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Written Answers

Volume 931: debated on Saturday 5 March 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 5th May 1977

Home Department

Juveniles In Prison

10.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of children and young persons under 16 years of age who are currently detained or remanded to penal establishments and the number so held at similar dates in 1975 and 1976.

On 31st March 1977, the latest date for which this information is readily available, there were 842 juveniles aged 14 or 15 remanded or otherwise detained in Prison Department establishments in England and Wales. It is estimated that the corresponding figures for 1975 and 1976 were about 780 and 830 respectively.

Immigration Regulations (Male Spouses)

12.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Chairman of the Community Relations Commission concerning the changes to immigration regulations on male spouses.

30.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had from the Chairman of the Community Relations Commission concerning the changes in the immigration regulations in regard to male spouses; and what reply he has sent.

The former Chairman of the Commission wrote to me recently expressing strong opposition to the new Immigration Rules. I have replied indicating that there seems to have been some misapprehension on his part as to the intention and effect of the rules.

Wilful Damage And Violence

13.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the courts have adequate powers to deal with offences of wilful damage and violence against the person.

The courts have available to them a wide range of powers to deal with offences of this kind and I am satisfied that they are in general adequate. The Criminal Law Bill, which received its Second Reading in this House on Tuesday, increases the maximum summary fines for some offences of this kind.

Walton Prison (Security)

14.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with the Prison Officers' Association regarding security at Walton Prison, Liverpool; and what are his plans to improve the living and working conditions of the prison officers and that of the prisoners in that prison.

The Governor of Liverpool Prison holds frequent meetings with the representatives of the Prison Officers' Association to discuss the regime, the security of the prison and matters affecting the working conditions of staff. New accommodation has been provided for visits, reception and administration; and work is in progress to improve the officers' mess, to provide better cell lighting, and to strengthen the security of some cells. Further improvements will be made where necessary and practicable within the funds that are available.

Community Programmes

16.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what have been the results of the consultations with the Birmingham District Council and the Institute of Local Government Studies, Birmingham University, towards establishing a framework for the development of comprehensive community programmes.

Consultations with Birmingham District Council were discontinued last summer when the newly elected council decided to withdraw its support. The Institute of Local Government Studies, Birmingham University, continues to be associated with the development of comprehensive community programmes which is now proceeding in collaboration with Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council.

23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been achieved through the series of comprehensive community programme trial runs in Gateshead, Wirral, Bradford and Wandsworth.

29.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been achieved towards the comprehensive community programmes.

In England, the comprehensive community programme approach is being tested in Gateshead where the first members of the development team are in post. I understand that in Scotland the preliminary survey and research part of the programme in Motherwell has largely been completed, and that consultations are in progress with the local authorities concerned about the next stages.

Attendance Centre Orders (Reconvictions)

18.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average number of persons made the subject of a senior attendance centre order who are reconvicted in the following three years.

Research into persons who completed attendance centre orders in the period 1962 to 1965 found that about 30 per cent. were reconvicted within three years. Information relating to years later than 1965 could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Football Matches (Police Costs)

19.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average cost per man for police attending football matches in the course of their duties.

No central record is kept of cost for police forces in general. The average cost of a uniformed Metropolitan Police constable is£4·11 an hour.

Young Offenders (Juvenile Courts' Powers)

21.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will implement the recommendation of the Eleventh Report of the Expenditure Committee that juvenile courts have restored to them powers over the disposal of young offenders.

We explained in paragraphs 23 to 30 of the White Paper (Cmnd. 6494) published last year why we did not accept the Expenditure Committee recommendation that the courts should have power to make a "secure care order" when a juvenile already the subject of a care order appears before them. We are, however, continuing to discuss with representatives of both the Magistrates' Association and local authorities the problem of the care and control of the minority of particularly difficult and persistent juvenile offenders.

Official Secrets Act

22.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he now expects to produce proposals for the amendment of Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) on Friday 18th March.—[Vol. 928, c. 342.]

Illegal Immigration

27.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for introducing internal checks to prevent illegal immigration and illegal overstaying.

Extensive measures are already taken by the Immigration Service, by the police and by the Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office to trace evaders of the immigration control. The effectiveness of the machinery for this purpose is kept under continuing review.

Police Federation

25.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further plans he has for meeting representatives of the Police Federation.

I have no present plans to meet representatives of the Police Federation. At a meeting on 25th April under the chairmanship of Sir John Nightingale, outside the Police Council, proposals for a settlement within the framework of phase 2 of the pay policy, endorsed by the Official Side of the Police Council, were put to the representatives of the Police Federation. I understand that these are now being considered by the Joint Central Committee of the Federation; I hope that they will decide to accept them, because they represent the limit to which we can go within the framework of phase 2.

Metropolitan Police (Press Relations)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with relations between the Metropolitan Police and the Press.

Graffiti

31.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the existing penalties for those convicted of writing graffiti on walls and fences; and whether, as an alternative to fines, he will consider making such offenders clean off the offending words under police or court supervision.

The Criminal Law Bill, which received its Second Reading this week, increases to£500 the maximum fine which may be imposed on conviction of an offence of criminal damage where the value of the damage done is less than£200. Offences of writing on walls or fences would be likely to fall into this category. The maximum summary fine for other offences of criminal damage is increased to£1,000 in the Bill. I am satisfied that the penalties are otherwise adequate. Under a community service order, which is also available to the courts for this kind of offence, offenders may be involved in tasks aimed at rehabilitating their environment. I would not want to introduce a more specific requirement.

Livestock (Losses By Fire)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange for separately identifiable details of intensive livestock units to be included in future Home Office fire statistics.

No; but I am considering the practicability of collecting, in future years, details of livestock losses generally in fires.

Public House Licensees (Compensation Funds)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the money accumulated in the compensation funds by authorities responsible for licensing public houses, amounting to just over£3,667,000, if he will consider proposals for some of this money to be used towards more speedy establishment of detoxification centres.

My predecessor decided last year to open consultations with interested organisations on the basis of the Erroll Committee's recommendations for the disposal of these funds, under which recent contributions would so far as practicable, be refunded and the balance would form a trust fund from which grants would be made for prescribed purposes. I think it right to let those consultations proceed, so that the feasibility of the Erroll Committee's scheme and any variant of it can be judged, before deciding what proposals to recommend to Parliament.

