Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday 8th April 1975
Education And Science
School Building (Nuneaton Andbedworth)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about primary school building in Nuneaton and Bedworth; and whether he will make a statement.
Several about replacing the Exhall First School, and one recently about the extension of St. Giles' Middle School. The decision on both projects rests with the Warwickshire education authority within its allocation of resources for school building.
Further Education (Lecturers)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is now in a position to announce agreement on the new proposals for the conditions of employment for lecturers in further education; and if not when he hopes to be able to make such an announcement.
Agreement on revised conditions of service for further education teachers was reached in February between the Council of Local Education Authorities and the teachers' unions.
Direct Grant Schools
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representation he has received about Government policy towards direct grant schools; and whether he will make a statement.
I have received a number of letters from both individuals and organisations about the Government's policy for direct grant schools. I do not in the light of them see any need to add to the full statement I made to the House on 11th March.—[Vol. 888, c. 271–8.]
Women Teachers (Maternity Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied with the regulations governing maternity pay for women teachers.
This is a matter for local education authorities whose arrangements for maternity pay generally follow recommendations agreed between the local authority and teacher associations.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science from how many local authorities he has requested information on the provision of services for children suffering from dyslexia, under Section 27 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.
None. Up to now it has not been thought that it would serve any useful purpose.
Public Departments (Furniture)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will establish a body to vet from an aesthetic point of view all supplies of furniture and furnishings used in public departments and buildings, including schools and hospitals.
No. This is a matter for the responsible local authorities and other public bodies concerned.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the responsibilities of his Department with respect to the arts in Scotland.
Grants to Scottish organisations concerned with the arts are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. In consultation with him I am concerned with general matters of arts policy which concern both countries and for grants to bodies constituted for Great Britain.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the industrial and commercial organisations about which he has information which have contributed financial support to the arts, locally and nationally, in each year since 1970 indicating how much has been contributed in each case and in total.
My Department does not collect this information. It would be invidious to single out only those of whom I have heard at secondhand. I am discussing these matters with the CBI and with other bodies and individuals concerned, and I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my appreciation of those industrial and commercial organisations which have supported the arts either nationally or locally.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give details of the financial resources made available by his Department to the Schools Council for Curriculum and Examinations, indicating the proportion which is to be used for curriculum development; and if he will make a statement.
The Department and the local education authorities finance the Schools Council jointly. Their grants are not apportioned among the various parts of the council's work.The council's estimated expenditure for the financial year 1974–75 is as follows:
|Research and development in curriculum and examinations||1,524,000|
|This expenditure is to be met from the following sources:|
|Department of Education and Science grant||672,000|
|Local education authority grant and other income, including reserves||1,199,000|
Southampton Medical School
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in the development of the new medical school at Southampton University; when he expects the current building programme to be completed; and what will be the expected annual output of newly qualified doctors when that programme is completed.
The annual intake of preclinical students increased from 40 in 1971, when the medical school was opened, to 116 in 1974. This is planned to rise to 130 with, in due course, a corresponding output, less any wastage, of qualified doctors. I understand that it is not possible to say now when the related hospital building schemes will be completed, but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has stated that such schemes are given a high priority within available resources.
Technical And Business Education Councils
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give details of the financial resources made available by his Department to the Technical Education Council and to the Business Education Council for the financial years 1974–75 and 1975–76, indicating the proportion which can be used for curriculum development; and if he will make a statement.
Following is the information:
|Financial Year||Technician Education Council||Business Education Council|
Further Education (Expenditure)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has for dealing with local authorities which, in the coming financial year, discriminate unfavourably within the current rate support grant provision against non-mandatory areas of provision such as 16 to 19 year olds undertaking part-time education and adult education; and if he will make a statement.
Detailed guidance to local authorities about the measures needed to restrict their expenditure in 1975–76 to the levels envisaged in the rate support grant settlement for that year was given in a joint circular from the Departments concerned, including my Department, on 23rd December 1974. While the circular indicated the limited scope for development of certain aspects of the education service it made clear that the expenditure forecast for education provided for the expected increase in the number of pupils and students, and that this provision accounted for most of the increase in expenditure envisaged over the 1974–75 level. However, it must remain the responsibility of individual local authorities to settle their own expenditure budgets for education as for their other services and to answer for their decisions to their local residents.
