Written Answers To Questions
Friday 27th June 1975
asked the Lord President of the Council whether he can now say if, in their plans for devolution, the Government are considering extending the Scottish Assembly's powers to include certain areas of trade, industry and revenue raising.
The Government are planning to publish in the autumn a White Paper on devolution which will set out the proposed powers of the Scottish Assembly.
asked the Lord President of the Council when he intends to publish a further White Paper on devolution; and what is the objective of having another White Paper on this subject.
A further White Paper will be published in the autumn. This will enable the Government to explain their proposals on devolution in a detailed and comprehensive way.
House Of Commons
asked the Lord President of the Council if he will bring forward proposals for giving financial assistance to Members who are required to visit the offices of the Commission of the EEC at Brussels in relation to their constituency or parliamentary work.
I recognise that at present there is no financial provision for meeting the travelling costs of Members who may be required to visit the offices of the EEC Commission on parliamentary or constituency business. However, it is expected that the general question of Members' travel facilities will be covered in the second part of the Top Salaries Review Body's report when it is submitted. If a clear need for this facility is established further consideration will be given to the question in the light of that report.
asked the Lord President of the Council what the current salary of a Member would be on the basis of an increase at the same rate as the average percentage annual wage increase since 1972.
On the basis of the increases in the index of average earnings from January 1972 to April 1975 a Member's current salary would be £7,770 per annum.
asked the Lord President of the Council what provision is made in the Palace of Westminster for the parking of their cars by attendants who live far from Westminster but who have to be on duty by 6 a.m.
All staff regularly employed until the rising of the House of Commons have space allocated to them in the underground car park. If their duties require them to arrive by 6 a.m. they may still park there. Other staff, whose hours of duty allow them to use public transport, are allowed to park in Broad Sanctuary car park, and experience shows that there are no parking problems here at 6 a.m. The Services Committee is due to consider the working of car park arrangements in the autumn after experience of one year's operation of the underground car park.
asked the Lord President of the Council how many parking spaces there are in the Palace of Westminster underground car park; what is the average occupancy of the car park during the various hours of each day from Monday to Friday during the period for which records are available; and what is the maximum number of spaces and percentage of available space filled and the minimum left empty during each such period.
The underground car park has about 500 places for cars. Statistics have not been kept in a form which would answer my hon. and learned Friend's Question exactly as tabled, but I hope that the following list will be helpful. All figures refer to times when the House was sitting.
|Maximum use since car park opened||344|
|Average daily peak, Monday-Thursday||300|
|Minimum usage, Monday-Thursday (during all night sitting)||57|
asked the Lord President of the Council what checks or inquiries have been made to ensure that the facilities and amenities of House of Commons staff and others who are employed to work in the Palace of Westminster comply with the minimum standards prescribed by the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act and by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, respectively.
The standards of the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, 1963 are, at Mr. Speaker's direction, applied so far as possible. The House of Commons has been inspected by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate, and the recommendations of the inspectors were implemented. As I indicated to my hon. and learned Friend on 13th May this year, an assessment is now being made of the factors involved in the implementation of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
asked the Lord President of the Council what canteen facilities will be available for attendants and members of the staff of the House of Commons during the forthcoming Summer Recess.
I have been asked to reply.The Strangers' Cafeteria will be open for the whole of the recess for members of the staff of the House of Commons. Other facilities will be made available during September on completion of construction and building work in the Westminster Hall canteen.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the regulations governing the competence of driving school instructors to teach learner drivers to drive; and if he will make a statement.
I am far from satisfied with the situation, and shall shortly be consulting interested organisations about proposals to amend the regulations.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list in the Official Report the local authorities which have made representations to him asking him to cut Parker Morris standards for new local authority housing;(2) if, in order to assist local government to cut back on expenditure, he will abolish or amend Parker Morris standards for new local authority housing;(3) what representations he has had from local authority associations asking him to cut Parker Morris standards for new local authority housing.
