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Written Answers

Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 1st March 1977

Cbi

Q5.

Q11.

Q32.

I refer the hon. Member and my hon. Friends to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Thornaby (Mr. Wriggles-worth) on 17th February.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Land Ownership

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what acreage of land in the United Kingdom was purchased by foreign buyers in each of the last three years.

The information on agricultural land transactions available to my Department does not permit purchases by foreign buyers to be separately identified.

Financial Institutions (Inquiry)

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now dismiss the right hon. Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) as Chairman of the Committee of Inquiry into the workings of the City and its institutions and make a new appointment.

asked the Prime Minister what were the criteria he used in appointing the Committee of Inquiry into the workings of the City and its institutions.

The members of the Committee under the chairmanship of my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) were chosen to provide a wide range of knowledge and experience. They were appointed in their personal capacities, not as representatives of particular interests.

Energy

Oil Production Platforms

asked the Secretary of State for Energy for how long the North Sea platform yards at Hunterston and Portavadie have been without orders; and whether any orders are now in prospect.

The Portavadie and Hunterston yards were completed to the point of being able to accept an order in November 1975 and July 1976 respectively. Neither has yet received an order. There is a reasonable prospect of four, perhaps five, platform orders by mid-1978.

Oil And Gas Royalties

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what royalties were collected in respect of gas and oil production for the calendar year 1976.

Royalties for 1976 production yield some £22·4 million for gas and some £44·million for oil. These are provisional payments subject to later adjustment.

North Sea Gas

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will identify the members of the study group following the publication of the William Mertz report and indicate when the group is expected to report.

We are not yet in a position to identify the private sector companies which will join British Gas Corporation and British National Oil Corporation in Gas Gathering Pipelines (NorthSea) Ltd. As my right hon. Friend stated in the House on 9th December, he has asked Gas Gathering Pipelines Ltd. to submit a preliminary report to him in December 1977 and to update it by the end of March 1978.—[Official Report, 9th December 1976; Vol. 922, c. 311–13.]

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

President Amin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning the banning from the United Kingdom of President Amin.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received a number of letters from members of the public wishing to register their views on this subject.

Helsinki Agreement (British Application)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in respect of Scotland, the Government are taking steps to implement the Helsinki Agreement to recognise the cultural heritage of national minorities, and to promote translation of literary works in less spoken languages.

Her Majesty's Government have always recognised the contribution of minority cultures and languages to the common culture of the United Kingdom. In respect of Scotland this recognition has been expressed for many years by the support given, through the Scottish Education Department and the Scottish Arts Council, to a variety of bodies concerned with Scottish culture and Gaelic language and literature. This will continue to be our policy regarding implementation of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

asked the Secretary, of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in respect of Wales, the Government are taking steps to implement the Helsinki Agreement to recognise the cultural heritage of national minorities and to promote the translation of literary works in less spoken languages.

Her Majesty's Government have always recognised the contribution of minority cultures and languages to the common culture of the United Kingdom.

In respect of Wales, this has been expressed for many years through the Welsh Book Grant, and by support of the Welsh Arts Council, the Welsh Education Office, the Welsh Joint Education Committee and the University Grants Committee. This will continue to be our policy regarding implementation of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Home Department

Immigration (Indian Subcontinent)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider establishing an agreed certificate of status between the Pakistan Government and the United Kingdom Government which would be issued by the former Government to would-be immigrants, and accepted as proof of status by the United Kingdom Government; and if he will have talks with Pakistan Embassy officials to this end.

My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State had useful discussions with the Pakistan Government during her recent visit to the subcontinent concerning the assistance which our posts might seek from them in immigration matters, and these discussions will be continued. The Pakistan Government have indicated that they fully recognise that the decision whether or not to accept someone as eligible for settlement here must remain entirely a matter for the United Kingdom Government.

Social Security Frauds

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to increase the maximum fine on those found guilty of making false applications for social security benefits.

The Social Security (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill currently being considered in Committee, increases the maximum fine for an offence under the Supplementary Benefit Act 1966 from £100 to £400, to provide parity with the maximum fine for offences under the Social Security Act 1975. This is in addition to a maximum sentence of three months' imprisonment. I am satisfied that these penalties, together with those which can be imposed when proceedings under the Theft Act 1968 are appropriate, are adequate. The Criminal Law Bill, which is presently in another place, increases the maximum summary fine for offences triable either way under the Theft Act, to £1,000.

Murder And Manslaughter

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam may expect an answer to the third part of his Question on murder and manslaughter, tabled on 9th February and to which an answer was promised on 16th February, Official Report, 16th February, column 242.

House Of Commons

Travel Expenses

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will make arrangements for hon. Members going to official meetings of the Council of Europe, Western European Union and the North Atlantic Assembly, to be entitled to vouchers for the bus service to and from Heathrow as is the case for those Members who travel by air internally.

Delegates to the Council of Europe, Western European Union and the North Atlantic Assembly receive a daily miscellaneous expenses allowance. This is intended to cover such items of expenditure as bus fares to and from airports, and no special provision for bus vouchers seems called for.

Northern Ireland

Price Control

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he is satisfied with the efforts of the Department of Commerce in controlling price rises, particularly in relation to food and clothes; and if he has any plans to improve the effectiveness of these controls.

Control of profits and price rises on consumer goods in Northern Ireland, as elsewhere in the United Kingdom, is exercised by the Price Commission under the Price Code. The Department of Commerce has responsibility in Northern Ireland for enforcement functions in relation to price orders, made under Section 2 of the Prices Act 1974, which prescribe maximum prices or profit margins on subsidised foods. A high level of compliance with these orders has been secured.

Social Services (Training)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the annual expenditure in each of the last five years on social services training in Northern Ireland.

Details of expenditure are not available for periods prior to the reorganisation of the Health and Personal Social Services on 1st October 1973. Expenditure since then is as follows:

£
1t October 1973–31st March 1974 (6 months)164,000
1st April 1974–31st March 1975371,500
1st April 1975–3Ist March 1976548,000
1st April 1976–31st March1977
(estimates)807,000

Defence

Destroyers

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the order for a Type 42 destroyer for which Vosper Thornycroft and Cammell Laird have recently tendered.

An order has been placed today with Vosper Thornycroft Ltd. for the construction of the Royal Navy's ninth Type 42 destroyer. It is our intention to place an further order in the coming year, and Cammell Laird will be included among any firms invited to tender for this order.

Royal Navy

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the venues of the forthcoming programme of lectures on "The Need for the Royal Navy Today".

Between now and the end of March the Royal Navy Presentation Team plans to speak on "The Need for the Royal Navy Today" at the venues listed below. After the end of March there will be no presentations until the team embarks on a further programme in the autumn.

Public Presentations

  • Alnwick
  • Bangor
  • Brentwood
  • Douglas
  • Dumfries
  • Great Aycliffe
  • Hexham
  • Ipswich
  • Lanbaurgh
  • Louth
  • Rhyl
  • Thanet

Presentations to Industry

  • ASEA, Bletchley
  • British Steel Corporation, Middlesbrough
  • Lightfoot Refrigeration, Wembley
  • Plessey Marine, Ilford
  • S & S Gears, Acton
  • South-East Electricity Board Engineers'
  • Association, Dorking

Presentations to Educational Institutions

  • Castleton School, Isle of Man
  • Harrow School
  • Haileybury College
  • Leamington College
  • Plymouth School of Maritime Studies
  • Royal Hospital School, Holbrook
  • Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School, Rochester
  • Training Ship "Indefatigable"

Presentations to Clubs and Associations

  • Callington and Saltash combined Rotary Clubs
  • Hull Junior Chamber of Commerce
  • Lincoln Insurance Institute
  • Master Mariners, Grimsby
  • Mendip Women's Institute
  • Penn Residents' Association
  • Peterborough Rotary Club
  • Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

Presentations to Defence Audiences

  • Birmingham Communications Training Centre
  • London Division Royal Naval Reserve
  • Naval Ship Production Overseer, Ease Anglia
  • Royal Naval Armament Depot, Ernesettle

Recruits

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits to the Armed Forces had their applications rejected on economic grounds: and what are the rules in this respect.

