Written Answers To Questions
Monday 12th May 1975
Offshore Oil Development (Employment)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the number of jobs that will be created by the year 1978 from the development of offshore oil in Great Britain.
I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. A broad estimate of the present number of jobs directly related to North Sea oil in Scotland and the Northern Region of England is 38,000. This number is expected to increase by about 11,000 over the next two years. These figures do not take account of indirect employment related to North Sea oil.
European Community Membership
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what assessment his Department has made of the consequences of withdrawal from the EEC on those subjects which are his responsibility.
The Government's assessment of the implications of the renegotiated terms for our continued membership of the EEC is contained in the recent White Paper (Cmnd. 6003), which concludes that the overall effect of withdrawal would be adverse. The implications of membership for the energy sector are discussed in paragraph 106–108 of the White Paper.
Fuel Industries (Retail Outlets)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many representations he has had since 1st January on the number of retail outlets of the fuel industries.
Fuel Prices (Power Stations)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what the price differential of industrial power station coal is with fuel oil.
I am informed by the Central Electricity Generating Board that, calculated on a comparable basis, the average price of power station coal is about 15 per cent. below that of heavy fuel oil. There is, however, a significant overlap between the higher cost coal and the lower cost oil.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will issue a general direction to the Central Electricity Generating Board to use to its full capacity coal-fired rather than oil-fired power stations in times of falling demand.
No. An appropriate mix of fuel is used to enable the electricity supply system to be operated efficiently and economically. Merit order operation gives the greatest benefit to consumers and to the economy generally.
Oil Consumption Predictions
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make explicit the assumptions on which his predictions that the United Kingdom will consume 100 million tons of oil in 1980 are based.
The Department of Energy's memorandum on conservation, given in evidence to the Select Committee on Science and Technology—the Sub-Committee on Energy Resources—sets out the assumptions on which the prediction that the United Kingdom will consume 100 million tons of oil in 1980 is based.
Electricity Generation Costs
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are his estimates of the total cost, and the cost per unit, of electricity generation in the United Kingdom during the first three months of 1975 and during the same period in 1970.
Information for the first three months of 1975 is not yet available. I am, therefore, asking the Chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board to write to my hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether the possibilities of using a Severn barrage for electricity generation are under investigation.
Yes. My Department's Advisory Council on Research and Development (ACORD) has been considering the matter with the help of the Central Electricity Generating Board and the Department of the Environment.
Off-Peak Electricity Charges
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what replies he sends to representations asking him to reconsider the decision to phase out the special concession for off-peak electricity charges.
My right hon. Friend explained in his statement to the House on 29th July 1974 that the special concession could not continue indefinitely. In answer to representations he made it clear off-peak electricity will, however, continue to be available, and will remain substantially cheaper than electricity on ordinary tariffs.
Oil Refining Proposals (Kintyre)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received regarding the building of an oil refinery in Kintyre.
None, but my officials have met consultants at their request about a proposed refinery at Peninver near Campbeltown.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the present annual increase in the United Kingdom consumption of energy expressed as millions of tons of coal-equivalent; and what proportion is met by coal, petroleum fuels, nuclear power and other sources of energy.
The present annual increase in the United Kingdom consumption of primary energy, based on a comparison of data for the first two months of this year—the latest available—with the same two months of last year, is 27 million tons of coal equivalent (mtce). This increase is estimated to be made up of an increase of 33 million tons of coal, a decrease of 8 mtce of petroleum, an increase of 3 mtce of natural gas and a decrease of 1 mtce of nuclear and hydro-electricity.
These figures, although arithmetically correct, are somewhat misleading. The months of January and February 1974 were affected by the three-day week and disruption of oil supplies. More meaningful figures can be obtained by comparing January and February 1975 with the corresponding months of 1973. On this basis primary energy consumption is estimated to have decreased by 21 mtce. The decrease is estimated to be made up of a decrease of 12 million tons of coal, a decrease of 21 mtce of petroleum, an increase of 11 mtce of natural gas and an increase of 1 mtce of nuclear and hydro-electricity.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the position relating to current coking coal supplies to the British Steel Corporation; and what estimate he has for future prospects for coking coal supply and demand.
Current coking coal supplies to the British Steel Corporation are more than adequate. The National Coal Board sees no difficulty in meeting at least the greater part of the corporation's demand, though the corporation will need to import certain qualities not available in the United Kingdom.
British Petroleum Company (Burmah Shares)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the Burmah shares in BP held by the Bank of England in the light of the bid for these shares by the Shah of Persia.
The question of the disposal of the BP shares held by the Bank is still a matter for consideration and at present I have nothing to add to my statement of 15th January.
Burmah Oil Co Ltd
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the sale of profitable sections of Burmah Oil such as Signal Oil and Edwin Cooper and the closure of the Burmah Research Centre at Bromborough.
As I told the House on 15th January, some slimming down of Burmah's operations was an inevitable part of the reconstruction of the company's activities. I am informed that the company has asked its American financial advisers to seek firm offers for its American assets; that it has reached agreement in principle with the Ethyl Corporation for the sale of Edwin Cooper; and that the closure of the Bromborough research facilities has been necessitated by heavy and rising costs, but research and development will continue in the company's other establishments.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the sale by Burmah of 75 per cent. of its share in the Ninian and Thistle fields in the North Sea.
I would refer my hon. Friend to my statement in the House on 15th January—[Vol. 884, c. 448–449]—that, inter alia, Burmah had undertaken, in consideration for the support to be provided by the Bank and the Government, to transfer to the Government, when required, 51 per cent. of its interest in commercial oilfields in the North Sea. Negotiations with the company on the terms on which this transfer will take place are in progress. Any sale by Burmah of any part of its interests in the Thistle and Ninian fields would require my consent.
Ministerial Discussions (Oil Companies)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the discussions he has had with United States oil companies at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
I have had a number of discussions with leading representatives of United States and multinational oil companies and there has been a very fruitful exchange of views.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied with the response from industry for the loan scheme to finance energy-saving investment; how many inquiries have been received to date; how many have been approved; what proportion of the £3 million provision has been advanced; what plans he has to extend the scheme; and if he proposes to promote wider publicity for the scheme.
