy secretaries in the Civil Service.

    I have been asked to reply.If Members received the same percentage salary increase as Permanent Secretaries since 1st January 1974 their present salary would be £5,140. On the same basis of comparison with Deputy Secretaries their salary would be £5,676.

    Employment

    Pvc Manufacturing

    48.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied that the new code of practice for PVC manufacturing is adequate to protect workers and people living in the vicinity of factories; and if he will make a statement.

    I understand that this code has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive to give early advice on interim hygiene standards which should be applied in the manufacture and polymerisation of vinyl chloride. Representatives of industry, including employees, and of Her Majesty's Alkali and Clean Air Inspectorate were included in the working group which prepared the code. It will be amended as necessary in the light of experience and then be submitted to the commission which, if it approves it, will seek the consent of my right hon. Friend under Section 16 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act.

    School Leavers (Essex)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the numbers and percentage of former Essex schoolchildren still without employment six months after leaving school.

    On 10th February 1975, 46 school leavers, about 025 per cent. of those who left in July 1974, were registered as unemployed in Essex.

    Social Contract

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if it is Her Majesty's Government's policy that, in calculating the increase in pay needed to cover the past increases in the cost of living, negotiations should take into account threshold payments to comply with the social contract.

    The TUC guidelines on pay, which have been welcomed by the Government, include a recommendation to unions to claim compensation for the rise in the cost of living since the last settlement, taking into account that those people covered by threshold arrangements will already have received some compensation for current price increases.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will discuss with the TUC General Council and leading branch and district union officials the degree of support being given to the social contract.

    Average gross weekly earnings (£)Percentage increase in average gross weekly earnings
    1972197319741972–731973–74
    £££Per cent.Per cent.
    Full-time men (aged 21 and over)
    Central South West England33·5038·80Not available15·9Not available
    DorsetNot available44·50 Not available
    Somerset45·70
    Wiltshire45·10
    England and Wales36·9042·0047·9013·913·9
    Great Britain36·7041·9047·7014·113·9
    Full-time women (aged 18 and over)
    Central South West England19·2021·80Not available13·6Not available
    DorsetNot available25·90Not available
    Somerset26·30
    Wiltshire25·60
    England and Wales20·6023·2027·1012·316·9
    Great Britain20·5023·1026·9012·416·8
    The estimates are given to the nearest l0p and are subject to sampling errors.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what were the percentage increases in total household income in the central South-Western region of England in 1973 and 1974; and what were the corresponding figures for (i) England and Wales (ii) the United Kingdom as a whole.

    From the Family Expenditure Survey it is estimated that total household income in the South-West Region was 17 per cent. higher in 1973 than in 1972. For both England and

    My right hon. Friend has had frequent discussions with the TUC and trade union leaders about the operation of the social contract and will continue to do so.

    South-West England

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what were the percentage increases in wages and salaries in the central South-Western region of England in 1973 and 1974; and what were the corresponding figures for (i) England and Wales and (ii) the United Kingdom as a whole.

    The following New Earnings Survey estimates relate to April of each year and to full-time adult employees whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. The new English counties were adopted as standard sub-regions for statistical purposes in 1974 and use of the former central sub-division of the South-West region was discontinued.Wales and the United Kingdom the corresponding increase was 15 per cent. However, this observed difference is within the margin of error to which these estimates are subject and is not necessarily significant.The information for the South-West region is for the area defined before reorganisation in 1974. Estimates of total household income are not available for an area smaller than the South-West region as a whole, nor are they yet available for 1974.

    Textiles

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give details of the total number of textile workers who have lost their jobs since 4th March 1974, expressed as a percentage of the total work force at that date.

    The precise information is not available. However, provisional estimates for Great Britain indicate that the numbers of employees in employment in the textile industries—Order XIII of the Standard Industrial Classification—decreased by 16,600, or 3·1 per cent., between March 1974 and December 1974.

    Filipinos

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications have been made for work permits by persons from the Philippines in the last six months; and how many have been granted.

    The latest figures available are for the six-month period ended 31st December 1974 in which 95 applications for work permits were received in respect of Filipinos and 35 permits were issued. For the same period 20 applications for permission to take employment were received from Filipinos already admitted to this country for purposes other than to work, and permission was given in 19 cases.

