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Written Answers

Volume 891: debated on Monday 28 April 1975

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 28th April 1975

Social Services

Birmingham And Midland Eye Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list the various endowments relating to the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital which were transferred under Section 7 of the National Health Service Act 1946: and, for each endowment, if she will make a statement on the present financial position or give the date on which the endowment ceased to have effect.

I regret that details of the endowments relating to the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital which were transferred to the Minister of Health in July 1948 are not readily traceable. Except for some endowments made after the 1946 Act was passed the endowments of all voluntary non-teaching hospitals, which included the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, were transferred in 1948 free of existing trusts. The funds were pooled to form the Hospital Endowments Fund and thus lost their separate identity.Until March 1974 the income deriving from that part of the fund which was not applied to discharging voluntary hospital liabilities, also transferred to the Minister, was distributed twice yearly to all hospital management committees and regional hospital boards in proportion to hospital bed numbers. The Hospital Endowments Fund was wound up under Section 23 of the National Health Reorganisation Act 1973 and in December 1974 the assets distributed on a similar proportionate basis among regional and area health authorities and Special Trustees. Birmingham Area Health Authority (Teaching) received £228,000.

Family Allowances

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is now able to provide a comparison of family allowance entitlements in the United Kingdom and in EEC member States.

Kidney Dialysis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what increase in kidney dialysis machines is planned for the next three years for (a) hospital units and (b) home usage;(2) how many kidney dialysis machines are located in each area health authority (

a) in patients' homes and ( b) in hospital units;

(3) how many kidney dialysis machines have been made available through charitable activity in the last three years;

(4) how many kidney dialysis machines have been made available to hospital units in each of the last three years;

(5) what estimate is available of the numbers of kidney complaint sufferers who are unable to benefit from dialysis treatment due to ( a) shortage of machines and ( b) distance of residence from nearest unit;

(6) how many patients are currently undergoing kidney dialysis treatment ( a) at home and ( b) as hospital out-patients;

(7) what is the current cost of a kidney dialysis machine.

I am sending separately to the hon. Member tables which show at 30th June 1972, 1973 and 1974, the latest date at which figures are centrally available, (i) the numbers of patients in chronic renal failure being treated by individual dialysis units in hospital or at home; (ii) the numbers of beds in individual hospital units; (iii) the planned totals of each of the foregoing, though I am afraid I do not have information analysing future plans by individual years.Precise details of the number of dialysis machines in hospitals are not available centrally, but the number of machines used in the treatment of chronic renal failure will equate broadly with the number of beds in hospital dialysis units with some machines in reserve. All patients treated at home have their own machines. The current cost of a kidney dialysis machine is approximately £2,500.

I regret that I do not have information on the number of dialysis machines made available through charitable activity in the last three years.

A Joint Committee of the Royal Colleges estimated in 1972 that between 23 and 39 patients per million population per year, with an upper age limit of 55–60, might benefit from treatment by regular dialysis and/or transplantation. While the situation varies in different parts of the country, in general those patients between the ages of 15 and 45 who are suitable for dialysis can be offered treatment, and in some parts of the country the age range is wider. I am not aware of any patients who are unable to be treated because of the distance they live from a dialysis unit.

Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will publish in the Official Report a list of all health and social services projects which are to be held back as a result of the reduction in public expenditure announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 15th April.

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to my right hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, North (Mr. Atkins) on 15th April.—[Vol. 890, c. 85–81]

Geriatric Beds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many geriatric beds there are in England and Wales, the North-West, and Salford, respectively.

As 31st March 1975, 5,141 and 285 beds respectively for the North-West and Salford. At 13th June 1974—the latest available figures for England and Wales—56,223 and 3,617 beds respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services approximately how many people are waiting for geriatric beds in England and Wales, the North-West, and Salford, respectively.

At 31st March 1975, 664 and 154 for the North-West and Salford respectively. At 31st December 1973— latest available figures—6,735 and 342 for England and Wales respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services approximately how long on average patients have to wait for geriatric beds in England and Wales, the North-West, and Salford, respectively.

Averages are misleading, as waiting times for admission vary according to the circumstances of individual cases. Of the 664 people awaiting beds in the North-West at 31st March 1975, 533 had been waiting less than three months, 88 from three to six months, 36 from six to 12 months, four from one to two years and three over two years. Of the 154 people in Salford at 31st March 1975, 100 had been waiting less than three months, 41 from three to six months, and 13 from six to 12 months. Figures are not readily available for England and Wales.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is aware of the difficulty and sometimes impossibility of getting old, sick people living on their own into geriatric hospital beds; if she will take steps to end the delays; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware of the problems which arise in some areas in securing admission to hospital of elderly patients needing geriatric treatment. The Government are fully conscious of the need to expand and improve hospital services for the elderly. As my right hon. Friend announced in her reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, North (Mr. Atkins) on 15th April—[Vol. 890, c. 85–8]—despite the restrictions on public expenditure, the health capital programme would provide for some priority for geriatric programmes. I have asked health authorities to maintain expenditure on geriatric services at approximately present levels when considering their building programmes for 1975–76. A specific allocation of £16·4 million has been made for this year for geriatric services and for services for elderly patients with severe dementia and further sums will be added from health authorities' main programme allocations.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the weekly cost of keeping a patient in High View Hospital, Exhall.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the weekly cost of keeping a geriatric patient in Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry;(2) what is the weekly cost of keeping a geriatric patient in George Eliot Hospital.

In 1973–74 the average cost per in-patient week at Walsgrave and George Eliot Hospitals was £130·51 and £91·07 respectively. It is not possible to identify separately the average cost for geriatric patients.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the weekly cost of keeping a geriatric patient in the Manor Hospital, Nuneaton;(2) how many geriatric beds there are in the Manor Hospital, Nuneaton.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many geriatric patients are currently awaiting admission to hospitals in the Nuneaton and Coventry areas;(2) how many geriatric patients currently residing in senior citizens' accommodation provided by local authorities are awaiting admission to hospital in the Nuneaton and Coventry areas.

Eleven patients in Nuneaton and 59 in Coventry are on the waiting list for admission to a geriatric bed. Of these three in Coventry, but none in Nuneaton, live in local authortiy residential accommodation.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many geriatric beds there are in Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry.

Twenty-six at present but a further 196 under construction are expected to be ready later this year.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many geriatric beds there are in High View Hospital.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many geriatric beds there are in George Eliot Hospital.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will make a statement about the proposed closure of High View Hospital, Exhall.

There is no proposal at present for the closure of High View Hospital. The health authorities are considering the implications of the National Coal Board's plans for mining in the area.

Mortgage Repayments (Women)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why a woman with obligations to repay mortgage repayments and wishing to claim social security benefits to cover interest repayments is not allowed to do so, but has to have such an application made by her husband on her behalf.

In the determination of entitlement to supplementary benefit, including housing costs, the Supplementary Benefit Act provides that the requirements and resources of a husband and wife in the same household are to be aggregated.