I assume the hon. Gentleman has in mind reductions in recruiting targets. Targets are set at the levels necessary to meet the overall manpower requirements of the Services, taking into account such factors as past recruiting performance and assumed rates of outflow. Thus, in the present financial year the Services are expecting to enter some 41,000 recruits—all ranks, male and female—compared with 46,906 recruited in 1975–76, the difference being accounted for by the need to reduce numbers to the levels planned for 1979 and reduced rates of wastage.

Overseas Development

Expenditure

asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) what proportion of the aggregate GNP of all OPEC and OECD countries, respectively, was devoted to overseas aid in the latest year for which this information is available;(2) what is the total aggregate GNP of all OPEC and OECD countries, respectively, in the latest year for which this information is available;(3) what is the average

per capita income of all OPEC and OECD countries, respectively, based on the latest available information.

Comparable information is only available for those OECD countries which are also members of DAC. The information for 1975 is:

OPEC countriesDAC countries
Percentage of aggregate GNP devoted to official development assistance1·30·36
Total aggregate GNP in US billion211·93,810·2
Average per capita income in $US710·05,855·0

Sources: DAC: OECD Development Cooperation 1976 Review; OPEC: World Bank Atlas 1976 (not all OPEC countries are aid donors).

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what proportion of the GNP of the following countries (a)the United Kingdom, (b)West Germany, (c)the United States of America, (d)France, (e) Canada, (f)Holland, (g)Belgium, (h)Denmark, (i)Italy, (j)Iran, (k)Iraq, (1)Kuwait, (m)Saudi Arabia, (n)Venezuela, (o)Nigeria, (p)Algeria, (q)Libya and (r)the United Arab Emirates, respectively, was devoted to overseas aid in the latest year for which figures are available.

The information for 1975 is as follows:

CountryPercentage of GNP devoted to official development assistance
United Kingdom*0·37
West Germany*0·40
United States of America*0–26
France*0·62
Canada*0·58
Holland*0·75
Belgium*0·59
Denmark*0·58
Italy*0·11
Iran0·85
Iraq1–48
Kuwait 2·75
Saudi Arabia2·64
Venezuela0·08
Nigeria0·15
Algeria0·14
Libya1·62
United Arab Emirates4–64

Source: OECD Development Co-operation 1976 Review.

* Relates to ODA as a percentage of GNP adjusted for international comparison.

Personal Incomes

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what is the per capita GNP of (a)the United Kingdom, (b)Iran, (c)Iraq, (d)Kuwait, (e)Saudi Arabia, (f) Algeria, (g)the United Arab Emirates. (h)Venezuela, (i)Nigeria and (j)Libya, respectively; and what was the per capita value of each country's overseas aid programme in the last complete year for which this information is available.

The information available for 1975 is as follows:

CountryPer capita GNP $US
United Kingdom3,840
Iran1,440
Iraq1,280
Kuwait11,510
Saudi Arabia3,010
Algeria780
United Arab Emirates10,480
Venezuela2,220
Nigeria310
Libya5,080
Source: World Bank Atlas.
The

per capita value of the United Kingdom's aid programme for 1975 was $US 15·4. However, I regret I cannot provide similar details for the other countries referred to.

Social Services

Dermatologists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the consultant-patient ratio for each of the area health authorities in England and Wales in the field of dermatology;(2) how many consultant dermatologists are employed at hospitals within the responsibility of the Walsall Area Health Authority.

The ratio of consultants in dermatology to population for each of the regional health authorities and Wales at 30th September 1975 is given in the table below. Information about the areas in which consultants are employed is not collected centrally, but I am informed that no consultant dermatologist is employed at hospitals within the responsibility of the Walsall Area Health Authority.

Consultant Staffing—Whole Time Equivalents per 100,000 Population*
Northern0·35
Yorkshire0·33
Trent0·23
East Anglia0·31
North-West Thames0·29
North-East Thames0·38
South-East Thames0·36
South-West Thames0·24
Wessex0·31
Oxford0·45
South-Western0·26
West Midlands0·30
Mersey0·21
North-Western0·25
Wales0·34
England and Wales0·31
* Including senior hospital medical officers with allowance, but excluding staff employed by boards of governors of postgraduate teaching hospitals.
CountryCSAUBDGFAM CH1BAANCIPMOB ALLCEICA
BelgiumXXXXX
DenmarkXXXXX
FranceXXXXXXX
GermanyXXXX
Irish RepublicXXXXXX
ItalyXXXXXXX
LuxembourgXXXXXXX
NetherlandsXXXXXXX
Social Security Benefits not covered by Bilateral Reciprocal Agreement are denoted by X

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the facilities and numbers of staff available in the Walsall Area Health Authority for the treatment of skin conditions.

No. There are adequate facilities for out-patients, linked with inpatient services in Birmingham, but for several months the joint consultant appointment between Walsall and Birmingham has been unfilled. There is thus a major gap in services.

Supplementary Benefits Handbook

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the new edition of the supplementary benefits handbook is to be published.

Benefits (Non-Reciprocity)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list for each EEC and other country any health or social security benefit not covered by reciprocal agreements with the United Kingdom.

The only British social security benefit not covered by the EEC Regulations on Social Security for migrant workers is invalid care allowance. Bilateral agreements with EEC countries provide cover for persons outside the scope of the Regulations for all British benefits except as shown in the following table.

Reciprocal agreements with countries outside the EEC cover all British social

Country

WB

GA

CSA

SB

IVB

UB

MB

DG

AustraliaXXX
AustriaX
BermudaXXXXXXX
CanadaXXXXXXX
CyprusX
FinlandXX
GuernseyX
Isle of Man
IsraelXXX
JamaicaXXXX
JerseyXX
MaltaXXX
New ZealandXXX
NorwayX
Spain
SwedenXX
SwitzerlandXXX
TurkeyXX
USAXXXXXXX
YugoslaviaXX

Country

IB

DIS B

IDB

FAM CHIB

AA

NCIP

MOB ALLCE

ICA

AustraliaXXXXXXX
AustriaXXXX
BermudaXXXXX
CanadaXXXXXXX
CyprusXXXXX
FinlandXXXX
GuernseyXXXX
Isle of ManXXX
IsraelXXXXX
JamaicaXXXXX
JerseyXXXX
MaltaXXXXX
New ZealandXXXXXXX
NorwayXXXX
SpainXXXX
SwedenXXXX
SwitzerlandXXXX
TurkeyXXXXX
USAXXXXXXXX
YugoslaviaXXXX
Social Security Benefits not covered by Bilateral Reciprocal Agreement are denoted by X.

(1) In the tables above the descriptions of benefits are abbreviated as follows:
WBWidow's benefit.
GAGuardian's allowance.
CSAChild's special allowance.
SBSickness benefit.
IVBInvalidity benefit.
UBUnemployment benefit.
MBMaternity benefit.
DGDeath grant.
IBInjury benefit.
DIS BDisablement benefit.
TDBIndustrial death benefit.
FAMFamily allowances.
CHIBChild interim benefit.
AAAttendance allowance.
NCIPNon-contributory invalidity pension.
MOD ALLCEMobility allowance.
ICAInvalid care allowance.
(2) The extent of coverage of benefits not listed varies from one agreement to another and may not include payment outside the home country.
It is not known which social security benefits of foreign countries are not covered by reciprocal agreements with the United Kingdom.

security benefits expect those shown in the following table:

As far as health benefits are concerned, workers covered by the EEC social security regulations may receive health care on the same terms as residents of the other country. The self-employed and non-employed are at present excluded from these arrangements but are covered by bilateral agreements in the case of Gibraltar, Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Reciprocal health care agreements have also been concluded with the following countries:

Austria.Norway.
Bulgaria.Poland.
CzechoslovakiaRomania.
Guernsey.Sweden.
Jersey.USSR.
Malta.Yugoslavia.
New Zealand.

