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Written Answers

Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 12 March 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 12th March 1975

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Singapore

12.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to pay an official visit to Singapore.

European Security And Co-Operation

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he intends to take in preparation for the summit conference on European security and co-operation.

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs if he will make a statement on the steps now taken in preparation for the summit conference on European security and co-operation.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House on 18th January, we believe it would be right to hold the final stage of the CSCE at summit level provided that a settlement can be reached on a limited number of outstanding issues.

Passports

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will amend the wording of Section 7 of the passport application form B so that anyone who has been resident at the same address for five years can countersign passport applications.

It would be undesirable to amend the existing rules pending the completion of the present review of passport procedures.

Departmental Staff (Property Rights)

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice is given to officials in his Department in connection with the letting of their homes in the United Kingdom during periods of service abroad.

Staff who let their houses during service abroad are advised to give notice to tenants as appropriate under the Rent Acts that they retain the right to regain possession on return to this country. They are also advised to consult a solicitor in drawing up the tenancy agreement.

Mr Kenneth Mcintosh

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to the Rhodesian régime and the Portuguese authorities concerning the case of Mr. Kenneth McIntosh ; and if he will make a statement.

We have asked the Portuguese Government for an explanation of the circumstances in which Mr. McIntosh was returned to Rhodesia on 22nd February. They have told us that an inquiry is being made, and have assured us in the meantime that Mr. McIntosh's return was not in line with their policy.

Anglo-Soviet Relations

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, following his visit to Moscow and talks with the Russian leaders, whether further action is proposed to improve British-Soviet relations.

I have instructed Her Majesty's Ambassador in Moscow to put wide-ranging proposals to the Soviet authorities on how the recent visit to the Soviet Union of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and myself might be followed up in ways beneficial to the further improvement of Anglo-Soviet relations.

Cambodia

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the present state of relations with Cambodia.

Her Majesty's Government maintain an embassy in Phnom Penh and have diplomatic relations with the present Khmer Government, as we have had with their predecessors since independence.

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise in the United Nations as a threat to world peace the current civil war in Cambodia.

The situation in Cambodia is serious, and those British subjects who wished to leave were evacuated yesterday, while the Embassy remains on a greatly reduced basis. But I do not think that it would help if the matter were raised at the United Nations. The Khmer Government said that they would negotiate unconditionally for a cease-fire and a political settlement, but this has been rejected.

Nuclear Generation

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will actively encourage the establishment of a supranational authority capable of effectively guiding and supervising the development of nuclear generation.

Since 1957 the International Atomic Energy Agency has been charged with the function of encouraging and assisting research on, and development and practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world. I see no need for an additional authority.

Gibraltar

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Spanish Government about the future constitutional status of Gibraltar.

There have been no talks about Gibraltar with the Spanish Government since May 1974.

Nuclear-Powered Ship "Matsu "

30.

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

Middle East

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to pay an official visit to the Middle East.

East Germany

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations between Great Britain and East Germany.

We recognised the GDR in December 1972 and established diplomatic relations in February 1973. A 10-year Economic Co-operation Agreement was signed in December 1973 and a Road Haulage Agreement in November 1974. There have also been negotiations on a consular convention, cultural relations and outstanding financial and property questions.

Brunei

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his talks with His Highness the Sultan of Brunei.

My right hon. Friend met the Sultan of Brunei on 25th February. My right hon. and noble Friend has since conducted talks with the Sultan. These have now been adjourned while both sides study certain questions further.

Germany (Air Routes)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the USSR and East German authorities about increasing the permitted maximum altitude at which civil aircraft, using the three air corridors from West Germany to Berlin, may fly.

We have not had any discussions on Berlin air services with either the Soviet or the East German authorities. There is no legal limitation on the height at which British civilian or military aircraft may fly while in the corridors.

Napalm Bombs

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in view of the use of napalm bombs in the Middle, East, Indo-China and Ethiopia, and the suffering they cause, he will initiate moves for the use of napalm bombs and napalm to be banned internationally under the Geneva Convention.

As I said on 20th February in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) Her Majesty's Government want the international community to make practical progress towards effective controls on napalm and other "weapons which may cause unnecessary suffering or have indiscriminate effects ". We sent a strong team to the Conference of Government Experts held at Lucerne last October on this subject. We are playing a full part in the current discussions, which cover napalm and other incendiaries, in the Ad Hoc Committee of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict in Geneva.

European Economic Community

Commonwealth Countries

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received during the past 12 months from Commonwealth countries regarding British membership of the EEC.

The Commonwealth countries naturally regard the question of British membership as one which we must decide for ourselves and there have been no official representations on the matter.

Efta Countries

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with those EFTA countries which did not enter the Common Market in 1972 about the present attitude to British membership.

57.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commowealth Renegotiation Affairs what discussions he has had with those EFTA countries which did not enter the Common Market in 1972 about their present attitude to British membership.

We have had no formal discussions on this. But the Governments of the EFTA countries are, of course, aware of the reasons for our renegotiation and for our decision to submit the outcome to the British people.

Renegotiation

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied that the renegotiation of the terms on which the United Kingdom entered the EEC has ensured adequate Government freedom to pursue the economic and regional policies of their choice.

The communication which the Commission have addressed to the Council on the co-ordination of regional aids is acceptable to Her Majesty's Government, subject to debate in Parliament and to the decision of the Government on the outcome of renegotiation as a whole. We have encountered no specific problem in the pursuit of our broad economic policies.

55.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied with the current state of negotiations with the EEC countries.

I would ask my hon. Friend to await the statement that my right hon. Friend will make later this afternoon.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is now able to make a statement on the progress of the renegotiation of the terms of Great Britain's membership of the EEC.

I would refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend's statement on the Dublin meeting of EEC Heads of Government.

Council Of Ministers

47.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the provisional agenda for the next meeting of the Council of Ministers.

:The next meeting of the Council is on 18th March. It will be attended by Finance Ministers. In additional to a general examination of the economic situation in the Community, including consideration of the revised draft economic policy guidelines for 1975, Ministers are expected to discuss a draft regulation amending the statutes of the European Monetary Co-operation Fund. They will also consider the Community's units of account.

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made to the provisional agenda of the Council of Ministers since his last statement.