I have had no representations from local authorities or from local authority associations for the general withdrawal of Parker Morris standards for new local authority housing for rent, although there have been individual informal exchanges of views on possible variations in detailed application of these standards, including possible raising of standards.The application of Parker Morris standards has enabled public authorities to produce good housing accommodation and I am anxious that this should continue. Save in certain circumstances, therefore— for example, where houses are being built specifically for sale, or where a local authority needs to use builders' designs to overcome temporary delays in its programme— I believe it right that the Parker Morris standards should be maintained.
Mortgage Finance (Birmingham)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much mortgage finance was made available from central funds to the city of Birmingham in each of the years 1973–74 and 197475; and how much is to be provided for the current year.
According to my Department's records, Birmingham's expenditure on home loans was £1·03 million in 1973–74 and £18·4 million in 1974–75. Under the terms of Circular 64/75 its limit for 1975–76 is, therefore, £9·2 million, and the implications of this in relation to sums advanced or committed before the issue of the circular is
|Building costs excluding land and site works||Loan charges (including land)||Exchequer and rate fund subsidies||Subsidies as a percentage of loan charges|
|(a) Building costs are per dwelling built, loan charges and subsidies per dwelling held in housing revenue accounts.|
|(b) Exchequer subsidies are payable in respect of local authority housing revenue expenditure of which loan charges are the main component, and not directly on new capital costs. There is, therefore no direct relationship between the figures in columns (1) and (3).|
Midlands (Local Commissioner)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will appoint an additional local commissioner specifically to cover the Midland counties; and if he will make a statement.
While the number of complaints reaching the local commissioners is increasing it does not at present call for an additional appointment. My right hon. Friend will certainly be prepared to recommend further appointments if this becomes necessary, but the area for which each commissioner is responsible is a matter for the commission itself to arrange.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to estimate or ascertain the proportion of roll-on/roll-off traffic
now the subject of consultations with my Department.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report figures showing the proportionate value of council house subsidies in relation to loan charges and building costs for the last 10 years.
The information is as follows:to the near Continent originating from or destined for ships in ports.
My Department has just initiated a survey of international operations by British road hauliers which may well shed some light on the matter raised by my hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what procedures have to be completed before a new town can extend its boundaries; and what plans the Skelmersdale New Town Corporation has to extend its boundaries to take in the area around Kings Moss.
The statutory procedure is the same as that for designation of a new town as set out in Section 1 of and Schedule 1 to the New Towns Act 1965. Section 1 in particular requires the Secretary of State to consult the local authorities concerned before making an order.Such consultations are currently taking place on a proposal made by Skelmersdale Development Corporation to extend its boundaries in order to meet the originally planned population and employment targets. One of the proposed extension areas lies about half a mile to the north of Kings Moss.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from local authorities and other bodies concerned with national parks and the countryside about the effects of hang gliding.
None; but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Home Affairs is currently considering a draft byelaw, submitted by one local authority, to control hang gliding within its area.
Local Government Expenditure
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is considering the containment of local government expenditure by way of the rate support grant or by requiring rating authorities to fix a maximum increase in their precept for 1976–77.
I shall be discussing the growth of local authority expenditure with the Consultative Council on Local Government Finance and in the context of the RSG settlement.
Caravan Owners (Electoral Registration)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the statutory provisions that govern the rights of caravan owners on restricted sites to go on the electoral register in areas where they are required to pay individual rates.
I have been asked to reply.The statutory provisions relating to the electoral register are contained in Sections 1–10 of the Representation of the People Act 1949. Apart from requirements of nationality and age the main requirement for inclusion in the register is residence in the relevant constituency on the qualifying date of 10th October each year—15th September in Northern Ireland. Electoral law makes no distinction between different categories of ratepayers.
Military Aid (Disaster Relief)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to realise the involvement of the British Armed Forces in the Church of England's scheme for an international disaster relief force.
None. The Armed Forces will always be ready, however, to provide what help they can, when called upon, to assist in the relief of disasters overseas.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will introduce legislation to ensure that in no circumstances indentured apprentices are made redundant.
No. Help needed by apprentices involved in redundancies can be provided under existing powers.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the estimated effect on unemployment of a cut of £1,000 million, £2,000 million and £3,000 million in public expenditure.