These agreements entitle visitors to obtain emergency care in the other country. Save in exceptional cases under the USSR agreement, they do not enable citizens to travel specially to obtain treatment in the other country. In Austria only in-patient care in public hospitals is provided under the agreement.

Child Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the new child benefit will be taken into account for the purposes of calculating entitlement to free prescriptions and free dental and optical treatment.

Yes, but no one now eligible for free prescriptions or help with dental or optical charges should be financially worse off as a result.

Over–80 Pensioners

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many men and women have been recipients of the over–80 years pension; and at what cost in each year since it began.

The information requested can be found in tables 13·31 and 44·01 of "Social Security Statistics 1975", a copy of which is available in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the anticipated number of recipients and the cost of the over–80 years pension for each of the next five years.

The information requested can be found in Section 12 of Part II of the Government's Expenditure Plans (Cmnd. 6721—II), published on 25th February. A copy is available in the Library.

Adoption Service (Northumberland)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied that an adequate adoption service will be available in the county of Northumberland after 1st April 1977; and whether he knows by whom it will be provided.

I understand that in view of the forthcoming closure of the Northern Counties Adoption Society the Northumberland County Council has negotiated interim arrangements with other local authorities north of the Tyne and with voluntary societies, while longer-term arrangements are being worked out.

Unemployed Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the number of registered unemployed persons receiving neither unemployment benefit nor supplementary benefit for February 1977.

Invalid Vehicles

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to ensure that adequate maintenance facilities will continue to exist for the 200,000 electric and hand-propelled chairs used by the disabled following the phased withdrawal of the Department of Health and Social Security invalid tricycle.

No special action is called for. If the phasing out of the invalid tricycle eventually has repercussions upon wheelchair repair facilities alternative arrangements will be made.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what date the manufacturers of the invalid tricycle informed his Department that their design and production facilities were unable to ensure that the tricycle would comply with the Motor Vehicle (Type Approvals) (Great Britain) Regulations from 1st October 1978.

The initiative in such matters is not left to manufacturers. It is part of the responsibility of the Department's professional officers to keep abreast of existing and prospective safety legislation and to advise Ministers accordingly.

Salmonella

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has considered the view expressed at the Leeds inquest of 23rd February last, on the death of Mr. Clifford Sidebottom, that regular mandatory health screening tests should be carried out on food factory personnel in order to isolate salmonella carriers: and if he will make a statement.

I have not yet received a report of the inquest. I will write to the hon. Gentleman as soon as possible.

Health Authorities (Consultative Committees)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which area health authorities, as of 1st January 1977, had failed to set up joint consultative committees with local authorities, pursuant to Section 10 of the National Health Service Act 1973, and S.I. 1974, No. 190; and whether the setting up of these committees is voluntary or mandatory.

Health and local authorities are required by Section 10 of the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 and S.I. 190/1974 to appoint joint consultative committees. By 1st January 1977 such committees had been appointed for all health areas in England.

Vaccination And Vaccine Damage

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of the deaths from whooping cough occurred in babies under six months of age in each of the last five years; and if he has any information relating to the babies who died, with social class.

Pursuant To His Reply [Official Report, 17th February 1977: Vol. 926, C. 307–10], Gave The Following Information:The information available about deaths of babies under six months of age attributed to whooping cough is as follows:

Total such deathsPercentage of all deaths from whooping cough
19722100
19732100
19741077
1975867
197600*
*Provisional.
I regret that information by social class is not readily available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) pursuant to his reply of 17th January 1977, whether the joint committee made a study of the HRC trials—whooping-cough vaccine; whether it reported its conclusions to him; and, if so, if he will publish them:(2) if he will request the joint committee to examine the 1974 report by Dr. J. Wilson and others, to consider the difference between the figure of 26 children suffering moderate or severe mental retardation, as a result of whooping-cough vaccination in an 11-year period from 1961 to 1972, examined at one London hospital, and the estimate by the joint committee of 22 children in England and Wales who suffered brain damage as a result of whooping-cough vaccination in an 11-year period from 1964 to 1975.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 17th February 1977; Vol. 926, c. 307–10], gave the following information:The joint committee took account of the Medical Research Council trial and the report by Dr. J. Wilson and others in forming its conclusions.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the notifications and the deaths from whooping cough per million children for each five-year period since 1900; if he will express the figures as index numbers taking those for 1900 as 100; if he will give the percentage decrease for each five-year period; and if he will give the same figures for scarlet fever.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 17th February 1977;

WHOOPING COUGH
DeathsNotifications
Per million children under 15IndexPercentage change of rate from previous 5 year periodPer million children under 15Percentage change of rate from previous 5 year period
1901–1905874100
1906–191075686-13
1911–191563372-16
916–192047354-25
1921–192544851-5
1926–193036041-20
1931–193522326-38
1936–194013716-39
1941–194514016+211,406
1946–1950738-4812,786+12
1951–1955223-7012,696-0·7
1956–196050·6-775,851-54
1961–196530·3-402,092-64
1966–197020·2-331,622-22
1971–197510·1-50806-50
SCARLET FEVER
DeathsNotifications
Per million children under 15IndexPercentage change of rate from previous 5 year periodPer million children under 15Percentage change of rate from previous 5 year period
1901–1905319100
1906–191022470-30
1911–191516150-2811,417
1916–19208426-486,964-39
1921–19257925-69,734+40
1926–19304815-3910,132+4
1931–19355016+412,007+19
1936–1940248-529,985-17
1941–1945103-589,704-3
1946–195020·6-806,978-28
1951–1955Nil0·0-1005,118-27
1956–1960Nil0·03,517-31
1961–1965Nil0·01,859-47
1966–1970Nil0·01,494-20
1971–1975Nil0·0965-35
Scarlet fever notifications began in 1911 and whooping cough notifications in 1940.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the ages of the four children who died from whooping cough in 1976; whether they were above or below the recommended age for whooping cough vaccination; and whether or not they had been vaccinated.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 17th February 1977; Vol. 926, c. 307–10], gave the following information:The deaths related to three children whose ages were nine months, one year, Vol. 926, c. 307–10], gave the following information:Available figures for England and Wales are as follows: and four years and to one adult aged 45 years. The actual cause of death in the case of the adult was bronchiectasis resulting from whooping cough. All were above the recommended age for vaccination. I do not know whether they had been vaccinated.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the names of the members of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the subjects in which they are specialists. and the length of time that they have been on the Committee.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 17th February 1977;

Date Of Appointment
Professor Sir Charles Stuart-Harris General Medicine 1963
Dr. F. S. W. Brimblecombe Paediatrics1969
Dr. M. F. H. BushCommunity Medicine1976
Professor G. W. A. DickPathology 1967
Professor J. A. Dudgeon Microbiology1969
Professor G. EdsallMicrobiology1972
Sir David EvansMicrobiology1963
Professor R. W. Gilliatt Neurology 1972
Professor N. R. Grist Infectious Diseases1970
Dr. H. R. Jolly Paediatrics1969
Professor J. Knowelden Community Medicine1963
Professor H. P. LambertInfectious Diseases1975
Dr. J. S. Noble General Practice 1971
Dr. D. ReidEpidemiology1974
Dr. G. C. SchildVirology1975
Dr. V. N. SpringettChest Diseases1969
Dr. G. I. WatsonGeneral Practice 1974
Sir Robert WilliamsMicrobiology1973
Dr. W. O. WilliamsGeneral Practice1963
Dr. T. S. WilsonCommunity Medicine1974
Co-Opted Members
Dr. T. M. PollockEpidemiology1967
Dr. J. W. G. SmithMicrobiology And Epidemiology1972

Civil Service

British Museum (Refreshments)

asked the Minister of the Civil Service what he will do to improve the catering carried out at the British Museum by the Civil Service Catering Organisation, in view of the description in Egon Ronay's 1977 guide that it is appalling; and what steps he proposes to take to improve that service.

