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Written Answers

Volume 889: debated on Monday 7 April 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 7th April 1975

House Of Commons

European Community Documents (Debates)

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list in the Official Report the numbers and titles of the 35 EEC documents so far debated in the House, the dates when they were debated, and groupings and maximum time available, the actual time of commencement and end of each debate, the terms of Government motions, any amendments on the Order Paper and the decision of the House.

:The information is given in the attached table.Date of Debate: 3rd July 1974.Title:EEC—ECONOMIC POLICY.Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1253 74, R/1474/74 and COM(74)696 …"

Period of Debate: 8.18 p.m.-10.0 p.m.

Time Available: Second half of Supply Day from Opposition.

Amendments on Order Paper:

  • Mr. Douglas Jay.
  • Mr. Nigel Spearing.
  • Mr. Ray Fletcher.
  • Mr. Frank Allaun.
  • Mr. Dennis Skinner.
  • Mr. Roy Hughes.

Line 1, leave out from House' to end and add declines to approve Commission Documents Nos. R/1253/74, R/1474/74 and COM (74) 696 since these draft decisions require the United Kingdom to pursue policies that: "may in certain cases endanger full employment" increase "the number of workers likely to be forced to change their jobs" and requires the United Kingdom to maintain interest rates at a "a level appreciably higher than those prevailing on the international money markets"; thus prejudicing the retention by Parliament of those powers over the British economy needed to pursue effective regional, industrial, fiscal and full employment policies'.

Decision:

Division—Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission documents.

Date of Debate: 3rd July 1974.

Title:

EEG—REGIONAL POLICY.

Government Motion:

"That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/2055/73 and R/2474/73".

Period of Debate: 10.10 p.m.-11.30 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Amendments on Order Paper:

  • Mr. Douglas Jay.
  • Mr. Nigel Spearing.
  • Mr. Frank Allaun.

Line 1, leave out from 'House' to end and add 'declines to approve Commission Documents Nos. R/2055/73, since its objective is to correct only those structural and regional imbalances that might effect the realisation of Economic and Monetary Union: and declines to approve Community Document R/2474/73 since it removes from the United Kingdom Parliament power not only to determine the nature of assistance from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund and European Regional Development Fund, but also the power to determine which areas shall be so assisted, despite substantial contributions to these funds from United Kingdom taxpayers

Decision:

Division—Whereupon Mr. Deputy Speaker declared that the Question was not decided in the affirmative because it was not supported by the majority prescribed by Standing Order No. 31 (Majority for Closure).

Date of Debate: 11th November 1974.

Title:

SUGAR SUPPLIES

Government Motion:

"That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1900/73 and R/1957/ 74."

Period of Debate: 8.39 p.m. to 11.25 p.m.

Time available: 2 hrs. 50 mins.

Amendments on Order Paper:

  • Mr Nigel Spearing
  • Mr. Norman Buchan
  • Mr. Frank Hooley
  • Mr. Douglas Jay
  • Mr. John Mendelson

Line 1, leave out from 'Commission' to end and add 'Document No. R/1900/73 but declines to approve Commission Document R/1957/74 as it makes no provision either for continuing imports, at fair and stable prices, of at least 1·4 million tons of cane sugar from Commonwealth countries, or for the continued existence of and employment in the port sugar refining industry in the United Kingdom, or for securing long term supplies of domestically refined cane sugar at a fair price to consumer producer'.

Decision:

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Document R/1900/73, but declines to approve Commission Document R/1957/74 as it makes no provision either for continuing imports, at fair and stable prices, of at least 1·4 million tons of cane sugar from Commonwealth countries, or for the continued existence of and employment in the port sugar refining industry in the United Kingdom, or for securing long term supplies of domestically refined cane sugar as a fair price to consumer and producer.

Date of Debate: 25th November 1974.

Title:

EEC—AEROSOLS, FRUIT JUICES AND COSMETIC PRODUCTS

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/834/73, Com (69)71, R/2222/72 and R/2579/73."

Period of Debate: 10.16 p.m. to 11.37 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission documents.

Date of Debate: 28th November 1974.

Title:

EEC—CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY ROAD.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/ 1255/74."

Period of Debate: 8.47 a.m. to 9.40 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission document.

Date of Debate: 28th November 1974.

Title:

EEC—PREPACKED PRODUCTS.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. Com(72)202 and R/2628/73."

Period of Debate: 9.43 a.m. to 10.25 a.m.

Time Available: 1½hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. Com(72)202 and R/2628/73.

Date of Debate: 3rd December 1974.

Title:

EEC—ENERGY POLICY.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/l472/74 and R/127/74."

Period of Debate: 10.15 p.m. to 11.45 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Amendments on Order Paper:

  • Mr. Douglas Jay
  • Mr. Nigel Spearing
  • Mr. Neil Kinnock
  • Mr. Max Madden
  • Mr. Norman Buchan
  • Mr. Guy Barnett
  • Mr. J. Enoch Powell

Line 1, leave out from 'House' to end and add 'declines to approve Commission Documents R/1472/74 and R/127/74 as the former would, according to the Secretary of State for Energy, have "policy implications regarding United Kingdom sovereignty over its indigenous energy resources"; and because these Regulations would remove from this House the power to determine the future energy policy of the United Kingdom'.

Decision:

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, the debate stood adjourned. Debate to be resumed tomorrow. (Debate Adjourned).

Date of Debate: 11th December 1974.

Title:

EEC—COLLECTIVE DISMISSALS.

Government Motion:

"… That this House approves Commission Document No. R/2976/73."

Period of Debate: 12.32 a.m.—2.18 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Amendments on Order Paper:

  • Mr. Bryan Gould
  • Mr. Max Madden
  • Mr. Douglas Jay
  • Mrs. Audrey Wise
  • Mr. Nigel Spearing.

Line 1, leave out from Horse' to end and add "while approving the objectives of Commission Document No. R/2976/73, considers that it can only be noted since its contents are subject to amendment by documents not before this House'.

Decision:

Amendment agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House, while approving the objectives of Commission Document No. R/2976/73, considers that it can only be noted since its contents are subject to amendment by documents not before this House.

Date of Debate: 17th December 1974.

Title:

EEC — COMMUNITY LOANS—DOCUMENT R/2712/74.

Government Motion:

Motion made and Question proposed,"… That this House do now adjourn."

Period of Debate: 10.52 p.m.—12.22 a.m.

Time Available:1½hours.

Decision:

It being one and half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion, the Motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without question put.

Date of Debate: 19th December 1974.

Title:

DEVELOPMENT IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES AND THE DRAFT GENERAL BUDGET.

Documents R/2829/74, R/2155/74,R;2340/74, R/2443/74.*

Government Motion:

".… That this House do now adjourn."

Period of Debate: 7.22 p.m.—12.0 a.m.

Time Available: 4 hours 38 minutes. Supply Day. One of allotment of six days. Rule suspended for two hours.

Decision:

It being twelve o'clock, The Motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without question put.

* These budgetary documents were on the Order Paper together with the White Paper: Developments in the European Communities, March-October 1974 (Cmnd. 5790).

Date of Debate: 16th January 1975 (1).

Title:

EEC—AGRICULTURAL PRICES.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/3358/74, R/3470/74, and R/3408/74."

Period of Debate: 10.15 p.m.—11.45 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Amendments on Order Paper:

  • Mr. Norman Buchan
  • Mr. Douglas Jay
  • Mr. Nigel Spearing
  • Mr. Bryan Gould
  • Mr. David Stoddart
  • Mr. Caerwyn Roderick.

Line 2, at end add but declines to approve proposals for Regulations still subject to possible and unforeseeable alteration by the Council of Ministers before enactment, which would raise even further the price of a number of major foodstuffs, including milk, butter, pigmeat and beef, and which accepts the principle of permanent intervention buying of beef by member states including the United Kingdom'.

Decision:

Whereupon MR. SPEAKER declared that the Question was not decided in the affirmative because it was not supported by the majority prescribed by Standing Order No. 31 (Majority for Closure).

Date of Debate: 16th January 1975 (2).

Title:

EEC—CONSUMER PROTECTION.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/1270/74."

Period of Debate: 11.56 p.m.—1.25 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission document.

Date of Debate: 4th February (1).

Title:

EEC—FARMING AREAS.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/27/75 but declines to approve any restriction on the subsidy payments to pensioners."

Period of Debate: 10.1 p.m.—11.25 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put:—

The House proceeded to a Division.

No Member being willing to act as Teller for the Noes, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER declared that the Ayes had it.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Document R/27/75 but declines to approve any restriction on the subsidy payments to pensioners.

Date of Debate: 4th February 1975 (2).

Title:

EEC—BEEF AND VEAL IMPORTS.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/82/75."

Period of Debate: 11.32 p.m.—12.25 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission document.

Date of Debate: 6th February 1975.

Title:

EEC—DOCTORS AND DENTISTS.

Government Motion:

"… That this House takes note of the draft EEC Directive on doctors and dentists contained in COM(69)127 and R/2610/74 and in particular observes that:
  • (i) The Directives raise important questions of principle which relate to the special circumstances of medical practice in the United Kingdom
  • (ii) the effect of the Directives on the movement of doctors into and out of the National Health Service is not clear."
  • Period of Debate: 10.14 p.m.—11.40 p.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Ordered,

    That this House takes note of the draft EEC Directives on doctors and dentists contained

    in COM(69)127 and R/2610/74 and in particular observes that:

  • (i) The Directives raise important questions of principle which relate to the special circumstances of medical practice in the United Kingdom:
  • (ii) the effect of the Directives on the movement of doctors into and out of the National Health Service is not clear."
  • Date of Debate: 11th February 1975.

    Title:

    EEC—ENERGY POLICY.

    Government Motion:

    "… That this House takes note of EEC Commission documents Nos. R/446/74 and R/3333/74 and the Government's intention, whilst co-operating in the development of a Community energy policy, of ensuring that such a policy is consistent with the aims, of the United Kingdom's domestic energy policy."