The agendas of the meetings of the Council so far this month have closely followed the forecast of business deposited in the House. The main additions have been outstanding renegotiation issues discussed by the Foreign Affairs Council and my right hon. Friend's statement to the Council on certain problems relating to the steel industry. The Development Council is likely additionally to discuss the harmonisation and co-ordination of members' aid programmes and the allocation of the second tranche of the Community contribution to the UN emergency measures.

Brussels

50.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to pay an official visit to Brussels.

I propose to visit Brussels for a Council of Ministers meeting on 5th-6th May.

Regional Development Grants

52.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the regional development grants will be affected by the agreement reached on financial aid from the EEC's Regional Development Fund.

The Regional Development Fund will not affect the arrangements for paying regional development grants in this country. We expect regional development grants to qualify for Fund assistance.

Agricultural Attaches

53.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discontinue his Department's policy of discouraging agricultural attaches in EEC countries from accepting engagements to speak to farming audiences in Great Britain.

No. The officials concerned are fully occupied with their duties overseas which are primarily to advise the ambassador and report to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on agricultural and food developments in the countries in which they serve and to explain our polices in those countries.

British Membership

54.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has yet completed an assessment of the effects on Great Britain of withdrawal from the Common Market.

56.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the latest conclusions of his review of the consequences of a British withdrawal from the EEC.

As my right hon. Friend the Minister of State told my hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Marquand) on 29th January—[Vol. 885, c. 391.]—the implications of the United Kingdom's continued membership of or withdrawal from the EEC are kept under review.

Wales

58.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made in the EEC renegotiations for Wales to have direct access to the EEC Council of Ministers, following the establishment of a Welsh Assembly.

In discussions in the EEC Council of Ministers Her Majesty's Ministers take full account of the interests of all parts of the United Kingdom.

Cyprus

59.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the European Economic Community's policy towards Cyprus.

The EEC Association Agreement with the Republic of Cyprus (Cmnd 5694) entered into force on 1st June 1973. This Association Agreement provides for free trade between the Community and Cyprus for a large number of products. The agreement also provides for the gradual introduction of a customs union.

APPRENTICE TRAINING IN SCOTLAND 1970–74
Number of Young People completing Training Periods in the years ended
Industrial Training Beard31stDecember197431stDecember197331stDecember197231stDecember197131stDecember1970
Agricultural13521513010679See Note 1
Air TransportNilNilNilNilNil
Carpet7103510
Ceramics15ISN/AN/AN/A
Chemical17*13*10*10*10*
ClothingN/A35434829See Note 2
Construction1,6971,8122,0312,1111,992
CottonN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
DistributiveN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engineering1,5701,8222,1012,5072,646See Note 3
Food/DrinkN/AN/A99*113*99*See Note 2
FootwearN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
FoundryN/A44605215See Note 2
FurnitureN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Hotel and Catering16916813986105See Note 4
Iron and Steel128120130160202
KnittingNilNilNilNilNil
Man-made fibre35NilNilNil
PaperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Petroleum911141511
PrintingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ASee Note 5
Road Transport750800800850800
Rubber and Plastics311107NilSee Note 2
Shipbuilding575*516*570*514*579See Note 2
Wool, Jute and Flax80*83*83*84*115*
Notes:
1. A revised apprentice training scheme introduced in 1974 lays down higher qualifying standards. A new procedure for the award of Craftsman Certificates has resulted in some administrative delays in their issue by the end of the year.
2. The figures are for academic years ending on 31st August.
3. Number of First year certificates issued.
4. Plus 43 award scheme trainees in 1973 and 26 in 1972.
5. It is estimated that between 175 and 185 young people completed apprenticeships in each of the five years 1970 to 1974.
N.A.=Figures are not available.
* Estimated figures.

Employment

Apprentices (Scotland)

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

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 11th February 1975 Vol. 886, c. 83], gave the following information:I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that as much of the information requested as is available is given in the following table.

Professional And Executive Register

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many men and women aged 50 years or over are registered with the Professional and Executive Register ; what percentage they form of the total registered ; and how the figures compare with those for earlier years.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that on 1st November 1974, the date of the latest age analysis, 10,876 persons aged 50 and over forming 16 per cent. of the total were registered with Professional and Executive Recruitment. Comparable figures for 1970–1973 are as follows :

Men and Women aged 50 and overPercentage of total register
197311,41519·9
197210,07015·1
19718,55914·8
19707,27315·5

Building Trades

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many building trade workers are unemployed in Wales at present ; and how this position compares with the 1974 figures.

The numbers unemployed in Wales who last worked in construction were 12,646 in February 1975 and 10,569 in February 1974.

School Leavers

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate of the number of young people in Wales who have not obtained a first job after leaving school.

North Sea Oil

60.

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the progress of North Sea oil participation negotiations.

Negotiations are continuing on the basis outlined in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) on 19th February.—[Vol. 886, c. 1338.]

Overseas Development

Teachers Of English

asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) how many teachers of English have been sent abroad to developing countries in each of the years 1964, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974 ; and, from international sources available to her, how these figures compare with teachers of French sent to developing countries by France in the same years ;(2) to which developing countries were teachers of English sent in each of the years 1964, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 ; and how many were sent to each country.

The numbers of people engaged during the years in question in teaching in developing countries—including volunteers serving under the auspices of the British Volunteer Programme—who were wholly or partially financed from British aid funds, were as follows :

19642,673
19707,491
19717,253
19727,392
19736,878
1974Not yet available
They served in more than 120 countries. I will send my hon. Friend a detailed list.I regret that our statistics do not readily show how many of these teach English. Many teachers teach more than one subject of which one may often be English. However, the numbers engaged on my behalf by the British Council specifically for teaching English were :
1964 29
1970206
1971234
1972190
1973197
1974197
Statistics issued by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD show the following numbers of French teachers serving in developing countries. It is not known how many were teachers in French.
196427,017
197024,777
197123,645
197222,367
197321,735
1974Not available

Overseas Students

asked the Minister of Overseas Development to what extent she affords financial assistance to students from developing countries who attend United Kingdom technical colleges.