    Trade Union Leaders(Ministerial Meetings)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he proposes to meet the general secretary or the executive of any of the railway unions.

    I am always glad to meet the general secretaries and executives of unions, as the occasion arises, but I have no specific proposal for the meeting suggested in this Question at the moment.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he proposes to meet the general secretary or executive of the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunication and Plumbing Union.

    Pembrokeshire

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of registered unemployed in Pembrokeshire in February and March in each year since 1935, together with the percentage rate of unemployment.

    The information is readily available only from 1955 and the following table shows figures at five-yearly intervals from that date:

    NUMBERS UNEMPLOYED AND PERCENTAGE RATES
    UnemployedPer cent.
    February 19555932·6
    March 19556092·7
    February 19608183·3
    March 19606552·6
    February 19651,9257·8
    March 19651,7367·0
    February 19702,2328·1
    March 19702,1667·9
    February 19752,8448·9
    March 1975Not yet available

    Southampton

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many men are on short-time working in the Southampton area at the latest available date.

    In week commencing 3rd March, 2,715 male workers were known to my Department to be working short-time in the Southampton travel-to-work area.

    Tottenham

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the estimated number of unemployed persons registered at the Tottenham, London, offices; what percentage this figure represents; and what are the job classifications of those so registered.

    At 10th February, 1,357 unemployed people were recorded at the Tottenham employment office and the Tottenham and Edmonton careers offices. Rates of unemployment can be calculated only for the whole of Greater London, which is regarded as a single travel-to-work area, and at 10th February the rate was 1·9 per cent. Detailed occupational analyses of the unemployed are normally made in March, June, September and December, but the information for December 1974 is not available owing to industrial action at local offices of the Employment Service Agency.

    Liverpool (Refuse Collection)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will now intervene in the industrial dispute which has resulted in no refuse being collected for over five weeks in Liverpool.

    I understand that the independent Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has arranged a joint meeting for tomorrow—Tuesday 11th March—of the parties to the national agreement which establishes the terms and conditions of all local authority manual workers.

    Merseyside

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many boys under 18 years and how many men between 18 and 25 years are now unemployed on Merseyside; and how this compares with figures month by month since October 1974.

    I regret that the information is not available. Detailed age analyses are normally made in January and July but, owing to industrial action at local offices of the Employment Service Agency, the analysis due in January 1975 was not made.

    Small And Medium-Size Businesses

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons are employed in concerns employing under 500, under 400, under 300, under 200 and under 100 employees, respectively, at the latest date for which figures are available.

    I regret that the information is not available. However, some indication can be derived from the Census of Employment. The reporting units to which the census forms relate do not correspond precisely with firms, owing to the registers on which the census is based. The census units are either complete addresses or, less often, parts of addresses. They are, therefore, more numerous, and on average smaller, than firms which, although frequently consisting of single addresses, can comprise more than one address.

    The information on census units below, which excludes agriculture, relates to June 1973, the latest date for which figures are available:

    Size Range

    No. of employees (Thousands)

    Under 50014,630
    Under 40013,820
    Under 30012,800
    Under 20011,360
    Under 1009,010

    Earnings

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report the value of the lowest decile of male earnings in Wales as a percentage of median earnings for each year since 1970.

    The following estimates are based on the New Earnings Survey. They relate to the gross weekly earnings of full-time male workers aged 21 and over in Wales whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. They are subject to sampling errors.

    Lowest decile earnings as percentages of median earnings
    April 197065·2
    April 197166·6
    April 197265·6
    April 197365·5
    April 197466·6

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report the value of the lowest decile of male earnings in Scotland as a percentage of median earnings for each year since 1970.

    The following estimates are based on the New Earnings Survey. They relate to the gross weekly earnings of full-time male workers aged 21 and over in Scotland whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. They are subject to sampling erors.

    Lowest decile earnings as percentage of median earnings
    April 197063·8
    April 197165·9
    April 197265·1
    April 197364·5
    April 197465·4

    Wages

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the national average of wages of male manual workers in 1970 and at the latest stated date; and what has been the percentage increase before tax.

    The average gross weekly earnings of full-time manual men, aged 21 and over, covered by my Department's regular annual inquiry into the earnings and hours of manual workers in manufacturing and certain other industries* in the United Kingdom, were £28·05 in October 1970 and £48.63 in October 1974. an increase of 73·4 per cent.

