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Written Answers

Volume 929: debated on Monday 4 April 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 4th April 1977

Civil Service

Dispersal

18.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many Civil Service jobs have been dispersed from London in the past two years; and what are their new locations.

Nearly 3,000 Civil Service posts were dispersed from London between 1st October 1974 and 30th September 1976, the latest period for which comprehensive information is available. Details are as follows:

LocationNumber of posts
Basingstoke312
Blackpool122
Bradford90
Bristol63
Cambridge42
Cardiff/Newport882
Cardington14
Colchester43
Corby30
Eastbourne31
Glasgow476
Huntingdon36
Leeds6
Llantrisant216
Manchester19
Merseyside10
Newcastle19
Norwich5
Portsmouth17
Southampton79
Southend109
Southport32
Sunningdale56
Swindon234
Worthing19
Total2,962

12.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants now working in Greater London will be asked to move to other parts of the United Kingdom in the next five years.

The timing of the Government's dispersal programme is currently being reassessed, following the measures announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the end of last year.

Civil Servants

19.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what plans his Department has for containing the further growth of administrative and clerical staff both in Whitehall and in other administrative centres around the country.

The Government will ensure that the cuts in expenditure on the Civil Service to which I referred in my reply to the hon. Member's previous Question on 27th January 1977, and in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis) on 11th March 1977 are achieved. These expenditure cuts are consistent with a Civil Service of around the three-quarter million mark for the rest of this year and 10,000 to 15,000 less over the next two or three years. The methods of control of manpower by my Department are designed to prevent unnecessary growth in staff numbers and to promote economy in staffing in the Civil Service.

Special Advisers

20.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the total annual cost to the taxpayer of the 25 personal political advisers to Ministers employed since the last General Election.

There are currently 26 special advisers to Ministers, whose total annual salaries amount to £186,000.

Stationery

21.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what investigations have been carried out by HMSO into the possibility of providing House of Commons stationery and envelopes made wholly or partly with recycled paper.

Certain stationery, other than the die-stamped range, containing a substantial element of recycled fibre is already in use. For the die-stamped range, HMSO will shortly propose a less costly paper. It cannot however, recommend paper containing recycled fibre, partly because it is more difficult to die stamp satisfactorily and partly because it would cost more than the paper being recommended.

Ministry Of Defence (Chief Police Officers)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service why the difficulties referred to in his replies of 24th January and 11th March regarding the pay of the 10 Ministry of Defence chief police officers only apply to this small number of officers, all other members of the same force having been accorded pay increases arising from an application made at the same time as the senior officers' claim.

The arrangements for determining pay in the two groups are not the same. The Ministry of Defence chief police officers have their pay determined by a vertical pay relativity with the lower ranks. The treatment to be accorded to vertical pay relationships under the transitional arrangements in the White Paper, "The Attack on Inflation" (Cmnd 6151), was not an issue for other members of the force.

Map And Chart Making Services

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what consideration has been given by Her Majesty's Government to the future concentration at one or two centres of public map making, survey and chart production services subsequent to decentralisation of offices from London.

There are at present no proposals to concentrate public map making, survey and chart production services at one or two centres.

House Of Commons

Refreshment Department

28.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will make a statement on the non-profitability of the House of Commons Refreshment Department.

Ministers and the Chairman of the Catering Sub-Committee are well aware that this is an extremely serious problem and that it cannot be allowed to continue. Steps have recently been taken towards the appointment of a Financial Controller and the introduction of a system of budgetary control in the Department, as recommended by the Committee of Inquiry chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Mikardo). I hope that this will provide the basis for a permanent improvement of the position.

Government-Liberal Party (Joint Consultations)

29.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will publish a regular verbatim record of meetings he has with members of the Parliamentary Liberal Party.

30.

asked the Lord President of the Council if he is satisfied with the progress on discussions between the Government and the Liberal Party on the Joint Consultative Committee.

I would refer the hon. Gentlemen to my answer to the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West (Mr. Grylls) on 28th March.

Wales

Sports Council For Wales

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will state the amount of the Sports Council grant for 1977–78; and what percentage increase this represents over 1976–77.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the amount of grant aid to the Sports Council for Wales for 1977–78 will be £1,300,000. This is an increase of 8·3 per cent over the 1976–77 grant aid.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Eggs Authority

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will conduct a departmental inquiry into the rôle and function of the Eggs Authority with a view to bringing forward amending legislation to provide a new statutory body for eggs.

The EEC Commission is currently considering the contribution which a European inter-professional body might make to the eggs and poultry sector of the Community. Until the Commission comes forward with its proposals it would be premature to consider possible changes in the present rôle and functions of the Eggs Authority.

Milk Cartons

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the fact that it is the policy of milk distributors to run down milk bottles and replace them with cartons and of his Depertment's permission for 1p extra to be charged for cartons, and that this is a price imposition on all consumers dependent only on individual suppliers in their neighbourhood, what action he proposes to take.