Awards to students who are assisted under the aid programme normally cover the cost of air fares, tuition fees, maintenance and other allowances. During 1973, 14,970 overseas students and trainees were assisted under the aid programme at a cost of £10·663 million. They attended courses at different levels of training in all types of higher and further education institutions, including universities, polytechnics, technical colleges and colleges of education, and courses and attachments with industry, business, and research establishments. I regret that a breakdown giving the number who attended technical colleges only is not available.

World Food Council

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what commitments have been received by the World Food Council towards the food aid target of £10 million ; and what decision has been taken by the EEC in this connection.

The World Food Council will be holding its inaugural meeting on 23rd to 27th June. I expect donors to make their intentions known then. The EEC has not yet decided what response it should make to the World Food Conference resolution.

Home Department

Prisoners (Access To Members Of Parliament)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will review his Department's decision to deny prisoners the right to see their Members of Parliament in private in the light of the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights.

Chileans

64.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications are pending for the acceptance of Chilean refugees into the United Kingdom.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which 1 gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hands-worth (Mr. Lee) on 24th February. [Vol. 887, c. 5.]

Advisory Council On The Penal System

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now in a position to announce the reappointment of the Advisory Council on the Penal System and its membership.

Yes. I have reappointed the Advisory Council with the following membership:

  • The Rt. Hon. Sir Kenneth Younger, KBE (Chairman).
  • Professor Sir Arthur Armitage.
  • Mr. A. Bainton, CBE.
  • Mr. Louis Blom-Cooper, QC.
  • Mr. A. Goodson, QPM.
  • Mr. Derek Gladwin.
  • Mr. Milton Hargreaves.
  • His Honour Judge Hines, QC.
  • The Rt. Hon. the Earl Jellicoe, DSO, MC.
  • Mr. R. J. Lowry, QC.
  • The Lady Rothschild, MBE.
  • Mr. Hugh Sanders, OBE.
  • Dr. Peter Scott, CBE.
  • The Baroness Scrota of Hampstead.
  • Mr. W. R. Stirling.
  • Professor Nigel Walker.
  • The Hon. Mr. Justice Waller, OBE.
  • The Baroness Wootton of Abinger.

Drug Offences

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of convictions for each of the past five years for each category of drug offences.

I regret that, because of changes in legislation, the information is the form requested is not immediately available. I am having some figures prepared and will send them to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Incitement To Disaffection

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the working of Sections 1 and 2 of the Incitement to Disaffection Act ; and if he will make a statement.

The law on treason and related offences is under review by the Law Commission, and the Incitement to Disaffection Act 1934 falls within this remit. I shall consider whether any changes in the law are desirable when I have the commission's report.

Conspiracy Law

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to complete his departmental review of the conspiracy laws ; and if he will make a statement.

I have nothing at present to add to the reply I gave on 6th February to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer). —[Vol. 885, c. 614–5.]

Dogs (Smoking Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ascertain through his inspectors what happens to the dogs when they have served their purpose in the cigarette smoke inhalation experiment being conducted by ICI.

At the conclusion of the period of smoking the dogs will be painlessly killed and post-mortem examinations performed.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for how many days and how long each day, both on average, the dogs now being used in the experiment by ICI are forced to inhale tobacco smoke.

Those dogs which smoke tobacco, new smoking material or a mixture of the two, do so for up to five hours a day on five days a week.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many beagle dogs are likely to be used in the ICI experiment in which they are forced to inhale tobacco smoke.

There are 48 dogs involved in the experiment. They are divided into four groups of 12 each. One group is inhaling the smoke of the new smoking material which it is the object of the experiment to test, one the smoke of tobacco, one a mixture of new smoking material and tobacco, and one is not smoking.

Television Licences (Deaf Persons)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to reduce the television licence fee for deaf people.

We have no plans for concessionary television licences to deaf people.

Television (Republic Of Ireland)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis and to what extent the Government of the Irish Republic are being asked to contribute to the revenue of the BBC if they are permitted to proceed with their policy of rebroadcasting BBCI throughout the Republic by 1976.

If negotiations for the rebroadcasting of a BBC television channel in the Irish Republic are successful a contribution to the revenue of the BBC will be involved. The basis for and size of the contribution are matters for negotiation.

Burial Formalities (Border Area)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in order to reduce the difficulties caused to bereaved families in border areas, he will bring forward proposals to abolish or simplify the procedure under which a coroner's warrant must be obtained before a body can be removed from England to Scotland.

The procedure for removing bodies from the jurisdiction of English law is the same wherever the body is going. It could not be altered without legislation, and this would primarily be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services. If the hon. Member will let me know of any special difficulties that have been encountered in particular cases my right hon. Friend and I will consider them.

Maintenance And Affiliation Orders

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made for variations in maintenance and affiliation orders in the magistrates' courts for each year since 1965 ; and how many of these applications were from women in receipt of supplementary benefit.

Urban Aid Programme

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he proposes to continue the urban aid programme for an indefinite period.

The Urban Programme is naturally kept under review, but I have no present intention of making changes in its operation.

Repatriation

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) adults and (b) children have been repatriated under Section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971 ; and what has been the average cost to the Exchequer of the repatriation of (a) the adults and (b) the children.

I regret that information distinguishing between adults and children is not readily available. By the end of 1974, 144 families comprising 491 individuals had been assisted to leave the country under this scheme, at an average cost to the Exchequer of around £654 a family.

Hampshire County Constabulary

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the establishment of the Hampshire County Constabulary ; and to what extent it is up to strength.

On 31st January 1975 the authorised establishment was 2,845 and the strength was 2,658.

Civil Service

Industrial Civil Servants

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement indicating the current rates of pay received by industrial civil servants at present involved in industrial action ; and what increases in pay these civil servants have received since July 1974.

Their pay for a 40-hour week ranges from £40·20 for non-craft employees to £47·41 for craftsmen. This includes basic pay, threshold payments totalling £4·40, London weighting of £7·85 and productivity bonus ranging from £3 for non-craft employees to £4·75 for craftsmen. As will be appreciated, earnings with overtime are generally well in excess of these figures.Since July 1974 they have all had increases in pay totalling £8·29, made up of threshold payments totalling £2·40 and an increase in London weighting of £5·89 which was backdated to 1st April 1974. A few have also had increases in bonus of £1·50 for non-craft employees and £2·50 for craftsmen resulting from the introduction of a new productivity scheme.