    Period of Debate: 4.36 p.m.—9.58 p.m.

    Time Available: 5 hours 22 minutes. Allotted Day (of six days).

    Amendments on Order Paper:

    • Mr. Bryan Gould.
    • Mr. Douglas Jay.
    • Mr. Max Madden.
    • Mr. Nigel Spearing.
    • Mr. Norman Atkinson.
    • Mr. Norman Buchan.

    Line 4, at end add 'but nevertheless believes that, for the time being, no Minister should agree to any proposal that would remove from this House the power to control the energy policy of the United Kingdom, taxation of petroleum products, or use of oil from the North Sea'.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House takes note of EEC Commission Documents Nos. R/446/74 and R/3333/74 and of the Government's intention, whilst co-operating in the development of a Community energy policy, of ensuring that such a policy is consistent with the aims of the United Kingdom's domestic energy policy.

    Date of Debate: 20th February 1975.

    Title:

    EEC—MILK.

    Government Motion:

    "… That this House takes note of Commission documents COM (71) 64 and COM (71) 1012 and of the Government's purpose to secure necessary adjustments to meet United Kingdom requirements."

    Period of Debate: 10.00 p.m.-11,28 p.m.

    Time available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Documents COM(71) 64 and COM(71) 1012 and of the Government's purpose to secure necessary adjustments to meet United Kingdom requirements.

    Date of Debate: 27th February 1975.

    Title:

    EEC—BUDGET CONTRIBUTIONS.

    Government Motion:

    "… That this House takes note of Commission Document R/340/75."

    Period of Debate: 4.15 p.m.-6.54 p.m.

    Time Available: 1 hr. 39 mins.—half of Allotted Day.

    Amendments on Order Paper:

    • Mr. Douglas Jay
    • Mr. Bryan Gould
    • Mr. Nigel Spearing
    • Mr. Max Madden
    • Mr. Brian Sedgemore
    • Mr. Martin Flannery

    Line 1, at end add but observes that these proposals do not fulfil the requirement of new and fairer methods of financing the Community Budget, called for in the Labour Party Manifesto, and urges the Government to secure amended proposals which achieve these objectives'.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Document R/340/75.

    Date of Debate: 27th February 1975.

    Title:

    EEC—REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

    Government Motion:

    "… That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2055/73, taking account of further developments brought to the attention of the House."

    Period of Debate: 6.55 p.m.-7.00 p.m.

    10.10 p.m.-11.28 p.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hrs.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2055/73, taking account of further developments brought to the attention of the House.

    Date of Debate: 12th March 1975.

    Title:

    EUROPEAN MONETARY CO-OPERATION FUND.

    Government Motion:

    "…That this House takes note of Commission Document R/3594/74 and of the Government's intention, while co-operating in the improvement of monetary consultations in the EEC, to question the suitability of the organisational measure proposed."

    Period of Debate: 2.47 a.m.-4.14 a.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hrs.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House takes note of Commission Document R/3594/74 and of the Government's intention, while co-operating in the improvement of monetary consultations in the EEC, to question the suitability of the organisational measures proposed.

    asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list the numbers and titles of those EEC documents which the Scrutiny Committee have recommended for debate and which so far have

    Reference NumbersTitlesRecommended by the Scrutiny Committee on
    R/2746/743Multinational companies in the context of Community regulations.12th June (2nd Report) 1974 Session.
    R/599/74Directive on forestry measures.6th August (10th Report) 1974 Session.
    COM(72)1338Regulation on the tariff treatment applicable to goods obtained by travelers from airport shops or on board aircraft, ships or hovercraft operational between two or more member States.13th August (11th Report) 1974 Session.
    R/684/73Amendments to the proposal for a third Directive on harmonization of provisional laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to turnover tax and excise duty on imports in travel.13th August (11th Report)1974 Session.
    R/1746/73Directive on harmonization of legislation concerning turnover tax; common system of value added tax; uniform basis of assessment.136th August (11th Report)1974 Session and 10th December (3rd Report) 1974–1975 Session.
    R/2268/74
    R/1361/73Directive co-ordinating procedures for the award of public supply contracts.13th August (11th Report) 1974 Session.
    R/2155/74Draft General Budget 1975.26th November (1st Report) 1974–75 Session and 4th March (1st Report) 1974–1975 Session.
    R/2340/74
    R/2443/74
    COM(72)225Harmonisation of Excise Duties and similar taxes.10th December (3rd Report) 1974–75 Session.
    S/1239/74Development Aid.10th December (3rd Report) 1974–75 Session.
    S/1310/74
    R/2195/74Energy for Europe—Research and Development. Radioactive Waste.10th December (3rd Report) 1974–75 Session. and 18th March (14th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/162/75
    R/2193/74Operation of intervention system in fisheries sector10th December (3rd Report)1974–75 Session.
    R/3113/73Lead in Petrol.14th January (6th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/2713/73Air for sea fishing.21st January (7th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    COM(68)567National Taxation System for Commercial Vehicles.28th January (8th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/1617/72Aircraft Industry Policy.28th January (8th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/42/75Amendment to the list in Annex 1 to the Treaty establishing the ECSC.4th March (12th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/1795/72Driving Licence and Roadworthiness Tests.11th March (13th Report) 1974–1975 Session.
    R/1614/74
    R/731/1/75Economic Policy Guidelines.25th March (15th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/1372/73Regional Aids25th March (15th Report) 1974–75 Session.
    R/650/75
    I would add that each report of the Scrutiny Committee does contain a paragraph listing those instruments which have been recommended by the Committee or its predecessors for further consideration by the House, but which at the time of going to print, have not yet received such further consideration.

    Energy

    Oil Refining Capacity

    16.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what increases in United Kingdom oil refining capacity are planned in the next five years.

    :Three new refinery developments amounting to 20 million not been debated, together with respective dates of the request from the Scrutiny Committee.

    :The information is set out in the following table:tons a year gross capacity are the subject of planning inquiries, and construction of a further 6 million ton refinery has already begun. In addition, a number of lesser expansions at existing refineries are expected during the next five years.

    Lighting

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will estimate the percentage of total energy absorbed by public lighting, namely, street and motorway lighting, etc., and domestic lighting;(2) what percentage of total energy is absorbed by lighting for industrial commercial and domestic users.

    :On the basis of estimates made by the Electricity Council, the percentages of total final energy consumption used for lighting in the sector named are approximately as follows:

    SectorPercentage
    Commercial1·0
    Industrial0·3
    Domestic0·3
    Public highways0·1

    Ripple Control

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy when his study on the installation of ripple control commenced: when he expects it to be completed; and if he will make a statement.

    :Studies on various aspects of ripple control have been carried out both within this Department and the electricity supply industry over a number of years. The Electricity Council is now assessing its studies in co-operation with area boards and the Central Electricity Generating Board. This is a complex matter and my right hon. Friend cannot give a firm completion date for the studies.

    Offpeak Electricity Supplies

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations have been made to him concerning his plans to phase out the reduced charges for offpeak electricity for night storage heaters; and whether he will make a statement.

    :My right hon. Friend has received some representations about the Government's decision to withdraw the temporary special rebate on offpeak tariffs. He would like to make it clear that offpeak tariffs will continue to be made available after the withdrawal of this temporary rebate. Offpeak electricity will remain a great deal cheaper than electricity on normal tariffs.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will direct the Electricity Council to withdraw forthwith all advertisements for night storage heaters which refer to reduced electricity charges for such heaters;(2) if he will direct the Electricity Council to purchase storage heaters from persons wishing to sell them and who bought them in response to advertisements promising reduced electricity charges.

    :No. As my right hon. Friend indicated in his reply to the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mrs. Taylor) on 25th March, although the temporary special rebate introduced last year into offpeak tariffs is to be phased out, these tariffs will continue to be available and offpeak electricity will remain a great deal cheaper than electricity on normal tariffs.

    Coal Production

    asked the Secretary of State for energy what are the quantities of coal produced in February and in March 1975 and in the same months of 1973.

    :Details of coal production are published monthly in "Energy Trends". For convenience, the figures requested are given below:

    COAL PRODUCTION
    (Thousand tons)
    19731975
    February11,75410,939
    March14,931Not available
    The figure for March will be published in the

    Official Report in the next few days.

    Electricity Supply (Circuit Breakers)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will introduce legislation to allow electricity boards discretionary powers to provide a minimal amount of electricity by the use of a miniature circuit breaker, to households who have defaulted on payment, in order to reduce hardship and danger.

    :No. The boards maintain close contact with the social security services to help cases of genuine hardship.

    Environment

    Speed Limits

    20.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to be able to announce the removal of the temporary speed limits.

    :The order imposing the present speed limits expires on 30th November. They will be reviewed at that time.

    Community Land Bill

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the Government's proposals in the Community Land Bill that differ from the recommendations of the Dobry Report on Planning.

    :I am not aware of any inconsistencies between the proposals in the Community Land Bill and the recommendations in Mr. Dobry's report.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will invite the Dobry Committee to consider the proposals in the Community Land Bill.

    Planning Applications And Appeals

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) based on 1972 planning applications of 600,000 p.a., what effect upon the number of applications submitted he expects the Community Land Bill will have;(2) based on 18,000 planning appeals in 1973, what increase he anticipates will occur following the implementation of phase one of the Community Land Bill.

    :I would not expect to see a repetition of the scramble to obtain planning permissions that occurred in 1972-73 when land speculation was at its height under the last administration.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is in a position to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Bassetlaw regarding the planning application of Hermanns of East Markham, Newark.

    Tonfannau Camp

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now state what use the Government have for Tonfannau Camp.

    Local Government Employees

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the latest figure available for the total number of persons employed in local authorities; and how this compares with the figures for 1st April 1974.

    :The total number of persons employed by local authorities in England and Wales in mid-June 1974, the latest figure available, was 2,443,000. No figures are available to show the comparative position at 1st April 1974, but the figure for mid-June 1973 was 2,454,000.