Community Service

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases persons convicted of hooliganism or serious vandalism have been required to undertake community service at weekends and for how long; and if it has been found difficult to ensure that these sentences are carried out.

With regard to the first part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock (Mr. Roberts on 2nd May.—[Vol. 931, c. 41–42.]—The information requested in the second part is not readily available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of cases in 1976 in which community service orders were made and the number of individuals who failed in whole or in part to pay fines awarded by magistrates in England and Wales during the latest year for which figures are available.

Provisional figures indicate that approximately 9,100 persons were given community service orders in 1976. In 1975 there were 14,203 receptions into prisons of people on default of payment of fines imposed by magistrates or juvenile courts. Information about the total number of people who failed to pay fines imposed by magistrates' courts could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.

Parliamentary Electorates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the figures, by reference to the electoral register which came into operation on February last, of the 20 constituencies in England with, respectively, the highest

A. 20 ENGLISH CONSTITUENCIES WITH LARGEST ELECTORATES
ConstituencyProvisional 1977 parliamentary electorateDifference from Provisional 1977 electorate quota(65,533)Percentage difference from provisional electoral quota(positive%)
Newton100,63533,10249
Basildon99,72432,19148
Meriden98,94731,41447
Ormskirk98,75331,22046
Norfolk, South97,62530,09245
Lichfield and Tamworth97,27229,73944
Horsham and Crawley97,25029,71744
Wirral96,21528,68242
Rother Valley96,08428,55142
Bromsgrove and Redditch95,74028,20742
Norfolk, North95,42027,88741
Basingstoke94,70227,16940
Abingdon94,39426,86140
Somerset, North94,29526,76240
Buckingham94,12526,59239
Don Valley93,80126,26839
Hertfordshire, East93,62726,09439
South Fylde93,45725,92438
Bury St. Edmunds93,10325,57038
Brigg and Scunthorpe92,93025,39738
B. 20 ENGLISH CONSTITUENCIES WITH SMALLEST ELECTORATES
ConstituencyProvisional 1977 parliamentary electorateDifference from Provisional 1977 electoral quota(67,533)Percentage difference from provisional electoral quota (negative%)
Liverpool, Toxteth44,48923,04434
Liverpool, Kirkdale44,22523,30835
Lambeth, Vauxhall43,27124,26236
Wandsworth, Battersea, North43,25324,28036
Berwick-upon-Tweed42,70324,83037
Islington, Central42,43025,10337
City of Westminster, St. Marylebone41,49926,03439
Camden, St. Pancras, North40,73026,80340
Newcastle upon Tyne, North39,89827,63541
Islington, South and Finsbury39,78927,74441
Camden, Holborn and St. Pancras, South39,50528,02842
Islington, North38,74028,79343
Manchester, Openshaw38,67528,85843
Manchester, Central37,03730,49645
Liverpool, Edge Hill36,92730,60645
Birmingham, Lady wood36,51831,01546
Salford, East36,08931,44447
Liverpool, Scotland Exchange34,08033,45350
Gateshead, West30,18037,35355
Newcastle upon Tyne, Central23,68343,85065

Official Records

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe's directive, quoted in paragraph 238 of Lord

and lowest electorates, specifying the same, and the number and per cent. by which each exceeds, or falls short of, as the case may be, the prescribed electoral quota of 65,753.

The provisional electoral quota for 1977 for England is 67,533. On that basis, the information requested is as follows:Denning's report, has been superseded or amended by any subsequent directive.

The text quoted in Lord Denning's report still stands and has not been amended.

Cannabis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will meet to consider the recommendations of the Cannabis Working Group and the Legal and Administrative Committee on possible changes in the law relating to cannabis; and if he will make their advice public;(2) what recommendations were made by the Cannabis Working Group and the Legal and Administrative Committee of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to the full council when they last met to consider possible changes in the law relating to cannabis.

The Cannabis Working Group recommended to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that the law should be amended so that it would no longer be possible for a person to be sentenced to imprisonment on summary conviction of an offence of possession of cannabis or cannabis resin if he had no previous conviction of a drugs offence. The Legal and Administrative Working Group drew attention to the legal implications of such a course. The council is to meet again on 13th June and when my right hon. Friend has received its final advice he will make it public.

Caravans

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has had any consultation with the police on the question of ensuring that caravans were correctly taxed, if Parliament decided they should be.

Departmental Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the annual expenditure in constant terms for the past 10 years on the Secret Vote.

Telephone Tapping And Mail Opening

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether warrants for the opening of mail or the tapping of telephones still require his personal authorisation.

Yes; or, in Scotland, the personal authorisation of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Police (Special Branch)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present establishment of the Special Branch.

Each police force has its own Special Branch. Officers employed on Special Branch duties represent less than 1 per cent. of the total size of the police service.

Animals (Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce recommendations 21 and 77 of the Littlewood Report in order to introduce public control over breeding and supplying of laboratory animals.

The Government have no present plans to introduce the legislation which would be necessary for this purpose, but consideration is being given to the form of statutory control of the breeding and supply of laboratory animals which might become desirable if the present Medical Research Council voluntary accreditation scheme ceased to work effectively.

Judges' Rules

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further consideration he has given since the debates on the renewal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to the case for giving statutory force to the Judges' Rules.

I am keeping the procedures for interviewing persons in police custody under review, and I am prepared to consider suggestions for changes and improvements. But these are difficult and complex issues which require careful thought, not only in the context of the Prevention of Terrorism Act but in other contexts as well, if we are to reach a solution acceptable to all the interests concerned.

House Of Commons

Telephone Charges

asked the Lord President of the Council what arrangements exist for reimbursing Members of Parliament who have to telephone Ministerial offices on their parliamentary business from their homes and other places.

The cost of telephone calls made by Members of Parliament from home and other places to ministerial offices on parliamentary business may be claimed as an expense for relief against their tax assessment.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Gamma Col

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether permission has been granted for the spraying of 500 acres of oil seed rape in North Hampshire with a chemical named Gamma Col; and whether account was taken of the damage which will be caused by such spraying to bees and other livestock.