    * The industries covered are manufacturing; mining and quarrying, except coal mining; construction; gas; electricity; and water, transport and communication, except railways and sea transport; public administration; and certain miscellaneous services.

    Rent Charges Andground Rents

    50.

    asked the Attorney-General if the Law Commission has completed its inquiries into rent charges and ground rents; and what plans the Government have for legislation on these matters.

    The Law Commission has completed its inquiries into the subject of rent charges and a draft Bill is now being prepared to accompany the report which it expects to submit to my noble Friend before long. The Government can take no decision about legislation until it has considered this report.

    Small Claims (Arbitration)

    55.

    asked the Attorney-General whether he will take action to extend the Manchester Arbitration Scheme for Small Claims to other areas and encourage the financial provision from local authorities for such extensions.

    The Manchester Arbitration Scheme is a voluntary scheme for which the Government have no responsibility. There is a nationwide scheme for dealing with small claims by arbitration in the county court and this scheme has been running very successfully since its introduction in October 1973. In these circumstances my noble Friend could not advise any local authority to provide money for something which could at best simply duplicate the county court system.

    Vehicle And Generalinsurance Company

    asked the Attorney-General when the result of police inquiries into the collapse of the Vehicle and General Insurance Company will be published.

    The Director of Public Prosecutions has received the report of the police inquiries into this matter and is considering, in consultation with counsel, what action should be taken with regard to it.

    Trade

    Shoes (Imports)

    44.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has now had the opportunity to consult with the Come-con countries on cheap shoe importing; and if he will make a statement about the arrangements he is making, or has made, to protect the British shoe industry.

    Consultations with the three countries concerned have not yet been completed, but my right hon. Friend hopes to be able to make a statement shortly.

    Sectarian Movements

    45.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will investigate the financial affairs and commercial activities of the religious cults whose names have been supplied to him.

    No. These concerns are not registered under the Companies Acts and I am not empowered to investigate their affairs.

    " Matsu "(Nuclear-Powered Ship)

    46.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what approaches have been made to him for the nuclear-powered ship the "Matsu" to be received in British ports.

    Aviation Security

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he is now satisfied with the arrangements for security in respect of passengers bound for or returning from airports within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

    Close and continuous attention must be paid to the extent and implementation of all aviation security measures. Particular attention is paid to flights to and from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    Company Liquidations

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many companies in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset have gone into liquidation in each of the last three months; and to what he attributes these liquidations.

    Such information as is available relates only to compulsory liquidations. Winding up orders made either in the High Court or the appropriate county court where the company has its registered office or place of business in Hampshire, Wiltshire or Dorset, for each of the three months to 28th February 1975 are as follows:

    HampshireWiltshireDorset
    December 1974620
    January 1975500
    February 1975510
    1630
    The areas covered by county courts having jurisdiction in bankruptcy and companies winding up do not necessarily coincide with county boundaries. In due course the Official Receivers concerned will report to the appropriate court, and to the creditors and contributories, their views as to the reasons for the failures.

    Exchange Rates (Eec)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will show in the Official Report the exchange rates general prior to, and after, the floating of the pound, with each of the member States of the EEC and in each case compare that change with the adjustments toward the Common External Tariff and its final adjustment in 1977.

    Exchange rates with other EEC member States, excluding Ireland, whose rate is maintained level with the £ sterling, are published monthly in Financial Statistics ", which is available in the House of Commons Library. Tariffs on industrial goods between the United Kingdom and the Six original member States were reduced by 20 per cent. on 1st April 1973, 1st January 1974 and 1st January 1975, and following a further 20 per cent. reduction on 1st January 1976, are due to be removed on 1st July 1977.

    Bankrupt Businesses (Employees'claims)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will amend the law of insolvency so as to give employee's preferential claims priority over those of the Inland Revenue and other Government Departments.

    My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment is considering proposals for expediting and paying in full some part of an employee's claims for remuneration, holiday pay etc. in connection with a proposed Employment Protection Bill. Proposals for other measures concerning employees' preferential rights will be considered when an opportunity for legislation arises.