The views expressed in Egon Ronay's 1977 guide, which are contrary to assessments made by other people of knowledge and taste in catering matters, will, no doubt, be considered by the working party which has been set up by my noble Friend Baroness Birk. This committee, on which Mr. Egon Ronay has agreed to serve, will examine all aspects of catering in various areas, including the museums. I do not propose to take any special steps at this stage regarding the British Museum.

Special Advisers

asked the Minister for the Civil Service why, in view of the fact that every Minister, Member of Parliament, civil servant and other public servant has his salary and allowances Vol. 926, c. 308–10], gave the following information:The details requested are as follows: published, he refuses to publish the salary and allowances of the 25 special advisers who are all paid from public funds and are civil servants on limited period appointments; and whether he will change this practice forthwith.

The salaries of special advisers are determined on a case by case basis and regard is inevitably given in each case to the level of previous salary. The practice of successive Administrations has, therefore, been not to disclose individual salaries. There are no grounds at the present time for changing this practice.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what are the ages of the special advisers; and how many have now received salaries in a band from £6,000 to £7,500 a year; and how many receive salaries in excess of £7,500.

No. 10 Downing Street: Dr. B. Donoughue, 42; Mr. T. McNally, 34; Mr. J. C. Corr, 28; Mr. G. Davies, 26; Mrs. M. Hartley-Brewer, 28.

Cabinet Office: Mr. G. R. J. Richardson, 36.

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Mrs. A. Carlton, 33.

Department of Education and Science: Mrs. S. Greenall, 50; Mr. J. Lyttle, 44.

Department of Energy: Dr. F. Cripps, 33* ; Mrs. F. Morrell, 38.

Department of the Environment: Mr. J. W. Straw, 30.

Department of Transport: Mr. R. Liddle, 29.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Mr. M. Stewart, 43* ; Mr. D. Lipsey, 28.

Department of Health and Social Security: Professor B. Abel-Smith, 50* ; Mr. A. Lynes, 47* ; Mr. M. Hartley-Brewer, 29; Professor D. Townsend, 33; Professor D. Metcalf, 34.

Home Office: Mr. R. Darlington, 28.

Department of Prices and Consumer Protection: Professor M. Peston, 45; Mr. D. Hill, 29.

Welsh Office: Mr G. Prys Davies, 53.

Privy Council Office: Mrs. E. Thomas, 57.

(* Denotes a part-time appointment.)

There are currently nine special advisers receiving salaries in the band £6,000 to £7,500 a year and nine special advisers receiving salaries about £7,500 a year.

Dispersal

asked the Minister for the Civil Service, in view of the changes in the economic circumstances, if he will now set up a public inquiry to review plans for the dispersal of civil servants to Wales and Scotland.

Environment

Thermal Insulation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the total annual spending by local authorities on the provision of thermal insulation in their housing stock during each of the five most recent years.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to ensure that local authorities (a) include adequate thermal insulation in their new housing schemes and (b) undertake programmes of insulation to their existing housing stock.

Local authorities must comply with current building regulations for thermal insulation in new housing schemes. Local authorities are well aware of the benefits arising from thermal insulation of existing dwellings, but the priority given to insulation in relation to other necessary improvements is a matter for individual authorities.

Water (Purity)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the quality of water sampling techniques used by regional water authorities to ensure that build-ups of potentially harmful chemicals in drinking water are prevented; and if he will make a general statement about the purity of drinking water.

I am satisfied that the water authorities take all the necessary steps to ensure that the water they supply is wholesome as required by law.

River Pollution

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total expenditure by regional water authorities on river pollution in 1976; and in how many cases industrial organisations were prosecuted for allowing polluted discharges into water courses.

In the financial year 1975–76, water authorities in England and Wales spent £6·7 million on the exercise of their functions under the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Acts 1951 to 1961. In 1974, proceedings under these Acts were taken against 84 persons, of whom 81 were found guilty.

Nitrates In Water

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research is being carried out by his Department into the possible link between excess quantities of nitrates in drinking water and stomach cancer; and if he will make a statement.

Research involving several Government Departments is being carried out into the effects of the absorption of nitrates from food and the atmosphere as well as from drinking water. The work includes both animal and epidemiological studies. Particular attention is being given to the formation of nitrosamines and to the possibility of a relationship between these substances and stomach cancer.

Palace Of Westminster (Window Cleaning)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when, in view of his reply of 17th February to the effect that the windows on the Principal Floor would be cleaned last week, these windows are now likely to be cleaned.

We regret that the contractors were unable in the event to clean all the windows on this floor last week because of a shortage of labour, mainly due to sickness. The remaining work is being carried out as quickly as possible.

Water Charges

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report those water companies and authorities which have local Act powers to reduce water charges to low income consumers; which do so and on what basis: and which have plans to withdraw such concessions in the next 12 months.

As far as I am aware, the following water authorities have powers to reduce water rates in consideration of poverty. These powers are restricted, however, to the supply areas

DWELLINGS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN CORNWALL–1969 TO 1976 (AT 31ST JANUARY)
19691970197119721973197419751976Number 1976*
Public Sector5894636306936686207249331,064
Private Sector2,5532,5612,6382,7623,5533,9343,4173,5413,489
TOTAL3,1423,0243,2683,4554,2214,5544,1414,4744,553
* At 31st December.

Fluoride Emissions

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many thousands of tons of fluoride were emitted into the atmosphere over Great Britain in the years January 1966–67 and January 1976–77; and how much fluoride was disposed of by industry into the river and waterway systems of Great Britain in industrial effluent in the same period.

Most indigenous materials contain some fluorides which of the former water undertakers indicated.

Water Authority and Former Water Undertakers

  • North-West
  • West Lancashire Water Board.
  • Runcorn and District Water Board.
  • Northumbrian
  • Tees Valley and Cleveland Water Board.
  • Severn-Trent
  • Leicester Corporation.
  • Anglian /Thames
  • Buckinghamshire Water Board.
  • Southern
  • Southampton Corporation.

In addition, the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company has powers of this kind.

I am not aware of any recent use of these powers except in the case of the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company, which has decided not to use them as from its next water rate year, beginning on 1st April 1977.

House Building (Cornwall)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate. respectively, the number of private sector and public sector houses under construction in the county of Cornwall in the month of January in each of the years 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975. 1976 and 1977.

The information asked for is set out below: may be released to atmosphere when they are burnt or heated—for example, when burning coal or making bricks. Not many industrial discharges to rivers and waterways contain significant quantities of fluoride, but where it is thought to be significant it is specifically controlled. No figures of the total weight of fluorides emitted either to atmosphere or to rivers and waterways are readily available.

Local Government (Staff)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will cause a return to be made by him indicating the cost of all abnormal concessions made by local authorities to their own staff including provision of tied houses, motor cars and assisted house purchase on terms more favourable than those available to ratepayers.

No. Local authorities are responsible for determining the terms of service of their employees.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has as to the additional rates imposed upon ratepayers throughout Great Britain on account of the provision of double public holidays to employees of local authorities.

Planning Appeal (S Grudon (Waste) Ltd)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce the result of planning appeal 5133/A75/10490 by S. Grudon (Waste) Ltd. which was heard in July 1976; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend expects to announce his decision on this planning appeal within two or three weeks.

Owner-Occupiers (Mortgage Interest Relief)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total value for the whole of the United Kingdom of tax allowances to owner-occupiers; and what is the average allowance per house.