The effect of changes on the level of public expenditure on unemployment varies according to the composition and timing of the changes. No simple estimate can be given.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what studies his Department is now carrying out into the workings of the disabled workers quota scheme; and whether he will now make a statement about the future operation of the scheme.
The scheme is under review, and, as I have previously stated, I hope to be able to announce the Government's proposals about the future of the scheme later this year. These proposals will take account of the lessons learned from the programme of stricter enforcement of the quota in six selected areas which I announced in December last year— [Vol. 882, c. 397].
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many disabled people in the Thanet area are currently registered as unemployed.
198 registered disabled people are currently unemployed in the Thanet travel-to-work area.
Wages Regulation Orders
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will decline to approve wages regulation orders referred to him by wages councils where the statutory minimum remuneration is below £30 per week.
No. I would refer my hon. Friend to my letter to him of 25th June 1975.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action his Department is taking to compensate for the loss of 1,400 jobs in Great Britain occasioned by the partial closure of the Newton-le-Willows plant of the GEC and the transfer of part of the order book of that plant to factories in West Germany, with consequent damage to Great Britain's balance of payments.
I have been asked to reply.I am not aware of any such loss of jobs.
Economic Policy (Ministerial Speech)
asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economic policy at Leicester on 21st June represents Government policy.
Fuel And Water Supplies
asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the adequacy of the Government's contingency plans for keeping the country functioning in the face of strikes affecting waterworks, electricity switching stations and oil delivery tankers.
Rent And Rate Rebates
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the actual or estimated cost of rent rebates and rate rebates for 1974–75 and also for the current year.
In 1974–75 the actual cost of rent rebates administered by the Housing Executive, but granted under rebate schemes inherited from former housing authorities, was £27,423. The cost of rebates for the current year depends on the uptake of the new rent rebate scheme introduced on 7th April 1975. If all eligible tenants apply it could cost £4 million in 1975–76.The actual cost of rate rebates granted in 1974–75 was £472,000. There has been an encouraging response so far to the publicity given to the scheme, and it is estimated that rebates in 1975–76 could amount to £700,000.
Civil Servants' Housing (Lancashire)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in view of the fact that the Fylde Housing Committee has taken a decision not to allocate council houses to civil servants proposed to be dispersed to that area from London, if she will consider reallocating these Civil Service posts for dispersal to Burnley and north-east Lancashire where housing facilities are available.
No. My officials are corresponding with the three borough councils in the area, namely, Wyre, in which the offices for the dispersed staff are located, Blackpool and Fylde, and as a result I hope sufficient help with housing will be forthcoming to meet the needs of staff dispersed from London.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total staff shortage in the investigation departments of her Department; and if she will show the figures on a regional basis.
|Regions||Complement||Staff in Post||Shortage|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||…||…||…||…||33||30||3|
|East Midlands and East Anglia||…||…||…||…||31||28||3|
Weymouth (Benefit Payments)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons applied to the Weymouth office and thereafter received supplementary
|Claims from persons||No payment made||Single payment||Number of claims continuing weekly pay initiated||Total|
|Over pension age||31||21||26||78|
|Under pension age, not required to register||33||183||63||279|
|Under pension age, required to register for employment||36||134||229||399|
|It is not possible to say how many claimants were aged under 25 as statistics of claims are not related to age, apart from the distinction between those over and under pension age.|
|1. The table reflects only decisions made on claims during the month ending 17th June and thus does not depict the total number receiving benefit from the Weymouth office during that period, since it takes no account of decisions made before that month which have resulted in a continuing payment.|
|2. The figures include "repeat" claims by the same person, and the numbers of separate claimants may, therefore, be less than the number of claims.|
|3. Claimants under pension age who are capable of work are normally required to register for work as a condition for receiving supplementary benefit, unless there are reasons why they should not do so— e.g., a lone parent with responsibility for children.|
St Wulstan's Hospital, Malvern
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when a Minister from her Department will visit
Fraud investigation is carried out either by local office staff or special investigators according to the complexity of the inquiries needed. Staff time in local offices is allocated as required and no estimate of shortages can be made. Staffing details of special investigators at 1st June 1975 are shown in the table below:benefit during the last convenient week; and how many of those were under 25 years.