    Bankruptcy Law

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he proposes to introduce legislation to revise the laws relating to bankruptcy in line with the recommendations of the Blagden Report.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, South (Mr. George) on 24th February 1975.—[Vol. 887, c. 35.]—So far as the Blagden Report is concerned, the hon. Member will be aware that the committee expressed the view that, with the exception of the provisions concerning discharge, the basic structure of the bankruptcy law was generally sound and well suited to its purpose.

    Environment

    Council House Tenants And Owner-Occupiers

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average figure, in pounds per council house, of all subsidies and other benefits granted to council house tenants.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average figure, in pounds per owner-occupied house, of all tax allowances, improvement grants and other benefits granted to owner-occupiers.

    On the basis of the latest available information, the relevant figures for England and Wales in 1973–74 were as follows:

    The average figure of tax allowances, improvement grants and other benefits granted to owner-occupiers, excluding assistance towards rates for which information is not available, was about £65 per owner-occupied house and about £101 per mortgagor. The average subsidy from the Exchequer and Rate Fund contributions per council house was about£105.

    Housing Loans

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many district councils are charging more than 11 per cent, interest rates on mortgage loans for house purchase; and what are the numbers which have increased their interest rates over the past six months.

    Local authorities are not required to notify my Department of their current mortgage rates, or of an intention to alter them.From the information available to me, I understand that 42 housing authorities may now be charging, or intend to charge, a variable mortgage rate above 11 per cent.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider providing finance to local authorities to enable them either to maintain, or reduce, their housing lending rates to 11 per cent., in order to assist the purchase of property by first-time buyers.

    I am very much aware of the problem of high local authority mortgage rates, and I am anxious to find a solution. But I do not regard a Government subsidy as appropriate. First priority in public expenditure on housing must be given to other aspects of housing policy, such as new building, social ownership and improvement.

    Housing (Consumption Of Resources)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will undertake a survey of the proportion of manpower, money and materials devoted to housing in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other industrial countries.

    Following are figures available from various countries of gross fixed capital formation in dwellings, expressed as a proportion of gross national product; but the United Kingdom figure includes less of the capital expenditure on improvement and extension than those for other countries:

    19721973
    United Kingdom3·43·7
    Belgium4·7*
    France6·76·7
    Germany, Federal Republic6·5*
    Ireland5·0*
    Italy5·86·2
    Netherlands6·36·3
    Norway5·3*
    Sweden4·8*
    U.S.A.4·6*
    *Not available.

    Local Authority Mortgages

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with local authorities about mortgage advances for house purchases; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that local authority mortgage interest rates are kept down to a level comparable with building society interest rates.

    Deputations from a number of local authorities have been received at ministerial and official level.This is a very difficult problem and I am still looking for a way through it.

    Housing Stock

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of the total housing stock is local authority housing; what proportion of the total housing stock is owner occupied; what proportion is privately rented, at the latest available date; and what are the equivalent figures for the previous 10 years.

    The estimates are as follows:

    STOCK OF DWELLINGS BY TENURE, GREAT BRITAIN
    At end of yearRented from local authorities or new townsOwner-occupiedPer cent. Privately rented and other tenures
    1963274528
    1964284626
    1965284725
    1966294724
    1967294823
    1968294922
    1969304921
    1970305020
    1971315019
    1972315118
    1973315217
    " Other "tenures probably account for about 5 per cent. of the stock; these include dwellings, in both the public and private sectors, rented with farms or business premises and those occupied by virtue of employment.

    M40 (Extension)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he now expects to publish the preferred route for the extension of the M40 motorway beyond Waterstock.

    My right hon. Friend hopes to announce the preferred route by the late spring.

    A259

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when the A259 route survey will be completed.

    An announcement on the outcome of this study is not expected before 1976.

    A21

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will upgrade the A21 road from a principal road to a trunk road.

    The A21 is one of a number of roads which are being considered for upgrading to trunk status as part of a review of the trunk road network as a whole. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as we are able to take a decision.

    Rent Act 1974

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he now has concerning the working of the Rent Act 1974.

    I have nothing at present to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailing (Mr. Stanley) on 5th February.—[Vol. 885, c. 576.]

    New Towns

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what would be the cost to the Exchequer of transferring assets, and their associated debt, presently owned by the New Towns Commission and development corporations, to local authorities as suggested in the consultative document on New Towns in England and Wales, assuming they were transferred at current market prices.