Supplementary Benefit Claimants

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of supplementary benefit claimants at the latest convenient date in (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom.

Retirement Pension

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps she can take to protect the purchasing power of retirement pensions against the price increases created by the Budget.

The Government are committed to increasing pensions in line with the increase in average earnings, or the increase in prices if that should be more favourable to pensioners. As my hon. Friend knows, pensions were substantially increased this month, and we have undertaken that there will he a second uprating later this year.

Family Support

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's programme for family support.

Family Support—I have today introduced a Bill to fulfil our undertaking to provide a cash payment to be known as child benefit to mothers for all children, including the first.

Family allowances, which are not paid for first or only children, will be abolished. As progressively the child benefit scheme replaces income tax child allowances, it will extend to the poorest the help now only given to people whose incomes are large enough to benefit from tax allowances in full. The rate at which child benefit is introduced will be decided nearer the start date. We shall have to accommodate the cost of the scheme within the total which, in the light of future reviews, we decide we can devote to public expenditure from 1977–78 onwards.

The scheme will start in April 1977. We had hoped that we might be able to start a year earlier, but operational difficulties, which always threatened the start, have proved insuperable. The main problem has been accommodation. The introduction of the new scheme is a massive undertaking, involving payment to over 3 million new beneficiaries and doubling the number of children for whom benefit is paid from 7 million to 14 million. To house some 2,000 staff needed to launch the scheme buildings are going up in Washington New Town, Co. Durham. Plans were made in good time, but, unfortunately, we learnt that delays made it impossible to have accommodation ready for a 1976 start. This delay was caused because high alumina cement had been used in the manufacture of precast concrete units which formed part of the construction of the building. The units had. therefore, to be tested before con- struction could continue. We have made every effort to find alternative accommodation in the Newcastle-Washington area but nothing large enough could be found which could be ready on time. We could not go beyond this area in our search because of the scheme's close link with the existing family allowance work which is located in Newcastle and carried out by a staff whose expertise is essential to the launching of the scheme. We have had to face the fact, therefore, that there is just no way in which we could start the full scheme before 1977.

This being so we have sought to find some way of helping poorer families in advance. It has proved practicable, although at short notice, to devise a special scheme to help one-parent families. Since far fewer families are involved, it has been possible to find accommodation for the comparatively few extra staff required. We intend, therefore, to introduce an interim benefit of £1·50 a week which will, in effect, extend family allowances to the first children of one-parent families who do not already receive an equivalent benefit—e.g., in the widowed mother's allowance.

The Child Benefit Bill includes provisions to give legislative effect to this decision, and, subject to its passage, payment of the interim benefit will begin in April 1976. Its life span will be short—one year to April 1977, when it will be subsumed in the main child benefit scheme. The interim benefit will, like family allowances, be taxable and subject only to the existing "claw back" on about 50p of the total sum. Again like family allowances it will be treated as a resource for supplementary benefit and family income supplement purposes. It will, however, bring a measure of help to about 300,000 one-parent families, in particular to those who have title to supplementary benefit or family income supplement but are not claiming it and to those with incomes at about these levels. As announced in the Budget, the cost will be about £23 million.

Family Income Supplement.—Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary regulations I propose to increase, with effect from 22nd July, the prescribed amounts for entitlement to family income supplement. The prescribed amount for the one-child family will go up by £6·50

to £31·50 and for larger families to £31·50 plus £3·50 for each child after the first. The increase in weekly payments from 22nd July will take account of the April 1975 increase in family allowances, under the normal rules applicable to family income supplement.

For families entitled to the maximum weekly payment—at present £5·50 for families with one or two children and for other families £7—I propose to move to a more equitable system under which the maximum increases progressively with each child. The maximum weekly payment for a one-child family will be increased to £7 and that amount will go up by 50p for each additional child. The cost is provided for in my existing programme.

Wage Stop.—The Bill implements my undertaking to abolish the supplementary benefit wage stop. As I have said, my intention is that this should take effect when family income supplement is up-rated. The cost is unlikely to exceed £100,000 per annum.

Hearing Aids

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations she has received on the increasing prices of hearing aid batteries; and if she will take steps to make these batteries available under the National Health Service.

A very small number of complaints have been made, both to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection and to myself. about the price of batteries purchased privately. As my hon. Friend will know, batteries for hearing aids supplied through the National Health Service are issued free of charge. I do not feel it would be justifiable to go further.

Breast Cancer

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what facilities are available within the National Health Service for the detection of breast cancer in women; and what measures have been taken to publicise such facilities.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what facilities are available within the National Health Service for the detection of breast cancer in women;(2) how many women have been screened for the detection of cancer of the breast within the National Health Service in each of the past five years;(3) what is the average waiting list of women for screening, for the detection of cancer of the breast, within the National Health Service in the United Kingdom to the most recent convenient date;(4) if she is satisfied with the publicity given to the availability of screening facilities provided for women within the National Health Service for the detection of cancer of the breast.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what NHS facilities are available for the detection of breast cancer in women.

I have now had an opportunity to consider the general question of future action on breast cancer screening following receipt of the recommendations of the joint working group looking at this question, which have been endorsed by the Standing Medical Advisory Committee and similarly accepted for Scotland. I have also consulted the Medical Research Council on the issues raised. I am placing a copy of the report in the Library.The recommendations are that research on specific problems associated with breast cancer screening should be extended, that NHS diagnostic and treatment services should be improved and that the feasibility be examined of substantial investigations of breast cancer screening—including assessment of benefit—designed and controlled to give the maximum amount of information and to lead to progressive development of a national service if results were favourable. At present the group's advice is that a national breast cancer screening service is not justified.In agreement with my right hon. Friends I have decided to accept this advice and in consultation with the Medical Research Council to establish substantial screening trials in certain areas to establish the optimum form any service might take. Two joint groups will be set up to advise us, one on the design and execution of population screening trials, the other on the validity, safety and improvement of screening techniques. I have asked that the groups should start work as soon as possible. Whatever the results of these screening trials nothing will diminish the overriding importance of prompt consultation with her doctor by any woman who discovers suspicious symptoms.General diagnostic facilities for breast cancer are provided widely through outpatient clinics and radiological and pathological departments but special equipment such as mammography and thermography machines are provided on a more limited basis. The Health Departments will now, following the advice of the joint working group, review with health authorities the need for both improved diagnostic and treatment facilities and draw the attention of general practitioners to the services which are currently available.

19691970197119721973
United Kingdom11,98412,03412,47212,54012,834
Liverpool Hospital Region456487434466462

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the average waiting list of women for screening for the detection of cancer of the breast within the National Health Service in the Merseyside Area Health Authority to the most recent convenient date;(2) how many women have been screened for the detection of cancer of the breast within the National Health Service in the Merseyside Area Health Authority in each year of the past five years.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much has been spent by the Medical Research Council on research into the detection of cancer of the breast in each of the past five years.