Authority to use this product for aerial spraying of oil seed rape has been confined to trials for which strict safeguards were prescribed. However, the application for these trials has since been withdrawn, reflecting a common desire among all interests to preclude any possibility of inadvertent damage of the kind to which my hon. Friend refers.

Veterinary Surgeons

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is yet in a position to make a statement on the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Veterinary Profession.

My colleagues and I have fully considered those recommendations contained in this report which involve the Government either because they require action by the Government or because of their financial implications. I have deposited in the Library of the House a statement setting out the Government's views. I should like to thank the organisations that commented on the report and to pay tribute particularly to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association for their thorough and constructive examinations of its findings. I should also like once again to express our appreciation of the service rendered by Sir Michael Swann and the members of his committee in producing the report.

Environment

Ordnance Maps

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Ordnance Survey has to publish Outdoor Leisure Maps (1:25,000) for areas in the Northumbria National Park, North Yorkshire Moors National Park, in the southern part of the Peak District National Park, the Exmoor National Park, the Dartmoor National Park and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The Ordnance Survey's plans for further outdoor leisure maps do not at present include any of these areas. However, I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer which I gave to his Question on 16th February.—[Vol. 926; c. 228.]

Local Councillors (Remuneration)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many questionnaires were sent to councillors by the Committee of Inquiry into the System of Remuneration of Members of Local Authorities; how many have replied; and what has been the cost to date of this exercise.

I understand from the chairman of this independent commitee that 6,980 questionnaires were sent; 5,061 replies have been received; and the cost to date has been approximately£11,000.

Rate And Rent Arrears

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report for each London borough, metropolitan district and for the 10 largest non-metropolitan districts (a) the total rate arrears outstanding at 31st March 1975 and 31st March 1976 and the percentage that these represent of the total rates collectable in those areas, and (b) the total council housing rent arrears outstanding at 31st March 1975 and 31st March 1976 and the percentage that these represent of the total rebated rents collectable in those areas.

31st March 197531st March 1976
Total rent arrearsPercentage of total collectable rentTotal rent arrearsPercentage of total collectable rent
££
London Boroughs:
Barking187,8312·3135,5691·4
Barnet88,3471·5102,7832·0
BexleyN/AN/A165,2003·5
Brent193,8173·7393,2695·7
Bromley123,1502·7100,1221·7
Camden1,755,40021·21,442,77014·7
Croydon233,6733·2291,5433·5
Ealing187,1743·3351,9824·8
Enfleld302,2024·7374,7774·2
Greenwich489,6637·3475,8348·1
Hackney491,5486·6474,57460
Hammersmith207,4754·8207,4754·2
Haringey131,8602·2472,9506·3
Harrow237,3309·7220,5417·5
Havering357,7007·0401,00061
Hillingdon244,9724·2257,07031
Hounslow87,4311·583,1101·2
Islington1,475,05023·11,400,00013·7
Kensington/Chelsea179,1017·7209,09180
Kingston upon Thames82,9574·766,74620
Lambeth1,148·52812·41,025,70410·3
Lewisham650,6938·4712,4367·9
Merton159,3806·5412,0908·7
Newham390,0004·4351,0173·2
Redbridge111,5783·4169,2994·4
Richmond upon Thames29,3881·040,0241·1
Southwark542,5266·0431,0473·2
Sutton136,6604·4134,2593·4
Tower Hamlets456,5378·8372,6826·3
Waltham Forest186,2812·5232,1062·6
Wandsworth249,6083·6496,3455·8
Westminster134,4502·3195,6402·6
Metropolitan Districts:
Barnsley122,3172·1125,0851·7
Birmingham1,929,8494·52,274,3464·4
Bolton54,3471163,7200·9
Bradford255,5322·7257,1102·5
Bury97,5312·4108,9103·5
Calderdale77,7222·0168,6333·6
Coventry210,7153·0211,7802·5
Doncaster61,6801·084,94909
Dudley207,99320106,606N/A
Gateshead146,7431·7166,8141·6
KirkleesN/AN/A140,0972·5
KnowsleyN/AN/A1,376,674100
Leeds481,2742·3614,7972·5
Liverpool1,587,929901,629,1326·8
Manchester1,352,4425·11,735,9175·8
Newcastle upon Tyne424,2534·0484,6303·5
North TynesideN/AN/A110,8171·3
Oldham135,0002·5100,0003·0
Rochdale132,2923·4146,5003·4
Rotherham137,7141·5150,8921·6
St. Helens113,2163·6142,4552·3
Salford301,0973·3306,6603·1
Sandwell152,7501·0144,3000·9
Sefton96,8701·8124,1231·9

I regret that the figures asked for in the first part of the Question are not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The information requested on council house rent arrears is as follows:

31st March 1975

31st March 1976

Total rent arrears

Percentage of total collectable rent

Total rent arrears

Percentage of total collectable rent

£
Sheffield492,2652·5491,3022·2
Solihull15,8241·010,7840·6
South Tyneside64,784N/A68,1010·7
Stockport171,7544·0252,4455·0
Sunderland17,9690·273,4130·6
Tameside150,0003·7184,5693·2
Trafford44,2091·262,1191·3
Wakefield120,6311·5162,4131·4
Walsall76,9400·884,6190·8
Wigan98,6061·7393,3694·1
Wirrall214,6003·0366,8004·2
Wolverhampton98,0001·1298,8782·8

Non-Metropolitan Districts (10 largest only):

Bristol170,6011·3214,2281·4
Nottingham284,4532·4382,9862·5
Leicester166,5652·7318,4403·4
Kingston upon Hull102,5051·0133,5191·0
Stoke-on-Trent16,6140·21,8380·02
Plymouth38,0250·751,9370·8
Derby16,6560·313,3540·2
Southampton139,9022·1N/AN/A
Portsmouth196,0042·3198,5182·0
LutonN/AN/A74,2703·0

Note: Total rent arrears are the arrears at the end of the last full collection period for the year in question. They include rents net of rebates plus rates.

Housing Costs

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will revalue the housing figures in Command Paper No. 5879 at 1976 prices.

I regret that this information cannot be provided without a disproportionate expenditure of time and resources.