    The precise information requested on this complex matter is not available. Any cost to the Exchequer upon transfer of new town assets could be a function of outstanding loan debt, assumed capital value and a range of other factors including, for example, housing subsidies, rate support grant and grants under the New Towns Act 1965. If the hon. Member has any points he would like taken into account during the consideration of the basis of transfer perhaps he will let me know.

    Buildings (Safety)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has received a report on building failures from the Structural Action Group; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards the matters contained in it.

    Yes. We are aware of the problems to which the Structural Action Group's report draws attention, and I am sending the hon. Member copies of the Department's correspondence with the chairman of the group about the suggestions they have made.

    Rents

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, following the evidence sent him by the hon. Member for Salford, East, he will consider reimposing rent control on 31st March of private landlords' tenants living in houses or flats lacking a bath, hot water or inside lavatory who became decontrolled under the Housing Finance Act 1972 because the rateable value of their property is over the low ceiling of £35 outside London or £70 inside London stated in the Act.

    Housing Associations (Grants)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has yet determined the manner in which estimated income from a housing association project is to be calculated under the powers conferred on him by Section 29(6) of the Housing Act 1974: and, if so, what his determination is, and when it was promulgated.

    The general arrangements for approval of housing association grant under Section 29 of the Housing Act 1974 were set out in DOE Circular 170/ 74—Welsh Office Circular 274 /74— which explained that a later circular would deal with the procedures for calculation and payment of grant. The manner in which estimated expenditure and estimated income will be calculated for the purposes of grant has now been determined, in accordance with Section 29(6), and proposals have been put to the representative bodies required to be consulted under subsection (8). When these consultations have been completed the further circular will be issued within the next few weeks. Estimated income will be based primarily on the fair rents recoverable or a comparable level where registration of fair rents for the dwelling is not appropriate. The circular will give additional guidance on the circumstances in which other income of the association will be taken into account.

    Bus Fares

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now introduce legislation to abolish the Traffic Commissioners and place the responsibility for bus fare increases with the Price Commission; and if he will make a statement.

    No. In considering applications for fares increases, traffic commissioners are already required to have regard to the Price Code.

    Water Pollution Control

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the projects sponsored by his Department in the field of industrial effluent treatment, giving details of the planned expenditure. location, and progress of each project.

    The Department does not sponsor research into the treatment of industrial effluents as such. The advanced waste water treatment project which the Department is sponsoring will, however, enable the treatment of sewage containing industrial effluent to be studied at two experimental plants. At Coleshill, near Birmingham, the investigation programme will commence shortly. Construction continues on further stages of treatment designed in part to receive industrial wastes. In the plant at Davyhulme, near Manchester, provision has been made for operating on sewage with a high trade waste content, including effluent from a petrochemical complex. £337,000 was spent on the project in 1973–74. The estimated expenditure in 1974–75 is £500,000 and a similar amount is expected to be spent next year. The investigations will go on for several years.

    Waste Paper

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make a further statement on the action he intends to take, towards the implementation of the objectives set out in the Green Paper "War on Waste ", with particular regard to the collection and recycling of waste paper, so far as his departmental responsibilities are concerned;(2) what representations he has received from voluntary organisations about the current situation regarding the collection and recycling of waste paper; and what advice he has given to these organisations about this problem;(3) what advice he has given to local authorities about the current situation regarding the collection and recycling of waste paper; and what representations he has received from local authorities about this problem.

    I have received representations from a number of local authorities and voluntary organisations who are concerned at the recent fall in demand for waste paper, although the medium- and long-term prospects are good.The Green Paper "War on Waste" made it clear that it was not enough to increase the collection of waste paper. We must also increase industry's ability to use the paper that is collected. In particular, we must try to minimise the short-term fluctuations in demand which do much to discourage salvage. An Advisory Group on the Recycling of Waste Paper, under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, is at present working on all these problems.The advisory group is also considering what practical advice we can give to local authorities and voluntary organisations to help them to make paper salvage scheme a success.

    Government Transport

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the cost of all Government transport since 1st March 1974; and how this compares with one year ago;(2) what were the total numbers of Government motor vehicle on 1st March 1975 and on 1st March 1974.