Research into the feasibility and methods of earlier detection of breast cancer is primarily undertaken by the Health Departments. My Department has provided funds as follows for research into screening programmes and methods for detecting the disease:

I regret that I cannot give statistics of women screened for breast cancer and waiting for such screening, since my information about facilities for screening is not fully comprehensive.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if she will publish in the Official Report the number of female deaths arising from cancer of the breast in the United Kingdom in each of the past five years to the latest available date;(2) how many deaths have occurred within the area covered by the Merseyside Area Health Authority in each of the past five years to women arising from cancer of the breast.

Data over the past five years, available only for areas as constituted before 1st April 1974, are as follows nationally and for the former Liverpool hospital region:

£
1970–7141,000
1971–72nil
1972–7376,500
1973–74107,000
1974–75131,700

Unemployment Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which categories of employees presently working a five-day week are entitled to claim two days' unemployment benefit in the event of their being reduced to a four-day working week; and whether this applies to all five-day week workers.

I have been asked to reply.All employees who normally work on five days each week may be entitled to unemployment benefit for a day on which work is actually lost when reduced to a four-day working week if that day links with another day of reckonable unemployment or sickness under the two days in six continuity rule.

Members Of Parliament And Ministers (Pay)

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will publish the names of members of Lord Boyle's Review Body considering the remuneration of Members of Parliament and Ministers.

The members are: The right hon. Lord Boyle of Handsworth (Chairman); H. W. Atcherley, Esq.; Lord Beeching; Sir George Coldstream, KCB, KCVO, QC.; A. J. L. Lloyd, Esq., QC; Baroness Seear; Sir Mark Turner.

European Community Membership (Referendum)

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list in the Official Report the 50 printing firms contracted to print material for the EEC referendum.

A total of 63 companies were awarded contracts for the printing of the EEC booklets. It would not be in the public interest to quote the names of the successful tenderers.

asked the Lord President of the Council how many printing firms are engaged in printing the pocket edition of the White Papers and other statements to be circulated to the electors in the referendum; what is the estimated cost; how many firms in Scotland have been selected; and what proportion of the total cost will be spent in Scotland, England and Wales, respectively.

A total of 63 companies were awarded contracts for the printing of EEC booklets. The estimated production cost is £1 million. Six Scottish printing companies have been awarded contracts for part of the total requirement. It is estimated that 7 per cent. of the total printing expenditure is being incurred in Scotland; 5 per cent. in Wales; and the remainder in England and Northern Ireland. Half the tonnage of paper required for the work was made in Scotland. Taking this into consideration the proportion of the total cost of production spent in Scotland is about 25 per cent.

Referendum Information Unit

asked the Lord President of the Council how many staff are employed in the Government's Common Market special information unit, established to provide on request factual information, interpretation of the renegotiated terms and the like; of what grade; from which Government Departments have staff been seconded; what new staff have been appointed; what is the total estimated cost of the unit; and when it will be closed.

The Referendum Information Unit employs 16 people between clerical officer and Assistant Secretary level. Their grades are: two Assistant Secretaries; one chief information officer B; three Principals; one information officer; two higher executive officers; two executive officers; one administration trainee; one clerical officer; three secretaries.In addition to Cabinet Office personnel, staff have been seconded from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department of Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Central Office of Information. No overall new staff or accommodation costs are, therefore, involved, but the estimated salary costs for the present staff, for a period of three months, is £20,000. The estimated telephone installation and rental charges are £6,000, and expenditure to date on printing, stationery and advertising is about £10,000.

Ministers' Transport

asked the Prime Minister (1) what rules apply to Ministers using official transport during the referendum campaign;(2) under what circumstances Ministers have to pay their own travelling expenses when using official transport.

Official transport is provided for Ministers for use in connection with their official business. During the referendum campaign I have asked Ministers to ensure that official transport is not used for journeys to any speaking or other engagements concerned with the campaign, whether they are in support of the Government's recommendation or not. Under successive Governments, those Ministers for whom the appropriate authorities consider it essential for security reasons have been able to use official transport on a repayment basis for journeys of a private or party political nature and these arrangements will continue for purposes connected with the referendum campaign.

Defence

Employment (Shipbuilding)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what he estimates will be the effect on employment in the shipbuilding industry of the decision in the defence review to reduce by one-seventh the planned number of destroyers, frigates and MCMVs, and to delete from the forward programme five Royal Fleet auxiliaries and two amphibious ships.

The decision is not expected to lead to any immediate loss of employment, particularly as there is a general shortage of labour in the warship building industry at present. Cancellation will result in a loss of job opportunities further ahead, but I expect Royal Navy and overseas orders to take up the available capacity in the main warship building yards for the foreseeable future.

Expenditure (Reductions)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consultation he undertook between the publication of the defence review in March and the reduction in defence spending by £110 million announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 15th April; and why the later cuts could not have been foreseen in the March review.

The cut was a Budget measure. Our allies were informed immediately after the Chancellor's Statement. The Defence White Paper published in March took into account the decisions on defence expenditure taken by then and could not anticipate the Chancellor's budgetary judgment on public expenditure as a whole.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how the proposed further defence cuts of £110 million will be divided between new equipment purchases, stores and ammunition purchases, personnel strengths, new living accommodation and other expenditure.

I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) on 22nd April.—[Vol. 890, c. 251–52.]

Education And Science

Scientists (Medical Research)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the financial position of scientists engaged in medical research within universities.

The salaries of scientists engaged in medical research within universities are based either on National Health Service or on university teachers' pay scales.

Educational Disadvantage Unit

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to ensure that the Educational Disadvantage Unit established within his Department is aware of the needs of those who have left school; if he will seek to provide the maximum contribution from colleges of further education and adult education; and if he will make a statement.

All stages of education are within the terms of reference of the Educational Disadvantage Unit. I very much hope that the further and adult education services will be able to contribute to its work.

University Accounts

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce legislation to ensure that the full accounts of all university colleges are open to public inspection.

No. The accounts of all universities in Great Britain are published annually. Furthermore, since 1968 the Comptroller and Auditor General has had access to the books and records of the University Grants Committee and of the universities.

Teacher Training

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teacher training departments there are in the Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council area.

Huddersfield Polytechnic is the only institution in Kirklees concerned with initial teacher training.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teacher training departments there are within the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Borough Council area.

West Yorkshire includes nine non-university teacher training establishments.

School Leaving

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has reached a conclusion, as a result of his consultations, on a uniform date for school leavers to leave school in future years.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will offer advice to local education authorities on ways of ensuring, in the current year, the attendance of pupils who have completed their CSE and GCE examinations up to the end of the term, particularly in those authorities whose term goes on into August.

No. This matter is best left to local education authorities to deal with. They not only have whatever enforcement powers may be required in relation to pupils of compulsory school age, but also the necessary detailed knowledge of all the circumstances in their own area, including the needs of pupils above as well as below that age.