    House Prices And Mortgages

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the average dwelling price, average advance and average recorded income of borrower in the case of new mortgages on dwellings for owner occupation in England during each of the last five years.

    :Following are figures relating to dwellings in England mortgaged to building societies during 1970 to 1974:

    Average dwelling priceAverage advanceAverage recorded income of borrowers
    £££
    19705,0073,6101,928
    19715,6914,1342,192
    19727,5295,2682,492
    197310,1756,2622,942
    197411,1916,6253,432

    A433, Didmarton

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what proposals he has to ensure adequate compensation to householders of Didmarton whose houses suffer damage due to traffic vibration consequent upon road alterations now being undertaken on the A433 at Didmarton;(2) what proposals he has to make up the road surface of the A433 within the village of Didmarton; when the work will start; how long it will take; and what it will cost;(3) why roadworks are being undertaken on the A433 at the west end of Didmarton; when they were sanctioned; what they will cost; how long they will take; what steps are being taken to move the speed limit signs; what proposals he has to reduce the speed limit in Didmarton; and whether he will make a statement;(4) what proposals he has for a bypass of Didmarton on the A433; when the work will start; and what it will cost.

    :The A433 through Didmarton is a principal road and the matters referred to arc in the first instance matters for the Gloucester County Council as highway and traffic authority.

    Driving Licences

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will arrange for the removal of the date of birth in its present disguised form from all future licences for the driving of motor vehicles.

    :No. The date of birth is needed to distinguish between drivers of the same name: it is scrambled to make it less obvious to the casual observer.

    Small Businesses (Rates)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is aware of the hardship to small traders caused by the increased level of rate demands; and when is his latest expectation on the receipt of the Layfield Committee Report on Rates.

    :I understand that evidence has already been given to the Layfield Committee about the incidence of rates on small traders. I expect the committee to report at the end of the year.

    St Mary's Hospital, Paddington

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he will not publish the report of his inspector into the decision regarding the rebuilding of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

    :My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has postponed this project and withdrawn the request for planning clearance. As I have already told the hon. Member in my letter of 10th March 1975, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment cannot therefore reach a decision on its planning merits. In these circumstances he is not required to publish his inspector's report and to do so in isolation could be misleading. Any future scheme will require fresh planning clearance.

    Vehicle Testing Licences

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) upon what general criteria he has been prepared to grant Department of the Environment testing licences to garages during the embargo; and in what form those criteria have been made known to garage proprietors or managers;(2) why he is not prepared to grant an interim testing licence, in advance of the lifting of the embargo, to Mr. H. W. Egglestone of Cropston Garage, Station Road, Cropston, Leicestershire, when a licence had been in existence for that garage until September 1972 and Mr. Egglestone was in no way responsible for its withdrawal; whether he will now reconsider his decision; and whether he will make a statement.

    :Since the embargo was imposed new appointments as authorised examiners have generally been made only when a new owner has taken over from an existing authorised examiner or in places where the lack of testing facilities has caused public inconvenience. Every applicant has been informed of the position. The Cropston garage does not fall within either of these categories; but as I have informed the hon. Member, Mr. Egglestone will be able to apply for authorisation when my right hon. Friend reopens the list, which he hopes soon to do.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to be able to complete his decisions on the review of the Department of the Environment vehicle testing scheme, and lift the embargo on new authorisations; and what are the factors which have caused this matter to take so long before reaching a conclusion.

    :In February my right hon. Friend circulated to the garage industry detailed proposals about changes to the MOT testing scheme and asked them to reply by the end of March. Their response is now being examined, and provided no unforeseen difficulty emerges, he hopes to announce an early end to the embargo on appointments of authorised examiners.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment on what date the embargo was placed on garages being admitted to the Department of the Environment vehicle testing scheme; how many applications have been submitted to him since the embargo for admission to the scheme; how many have been refused; and how many have been accepted.

    :The embargo on the appointment of authorised examiners was imposed on 20th September 1971. Since then, about 3,600 applications have been received, of which 18 have been accepted.

    Archaeology

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his consideration of introducing legislation providing for the granting of planning permission for development only on condition that a four-month period is allowed for any archaeological investigation.

    :Legislation to secure opportunities for investigation in advance of development in areas of archaeological importance is under consideration, but it would not necessarily take the form suggested.

    Ordnance Survey Maps

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the possibility of speeding the publication of Ordnance Survey's Second Series 1:25,000 maps which are now appearing at the rate of about 40 sheets a year.

    :There is little I can add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett) on 25th November 1974.—[Vol. 882, c. 84–5.] The production resources available to the Ordnance Survey are limited and faster progress with one series is likely to involve slower progress with others. The Department is hopeful that it may prove possible to make some small improvement in the rate of production of the 1:25,000 series if other work is rescheduled, and it is expected that the Director-General will be able to make a statement to this effect at the annual consultative meetings in November.

    Rate Relief (Cornwall)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has of the loss of rate revenue in Cornwall caused by the practice of giving domestic rate relief on properties used for summer lets.

    :I have no information on which to base an estimate, but the rating authorities concerned may be able to assist the hon. Member. There is little, if any, overall loss to local authority revenues because the cost of domestic rate relief is, in principle, met by the domestic element of the rate support grant.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the operation of the rating system in so far as it gives domestic rate relief to properties used for the commercial purpose known as summer lets.

    :I see no reason at present to alter the present statutory definition of hereditaments which qualify for domestic relief.

    Social Services

    Foster-Parents (Allowances)

    21.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she has received the report of the Working Party on Fostering Practice concerning scales of boarding-out allowance; what recommendations it makes concerning payments to people who foster children who would satisfy the criteria for the attendance allowance; and if she will make a statement.

    :The working party was set up for the purpose of producing a guide on fostering practice. This work has not yet been completed, but the guide should be ready later this year. I have invited the working party to consider the payments made to foster parents but it is up to the working party what, if any, recommendations it decides to make.

    Wheelchairs

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what types and makes of wheelchair are issued by her Department; in what year each was introduced; what plans she has to supply more modern wheelchairs; if she will authorize the immediate supply of the Easiglide Hand where appropriate; and if she will make a statement.

    :All the types of wheelchairs included in the Department's standard range are shown in the Handbook of Wheelchairs, a copy of which I have placed in the Library. They are distinguished from one another by specification not by make, which will depend upon competitive tendering in accordance with usual Government contracting principles. Specifications are updated frequently as necessary.In general, the chairs reflect current design principles and engineering practice and the question of modernisation does not arise. In a few instances, such as the spinal carriage, older materials and production methods are retained because of the functional superiority of the end product. Where a need cannot be met by a chair in the Department's standard range another chair may be provided, and chairs in the Easiglide range are exceptionally provided under this arrangement.

    Concessionary Fares

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is her estimate of the value to retirement pensioners whose mobility is not restricted by disability of free and concessionary travel; if she will examine ways of making equal provision for those who are unable to use public transport; and if she will make a statement.

    :No estimate can be made of the individual benefit, but the estimated overall cost in 1975/76 of concessionary fares schemes is about £35 million. I see no practicable way of making equal provision for those who are unable to use public transport.

    Heating Allowances

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will take steps to increase the level of heating allowances in view of the increased electricity charges.

    :The supplementary benefit scale rates which cover all normal requirements including heating, are being increased as from this week. The levels of the discretionary additions which are payable where extra expenditure on heating is necessary are being reviewed by the Supplementary Benefits Commission.

    Fluoridation

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up an independent inquiry into the effect of the fluoridation of water supplies.

    :There have already been a number of authoritative inquiries giving a clear assessment of the benefit to be derived from the fluoridation of public water suppplies and I do not propose to set up another inquiry on this matter at this time. The fluoridation of water supplies is, however, likely to be one of the subjects dealt with in a consultative document on preventive health measures which the Government are preparing for issue later this year.

    Hospital Travelling Expenses (Leaflet)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is in a position to report the result of her consideration of the leaflet "Help with Travelling Expenses for Patients and Visitors", of which she informed the House on 7th May 1974.

    :References to help with hospital travelling expenses have now been included in many leaflets available at social security offices including "Help for Handicapped People" (HB1); those which explain entitlement to supplementary benefits (SB1 and SL8), and family income supplement (FIS1) and remission of various NHS charges (F11, PC11 and W11). Some of these are also available at post offices. As part of a comprehensive and continuing review of social security leaflets references to hospital fares are also now being included wherever appropriate. I also hope to revise the content and improve distribution arrangements for the leaflet "Help with Travelling Expenses to Hospitals for Patients and Visitors" when it is next reprinted.

    Dried Milk

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action her Department is taking to eliminate the shortage of dried milk baby food at health clinics in the West Midlands.

    :Action has already been taken to increase supplies of National Dried Milk to health clinics throughout the United Kingdom and the position should start to improve from the beginning of April. However it will, of necessity, be some time before stocks in storage depots and clinics are sufficient to meet all demands.

    Hospital Pay Beds

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will give details of the increases in capital and

    CHARGES FOR PRIVATE PATIENTS FROM 1ST APRIL 1975
    Daily charge for private resident patients who have not made arrangements under Section 1(2) for private treatment (i.e. where patient does not pay fee for consultant's or doctor's service)Daily charge Jar private resident patients who have made arrangements under Section 1(2) for private treatment (i.e. where. patient pays fee to consultant or doctor)
    Class according to classification dated March 1974Single roomOther Accommodation (i.e. shared by two or more patients)Single roomOther Accommodation
    ££££
    Class A Long-Stay hospitals (other than hospitals in Classes D and E)15·50 (10·20)14·10 (9·40)14·80 (9·80)13·40 (8·90)
    Class B Psychiatric hospitals (other than hospitals in Classes D and E)9·80 (6·60)8·90 (6·00)9·30 (6·30)8·50 (5·70)
    Class C Acute and other hospitals (other than hospitals in Classes D and E)28·00 (18·50)25·50 (16·90)26·80 (17·70)24·30 (16·10)
    Class D London teaching hospitals (as at 31st March1974)39·30 (26·30)35·90 (24·10)37·10 (24·70)33·70 (22·50)
    Class E Provincial teaching hospitals and University hospitals (as at 31st March1974)33·00 (22·10)30·20 (20·20)31·20 (20·80)28·30 (18·90)
    NOTE: 1974–75 charges in brackets.