    I regret that it is not possible to provide a year for year comparison in the terms requested by the hon. Gentleman without disproportionate cost. A large number of Government Departments have vehicle fleets of their own, some operational, some for carrying passengers, some in London, some in other parts of the United Kingdom, some for special establishments like the Road Research Laboratory and the Building Research Station.

    Construction Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide further details of his responsibilities for sponsorship of the construction industry following his answer to the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on 26th February.

    My right hon. Friend's sponsorship responsibilities in relation to the construction industry are not statutorily defined. In essence, his concern is to foster the general well-being of the building and civil engineering industries, their associated professions, and the building material industries; and to ensure that their interests are taken into account in the development of policies which may affect them in both a national and an international context.

    Environmental Board (Scotland)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what responsibilities the proposed Environmental Board will have in Scotland;(2) in setting up the Environmental Board, what consultations have taken place, or will take place, with Scottish governmental or other organisations;(3) what Scottish interests will be represented on the Environmental Board.

    The board will not be concerned with environmental matters in Scotland. There will, of course, be close liaison in this general field with my right ho. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales.

    Allotments

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to encourage the use of allotments as a contribution to food import saving.

    I have been asked to reply.I welcome the contribution that allotments can make as part of the Government's policy of putting to good use our own resources of land.I am sure that allotment authorities will continue to make land available for this purpose in accordance with their statutory obligations.

    Agriculture, Fisheriesand Food

    Food Production

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the extent to which the cuts in dairy cow, pig and poultry numbers, quoted in the December farm census, will affect food production.

    No precise estimate is possible. Levels of production depend also on such other factors as yields per cow.

    Rents

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any proposals for protecting tenant farmers who have entered agreements for 100 per cent. rent increases in the belief that the 50 per cent. restriction would continue.

    Units of accountSterling equivalent at 2–4 ua= ·1
    Refunds on sugar (a)51,571,079·0821,487,949·62
    Intervention in respect of sugar
    Denaturing premiums2,715,687·141,131,536·31
    Refunds for use in the chemical industry (b)3,272,140·301,363,391·79
    Reimbursement of storage costs69,994,729·2129,164,470·50
    Public storage (c)-2449,483·97-1,020,618·32
    Other interventions1,967,327·55819,719·81
    Total127,071,479·3152,946,449·71
    This is drawn from page 111/168 of Volume IV of the Draft Community Budget for 1975.
    Notes:
    (a) "Refunds on sugar" relate to export refunds on third country trade.
    (b) "Refunds for use in the chemical industry" relate to aid given in 1973 to encourage the use of Community sugar by the chemical industry.
    (c) The figure for public storage reflects the change in the value of sugar stocks.
    An approximate breakdown of payments to member States in 1973 is given in the Table below:
    Thousand units of accountSterling equivalent at 2·4ua= £1
    Belgium12,4095,170,417
    Denmark6,4642,693,334
    Germany28,19911,749,583
    France56,99023,745,833
    Ireland852355,000
    Italy10,2704,279,167
    Luxembourgnilnil
    Holland7,4013,083,750
    United Kingdom4,4851,868,750

    Beef

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, in view of the recent rise in beef prices, in particular since the export of live animals, he will take steps to ensure that there will be no shortage of beef at favourable prices in the foreseeable future; and if he will make a statement.

    No. This is a matter between landlord and tenant, and I have no power to intervene.

    Sugar

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will show the breakdown of expenditure of £51 million sterling equivalent by the Guarantee Section of the EAGGF in respect of sugar for the year 1973, stating which member States were in receipt of which sums for this year and providing reference for further details of this expenditure.

    A seasonal increase in prices can normally be expected at this time of the year. The extent of the increase in market prices over the last week or two may be largely due to a reaction from the abnormally high marketings over recent months now that producers have a firm assurance of reasonable returns and relief from the winter fodder problems. The export of live animals will have had negligible effect. There are still plenty of cattle on farms and in 1975, as a whole, home-produced beef should be as plentiful as in 1974. The new beef regime introduced on 3rd March will help consumers as well as producers by bringing stability to the market and by continuing to ensure that producers receive reasonable returns for their fat cattle.