Departmental Publications

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many official forms, pamphlets and leaflets, magazines, booklets and books published by or on behalf of his Department are currently available to the public or to sections of the public; and how many in each class of publication are available in the Welsh language and in bilingual form, respectively.

This information is not available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

Mentally-Handicapped Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the level of Government expenditure on the provision of (a) junior occupational centres for the mentally handicapped and (b) adult occupational centres in each of the last 10 years.

I have been asked to reply.Provision of occupational or training centres for the mentally handicapped is the responsibility of local authorities, though the expenditure was relevant for the purposes of general grant for the three years 1964–65, 1965–66 and 1966–67. and for rate support grant from 1967–68 onwards.Net revenue expenditure in England on these services, including debt charges, for each of the last 10 years for which information is available, was as follows:

Junior Training Centers £millionJunior and Adult Training Centers £millionAdult Training Centers £million
1964–656·196—*
1965–667·494—*
1966–678·854—*
1967–6810·546—*
1968–696·7816·344
1969–707·6997·522
1970–718·8139·455
1971–72—†11·879
1972–73—†12·923‡
1973–74—†16·230‡
* Separate figures for junior and adult training centres for these years are not available.
†The Department of Education and Science took over responsibility for junior training centres on 1st April 1971 when they became special schools for the educationally subnormal. It is understood that no separate information is available about the cost for these years.
‡The figures for 1972–73 and 1973–74—unlike those for previous years—exclude the cost of administration which has not been analysed to these services in the local authority returns.

Employment

Retail Trades

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give attention to the career development of those seeking long-term employment in the retail trades, in view of the reduction in the available supply of recruits since 1973.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Distributive Industry Training Board is actively (1) examining career structures in distribution and associated training and education; (2) considering a scheme to encourage school leavers to take a distributive qualification on a one year college course linked to work experience during vacations; (3) offering varied grants to employers to encourage career development through college courses.

Wales

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many training places now exist in adult training and retraining centres in Wales; whether this figure represents any increase over the figure of 2,085 given on 17th December 1974: and what plans there are to add new places in 1975.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that at the end of March of. there were 2,223 places available for vocational trainees under the Training Opportunities Scheme (TOPS) in Wales.This figure cannot be compared with the figure of 2,085 given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales on 19th December 1974— [Vol. 883, c.

420.]—which referred to places in local authority social services departments' training centres.

The Training Services Agency is committed to increasing substantially the numbers of people trained each year under TOPS. Since the start of the summer term in colleges of further education the number of places available to TOPS trainees in Wales has increased by nearly 300. A new skillcentre in Newport (Gwent) and a major extension of the Wrexham skillcentre will both open this year and will, when fully operational, add 174 and 80 additional places respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people completed courses in 1974 under Government or Training Services Agency's TOPS schemes; and what courses these were in each case.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the numbers of people who completed courses under TOPS in 1974 were:

All groups of which45,416
Engineering13,349
Construction6,420
Clerical/Commercial14,320
Automotive Trades4,029
Others7,298

Unemployment Benefit (Jaguar Car Workers)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate of the weekly cost to public funds of the exceptional payment of two days' unemployment benefit per week to persons formerly working a five-day week and now working four days per week at the Jaguar factory.

If most of the 7,500 employees qualify for two days' unemployment benefit a week it is estimated that the cost may be about £35,000 a week.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment under what powers he has authorised the payment of two days' unemployment benefit to employees of the Jaguar car factory when working a four-day week, despite the fact that five-day working has been practised in the past and when working four days of a five-day week no unemployment benefit is normally payable.

The Secretary of State for Employment has not authorised payments because neither he nor any other Minister has the power to do so. All awards of unemployment benefit are made by the independent adjudicating authorities.

Health And Safety

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will now introduce regulations to require directors' reports to contain information concerning health and safety at work, in accordance with Section 79 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

I have been asked to reply.It will be for the Secretary of State for Trade to make any necessary regulations implementing Section 79 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 on the advice of the Health and Safety Commission. Faced with other priorities, I understand that the commission is not yet ready to initiate the wide consultations on this issue with interested organisations which are a statutory prerequisite to its making recommendations to the Secretary of State. I cannot say when these recommendations may be expected, although I understand that the commission is conducting its business as expeditiously as possible.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Caravan Sites

2.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will seek powers to protect non-residential caravan owners from being trapped into forced sales by site owners demanding the removal of a caravan from a site on spurious or unreasonable grounds.

I am considering with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Environment and Trade and with the Director General of Fair Trading how holiday caravan owners might be protected against the imposition by site operators of inequitable terms.

Food Prices

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will publish in the Official Report a table showing which basic foods are cheaper than they would have been if the United Kingdom had been outside the EEC in the last two years.

As I said in my reply to the hon. Member for mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd) on 17th March—[Vol. 888, c. 1127–8.]—taking account of EEC-financed subsidies, most imported cereals, including wheat, maize and barley, are cheaper than if we were not a member of the Community.

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what has been the average increase in retail food prices since October 1974.

Between 15th October 1974 and 18th March 1975 the food index rose by 14·1 per cent.

Price Commission

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what was the cost of operating the Price Commission for the most recent 12 months.

£3·4 million in the financial year 1974–75 on my right hon. Friend's Vote.

Metrication

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection when she expects the Metrication Board to publish its annual report for 1974.

The Metrication Board's sixth report will be published on Tuesday 29th April and copies will be placed in the Vote Office.

Trade

Scotland (Cross-Border Trade)

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will initiate a study into the value of cross-border trade between Scotland and England.

No; a study of this nature which would involve a massive assembly of data cannot be justified.

Knitwear (Pseudo-Scottish Names)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will give a direction to commercial attaches in all embassies to oppose attempts to register pseudo-Scottish names by local knitwear manufacturers; and, in particular, if he will oppose the registration of the knitwear manufacturing name Hunter of Scotland in South Africa.

Commercial officers overseas have standing instructions to watch cases of unfair competition of this kind. However, in many countries it is a legal requirement that representations must be made locally through legal channels by the overseas companies who consider their interests have been affected. As regards South Africa, the Scottish knitwear industry has sought my Department's advice about making representations. We are in touch with the embassy and will shortly provide further advice.

Gulf States (Minister's Visit)

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on his recent visit to the Gulf States.

The Secretary of State visited Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE from 2nd-9th April and had discussions with senior Ministers and business men there. There are considerable trade opportunities in the area but we are concerned that British firms should take full advantage of their traditional position and in particular pay close attention to their delivery performance.

Nation Life Insurance Co Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is his latest estimate of the gross assets of Nation Life.

The officers of the company are required to submit a statement of affairs under Section 235 of the Companies Act 1948 which shall include an estimate of the gross assets. The estimate which has been provided in this case shows gross assets exceeding £25½million.

Ussr

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will make a statement on the developing and financing of trade with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics since the Prime Minister's last visit to Moscow.