Waste Processing (Smells)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish further advice to the animal waste processing industry on the prevention of smells.

The Department's code of practice on the prevention and abatement of smells from animal wastes will be published on Monday 9th May 1977. The code is being sent through the United Kingdom Renderers' Association to all their members, and to all local authorities in the United Kingdom. Further copies will be available from Government bookshops, price 35p.The code is not a technical document but sets out steps which can be taken to reduce smell by improved management and housekeeping methods. It will be followed by further codes giving technical advice on smell prevention and abatement: these codes will be derived largely from the results of the £750,000 three-year programme of research now being carried out at the Warren Spring Laboratory and due for completion in 1978.

Rate Rebates

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment at what level of gross income a single person, a married couple, and a married man with two children, are able to obtain a rate rebate.

Whether a householder is eligible for a rate rebate depends not only on his gross income but on the rates payable, the gross income of his wife and the composition of the household. Therefore a given gross income cannot alone determine whether a rebate is payable.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the maximum rateable value of domestic property above which rate rebates are not payable.

A rate rebate may not be granted on a property with a rateable value of more than£1,500 in the Greater London area and more than£750 elsewhere.

Social Services

Birth Certificates

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will revert to the former rules governing the issue of a copy of a birth certificate by the Registrar General's Office, as a safeguard against criminal use.

The basic rules for the issue of birth certificates from the Registrar General's office and from local registration officers have remained unchanged since the introduction of civil registration by the Act of 1836.Any person who selects an entry found in the indexes of births either centrally or locally is entitled to have a certificate of that entry on payment of the statutory fees. If the person who obtains a certificate in this way decides to use it fraudulently, any offence committed is a matter for the police or other body concerned with the particular offence.The issue of a birth certificate cannot be restricted to the person whose name is entered on it or a member of his family.

Pensions

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in view of the fact that as a result of budgetary measures and EEC price increases planned by the end of the current year, the proposed increase in the autumn in retirement pensions will have been overtaken by these increases before January 1978, whether he will ensure that any such increases proposed will not only restore the pension to its purchasing value prior to October 1977 but will maintain it until at least the summer of 1978.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the value of the present State retirement pension if it had its same value in 1974.

:£13·28 for a single person and£21·42 for a married couple, assuming that pensions had risen in line with the General Index of Retail Prices between March 1974, when the Government took office, and March 1977. The actual figures are£15·30 and£24·50 respectively.

Child Patients (Hospital Day Facilities)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the nature of the additional hospital day facilities for children currently being considered by the Lancashire Area Health Authority; when they are likely to be in operation; and where they will be sited.

A child assessment centre in the Blackpool Health District and a child psychiatric unit at Burnley General Hospital, which are being provided by adaptation of existing facilities, are expected to come into use during 1978. A child assessment centre also is provisionally planned at Queen's Park Hospital, Blackburn, and this would come into operation in 1982.

Doctors (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether cash limits apply to expenditure by general practitioners; and, if so, how they are operated.

India

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he intends to make to the Government of India concerning the lack of reciprocal arrangements for the payment of social security benefis to United Kingdom citizens resident in India.

None, as India does not have a social security scheme comparable with our own which would permit of reciprocity.

Child Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will indicate the circumstances in which child benefit is payable in respect of children resident ouside the United Kingdom.

Child benefit is generally only payable in respect of children resident outside Great Britain if their absence is intended to be temporary, that is:

  • i. if it does not exceed 26 weeks; or
  • ii. is for the purpose of receiving full-time education at a recognised educational establishment and the period has not exceeded 156 weeks; or
  • iii. is for the purpose of medical treatment for a condition which commenced before the child left Great Britain.
  • Child benefit may also be payable under EEC arrangements and reciprocal agreements with other countries.

    Greaves Hall Hospital

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, why female nurses at Greaves Hall Hospital, Banks, are forced to retire at the age of 60 years; and if this is a policy of his Department.

    I understand that it is the policy of the Sefton Area Health Authority that female staff, including nurses at Greaves Hall Hospital, should retire at the age of 60, although individuals may be retained in special circumstances. The policy of my Department is that retirement is a matter for individual employing authorities, but I understand that the General Whitley Council hopes to negotiate an agreement on this subject.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if the action of the Sefton Area Health Authority in evicting retired Greaves Hall Hospital employees from their homes is in accordance with the policy of his Department;(2) if he will intervene with the Sefton Area Health Authority to prevent it evicting its compulsorily retired employees at Greaves Hall Hospital from their homes.

    I understand that Sefton Area Health Authority was granted possession orders on 24th February 1977 in respect of three houses occupied by former members of their staff who had left their service on 31st January, 19th March and 30th September 1976, respectively.The guidance given by my Department is that where hardship is likely to be caused by eviction, it is advisable for the health authority concerned to consult the local housing authority about the possibility of providing alternative accommodation. Sefton Area Health Authority followed this guidance by entering into consultation with the relevant local housing authorities before taking legal action. These discussions are continuing, and it is not and never has been the intention of the health authority to take possession of these houses until alternative accommodation has been found for all the tenants concerned. It will not, therefore, be necessary for me to intervene in this matter.

    Wives (National Insurance Contributions)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report the exact conditions under which a married woman may exercise her option to pay reduced national insurance contributions when she is (a) not working at all in 1977–78, (b) does not work in 1977–78, but commences employment in 1978–79, or in 1979–80, or in 1980–81 and (c) is currently employed, ceases employment in 1977–78 and recommences in 1979–80 or later.