National Child Development Study
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in order to obtain information in respect of the 16 to 19 year old age group and their attitude to continued education, he will provide further resources for the National Children's Bureau to continue the National Child Development Study; and if he will make a statement.
My Department is currently sponsoring, jointly with the Department of Health and Social Security, the third follow-up of the National Child Development Study. This follow-up has already surveyed the children born in the week 3rd—9th March 1958 during 1973–74, their last year of compulsory schooling, and will provide, inter alia, information on their educational requirements after the age of 16. No request for a further follow-up has been put to my Department by the National Children's Bureau.
Television (The Arts)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when the study of the wider use of television as a means of bringing the subsidised arts to a wider audience was begun; and what progress has been made in this direction.
The problem of making best use of television to bring the arts before a wide audience has been under consideration for many years. The Arts Council has taken the lead in discussion and co-ordination with the television authorities, and considered in March 1973 a report by a Working Party on Televising the Arts. There have recently been a number of televised performances from the Royal Opera House, including a production of "Un Ballo in Maschera" on 29th March; and performances by the Royal Ballet, the National Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company have also been televised. I am anxious that further progress should be made in ensuring that such performances are seen by the widest possible audiences.
Mental Retardation (Research)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will ask the Medical Research Council to put in hand a special study of the correlation between the level of lead pollution in tap water and mental retardation.
No. I understand that the council's Neurosciences Board will take account of a recent relevant study by research workers in Glasgow in the course of a review of its areas of responsiblity which include research into mental retardation.
Prime Minister (Visits)
asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements during the Easter parliamentary Recess.
asked the Prime Minister if he will publish a list of his official engagements during the Easter Recess.
asked the Prime Minister if he will publish a list of his official engagements during the Easter Recess.
asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements during the Easter parliamentary Recess.
asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements during the Easter parliamentary Recess.
I opened the new terminal buildings at St. Mary's Airport on the Isles of Scilly on 1st April and I spoke at the Young Persons Housing Association at Eldon Grove, Liverpool, on 5th April.
asked the Prime Minister if he will now pay an official visit to Sheffield.
asked the Prime Minister how many days he has spent in Scotland in the course of his official duties since 28th February 1974.
I have visited Scotland six times since February last year for a total of eight days.
Economic Policy (Primeminister's Speech)
asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his public speech about economic policy in Cardiff on 15th March.
I did so on 18th March.
European Communitymembership (Referendum)
asked the Prime Minister when he now expects to allow his Cabinet Ministers to give their individual views on the matter of the referendum on the EEC.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Walker) on 7th April.
asked the Prime Minister whether he intends to make a ministerial broadcast recommending that the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Community.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) on 20th March.
asked the Prime Minister what steps he intends to take to ensure that his recommendations for the forthcoming referendum are made known to the public.
My statement in the House on 18th March was widely reported, and has since been published as a White Paper (Cmnd. 5999), together with a separate White Paper (Cmnd. 6003) setting out the Government's recommendation and the result of renegotiation in great detail. A shortened version of this White Paper will be sent to every household before the referendum. I shall be making a number of speeches in the country in the coming weeks, as, no doubt, will other Ministers, in which I shall be commending support for the Government's decision as I commended it to the House yesterday. A Government Referendum Information Unit has now been set up to provide factual information about the Community and about the renegotiated terms of continuing British membership of it.
Disabled Persons (Primeminister's Speech)
asked the Prime Minister whether he will place in the Library a copy of his public speech on 14th March in Wigan on the disabled.
I did so on 17th March.
asked the Prime Minister when he next intends to make a ministerial broadcast.
National Economicdevelopment Council
asked the Prime Minister when he next plans to take the Chair at the National Economic Development Council.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy) on 27th March.
asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Lord President of the Council on the social contract made at Blackpool on 15th March represented the policy of Her Majesty's Government.
Mental Illness (Patients' Security)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken to establish security units at regional level to provide treatment of disturbed persons in conditions of security short of that provided by special hospitals outside the penal system.
Since they received my guidance circular last year all regional health authorities have been investigating the position in their regions and are in varying stages of formulating or completing their proposals.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list in the Official Report the number of houses not occupied on census night in Cornwall in 1971 and the percentage this represents of the total housing stock, together with any more recently available figures.