Scotland

Schools (Shetland)

63.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many extra classrooms can be provided in Shetland with a grant of £9,000 for school building.

This is a partial allocation intended for minor improvements. Zetland Education Authority has been informed that it will be increased if as a result of North Sea oil-related developments a need for extra accommodation emerges beyond that for which provision has already been made in the current year.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many classrooms he estimates can be built for the £9,000 allocated to Shetland for school building in the year 1974–75.

The sum of £9,000 is a partial allocation for 1975–76 intended for minor improvements. Zetland Education Authority has been informed that it will be increased if as a result of North Sea oil-related developments a need for extra accommodation emerges beyond that for which provision has already been made in the current year.

Caravan Sites

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many "occupiers of land" in Scotland have been convicted of an offence under Section 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 ; and what is the average fine for a first offence and a second or subsequent offence, respectively ;(2) how many "occupiers of land" in Scotland have been found guilty of an offence under Section 9 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 ; what is the average fine on the first and the second and subsequent offences, respectively ; and in how many instances the convicted person has had his site licence revoked under Section 9(2) ;(3) how many site licence holders in Scotland have been convicted under Section 11 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 ; and what is the average fine.

Information is not available for the years before 1971. Over the period 1971–73, 11 people were convicted of an offence under Section 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 for a first offence. Two persons were admonished and eight were fined an average of £23. The one person dealt with for a second or subsequent offence under the Act was fined £20. Under Section 9 of the Act, 11 people were convicted over the period 1971–73. One person was admonished and seven were fined an average of £28·50 ; three people were fined an average of £65 for a second or subsequent offence. No site licences were revoked under Section 9(2) of the Act. There were no convictions over the period 1971·73 under Section 11 of the Act. Information is not yet available for the year 1974.

Crofting

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends to introduce a Crofters Bill in this Session.

Housing Management Diploma

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the colleges in Scotland which provide courses leading to the Diploma of the Institute of Housing Managers.

Courses attended on a day-release basis and leading to the Diploma in Housing Management are offered at Napier College of Commerce and Technology, Edinburgh, and the Glasgow College of Building and Printing.

Social Work Cases

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish the case load ratio of clients to social workers in each local authority social services department in Scotland.

Environment

M54

61.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the need to cut public expenditure, he will review his 1974 decision to go ahead with the construction of the M54 ; and if he will make a statement.

This road is included in the first stage of the proposed network of routes for heavy lorries and accordingly the intention is to proceed with its construction as soon as possible.

Water Supplies (Northumbria)

62.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much water, in mgl, is currently being supplied by : (a) Tees Valley and Cleveland Water Board, (b) Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company to the Tyneside area, (c) Tynemouth Corporation Waterworks, (d) Sunderland and South Shields Water Company. (e) Durham County Water Board, (f) Hartlepools Water Company, (g) Darlington Corporation Waterworks, and (h) direct abstraction for industry, respectively ; what are the present estimates in mg1 of demand for water in 1981, 1991 and 2001 by (a) to (h) above ; and when it is expected that the Tyne-Tees transfer works, including the tunnel, will be completed and ready for use.

Following is the information supplied by the Northumbrian Water Authority about present and expected future water consumption in its area. I understand that the aqueducts connecting the rivers Tyne, Wear and Tees are expected to be in operation during 1980.

The following table shows, in million litres per day, average daily consumption in each of the Northumbrian Water Authority's water supply areas with fore-

Area

1974 Consumption Mld1981 Forecast Demand Mld1991 Forecast Demand Mld2001 Forecast Demand Mld
Former Tees Valley and Cleveland Water Board411743868909
Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company213*234*261*292*
Former Tynemouth Corporation49678094
Sunderland and South Shields Water Company125150172195
Former Durham County Water Board103122135150
Hartlepools Water Company57697681
Former Darlington Corporation28323436
9861,4171,6261,757
Direct Abstraction by Industry (Tyne, Wear and Tees area)91†115161304
1,5321,7872,061

* The whole of the water company's area of supply.

† 1973 figure.

Rents (London)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total cost to the ratepayers of the Government policy of permitting the freezing of rents in the London area.

This information is not available. The effect of the rent freeze on local authority housing has varied from authority to authority according to the state of the housing revenue accounts. But for most authorities 80 per cent. of any shortfall in the housing revenue account in 1974–75 has been met by housing subsidies, and the whole of the remainder has been taken into account in the rate support grant settlement for this year.

Waste Materials (Pipeline Transport)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what work has been done by his Department on the use of pneumatic pipelines for the transmission of waste by capsules.

Work has been sponsored by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory into the technical feasibility of transporting waste materials in pneumatic pipeline systems. A working party set up by the four county councils in the Yorkshire and Humberside area, on which my Department is repre- casts of demand in 1981, 1991 and 2001 ; the actual and forecast future direct abstraction for industry :seated, has commissioned a specialist study of pipeline transport.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether a major pipeline is envisaged for the transmission of colliery spoil and flash from Yorkshire to the Humber estuary.

The possibility of a pipeline, together with its possible size and route, is one of several means of transporting solid wastes now being investigated by a working group representing waste disposal authorities in the Yorkshire and Humberside Region.

Pigeons

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to amend the Public Health Act so as to give occupants of privately owned accommodation protection against nuisance caused by pigeons, similar to the protection enjoyed by some council tenants under local authority regulations.

No. Local authorities already have powers under the Public Health Acts to deal with nuisance caused either by the keeping of pigeons or by wild pigeons.

Sport And Recreation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish his White Paper on sport and recreation.

District Heating

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now seek powers to make mandatory the installation of district heating in new local authority building schemes.

No, but in the right circumstances, generally where demand is substantial and concentrated, district heating is worth while and I shall encourage it.

Gipsies

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on Government policy on the provision of gipsy caravan sites.

The provision of gipsy sites is, by law, the responsibility of the local authorities. The Government believe that the many problems arising from unauthorised camping can only be solved by providing enough official sites and our policy is to give authorities all possible advice and assistance in carrying out that responsibility. My Department has recently appointed an advisory officer for that purpose.

Unfit Houses

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many classified unfit houses there are still waiting to be cleared in the North-West Region of England.