There has been considerable interest in the scheme from industry and several hundred inquiries have been received. The initial applications are still being processed, and consequently no funds have yet been advanced. I am considering the possibility of extending the scheme, and also the need for further publicity, but have no firm plan at the moment.
Third World Countries
asked the Prime Minister what progress was made at the Kingston conference towards helping the Third World by establishing commodity support schemes.
asked the Prime Minister what response he has received from the other Heads of Government at the Commonwealth Conference in Jamaica to his initiative on commodities.
I hope to give the House a full account of our discussions in Kingston shortly. Meanwhile I refer the hon. Member to the final communiqué issued at the conclusion of the conference, a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House and which is to be published as a White Paper on Tuesday.
asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he has received any formal or informal communications from Mr. Vorster on the attitude of South Africa towards the British decision to subsidise an intensification of sanctions against Rhodesia;(2) whether he will invite Mr. Vorster to London before any funds are made available from British sources to Mozambique for the purpose of intensifying sanctions against Rhodesia.
I have no plans to invite Mr. Vorster to London and he has not been in touch with us on this point.
asked the Prime Minister what consultations he has had with British industrial, commercial and financial interests likely to be affected by his decision to intensify sanctions against Rhodesia.
None. We already apply sanctions strictly, and our sanctions legislation prohibits British companies from trading with Rhodesia.
asked the Prime Minister what time scale he now envisages for the operation of intensified sanctions against Rhodesia; and for how long he estimates the British finance involved in the guarantee for Mozambique will be required.
It has all along been, and remains, our aim to get sanctions working fully in the interest of bringing about a solution in Rhodesia as soon as possible. I cannot be more specific. It is in this context that we are ready to contribute to an international effort to help Mozambique in applying sanctions. It is not a matter of guarantees but of aid.
asked the Prime Minister whether the decision to intensify sanctions against Rhodesia by subsidising Mozambique had the unanimous approval of all Commonwealth Premiers present at the Kingston conference.
Yes. The Commonwealth Heads of Government emphasised in their communiquéé the importance of taking immediate practical steps to assist an independent Mozambique in applying sanctions.
asked the Prime Minister whether he discussed with President Ford the question of alternative sources of supply of chrome and other strategic minerals imported by the United States of America from Rhodesia via Mozambique.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs expressed publicly in Washington our hope that the Byrd Amendment, under which chrome and other strategic materials may be imported into the United States from Rhodesia will be repealed. President Ford well understands the importance I place on this.
Dock Labour Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what consultations he has so far held with employers in regard to the consultative document on dock work regarding the extension of the dock labour scheme; and what has been the result.
Some 131 employers and 31 employers' associations have so far made representations, and these are being considered.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make an estimate of the percentage of current unemployment in the West Midlands area attributable to the failure of the private sector to invest adequately; and if he will make a statement.
I have been asked to reply.On a seasonally adjusted basis the current rate of unemployment in the West Midlands is 3·1 per cent. compared with 33 per cent. for Great Britain as a whole. Lack of adequate investment in the private sector is certaintly one of the factors responsible for this rate of unemployment which, both nationally and in the region, is much too high.
European Community Membership
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what changes she estimates will occur in our overseas aid programme in the event of the United Kingdom leaving the European Economic Community.
Changes will depend on policy decisions taken by the Government after the referendum, if the result is in favour of withdrawal.
World Food Conference
asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will make a statement concerning the World Food Conference in Rome.
As my hon. Friend knows, the Government will be represented jointly by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and myself. My hope and purpose is that we shall make effective progress in Rome on questions concerning the Agricultural Development Fund, the Consultative Group on Agriculture, and the need for emphasis and priority to be given to the rural and agricultural sector in development planning.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what plans she has to assist the voluntary organisations which provide aid to the developing countries.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will make a statement on the question of assistance to voluntary organisations which provide services to developing countries.
I have told the voluntary agencies of my intention to match pound for pound their development projects, which may range in cost from £3,000 to £50,000. They welcome this new step, which is essentially concerned with the experimental and prototype work they are so well qualified to undertake in development, as distinct from their relief operations.
asked the Minister of Overseas Development what response has been made by Her Majesty's Government to the appeal by the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees for the resettlement and repatriation of the refugees to Guinea Bissau.
I propose to contribute £200,000, and Supplementary Estimates to cover this will be put forward in due course. I am also providing five 4-ton lorries from the transport reserves set up by my Disaster Unit to assist in the resettlement of people and with the distribution of food.
asked the Attorney-General if he will refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions the evidence sub- mitted to him by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East on 6th May that nurses have been forced to leave babies to gasp to death after being removed from the womb by an abortion operation.
I am giving careful consideration to my hon. Friend's letter of 6th May.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the costs of the British military forces in Germany is payable in foreign currency; and what percentage of the total this represents.
As to the first part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the 1975 Statement on the Defence Estimates (Command 5976), Annex A, table 5. As to the second part, the foreign exchange cost is estimated to represent nearly three-quarters of the total, excluding equipment.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete his review of the position of widows of Service men below the rank of warrant officer class I discharged before 1st September 1950, who are currently receiving no pension.
As soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the number of lives saved by use of normal flak jacket body armour in Northern Ireland; and what chance there is of similar equipment being developed to stop a high velocity bullet from an M16 rifle.
The normal flak jacket has certainly prevented death or injury to members of the security forces on many occasions in Northern Ireland, although no figure can be put on the numbers involved. Body armour to stop the high velocity bullet has been developed and is available in Northern Ireland for use in certain circumstances. However, it is much heavier than the normal flak jacket, which continues to be used where mobility and speed of reaction are required.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will exempt those pensioners who had been paying for their new licence in advance by means of prepayment stamps from his instruction to the Post Office to demand an additional television licence fee from persons who took out a new television licence before their old licence had expired prior to 1st April 1975.
No. The use of the television savings stamp card does not involve advance payment; it simply facilitates saving against the time when the renewal fee is due.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received asking him to reconsider the use of the powers under Section 1(4) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 to revoke the television licence of those who, during April 1975, have held two licences concurrently but who are not in breach of the said Act; and if he will make a statement.