The latest information is from the 1971 Census. Of 147,235 dwellings identified in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, 10,890–7·4 per cent.—were recorded as vacant. The term "dwellings" covers not only houses occupied by one household but also flats and self-contained accommodation within houses, as explained in "Census 1971: County Reports: General Explanatory Notes" published by HMSO, November 1972.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list in the Official Report the 50 parliamentary constituencies which, according to the 1971 Census, had the highest percentage of self-employed persons; and if she will give the figure for each of these constituencies, together with any more recently available figures.
According to a 10 per cent. sample from the 1971 Census the percentage of self-employed persons in the total employed population in the 50 parliamentary constituencies with the highest percentage of self-employed persons were as follows:
|Parliamentary Constituency||Percentage of self-employed persons in the population in employment aged 15 and over|
|Orkney and Zetland||…||24·5|
|Penrith and the Border||…||21·0|
|North Devon Caernarvon||…||20·0|
|Brecon and Radnor||…||19·4|
|Kinross and West Perthshire||…||16·2|
|Morecambe and Lonsdale||…||15·9|
|Caithness and Sutherland||…||15·5|
|Falmouth and Camborne||…||14·8|
|Isle of Ely||…||14·6|
|Holland with Boston||…||14·4|
Employed And Self-Employed Persons
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of self-employed persons claimed sickness benefit in 1974; and what percentage of employed persons claimed the benefit, at the latest date for which figures are available.
Information is not available in the precise form requested, but the following table compares days of sickness benefit and invalidity benefit, in proportion to the numbers of employed and self-employed persons at risk, in the statistical year 1972–73.
|DAYS OF BENEFIT IN THE PERIOD 51TH JUNE 1972 TO 2ND JUNE 1973 EXPRESSED AS A RATE PER 100 PERSONS AT RISK|
|Sickness Benefit||Invalidity Benefit|
|Males and Females|
|Class 1—Employed Persons.|
|Class 2—Self-employed Persons.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the cost of sickness benefits to self-employed persons and employed persons in the years 1970 to 1974; and, for each category, how much this represents per person per year.
Class 1 contributions give entitlement to flat-rate benefit and earnings-related supplement while Class 2 contributions only give entitlement to flat-rate benefits. The estimated amounts of benefits on this basis are as follows:
|Cost of benefits*(£ m.)|
|year||Employed persons†||Self-employed persons|
|Average amount per person at risk|
|year||Employed persons†||Self-employed persons|
|* Including invalidity benefit from 23rd September 1971.|
|† Including earnings-related supplement.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons in 1974 suffered a deduction from social security benefits under the provisions of the Supplementary Benefits Act 1966, Schedule 2, paragraph 11.
This information will not be available until the mid-summer and I will then write to my hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in how many cases in 1974 discretion was exercised to limit the amount of deduction of 40 per cent. of social security benefit under the provisions of Schedule 2, paragraph 11 of the Supplementary Benefits Act 1966.
I regret that this information is not available, and could only be obtained at disproportionate expense.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in how many cases during 1974 was the full deduction of 40 per cent. of social security benefit made under the provisions of Schedule 2, paragraph 11, of the Supplementary Benefits Act 1966; and what was the average duration in weeks of these deductions.
I regret that this information is not available and could only be obtained at disproportionate expense.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she has now received the report of the inquiry into the death of Adam Grier at Orpington Hospital on 25th August 1974; and if she will make a statement.
The inquiry to which I referred in my reply to the hon. Member on 12th November 1974—[Vol. 881, c. 58.]—could not be held whilst related matters were the subject of court proceedings, but is now being set up by the South-East Thames Regional Health Authority.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in how many cases during 1974 unemployment benefit was suspended or disallowed on grounds of industrial misconduct; how many appeals resulted; and how many were successful.
In 1974 there were 144,746 cases in which the claimant was disqualified for the receipt of unemployment benefit on the ground of industrial misconduct. I regret that figures relating to the number of appeals which resulted could not be obtained without undue expenditure of time and effort.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will consider abolishing penalties and deductions from social security benefits on grounds of industrial misconduct, and hold talks with the TUC on this matter.
No. Measures to protect public funds from unjustified claims for benefit are essential, and I have no plans to abolish them.
Government Advertising (Advisorycommittee)
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what representation there is on the Independent Advisory Committee on Government Advertising to represent Scottish industries; and if there is none if he will ensure that such representative is provided, particularly in view of the separate Scottish legal jurisdiction.