    Eggs

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent the equalisation fund payments operated for the benefit of French egg producers affects the competitive position of eggs produced in the United Kingdom; whether he has registered an opinion with the EEC Commission, with the purpose of asking it to fix a countervailing charge

    Units of accountSterling equivalent at 2·4ua = £l
    Refunds on milk and milk products328,096,615·44136,706,923·10
    Intervention in respect of milk and milk products
    Aid to skimmed milk intended for animal feed349,255,854·64145,523,272·76
    Aid to skimmed milk processed into casein57,167,487·7323,819,786·55
    Storage of skimmed milk powder1,195,194·81497,997·84
    Storage of butter and procedures for the reduction of the surplus of butter fats651,749,337·49271,562,223·95
    Food aid from common stocks of skimmed milk powder28,716,813·6911,965,339·04
    Food aid from common butter stocks27,548,000·8011,478,333·67
    Other expenditure
    Aid to butter consumption14,768,390·406,153,496·00
    Total1,458,497,695·00607,707,372·91
    An explanation of each item of expenditure is as follows:Refunds on milk and milk products: these figures relate to export refunds on third country trade.Aid to skimmed milk intended for animal feeding: subsidies are paid on liquid skimmed milk and skimmed milk powder in order to encourage their utilisation in animal feed.Aid to skimmed milk processed into casein: a subsidy is paid on liquid skimmed milk used for the manufacture of casein, taking account of the price of casein imported at the world market price and also the value of liquid skimmed milk under the support arrangements of the Community.Storage of skimmed milk powder: the net losses of intervention agencies on the buying and selling of skimmed milk powder are met by Community funds, and their incidental costs on storage and financing are reimbursed at standard rates.

    under Article 46 of the Treaty of Rome; and, if so, when.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) on 4th March.—[Vol. 887, c. 368.]

    Milk

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will show the breakdown of expenditure of £607 million sterling equivalent by the Guarantee Section of the EAGGF of the EEC for the year 1973 in respect of milk and milk products, briefly explaining its operation or providing a reference to such description.

    :A breakdown of 1973 expenditure is given below:Storage of butter and procedures for the reduction of the surplus of butter fats: the net losses of intervention agencies on the buying and selling of butter are met from Community funds, and their incidental costs on storage and financing are reimbursed at standard rates. There is also a private storage aid to encourage the holding of butter from the summer months to the winter; a social butter subsidy has also been paid to encourage consumption by those receiving social assistance.Food aid from common stocks of skimmed milk powder: the cost of the Community food aid programme—the cost of the powder together with delivery costs—is included here.Food aid from common butter stocks: the costs of the Community food aid programme —the cost of the butter, processing into butter oil and delivery costs—are shown here.Aid to butter consumption: a general consumer subsidy to encourage consumption of butter was introduced, but so far applies only in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

    Fishing Grants

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many vessels are in active use for fishing which fail to qualify for his recently announced grants relating to days spent at sea, solely because they are not sufficiently long; to which parts these vessels are attached; and how many of them at each port have received Government grants for their construction.

    :The purpose of the temporary aid for the fishing industry, as I stated, is to avoid radical contraction of the fleet leading to permanent structural damage. These considerations do not apply to vessels under 40 ft. in length. The figures for vessels at each of the main ports under 40 ft. in length are published in the Sea Fisheries Statistics 1973, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. To extract data as to how many vessels at each main port have received Government grants for their construction would involve disproportionate effort.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Northern Ireland

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to Her Majesty's Government by the Government of Eire about the alleged establishment by the Provisional IRA of a community police force in Northern Ireland.

    China (Hong Kong Representation)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what approaches have been made by the Chinese People's Republic to Her Majesty's Government for diplomatic representation in Hong Kong since 1972; what replies have been given; and if he will make a statement.

    :This was last raised in June 1973 when the Chinese were told by my predecessor that the time was not ripe for a change in the pattern of representation. Her Majesty's Government have received no approach since then.

    Hong Kong

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many incidents were recorded in which individuals were hit by gunshot discharged by the Hong Kong police in the course of their duties for each year from 1970 onwards; and how many of these individuals were subsequently charged with a criminal offence.

    :Since 1970 there have been 217 cases of police opening fire, resulting in 24 deaths and 93 woundings. Information about each incident and the number of individuals subsequently charged is not immediately available, and I shall write to my hon. Friend when it is received from the Governor.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Hong Kong police officers were disciplined under the Police Force Ordinance or charged under the Arms and Ammunition Ordinance, the Offences Against the Person Ordinance or common law in connection with gunshot wounds sustained by individuals as the result of being shot by the police for each year from 1970 onwards.