GREAT BRITAIN
£ million
1973–741974–751975–76
Central Government subsidies398·8640·6713·7
Rate fund contributions126·0182·9199·4
Rent rebates and allowances210·9253·6291·2
Total subsidies735·71,077·11,204·3

Vehicle Licensing

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what further progress is proposed in the centralisation of vehicle licensing ; and if he will make a statement.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies I gave him on Wednesday 4th December 1974.—[Vol. 882, c. 523–4, 536 and 7.)

Housing Subsidies

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what levels of local authority housing rents have been assumed in the latest Public Expenditure White Paper (Command Paper No. 5879) estimates for the gross total of subsidies for the years 1975 to 1979.

For 1975–76 the estimates assume that average unrebated weekly rents in England are 45p per week higher than in 1974–75. For 1976–77 and later years the estimates assume broadly that rents remain constant in real terms, for given standards of accommodation.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the size of the special element of subsidy to provide relief to rents after the rent freeze of 1974–75, as referred to on page 71 of Command Paper No. 5879.

Entitlement to this element of housing subsidy payable for 1975–76 is estimated at £33 million.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a breakdown of the total figures given for subsidies in 1973–74, 1974–75 and 1975–76 on page 71 of Command Paper No. 5879.

The figures are broken down as follows:with registration marks including the suffix L, M or N—and on the road before 1st October 1974—will start to be transferred to the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Centre at Swansea. The record for each vehicle will be transferred when the licence is renewed. This process will be automatic, and owners need take no special steps.

Vehicles first registered since 1st October last are already dealt with by the centre. Eventually it will be responsible for all vehicles ; announcements about the transfer of further groups will be made later.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Registration Of Finns

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection how many additional firms registered with the Price Commission under the requirement to do so by 1st March.

Education And Science

Youth Services

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he will make publicly available the report of the inquiry into the youth services which his predecessor commissioned from Professor John Eggleston.

The Department met the cost of the research but does not normally itself arrange publication in such cases. Approval has now been given for the report to be published in full ; publication of a synopsis was approved last November.

Overseas Students

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to increase the number of places made available at United Kingdom technical colleges for students from developing countries.

The choice of which students to admit must remain at the discretion of the colleges and their maintaining authorities, but I am, of course, very keen to see technical colleges making an important contribution in this field.

Medical Students

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the minimum requirements in O and A levels, and their equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which students from the United Kingdom need before they can be accepted as medical students in the United Kingdom.

Admissions are a matter for the institution concerned, but applicants must satisfy both the general entry requirements of the university and the special requirements of the medical faculty or school. These vary, but full details are given in "A Compendium of University Entrance Requirements for First Degree Courses in the United Kingdom 1975–76 ", a copy of which is in the Library.

Mary Ward College, Nottingham

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he intends to close the Mary Ward College of Education, Keyworth, Nottingham ; and. if so, why.

The Governors of the Mary Ward College of Education and the Catholic Education Council agreed to my proposal that the college should cease to admit students to initial teacher training under the arrangements described in my Department's Circular No. 7/73. The last intake of such students was accepted in September 1974.

Northern Ireland

Detainees (Legal Representation)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the total cost to public funds of legal representation of internees and detainees appearing before the Commissioners at the Maze and Magilligan Prisons.

The total cost to public funds of legal representation of persons whose cases came before the Commissioners and the Detention Appeal Tribunal at the Maze up to 7th March 1975 was £245,500. Cases have not been heard at Magilligan Prison.

Terrorist Damage (Compensation)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will seek to amend the law in respect of compensation in Northern Ireland so that the calculation of awards by the courts does not differ significantly between members of the security forces and civilians.

I am reviewing the operation of the Criminal Injuries to Persons (Compensation) Act (Northern Ireland) 1968. All claims under the Act are determined by the courts, which make no distinction between members of the security forces and civilians, either as victims or as dependants.The Act, however, does require the courts, in calculating their award, to take into account certain statutory and other benefits payable to the claimant. This may lead to significant differences in awards but not in total benefit received.

Rates

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to publicise the regional rate for 1975–76.

An order made by the Department of Finance striking the regional rate for 1975–76 was laid before Parliament on 23rd January. The following steps have been or will be taken to draw attention to the striking of the regional rate:(1) the order was placed on sale to the general public at Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Belfast on 17th January 1975 ;(2) the Department issued an explanatory statement about the striking of the regional rate to the media through the Northern Ireland Government's Press and Information Office on 4th February ;(3) the Department also wrote to the clerks of all district councils on 10th February giving background information about the striking of the regional rate ;(4) the Department will advertise details of the regional rate and district rates in local newspapers in the near future ;(5) an informal and explanatory article will appear in the next issue of the Ulster Commentary ;(6) in addition, a brief explanatory leaflet will be included with rate demand notices, which are expected to be issued some time in April.

Weapon Thefts

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of the legally held weapons stolen during the current troubles were stolen from members of the security forces and from other persons, respectively.

During the years 1971 to 1974 inclusive, 24 per cent. and 76 per cent. respectively.

Trade

Textiles

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give consideration to changing the present procedure regarding allegations made about dumping in respect of textiles, to a system which would mean that if, prima facie, a case had been made out by an interested party in the United Kingdom the onus of disproving such a charge would be on the agent or country supplying the textiles ; and if he will make a statement.

I have given considerable thought to this question and I believe that a change in the present practice would have damaging implications for our trade.We already have the power to impose provisional charges to anti-dumping duties if, on the facts then available, dumping appears to be taking place. But so far as substantive duties are concerned it would be improper to impose them under the legislation if we did not ourselves carry out a thorough investigation.In any case, where GATT countries are involved we have to be satisfied that there is actual or threatened material injury, and for this more than the evidence of the exporter is necessary.

Footwear (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many footwear manufacturers are importing ready-made uppers from Italy to be lasted in Great Britain ; and if he will publish the number of imports in the Official Report.

The number of manufacturers importing uppers is not given in the overseas trade statistics, but total imports from Italy in 1974 are shown as follows:

KilogramsDozen Pairs
Assemblies of uppers affixed to inner soles or to the sole components, but without outer soles7,210*
Boot and shoe uppers * Not available.5,2484,189

Regional Airport Authorities

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what plans he has for regional airport authorities, and in particular for a regional airport authority for the South West of England.