Members of the Independent Advisory Committee on Government Advertising are chosen to ensure that the advice of widely experienced commercial users of advertising agencies and of media operators is available to the Government. Members do not represent any particular interest but are chosen because of their wide knowledge of the advertising world.
Central Computer Agency
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what will be the rôle in Scotland of the Central Computer Agency.
The Central Agency's rôle is at present the same in relation to Scotland as to England and Wales. No decision has been taken about any change in its rôle as part of the devolution process.
European Social Fund Grants(London)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will specify the grants and loans which have been approved for the Greater London area from the European Social Fund since 1st January 1973.
Grants from the European Social Fund are not made specifically for particular areas of England. Some of our allocations are for the whole of the United Kingdom and a breakdown between regions is not readily available. The Greater London area shares in the benefits from grants made in respect of certain national schemes of rehabilitation and resettlement (including measures for the integration of migrant workers and their families into the host community).
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many new jobs in the Northern Region can be directly attributed to the development of North Sea oil and gas;(2) what is the estimated number of jobs that are expected to come to the Northern Region arising from the development of North Sea oil and gas by. 1977.
It is estimated that at 28th February 1975 there were about 6,700 jobs in the Northern Region wholly-related to North Sea oil and gas projects; the estimate of additional jobs likely to arise over the next two years is 3,000. These figures do not include jobs in the construction industry nor in all those firms supplying goods and services to the offshore oil and gas industry.
Health And Safety
asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to exercise his power under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act to make regulations requiring employers to consult with persons appointed to recognised trade unions in connection with health and safety matters.
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th March 1975; Vol. 889, c. 285], gave the following information:The Health and Safety Commission now has under active consideration proposals for the making of regulations regarding safety representatives and safety committees. I have no doubt that the commission will wish to present its proposals to me at the earliest opportunity.
Grant asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many prosecutions have been brought under the
|1970 (14th May 1970–31st December 1970)||—||—||—||—|
|1975 (to date)||1||3||3||90|
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends publishing the lines of possible routes to be followed by the A38 spine road Saltash-Trerulefoot section.
Late 1975 or early 1976.
New Palace Yard
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements are being made for the planting in New Palace Yard of the catalpa trees presented by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association.
I am pleased to be able to say that my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council will be officiating at a planting ceremony at noon tomorrow. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association for its generous gift.
Asbestos Regulations 1969 annually since they were introduced; and what fines have been imposed annually.
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th March 1975, Vol. 889, c. 286], gave the following information:I am informed by the Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that the number of prosecutions brought annually under the Asbestos Regulations 1969, together with the number of informations involved in those prosecutions, the number of convictions and the total fines, are as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will enumerate the Home Office papers relating to the case of Mr. James Hanratty which have been made available to Mr. Lewis Hawser, QC, but not to representatives of the Hanratty family, and his reasons for so doing.
Mr. Hawser was furnished with copies of all the significant material available to the Home Office in the case. This included the transcript of the trial proceedings, the depositions, reports on investigations by the police, statements of witnesses made to the police or to others and the various representations made to successive Home Secretaries.I have made it clear that this was not intended to be in any sense a formal inquiry involving adversary procedures and the question of disclosure of documents to interested parties did not arise. The purpose of the review is to obtain an independent assessment of the relevant material and it has been for Mr. Hawser to form his own view of the material before him.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the information provided to prisoners under Rule 7(1).
The information cards provided under Rule 7(1) cover matters of concern to all prisoners; and there is in addition a wide range of cards designed to meet the particular needs of different sorts of prisoner. I have arranged for a complete set to be placed in the House of Commons Library.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what amendments have been made to the Prison Rules since 1964.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1968 (SI No. 440); the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1971 (SI No. 2019); the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1972 (SI No. 1860); and the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1974 (SI No. 713).
Rehabilitation Of Offenders Act 1974
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what modifications of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 he intends to carry out and why; and when he intends to introduce the orders;(2) who has asked for what exemptions from which provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
We have received a large number of requests for exemption from those provisions of the Act which are subject to modification by order. The Act is due to come into force on 1st July, and my right hon. Friend proposes to lay the necessary orders before Parliament before that date.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those organisations which he has consulted on his proposals to introduce an independent element into the procedure for handling complaints against the police and those areas of disagreement that have appeared between them and himself.