The Secretary of State will be leading the United Kingdom delegation to Moscow in May for a meeting of the Anglo/Soviet Joint Commission. This will follow up, among other matters, the important programmes of economic co-operation and the credit agreement recently concluded by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, which have increased the opportunities for our exports to the USSR.

Thomas Cook And Son Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will introduce legislation to take Messrs. Thomas Cook Ltd. back into public ownership, in view of the discontent of the staff with its present status.

Bells And Chimes

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) whether he has made any estimate of the retail value for the United Kingdom of bells and chimes, for the latest convenient year;(2) what percentage of doorbells and chimes manufactured in the United Kingdom are exported;(3) what percentage of doorbells and chimes used in the United Kingdom is imported.

I regret that none of this information is available. The statistics of retail sales, home production, exports and imports are not collected in this detail.

European Community Countries (Investment)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the total value of the new investment by German, French, Italian, Dutch and Belgian firms, respectively, in Great Britain for each of the past four years.

The information available relates to overseas net direct investment in the United Kingdom other than oil and insurance, in years up to and including 1973. It was published on 22nd April in Table 27 of the Business Monitor M4, Overseas Transactions 1973, a copy of which is in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list the German, French, Italian, Dutch and Belgian industries, respectively, that made direct financial investment in the United Kingdom in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 respectively.

I regret that the information is not available. The industrial analysis of inward direct investment is based on the main industry of the United Kingdom subsidiary, branch or associate, not the industry of the overseas company making the direct investment in the United Kingdom.

European Community (Scottish Exports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the value of Scottish exports to the EEC in 1972, 1973 and 1974; and what percentage increase there has been in Scottish exports to EEC in the first two years following the United Kingdom's accession to the EEC, taking into account the accession of Denmark and Ireland.

The information is not available as the Overseas Trade Statistics are compiled only for the United Kingdom as a whole.

Oil Pollution Damage (International Conventions)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1969 will enter into force; what legislation will implement it; what will be the effect; and what is the current position regarding the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1971.

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 1969, in which the United Kingdom and some 13 other States are participating at present, will enter into force on 19th June 1975. Orders and statutory instruments required to apply various provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) Act 1971—as amended by Section 9 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1974—which implements the convention will be made shortly. The Act, some sections of which, under Statutory Instrument 1971 No. 1423 (C.36), are already in force, that is, some provisions as to liability and certain other matters, provides for a substantial improvement in the position of claimants for oil pollution damage from an identifiable tanker carrying a cargo of persistent oil in bulk because liability is strict and not based on fault, and because the limits of the shipowner's liability arc increased, and because tankers carrying more than 2,000 tons of persistent oil have to be insured and to carry a certificate to that effect. But the limits of liability in the international convention relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Seagoing Ships 1957 will continue to apply to ships registered in countries which are parties to that convention and are not parties to the 1969 convention. Regulations relating to certificates for compulsory insurance will be laid shortly.The position on the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1971 is that while the Government are strongly in favour of this convention, and, indeed, Part I of the Merchant Shipping Act 1974 enables us to ratify it—which we shall do soon—only two countries have so far participated in it. Our latest information suggests that some time will elapse before a sufficient number of major oil importing States will participate to bring it into force.

Exports

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the latest trend in British exports.

In the first quarter of 1975 the volume of exports recovered from its fall in the fourth quarter of 1974 to reach the level attained in the third quarter of the year.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Bacon

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the increasing adverse balance of trade between the United Kingdom and Denmark, if he will now take steps to renegotiate the bacon sharing agreement to allow British pig producers a bigger share of the home market.

No. The Bacon Market Sharing Understanding terminated in January 1973. Since then British bacon curers have further increased their share of the home market.

Chemical Waste (Disposal)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he is satisfied that the monitoring of the disposal of chemical waste along the western coastline of Great Britain is sufficient to meet the terms of the Dumping at Sea Act 1974;(2) what is the current level of mercury in the waters separating England and Northern Ireland; and what is the permissible maximum level.

The level of mercury varies with the physical properties of the natural and other discharges into sea water. In these circumstances a permissible maximum level is not applicable.We conform fully with the 1974 Act in controlling dumping into the sea and in monitoring arrangements.

Tied Cottages

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he anticipates that the Tavistock Institute's findings on the tied cottage system will be reported; and whether he will undertake to lay the report before the House.

I am informed that the institute expects to publish a report consisting of statistical data by the end of May. I shall arrange for a copy of this to be placed in the Library of the House.

New Forest

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what statutory authority the Forestry Commission purports to restrict public access to the New Forest.

The New Forest Byelaws 1970 (S.I. 1970 No. 1068) made under Section 46 of the Forestry Act 1967.

Hill Cattle

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many hill farmers utilised the stock adjustment scheme introduced in December 1974; how many cattle were involved and what was the total cost to public funds.

Ninety-one farmers had their applications approved under the Hill Cattle Agistment Subsidy Scheme involving 2,108 cattle. A first instalment at the rate of £10 per eligible cow has been paid and amounts to £21,080. Payment of the second (final) instalment at £5 per eligible cow is conditional on the cattle being returned to the hills. If all are returned the further cost will be £10,540.

Beef Stocks

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many tons of beef there are now in store in the EEC countries; and what is his assessment of the total tonnage which will be in store in three months' time.

Statistics of intervention stocks in EEC countries other than the United Kingdom are kept not by my Department but by the European Commission. According to the latest information received from the Commission, the total stocks of beef held by intervention agencies in mid-April were approximately 266,000 metric tons.The level of stocks in three months' time will depend both on the relative attractiveness of intervention compared with the fresh meat market between now and then, and on the quantities sold for store. Stocks have recently declined because of substantial sales but it is not possible to make a reliable forecast of future levels in view of the uncertainties involved.

Bulls And Footpaths

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has yet received the report of the Advisory Council for Agriculture and Horticulture in England and Wales on the review of his policy in relation to bulls and public footpaths.

My right hon. Friend has just received the report, copies of which he is placing in the Library of the House. He will be studying the recommendations in consultation with his colleagues before reaching any conclusions.

Energy

Power Stations

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list all the Central Electricity Generating Board power stations which combine the sale of heat and electricity; what is their energy output as a percentage of the total; and what is their average thermal efficiency;(2) what is the current expenditure by the Central Electricity Generating Board on research and development into combined electricity and heat production at existing power stations.

I am asking the Chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board to write to the hon. Member.

National Heat Grid

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what feasibility studies he is undertaking into the establishment of a national heat grid.

None at present, but my Department is maintaining a close interest in the plans for a heat grid in West Germany.

Conservation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the current expenditure budget on energy conservation technology by the support unit at Harwell; and what proportion is being allocated on research and development into utilisation of reject heat by Central Electricity Generating Board power stations.

Expenditure during 1974–75 on energy conservation technology was £88,000, and for 1975–76 this is expected to double. No part of this expenditure is allocated to research and development into utilisation of reject heat; however, a small part of the unit's assessment work does relate to this subject.