We have received 127 letters making various points on the subject of overlapping licences. I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave on 17th April to Questions from the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and others.—[Vol. 890, c. 136–7.]
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he applies when he invokes Section 1(4) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.
The powers conveyed in Section 1(4) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 are among the powers provided for the general regulation of wireless telegraphy. Apart from the circumstances mentioned in reply to Questions from the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and others on 17th April, the powers under Section 1(4) are principally used when a licence has been issued in exchange for a cheque subsequently dishonoured by the licensee's banker; when a licence has by mistake been issued for the wrong expiry date; or when the licensee refuses, after warning, to comply with the terms and provisions of the licence or of the instructions issued to him on the conditions governing the licensing and operation of the radio service concerned.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had from members of the public who have had a letter from the National TV Licence Records Office demanding an additional fee of £6 in respect of licences taken out before April 1975; and what reply he has sent.
A number have paid the amount. As my right hon. Friend said in his answer of 17th April to Questions from the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) and others—[Vol. 890, c. 136–7.]—those who have not are liable to the revocation of any overlapping licence and they will be reminded of this.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate the change in number of each category of prisoners in 1975 compared with 1974.
I regret that information hitherto collected about the numbers of sentenced adult males in each security category in prisons in England and Wales does not permit detailed comparisons of this kind.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the percentage increase in male and female persons in British prisons in 1975 as compared with 1974.
The daily average numbers of males and females in Prison Department establishments in England and Wales during the first quarter of 1975 were, respectively, 6·7 per cent. and 20·1 per cent. greater than the comparable figures for the first quarter of 1974.
Borstal Training (Girls)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many girls sentenced to borstal training are at present in Holloway Prison.
On 7th May 1975 there were 30 girls sentenced to borstal training held in Holloway Prison.
Juveniles (Prison Remands)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many juvenile boys on remand are presently held in Norwich Prison; and how many were in that prison in 1974 and 1973, respectively.
On 7th May one juvenile boy was held in Norwich Prison. He has since been remanded on bail. It has not yet been possible to obtain information for 1974 or 1973 but I will write to my hon. Friend when further analysis of the records has been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the 683 refugees from Chile admitted to the United Kingdom had some previous connection or tie with the United Kingdom.
I regret that this information is not available.
Mr Ronald Cobbett
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the refusal to admit Mr. Ronald Cobbett of Raven Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield, to a mental institution, which was followed by the death of Mrs. Wright and the stabbing of Mrs. Potter and Mrs. Brook; and if he will initiate a full inquiry.
I have been asked to reply.I am in touch with the local authority and Sheffield Area Health Authority about the situation, and I will make a statement as soon as possible.
Building Construction (Artificial Lighting)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the fact that artificial lighting consumes a substantial amount of electrical energy in non-domestic buildings, he will consider taking steps to discourage the continuing construction of buildings which require permanent artificial lighting even in daytime.
Artificial lighting is only one of the ways in which energy is consumed in non-domestic buildings. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 enables us to make building regulations to further the conservation of fuel and power and we are considering what measures would produce the greatest savings.
Railway Workshops' Competitive Capacity
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will give a general direction to British Rail that, in view of the expansion schemes in the railway systems of 42 countries estimated by the British Overseas Trade Board, it should expand its workshop capacity in order to be able to compete for contracts for these schemes; and if he will make a statement.
A general direction would not be appropriate. British Railways are aware of the British Overseas Trade Board forecast, and with Government encouragement are actively pursuing export opportunities.
Planning Appeals (Cheshire)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many planning appeals are still outstanding relating to the Macclesfield and Congleton Borough Councils; and how many have been approved.
52 and 13 respectively; eight and none respectively since 1st April 1974.
Location Of Offices Bureau
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the movement of many professional and commercial firms from the City of London, he will consider terminating the disbanding of the Location of Offices Bureau.
My right hon. Friend has no proposal to disband the Location of Offices Bureau.
Road Accidents (Parked Vehicles)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many accidents involving parked vehicles have taken place since the change in the regulations governing lighting requirements for parked vehicles; and how many took place in the equivalent period prior to those regulations being passed.
Following are figures of parked cars, light vans and two-wheeled motor vehicles involved in accidents on 30 mph roads:
|YEARS 1st MAY-30th APRIL|
|London||Rest of Great Britain|
Motor Vehicle Wheels And Tyres
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to complete his study of the use of safety rims and safety tyres on private cars; what form that study is taking; and whether he will now make a statement.
My Department is well advanced with a cost-benefit study of the use of safety wheels and tyres on private cars. It would not be appropriate to make a statement until this study is complete.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the purpose of form TR108; and how the conditions which it places on development can be changed and on whose initiative.
To inform my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, as highway authority for trunk roads, of planning applications directly affecting such roads. An applicant aggrieved by conditions attaching to a planning permission may appeal to my right hon. Friend.
Social Welfare Expenditure
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the proportion in each case of the net expenditure in 1972–73 by local authorities in England and Wales on rent rebates, rates rebates, school meals, homes for the elderly, home helps and meals in the home met from specific grants, rate support grant, and rates; and what are the comparable figures for Scotland on the basis of the latest figures available.
The rate support grant is a general grant and is not allocated to individual services. Rates, too, provide general revenue for local authorities. The rent rebates and rate rebates figures in the reply to my hon. Friend on 29th April—[Vol. 891, c. 96–97]—represent the net expenditure met by local authorities—i.e., the balance after taking account of central Government grants.
Private Police Forces
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list in the Official Report any private police forces for which he is in any respect responsible, indicating their present strength and the statutes in which any specific powers are conferred on each such force.
I am responsible for the Royal Parks Constabulary with a complement of 180 in England and 16 in Scotland. They derive their powers from the Parks Regulation Acts 1872 and 1926 and the Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act 1974 and are appointed as constables of the Royal Parks by a magistrate.I am also responsible for the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London who are sworn in as Special Constables under the Special Constables Act 1923 and the Emergency Powers (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1947; their complement is 37.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the continuing anxiety of residents in the area around Ringway Airport, he is in a position to announce the date for the holding of a public inquiry into the development plans of Manchester Airport.