    The information requested is set out below.The option to pay at the reduced rate Class 1 national insurance contributions for which married women become liable now or in the future is available only to those women whose marriages took place before 6th April 1977 and who either have already given written notice of an election to that effect or give such notice by 11th May 1977. This time limit applies whether the woman is at work or not. Women whose marriages were before 6th April 1975 and who had elected not to pay national insurance contributions under the old legislation can be treated as having given such notice. After 11th May 1977 the only choice open to married women lies in the provision that those who have elected to have this reduced liability can revoke the election; their liability will then be at the standard rate from the beginning of the next tax year following the revocation. In each of the cases cited reduced liability once acquired continues while the woman remains liable for contributions, but ceases if there is no liability for Class 1

    contributions nor self-employment in two successive tax years falling after 5th April 1978; thus:

  • (a) a woman who does not work in the 1977–78 tax year will have reduced liability when she starts to earn only if she has made an election by 11th May 1977 and next becomes liable for a contribution before 6th April 1980;
  • (b) a woman who has made an election by 11th May 1977 will have reduced liability on next commencing work in the 1978–79 or 1979–80 tax years, but not if she has no earnings until 1980–81 or a later year;
  • (c) a woman who has made an election by 11th May 1977 will have reduced liability in the 1977–78 tax year. If her next earnings fall in the 1979–80 year she will still have reduced liability; but if she has no earnings until after 5th April 1980 her option will lapse on that date.
  • Hospital (South Trafford)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether plans for a new district general hospital for South Trafford are included in the Department's programme for the next five years.

    The North-Western Regional Health Authority has not yet put forward detailed proposals for the future development of hospital services in South Trafford, to which general reference was made in the regional strategic plan.

    Dentists (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the mechanism of the Dental Estimates Board was not used to disseminate information relating to recent increases in dental charges to practising dentists.

    General dental practitioners are in contract with family practitioner committees and therefore information concerning their terms of service is normally disseminated through these committees.

    Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the proposed change-over from three-wheeled cars to the four-wheeled variety, what efforts his Department is making to encourage British motor manufacturers to adapt their existing models or new models to help the disabled, in particular by experimenting with an adaptation of tiller steering.

    I agree with my hon. Friend's assumption that the switch to a cash benefit is likely to lead to disabled people increasingly using adapted four-wheeled cars rather than three-wheeled vehicles. I have seen an adapted version of a popular small production car which one of the major manufacturers is preparing, and my Department is in touch with other firms. To enable the steering of a four-wheeled car to be actuated by a tiller or handle bars, in order to help the minority of disabled drivers who have special needs in this respect, would require the development of a suitable power-operated system. Work done by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory on driving control systems was referred to by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Transport in his reply to the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam) on 6th April.—[Vol. 929, c. 1216.]

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people who had an invalid tricycle have accepted the£5 grant instead.

    To date 749 people have applied to relinquish their invalid tricycle and receive mobility allowance instead, and of these 655 have so far been awarded the allowance. The choice is currently available only to tricycle holders who are within the age-groups now eligible for mobility allowance and who meet the medical criteria. It will be open to all other holders of tricycles issued under the old vehicle scheme when the relevant provisions of the Social Security (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1977 are brought into operation.

    Young Offenders (Attendance Centres)

    33.

    asked the Attorney-General if he will call a sentencing conference to discuss with magistrates the policy of sending young offenders to junior and senior attendance centres, particularly those involved in hooliganism and vandalism.

    Sentencing conferences and sentencing exercises for magistrates are held periodically. Most of these are convened locally, and all magistrates in the area are invited to attend. On these occasions the magistrates consider the sentences which should be imposed in respect of the offences normally arising in the area concerned. Particular attention is given to crimes involving violence, and the advantages of attendance centres for appropriate cases are well known to magistrates. My noble Friend regards the present arrangements in this respect as satisfactory and sees no reason to convene a special conference to discuss the use of attendance centres for cases of hooliganism and vandalism or otherwise.

    Civil Service

    Public Appointments Unit

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the composition of the Public Appointments Unit, and if it includes among its functions the assembly of names of candidates for the boards of public corporations.

    The Public Appointments Unit at present comprises 10 full-time civil servants, of whom five are clerical and secretarial staff. The unit's primary purpose is to identify the widest possible cross-section of people, from all parts of the country, able to undertake public work. Details of such people are made available as required to Departments whose Ministers make appointments to public boards.

    Ministers Of The Crown

    Lewis asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will publish in the Offical Report details of the expenses, allowances, living away from home, hotel, travel and all other payments received by Ministers in addition to their ministerial and parliamentary salaries; and how these payments compare with those received by the three top rated and paid civil servants.

    No special allowance other than the London supplement is payable to Ministers in addition to salary. The supplement, at the rate of£340 for Cabinet Ministers and£385 for other Ministers, is paid to Ministers based in London except those who are provided with an official residence. The three civil servants referred to are not paid any London weighting.Ministers staying away from home or travelling on official duty are entitled to reimbursement of expenses at the same rates as laid down for the most senior civil servants. These are as follows:—

    MOTOR MILEAGE ALLOWANCE
    Engine capacityper mile
    501 cc-1,000 cc9·4p
    1,001 cc-1,750 cc11·0p
    1,751 cc and over12·0p
    SUBSISTENCE
    Day
    More than 5 hours£1·00
    More than 10 hours£2·15
    Night
    Inner London£18·60
    Elsewhere£17·35

    Education And Science

    Librarians

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many qualified librarians are employed full- or part-time in State secondary schools.

    About 1,000 in England and Wales, of whom a quarter are part-time.

    University College At Buckingham

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is her policy with regard to the recognition of the licence of the University College at Buckingham as a qualification for grant awards to students who have been accepted for postgraduate study; and whether she will make a statement.

    Postgraduate studentships from my Department are normally awarded only to holders of a degree of a British university established by charter or Act of Parliament, or validated by the Council for National Academic Awards. Other candidates may be considered exceptionally in the light of the recommendations of the university or other institution sponsoring them.

    Teachers' Superannuation Fund

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the annual balance, total contributions and total payments from the

    £m.
    1972–731973–741974–751975–761976–77*
    Income181210247397405
    Expenditure89104116144178
    Balance92106131253227
    * Provisional

    Tertiary Colleges And Sixth Forms

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the number of tertiary colleges in England and Wales in 1977, 1976, 1975 and 1974.

    The information is as follows:

    197711
    197610
    19759
    1974not available

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if her Department makes any recommendations on the maximum distance or time travelled per day that a pupil should be expected to undertake in order to attend a sixth form or tertiary college.

    No, but my center hon. Friend takes into account the distance and time pupils of all ages will need to travel when considering proposals submitted to her under Section 13 of the Education Act 1944 as amended.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if her Department has issued any reports on ways in which neighbouring schools can co-operate in order to produce viable sixth forms.