There have been detailed consultations with the police service and police authoriites, in which the following are taking part: Association of County Councils, Association of Metropolitan Authorities, Association of Chief Police Officers, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Police Superintendents' Association and the Police Federation. It has also been open to other bodies to express their views on the outline scheme which I put forward last year; and I have received comments on the scheme from Justice and the Runnymede Trust.I am still considering certain aspects of the scheme in the light of the consultations, and it would be premature to make any further statement at present.
European Communitymembership (Referendum)
asked the Lord President of the Council how many civil servants will have to be employed for the purposes of conducting the EEC referendum.
About 30 civil servants have been or will be involved in various small units in the Cabinet Office and the Home Office concerned with preparations for the referendum. If the votes are counted centrally, as the Government have proposed, a proportion of the staff required may be drawn from the Civil Service.
European Investment Bank Grants(London)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will specify the loans and guarantees approved by the European Investment Bank for projects in the Greater London area since 1st January 1973.
The European Investment Bank has not so far granted any loans or given any guarantees for projects in the Greater London area. However, the £7 million loan which the Bank made to the Kent and Essex councils in October 1974 to assist with the financing of the second Dartford Tunnel should help to solve the environmental problems of the area by enabling traffic to reach points north and east of London without passing through the Greater London conurbation.
Estate Duty (Wales)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the amount paid in estate duties in each county of Wales and in Wales as a whole for the last available year.
Estate duty paid by residents of Wales in 1973–74 is estimated to have been of the order of £10 million. I regret that it is not practicable to apportion this figure between the individual counties.
£ Sterling (Value)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present purchasing power of the pound sterling compared with 18th June 1970.
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 7th April 1975; Vol. 889, c. 367], circulated the following information:Taking the internal purchasing power of the pound as 100p in June 1970, its value in February, the latest date available, is estimated to be 60p. This estimate is based on the changes in the General Index of Retail Prices.
Magilligan Prison (Escapes)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, (1) what inquiry has been made into the escape of Daniel Joseph Keenan from Magilligan Prison; and whether action has been taken designed to prevent future escapes;(2) if he will satisfy himself that vehicles of any type which leave Magilligan Prison with loads of rubbish, etc. will not in future be used in connection with escapes from the prison.
The Governor of Her Majesty's Prison, Magilligan, has held an inquiry into the circumstances of the escape. Appropriate action to prevent a recurrence has been taken.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons have escaped from Magilligan Prison since it opened.
Six, four of whom were recaptured.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has yet received the report from Sir Don Ryder on British Leyland.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total weekly cost of Concorde in the first three months of 1975, and in 1974, respectively.
The average weekly expenditure by the Government on Concorde in the first three months of 1975 was £1·50 million. For the same period in 1974 the equivalent figure was £1·34 million. Allowing for the effects of inflation, this represents a reduction in real terms in 1975 of about 10 per cent. compared with 1974.
Industrial Development Certificates
asked the Minister for Industry in how many cases firms which have been refused an industrial development certificate for the area of their choice have established themselves elsewhere during the last convenient 12 months' period; and how many have abandoned the project or settled out of the United Kingdom.
Information of this kind is not collected on a regular basis. Because firms may take several months, if not years, to consider and implement alternative development proposals, the effects of industrial development certificate refusals cannot be assessed until well after the event. The latest information available comes from a study of over 1,300 refusals in the period 1958–71. This study indicates that 18 per cent. of the developments concerned were eventually located in areas preferred by the Department —e.g., the assisted areas. In 58 per cent. of the cases firms met their requirements in various ways outside the preferred areas—e.g., in existing industrial premises. 15 per cent. of projects were abandoned and less than 1 per cent. were located outside the United Kingdom. The remaining 8 per cent. was made up of cases where the companies were considering alternative developments or where there was insufficient information.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the total numbers of applications for industrial development certificates in Scotland in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974; how many were granted in each case; and if he will make a statement on the number of certificates being granted in Scotland compared with the rest of Great Britain.
The number of applications for industrial development certificates for Scotland decided in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 was 155, 108, 15 and 3 respectively. No applications were refused during this period. It is not possible to make any meaningful comparisons on this subject between Scotland and England and Wales because in July 1972 the IDC control ceased to apply in development areas. Thus in Scotland from July 1972 to August 1974 the control operated only in Edinburgh, Leith and Portobello employment exchange areas. After these areas were made into development areas in August 1974 the control ceased to operate anywhere in Scotland.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what amendment would be required to the European Coal and Steel Treaty to give member Governments of the EEC control over investment in their own steel industries.