The plan for the development of a second runway at Ring-way Airport is still before the Cheshire County Council. I will call in the application and hold a public inquiry when it has completed its consideration of it. I do not yet know when that will be.
Control Of Pollution Act
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he plans to bring Part III of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 into force.
I hope that it will be possible to implement Part III later this year but cannot yet say for certain.
Road Schemes (Northumberland)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what trunk and principal road schemes for Northumberland were added to the forward road programme during the six months ended 31st March 1975.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total value of trunk and principal roads for Northumberland County, respectively, firmly programmed at 31st March 1975.
About £5·345 million for trunk road schemes. There were no principal road schemes in the firm programme in Northumberland on that date.
High Alumina Cement
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will issue a circular to local authorities advising them and other building owners on what remedial measures, if any, need to be taken to make buildings permanently satisfactory for occupation, and on factors of safety and load-bearing capacities of highly converted high alumina cement;
(2) if he will issue guidance on strutting and temporary precautionary measures in buildings containing high alumina cement, and on the length of time for which it will be necessary to continue with these measures.
A circular letter, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend, was issued to local authorities on 23rd April, and gives the most up-to-date guidance on the circumstances in which appraisal of buildings and remedial measures need to be considered. As explained in this letter, a sub-committee of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee has been set up to determine the criteria which structural engineers can use for checking the designs of buildings containing high alumina cement concrete. However, where remedial measures, whether temporary or permanent, are required, the nature of these will need to be determined for each particular building by a structural engineer.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide a grant to meet the costs that have been incurred by local authorities in connection with examination of structures, engineering appraisals, temporary and permanent safety measures which may have to be taken in buildings containing high alumina cement as well as the other costs involved in the disorganisation of their services.
I am discussing these problems with the representatives of the local authorities.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the full extent of the delay in completing the Government office block at Washington, County Durham, that has been caused by the need to strengthen certain high alumina cement concrete units.
It is hoped that the delay in completion of Durham House, the contract for which, incorporating high alumina cement concrete beams, was let in March 1973, will be confined to about 12 months.
Rented Accommodation (Decontrol)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses formerly subject to Rent Act control in England and Wales have become decontrolled since June 1970; and how many new houses completed since that date are subject to some form of statutory control.
It is estimated that since June 1970 about 800,000 controlled tenancies have ended or been converted into regulated tenancies. No information is available on the number of dwellings completed since 1970 which are let on tenancies subject to the Rent Acts.
Havant (Housing Loan Application)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will be able to advise Havant Council of his decision on its sanction application for the Stakes Hill Lodge estate.
The required approval was issued on 2nd May.
House Building Costs
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any evidence to show that a national building contractor is any cheaper or more efficient than a local contractor in the building of council houses.
It is not possible to generalise. Much is likely to depend on the circumstances of individual schemes, for example their size and location.
Property Services Agency (Energy Conservation)
asked the Secretary of state for the Environment how many buildings are managed by the Property Services Agency; what is the total annual cost of the energy consumed in them; and how many of these buildings are included in the five-year energy conservation programme aimed at saving £20 million a year at current fuel prices.
About 30,000 buildings; about £85 million a year. All these buildings are being or will be considered as part of the PSA's energy conservation programme, and energy conservation measures incorporated wherever economic.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether, in the light of the ruling in the High Court on the 5th May 1975, he will suspend the operation of the Water Authorities (Collection of Charges) Order 1975 (S.I., 1975, No. 396);(2) if he will circulate advice to rating authorities following the ruling in the High Court on 5th May 1975 by Mr. Justice Phillips on sewerage charges made on unconnected properties.
No. Pending consideration of an appeal, it is not possible to comment at this stage. In fact the judgment was made on the 1974, not the 1975, order and affects only one part of that order.
Public Sector Housing (Energy Conservation)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the current year's budget by local authorities for energy conservation investment in public sector housing, including improved thermal efficiency of domestic heating, and thermal insulation, and what is the planned saving in energy costs.
The installation of central heating and insulation in existing council houses is accepted for subsidy purposes if it forms part of a comprehensive scheme of improvement or conversion, but no records are maintained centrally of the various items of work which are covered by expenditure by authorities on existing stock. Owing to the current financial stringency it has been necessary to introduce measures in the current financial year to limit authorities' total expenditure on their existing stock, and this limitation will extend to work on thermal insulation.Higher mandatory standards for thermal insulation in new housing came into effect on 31st January but, since these standards are minima, authorities are at liberty to build to higher standards, providing that the extra cost of any higher standards can be met from within the housing cost yardstick plus 10 per cent. tolerance.Because of the very varied circumstances in which improved domestic heating and insulation can be installed by individual authorities, it is not possible to quantify the planned saving in energy costs.
Rate Support Grant
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in determining the level of rate support grant for the forthcoming municipal year, he will disallow as reckonable for support wages and salaries that have been increased beyond the terms allowed in the social contract.
My officials are currently discussing the increase order for 1975–76 and also the Rate Support Grant Order for 1976–77 with the local authority associations.
Industrial Waste Disposal
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many sites within a radius of 100 miles of Hertfordshire are the subject of planning permission, or applications therefore, for the erection of plants for the disposal of industrial waste.
This information is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received about the Gardiner Report; and if he will make a statement.
I have received comments from various sources on the proposals in the report and these will be taken into account in the legislation base on the Gardiner Committee's Report to which I referred in my answer on 6th May 1975 to a Question by my hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether all payments for hill cow and breeding herd subsidy for 1975 have been made to the herd owners; and, if not, when he expects payments to be completed.