    :In 1970, none; 1971, none; 1972, one under Offences Against the Persons Ordinance, convicted, and one under common law, acquitted; 1973, one under common law, acquitted; 1974, none.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action has been taken by the Governor of Hong Kong to deal with the complaints sent to him by the Heung Yee Kuk on 22nd February 1974 relating to the treatment of Chinese residents of the New Territories and alleged violations of the Sino-British Treaty on the Leasing of the New Territories on 9th June 1898.

    :A full reply to the Heung Yee Kuk petition of 22nd February 1974 was sent to the Kuk by the acting Colonial Secretary on 19th April 1974.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the total expenditure on immunisation campaigns for polio, cholera, typhoid fever and typhus in Hong Kong for each year for which figures are available from 1970 onwards.

    :Campaigns against polio, diphtheria and measles have been carried out at a total annual staff cost of Hong Kong dollars 1·3 million. No breakdown of this figure is available. Expenditure on polio vaccine has been:

    HK$
    197030,000
    197130,000
    197240,000
    197347,000
    197467,000
    There have been no immunisation campaigns against epidemic typhus and typhoid fever, or since 1971, against cholera. All three types of vaccine are readily available to the public as is poliomyelitis vaccine.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Hong Kong residents hold British passports which entitle them to entry into the United Kingdom; and how many do not.

    :There is little I can add to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) on 8th November 1974—[Vol. 884, c. 256.] The total number of

    Academic Years
    1972–731973–741974–75 Estimated
    ExpenditureHK$mHK$mHK$m
    1. Recurrent14·647·766·6
    2. Capital1·05·214·9
    Total15·652·981·5
    Enrolment(full-time equivalent)2,1732,6903,487

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report figures to show the money spent

    Academic Years
    1970–711971–721972–731973–741974–75 Estimated
    ExpenditureHK$mHK$mHK$mHK$mHK$m
    1. Recurrent33·138·145·754·364·2
    2. Capital29·433·126·813·619·8
    Total62·571·272·567·984·0
    Enrolment2,3932,5532,7463,0663,350

    Hong Kong British passports issued between 1st January 1965 and 31st December 1974 was 255,740.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement of the progress and prospects of the Hong Kong Polytechnic.

    :Since the polytechnic was inaugurated on 1st August 1972 it has expanded rapidly. Approved programmes assume a student enrolment of 7,000 in 1978, eventually rising to 8,000. Evening students at present number about 13,000 and will rise to 20,000 within four years. The Hong Kong Government have accepted in principle capital commitments up to HK$151·4 million for new buildings.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the money spent and the number of students enrolled year by year over the past five years at the Hong Kong Polytechnic.

    :The Hong Kong Polytechnic was inaugurated on 1st August 1972. Figures for the money spent and the number of students enrolled since then are as follows:and the number of students enrolled year by year over the past five years at the Hong Kong Chinese University.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report figures to show the money spent

    Academic Years
    1970–711971–721972–731973–741974–75 Estimated
    ExpenditureHK$mHK$mHK$mHK$mHK$m
    1. Recurrent47·955·565·582·393·1
    2. Capital6·918·715·35·22·0
    Total54·874·280·887·595·1
    Enrolment2,8322,9963,1973,2863,954
    Note: The capital expenditure recorded above refers to Government projects only.

    Mexico

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the state of relations between the United Kingdom and Mexico.

    :Relations between the United Kingdom and Mexico have been developing very satisfactorily in recent years, as was evident during Her Majesty The Queen's recent State Visit to Mexico, where she received a very warm and enthusiastic welcome from both the Mexican Government and people. It is Her Majesty's Government's hope that the fruitful partnership that has grown up between the United Kingdom and Mexico will lead to an even greater exchange of people, ideas and trade.

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration he has now given to the question of the sovereignty and constitutional future of the Falkland Islands; what representations he has received from other countries on this matter; and what replies he has sent.

    Her Majesty's Government have no doubt as to their sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. There have been exchanges from time to time with the Argentine Government about the future of the Falkland Islands. The nature of such exchanges is, of course, confidential. The findings of the Falkland Islands Select Committee on constitutional reform and the number of students enrolled year by year over the, past five years at the Hong Kong University.