I regret the information is not available in the form requested, in part because claims statistics are not maintained on a weekly basis. I can, however, inform the hon. Member that the Weymouth office dealt with claims during the lunar month ending 17th June 1975 as follows:St. Wulstan's Hospital, Malvern, in accordance with the undertaking given on 13th March that a visit would be made.
As stated in my predecessor's letter of 13th March, we wait to see if the health authorities propose closure and if the decision falls to my right hon. Friend under the terms of paragraph 23(e) of "Democracy in the NHS".
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the social security benefits payable to an unemployed man with a family of two.
An unemployed man with a wife and one child might be entitled, depending on his particular circumstances and on the satisfaction of the conditions attaching to each benefit, to any or all of the following: unemployment benefit, earnings-related supple-
|Financial Year||Turf Board||Overnight Declaration Scheme||Suppression of Doping Scheme||Joint Racing Board|
|* In 1973 an independent company limited by guarantee was established to take over the responsibilities for the Suppression of Doping Scheme, which included Security Field Force, Veterinary Field Force and the Forensic Laboratory. This company is financed by the Levy Board.|
|† £500 as a contribution to the Controller of Racing Programmes' salary (£375 part year).|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now issue guidelines to the police authorities designed to clarify the position of serving members of the police force in making public statements about their jobs as law enforcement officers, and to ensure them total freedom to criticise Members of Parliament and Her Majesty's Government.
I refer the hon. Gentleman to my reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley
ment, supplementary allowance, and family income supplement.
Jockey Club And Joint Racing Board
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contributions were made by the Horserace Betting Levy Board to the Jockey Club and the Turf Board towards the administrative costs of those bodies between 1961 and the date on which the Joint Racing Board was established; and what grants have subsequently been made towards the administrative costs of the Jockey Club and the Joint Racing Board, separate detailed figures being given under each heading.
The information is as follows:(Mr. Cryer) on 26th June.-[Vol. 894. c.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the pay after the recent award of a police constable of 10 years' service.
With effect from 1st September 1975, £3,150 a year. Constables in London receive an additional £275 a year.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a list in the Official Report of fares permitted to be charged by taxis in each of the different licensing areas in the United Kingdom, giving the date upon which such charges were sanctioned in each case, and distinguishing between the initial mileage charge for each fare and the subsequent mileage charge.
It would involve disproportionate expense to prepare and publish a comprehensive list of taxi fare scales for all licensing areas in England and Wales. If the hon. Member wishes to know the scale in some particular districts I shall be glad to provide this information.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proposals he has to revise the law governing the licensing of taxis and hire cars.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on 14th April to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Lewis).—[Vol. 890, c. 25.]
Foreigners' Registration Fees
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he proposes to alter the fees paid by foreign nationals for the issue of police registration certificates under the Immigration Act 1971.
The fee which a foreign national is required to pay for a certificate when he registers with the police has remained at 25 new pence—5 shillings— since 1952. In keeping with the policy of recovering as far as possible the cost of services of this nature I laid before Parliament on 24th June regulations under the Immigration Act 1971 increasing the fees, with effect from 1st September 1975, to the following scale:
|for normal initial registration||£2·50|
|for the initial registration of a wife or child under 18 where a family registers together||£0·50|
|for the issue of a replacement certificate when the original has been lost or is full||£1·00|
Tax Deposit Certificates
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received about the introduction of some form of tax reserve scheme.