Approximately 98 per cent. of the 1975 hill cow claims and 94 per cent. of the beef cow breed- ing herd claims have been paid. Many of the outstanding claims are from new herd owners and cannot be cleared for payment until the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture is satisfied that the conditions of the scheme are being met. The remainder are affected by the regulations covering restocking after an outbreak of brucellosis and other factors which make it difficult to establish the number of animals qualifying for subsidy. The Department is endeavouring to clear all outstanding claims as quickly as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if it is her intention to reduce the adult dependant's allowance of an invalidity pensioner whose wife becomes eligible for a disabled housewife's allowance;(2) if it is her intention that an invalid care allowance shall be taken into account for the purposes of supplementary benefits when a non-disabled man has had to give up work to look after his severely disabled wife; and whether the invalid care allowance will affect or be affected by a disabled housewife's allowance that might be payable to his wife.
It is intended to apply the normal rules relating to benefits that are designed to help maintain the beneficiary. It would follow that an invalid care allowance would be taken fully into account for supplementary benefits purposes; and that, if a wife claimed and was awarded a non-contributory invalidity pension in her own right, an increase of her husband's invalid care allowance or invalidity pension would no longer be payable for her as his dependant.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in respect of (a) the disabled housewife's allowance, (b) the invalid care allowance and (c) the non-contributory invalidity pension, respectively, what is her current estimate of the gross cost of the benefit, what is her current estimate of the net cost of the benefit, what is her current estimate of the total number of beneficiaries, and, where appropriate, what is her current estimate of the number of beneficiaries who will remain dependent on supplementary benefits in spite of receipt of the benefit; and whether she is able to make
|Name of benefit||Estimated full-year costs at present benefit levels (£million)||Estimated number of beneficiaries||Estimated number of beneficiaries who will continue to receive supplementary benefit|
|Non-contributory invalidity pension (for men and single women)||…||…||70||10||220,000||125,000|
|Invalid care allowance||…||6||1||*||*|
|Non-contributory invalidity pension (for married women "housewives")||…||16||15||40,000||Not applicable|
|* No firm information is available. As explained in paragraph 61 of "Social Security Provision for Chronically Sick and Disabled People" (House of Commons Paper No. 276 of 1974), a figure of 11,500 beneficiaries has been used for costing purposes.|
Medicines (Child Safety)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she expects to announce the result of her consultations with the British Standards Institution on the modified test procedure for child-resistant closures for medicines an announced in her Written Answer on 23rd April (Medicines—Child Safety).
The British Standards Institution Committee concerned will meet towards the end of this month. I shall make an announcement as soon as I have been able to consider its view.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she can make an estimate of the cost in capital investment for the pharmaceutical industry of implementing the recommendations for child-resistant closures as set out in the Medicines Commission's report "On the presentation of medicines in relation to child safety".
It is impossible to estimate the capital investment cost of implementing the Medicines Commission's recommendations because of the variations in the circumstances of individual firms. Whilst some firms already have unit-packaging equipment others would have to obtain it, often from abroad, and additional expense would be incurred where new buildings were required to house the necessary machinery.
a further statement on the programme for the introduction of these benefits.
The following table gives the information requested about numbers and costs. I have no further statement to make about timing at present.
Television And Radio Costs (Elderly People)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will cause an investigation to be made into the impact upon elderly people living alone of the increased charges for the use of radio and television sets arising from the Budget proposals; and if she will make a statement.
Though I am much concerned about the impact on the elderly of rising living costs, I am not persuaded that a special investigation of this particular matter is called for.
Medicines Act (Licences)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if she is satisfied with the appeal procedure under Section 22(3) of the Medicines Act 1968; and if she will consider amending the Act so that the person holding the inquiry under the appeal procedure should be a qualified member of the legal profession;(2) whether she has any plans to change the appeal procedure under the Medicines Act 1968 in light of experience; and if she will make a statement.
I am considering this matter and am consulting the Council on Tribunals.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many medicine manufacturers have had their licences to manufacture medicines withdrawn or curtailed since the passing of the Medicines Act 1968; how many of them have invoked the existing appeal procedure: and with what result.
The right to invoke the procedure for a hearing or written representations arises when the licensing authority formally notifies to the manufacturer concerned a proposal to issue an adverse decision. Information about the total number of such cases and of their outcome is not immediately available, but I will circulate it in the Official Report as soon as possible.As regards hearings the information is as follows. Since licensing began in 1971 three manufacturers have invoked the procedure, with these results after the licensing authority had considered the report of the person appointed:
In each case the manufacturer subsequently applied for further authorisations. In the first case the application has not yet been finally determined. In the others further authorisations were issued, but in one the licence so granted was later suspended on grounds of safety.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many ambulance service staff are awaiting training courses in the Northern Region for the ambulance service advisory certificate, the management course, and the refresher courses, respectively.
The numbers of ambulance service staff in the Northern Region awaiting the three training courses referred to are 83, 14 and 419 respectively. The reason for the delay in providing refresher courses is the objection of the majority of staff to post-course assess- ment. Consideration is being given to ways of overcoming this problem.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals she has for a replacement for the Jubilee Road, Newcastle, Ambulance Service Staff Training Centre.
The training facilities at Jubilee Road, Newcastle which were lost as a result of demolition have been transferred to alternative accommodation at the Tynemouth Ambulance Training Centre.In order to determine the ambulance training needs of the region and to assess the capacity of the Tynemouth Training Centre to meet these needs, a review of the requirements has been mounted by the Northern Regional Health Authority in consultation with management and staff interests. In addition the terms of reference of the new National Staff Committee for Ambulance Staff will cover advice on overall training needs in England and Wales and the facilities required to meet them.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the present arrangements for training ambulance service staff in the Northern Region; and if she is satisfied with the arrangements, taking into consideration travelling time and costs.