    One-Parent Families

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of the children who were taken into care by local authorities in 1974 came from single-parent families. current expenditure costs on which the increased charges for NHS pay beds are based

    :Since pay bed charges were determined for 1974–75 current costs have risen by about 43 per cent. because of increases in pay of NHS staff of about 50 per cent. and increases in the prices of goods and services of about 23 per cent. The remainder of the increases in charges represents additional funds being provided for improvements in health services in 1975–76 and an increase in the contribution to capital costs in hospitals other than long-stay hospitals from £10·50 to £16·00 a week.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the charges for NHS pay beds from 1st April 1975 and what increases these represent over the charges in 1974–75.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if she will list all the persons and organisations which have made representations to her in support of the implementation of each of the several recommendations of the Finer Committee on Single Parent Families;(2) if she will list all the persons and organisations which have made representations to her arguing against the implementation of each of the several recommendations of the Finer Committee on One Parent Families.Mr. O'Malley,

    pursuant to his reply [ Official Report, 20th March 1975; Vol. 888, c. 509], gave the following information:

    Since the Finer Report was published this Department has received about 1,000 letters on the position of one-parent families about one quarter of which were received with a covering letter from a Member of this House or of another place. Nearly all have been in favour of additional support for this group; only 10 specifically opposed any improvements. Less than 200 of the letters, however, referred even in general terms to the Finer Report itself and fewer still to specific recommendations. It is not practicable to list all the individuals concerned, but the organisations which have made representations are listed below. All of these were in favour of implementation of the report as a whole or of the guaranteed maintenance allowance in particular, though some had reservations on the means-testing aspect. Where other recommendations were specifically supported the recommendation number is listed against the organisation's name.

    • Finer Joint Action Committee: * Recommendations 4–25, 118, 120–124, 126, 127, 197–211.
    • National Council for One-Parent Families: Recommendations 121, 126.
    • Gingerbread (local groups): Recommendations 118, 120–126, 157, 197–211.
    • TUC: Recommendations 126, 197–211.
    • Women's National Commission.
    • National Council of Women of Great Britain: Recommendations 4–25, 121, 126.
    • British Association of Social Workers (including local branches): Recommendations 118, 120–214.
    • Post Office Engineering Union: Recommendations 126, 127.
    • Blackburn and District One-Parent Family Association.
    • Mother's Union: Recommendations 4–25, 118–127.
    • The Family Welfare Association.
    • Progressive League: Recommendation 126.
    • Rossedale and District One-parent Family Association: Recommendation 121.
    • Single Parent Association (Leicester): Recommendations 197–213.
    • London Borough of Greenwich.
    • Minus One (Blackpool).
    • Radical Alternatives to Prison (Bristol Group).
    • Islington People's Rights.
    • Coventry Probation and Aftercare Voluntary Associates.
    • Edmonton Labour Party.
    • Southport Constituency Labour Party.
    • Norwich Labour Party and Industrial Council.
    • Tottenham Constituency Labour Party.
    • Sutton, Carshalton Constituency Labour Party, Women's Section.

    * The members of the Finer Joint Action Committee are: Association of Directors of Social Services, British Association of Settlements, British Association of Social Workers-British Union of Family Organisations, Catholic Housing Aid Society, Child Poverty Action Group, Divorce Law Reform Union, Family Welfare Association, Family Service Units, Fawcett Society, Gingerbread, Mothers in Action, National Association of Mental Health, National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders. National Association of Mental Health, National Association of Widows. National Council for Divorced and Separated, National Council for One-Parent Families, Parents Without Partners, Scottish Council for Single Parents, Women's Aid.

    Benefits

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many means-tested benefits are now available; and how many different qualifying schemes there are.

    pursuant to his reply[Official Report, 20th March 1975; Vol. c. 506], circulated the following information:The benefits involved are listed below.

    Administered by or on behalf of central Government Departments and Agencies

  • 1.Suplementary benefit.
  • 2.Family income supplement.
  • 3.Free welfare milk and foods.
  • Relief from National Health Service charges:

  • 4.Optical and dental charges.
  • 5.Charges for prescriptions.
  • 6.Wigs and fabric supports.
  • 7.Patients' hospital travelling expenses.
  • 8.Legal aid (civil).
  • 9.Legal advice and assistance.
  • 10.Legal aid (criminal) administered by the Courts.
  • 11.Grants to severely disabled people—to assist with excessive costs of fares to work or to set up in business or own account when this appears to provide the only satisfactory means of resettlement.
  • 12.Professional training scheme for disabled people.
  • 13.Awards for students taking certain postgraduate courses.
  • 14.Remission of direct grant school tuition fees.
  • Administered by Local Authorities.

    A. Statutory Assessments.

  • 1. Rent rebates and allowances.
  • 2. Rate rebates.
  • 3. Free school meals.
  • 4. Accommodation under Part III of the National Assistance Act 1948.
  • 5. Awards for students on first degree and comparable courses (administered centrally in Scotland).
  • B. Discretionary Assessments.

    Educational benefits:

  • 6. Awards for students on courses of further education other than those under A5 above. In Scotland the student allowances scheme is administered by the Scottish Education Department.
  • 7. Provision of clothing.
  • 8. Grants towards the cost of distinctive clothing.
  • 9. Educational maintenance allowances (higher school bursaries in Scotland).
  • 10. Boarding education allowances in Scotland the central bursaries scheme, administered by the Scottish Education Department, makes allowances to pupils who have no residential qualification for a grant from a local authority.
  • 11. Independent day school fees.
  • 12. Remission of further and adult education course fees.
  • Other benefits and services:

  • 13. Services for children in care.
  • 14. Residential accommodation for mothers and babies.
  • 15. Day care facilities for children.
  • 16. Residential accommodation for adults mentally disordered.
  • 17. Meals in centres for the mentally disordered, elderly or handicapped.
  • 18. Meals on wheels.
  • 19. Recreational and day care facilities and occupational centres for the elderly or handicapped.
  • 20. Personal aids and equipment for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 21. Adaptation of houses for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 22. Telephones for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 23. Television for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 24. Home help and laundry facilities.
  • 25. Holidays.
  • 26. Aids for daily living.
  • England and Wales

  • 27. Assistance in kind to prevent children being taken into care.
  • 28. Assistance in cash to prevent children being taken into care.
  • Scotland only

  • 29. Local authority social work assistance in kind where greater expense would otherwise be incurred.
  • 30. Local authority social work assistance in cash where greater expense would otherwise be incurred.
  • Each of the 14 centrally assessed benefits has its own qualifying scheme—i.e., its own test of income. The same is true of the five statutory schemes administered by local authorities, except that as these authorities have a limited discretion to vary the provisions of the rent and rate rebate and rent allowance schemes it is not possible to give the number of slightly differing schemes for these benefits. Several benefits in these two groups are covered by "passport" arrangements whereby entitlement to one benefit makes the recipient exempt from means tests for a number of other benefits.

    It is not possible to state the number of qualifying schemes for benefits administered by local authorities where the income scale is at their discretion. The list of these benefits given above should be taken only as a general guide and not a complete and authoritative statement. Some of the items listed, e.g. No. 25, cover more than one scheme.

    Employment

    Fireworks Factories

    22.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many visits have been made by Her Majesty's Inspector of Explosives to firework factories during the last 12 months to the latest available date.

    :I am informed by the Health and Safety Commission that Her Majesty's Inspectors of Explosives made 19 visits to fireworks factories during the calendar year 1974.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give details of the fireworks factories visited by Her Majesty's Inspector of Explosives during the past 12 months to the latest available date.

    :The information relates to fireworks as ordinarily so called, that is shop goods and display fireworks, and not to other kinds of pyrotechnics such as fumigant devices and distress flares, and is limited to the factories that make such fireworks.I am informed by the Health and Safety Commission that during 1974 Her Majesty's Inspectors of Explosives visited 11 factories employing a total of about 2,500 people. There are three other factories of this kind, but these are small and will be visited in due course. As a result of these visits manufacturers were in some cases required to make modifications to their operating procedures, and repeat inspections were carried out to ensure compliance. There were two prosecutions for failure to comply with the terms of licence, both successful.

    Building Trades (London)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will list in the Official Report the most recent figures on the numbers of unemployed by category of skill in the building trades in the Greater London area;

    Unemployed and notified unfilled vacancies in Construction in Greater London at March 1975: MalesUnemployedNotified Unfilled Vacancies
    Site and other managers, agents and clerks of works, general foremen (building and civil engineering)11821
    Carpenters and joiners (construction sites and maintenance)638136
    Labourers and mates to woodworking craftsmen7
    Maintenance fitters (non-electrical) plant and industrial machinery6327
    Electricians (installation and maintenance) premises and ships20865
    Cable jointers and linesmen6
    Plumbers, pipe fitters21978
    Heating and ventilating engineering fitters5528
    Gas fitters395
    Steel erectors99
    Scaffolders/stagers834
    Steel benders, bar benders and fixers784
    Painters and decorators1,77576
    Bricklayers26049
    Fixer/walling masons7
    Plasterers15624
    Floor and wall tilers, terrazzo workers292
    Roofers and slaters9612
    Glaziers209
    Asphalt and bitumen road surfacers26
    Other roadmen48
    Concrete erectors/assemblers9
    Concrete levellers/screeders32
    General builders13031
    Mains and service layers and pipe jointers (gas, water, drainage, oil)359
    Craftsmen's mates and other builders' labourers not identified elsewhere2,016125
    Civil engineering labourers22
    Mechanical plant drivers/operators (earth moving and civil engineering)575
    Crane drivers/operators781
    Fork lift and other mechanical truck drivers/operators535
    All other occupations, including general labourers4,681631
    Total, all occupations11,1431347

    Collective Agreements

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment which collective agreements he proposes to refer to the (2) if he will list in the Official Report the most recent figures of vacancies by category of skill in the building trades in the Greater London area.