I shall be prepared to consider any proposals for regional airport authorities. Following the abandonment of the Maplin airport project special consideration is being given to the future role of regional airports.I am also awaiting the advice of the Civil Aviation Authority on its studies of regional airports, including those in South West England.

British Airways (German Routes)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what discussions he has had with British Airways about their proposals to rationalise the route structure within West Germany ; and whether he has discussed the proposals with officials of the West German Government and the Berlin city authorities.

I have for some time been concerned about the economics of the internal German services and have expressed my anxiety that they should be put on a viable basis. I have therefore been encouraging British Airways to work out schemes in consultation with Pan American, the other operator chiefly concerned, for the further rationalisation of services on these routes.British Airways have been in touch with my Department about the progress of their discussions with Pan American. When a scheme for rationalisation which is acceptable to Her Majesty's Government and the United States Government has been worked out, the matter will be discussed with the French authorities. As soon as the three Allied Governments have fully considered the matter, the various German interests concerned will be consulted through the appropriate channels.

Cars

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many passenger cars, by value and in number, were exported to and imported front the present eight other EEC member countries in 1970 and 1974.

Following is the information:

Imports
Number (thousand)Value £ million
197013669·4
1974248244·9
Exports
Number (thousand)Value £ million
197020874·8
197415985·1
These figures exclude parts supplied for use in manufacture abroad ; however, such parts for passenger cars are not separately distinguished from parts for commercial vehicles.

Airport Freight Charges

asked the Secretary of State for Trade by how much, above the 58p per tonne proposed for the British Airports Authority's London airports, would its navigational service charge have to be increased in order to achieve a uniform rate for the regional as well as London airports where the national air traffic control service is provided.

The Civil Aviation Authority has estimated that the various rates of charge on aircraft operators for navigation services at the 13 London and regional airports introduced under the Civil Aviation (Navigation Services Charges) (Fifth Amendment) Regulations 1975 (S.I., 1975/122) from 1st March 1975 will yield about £1·85 million more income in 1975–76 than would have accrued to the authority at pre-1st March charging rates.Assuming that instead of the rates prescribed in the regulations there were to be a uniform charging rate of 50p per metric ton for domestic flights and a uniform rate of 68p per metric ton for international flights, applicable at all 13 airports, the authority estimates that approximately the same additional income would accrue to it from charges paid by aircraft operators in 1975–76, leaving the authority with approximately the same overall operating deficit of £3·2 million on the services provided at the 13 airports. A much larger surplus would arise at Heathrow and correspondingly larger deficits among the regional airports compared with the results expected with the charging rates prescribed in the regulations. Such a charging policy would present international complications, would be contrary to the wishes of airlines who pay the majority of charges, particularly international operators, and would weaken effective expenditure control and objective investment appraisals.The same objections would apply if, in order to avoid any overall deficit on the services in 1975–76. a single uniform rate of charge were to be applied to both domestic and international flights at all 13 airports. The authority estimates that the charging rate required in this case would be between 86p and 88p per metric ton.

Waste Paper

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether waste paper is being imported ; and, if so, from what countries.

Small quantities are imported principally from the USA, Belgium and Luxembourg, Netherlands and the Soviet Union.

Timber

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what was the value of timber exports out of Wales during each of the last 10 years ;(2) what was the value of timber imports into Wales during each of the last 10 years.

The information is not available, as the overseas trade statistics are compiled only for the United Kingdom as a whole.

National Finance

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing, for each member State of the EEC, (a) the maximum rate of personal direct taxation on earned income, (b) the level of earnings at which this rate comes into force for a single person and for a married couple with two children under 11 years of age, and (c) the proportion of total revenue accounted for by personal direct taxation.

The following is the information requested :A. The maximum marginal rates of national tax on income from employment are as follows:

Belgium72 per cent, (a)
Denmark39·6 per cent.
France48·6 per cent.
Germany56 per cent.
Ireland80 per cent, (b)
Italy82 per cent.
Luxembourg57 per cent.
Netherlands71 per cent.
United Kingdom83 per cent.
(

a) 60 per cent. plus two 10 per cent. surcharges. The maximum effective (average) rate is 50 per cent. excluding the two surcharges.

( b) A reduction to 70 per cent. is proposed in the 1975 Finance Bill in view of the introduction of a wealth tax.

Notes:

1. Local income taxes and social security contributions are not included in the rates shown.

2. In some of the countries concerned, the rates applying to earned income from self-employment differ from those shown above.

B. The levels of earnings at which the above rates come into force are as follows:

Single Person

Married Man with 2 children under 11

££
Belgium49,20049,000
Denmark7,0207,020
France14,20041,400
Germany23,70047,100
Ireland8,850 (b)9,550 (c)
Italy327,900327,900
Luxembourg8,70017,130
Netherlands25,80026,530
United Kingdom20,62621,346(a)

( a) Assumes that the family allowance is relinquished.

( b) This will be raised to £10,925 under the 1975 Finance Bill proposals.

( c) This will be raised to £11,730 under the 1975 Finance Bill proposals.

C. The latest available figures for the proportion of total revenue accounted for by personal direct taxation relate to 1972 and are as follows:

Belgium27·4 per cent.
Denmark48·0 per cent.
France11·1 per cent.
Germany28·1 per cent.
Ireland22·8 per cent.
Italy12·7 per cent.
Luxembourg26·6 per cent.
Netherlands27·9 per cent.
United Kingdom32·1 per cent.

Source: Revenue Statistics of OECD Member Countries 1965–72, Table 13.

Note: In this table, personal direct taxation includes both national and local taxes on earned and investment income and on capital gains; it is shown as a percentage of total central and local government revenue from taxation and social security contributions.

North Sea Oil

65.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax revenues he expects from the North Sea oil during the first five years' operations.

The tax yield will depend on oil prices, costs, and the maintenance of the expected production programme. With that important proviso the tax revenue up to the end of 1980 might be of the order of £2,000 million to £2,500 million. With royalty, the total Government take might be around £4,000 million.

Capital Transfer Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when a father and son are directors of a close company the majority of whose shares are owned by the father and the father gives his shares valued at £200,000 to his son, what capital transfer tax would arise if the tax were paid (a) by the father, and (b) by the son ; and, on the assumption that the funds to pay the tax had been withdrawn net of tax from the company over a 10-year period and represented the only benefit of the person concerned from the company, how much tax would be paid on the sum withdrawn.