The present arrangements are for ambulance men in the Northern Region to take the six-week basic training course leading to the award of the proficiency certificate at the Yorkshire Regional Health Authority Training Centre at Keighley and the North Western Regional Health Authority Training Centre at Preston. Twenty-six ambulancemen from the Northern Region are currently attending these courses and a further 77 places have been allocated at the Keighley School in the academic year ending 31st March 1976. In addition it has been agreed as an interim measure to offer a basic course shortly at the Tyne-mouth Training Centre.The training arrangements in this region are similar to those in other parts of the country and I am generally satisfied with them in the light of the resources available at present.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list in the Official Report the location of the ambulance service staff training centres in the United Kingdom, stating
|LOCATION OF AMBULANCE SCHOOLS, AREAS THEY SERVE AND POPULATION|
|School and Location||Catchment Area and Population|
|Preston North Road School, North Shields (Northern RHA)||Northern Region||…||…||…||3·1|
|Elm Bank Cartmell Road School, Keighley, Yorkshire (Yorkshire RHA).*||Yorkshire Region||…||…||3·5|
|Ratby Lane School, Markfield, Leicester (Trent RHA)||…||Trent Region||…||…||…||4·3|
|North West Thames Region||…||1·4|
|Baddow Road School, Chelmsford, Essex (North East Thames RHA).||North East Thames Region||…||1·4|
|North West Thames Region||…||1·4|
|East Anglia Region||…||…||1·7|
|The Horseshoe, Boulters Lane, Banstead, Surrey (South West Thames RHA).||South West Thames Region||…||1·6|
|South East Thames Region||…||2·0|
|East Anglia Region||…||…||1·7|
|London Ambulance Service, 220 Waterloo Road, London SE1.||GLC Area||…||…||…||6·0|
|Plus Students from other area.|
|Clay Lands Road School, Bishop Waltham, Southampton (Wessex RHA).||Wessex Region||…||…||…||2·5|
|South Western Region||…||…||3·0|
|South East Thames Region||…||2·0|
|1. 70 Stone Road, Stafford||…||…||…||…||…||West Midlands Region||…||…||5·1|
|2. Birmingham Fire Service, Lancaster Circus, Queensway Birmingham B4 7DE (West Midlands RHA).||Trent Region||…||…||…||4·3|
|Wrenbury Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire (Mersey RHA)*||…||Mersey Region||…||…||…||2·5|
|Westleigh, Lea Road, Near Preston (North Western RHA)*||North Western Region||…||…||4·1|
|Kingsway Industrial Estate, Waterton, Bridgend, Glamorgan||Wales||…||…||…||…||2·8|
|* These three schools offer specialist courses on a United Kingdom basis in addition to basic training.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Service how many families have been wage stopped as a result of the family income supplement uprating due in July not coinciding with the April increase in supplementary benefit rates.
Precise information is not available but probably very few. The Supplementary Benefits Commission used its discretion to avoid wage-stopping claimants wherever this could reasonably be done.
Supplementary Benefit Appeals
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of appeals relating to the right to or amount of supplementary benefit, in the last period of 12 months for which
the area, and population of the area, which they serve.
The information is as follows:figures are available, was decided in favour of the appellant, respectively, in England and Wales and in each region.
Following is the information for the 12 months ending 31st December 1974: England, 18·7 per cent.; Wales, 16·7 per cent.The figures for each region are:
|Yorks and Humberside||19·0|
|E Mids/E Anglia||20·0|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Service how many applicants before supplementary benefit appeal tribunals, in the latest period of 12 months, were unrepresented, represented by solicitors, by social or welfare workers, by friends or relatives, and by claimants' unions, trade unions or voluntary organisations, respectively; in respect of each category how many appellants failed themselves to attend the hearing; and in how many cases a decision was given in the appellant's favour among those, respectively, who did and did not personally attend.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will give the present salary range earned by Principals in the Civil Service and compare it with that earned by Members; and if he will further make the comparison on the basis that approved increases had been included.
The national salary scale for Principals on 1st January 1974 ranged from £4,360 to £5,775, excluding threshold payments which accumulated to £230 per annum in December 1974. The new scale, in which the threshold payments are subsumed, ranges from £5,680 to £7,450 with effect from 1st April 1975. The level of the parliamentary salary, which is currently under review, is £4,500.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the number of staff employed by the Civil Service in Wales (i) on 1st April 1974, and (ii) on 1st April 1975.
On 1st April 1974 there were 24,400 non-industrial civil servants in post in Wales and on 1st April 1975 25,800. Comparable information about the numbers of industrial civil servants is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Pay Research Unit
asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list the names of the companies and organisations which are used for comparison of pay purposes by the Pay Research Unit.
The independent Pay Research Unit obtains information on a confidential basis from organisations throughout the public and private sectors. Their surveys cover a very wide range of major employers in the private sector as well as the cross-section of public sector organisations. To preserve the confidential basis upon which firms agree to participate in the surveys the unit does not disclose the source of its information in particular surveys.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list the names of members of the Pay Research Unit, with their qualifications.
The Civil Service Pay Research Unit is an independent body staffed by civil servants on secondment who are selected on the basis of their ability, personal qualities and experience, by a highly selective all-service-wide process. The names of senior members of the unit are published in the Civil Service Year Book, but it is not the general practice of the Government to publish the names of civil servants at the supporting levels.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list in the Official Report all official estimates, with source and date, that have been made since 1968 of the number of teacher training places that would be necessary in 1980–81.
The following estimates have been made of the number of teacher training places, outside the universities, that would be necessary in 1981. The change arises mainly from revised demographic forecasts.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice was given to him by the Advisory Committee on the supply and training of teachers; and how this differs from calculations on teacher training made within his Department.
The Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers advised me inter alia in February that the Government should plan for a teacher training system of at least 60,000 places in 1981, but criticised the Department's suggested composition of this figure from various categories of students. In particular it felt that the annual intake of non-graduate students should not be allowed to fall below 15,000 as compared with 12,000 suggested by the Department and postulated in section H of Reports on Education No. 82. The committee said that it would give further consideration to the question and keep it under review. A decision on this will not be required until 1977.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the net cost to public funds for the number of foreign full-time students at British universities and polytechnics after taking into account reciprocal arrangements for British students overseas; and if this cost is included in published figures of aid to other countries.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many degree passes have been awarded, in Scotland and England, respectively, by the Open University since its inception.
Numbers of students who have so far qualified for the university's BA degree are as follows:
Of the students who graduated in 1972 and 1973 the following have subsequently qualified for the university's BA (Honours) degree:
Youth Organisations (Ministerial Consultations)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in order to increase the representation of young people in his present talks with youth organisations, he will invite representation from Scottish young people; and if he will make a statement.
As my Department's youth service responsibilities do not extend to Scotland, it would be inappropriate for me to invite representatives of Scottish young people to these discussions.