    :Following is the information available. The statistics of the numbers unemployed relate to males who last worked in the construction industry and are registered at employment offices. The corresponding unfilled vacancy statistics relate only to vacancies notified to employment offices and are not a measure of total vacancies. The figures do not include the unemployed registered at or vacancies notified to careers offices.Industrial Arbitration Board for advice under the Equal Pay Act.

    :In accordance with the Secretary of State's powers under Section 10 of the Equal Pay Act I have arranged today for the agreements for the following industries to be referred to the Industrial Arbitration Board for advice on the amendments needing to be made, as mentioned in Section 3 of the Equal Pay Act, so as to remove discrimination between men and women: baking, Scotland; glove manufacture; wool textiles, Scotland.

    Retail Price Index

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the increase in the retail price index between March 1974 and the latest convenient date.

    :The increase in the retail prices index between March 1974 and February 1975, the latest date for which information is available, has been 18.8 per cent.

    Scotland

    Glasgow

    23.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to pay an official visit to Glasgow.

    :My right hon. Friend is undertaking an official engagement in Glasgow on 11th April.

    European Community

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether it is his Department's assessment that the Scottish economy will benefit if the United Kingdom leaves the EEC.

    :It is the Government's view, as expressed in the White Paper on Membership of the European Community, Report on Renegotiation (Cmnd. 6003), that the consequences of Britain's withdrawal from the Community would be adverse. The Scottish economy could obviously not be insulated from the adverse effects on the United Kingdom as a whole.

    Overseas Development

    India

    28.

    whether she will now increase United Kingdom aid to India.

    :Yes. I hope that it will be possible steadily to increase our aid programmes to India.

    Lomé Agreement

    25.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will make a statement on the progress made in implementing the Lomé Agreement.

    33.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will make a statement on the working of the Lomé Agreement.

    :The Lomé Convention will not come fully into force until it has been ratified by the member States and two-thirds of the ACP States. Meanwhile the protocol on sugar came into effect on 1st March and signatory States have undertaken to give effect unilaterally, as from 1st July, to the trade provisions of the convention and to the agreed arrangements on rum, bananas and fishing activities. An interim committee of representatives of the signatory States is being set up to consider implementation of other provisions.

    United Nations Disaster Relief

    34.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development what further plans she has to support the work of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator's Office.

    :We joined with other Governments last year in sponsoring a resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for the strengthening of UNDRO. Since then we have taken an active part in discussions with the coordinator and interested Governments about how this can best be done, and a panel of experts has made specific recommendations about the new facilities required. It is my intention, in the light of these developments, to make a contribution of £200,000 over the three-year period 1975–77 to help in strengthening both the relief co-ordination and pre-disaster planning work of UNDRO. A Supplementary Estimate to cover this will be put forward in due course.

    European Communitymembership

    asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the conduct of business in relation to hon. Members of this House and in other matters by Ministers who have decided to dissent from the Government's recommendation on British membership of the European Economic Community.

    :In accordance with my statement in the House on 23rd January last, those Ministers who do not agree with the Government's recommendation in favour of continued membership of the European Community are, in the unique circumstances of the referendum, now free to advocate a different view during the referendum campaign in the country.This freedom does not extend to parliamentary proceedings and official business. Government business in Parliament will continue to be handled by all Ministers in accordance with Government policy. Ministers responsible for European aspects of Government business who themselves differ from the Government's recommendation on membership of the European Community will state the Government's position and will not be drawn into making points against the Government recommendation. Wherever necessary Questions will be transferred to other Ministers. At meetings of the Council of Ministers of the European Community and at other Community meetings, the United Kingdom position in all fields will continue to reflect Government policy.I have asked all Ministers to make their contributions to the public campaign in terms of issues, to avoid personalising or trivialising the argument, and not to allow themselves to appear in direct confrontation, on the same platform of programme, with another Minister who takes a different view on the Government recommendation.

    Defence

    Glasgow Refuse Clearance

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will authorise extra leave for the troops working on clearing up the mess in Glasgow, on the scale of one day's additional leave for everyday on this duty, after the job is completed.

    Soldiers are being employed on rubbish disposal in Glasgow for periods not exceeding three weeks during which their working schedule is two days on and one day-off. I consider that the existing leave arrangements are adequate.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will compare the average pay received by the soldiers in respect of work done in the Glasgow dustmen's strike with the average which would have been paid to a civilian employee.

    :No. Such a comparison would not be valid, as the conditions of service for soldiers and civilians are quite different and vary between different groups of civilians.

    Multi-Rôle Combat Aircraft

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the air defence variant of MRCA.

    :The air defence variant of the MRCA is now in the second stage of its project definition. The aim is to define in detail the characteristics of the aircraft as a successor to the Phantom in the air defence rôle. Parallel work on the associated intercept radar is in hand.

    British Army Of The Rhine

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the current BAOR support costs; and what offset arrangements are in force.

    :The cost to sterling in 1974–75 of maintaining British forces in Germany is estimated at £335 million. The current offset arrangements are set out in Command 4690.

    Royal Fleet Auxiliaries

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence how long it takes, and how much it costs, to overhaul a Royal fleet auxiliary in one of Her Majesty's Dockyards; and what are the equivalent figures when this work is done on commercial contract.

    :The figures have varied widely from ship to ship; in the past virtually all RFAs have been refitted by outside contractors. This, coupled with the fact that the minor programme of such work now being undertaken at Chatham and Devonport is geared to use up pockets of temporary spare capacity, means that no direct and valid comparison can be made.

    Deployment

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what forces are likely to be susceptible to double-earmarking as a result of the defence review.

    :It is not our practice to earmark the same forces to more than one major NATO commander and the Defence Review will not alter this position.

    College Of Air Training, Hamble

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in view of the forthcoming reduction in the capability of the RAF to train pilots outlined in his recent Statement on the Defence Estimates 1975 (Command Paper No. 5976), he will give support to the College of Air Training, Hamble, Hampshire, as a reserve training capability available to the RAF in case of emergency.

    :No. Our plans provide for an adequate training capability, with potential for expansion, in the Service. We do not rule out, however, the use of civilian flying schools for specific training tasks should their facilities be particularly suitable. A one-year contract has recently been let to the College of Air Training for the refresher training of pilots of multi-engined aircraft.

    Colchester (Hospital)

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what alternative arrangements he is considering to provide cover for the Service men and their families in the Colchester area on the closure of the military hospital in Colchester; if he will state the earliest date which he has in mind for this closure; and if he will outline what consultations he has had, and what consultations he anticipates having, with the civilian medical authorities in the area, in view of the contribution which the hospital makes to the medical services available to the civil population.

    :Consultations with the Department of Health and Social Security are proceeding and full account is being taken of the contribution which the Colchester Military Hospital makes in respect of the civilian population. I cannot at this early stage say more.

    Civil Servants

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the figures given in his Written reply to the hon. Member for Eastbourne on 20th February 1975 are directly comparable; and what are the equivalent figures for civil servants employed by his Department and based outside the United Kingdom.

    :The figures given in my reply of 20th February are not directly comparable because of organisational changes which have taken place during the period. These involved transfers out of the MOD of 900 staff in 1972 and transfers into the MOD of 4,200 in 1973 and 150 in 1954.The equivalent figures for civil servants employed and based outside the United Kingdom are:

    1st January 197550,104
    1st January 197447,304
    1st January 197347,339
    1st January 197249,646
    The 1st January 1975 figure includes some 2,800 locally engaged staff now paid directly from Defence Votes whose costs were previously met by Her Majesty's Government by way of contribution.

    Education And Science

    Child Spouses

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children currently in attendance at school in compliance with the school leaving age regulations are married.

    Student Grants (Wales)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what were the total sums spent on grants to students in full-time higher and further education in each county of Wales and in Wales as a whole for the last available year.

    :The sums spent by each local education authority in Wales in the academic year 1972–73—the latest year for which complete figures are available—on grants to full-time and sandwich course students in higher and further education are given below. These exclude expenditure on awards for courses of less than one academic year's duration and those which include no payment for maintenance.

    Counties£'000
    Anglesey224
    Breconshire204
    Caernarvonshire540
    Cardiganshire382
    Carmarthenshire643
    Denbighshire624
    Flintshire456
    Glamorgan2,078
    Merioneth160
    Monmouthshire990
    Montgomeryshire151
    Pembrokeshire454
    Radnorshire63
    Total Counties6,970
    County Boroughs
    Cardiff789
    Merthyr Tydfil134
    Newport (Mon)271
    Swansea472
    Total County Boroughs1,666
    Total Wales8,636

    Sacred Heart School, Redcar

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about the situation at the Sacred Heart School, Redcar.

    :I understand that the governors have suspended the headmaster following his unwillingness to integrate the eight teachers who had been on strike.

    Foreign And Commonwealthaffairs

    Brazil

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the present state of relations between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Brazil.

    Our relations with Brazil are good, and it is our policy to expand them in our mutual interest. Brazil is our largest trading partner in Latin America.

    European Community Membership(White Paper)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in fulfilling paragraph 136 of the White Paper on Membership of the EEC (Cmnd. 6003), he will seek the publication of full and official reports of the meetings of the Council of Ministers, instead of the existing practice of each Minister giving his own version of the proceedings.

    :No. United Kingdom Ministers are answerable to Parliament for the decisions which they take in the Council of Ministers but the process of negotiation by which the decisions are reached must remain confidential.A summary of the proceedings in each meeting of the Council of Ministers is published in the Council General Secretariat Press Release, which is normally available in the Library of the House within a few days of each Council Meeting. Individual Ministers are of course free to give their own reports to their

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, relative to paragraph 139 of the White Paper on Membership of the EEC (Cmnd. 6003), when draft Community instruments have been available for public purchase or perusal since January 1973; and by what means the general public have been made aware of -the titles and subjects of such proposals.