As the Prime Minister said in his statement to the House on 18th March—[Vol. 888, c. 1456-1467.]—we are going to study the methods other member countries use to control investment in their steel industries before we decide whether to ask for amendment of the ECSC Treaty.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will initiate discussions with appropriate Ministers of the EEC countries concerning the problem of the proliferation of mini steel mills.
As the Prime Minister told the House on 18th March, we are going to study the methods other member countries use to deal with the question of private investment in steel. This will entail, inter alia, discussion with the Community on the problem of mini steel mills.
National Enterprise Board (Scotland)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the declared proposed powers of the National Enterprise Board to initiate takeover bids for companies will cover Scottish registered companies; and if so, whether the consent of the Scottish Development Agency will be required.
The Industry Bill empowers the NEB, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State, to acquire majority shareholdings in any company where this would help the NEB carry out its functions. The NEB, however, will consult with the SDA about the exercise of its powers in Scotland.
London House Publishing (Uk) Led
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list the directors of London House Publishing (UK) L td., Reg. No. 1152603, at the latest available date.
There is no record of the registration of London House Publishing (UK) Limited and the registered number 1152603 is that of Mazecastle Limited, whose only director so far notified is an Australian, Mr. Frank Hillen Smith. There is, however, a registration under the Registration of Business Names Act 1916 for London House Publishing (UK), whose proprietor is stated to be Mazecastle Limited.
Balance Of Trade
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is his estimate, on the basis of the figures most recently available, of the effect of the loss of production resulting from the three-day week and from industrial disputes in 1974 on the visible trade balance for that year, giving separate figures for trade with Community and non-Community countries.
Our trade is influenced by many factors—for example, overseas demand for the type of goods which we export, the state of the United Kingdom domestic economy, changes in currency rates, movements in world commodity prices and relative rates of inflation here and abroad—and it is not possible to isolate the effects of the three-day week or industrial disputes.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what is the total percentage of gross national product at present apportioned by Her Majesty's Government for overseas aid; how this
|Official development assistance||0·52||0·47||0·46||0·43||0·40|
|Other official flows||0·01||0·01||0·03||0·01||0·01|
|On market terms||0·46||0·55||0·37||0·29||0·30|
|Official development assistance||0·39||0·37||0·41||0·39||0·35|
|Other official flows||0·00||0·00||0·01||0·01||0·02|
|On market terms||0·64||0·62||0·59||0·54||0·21|
(1) Some totals do not add because of rounding.
(2) Grants by voluntary agencies were only recognised as a reportable flow from 1970; data for earlier years are not available.
Capital Transfer Tax
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the annual contribution by those engaged in agriculture in Wales to the capital transfer tax.
It is difficult to make such an estimate, as it depends on the reactions of farmers and landowners and on such factors as the transfer of assets between spouses.
compares with the amount spent in the last 10 years; and how it is divided between direct Government aid, private investment, and aid from voluntary agencies.
The following table shows the relationship to gross national product, in percentage terms, of the various categories of financial flow as they have been reported to the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD during the 10 years 1964 to 1973, the last year for which full details are available; provisional estimates of official development assistance indicate that this represented 0·38 per cent. of gross national product in 1974.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether any liquid milk is being imported into Wales from Ireland for either liquid consumption or manufacturing purposes.
The Overseas Trade Account statistics show imports into the United Kingdom. In February 1975, the latest month for which information is available, they show that 2½ tons of milk for liquid consumption and 333 tons of milk for manufacturing were imported into the United Kingdom from the Irish Republic. There were no imports from other sources.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland 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 Scotland during each of the last five years.
The information for the four years from 1970 to 1973 can be found in Table 38 of Housing and Construction Statistics, No. 11, and for 1974 in DOE Press Notice No. 143 issued on 18th February 1975, copies of which are in the Library.
Agriculture, Fisheriesand Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the disposal of the millions of gallons of wine surplus and unsaleable within the EEC owing to the operation of the common agricultural policy; and what the estimated cost of disposal will be to the British taxpayer.