Vandalism Costs (Essex)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the cost of repairing damage to school buildings as a result of arson or vandalism in Essex for the years 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974, respectively.
The Department does not collect such information on a regular national basis but I am informed by the Essex Education Authority that from 1970 to 1974 £24,900 was spent on repairing damage caused by known cases of arson in its schools. Figures for other acts of vandalism cannot be identified separately.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list all the occasions when the power to prevent unreasonable exercise of functions under Section 68 of the Education Act 1944 has been exercised since the Act was passed.
This information is not available, but since taking office I have given nine directions under Section 68 relating to the admission of children to schools of their parents' choice.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science why no central record is kept of research projects financed through the Schools Council with Government and local government money.
The Schools Council keeps a complete record of its projects and publishes full descriptions in its "Project Profiles and Index", a summary in an information leaflet, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member, and a list of current projects in its annual report.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he has made of the effects on universities of the proposals in the Community Land Bill.
I am now considering this in consultation with the University Grants Committee.
Huddersfield Polytechnic (Teacher Training)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what grounds he is closing the teacher-training department at the Huddersfield Polytechnic five years after the merger with Oastler College of Education.
I have reached no decision to close the teacher training department at the Hudersfield Polytechnic. The local education authority has been asked to consider a proposal that the department should give up the initial training of teachers and I await the authority's response.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislation to exempt sports clubs which devote all their finances to the benefit of the general public by way of the provision of sports and leisure facilities from capital tax on development gains; and if he will make a statement.
The 1974 Finance Act enables non-profit-making bodies such as sports clubs to defer indefinitely payment of part of the tax chargeable on development gains if the gain is reinvested in qualifying assets. I understand that the club which the hon. Member has particularly in mind should be able to benefit from this relief. My right hon. Friend does not consider, however, that such clubs should be wholly exempt from any tax on development gains.
Crown Commissioners' Property
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much residential accommodation in London belonging to the Crown Commissioners has been empty for six months or more; and what action is being taken to bring these properties into housing use.
I am informed by the Crown Estate Commissioners that there are 41 such residential units. 22 of them are under offer to housing associations, local authorities or private persons, 13 are the subject of planning applications before the local planning authorities, three are awaiting conversion and three are uninhabitable.
Public Service Employees
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total number of employees in all sections of Government service, excluding the Armed Forces, but including all local authority, water board, Post Office and area health authority employees, for 1973, being the last year available; and what percentage of the total working population this represents.
At June 1973 the total number employed by central Government—excluding the Armed Forces—and local authorities, plus the Post Office, which since 1961 has been a public corporation, was 4,741,000, or 19 per cent. of the total working population in employment.
Import Levies (Foodstuffs)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total sum collected in levies on imported footstuffs in the most recent annual period for which figures are available; if he will express this total as a sum per week, how much of the annual sum was transmitted to EEC funds; and how much was retained by Her Majesty's Government.
The total amount of agricultural levies collected on imports of foodstuffs for the year ending 28th February 1975, the latest period for which figures are available, was £25,832,000, which is equivalent to about £497,000 per week. During the transitional period to 1977, the United Kingdom contribution to the EEC budget is determined, not by the amount of "own resources" collected in the United Kingdom but by reference to a percentage of the Budget expenditure, determined under the Treaty of Accession. The proportion of the agricultural levies collected in the United Kingdom which are paid to the Community could not therefore be estimated without making some artificial assumptions about the split of the United Kingdom contribution between customs duties and import levies.
Value Added Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the expected annual increase in revenue from the application of the higher rate of VAT on servicing of domestic electrical appliances, radios and televisions, itemised in Schedule 7, Groups 1 and 2, of the Finance Bill (No. 2) 1975.
I regret that this information is not available.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what levies are at present being paid on wheat imports into the United Kingdom, giving amounts, types of wheat and country of origin.
Imports of durum wheat (CCT 10.01 B) from countries outside the Community into the United Kingdom are subject to a net import levy of £0·0393/cwt. The levy on durum wheat from Morocco or Turkey transported directly from those countries to the Community is reduced by £0·0126/cwt.
No levies are at present charged on imports of common wheat (CCT 10.01 A) from any country because of the effect of the monetary compensatory amount system which applies to common wheat only. The net refund on imports of common wheat from all countries outside the Community into the United Kingdom amounts to £0·0533/cwt. Imports of common wheat from other Community States are subject to the full mca refund of £0·320/cwt. The rates of levy and refund quoted are those in force on 8th May 1975.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will issue a statement on United Kingdom fishing Proposals on the day the Law of the Sea Conference is due to end, to assist the inshore fishermen.
I have no plans to do so at present.
Farm Animal Waste
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated annual cost of the handling and disposal of farm animal waste; how much his Department is spending on research into methane production from this source; and if he will make a statement on the various benefits which might be obtained from utilisation of this matter.
The cost of handling and disposal of farm animal waste is influenced by many factors, but, based on current stock numbers in England and Wales, the estimated annual cost to the industry is in the region of £100 million.Government-funded research on the anaerobic digestion of farm animal waste is conducted jointly in Scotland by the Rowett Research Institute and the North of Scotland College of Agriculture. This project is primarily a study into the reduction of the pollution load of the waste and to overcome odour problems. Production of methane gas is a secondary aspect of the investigations and is used in the process or to heat the piggeries associated with the project. The cost of the buildings and equipment was approximately £38,500 and the staff and other costs involved are currently running at £14,000 per annum.As to the benefits obtained from the utilisation of farm animal waste, farmers have traditionally recycled this waste back to the land, thus making use of the plant nutrients contained in the manure and reducing the need to purchase inorganic fertilisers. A leaflet on the profitable utilisation of livestock manures prepared by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service is available to the industry.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he is satisfied that the preservatives used in bacon, cheese, corned beef, ham and other pork products are free from the risk of generating carcinogenic by-products when taken in conjunction with coffee;(2) if he will publish a list of the types of cheese in which preservatives are used of the kind which may react with coffee to produce carcinogenic compounds.