I have been asked to reply.The estimated cost of tax relief on mortgage interest for 1976–77 is around £1,100 million. This is about £183 per mortgagor or £101 per owner-occupied dwelling.

Transport

Tolls (Estuaries)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in the Official Report each toll paying crossing of an estuary; and by what date he anticipates the cost of each estuarial crossing will be repaid at current rates of income and interest on the capital used.

The five English tolled estuary crossings are the Severn and Tamar Bridges and the Dart-ford, Mersey and Tyne Tunnels. Tolls on the trunk road Severn Bridge are under review, but I expect all costs to be repaid by 2006, the end of the statutory toll period. Repayment at the other crossings is a matter in the first instance for the responsible local authorities within the provisions of the relevant local Acts.

A648 (Kegworth-Clifton)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has for turning the A648 road between Kegworth and Clifton in Nottinghamshire into a dual carriageway road.

None. This length of A648 is at present a principal road, for which Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire County Councils are responsible. The Department is considering, in consultation with the councils, whether it should become a trunk road, and if that occurs the Department will then consider if any improvements are needed.

Roads (Local Authority Grants)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport why subsantial sums of money due in grants to local authorities in respect of expenditure on roads incurred before local government reorganisation have not yet been paid; and whether he is in a position to indicate when nearly £3 million due to South Yorkshire County Council, the nonpayment of which costs the ratepayers £350,000 a year in interest charges, is expected to be paid.

In accordance with the proper obligation of my Department to ensure that it can satisfy Parliament about the public expenditure for which it is responsible, payment of these balances has been delayed pending full substantiation of the claims. Discussions are taking place with the local authority associations about proposals for a general settlement of these and similar claims by other authorities.

Vehicles (Damage)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers have suffered damage to their vehicles through no fault of their own in each year since 1970; and what proportion of these motorists has suffered a financial loss due to the negligent driver being uninsured or refused indemnity by the insurers on technical grounds.

Chemicals (Labelling Of Vehicles)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation requiring the display, on lorries conveying chemicals, of a notice specifying the nature of the products involved.

Existing regulations already require vehicles carrying corrosive substances, inflammable liquids, organic peroxides and radioactive substances to be labelled according to the type of hazard involved.A voluntary scheme for the marking of tank vehicles conveying dangerous substances has been in operation by industry since 1975. The scheme indicates to the emergency services coded information which includes the nature of the product and the initial remedial action to be taken in the event of an emergency. The Health and Safety Executive has prepared proposals for making this scheme statutory. I am informed by the Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that the consultative document will be available shortly.

South Yorkshire County Council (Grant)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what reply he has sent to the Association of Metropolitan Authorities in response to its protest against his refusal to pay the £5 million due to South Yorkshire County Council in respect of transport support grant.

I met representatives of the association on 17th February 1977, when there was a full discussion of the events that led to the allocation of South Yorkshire County Council's transport supplementary grant for 1977–78. Amongst other things, I reminded the association that South Yorkshire's expenditure proposals had exceeded in total its fair share of available resources. I said that in all respects the county council had been treated in the same way as the other authorities.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Food Prices

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what arrangements are being made to ensure that the consumer interest is fully represented in the forthcoming common agricultural policy price negotiations.

In his presidential statement on 28th January, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food made clear that the Council of Agriculture Ministers has a responsibility not only to those producing and supplying food, but also to consumers of food, to counter inflation and to ensure that the shopping basket is reasonably priced. To underline our concern that the consumer interest is fully taken into account, my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection will also be attending the Council during the price negotiations.In addition, my right hon. Friend met representatives of United Kingdom consumer organisations to discuss the Common Agricultural Policy on 11th January. I understand that Commissioner Gundelach discussed agriculture policy with members of the EEC Consumer Consultative Committee on 4th January. I have written to Commissioner Gundelach urging him to consult consumer representatives as well as producer interests in the course of the current price fixing negotiations.

Unit Pricing And Specified Quantities

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what is his long-term policy towards standardised quantities for household goods and foodstuffs, particularly in view of the transfer to metric units; and what is his policy as regards the EEC concept of a master range of products where the application of unit pricing and specified quantities are insisted upon as an aid to consumers in choosing the best value for money.

I am very much in favour of greater standardisation of quantities for household goods and foodstuffs. We fully support the principles of the draft directive which deals with this. Both this draft directive and our own metrication programme will pave the way for further important consumer protection legislation in this country. However, I do not accept at this stage the view that prepackaged products not made up in conformity with the master range should automatically be unit priced. Unit pricing is, of course, an important aid to consumers and as such figures prominently in our current consumer protection programme. We therefore support any Community initiative that would encourage member States to adopt unit pricing wherever it would be helpful. Nevertheless, there are serious implications, particularly for the small shopkeeper, in the blanket approach currently envisaged in Brussels. and our preference is for the actual application of unit pricing to be based on national consumer preferences and established trade practices. It is against this basic point of view that we shall judge any proposals that may be submitted to the Council.

Fireworks

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will consult with consumer and manufacturer representatives with the aim to completely phasing out firework bangers over the next two years.

Now that the 1976 firework injury statistics are available, I shall be holding discussions about the arrangements for future years, as I have already undertaken to do.

Price Commission

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will seek to amend the law so as to enable him to give general directions to the Price Commission; and if he will make a statement.

Paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 to the Counter-Inflation Act enables the Secretary of State to give general directions to the Price Commission on matters of procedure and on the publication of information and advice. A consultative document on the future of prices policy after 31st July was issued on 22nd February, and any representations about the contents of the proposed legislation will be fully considered.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will seek to amend the law so as to enable him to require the Price Commission to carry out consultations with representatives of an industry into which it intends to inquire.

The Price Commission is obliged under the Counter-Inflation Act to examine and report on any question relating to prices or charges which is referred to them by the Secretary of State. The consultative document on future prices policy issued on 22nd February includes proposals for new in-investigatory powers for the Price Commission to take effect from 1st August. Any representations about these proposed powers will be fully considered.

Scotland

Mortgages

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he has any plans to review Government policy in regard to house purchase advances, with particular reference to allowing local authorities to recycle moneys accruing through premature repayment of a mortgage or normal monthly repayments;(2) on what basis he does not allow local authorities to recycle moneys accruing to them through mortgage repayments.

Allocations of investment for mortgage lending are made to local authorities each year in gross terms, but they are within the total public expenditure available for housing in Scotland which takes account of mortgage repayments and redemptions to housing authorities. In effect, therefore, receipts are recycled within the housing programme over Scottish authorities as a whole.

Taxi Trade

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he has yet come to a decision on the application by the Glasgow District Council for the amending of its byelaws for hackney carriages; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he is satisfied that the review of taxi fares proposed by the Glasgow District Council takes account of the increase in the cost of operating a taxi since the last review; and if he will make a statement.

I confirmed the amendments to the City of Glasgow Hackney Carriage Byelaws submitted by Glasgow District Council on 18th February. These amendments followed a review of the byelaws made by the council and included a revised fare structure for taxis and a proposal to abolish charges for extra luggage. The latter proposal was not accepted but I am satisfied that the increased charges in the fare structure fixed by the council take account of increases in costs.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has about taxi fares charged in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee; and if he will publish a table showing the charge for one mile and four miles in each case.

Taxi fares in Edinburgh and Dundee are fixed by the district councils under local Acts and do not require confirmation. In Glasgow and Aberdeen, fares are fixed by means of byelaws which, since local government reorganisation, are required to be confirmed by me. Since then only Glasgow District Council has submitted any amendments, but the following information has nevertheless been made available to me:

Taxi Charges Oil Mile FareFour Mile Fare
Glassgow35p95p
Edinburgh37½p1·05p
Aberdeen40p1·15p
Dundee33p87p

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the present arrangements for reviewing taxi fares in Scotland; and if he will consider establishing a tribunal with representation from the trade and the traveling public to consider such matters.