A number of the main representative bodies, representing both the professional bodies and the commercial world, have made representations to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, asking for the introduction of some form of tax reserve scheme. They have suggested that a facility of this kind would complement the new provisions in Clause 43 of the current Finance Bill for the charge to interest on unpaid tax. In particular, it could enable a taxpayer who wished to provide for a potentially large tax liability, but was unable at that stage to quantify it precisely, to avoid on the one hand a significant charge of interest on tax arrears, and on the other hand the cost of a potential overpayment of tax. Thus, a facility of this kind would go a long way to ease the most difficult of the problems which some of the bodies felt could otherwise arise under the new provisions in the Finance Bill.My right hon. Friend has accordingly decided to introduce a new form of deposit, to be evidenced by certificates which will be known as certificates of tax deposit. The new scheme will differ in some important respects from earlier schemes for tax reserve certificates and tax deposit accounts. The detailed prospectus will be issued by the Treasury this autumn.Certificates of tax deposits will be available to taxpayers generally— that is, to individuals, partnerships and firms, and companies. They will be available against tax generally, that is, including income tax— other than PAYE and tax deducted from payments to sub-contractors— corporation tax, including ACT, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax and petroleum revenue tax. Deposits will earn interest for a maximum of six years, by contrast with the two-year maximum under the old tax reserve certificate scheme.The rate of interest on new deposits will be published by the Treasury from time to time by notice in the
London Gazette. It will be calculated by reference to the rate payable on a comparable investment with the Government. For the first two years the interest rate will be that applying on the date of deposit; for the second two years, it will be the rate on the second anniversary of that date; and for the third period of two years, the rate on the fourth anniversary. If the deposit is used to pay tax, that tax will be treated as paid on the date on which it would normally be due or, if later, on the date the deposit was made. Interest will not run beyond the normal due date of tax. It will be paid gross and will be taxable in the ordinary way.
Taxpayers will be able to maintain their deposits and tender them in payment of tax at any time, whether or not the six-year period of interest has expired. Alternatively a deposit may be withdrawn for cash at any time, but in that event a reduced rate of interest will be payable.
An initial purchase of certificates may be made in a sum of not less than £2,000, compared with the £5,000 minimum for the earlier scheme of tax deposit accounts, which replaced the tax reserve certificates scheme in 1973, and was itself terminated in 1974. Further deposits may be made in amounts of not less than £500, but only if the taxpayer's current deposit exceeds £2,000 or, with the further deposit, will exceed £2,000.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the expansion in M1 and M3 over the last three months.
During the three banking months to mid-April, M1 grew by £539 million and M3 by £734 million. These figures represented increases over the mid-January level of 3·9 per cent. and 2 per cent. respectively. All the figures are seasonally adjusted. Figures for May have been delayed by the introduction of new statistical returns from the banks.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the official definition of M1 and M3 in relation to the money supply.
The narrowed definition of the money stock (M1) comprises holdings of notes and coin outside the banks plus all current accounts of United Kingdom private sector residents denominated in sterling less 60 per cent. of the net value of transit items.The other definition (M3) covers holding of notes and coin outside the banks, plus all deposits of United Kingdom residents—other than banks—with the United Kingdom banking sector, including current and deposit accounts in sterling and foreign currency and estimated holdings of sterling certificates of deposit by United Kingdom residents—other than banks—less 60 per cent. of the net value of transit items.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue would be raised by the reintroduction of the 1968 provisions for the aggregation of children's investment income with that of their parents.
I will let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
Construction Contracts (Advertising)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to alter the EEC rules concerning the advertising of public sector building and civil engineering contracts in the Official Journal of the EEC.
I will let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Income Tax (Age Allowance)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will amend the scheme of the new age allowances for income tax purposes so as to provide for a proper reduction in the allowance at the rate of £1 in £5 or some other less severe rate of reduction; and what would be the estimated reduction in the tax yield for income tax for the year 1975–76 as a result of granting such relief.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 26th June 1975; Vol. 894, c. 264], gave the following information:The cost for 1975–76 of amending Clause 29 of the Finance Bill now before Parliament— which makes provision for the age allowance— in the way proposed would be about £15 million. Apart from its cost this proposal would substantially increase the band of income over which the allowance is withdrawn, and I do not think the change would be justified.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the attitude of the EEC to his policy that a substantial increase in milk production is in the national interest (Official Report, 16th June, column 316).
We have had no approach on this subject from other member States or the Commission.
Capital Transfer Tax
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many letters he has received on the subject of the effects on the agricultural industry of capital transfer tax.
Fat Cattle (Certifying Weight)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the potential difficulties in the coming autumn for beef farmers, he will consider reducing the certifying weight of fat cattle to 7 cwt. on steers.