Environment

Council House Tenants (Subsidy)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is estimated to be the total subsidy paid by ratepayers and taxpayers to tenants of local authority housing in 1974–75; and whether he intends to persist with this arrangement, in view of the fact that 22 per cent. of the local authority tenants had household incomes in excess of £3,000 per annum in 1973, compared with only 32 per cent. for households of all tenures.

The best current estimates for England and Wales in 1974–75 are as follows:

Exchequer Subsidies£million
Rent Rebates150
Other520

Rate Fund Subsidies(60·5 per cent. of the national total of which is met by taxpayers as rate support grant)

£million

Rent Rebates37
Other155

These estimates do not include the cost of supplementary benefit assistance to certain tenants in meeting the part of their rent which is not remitted by way of rebate.

The system of rents and subsidies under the Housing Rents and Subsidies Act 1975 is of an interim nature pending the outcome of my right hon. Friend's current review of housing finance which will take account of all relevant factors, including those mentioned by the hon. Member.

High Alumina Cement

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will arrange for compensation to be paid to persons who have suffered loss due to the use of high alumina cement in the construction of their homes.

It would not be right for me to hold out hope of compensation from Government funds.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the latest available estimate of the number of homes and other buildings in which high alumina cement was used for construction purposes before such use was banned.

Available information is that by the end of January some 22,000 buildings containing high alumina cement concrete had been identified. Of these 1,500 are educational buildings, 7,700 are other non-domestic buildings, and 12,800, containing 60,000 dwellings, are used for housing. Of these last, 7,400 buildings—41,000 dwellings—are owned by local authorities.

A259 (Winchelsea)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects work to start on the proposed diversion of the A259 trunk road at Winchelsea.

It is too early to say when a start might be made, since the route has not yet been fixed following the public participation exercise held last year. I hope to be able to announce a decision on the route for the diversion within the next two months.

Council Housing Estates

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in order to improve appearance and ensure continuity, he will issue a circular advising local authorities to infill sites on existing council housing estates in preference to building new estates.

Infilling on existing council estates can produce useful gains in housing provision, particularly for smaller households. I drew attention to this as one way of supplementing local authority housing programmes in Circular 24/75, "Housing: Needs and Action", which was sent to local authorities on 25th March.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in order to create more balanced developments, he will issue a circular to local authorities advising them to provide bungalow type aged persons' accommodation adjacent to existing dwellings with caretaker accommodation.

More housing needs to be provided which is suitable for old people, including where appropriate the type of accommodation referred to by the hon. Member. My Department will take his suggestion into account in the report I have asked it to do on various aspects of the housing situation of old people.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will make it his policy not to grant planning permission unless local authorities, when designing new council estates, include within them a number of different types of housing in various neighbourhoods so as to keep a genuine mixture of housing requirements for different needs;(2) if he will make it his policy not to grant planning permission to those local authorities who build council estates consisting of long runs of prefabricated concrete slab blocks of regimented bleakness; and if he will so inform local authorities.

Planning permission for local authority development is generally deemed to be given under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations (SI 1974 No. 596) following a resolution by the local authority to carry out the development. Guidance has been given by the Department in its design bulletins about the importance of catering for special needs and the design of local authority dwellings.

Corporation Houses

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made to date by the working party under the chairmanship of Mr. Harold Campbell with regard to corporation houses.

An interim first stage report of the working party, which covers those forms of co-operative housing where there is no individual stake in the financial equity, has been completed and the local authority associations and various other bodies have been asked for their observations. These will be taken into account by the working party in completing its report. It is now working on the second part of this, covering co-ownership and other forms of co-operative tenure where the tenant is able to acquire an individual financial stake. I shall consider the recommendations of the working party when I have received the complete report, probably in July.

Parks And Recreation Areas (Vandalism)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a circular to local authorities suggesting methods by which schemes of community management of local authority parks and recreational areas might be developed with a view to reducing acts of vandalism, especially near to and on council estates in urban areas.

The Department is engaged in a number of studies into various aspects of living on local authority estates and into various forms of tenant participation. As the results of this work become available, consideration will be given to what guidance should be given to local authorities. Most local authorities now have byelaws which enable them to regulate the use of their own parks and recreation grounds. I would not think it right to interfere with local authority management in this field.

Council Houses (Vandalism)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in view of the cost of rectifying the work of vandals on local authority houses, he will issue a circular to local authorities recommending that they consider installing an entry-phone system in both multi-storey and maisonette dwellings, having regard to the easy access to the entrances of such dwellings.

I have asked the Department to examine the usefulness of the few entry phone systems so far installed by local authorities in multi-storey blocks. In the light of the findings, and of current financial restrictions, I shall gladly consider whether I can usefully issue guidance.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will send a circular to local authorities advising them as to the ways of reducing vandalism in multi-storey blocks within council estates by encouraging more preventive work especially among young people through the employment of detached youth workers.

I recognise the rôle that detached youth workers can play in the social education of young people and hence, in an indirect way, in reducing vandalism. It would not, however, be appropriate to issue guidance to local authorities while the review of the needs of young people and the räle of the youth service, currently being conducted by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science, is in progress.

Council Houses (Repairs)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will bring forward legislation obliging local authorities to withhold payment to contractors employed to carry out repairs to council property until they receive a satisfaction note signed by the tenant in whose home the repairs have been completed.

No. It is a clear responsibility of the employing authority as a party to the contract to decide whether the work specified has been satisfactorily completed. Once it is so satisfied it should make prompt payment. Subject to these contractual requirements, it is for the authority itself to decide how and at what stage to consult the individual tenant about work to his dwelling.

Housing (Merseyside)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many new houses in Merseyside have been constructed through housing associations in each of the following years: 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974.

The numbers of new dwellings reported as completed for housing associations in the Merseyside county area were:

1971218
1972363
1973248
1974328

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the value of grants or loans given to the Liverpool City Council for the purposes of improving existing council housing for the years 1970 to 1974.

Allowable costs of improvement works approved for Government contribution were as follows:

1970£34,000
1971£1,031,000
1972£5,349,000
1973£4,373,000
1974£4,016,000

Housing (Notices To Quit)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to make use of his powers under Section 123 of the Housing Act 1974 to prescribe the contents of notices to quit; and why he has not done so so far.

My right hon. Friend has been considering fully the question of the contents of notices to quit and hopes to make regulations under Section 123 of the Housing Act 1974 before long.

South West Water Authority

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to reply to the letter he has received from the hon. Member for Cornwall, North dated 10th March 1975, concerning his advice to the South West Water Authority to collect its own water rates at public expense.

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Planning and Local Government did so on 21st April.

Land Compensation Act 1973

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set up an independent or departmental working party to examine the working of Part I of the Land Compensation Act 1973.

No. The Act has only been in operation for just over a year, and an examination would still be premature.

Bilsborrow Hall, Preston

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment for how long Bilsborrow Hall, Preston, was left empty and unused after its acquisition by his Department for use as lodgings for circuit judges; whether it is now in use; what price was paid for it; and what the interest charges on this sum were at 12 per cent. interest rate during the period of non-use.