    No. It is a matter for local education authorities in consultation with the voluntary bodies and others, to consider, in the light of local needs and circumstances, ways in which neighbouring schools can co-operate at sixth form level. Teachers' Superannuation Fund in each of the past five years.

    Total income, mostly from contributions, and total expenditure, mostly on benefits, are shown below. The expenditure figures do not include payments under the Pensions (Increase) Acts, which are made by the Exchequer but are not debited to the teachers' superannuation account.

    Student Unions

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what statutory obligations rest upon local authorities to pay students' union capitation fees.

    In general, for students with grants made under the Local Education Authorities Awards Regulations, authorities are required to pay the student's subscription to the students' union where this forms part of a composition fee charged by the establishment or where membership of the union is compulsory. From September 1977 such payments will not be subject to a parental contribution.

    Shoreditch College And Brunel University

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals have been submitted to her by the Inner London Education Authority concerning the possible merger of Shore-ditch College at Runnymede with Brunei University at Uxbridge; and if she will make a statement.

    The proposals announced by my center hon. Friend on 24th January provide for further consideration to be given to the organisation of five teacher training institutions maintained by the Inner London Education Authority, including Shoreditch College. Discussions are taking place between the authority and the university about a possible merger, but the authority has not yet submitted any formal proposal.

    Teacher Training (Staffs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many requests she has received for approval of secondments of academic staff from teacher training colleges during the year following closure where a direction to cease initial teacher training has been issued; and when she expects to give a decision.

    Requests have been received from the two voluntary colleges of education at which initial teacher training will cease at the end of the current academic year. Decisions on the governors' proposals were sent by my Department to the college principals on 3rd May.

    Accepted Tender PriceFinal Contract Price
    ££
    Gerrards Cross bypass5,387,9746,549,406
    Knaves Beech interchange290,275288,157
    Beaconsfield bypass1,953,5402,055,588
    Beaconsfield-Stokenchurch9,844,8498,272,643
    Stokenchurch-Waterstock5,584,8655,680,901
    £23,061,503£22,846,695

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the proposed route of the M40 extension.

    My center hon. Friend hopes to be able to make an announcement within the next few weeks.

    Caravans

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, in the light of the fact that the revenue received from licensing dogs covers all the administration costs, he calculates that, if caravan owners were required to apply for licences for their caravans in the same manner as dog owners are required to apply for dog licences, and if the caravan licences were 50 times as high as a dog licence, all the revenue received for licensing caravans would cover all the administration costs.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport why he supposes, as indicated in his answer to the hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington on 28th

    Transport

    M40

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what, at current prices, was (a) the cost estimate at public inquiry, (b) the accepted tender price and (c) the final contract price for each of the sections of the M40 already in use, namely, Gerrards Cross bypass, Knaves Beech interchange. Beaconsfield bypass-Stokenchurch, and Stokenchurch-Waterstock cross roads.

    The accepted tender prices and final contract prices for each of the sections of the M40 already open to traffic are shown below. I regret that the other information requested is not readily available.April 1977, that enforcing vehicle excise law on caravans is more difficult when they are parked off the road than when they are on the road on the move.

    Because if caravans were licensed as are cars, a caravan not on the road would not have to be licensed.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what additional administrative machinery, in terms of numbers of staff and costs, would be required to administer a vehicle excise licence for caravans not taking into account the administrative problems mentioned in the answer to the hon. Member for Christ-church and Lymington on 28th April.

    The information requested cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost, so many are the potential variables.

    Hire Cars

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the conditions for hire cars and their drivers so far as safety is concerned.

    I see no reason to doubt the adequacy of the present arrangements. Hire cars not ranking as public service vehicles—and subject as such to inspections—are liable to the MOT test unless I am satisfied that the local authority is applying a test of at least equivalent severity as a condition of licensing. Cars can be driven only by drivers who have passed the appropriate driving test for that class of vehicle and in addition any test which the local authority may require.

    Severn Bridge

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if the contracts have now been awarded on work to repair the rocker assemblies of the Severn Bridge.

    The contract with Fair-field Mabey Ltd. for the work currently being carried out on Wye Bridge has been extended to include the Severn Bridge rocker repairs.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport how long it will take to finish the work on the rocker assemblies of the Severn Bridge.

    The work on the rocker assemblies is programmed for completion in September.

    Scotland

    Q6.

    asked the Prime Minister when he next expects to pay an official visit to Scotland.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) on 3rd May.

    President Carter (Talks)

    Q4.

    asked the Prime Minister which matters he intends to raise with President Carter on his forthcoming visit to the United Kingdom.

    There will be a wide-ranging discussion of economic, political and defence matters at the Downing Street summit and the NATO Council of Ministers, and I shall follow these up with President Carter bilaterally as necessary.

    Edinburgh

    Q8.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will now pay an official visit to Edinburgh.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) on 3rd February.

    Moscow

    Q10.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) on 25th January.

    Nuclear And Energy Policy

    Q11.

    asked the Prime Minister to what extent his talks with President Carter referred to nuclear policy; whether any common attitudes were reached; and whether he anticipates a continuing dialogue with the United States of America on energy matters.

    When I met President Carter in Washington in March, we agreed on the importance of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons while enabling nuclear power to play its proper part in meeting the world energy shortage.I look forward to discussing these matters further with President Carter and other world leaders at the Downing Street summit.

    Prime Minister (Engagements)

    Q12.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 5th May 1977.

    Q16.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his public engagements for 5th May.

    Q17.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 5th May 1977.

    Q18.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 5th May 1977.

    Q19.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 5th May.

    Q21.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 5th May.

    I refer the hon. Members and my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan).

    Tuc And Cbi

    Q13.

    asked the Prime Minister when he last met the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Corbett) on 8th February.

    Q14.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Thornaby (Mr. Wrigglesworth) on 17th February.

    Warwickshire

    Q15.

    asked the Prime Minister when he next plans to pay an official visit to Warwickshire.

    Leicestershire

    Q22.

    asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Leicestershire.

    Lord President Of The Council (Speech)

    Q24.

    asked the Prime Minister whether the words used at Kirby-in-Ashfield on 26th April by the Lord President of the Council on the attainment of a Socialist republic represent Government policy.