The present minimum weight of 7½ cwt. for steers is designed to prevent cattle from being marketed before they are ready. To lower the minimum weight would run the risk of undermining the market with sales of immature cattle and thus of increasing marketing problems. Producers themselves can do much to avoid difficulties in the autumn by marketing their cattle in an orderly way, and by taking account of the fact that the monthly target prices for beef are being set to follow the seasonal pattern of market prices which normally increase between the late autumn and the spring.
Government Offices Dispersal (Midlands)
asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many jobs in the Civil Service have been transferred from London to the West Midlands in the past two years; and what plans he has for increasing this number in the future.
No Civil Service posts have been transferred from London to the West Midlands in the last two years. As announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 20th May— [Vol. 982, c. 334–5]— a capital tax office is to be established in Solihull, comprising about 200 posts including some moved from London. In future plans for dispersal from London and the setting up of new offices priority will be given wherever possible to the assisted areas; however, the interests of areas other than assisted areas will also be taken into account before decisions are made.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many of those who graduated from universities in the United Kingdom in 1974 have still not found permanent employment.
According to provisional figures supplied by the University Grants Committee 1,658 students, or 3 per cent. of the total who obtained first degrees from universities in the United Kingdom in 1973–74, were believed to be unemployed when last contacted between graduation and 31st December 1974. In addition there were 2,052 graduates or 4 per cent. of the total in temporary employment in the United Kingdom with no permanent employment or further study firmly arranged. The corresponding figures in 1972–73 were 1,453–3 per cent. — and 2,028–4 per cent.— respectively, and 1,891–3 per cent.— and 1,802–3 per cent.— in 1971–72.
Colleges Of Education
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to utilise the premises and facilities made vacant as a result of the proposed reduction in teacher training.
It is one of the purposes of the current reorganisation of higher education in the non-university sector to ensure that, so far as possible, all college of education places no longer required for teacher training remain in use for other educational purposes, and preferably for higher education. Where decisions have already been taken under my Depart-
|Anstey||City of Newcastle||Newland Park|
|Bedford||City of Sheffield||Northampton|
|Bishop Lonsdale||Doncaster||Poulton le Fylde|
|Bordesley||Gipsy Hill||Putteridge Bury|
|Brighton||I. M. Marsh||Shenstone|
|Caerleon||James Graham||Sidney Webb|
|Cartrefle||Kingston upon Hull||Sunderland|
|City of Birmingham||Maria Grey||Trent Park|
|City of Leeds & Carnegie|
|Newton Park||Elizabeth Caskell||St. John's, York|
|C. F. Mott||Manchester Day||St. Hilds|
|Ethel Wormald||Mather||The Venerable Bede|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those colleges of education which are to be closed as a result of the decision to reduce teacher training announced on 20th March.
I have nothing to add at present to the reply given on 10th June to a similar Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy).— [Vol. 893, c. 117.]
ment's Circular 7/73 it is primarily for the institutions themselves and for their maintaining authorities or voluntary providing bodies to consider in detail how this objective can best be achieved.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those colleges of education which are to be amalgamated with other colleges of higher and further education and in which cases teacher training is to be maintained in the resultant amalgamated college.
I have so far approved proposals to amalgamate the following 37 colleges of education with polytechnics or with other further education establishments:colleges of education with one another, as shown:
University Teachers (Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will report on progress made on the second stage of negotiations on university teachers' pay; and whether he will act on the matter as quickly as possible.
I am considering the proposals which my Department has received from Committee A.
North Sea Oil
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether his policy of disposing of North Sea oil at market prices will enable him to give precedence to domestic consumers over EEC customers offering a premium above market prices.
Differential pricing would involve a significant departure from Government policy.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the outcome of the negotiations with Canada for the purchase of heavy water.
Negotiations between the CEGB, SSEB and Atomic Energy Canada Limited are still in progress.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
International Women's Year (Mexico Conference)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the cost of sending the United Kingdom delegation to the United Nations International Women's Year Conference in Mexico.