    :Draft Council instruments are normally published in the EEC Official Journal (C series) which is available from HMSO, in the Communities Information Office in London and in many public libraries. In addition, copies of all draft Council instruments have been available in the House for hon. Members. Government Departments consult trade associations and other groupings as appropriate on the substance of draft legislation, and many proposals are reported in the media.

    Since June 1974 the titles of all draft Council instruments have been published in the reports of the Commons Select Committee on European Secondary Legislation as they have been reported on by that Committee. These reports are also available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Governor of the Falkland Islands expects to receive the report of the Select Committee appointed by him in January 1974 to ascertain the views of the electorate on possible changes in the constitution of the Falkland Islands and to make recommendations on the form such changes might take.

    :The Select Committee has recently submitted its report and the Falkland Islands' Legislative Council is due to consider it in the first week of June.

    Rhodesia

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the hanging of Zimbabwe freedom fighters by the illegal Smith regime; and if he will make it his policy that the Rhodesian rebels will be held responsible for such acts after legality is restored.

    :I understand that three men sentenced to death in November 1974 for alleged "acts of terrorism" were executed at Salisbury Prison on 28th February. These were the first such executions reported since August 1974. As I said to the hon. Member on 1st May 1974—[Vol. 872, c. 382]—if at any time a person against whom there is evidence of a criminal offence in respect of illegal executions in Rhodesia comes within the jurisdiction of the courts of this country, it will be for my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General to consider whether criminal proceedings should be commenced.

    Oil Production(European Community Regulations)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what effect the decision of the European Court in the Reyners and Binsbergen cases has had on the immunity from challenge by the EEC of the regulations restricting petroleum exploration and production licences to firms maintaining their central management and control in the United Kingdom.

    :The judgments of the European Court in these two cases do not, in our view, require any modification of the power contained in our existing regulations to revoke licences in the event that a licensee company ceases to maintain its central management and control in the United Kingdom.

    Economic Planning(European Community Powers)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy with regard to the EEC Commission's demand for powers to take over economic planning in any member State which is in relatively permanent economic crisis.

    :I have been asked to reply.No proposal of this nature has been put forward. If it were, the Government would reject it.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the arrangements that exist in each of the countries of the European Economic Community to permit nationals of those countries resident abroad to vote in parliamentary elections and national referenda.

    pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th March 1975; Vol. 889, c. 293], gave the following information:Of the eight other member countries of the Community, France has a system of proxy voting for nationals resident abroad. Italy and Luxembourg have provision for nationals resident abroad to return to their country to vote. Danish nationals normally resident in Denmark but temporarily abroad may vote at Danish consulates and embassies. Germany and Belgium have restricted service voting arrangements similar to our own. Postal votes are available in the Republic of Ireland to members of the police and Armed Forces, whether at home or abroad. The Netherlands have no arrangements for their nationals resident abroad to vote.

    Home Department

    Wormwood Scrubs (Prisoner's Transfer)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the Governor of Her Majesty's Prison, Wormwood Scrubs, London, received a request from the hon. Member for Orpington, to visit there a constituent; and on what date the latter was transferred from Wormwood Scrubs to Ford Prison in Sussex.

    :On 5th March and 18th March 1975 respectively. I am writing to my hon. Friend about the circumstances of this transfer.

    Birds (Conservation)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Official Report a statement regarding conservation of bird life with especial regard to the oyster catcher on Burry Inlet; and if he has taken account of the views of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

    :Under the Protection of Birds Acts 1954 to 1967 all wild birds, their nests and their eggs, are, subject to certain specified exceptions, protected at all times. It is an offence to take or kill such birds or to take or destroy their eggs, young or occupied nests.Under the Act the Secretary of State is empowered, after consultation with the Advisory Committee on the Protection of Birds for England and Wales which was set up under the 1954 Act, to license the killing or taking of protected birds for certain specified purposes, such as scientific and educational purposes, falconry and aviculture. The Secretary of State also has powers to makes orders for such purposes as altering the degree of protection afforded to any species by adding or removing any wild bird from the schedules to the 1954 Act and establishing bird sanctuaries.By virtue of the Wild Birds (Oystercatchers) Order 1963 the oyster catcher is included in the Second Schedule to the 1954 Act in respect of a restricted area in the Burry Inlet. This means that the bird may be culled there at any time by persons authorised by bodies specified in the Act, which include local fisheries committees and local authorities. The order was made on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee which, after full consideration of representations made about the damage caused to cockle fishery by the birds and in the light of evidence from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, concluded that the fishery ought to be protected from the activities of oyster catchers. In 1968 a panel of scientists was appointed at the request of the Advisory Committee to inquire further into the problem. The panel, which comprised persons qualified to speak for the various interests concerned, concluded after a thorough investigation that the predatory activities of oyster catchers in the Burry Inlet were sufficient to justify retaining the order and the Advisory Committee recommended accordingly.Authority to cull oyster catchers in the area in question was given by the South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee in 1973 with the aid of a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and this arrangement was repeated in 1974. However, late last autumn my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food asked the committee to discontinue the cull since the population of oyster catchers, estimated at about 10,000, was not considered to be a threat to the cockle fishery, which was by then declining rapidly.The views of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have at all times been taken into account.

    Prisoners' Letters

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the opening of prisoners' letters to and from their families and friends is an appropriate and necessary "channel of communication" as implied in paragraph 155 of the Report of the Working of the Prison Department 1973.

    :The paragraph indicates that censorship of such correspondence has not been found to be essential at the open establishments at which experiments are being conducted.

    Remanded Prisoners

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the current figure set by the Secretary of State under Prison Rule 25.

    :For any unconvicted prisoner who is allowed to occupy a specially fitted room or cell, £1·50 a week or 25p a day in a broken week, and for relief from the duty of cleaning a cell or room and similar duties 25p a day. VAT is payable in addition.

    Invalid Tricycles

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will arrange for all invalid tricycles which are involved in accidents resulting in injury or death to their drivers or other road users, to be kept in police custody until the driver or his relatives have had sufficient time to arrange for an independent technical examination of the vehicle to determine any mechanical defects before being returned to the Department of Health and Social Security approved repairer;(2) if he will ensure that no technical examinations are carried out by police motor vehicle examiners and Department of Health and Social Security technical officers of invalid tricycles involved in accidents resulting in injury or death to their drivers or other road users, until invitations have been extended to the tricycle driver or his relatives to arrange for an independent engineer to be present at any technical examination of the vehicle involved.

    :Arrangements made by the police in relation to motor vehicles which have been involved in accidents are a matter for individual chief officers.

    Israeli Herut Party

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been instituted, and how many convictions obtained, against supporters of the Israeli Herut party in connection with the disruption of meetings in London organised by anti-Zionist Israelis and supporters of the Palestinians.

    :I am informed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that during a disturbance at a meeting held by the Palestinian Action Group on 19th March two people were arrested. Their cases have not yet been disposed of and the police cannot say whether they were members or supporters of any particular group.

    Police (Complaints)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now publish his revised scheme, amended in the course of consultations, for the introduction of an independent element into the procedure for handling complaints against the police.

    :I still have certain aspects of the outline scheme under consideration in the light of the consultations, which were continued at a meeting on 4th April.

    National Finance

    Film Industry

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made any estimate of the extent to which the changes in tax law made in 1974 will affect the British film industry through the large-scale withdrawal of American participation therein; and if he will make a statement.

    :I see no reason why the provisions of the Finance Act 1974 should adversely affect American participation in the British film industry. The effect of these provisions is broadly that a person of foreign domicile who is resident in the United Kingdom and employed by a concern which is not resident here is liable to United Kingdom tax from April 1974 on 50 per cent. of his earnings for the services he performs here and also on any amounts received or remitted here in respect of his earnings for services performed abroad. If he is also ordinarily resident here his liability is on 50 per cent. of his earnings for services performed wholly or partly in this country, whether received or remitted here or not. From April 1976 the liability increases from 50 per cent. to 75 per cent. for those who have been resident here for nine years or more. His liability to United Kingdom tax on foreign investment income and earnings from employments carried on wholly abroad was not affected by the Finance Act 1974 and continues to be on the amounts received or remitted here.

    Income Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each member country of the OECD the average amount paid in direct taxation by an industrial worker for each year since 1945.

    The following information, which is taken from Revenue Statistics of OECD Member Countries 1965–72, Annexe I Table 6, shows the average rate of personal income tax paid by a taxpayer with average earnings of production workers in manufacturing in each country for 1972:

    Single manMarried couple with 2 children
    Per cent.Per cent.
    Australia2015
    Austria133
    Belgium118
    Canada2013
    Denmark3528
    Finland2820
    France7
    Germany167
    Greece21
    Ireland199
    Italy87
    Japan115
    Luxembourg144
    Netherlands1311
    New Zealand1916
    Norway2419
    Portugal
    Spain11
    Sweden3327
    Switzerland107
    United Kingdom2011
    United States1910

    Notes:

    Personal income tax includes local income taxes—but not other forms of local taxation—where they apply.

    Children are assumed to be of school age.

    I regret that this information is not available for earlier or later years.

    Value Added Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps following the representations he has received about the distribution of the Customs and Excise leaflet on the zero rating for VAT purposes of wood logs, firewood and firelighters, to ensure that information of this kind is not in future sent to publishers, chartered surveyors, consulting engineers, interior designers and others to whom it is of no interest or concern.

    Customs and Excise make a selective distribution of VAT information whenever it is possible to identify the persons directly affected. The methods of selection and procedures for distribution are continuously under review.It would be practicable to omit businesses from a distribution only when all businesses in the particular trade group were unaffected by the information. The broad trade classifications identify only the main business activity of each trader, and do not always provide an adequate basis for selective distribution, particularly in the retail field. A great deal more information about the secondary activities of each business would need to be obtained from the trading public before any higher degree of selection could be applied. Such an approach would itself be costly, and could well prove a greater irritant to traders, who would have to provide the additional information from time to time, than under present methods.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied with the progress of his review of the arrangements by HM Customs and Excise for the distribution of VAT notices with a view to saving expenditure and material by curtailing any unnecessary distribution and excessive packaging of such notices.