As I stated on 30th April in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, North (Mr. Atkins)—[Vol. 891, c. 156.]—the Government's expert independent advisory committees are satisfied as to the safety in use of, and need for, the preservatives, nitrates and nitrites in bacon, ham, other cured meats and cheeses, other than Cheddar or Cheshire type cheese or soft cheese; and these uses are permitted, subject to maximum levels, by the Preservatives in Food Regulations 1974. An extensive programme of research is in progress both in this country and elsewhere. The expert committees are keeping the situation under continuous review.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now propose requiring manufacturers to name the particular preservatives added to foodstuffs on the container or wrappings.
No. The Food Standards Committee is at present carrying out a full review of the Labelling of Food Regulations 1970 as amended, which lay down the way in which the presence of additives, such as preservatives, are to be declared on food labels.
Fruit And Vegetables (Market Withdrawals)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what were the quantities of fruit and vegetables withdrawn from the market and compensated with EEC funds for the marketing year 1973–74; how these quantities were disposed of or destroyed; and at what cost.
During this period 26 tons of cauliflowers were voluntarily withdrawn from the United Kingdom market under the EEC market support arrangements for fresh fruit and vegetables and used for animal feed. £440·90 compensation was paid by the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce from the Guarantee Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the meaning of the phrases "denatured by admixture "and" denatured by incorporation" in Command Paper No. 6033, paragraph 2.14; and what were the respective costs of these operations in relation to the 64,429 tons and the 219,137 tons of wheat referred to.
Until 10th February 19 74 there was provision for the payment of a subsidy from FEOGA funds in respect of wheat used for animal feed. Wheat incorporated in compound feeding stuffs was described as having been denatured by incorporation. Wheat to which an approved dye or fish liver oil had been added was described as having been denatured by admixture. The object of both processes was to ensure that the premium was not claimed twice in respect of the same wheat. Subsidy in respect of the 64,429 tons of wheat denatured by admixture amounted to £343,440 and to £3,112,019 in respect of the 219,137 tons denatured by incorporation.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what quantities and what kind of foods, apart from wheat, fruit and vegetables, were "denatured" using EEC funds, for the latest available period of 12 months: and at what cost.
During the 12 months ended 31st March 1975 the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce paid subsidy from FEOGA funds on 20,447 tons of skimmed milk powder used in animal feeding stuffs. The payments amounted to £2,798,573.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much money was spent on intervention buying by EEC intervention boards for the latest available period of 12 months; and how much has been budgeted for intervention buying by EEC intervention boards for 1975.
I regret that this information is not available.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much money was spent by the United Kingdom Intervention Board for intervention buying for the latest available period of 12 months; and how much has been so budgeted for 1975.
Details of United Kingdom expenditure on intervention buying in 1974 and sales out of intervention are given in table M of the Annual Report of the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce for the calendar year 1974 (Cmnd. 6033). In addition, there were offsetting receipts from FEOGA in 1974 in respect of losses incurred on the sale of intervention stocks and of intervention costs as set out in table L of the report. Budgeted expenditure for the calendar year 1975 is not available, but estimates on intervention buying are given in the Supply Estimates 1975–76, section A. Programme 3.1. of Class III, Vote 3.
Japanese Motor Vehicles
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will now take steps to limit the imports of Japanese cars to the same total as British car imports to Japan.
No. To do so would not only be in breach of our international obligations but would also create a serious risk of retaliation against such major British exports to Japan as Scotch whisky, agricultural equipment, aero-engines, wool cloth and pharmaceuticals. I am, however, ready to consider any evidence of unfair trading practices that may be put to me.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether it is still his policy that the Export Credits Guarantee Department should provide full credits for the export of engineering products including engineers' tools and equipment to Norway and Sweden and Finland outside the Economic Community and Denmark inside it.
The full range of ECGD's credit insurance and financial facilities continues to be available for all these markets. The availability of these facilities remains subject to the Department's normal underwriting considerations.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will tabulate the value of cover given during each of the last five years for Export Credits Guarantee Department credit cover to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, respectively.
It is not the practice to disclose figures of the United Kingdom's exports covered by ECGD to particular markets.
Aircraft Routes (Horsham)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether arrangements are now in hand to monitor all aircraft flying over Horsham.
As I explained to the hon. Member in my letter of 1st May, the planned aircraft track-keeping exercise at Horsham has been delayed for technical and other reasons. It is hoped to carry it out later this year.
Private Police Forces
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will list in the Official Report any private police forces for which he is in any respect responsible, indicating their present strength and the statutes in which any specific powers are conferred on each such force.
The Manchester Airport Police, with present strength of 68, derive their powers from the Manchester Corporation Act 1954; and the Birmingham Airport Police, with 29, from the Birmingham Corporation Act 1970. I am not responsible for these private police forces, but I have a general responsibility for airports.
Oil Producing And Exporting Countries
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will list the United Kingdom balance of trade with the OPEC market as a whole and by individual countries over each of the last five years for which figures are available;(2) if he will list the top five categories of goods, in terms of value, exported by the United Kingdom to the OPEC market as a whole, and to individual OPEC countries, over the latest five years for which figures are available and on the same basis, United Kingdom imports from OPEC.
Statistics of trade on a balance of payments basis are not available for individual countries of OPEC nor for OPEC as a whole. Statistics of trade on an Overseas Trade Statistics basis—i.e., imports valued c.i.f. and exports f.o.b.—with member countries of OPEC, which comprises Algeria, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, may be obtained for 1970 to 1972 from Volume I of the Annual Statements of Trade of the United Kingdom and for 1973 and 1974 from the December issues of the "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom".
asked the Secretary of State for Trade over how many years payment of the £500 million contracts signed by him with the Iranian authorities in January 1975 is to be spread; and how much is to be paid in each individual year.
The nature of the agreement to which the figure of £500 million relates was set out in the Secretary of State's statement to the House on 31st January 1975. He explained then that the conclusion of contracts for the projects agreed in principle between the two Governments was a matter for the United Kingdom firms concerned. Some of the contracts have been signed and others are still being negotiated; until this process has been completed details of the phasing of deliveries and payments are not available.