Bilsborrow Hall was purchased for £100,000 in January 1973 in the time of the last Conservative administration. High Court judges first took up residence on 14th April 1975. During the intervening period, adaptation work and minor repairs were carried out. If the interest rate on the capital sum had been at 12 per cent. the charge for the 2¼. years in question would have been £29,203.

Kenpas Highway And Fletchampstead Highway, Coventry

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses are owned by his Department in Kenpas Highway and Fletchampstead Highway, Coventry; how many of these houses are occupied; and, of the empty houses, what is the longest period that one of these has remained unoccupied.

The answer is as follows:

OwnedOccupied
Kenpas Highway41
Fletchampstead Highway167
Total208
The longest period that a property in the Department's ownership has remained unoccupied is eight months. Some properties were unoccupied prior to acquisition.

Building Land

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the current estimated acreage of land with planning permission for house building in each of the regions in England and Wales.

I would refer the hon. member to the answer given to my hon. Friends the members for Salford, East (Mr. Allaun) and Gravesend (Mr. Oven-den) on 13th November 1974.—[Vol. 881, c. 129–130.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the current estimated acreage of development land for house building identified in development plans by local planning authorities in each of the regions in England and Wales;(2) what was the total acreage of land in England and Wales identified as being available for house building on development plans between 1969 and 1974.

Since development plans arc prepared by local planning authorities for different time periods and take account of differing local needs, no meaningful estimates of this sort can be made.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total acreage of land in England and Wales granted planning permission for house building in each of the years 1969 to 1974; and what was the acreage and percentage of the total which was granted permission on appeal;

19691970197119721973
Number of permissions92,35695,647108,584154,336146,983
Number of additional permissions granted on appeal7976905076421,344
For future years the details asked for will start to become available after September as a result of the data collection arrangements the Government have set in hand under Circular 32/75.* No figures are yet available for 1974.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total acreage of land with planning permission for house building which was sold in England and Wales in each of the years 1969 to 1974.

Land acreage with planning permission for housing sold in private sector transactions involving four or more house plots was as follows:

Number of Acres Sold
19698,786
19707,679
197110,033
197217,669
197318,199
19746,660

Local Government Finance

(2) what was the number of planning consents granted in England and Wales for house building on sites of one acre or less during the years 1969 to 1974; and what was the number of houses involved;

(3) what was the average density per acre of all planning consents for house building granted in each of the years 1969 to 1974; and what was the average density per acre for permissions granted on appeal in each of these years;

(4) what was the number of planning applications for house building made in each quarter of 1973 and 1974 in England and Wales.

The information available to the Department is in terms of the number of planning permissions for residential development and redevelopment in England and Wales in the years 1969 to 1973* and is as follows:of the extra cost that will fall on county councils and district councils in England as a result of the measures in his Budget.

I have no figures for the overall cost of the measures announced in the Budget on local authorities.

Housing (North-West And Manchester)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report for the North-West and for each district within Greater Manchester the following statistics: (1) the number of dwellings in tender approved but not started on 31st December 1974 for local authorities, (2) the number of dwellings started—local authority, other public, private and joint —in 1974, (3) the number of dwellings completed during 1974—by local authorities, other public, private, and joint—and (4) the number of slum houses cleared in 1974.

Number

Dwelling started, 1974

Dwelling completed, 1974

Dwellings in tenders approved, but not started, 31st December 1974, local authorities*

Local authorities*

other public sector

Private sector

Public and private sector

Local authorities*

other public sector

Private sector

public and Private sector

Slum clearance houses demolished or closed, 1974

North West Region4,53214,9812,0398,04525,06514,8081,55414,37430,73616,163
Greater Manchester2,7416,1578803,56010,5976,2678775,75012,8948,881

Districts—

Bolton307704645841,352653488131,5141,072
Bury762175387559664474096
Manchester7292,373454†—16†2,8112,5041104563,0704,631
Oldham114615381996776153171,108711
Rochdale7811041652613357555745
Salford4888356793995711151618871,086
Stockport193101163276540763896761,141326
Tameside13250466276846464986161,17893
Trafford2022756675416391145382918144
Wigan4224239371,3604631,1301,593722
* Including new town authorities.
† Net figures after transferring from "private sector" to "other public sector", housing association dwelling starts incorrectly reported before 1974

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the cost to public funds, and what is the purpose, of the NATO exhibition on Waterloo Station.

This exhibition was first mounted in my Department's headquarters in connection with the North Atlantic Assembly in London in Novem6ber 1974. It was designed to illustrate the work of the NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society, with particular reference to United Kingdom projects. The exhibition has subsequently been staged at Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bristol and Leeds, and is currently on display at Waterloo Station, to give the public the opportunity to learn of the non-military work undertaken under the auspices of NATO in the environmental field.The cost to public funds of producing the exhibition was £4,125. The additional cost of mounting it at Waterloo Station, including additional external treatment and rental, was £1,230.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the cost to public funds of the leaflet "NATO and the Challenges of Modern Society".

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Rome Embassy

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total number of staff employed at the British Embassy in Rome at the latest convenient date; and how this figure compares with the number employed 10 years ago.

On 1st April 1975 the total number was 163, of whom 63 were United Kingdom-based and 100 locally employed. On 1st January 1965 the corresponding figures were 180, 61 and 119.

Pollution (International Waters)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals exist for a programme to combat chemical and oil pollution in international waters.

The question is under consideration at the current session of the Law of the Sea Conference in Geneva, at which the United Kingdom, together with other States, has co-sponsored certain proposals. Her Majesty's Government have signed 14 conventions and agreements, of both regional and world-wide application, concerning the pollution of the sea by oil, effluent and chemical wastes. The possible improvement and extension of these measures is under continuous study. I hope that a meeting will be held in London this autumn to consider a further convention on civil liability for oil pollution and damage resulting from the exploration and exploitation of submarine mineral resources.

Vietnam

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in pursuance of Article 7 of the Act of the Vietnam Conference of which the United Kingdom was a signatory on 2nd March 1973, the Government of South Vietnam have alleged a violation of the Paris Agreement and sought consultation with the United Kingdom or any of other parties to the Act with a view to determining remedial measures; and what response Her Majesty's Govern-men have made.

Her Majesty's Government have received a number of communications from the Government of the Republic of Vietnam about violation of the 1973 Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam. We have repeatedly made clear our view that there should be a cease-fire and political talks between the parties.

Uganda (Mr D C Hills)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement concerning the case of Mr. Denis Hills at present under arrest in Uganda facing charges liable to render him subject to trial before a military tribunal and subject to the death penalty.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is taking with regard to the case of the British subject in Uganda, Mr. D. C. Hills, who is reported as being about to be tried by military tribunal with the possibility of sentence of death by firing squads if found guilty.