If the tax were paid by the father the capital transfer tax arising would be £109,688, and if it were paid by the son, £51,375.The answer to the second part of the Question would depend on a number of variable factors, including the form that the withdrawal took and the personal circumstances of the person concerned. I regret that, in any case, whatever assumptions were made as to these factors, it would take an undue expenditure of time and resources to provide an answer to this part of the Question.

Dividends (Stock)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the proposals that he has announced to tax stock dividends received in lieu of cash will include proposals for the payment of advance corporation tax by the company involved ; and what effect he estimates such proposals will have on company liquidity.

As implied in my reply of 4th March to my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrewshire, West (Mr.Buchan), my proposals will not involve the payment of advance corporation tax.

Gross National Product

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the percentage of capital investment, as a proportion of GNP, of Great Britain, France and Germany from each year from 1955 to 1974.

The following table shows estimates of gross fixed capital formation as a percentage of gross national product at current market prices for the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Figures for 1954 to 1961, shown in the upper part of the table, are derived from the publication "National Accounts of OECD Countries, 1953 to 1969 "and are defined in a slightly different way from those for 1960 to 1973 in the remainder of the table, which have been derived from the Statistical Office of the European Community's publication "National Accounts Aggregates, 1960-1973 ". The extent of the differences in definition is small as shown by the figures on both bases for 1960 and 1961.

Percentages of GNP
United KingdomFranceGermany
195414·416·420·7
195514·917·522·5
195615·117·922·6
195715·619·121·5
195815·418·921·8
195915·720·323·1
196016·320·224·0
196117·121·525·3
196016·319·024·2
196117·220·225·5
196216·820·426·3
196316·420·726·0
196418·022·127·2
196518·023·626·8
196618·023·226·0
196718·523·623·3
196818·723·623·3
196918·324·024·4
197018·224·326·7
197118·024·326·9
197218·324·426·3
197319·524·425·0

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the GNP per capita in 1958 and what is the figure for the latest year for which figures are available of the following countries, namely, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The following table gives estimates of gross national product at current market prices per head of total population. Because of changes to the internationally agreed definition of gross national product it is not possible to

GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT AT CURRENT MARKET PRICES PER HEAD OF TOTAL POPULATION
US$
1958*1960*1960†1973†
United Kingdom1,2501,3801,3703,113
Belgium1,1501,2501,2374,118‡
West Germany1,1001,3101,2875,576
France1,2901,3501,3074,786
Italy6107006912,508
Netherlands8509909704,466
*Derived from "National Accounts of OECD Countries, 1953–69 ", calculated according to the former United Nations System of National Accounts. The United Kindom figures have been updated on the same definition.
† Derived from the EEC publication "National Accounts ESA Aggregates ", calculated according to the European System of Integrated Accounts.
† 1972.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the gross national product, for each year from 1958 to 1974, in billions of current dollars, of the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy ; and what has been the related percentage

GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT AT CURRENT MARKET PRICES
$thousand million
United KingdomWest GermanyFranceItaly
195864·859·2*57·730·3
195968·160·0*55·632·4
196072·166·6*61·535·1
196072·071·459·734·7
196176·881·765·038·7
196280·689·372·643·5
196385·895·181·549·8
196493·2104·290·154·4
1965100·2114·098·058·7
1966106·6121·4105·063·5
1967110·4122·6113·269·9
1968103·9133·7124·175·5
1969110·9152·0135·383·1
1970121·7185·4141·093·0
1971136·0206·8157·3101·1
1972155·9256·3190·9118·2
1973174·4345·6249·5137·7
Average annual per cent, increase, 1958–73†:
In terms of US dollars6·812·010·510·7
In terms of national currency7·89·110·810·2
Sources:
1958–60—" National Accounts of OECD Countries 1953–69 "(OECD).
1960–73—" National Accounts ESA Aggregates "(Statistical Office of the European Community).
* Excluding the Saar and West Berlin.
† Allowing for discontinuities.

provide figures on the same basis for 1958 and 1973. Figures on both bases are also given for 1960 to show the effect of the definitional change. The estimates have been converted to US $ at par values or central rates of exchange, which do not necessarily reflect differences in the internal purchasing power of national currencies.

increase in GNP for the four countries during this period.

The following table gives the information. The figures have been converted from national currencies to United States dollars at par values or central rates of exchange. Figures for 1974 are not yet available.

Value Added Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many persons are employed to check VAT records in total ; of these, how many are visiting inspectors ; and, of the total, how many are women.

About 10,000 staff are employed on all aspects of VAT, of whom about 4,500 make visits to registered traders. There are no staff designated "visiting inspectors ". No record is kept of the number of women engaged on VAT work.

Capital Gains Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of current difficulties experienced by vendors in selling their houses, he will introduce legislation specifically to extend from one year to two years the period for which a person's dwelling is exempt from capital gains tax liability on disposal.

In normal market conditions, and provided a realistic price is being asked, the 12-month rule gives the owner-occupier adequate time in which to sell his house. It is recognised, however, that at present, as a result of the depressed state of the housing market, some owner-occupiers have not been able to sell their house within this period. To meet this temporary situation it has been announced that the Board of Inland Revenue will in appropriate circumstances allow a modest extension of the 12-month period. I do not consider that legislation is required to meet a temporary situation arising out of the current exceptional market conditions. The board's practice should meet any special case such as I understand the hon. Member has in mind.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is yet able to give his estimate of the extent to which the yield from capital gains tax in 1973–74 was derived from profits caused by inflation.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 10th March 1975, Vol. 888, c. 77], gave the following information:I regret that I cannot add to the reply given on 19th February to a related Question by the hon. Member for Value Added Tax Bournemouth, East (Mr. Cordle).

Paye Administration

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the PAYE affairs of only 40 per cent. of the 277 tax districts in London and the South-East are dealt with in the provinces.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 10th March 1975 ; Vol. 888, c. 77], gave the following information:Because the staffing difficulties which have made it necessary to transfer work out of London and the surrounding area have not been experienced to the same degree in the rest of the South-East.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many personnel are employed on the PAYE affairs of London and South-Eastern tax districts which have been transferred to the provinces in each of the provincial towns concerned.

pursuant to his reply [11th March 1975], gave the following information:The figures below show the staff in post at 31st December last employed in each location on the PAYE work transferred from the tax districts listed in answer to the hon. Member's previous Question on this subject.—[Vol. 885, c.