The present system of fixing taxi fares in Scotland was one of the subjects considered by the Working Party on Civic Government, whose report was issued last year by the Scottish Development Department. Consultations on the report with interested parties, including the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and bodies representative of the taxi trade, are still taking place. Until these have been completed, I cannot anticipate what proposals for change in the existing system may be considered appropriate.

Colleges Of Education

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what studies have been undertaken to determine the appropriate intake to denominational colleges of education in Scotland over the next few years.

Decisions about the intake of students to individual colleges of education must await the outcome of consultations on my right hon. Friend's proposals for teacher training from 1977 onwards.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what restrictions exist with regard to the future use of the buildings which presently form Craiglockhart College of Education, if that college were to close.

Part of the buildings is owned by the Society of the Sacred Heart and part by the governing body of the college. The future use of that part of the buildings owned by the society would be a matter for the society. The governing body will no doubt advise me about any restrictions on possible future use of its buildings.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will have discussions with the trustees of the Society of the Sacred Heart with regard to the future of Craiglockhart College of Education.

I shall consider sympathetically any request for discussions which the trustees may make.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will pay an official visit to Craiglockhart College of Education before deciding on its future.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton) yesterday.—[Vol. 927, c. 4–5]

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make calculations of the likely college of education population in future years on the basis, not merely of global predictions, but broken down into figures for individual colleges.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 3rd February to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton).—[Vol. 925, c. 288–9.]

Scottish Assembly

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now order all work and expenditure on converting the Royal High School as the site of a possible Scottish Assembly to cease, in the light of the vote on 22nd February 1977.

No. This matter is, of course, under consideration in the light of the statement by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council on 24th February.—[Vol. 926, c. 1640.]

Trade

Imports And Exports

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he is now holding an inquiry into the methods of calculating the sterling value of imports and exports; and why the inquiry is necessary.

The valuation in sterling of many transactions in the balance of payments accounts depends on the exchange rate adopted for conversion of foreign currencies into sterling, which, with fluctuating exchange rates, will, in turn, depend on the timing of various aspects of the transaction. In particular, the timing of supply or receipt of goods or services may not coincide with the timing of the financing of such transactions and therefore the sterling value of these two aspects of the transaction will not match in the accounts.

The effects of this mismatching are often compensatory; in so far as they are not, the net effect will appear in the errors and omissions entry required to balance the balance of payments estimates —"the balancing item".

An inquiry about the size of this item is not being held at present, but the basis of valuation of merchandise trade and all other transactions in the balance of payments accounts will be kept under constant review by this and other Departments concerned with the compilation of the accounts.

Exports (Quality Control)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if, in view of the fact that the exemptions given to goods destined for export by Section 32 of the Trade Descriptions Act and Section 21(5)(b) of the Weights and Measures Act, remove the essential element of quality control for British goods being sold overseas, he will seek powers to remove these exemptions forthwith.

The exemptions under the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and the Weights and Measures Act 1963 apply only in respect of indications of quantity, size or gauge, not in respect of quality control. When the Weights and Measures Act was prepared, the exemptions were included on the grounds that many overseas countries operate their own weights and measures legislation and United Kingdom exporters might be at a serious commercial disadvantage if they had to meet both United Kingdom requirements and those of overseas markets. Similar considerations applied in the framing of the Trade Descriptions Act. I have no plans to seek any amendment to the Acts, which are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection.

East African Airways

asked the Secretary of State for Trade in view of the Governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania failing to meet their obligations to staff employed by the former East African Airways, if he will take steps to stop the traffic rights of any of these countries whenever they restrict traffic rights to the United Kingdom.

Although East African Airways is jointly owned by the Governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, any claims by staff formerly employed by the company would appear to lie against that company rather than directly against the shareholding Governments. I can see no justification for interfering with the normal exercise of the traffic rights which exist between Her Majesty's Government and the partner states of the East African Community.

Thames Estuary (Smooth Water Limits)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will place in the Library a copy of the recent study on the Thames Estuary to which he refers in his answer to the hon. Member for Southend, West of 15th February.

The recent study referred to in the answer to the Question of the hon. Member of 15th February—[Vol. 926, c. 111–12.]—was an internal study carried out by surveyors of my Department. This took into account a number of relevant factors including data contained in two reports: Waves at the Tongue Light Vessel Outer Thames Estuary and The Wave Climate at Maplin. I shall arrange for copies of these reports to be placed in the Library.

Aviation Security

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report the result of the discussion between the International Air Transport Association Secretary General and the Under-Secretary of State regarding the question of cost of aviation security proposals; if he will reconsider his decision in the light of the need for security in any case at airports; and if he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I made to a Question from the hon. Member for Hastings (Mr. Warren) on 25th February. —[Vol. 926, c. 738–9.]

Catering Trades (Inquiry)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many businesses, including clubs, have been asked by the Business Statistics Office to provide information for the Statistical Inquiry into Catering for 1977.

About 24,500 businesses —including clubs—out of a total of about 105,000 businesses within the scope of the inquiry have been sent letters informing them of the type of information that they will be required to provide on their catering activity in 1977.

Insurance Companies (Assets)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what changes he proposes in the proportion of commercial and domestic property holdings which can be accepted as assets for the purpose of insurance company solvency.

Existing regulations only provide limits, relative to the scale of the business of an insurance company, to the size of individual assets which that company may count towards solvency requirements. I have no plans for changing this.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he plans to define the rate of interest which must be employed in the assessment of insurance company assets.

No. Existing regulations under the Insurance Companies Act 1974 require insurance companies' assets to be valued, according to their nature, by reference to their current value on the open market, as a proportion of cost price or as the amount which can reasonably be expected to be recovered. Some assets must be left totally out of account.

Ussr

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what would be the estimated cost to the British taxpayer of the Government's £1,000 million loan to the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the event that the entire loan were to be taken up at prevailing interest rates.

The Anglo-Russian Credit Agreement was concluded in February 1975. It is due to last five years from that date. It is not considered commercially desirable publicly to divulge the terms and conditions of the credit, but certain of these terms are negotiable during its period of operation. The cost referred to relates to a number of variables, including the size of contracts placed, the agreed rates of return to the clearing banks over the five-year period and the refinancing arrangements, which are also subject to change over this period. It is not, therefore, possible accurately to assess this cost.

Industrial Democracy (European Community)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a detailed statement on the similarities and differences between the implementation of industrial democracy in the EEC and that proposed in Great Britain, together with an analysis of any discussions he has had or proposes to have with members of EEC countries or institutions on this subject.

I have been asked to reply.The arrangements for industrial democracy in the EEC are set out in considerable detail in Part II of the EEC Green Paper on Employee Participation and Company Structure (Bulletin supplement 8/75). My right hon. Friend has had useful discussions on this subject with the Commissioner responsible and with representatives of Government and both sides of industry in the Federal Republic of Germany. He hopes to visit other EEC countries in the near future. He does not propose to publish an analysis of these discussions.

Education And Science

Illegitimacy

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will list the provisions contained in Acts of Parliament, regulations or rules which are the responsibility of her Department and which afford unequal treatment between an illegitimate and a legitimate child or between the parent of a legitimate child and the parent of an mate child.

There are no such specific provisions. However, the Local Education Authorities Awards Regulations 1975, as amended, require authorities to treat students who have dependent children and were married before the start of their course differently from those who are either unmarried or married after the start of the course.

King's College, London

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations she has received concerning the consequences for public expenditure of the amalgamation of the theological department with the other departments of King's College, London, as a constituent college of the University of London under a new charter.

Representations have been made by a member of staff of King's College, London, suggesting that an amalgamation would lead to additional public expenditure. King's College has yet to petition the Privy Council for the grant of a charter; if this is done, all representations will be fully considered.