The present surplus of wine in the Community arises from a succession of bumper harvests due to unusually favourable weather, and these have put considerable strain on the marketing mechanisms in this sector. As a means of disposing of surplus wine the common wine policy provides for aid towards the cost of distillation of surplus wine for disposal as alcohol. In 1975 the Community has so far agreed to subsidise the distillation of 101 million gallons of surplus wine at a cost of some £16 million, within the European Agricultural Guarantee and Guidance Fund's budget provision for this purpose of £17·7 million. The United Kingdom contribution is made to the Community Budget as a whole and represents 13·57 per cent. in 1975.The Council of Ministers will be reviewing the situation later this month and also examining proposals for revising the Community's wine regime. The Government's objective in these discussions will be to secure a sound long-term balance between supply and demand for wine coupled with economy and efficiency in the management of the wine market.
Skimmed Milk Powder
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps are being taken to make available surplus stocks of skimmed milk powder, arising from the Common Market intervention buying system, to people in developing countries who are suffering from malnutrition.
In 1974, 52,494 tonnes of skimmed milk powder from Community intervention stocks were given as food aids, and 37,000 tonnes were sold to supply long-term contracts in developing countries. In addition, the Community has recently decided to make 100,000 tonnes of skimmed milk powder available at half price from intervention stocks for distribution in developing countries.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much skimmed milk powder has been sold by the United Kingdom Intervention Board in 1975 and at what loss to the taxpayer; how much of this commodity has become unusable in storage; and what steps are being taken to prevent future intervention buying of this product in the United Kingdom.
17,977 tons of skimmed milk powder have so far been sold in 1975. 2,832 tons were sold by tender at a price not less than £348·49 per ton and the remainder for £358·43 per ton. The average purchase price of the stocks concerned was £281·66 per ton.No skimmed milk powder has become unusable due to deterioration in storage.For the future the Commission has tabled suggestions for encouraging a better balance between production and consumption of milk products in times of surplus. As a result of the stocktaking of the common agricultural policy we hope to give manufacturers more incentive to look for commercial outlets rather than rely upon sales into intervention.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the current stocks of skimmed milk powder in the United Kingdom arising from intervention buying under the EEC common agricultural policy.
On 28th March 1975 there were 10,815 tons of skimmed milk powder in United Kingdom intervention stocks.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current volume of skimmed milk powder intervention stocks in the Common Market countries.
The latest information available indicates that on 3rd April 1975 intervention stocks of skimmed milk powder in the Community totalled about 433,418 tonnes.
|Source and Grain Type||Price per Ton cif||Month of Shipment||Basis|
|Wheat||…||US 14℅ Northern Spring/DNS||…||80·00||April/May||MCA to buyer*|
|French Milling Wheat||…||51·65||April||Final|
|Maize||…||US No. 3 Yellow Corn||…||59·00||April/May||MCA to buyer*|
|*MCA = monetary compensatory amount, the effect of which was to reduce the price to buyer by approximately£6 ·40.|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current rate of levy per ton on (a) wheat, (b) maize, and (c) other grains entering the Common Market.
The common levy rates as at 3rd April 1975 for the following basic grains imported into the Community were:
|Units of accounts per metric tonne||£ per ton|
|Durum wheat||…||14 ·61||7·40|
Antarctic Fishing And Hunting
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will act through international organisations and treaties to seek to ensure the living resources of the Antarctic such as krill and restored whale stocks are harvested on an environmentally sound basis and that their products are distributed equitably.
The United Kingdom is already playing a full part in the International Whaling Commission to ensure
Cereals (Prices And Levies)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what was the average world price and Common Market price per ton, quality for quality, of (a) wheat, and (b) maize, on 20th March 1975.
There are no recognised criteria for measuring an "average world price" for wheat and maize. However, the asking prices for representative trading varieties as reported by the HGCA— Home-Grown Cereals Authority—for Monday 24th March, the nearest reporting date to 20th March, were as in the following tables. I would emphasise that United States' and French milling wheats are not comparable as to quality.that whale stocks in the Antarctic are not over-exploited, and will continue to do so. Conservation measures presently in force include catch limits, closed seasons, closed areas and minimum size limits. There is a total ban on the taking of the seriously endangered species.
Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the proposed rundown in the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau.
I understand that some reorganisation is envisaged in the services provided by the bureau in order to improve their efficiency of operation, but I know of no proposal that these should be run down.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the recent agreement between the EEC and the USA on trade in cheese.
There has been no agreement as such, but talks are still taking place between the European Commission and the United States' authorities on this question.