The present estimate is that the total cost to Her Majesty's Government of sending a delegation to the World Conference of the International Women's Year in Mexico City will be £10,360.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will ensure that the British Embassy in South Africa will send an observer to the forthcoming trial in Windhoek of leaders of the SWAPO Youth League; and whether he will make representations to the Government of the Republic of South Africa about the continued harassment of leaders of SWAPO.
I am making urgent inquiries about the reported trial. I am not aware that any other SWAPO leaders face trial. I shall reply fully to both parts of the Question as soon as further information is available.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make renewed representations to the Government of the Republic of South Africa about the continued detention of Namibians on Robben Island and in other prisons in South Africa.
We have taken every suitable opportunity to remind the South Africans of our views on the detention of Namibians for non-criminal political offences, and will continue to do so.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the tasks of the Labour Attaché at the British Embassy in South Africa include the study of labour conditions in Namibia, with particular reference to the labour policies of British firms involved in Namibia; and whether he will give details of any reports he may have received.
The Labour Attaché in South Africa does include the subjects mentioned among his tasks. It is not the practice to make public details of labour attaches' reports.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what groups of persons are precluded from the need to share a telephone line if the GPO so demands.
This is a matter for the Post Office, which, I am sure, will give my hon. Friend the required information.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will detail the assistance that has been and is being given by the Government to ICL for the production of its new range of computers.
Government assistance to ICL has been for development rather than production. The £40 million support programme for ICL over the four years ending September 1976, announced to the House on 4th July 1973, is mainly for the development of the company's new 2900 series of computers.
Prices And Consumer Protection
Sale Of Goods (Prescribed Quantities)
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection when she expects to introduce proposals to amend the Weights and Measures Act to remove the imperial alternative in the making of prescribed quantity regulations.
I appreciate that we shall in due course need to be able to phase out prescribed imperial quantity packaging, both in the consumer's interest and to enable us to comply in
|Eggs, including dried and frozen (SITC(R) 025.0)—|
|Butter (SITC(R) 023.0)—|
|Rest of World||…||…||…||6,546||315||170|
|Cheese and curd (SITC(R) 024.0)—|
|Rest of World||…||…||…||3,049||1,334||1,112|
|Dried milk and cream (SITC(R) 022.2)—|
|Rest of World||…||…||…||1,158||21||2,060|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what are the average rates of return, after overseas tax, on United Kingdom direct investment overseas in (a) the Commonwealth developing countries, (b) Canada, (c) the United States of America, (d) EFTA, (e) EEC, (f) South and Central America, and (g) the overseas sterling area.
The latest available estimates of the average rate of return on United Kingdom direct investment overseas are those for 1971 published in Table 40 of Business Monitor M4, Overseas Transactions, to which I referred the hon. Member in my answer of 4th March.
due course with our community obligations, and I intend to seek the necessary powers, and I intend to seek the necessary powers from Parliament at an appropriate date.
Egg And Other Dairy Imports
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what has been the volume of egg imports from the EEC for the year to date; and how this compares with the corresponding period for each year since the Treaty of Accession.(2) if he will list the volume of butter, cheese and milk powder imports for the year to date from EEC, Commonwealth and other sources, respectively, and further show how these figures compare with the corresponding period for each year since the Treaty of Accession.
Following is the information:Estimates are made only every three years, when the results of the triennial census of overseas assets become available.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the net outflow of United Kingdom direct investment, for the latest available year, to (a) the Commonwealth developing countries, (b) Canada, (c) the United States of America, (d) EFTA, (e) EEC, (f) South and Central America, and (g) the overseas sterling area.
The latest information available relates to 1973 and was published in Table 17 of the Business Monitor M4 Overseas Transactions 1973, a copy of which is in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what plans he has to speed the processing of patent applications, in view of the Patent Office's backlog of approximately 50,000 unexamined applications.
The instructions to the technical staff of the Patent Office emphasise that they concentrate on matters affecting the validity of the patents when granted and their performance is monitored by quality control. The present backlog of unexamined complete specifications is equivalent to 14 months' filings. This year's recruitment is expected to yield 33 new technical staff. With their aid, the backlog should be reduced by about one month's filings by the end of the year. Unless the filing rate increases, a substantial further reduction in backlog should be made in 1976.