    The review is continuous, and I am satisfied that proper attention is being given to it.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is giving any thought to raising the value added tax threshold from £5,000 a year.

    Personal Incomes

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the estimated increase in take-home pay, after deduction of income tax and national insurance contributions, over the next 12 months of a married man with two schoolchildren, currently earning gross wages of £25, £30, £40, £50, £60 and £70 per week, and of the man on average earnings who gains a 20 per cent. pay award during the period, assuming increases in the retail price index of five per cent., 10 per cent., 20

    £per week
    Take-home pay after20 per cent.Change in real value of take-home pay after gross increase of 20 per cent. And an increase in prices of
    Current gross weekly earningstake home pay †increase in gross pay5 per cent.10 per cent.20 per cent.30 per cent.40 per cent.
    (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)
    2523·0026·15+1·90+0·77-1·21-2·89-4·33
    3026·0829·84+2·34+1·05-1·22-3·13-4·77
    4032·2337·22+3·22+1·60-1·22-3·60-5·65
    5038·3844·60+4·09+2·16-1·22-4·08-6·53
    52·86*40·1846·73+4·32+2·30-1·24-4·24-6·81
    6044·5352·16+5·14+2·88-1·07-4·41-7·28
    7051·1560·20+6·18+3·57-0·99-4·85-8·17
    NOTES:

    * Estimated average earnings of full-time adult male manual workers in manufacturing and certain other industries at December 1974.

    †Take-home pay is after tax and national insurance contributions. National insurance contributions have been taken at pre-6th April 1975 rates for column (2) and post-6th April rates for column (3).

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer taking the first quarter of 1964 as 100, what would be the index number for real personal disposable income per head in each of the quarters from 1964 to the latest available date.

    The following table shows the latest estimates available:

    PERSONAL DISPOSABLE INCOME—BEFORE PROVIDING FOR ADDITIONS TO TAX RESERVES AT 1970 PRICES, PER HEAD OF TOTAL POPULATION, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
    First quarter1964=100
    1964—
    First quarter100·0
    Second quarter100·1
    Third quarter101·4
    Fourth quarter 101·4
    1965—
    First quarter101·9
    Second quarter101·4
    Third quarter102·5
    Fourth quarter104·0
    1966—
    First quarter107·8
    Second quarter103·1
    Third quarter102·5
    Fourth quarter103·3
    1967—
    First quarter102·4
    Second quarter105·3
    Third quarter107·0
    Fourth quarter105·5
    per cent., 30 per cent. and 40 per cent., respectively.

    Assuming that 1974–75 rates of tax and allowances apply both before and after the increases in pay, that both children are not over 11 and that the men are not contracted out of the graduated pension scheme, the figures are as shown below:

    1968—
    First quarter108·3
    Second quarter105·3
    Third quarter105·9
    Fourth quarter106·1
    1969—
    First quarter106·7
    Second quarter105·3
    Third quarter106·4
    Fourth quarter107·5
    1970—
    First quarter106·8
    Second quarter110·5
    Third quarter111·4
    Fourth quarter110·7
    1971—
    First quarter111·0
    Second quarter111·2
    Third quarter113·3
    Fourth quarter114·6
    1972—
    First quarter114·5
    Second quarter121·0
    Third quarter120·0
    Fourth quarter123·3
    1973—
    First quarter123·6
    Second quarter125·9
    Third quarter127·7
    Fourth quarter127·4
    1974—
    First quarter125·1
    Second quarter124·1
    Third quarter129·4

    £ Sterling (Value)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present purchasing power of the pound sterling compared with 18th June 1970.

    Prices And Consumerprotection

    Food Subsidies

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what is the average percentage rise in the housewife's food bill since 1st January 1973; and what effect the subsidies borne by the Exchequer, mentioned in her reply to the hon. Member for Banbury on 17th March, had on that rise.

    Between 16th January 1973 and 18th February 1975, the latest date for which information is avail

    INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT AS PERCENTAGE OF GDP(1)
    195219571962196719721973
    I. Index of Industrial Production Industries(2)
    United Kingdom5·66·76·67·15·25·5
    Japan7·111·111·910·49·6N.A.
    GermanyN.A.7·99·07·1N.A.N.A.
    France(3)N.A.7·08·48·28·4*N.A.
    Italy7·17·28·05·26·2N.A.
    Norway8·47·89·18·47·7N.A.
    Denmark(5)3·03·04·23·7N.A.N.A.
    IrelandN.A.4·65·86·1N.A.N.A.
    II. Manufacturing and construction industries
    United Kingdom3·84·64·44·13·73·8
    Japan4·57·69·58·97·9N.A.
    GermanyN.A.6·07·35·8N.A.N.A.
    France(4)N.A.4·86·96·77·4M*N.A.
    ItalyN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
    Norway5·34·85·85·85·5N.A.
    Denmark(5)1·92·23·52·6N.A.N.A.
    IrelandN.A.2·34·34·2N.A.N.A.
    Sources:
    (a)National Accounts for OECD countries (OECD) 1950–1968 for 1952 figures.
    (b)National Accounts for OECD countries (OECD) 1953–1969 for 1957 figures.
    (c)National Accounts for OECD countries (OECD) 1961–1972 for other figures, except—
    Norway—1962 and 1967 figures from (b).
    Germany—all figures from (a) (because no investment figures in later editions).
    United Kingdom—1973 from "National Income and Expenditure 1963–1973".
    * 1971 (1972 not available)
    (1)GDP measured at market prices 1952,1957 and at purchasers' values 1962,1967,1972 except for Norway where in 1962 and 1967 measured also at market prices, and Germany, where all figures are at market prices; United Kingdom 1973 are at market prices.
    (2)Index of industrial Production industries are mining and quaryying; manufacturing; construction; gas electricity and water.
    (3)Includes Fishing.
    (4) Includes Fishing. And quarring of building materials.
    (5)Excluding construction.
    N.A.=Not available.

    able, the food index rose by 45·7 per cent. It is estimated that without the Exchequer subsidies the increase would have been about 53 per cent.

    Industry

    Industrial Investment

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish a table in tile Official Report showing total industrial investment in the United Kingdom as a proportion of gross national product for 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972 and the latest available year; and if he will publish corresponding figures for West Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Ireland for the same years.

    Figures relating to gross national product are not readily available for many of the countries. The table gives the proportion of gross domestic product represented by investment for as many of the years as available for the countries requested.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what estimate he has made of the investment in manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom, over each of the past 10years, from companies the control of which lies outside the United Kingdom; and what is the corresponding estimate for the same period of investment in manufacturing industry outside the United Kingdom by companies controlled within the United Kingdom.

    NET DIRECT INVESTMENT IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
    £ million
    1964196519661967196819691970197119721973
    In the United Kingdom124151155109235216269340211420
    By the United Kingdom153138158139212294313384354840

    Ebbw Vale Steelworks

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will take steps to make a grant to the Ebbw Vale steelworks of £1 million for the re-lining of the blast furnace.

    No. Expenditure on such work is a matter for the BSC. Having considered carefully in the course of the closure review the possibility of re-lining a furnace at Ebbw Vale the Government accepted that it would not be justified.

    Steel

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list in the Official Report the works councils and workers' action committees which were officially consulted in the steel industry review; and how much time was allocated to the Ebbw Vale Steelworks Works Council for oral evidence to the Minister of State.

    In the course of his review of the closure proposals covered by his Interim Report my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State, Lord Beswick, held five tripartite meetings with the British Steel Corporation and the TUC Steel Committee, whose delegation in each case included local representatives of the appropriate workforce.He also held meetings with the following organisations representing workers in the industry: Ebbw Vale Works Council, Ebbw Vale Joint Craft Association, East Moors Works Council, Hartlepool Works

    The only information obtained on a comparable basis for inward and outward investment in manufacturing industry relates to net direct investment other than oil and is shown in the table below. Inward direct investment is investment in United Kingdom branches, subsidiaries and associates by all related concerns overseas; outward direct investment is investment in overseas branches, subsidiaries and associates by all United Kingdom companies irrespective of their control.Council, Shelton Works Council, Shotton Trade Union Steel Industry Consultative Committee, Steel Industry Management Association, Steel Industry Management Association (Shotton Branch). In addition meetings were held with the relevant local authorities and Members of Parliament.No rigid time limits were imposed at any of the meetings.The two meetings at which the Ebbw Vale Works Council presented oral evidence lasted about four hours in all.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the names and qualifications of the indepedent assessors used by his Department in the review of the steel industry strategy and considered by the Department in the production of the departmental report on the industry.

    When preparing his recent Interim Report on Steel Closures my right hon. and noble Friend received advice from officials in my Department and other Departments, but independent assessors were not used.

    Large Companies (Employment)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many people are employed by the fiftieth, hundredth and one hundred and fiftieth largest employer amongst publicly quoted companies.

    The latest readily available information on the numbers of employees of the largest United Kingdom listed companies is in the "Times 10001974–75", which covers only industrial companies. On the basis of the figures given in that publication, which some-

    Rank by number of employeesCompanyEnd of accounting periodAverage number of employees
    50thHouse of Fraser 27th January 197329,713*
    100thWeir Group28th December 197313,500
    Mather & Piatt31st December 197313,500
    150thAssociated Fisheries 30th September 19739,153
    * United Kingdom employees only.

    Steel

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether a cost benefit analysis or a social audit has been made on the Government proposals for redundancies in the steel industry in Wales.

    In examining the various parts of the BSC's development plan the best possible analysis was made of the economic and social costs and benefits involved. Only where we were convinced in the light of this analysis that the benefits outweighed the costs were we prepared to approve any proposals resulting in significant redundancy.