    I refer the hon. Member to the replies given by my center hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council to the hon. Members for Wirral (Mr. Hunt) and Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Costain) on 28th April.

    Brussels

    I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Bexleyheath (Mr. Townsend) on 3rd May.

    Parliamentary Questions (Prime Minister)

    asked the Prime Minister from what date he proposes to implement his proposals to the Select Committee on Procedure relating to Questions to the Prime Minister.

    Northern Ireland

    Representation At Westminster

    32.

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is now taking to give Northern Ireland greater representation at Westminster.

    The Government have accepted for some time that Northern Ireland is under-represented at Westminster. My center hon. Friend the Prime Minister has already announced that it is the Government's intention to refer the question of Northern Ireland's representation in the United Kingdom Parliament to a Speaker's Conference. In accordance with normal practice, Opposition party leaders will be consulted in due course about the Conference's composition and terms of reference.—[Vol. 928, c. 1303.]

    Prices

    asked the Prime Minister whether he based his reply on 5th April to the center hon. Lady the Leader of the Opposition about the relative rise in prices in Italy and the United Kingdom on the same data as given in his answer to the hon. Member for Chingford on 2nd May.

    The hon. Member should read my reply to a supplementary question on 5th April in the light of my answer to his Question of 27th April as well as 2nd May. Together these show the United Kingdom's improving relative rate of inflation. The United Kingdom's rate of inflation for the total period since March 1974 has been significantly affected by the high level of money supply during years before 1974, which, for instance, rose by 25 per cent in the 12 months to March 1974.

    Overseas Development

    Solomon Islands

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) what is the current level of aid per annum to the Solomon Islands; and what are the main projects involved;(2) how many technical experts financed by the British aid programme are currently working in the Solomon Islands; and what main categories of expertise are represented;(3) what new projects for aid to the Solomon Islands are at this moment under consideration.

    Total expenditure on all forms of British aid to the Solomon Islands in 1976 was approximately£9·389 million. Of this£5·13 million was in the form of development grants,£2·404 million in technical co-operation and£618,000 in budgetary aid; the balance was investment by the Commonwealth Development Corporation. Development grants are spent on a wide variety of projects. Amongst the more significant are programmes of coconut planting, beef cattle and fisheries development, forest re-planting, malaria eradication and construction of roads designed to open up areas of high agricultural potential. A project to provide£1 million worth of vehicles and plant was also approved in 1976.New projects under consideration include several aimed at continuing British support for the agricultural sector, particularly coconut and cattle development, and proposals for developing rural clinics, funding the Agricultural and Industrial Loans Board and continued support of local scholarships and training programmes.

    At the end of 1976, 275 British funded technical co-operation personnel were working in the Solomon Islands, comprising 35 wholly funded experts, 229 partly funded staff, and 11 volunteers. Of these, 71 were in the field of public administration, 59 in economic infrastructure, 50 in education, 42 in renewable natural resources, 38 in health, 11 in mining and four in industry and commerce.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether the Solomon Islands are currently deriving any benefit from the LoméAgreement on the European Development Fund.

    As a dependency, the Solomon Islands is not party to the LoméConvention, but receives similar benefits to those granted to the signatories of the convention by virtue of the terms of part IV of the Treaty of Rome.Approximately 6 million units of account from the European Development Fund have been made available to the Solomon Islands for commitment to projects between now and 1980. The islands will also have access to European Investment Bank funds. It is also possible that

    Percentage increase on previous year
    197119721973197419751976
    Sterling M3*14·025·027·010·07·010·0
    Wages and salaries†10·011·714·820·529·212·7
    Index of average earnings (old series)‡11·312·913·517·826·615·6
    Index of retail prices (all items)9·47·19·216·124·216·5
    Domestic credit expansion (£ million)N.A.6,6808,0346,8954,4557,406
    * Change of money stock in year, as a percentage of the level at the end of the previous year.
    †Excludes forces' pay.
    ‡ Relates to Great Britain, and shows changes in the earnings of about half of all employees in employment.

    Caravans

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what basis he estimated the revenue annually at£1·6 million when answering the Question from the hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington as to the annual revenue that would accrue to the Treasury if caravans were taxed at the same rate as motor cars.

    On the basis of an estimated taxable caravan population of 300,000—as caravans are not registered the precise numbers are not known—and

    they may receive payments from the Community's Stabex scheme in respect of shortfalls in export from copra. In addition, the islands may take advantage of trade provisions similar to those provided for under the LoméConvention.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development how many students from the Solomon Islands are now studying in the United Kingdom with assistance from her department.

    National Finance

    Money Supply, Incomes And Prices

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish a table showing the year-on-year percentage increase, in each year from 1971 to 1976 inclusive in (a) sterling M3, (b) wages, (c) earnings and (d) retail prices, and the domestic credit expansion in each of those years.

    The information is shown in the following table:on the assumption that a four-monthly licence would be taken out and a refund claimed for three months.

    Government Bonds (Variable Interest)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he expects to lay the relevant Statutory Instruments before the House to provide for variable-interest Government bonds;(2) when he expects to be in a position to begin sales of variable-interest Government bonds.

    The Trustee Investments (Additional Powers) Order 1977, bringing Government variable interest securities within the powers of investment of trustees is expected to be laid before the House on 19th May. The Building Societies (Authorised Investments) Order 1977 which, inter alia, will provide for a similar extension in respect of investments by building societies is expected to be laid before the House on or about 20th May. An issue will be made as and when market conditions are appropriate.

    Industrial Democracy

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has now received the Lords Committee report on worker participation in the public sector.

    The Government have undertaken their own study of industrial democracy in the nationalised industries to complement the work of Lord Bullock's committee of inquiry on the private sector. Proposals for legislation on industrial democracy in the private sector and the nationalised industries will be brought forward later this Session.

    Mortgage Interest

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Official Report his estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of mortgage tax relief for 1977–78 as soon as the figures are available.

    Public Expenditure

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish a table showing the percentage of public expenditure on each programme that is demand-related, together with some indications of what the demand-related heads of expenditure are.