Student Grants (Parental Contributions)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether any action is to be taken to increase the value of local education authority grants awarded for the third term of the current academic year, in order to compensate parents of children at university for loss of child tax allowances as from 1st April next.

No. It is not practicable to adjust either the student grant or parental contributions for the current acedemic year. Appropriate reductions in parental contributions will be made starting next September.

Sport And Recreation

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much money was spent by her Department during 1976 on sport and recreation for young people.

Although the educational objectives of this Department's programme encompass a wide variety of sporting and recreational activities mounted by schools and other institutions and by the Youth Service, it is not possible to identify separately the cost of these from the educational expenditures involved.

Avon Education Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the Avon Education Authority intends to appoint a chief education officer; and on what conditions.

Yes, I am pleased to say that the Avon Education Authority intends to appoint a new chief education officer as soon as practicable. The conditions are set out in a letter from the Chief Executive of the county of Avon to the Secretary of State, and in a letter from the President of the Society of Education Officers to the Chief Executive, the texts of which are as follows.4th February 1977

Dear Secretary of State
Following the meeting between yourself and the Chairman of the County Council, Chairman Gervas Walker and the Chairman of the Education Committee, Councillor Norman Reece, on 26th January, we have given some further thought to a number of the points discussed.
As we informed you, it is Avon's wish and intention to appoint a new Chief Education Officer as soon as practicable.
Councillor Walker told you that at the first meeting of the County Council in April 1973 he had said that a review of its operation would be timely after about three years. It is intended that as soon as the current budget process is completed, this across-the-board review should be started. It will cover the structure and relationship of the Committees and of the Departments and their inter-relationships and the lines of communication between them. This will relate to all the Departments and Committees including those concerned with land and property and staffing, and the review will necessarily take some time because it must be done with care. It would be wrong to give undue emphasis or priority to any one Department if an improved and balanced whole is to be achieved. Nevertheless, the problems which have been raised as well as those which have been voiced in Education, must clearly receive careful and early attention, and it is the intention of Avon to ensure that a review of these problems is put in hand immediately.
It is also their intention that the Education Committee, when making the appointment of the new Chief Education Officer, should fully explore with the candidates the present form of corporate management within Avon and its possible development. This will ensure that neither the candidates nor the authority should misunderstand their positions and the others views. It is the intention of the two Chairmen that there should be a fair and amicable understanding by all parties so that the new Chief Education Officer should start with the best possible prospects. To this end he will be given a free hand to reorganise his own Department within the arrangements agreed at his appointment.
We are hopeful that these views make Avon's position clear and will enable the appointment to go forward with the full support of Education Officers.

Yours sincerely

W. J. Hutchinson.

10th February 1977

Dear Mr. Hutchinson
I write to confirm what we agreed verbally and, I understand, senior members in Avon have also agreed. You are willing for a copy of the letter of 4th February which you sent to the Secretary of State to be sent to members of the Society of Education Officers. This will enable the Society to agree to your request to tell our members that the application list for the post of Avon Chief Education Officer has been re-opened, and that any request for details and/or further particulars of the post should be sent to you by any member who has not yet applied for the post but who wishes to consider doing so as soon as possible, and that application should be submitted not later than the 1st March. You will send to those who have already submitted an application the additional particulars which you sent to the Society before Christmas and on which my predecessor as President commented in his letter to you of 13th January. You will also send the additional particulars to any other member who now writes to you and additionally to anyone who has not written before, you will send the earlier details which you prepared. Both these documents will be used as a basis for discussion at interviews with selected applicants as foreshadowed in your letter to the Secretary of State.
As you said when we spoke, we should both be surprised if members of the Society who were selected for interview did not ask the Society a number of questions in order to help them in discussion at the interview about the future management of the education service in Avon. This will be a matter for the individuals concerned.
I am sure that we all hope that the new arrangements will lead to a greater awareness of the problems and possibilities for all concerned and that it may, in consequence, be possible to appoint to Avon a Chief Education Officer who will have the confidence not only of the Authority and the Society of Education Officers but also of all the others who are concerned with the education service in Avon.

Yours sincerely

R. P. Harding, President.

Wales

North Wales Coast Road

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is now in a position to indicate the approximate date of his decision with regard to the route of the proposed North Wales expressway in the area of Colwyn Bay, Clwyd.

Detailed consideration of the inspector's report is continuing but it is still too early to say when a decision could be reached.

Dogs (Sheep Killing)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many sheep were killed by dogs in Wales during 1976; and what were the corresponding figures for the last 10 years.

The latest available information on this is as follows:

SHEEP KILLED BY DOGS IN WALES—NUMBERS NOTIFIED 1966–75
YearNo.
19661,804
19672,008
19681,642
19691,698
19702,130
19711,561
19721,409
19731,706
1974 Figure not available owing to Local Government reorganization
19751,743
Source: Police returns to local authorities.

Births

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many babies were born in Wales in 1976; and what were the corresponding figures for the last five years.

The number of births to mothers whose usual residence was in Wales are shown in the following table:

197143,056
197239,955
197337,597
197436,206
197533,970
1976 (1)33,000
(1) Provisional.

Dogs

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is satisfied with present legislation to control killer dogs in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

The maximum penalties that can be imposed on the owner or keeper of a dog which worries livestock are being reviewed now. The adequacy of other safeguards is among the issues being considered in the light of the report on the Working Party on Dogs, and on this I would refer to the answer which my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of the Environment gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Corbett) on 3rd February 1977.—[Vol. 925, c. 272–3.]

National Finance

Royal Family

45.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the increases in the Royal annuities made in 1976 conformed with present incomes policy.

Tax Allowances

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer further to the reply to the hon. Member for Gravesend (Mr. Ovenden) Official Report, 25th January, column 588, what would be the cost of restoring each of the tax allowances to their value in 1971–72, calculated at 1961–62 prices.

The cost for 1976–77 would be about 1,020 million, if the tax allowance for a child over 16 were also correspondingly increased.

Income Tax (Scotland)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Inland Revenue were to continue to administer and to collect personal income tax for all employed in Scotland, but, if the rate were different from that of United Kingdom income tax, requiring only one additional set of codes, what would be the additional administrative cost of collecting this tax.

The cost of administering a Scottish income tax would depend on the form of the scheme adopted. I take it that my hon. Friend has in mind a scheme under which the tax base would be the same as for United Kingdom income tax, but that the test for liability to Scottish tax would depend on whether a person worked in Scotland, rather than whether he lived there. For such a tax it is estimated that the additional administrative cost to the Inland Revenue would be somewhere about 2,000 staff costing approximately £7 million.

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue cost of cutting to 25 per cent. the rate of income tax on (a)the first £500, (b)the first £1·000 and (c)the first £2,500 of taxable income.

At 1976–77 levels of income and allowances the costs of applying a 25 per cent. rate of income tax to the first £500, £1,000 and £2,500

United KingdomEnglandScotlandWales
Total value of relief (£m.)1,1001,0104535
Average relief per mortgagor (£)183190150140
Average relief per owner occupied dwelling (£)1011077058
Average relief per head of population (£)2022913

Banking Profits

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the level of clearing bank profits for 1976, he will reconsider the desirability or otherwise, of implementing the proposal of the former National Board for Prices and Incomes for the taxation of the endowment element in such profits.

Manufactures

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he still estimates that a 1 per cent. fall in the exchange rate should cause an increase of l per cent. in the volume of exports of manufacturers and a fall in the volume of imports of manufactures by to ½ per cent.