    Industrial Development Certificates

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many industrial development certificates have been refused during the last convenient 12-month period.

    During the 12-month period to 31st December 1974, 67 applications for industrial development certificates were refused—3·5 per cent. of the applications decided.

    Public Appointments

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he keeps a list of possible nominees for public bories and committees to which he is entitled to nominate; how many names are now before him; and how many of them are women.

    pursuant to the earlier reply [Official Report, 17th March 1975; Vol. 888, c. 287], gave the following information:I am very anxious to increase the number of women on the list of people kept by the Department as being suitable for public appointments and should warmly welcome nominations to fill this gap in a list which is at present overwhelmingly male-dominated.

    times include overseas employees and sometimes relate only to United Kingdom employees, the information is as follows:

    Northern Ireland

    Farm Incomes

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total net farm income in Northern Ireland in 1973–74; and what are the forecasts for 1974–75, and for 1975–76.

    The total net farm income in 1973–74 was estimated to be £71 million. Firm figures for 1974–75 are not available but the indications are that the net income will be lower than in 1973–74. No forecast has been made for 1975–76.

    Farmers (Grants And Subsidies)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the total amount of United Kingdom grants and subsidies and of CAP payments to Northern Ireland farmers in 1973–74, 1974–75 and in 1975–76.

    The total of United Kingdom grants and subsidies and of CAP payments to farmers in Northern Ireland in 1973–74 was £24,030,000. It is estimated that payments in 1974–75 and 1975–76 will amount to about £48 million and £46 million respectively.

    Suckling Cows

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the gross margin for a suckling cow in a hill farming area, and in the lowland area in Northern Ireland in 1973–74, and in 1974–75; and what it is in 1975–76; and what is the net profit in each case.

    The average gross margins for suckler cow herds in the Northern Ireland Farm Management Survey in 1973–74 were £64 per cow for herds in respect of which hill cow subsidy was paid and £53 per cow for other herds.

    Exact figures for 1974–75 are not yet available. Estimates published in the January 1975 edition of "Agriculture in Northern Ireland" indicate that the gross margins in 1974–75 will be lower than in 1973–74. No estimates are available for 1975–76.

    It is not possible to allocate fixed costs to derive average net profits from suckler herds.

    Ewes

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the gross margin for a breeding ewe in an hill farming area in Northern Ireland and in a lowland area in 1973–74, and in 1974–75; what it is in 1975–76; and what is the net profit in each case.

    The average gross margin for hill and upland ewe flocks in the Northern Ireland Farm Management Survey in 1973–74 was £.8·45 per ewe. For other flocks it was £.1340 per ewe.Exact figures for 1974–75 are not yet available. Estimates published in the January issue of "Agriculture in Northern Ireland" indicate that, with the increased rate of the 1974–75 hill sheep subsidy, gross margins for hill and upland flocks in 1974–75 may be similar to those for 1973–74. For lowland flocks average gross margins may be lower than in 1973–74. No estimates are available for 1975–76.It is not possible to allocate fixed costs to derive average net profits from sheep.

    Trade

    College Of Air Training, Hamble

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the present number of staff employed at the College of Air Training at Hamble, Hampshire; and how that number is divided between the main categories of staff.

    The present number of staff employed at the College of Air Training at Hamble is just over 300, as follows:

    Flying instruction80
    Aircraft maintenance100
    Technical and liberal studies and selection48
    Administration, maintenance and services80

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the maximum number of students which the staff and physical facilities at the College of Air Training, Hamble, Hampshire, are capable of handling; what is the present number of students at the college; and what are the prospective numbers during the next two years.

    The College of Air Training, Hamble, is capable of handling 290 students at any one time, 40 of whom would be based at the subsidiary school at Hurn. At present, 190 students are under training.In view of current uncertainties in the aviation market it is not possible to forecast with precision the prospective intake over the next two years.

    Prudential Assurance Co Ltd

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade, if he will place in the Official Report the circumstances in which his Department gave authority to recent insurance premium increases by the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd.

    Higher premium rates for motor vehicle insurance business were approved for the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. to apply from 1st March 1975. The previous increase was from 1st November 1973. The size of the increase was determined under a special formula for motor insurance premiums which is based on the principles of the Price Code and takes account primarily of unavoidable increases in the cost of claims.

    European Community (Oil)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give the breakdown into the main categories of the United Kingdom's imports from and exports to the original six members of the EEC in oil goods for each of the years 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and for the four quarters of 1973 and 1974 if these are available.

    Figures for oil goods—defined as SITC(R) Division 33 —for years 1970 to 1972 are published under SITC(R) 331 and 332 in Tables II and IV of Volume I of the appropriate "Annual Statement of the Overseas Trade of the United Kingdom". Figures for 1973 and 1974 cannot be derived from published sources and are as follows:

    TRADE WITH EEC (6)
    £ million
    SITC(R) NumberImports (c.i.f.)First quarterSecond quarter1973 Third quarterFourth quarterYear
    Division 33
    331Petroleum, crude and partly refined5·96·36·75·724·6
    332.1Motor spirit17·823·633·027·0101·4
    332.2Lamp oil and white spirit4·76·57·56·925·5
    332.3Distillate fuels6·46·26·29·228·1
    332.4Residual fuel oils15·914·38·38·046·5
    332.5Lubricating oils and greases1·71·52·22·27·5
    332.6Mineral jelly and waxes0·10·10·10·20·6
    332.9Pitch, resin, petroleum—asphalt, etc.1·51·61·11·35·5
    Exports (f.o.b.)
    Division 33
    331Petroleum, crude and partly refined2·11·33·41·58·3
    332.1Motor spirit0·81·31·64·68·4
    332.2Lamp oil and white spirit0·60·50·30·62·1
    332.3Distillate fuels1·51·65·917·326·3
    332.4Residual fuel oils0·30·41·33·75·6
    332.5Lubricating oils and greases1·91·82·92·28·8
    332.6Mineral jelly and waxes0·00·10·10·10·3
    332.9Pitch, resin, petroleum—asphalt, etc.1·32·52·50·97·2
    £million
    SITC(R) NumberImports (c.i.f.)First quarterSecond quarter1974 Third quarterFourth quarterYear
    Division 33
    331Petroleum, crude and partly refined10·430·750·338·3129·7
    332.1Motor spirit30·042·276·054·3202·5
    332.2Lamp oil and white spirit9·19·77·914·741·4
    332.3Distillate fuels3·13·45·48·620·5
    332.4Residual fuel oils28·736·714·425·9105·6
    332.5Lubricating oils and greases2·64·95·44·017·0
    332.6Mineral jelly and waxes0·40·60·50·72·3
    332.9Pitch, resin, petroleum—asphalt, etc.1·53·53·11·99·9
    Exports (f.o.b.)
    Division 33
    331Petroleum, crude and partly refined1·15·30·61·28·2
    332.1Motor spirit4·220·79·411·045·4
    332.2Lamp oil and white spirit3·20·90·40·95·4
    332.3Distillate fuels10·724·732·718·086·0
    332.4Residual fuel oils0·42·17·84·014·2
    332.5Lubricating oils and greases4·14·76·25·020·0
    332.6Mineral jelly and waxes0·30·30·20·41·3
    332.9Pitch, resin, petroleum—asphalt, etc.1·61·51·62·57·1

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give the breakdown into the main categories of the United Kingdom's imports from and exports to the present eight members of the EEC in oil goods for each of the years 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and for the four quarters of 1973 and 1974 if these are available.

    Figures for oil goods—defined as SITC(R) Division 33—for years 1973 and 1974 are published under SITC(R) 331 and 332 in Tables III and VI of the respective December issues of the monthly "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom". Quarterly figures can be derived from the March, June, September and December issues. Figures for the years 1970 to 1972 cannot be derived from published sources and are as follows:

    TRADE WITH EEC (8)
    £ million
    SITC(R)Imports (cif)Exports (fob)
    197019711972197019711972
    Division33
    331·Petroleum, crude and partly refined35·739·741·17·78·419·2
    332·1Motor spirit61·660·154·411·014·214·1
    332·2Lamp oil and white spirit9·313·719·16·310·39·8
    332·3Distillate fuels9·013·716·828·438·634·6
    332·4Residual fuel oils49·548·157·417·322·119·9
    332·5Lubricating oils and greases7·68·27·210·411·412·0
    332·6Mineral jelly and waxes0·90·60·40·20·20·2
    332·9Pitch, resin, petroleum asphalt, etc.1·42·85·31·53·83·5

    Food Imports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give the values of food imports including agricultural produce in each of the years 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 from Commonwealth countries, the six original members of the EEC, the two other new

    £million cifFood as percentage of non oil Imports
    1970
    Commonwealth*7248·9
    EEC (Six)2042·5
    Irish Republic and Denmark (including Greenland and Faroe Islands)3284·1
    United States of America1201·5
    Rest of the World4815·9
    1971
    Commonwealth*7478·7
    EEC (Six)2342·7
    Irish Republic and Denmark Greenland and Faroe Islands)3714·3
    United States of America1351·6
    Rest of the World4815·6
    1972
    Commonwealth*7597·6
    EEC (Six)2562·6
    Irish Republic and Denmark (including Greenland and Faroe Islands)3964·0
    United States of America1381·4
    Rest of the World5515·5
    1973
    Commonwealth*8776·2
    EEC (Six)4703·3
    Irish Republic and Denmark (including Greenland and Faroe Islands)4833·4
    United States of America1831·3
    Rest of the World6964·9
    1974
    Commonwealth*8874·8
    EEC (Six)8664·7
    Irish Republic and Denmark(including Greenland and Faroe Islands)6213·3
    United States of America2001·1
    Rest of the World7994·3
    *Excluding Bangladesh for the years 1970–1972.

    members of the EEC, the United States of America and the rest of the world, respectively; and what percentage these represent of total United Kingdom non-oil imports in these years.

    Following is the information for SITC(R) Section O: food and live animals:

    College Of Air Training, Hamble