Mr. Hills was arrested in Kampala on 1st April and charged on 18th April with "alleged spying and writing a seditious book". At the first hearing on 24th April the case was adjourned until 6th May so that Mr. Hills could appoint legal representatives. He is being visited regularly by members of the British High Commission staff who have done and will continue to do all they can to help him.I shall continue to watch developments in this case closely.

Finance For Industry

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to make a progress report on the scheme for Finance for Industry.

I have been asked to reply.I understand that the annual report of FFI for the year ending 31st March 1975 will be published at the beginning of July, and that it is likely to include an account of current progress.

Home Department

Animal Experiments (Scotland)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report those research establishments in Scotland currently registered under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876.

The following places in Scotland are registered under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876:

City Hospital, Aberdeen
Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen
Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology, Aberdeen
Torry Research Station, Aberdeen
Unilever Research Laboratory, Aberdeen
Institute of Marine Biochemistry, Aberdeen
Medical and Scientific Departments of the
University of Aberdeen
North of Scotland Agricultural College, Aberdeen
West of Scotland Agricultural College, Auchincruive
Nature Conservancy, Banchory
Rowatt Research Institute, Bucksburn
Blood Transfusion Service, Carluke, Edinburgh
Medical and Scientific Departments of the University of Dundee
Dunstaffnage Marine Research Laboratory
Scottish Universities Research Reactor Centre, East Kilbride
Clyde River Purification Board Laboratory, East Kilbride
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
Hill Farming Research Organisation Experimental Farms, Edinburgh
Animal Breeding Research Organisation Experimental Farms, Edinburgh
Animal Diseases Research Association. Edinburgh.
City Hospital, Edinburgh
Scientific Services Pest Control Investigation Unit, Edinburgh.
Medical Research Council Unit of Reproductive Biology, Edinburgh
Medical and Scientific Departments of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
Medical and Scientific Departments of Edinburgh University
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Association, Edinburgh
ARC Poultry Research Centre, Edinburgh
Ethicon Ltd, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
Napier College of Science and Technology, Edinburgh
Inveresk Research International, Elphinstone
Unilever Research Laboratory, Findon
City Laboratory, Glasgow
Gartnavel Hospital, Glasgow
Knightswood Hospital, Glasgow
Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow
Royal Beatson Memorial Hospital, Glasgow
Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow
Medical and Scientific Departments of the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow
Belvidere Hospital, Glasgow
Canniesburn Hospital, Glasgow
Southern General Hospital, Glasgow
Medical and Scientific Departments of the University of Glasgow
Stobhill General Hospital, Glasgow
Glasgow College of Technology
Scottish Horticultural Research Institute, Invergowrie
Raigmore Hospital, Inverness
Veterinary Investigation Centre, Inverness
Nature Conservancy, Kinloch, Island of Rhum
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Hannah Dairy Research Institute, Kirkhill
Veterinary Laboratory, Lasswade
Unilever Research, Lochailart
Marine Biological Station, Millport
Inveresk Research International, Musselburgh
Organon Laboratories, Newhouse
Mearnskirk Hospital, Newton Mearns
Paisley College of Technology
Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory, Pitlochry
Inveresk Research International, Riccarton
Medical and Scientific Departments of the University of St. Andrews
Stirling Royal Infirmary
Medical and Scientific Departments of the University of Stirling
Loch Torridon Research Station, Torridon

Remanded Juveniles

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of the 891 juveniles in 1973 first received as untried, not subsequently received as convicted unsentenced, and subsequently given a non-custodial sentence, were in custody (a) up to one month, (b) one-two months, (c)>two-three months(d) three-four months, (e) four-five months, (f) five-six months and (g) over six months, respectively;(2) how many of the 311 juveniles in 1973 first received as untried and subsequently received as convicted unsentenced, and subsequently given a non-custodial sentence were in custody (

a) up to one month, ( b) one-two months, ( c) two-three months, ( d) three-four months, ( e) four-

BOYS AND GIRLS AGED 14–16 YEARS: TIME ON REMAND PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF A NON-CUSTODIAL SENTENCE 1973

Columns:

(a) First received as untried, not subsequently received as convicted unsentenced;
(b) First received as untried and subsequently received as convicted unsentenced;
(c) First received as convicted unsentenced.

Time

(a) (b) (c)
Up to and including 1 month704162310
Over 1 month, up to and including 2 months13211288
Over 2 months, up to and including 3 months32264
Over 3 months, up to and including 4 months1294
Over 4 months, up to and including 5 months701
Over 5 months, up to and including 6 months111
Over 6 months310
Totals891311408

Prisoners

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is his policy to amend the Prison Rules to bring them into line with Article 8(1) and Article 6(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights and so (a) enable prisoners the freedom to write as many letters as they wish to anyone and (b) allow prisoners the same rights as other citizens to bring legal actions against anyone without the necessity of obtaining prior consent; and, if so, when he expects to do so.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Blyth (Mr. Ryman) on 3rd March—[Vol. 887, c. 322.]—and my hon. Friends five months, (f) five-six months and (g) over six months, respectively;(3) how many of the 408 juveniles in 1973 first received as convicted unsentenced and subsequently given a non-custodial sentence were in custody (

a) up to one month, (b) one-two months, ( c) two-three months, ( d) three-four months, ( e) four-five months, ( f) five-six months and ( g) over six months. respectively.

The following table indicates the periods between first reception into prison custody and date of sentence for the boys and girls referred to in my hon. Friend's Questions. For some of this time they may have been released on bail. Information is not available about the precise proportion of the remand period spent in custody or on bail.the Members for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Watkinson) and Southampton, Test (Mr. Gould) on 6th March.—[Vol. 887, c. 1760–62.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in line with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the Golder case, he will allow Mr. T. P. Milliken, of Her Majesty's Prison, Blundeston, to communicate with those from whom he seeks legal advice.

Mr. Milliken, who has exhausted his normal rights of appeal, has not so far applied for facilities to consult a solicitor about his conviction and sentence. If he does so, we shall give this sympathetic consideration.

Overseas Development

Namibia

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will provide aid for Namibia for training in this country.

When my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs visited Southern Africa earlier this year he told leaders of the South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) that Her Majesty's Government would be willing to provide educational aid. SWAPO has now asked for 20 awards for training in this country, and I am making up to £35,000 available to meet this and other educational needs during the present year.

Scotland

Public Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what cuts in public expenditure in Scotland will take place in 1976–77 as a result of the Budget; and if there will be any reductions in housing subsidies as a consequence of the Budget.

In 1976–77, about £45 million, affecting all services for which I am responsible except investment in the energy industries and infrastructure in support of them. Exchequer subsidies on housing will not be affected.

Primary School Classes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of primary classes in Scotland and in Moray and Nairn, respectively, now contains more than 40 pupils.

In January 1974, 3·3 per cent. of all classes in education authority primary schools in Scotland and 2·7 per cent. of those in Moray and Nairn contained more than 40 pupils.

Nursery Education

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the level of Government expenditure on the provision of nursery level education in Scotland in each of the past 10 years.