The figures quoted in the answer given to the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Lamont) on 24th March 1976—[Vol. 908, c. 215] —assumed that all the intial gains in price competitiveness resulting from a devaluation were maintained and that the level of domestic activity remained unchanged. Current estimates of the long-run effect of a 1 per cent. fall in price competitiveness on the volume of manufactured exports have not been revised, while the response of the volume of manufactured imports of taxable income would be about £1,170 million, £2,130 million and £3,850 million respectively. It has been assumed that in the case of a married couple with a wife earning the reduced rate applies also to the earnings of the wife.

Mortgage Interest Relief

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the value of income tax relief on mortgage interest payments in total per mortgagor, per owner-occupied dwelling and per head of population in England, Scotland and Wales, respectively, during the latest year for which information is available.

The estimates for 1976–77 are as follows: is now put rather higher, over 1 per cent. If allowance is made for increased domestic activity and partial erosion of the initial gain in competitiveness through higher import prices, then, on the assumption of unchanged earnngs, manufactured export volumes will rise in the long run by approximately ½ per cent. and import volumes will fall by betwen 0 ½ and per cent. I would ask my hon. Friend to bear in mind the wide margins of error that surround all these estimates.

Reserves And Debts

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what were the United Kingdom debts to central bankers and the International Monetary Fund expressed in £s sterling from December 1950 to December 1976 inclusive on a quarter by quarter basis; and if he will publish the information in the Official Report in tabular form;(2) if he will publish in the

Official Report details of the United Kingdom gold and currency reserves expressed in £s sterling on a quarter by quarter basis for the period December 1950 to December 1976 inclusive.

Details of the levels of United Kingdom gold and currency reserves and of the United Kingdom debts to central bankers and the International Monetary Fund are published in the Bank of England Statistical Abstracts for 1970 and 1975 and figures for more recent periods are published in the Bank of England quarterly Bulletins and Economic Trends. Figures for December 1976 will be published in the March 1977 issues of these publications.

£ million*
United Kingdom official short and medium-term borrowing from abroadUnited Kingdom Government sterling liabilities held by central monetary institutions British
Total gold and convertible currency reservesInternational Monetary FundOther monetary authoritiesBritish Government stocks†Treasury bills
1950—Dccember1,178105....
1951—March 1,34295....
June 1,38195....
September1,16795....
December83495....
1952—March 60795....
June60295....
September60295....
December65995....
1953—March 77495....
June 84595....
September88888....
December89939....
1954—March 95939....
June 1,07839....
September1,036....
December986....
1955—March 953....
June957....
September838....
December757....
1956—March 813....
June852....
September832....
December799200....
1957—March 826200....
June850200....
September661200....
December812200....
1958—March 989200....
June 1,099196....
September1,114195....
December1,096195....
1959—March 1,121124....
June1,133124....
September1,173120....
December977116....
1960—March993101....
June1,03383....
September1,11027....
December1,154....
1961—March1,079196....
June990323....
September1,26952128....
December1,185370....
1962—March1,233282....
June 1,226191....
September997....
December1,0021,0441,009

In addition to the above debts, over-seas monetary authorities also hold British Government stocks and Treasury bills. These figures have only been recorded from end–1962 onwards and are given in the same published sources Available figures are as follows:

£ million*

United Kingdom official short and medium-term borrowing from abroad

United Kingdom Government sterling liabilities held by central monetary institutions

Total gold and convertible currency reserves

International Monetary Fund

Other Monetary authorities

British Government Stocks†

Treasury bills

1963-March 1,005901,044995
June969361,0191,036
September9771,0321,002
December9491,0181,128
1964-March 9501,0281,112
June96651,0271,206
September907711,0291,203
December8273572161,0871,044
1965—March 8323513931,143880
June9978512241,127794
September9848514071,062722
December1,0738463261,073784
1966—March 1,2768801751,009818
June1,1708682441,067851
September1,1298676921,074670
December1,1078616201,037727
1967—March 1,1648351941,042719
June1,0126652241,023667
September9766567031,013649
December1,1236281,439985589
1968—March 1,1346281,969995650
June1,1181,2111,891884602
September1,1321,1761,964924548
December1,0091,1342,229961542
1969—March 1,0291,0002,1111,004581
June1,0181,1251,8931,072511
September1,0141,1151,9461,191437
December1,0531,1041,5601,283446
1970—March 1,1291,0006541,322444
June1,1639924691,367523
September1,1119856261,396423
December1,1789703991,381455
1971—March 1,3826831,442502
June1,5086751,475642
September2,0894151,428693
December2,5264151,416818
1972—March 2,7044031,479780
June2,8501,0671,478766
September2,516†1,444887
December2,4041,572998
1973—March2,4361,592903
June2,7161,692838
September2,6441,575649
December2,7871,556674
1974—March2,6921,660739
June2,8071,437998
September3,0741,3811,373
December2,8901,421†1,746
1975—March2,9621,059†1,892
June2,8371,0521,829
September2,8679851,351
December2,6831,1431,261
1976—March3,0826301,1331,380
June2,9761,1495771,134896
September3,0921,2309261,108657

* Data denominated in dollars are converted to sterling at £1= $2·8 up to September 1967; thereafter at £1= $2·4 until September 1971; at £1= $2·60571 for December 1971 and at end-period middle market closing rates thereafter. Where holdings are denominated in non-dollar convertible currencies, these are converted to units of US dollars using middle or central rates prior to being converted to sterling using the above factors.

†Changes in definitions and coverage at December 1974 reduced the value of holdings of British Government stocks at that time from £1,421 million to £1,053 million.
‡ From July 1972, the gold and convertible currency reserves were redefined to include the United Kingdom reserve position in the IMF which at that time amounted to $760 million (£310 million).
..Not available.

Value Added Tax

asked t Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will direct Her Majesty's Customs and Excise not to implement the proposal by the EEC Council of Ministers to impose VAT on international travel within the Community as from 1st January 1978 ,(2) whether he will seek to exempt the United Kingdom from the proposal by the EEC Council of Ministers to impose VAT on international travel within the Community, as from 1st January 1978; and whether he will make a statement.

As announced in my right hon. Friend's reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, North (Mrs. Miller) on 26th January substantial progress has been made towards an agreement on the draft Sixth Directive on VAT. However, some points, including the ultimate decision on international travel, remain a matter for discussion. In any event, however, there is no question of changing on 1st January 1978 the existing United Kingdom zero ratings covering international travel.

Close Companies

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were his reasons for stating that recommendation 13.58 of the Bolton Report, that close companies should be allowed to elect, by unanimous decision of the shareholders, to be taxed as partnerships, was impracticable.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24th February 1977; Vol. 926, c. 698], gave the following information:I have nothing to add to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Industry to the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) on 24th January.—[Vol. 924, c. 432.]

Old People's Savings

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the yield to the revenue of the investment income surcharge levied on age-retired persons in the last two financial years; and what is the estimated yield for the current year.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 25th February 1977; Vol. 9246, c. 745–6], gave the following information;For 1974–75, the latest year for which information from the Survey of Personal Incomes is available, the amount of investment income surcharge payable by taxpayers aged 65 and over was £90 million. It is estimated that for 1975–76 and 1976–77 the amounts payable are about £100 million and about £130 million respectively.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report the number of age-retired persons, men aged 65 years and women aged 60 years, whose sole source of income is savings and who have paid the investment income surcharge thereon in the last three financial years.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 25th February 1977; Vol. 926, c. 745–6], gave the following information:I regret that information in the exact form requested is not available. In 1974–75 there were about 10,000 taxpayers aged 65 and over whose only source of income was investment income and who paid investment income surcharge. The estimated numbers for 1975–76 and 1976–77 are 10,500 and 11,500, respectively. A married couple is counted as one taxpayer.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider lifting the threshold for the investment income surcharge of £3,000 in respect of the small group of age-retired persons whose sole income is derived from savings.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 25th February 1977; Vol. 926, c. 745–6], gave the following information:I have noted the hon. Member's suggestion.

Public Sector Debt

Mr. Tebbit