    The term "demand related" does not have a precise definition in this context and it is therefore not possible to put firm percentages to the demand related component of each programme of public expenditure. But in general the services which are exempted from the cash limits system are services where, once policy and rates of payment have been determined, the total of disbursements in the short-term will depend on such factors as the number of qualified recipients. The extent to which each public expenditure programme is cash limited is described in "The Government's Expenditure Plans," Cmnd. 6721-II, and details of the main exclusions from cash limits were given in "Cash Limits on Public Expenditure", Cmnd. 6440, supplemented by "Cash Limits 1977–78", Cmnd. 6767.

    Petrol Taxes (Rural Transport)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has had from local authorities on rural transport difficulties arising from the recent increase in petrol tax.

    My center hon. Friend has received a very small number of representations from local authorities about the Budget proposal to increase the duty on petrol. These have criticised the increases in private motoring and transport costs, stressing their significance in rural areas with limited public transport services.

    Whisky

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the tax yield from whisky for each of the last five years.

    The information is:

    NET RECEIPTS OF EXCISE DUTY ON SCOTCH WHISKY
    Financial Year(£million)
    1971–72229
    1972–73247
    1973–74253
    1974–75289
    1975–76368

    Information for 1976–77 is not yet available. Since 1st April 1973 value added tax at the standard rate has been charged in addition.

    Money Supply

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the percentage increase in the money supply in the United Kingdom in each of the past five years; and what the corresponding figures were, using a similar definition of money supply, for each of the other member countries of the EEC.

    Following is the information:

    Percentage change over year to:BelgiumDenmarkGermanyNetherlandsFranceIrelandItalyUnited Kingdom
    December 197217·015·014·311·918·614·318·225·8
    December 197315·412·79·021·915·027·223·227·6
    December 197414·38·98·520·018·120·415·412·6
    December 197515·025·58·55·715·919·123·57·6
    December 197614·111·48·322·712·814·321·811·4

    Notes:

    1. Definitions: United Kingdom—Sterling M3, Germany—M3, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Italy—M2. These are the most closely related definitions available, but, given structural differences, they are not directly comparable.

    2. End-December 1976 is the latest date for which data are available for all EEC countries.

    3. Belgian currency circulates in Luxembourg; separate money supply figures for Luxembourg are not, therefore, available.

    Inland Revenue Offices (Telephones)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report a list of the Inland Revenue offices operating a freephone service, together with the special telephone numbers concerned.

    Scotland

    Prisoners (Escapes)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many escapes there were from Scottish prisons in 1966 and each year to 1976.

    Following is the information requested:

    YearNumber of Escapes
    19669
    19676
    19689
    19693
    19704
    19716
    19729
    19736
    19744
    19755
    197610

    Prisoners

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many men and women, respectively, are now held in Scottish prisons.

    On 19th April 1977 there were 2,959 men and 100 women held in Scottish prisons. Men are defined as males aged 21 or over and women are defined as females aged 21 or over.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average daily number of convicted men and women, respectively, in prison in Scotland.

    In 1976 the estimated average daily numbers of convicted men and women in prison in Scotland are 2,590 and 70 respectively. This includes an average of 22 men and four women remanded in custody after conviction awaiting sentence.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many adult prisoners are serving sentences of 12 months or less; how many up to four years, four to 10 years, over 10 years and life, respectively.

    Statistics in the form requested are not available, but the following table gives the average daily population of prisoners by length of sentence during 1976.Average daily population of adult prisoners by length of sentence:

    SentenceNumber
    Less than 18 months1,457
    18 months and over but less than 4 years410
    4 years and over but less than 10 years450
    10 years and over94
    Life imprisonment224
    Adults are defined as persons aged 21 and over.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what tests are carried out on reception at Scottish prisons to determine whether there is addiction to hard or soft drugs.

    The normal medical examination on reception, supplemented if necessary by laboratory tests, will reveal any such addiction to drugs.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the projects built by inmate labour in Scottish prisons in 1976.

    Inmates were engaged during 1976 on the redevelopment of Polmont Borstal.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many prisoners in Scottish prisons were employed in sewing mail bags by hand in 1976;(2) which industries are now carried out in Scottish prisons by men and women prisoners, respectively.

    In 1976 no prisoners were employed in the manufacture of new mail bags by hand. On average 110 prisoners were employed in hand repairing of mail bags and a further 34 in hand sewing of certain parts of new mail bags. This is work that is more satisfactorily carried out by hand than by machine.

    The following industries are carried out in Scottish prisons by men and women prisoners:

    Men

    • Clothing manufacture
    • Textiles other than clothing
    • Manufacture of concrete products
    • Electronic assembly
    • General woodwork
    • Manufacture of wooden furniture
    • Manufacture of products from glass reinforced plastics
    • Laundry work
    • Leatherwear manufacture
    • Manufacture of luggage
    • Metal fabrication Printing and bookbinding
    • Manufacture of upholstered products
    • Horticultural work

    Women

    • Clothing manufacture
    • Laundry
    • Horticultural products.

    asked the Seretary of State for Scotland what vocational training courses are available to men and women prisoners, respectively, in Scottish prisons who are serving sentences of 12 months or more; and where these are carried out.

    For male adult prisoners serving sentences of 12 months and more vocational training courses in painting and decorating and in skilled labouring are available at Barlinnie, Edinburgh, Perth and Peterhead Prisons. Female prisoners do not receive formal vocational training courses, but at Cornton Vale Institution there is training in dressmaking, catering, textiles and office work.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many guardians are now available to the prison service in Scotland.

    None. Following the implementation of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 local authority social work departments have assumed responsibility for persons in their area who, on release from any form of detention, require to be under supervision.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in which prisons the Training For Freedom scheme operates; and how many prisoners are involved.

    The scheme operates at Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Perth Prisons. On 30th April 1977, 15 prisoners were involved.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many Scottish prisons is slopping out still done.

    Slopping out is still necessary in 18 penal establishments in Scotland.

    Prisons

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many places there are in Scottish prisons for men and women, respectively; and how many men are sharing three or four per cell, respectively.

    On 26th April 1977 there were 3,113 places for men and 142 places for women in Scottish prisons. On that date 276 men were accommodated three to a cell and 20 men were accommodated four to a cell.