179–80.]:

Bradford205
Crewe39
Exeter25
Gateshead236
Manchester2,463
Plymouth46
Portsmouth242
Sheffield84
Shipley321
Stoke40
Washington172
Edinburgh882
4,755

Finance Bill (Amendments)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the number of amendments to the Finance Bill tabled at Report stage by the Government ; how many were tabled on each day ; and how many represented changes to previous Government amendments.

pursuant to his reply[11th March 1975], gave the following information:One hundred and thirty-seven separate Government amendments to the Finance Bill were tabled at Report stage. In considering this total it should be borne in mind that a large number of these were consequential on other amendments, and that more than one amendment was sometimes required to cover a single point—for example, the deferment of the operative date for CTT from 26th March 1974 to 27th March 1974 alone required 22 separate amendments at Report. Of this total, 11 amendments were tabled on 24th February, 67 on 25th January, 40 on 26th February and six on 27th February. The remaining 13 were put down on or after 27th February. Six amendments altered or extended previous Government amendments.

Taxation (Letter)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to be able to reply to the letter on taxation matters which he received from Mr. J. Bowan of Liverpool which was forwarded to him from the Prime Minister's Office on 29th July 1974.

pursuant to his reply [11th March 1975], gave the following information:My Private Secretary wrote to Mr. Bowan on 28th October 1974 in reply to separate letters addressed to my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Treasury, hopes to reply shortly to the hon. Gentleman's own letter of 28th February to the Prime Minister about Mr. Bowan's tax position.

Maintenance Orders

asked the Attorney-General what is the cost of legal services deployed in obtaining maintenance orders in the magistrates' courts on behalf of women in receipt of supplementary benefit.

I regret that separate statistics as to such cases are not available.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Land Use

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much land has been lost to agriculture in each of the past five years ; and to what uses, such as housing and industrial, it has been put.

The precise information requested is not available, but the following are estimates of land transferred out of agricultural use in England and Wales, excluding land transferred to Forestry Commission and private woodlands. The estimates are based on the agricultural census which is concerned with holdings having significant output.

5–year periodNet Annual Transfer (Acres)
1964–65 to 1968–6942,000
1965–66 to 1969–7046,300
1966–67 to 1970–7149,800
1967–68 to 1971–7262,100
1968–69 to 1972–7366,800†
†The most recent five year period available.
In formation as to the areas of land subject subsequently to particular forms of development is not available.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much agricultural land is owned or leased by local authorities in East Anglia and by State corporations and Ministries throughout the United Kingdom.

Beekeepers

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce a scheme of sugar supplies at reduced rates fcr registered beekeepers.

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Howells) on 21st February.—[Vol. 886, c. 565–6.]

Wine Standards Board

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what report he has received from the Wine Standards Board ; and whether he will make a statement.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) on 4th March—[Vol. 887, c. 367–8.]

Wales

National Water Authority's Budget

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of the capital budget of the Welsh National Water Authority for the financial year 1975–76 is accounted for by interest charges, and what proportion by inflation in the financial year 1974–75.

The authority has stated that approximately 37 per cent. of its estimated revenue expenditure for 1975–76 will be taken up by interest charges on its existing and forward capital programme. An allowance for inflation will take up a further 14 per cent. of its estimated revenue expenditure, excluding interest charges.

Social Services

" Death In Winter "(Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she has yet received the report, "Death in Winter ", written by the Help the Aged organisation ; and in what terms she has replied.

I received the report two days ago and will be writing to Help the Aged when I have considered it. I will send the hon. Member a copy of my letter.

Personal Incomes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what increase in basic wage is necessary for a railwayman Class A, now on a basic weekly wage of £33·40, in order to increase his net weekly spending power, defined as in the Official Report, 15th May 1974, columns 464 to 470, by the same amount as the rate of inflation since his last wage award.

A railwayman who at the date of his last pay award, 29th April 1974, was receiving a basic wage of £29 would then have had a net spending power of £26·46 at current prices. To maintain this so as to take account of the rate of inflation since that date he would require a total wage increase of £7·80, including £4·40 thresholds.NOTES : I. This man is assumed to be married with two children aged 3 and 8.2. Net weekly spending power is defined as earnings plus family allowance plus family income supplement less tax less national insurance plus rent rebate plus rate rebate less rent less rates plus the value of free school meals and welfare milk less work expenses.

3April 1974February 1975
££
Rent4·655·00
Rates1·491·60
Work expenses0·550·65
4. The rate of inflation between April 1974 and February 1975 is assumed to be the same as for the 10-month period February 1974 to December 1974, since the latest available information on the retail price index relates to December 1974.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will compare the net weekly spending power of a face worker coal miner with a wife and two children earning a basic wage of £49·40 after the last pay award with his spending power after the new award, assuming a new wage of £61, after allowing for inflation during the period, and making the same assumption for net weekly spending power as in the reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North on 15th May 1974, c. 468–470.

On 1st March 1974, the date of the last pay award, this man had a basic wage of £45 and a net spending power of £34·96 at current prices. On 1st March 1975 his gross wage is £61 and after allowing for inflation his net spending power has increased by £3·84 to £38·80.NOTES1. This man is assumed to have children aged 3 and 8.2. Net spending power is defined in the answer to the previous Question.3. The rate of inflation between March 1974 and March 1975 is assumed to be the same as that between December 1973 and December 1974, since December 1974 is the latest available date for the retail price index.

4.February 1974February 1975
££
Rent4·575·00
Rates1·461·60
Expenses0·520·65

Pension Abatement (Hospital Patients)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost to the National Insurance Fund of abolishing the rule which abates retirement pensions of persons in hospital, including reductions in respect of dependants in hospital; and how many persons are currently affected by the rule.

At the rates of benefit due to come into force in April this would cost about £35 million a year in respect of about 100,000 persons at any one time ; but there would probably be consequential effects on other benefits which also are adjusted during periods of free inpatient treatment in hospital.

Community Homes