Over the past decade there has been a continuing tendency for dairies to supply milk to shops in non-returnable containers rather than returnable glass bottles, largely because of heavy losses of the latter. When dairies have taken the commercial decision to use non-returnable containers for the shop trade, it has been the policy of successive Governments not to oppose the addition of a reasonable charge for the non-returnable package compared with the lower cost of returnable glass bottles on the delivery rounds. A close watch is, however, kept by my Department on such charges to ensure that they are not excessive. The results of our latest investigations confirm that charges of up to 1p a pint can be justified. More than 90 per cent. of households in England and Wales, however, have milk delivered to the doorstep at the controlled maximum retail price.

Feeding Stuffs

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that imported high protein animal feeding stuffs will be available to farmers in adequate quantities at reasonable prices over the next year; and whether he will make a statement.

A lower production of soya beans by the United States of America last year, together with an increased level of consumption, particularly in those EEC countries affected by the drought, has resulted in the current high prices for protein feeds. A good soya harvest in Brazil, which is now becoming available, should ease the situation. Moreover, first forecasts of United States planting intentions this year show an increase in soya bean acreage of from 12 to 19 per cent. Supplies from this crop will be available towards the end of the year.

Potatoes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will be announcing the guaranteed price for potatoes for the 1977–78 season; and whether he is satisfied that in the absence of an announcement an acreage will be planted which will ensure adequate supplies over the next year, at lower prices to the housewife than in the previous two seasons.

My right hon. Friend is still considering the guaranteed price for potatoes of the 1977 crop and will make an announcement as soon as possible. Various factors influence planting intentions, but we have no reason to expect that, given normal weather, the area planted will be insufficient to meet our needs. This season's high prices resulted from the effect of last summer's drought on the yield, and in normal weather conditions the area planted would have provided ample supplies.

Horticulture (Fuel Costs)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out the estimated price rise in the costs of heating oils announced in the Budget Statement and used by the horticulture industry; and whether refunds of hydrocarbon duty will offset such increases.

The increase in the price of heating oils used by the horticultural industry resulting from the Budget Statement is estimated to be 1½p per gallon. The repayment of excise duties on oil used for heating and soil sterilisation by horticulturists has been increased to offset the rise in price.

Beef Prices

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what extra payment of monetary compensatory amounts will be paid on beef entering the United Kingdom from the Republic of Ireland, as a result of its recent green pound devaluation; how much he expects domestic beef prices to fall in consequence; what steps he intends to take to support farmer's returns and at what cost.

The net increase in the United Kingdom/Irish Republic MCA as a result of the latest devaluation of the Irish green pound is equivalent to 3·6p lb on fresh and chilled carcase beef. It is not possible to predict how much this might affect beef prices, but United Kingdom producer returns continue to be underpinned as necessary by our current support arrangements of premiums and intervention.

Fishing Industry (Icelandic Negotiations)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects an agreement to be reached with the Icelandic Government about fishing rights.

The Commission is expected to report on the present position at the Foreign Affairs Council on 5th April. Her Majesty's Government have left no doubt about the importance they attach to an early and satisfactory settlement.

Environment

Property Services Agency

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment for what purpose the Property Services Agency has entered into a lease of office buildings at Bank House/Sovereign House, Sheffield; and which accommodation at present leased will be vacated as a result.

The offices have been leased to house new regional offices of the Inland Revenue and the Health and Safety Executive. The staff will come from several existing buildings in Sheffield and elsewhere, some of which will be surrendered if not required for other use.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what purpose the Property Services Agency has entered into a lease of office buildings at Andover Road, Winchester; and which accommodation at present leased will be vacated as a result.

The Property Services Agency has leased office buildings in construction at Andover Road, Winchester to rehouse a Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food divisional office and two Inland Revenue tax offices. The present accommodation at Government Buildings, Christchurch Road will be sold to provide land for housing. The leases at Black Swan Buildings, Southgate Street and 13 Southgate Street will be surrendered.

Waste Disposal

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he remains satisfied with the adequacy of the present legislation for the protection of the environment, particularly regarding the tipping and burning of rubbish especially at night, in the light of the practice at a site at Hamlet Hill, Roydon.

Adequate powers are available under the site licensing provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, which allow waste disposal authorities to prohibit the deposit of controlled waste where this is necessary to protect the environment, and under the Public Health Act 1936.I am writing to my hon. Friend about the site to which he refers.

Concorde

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has yet received copies of the report of the Noise Advisory Council about Concorde; and how soon after Easter he expects to be in a position to comment on this and indicate what action he will take.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave him on 25th March—[Vol. 928, c. 707.]I expect this report to be published later this month.

Water Metering

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the statutory requirement under which commercial metering devices installed by regional water authorities are required to be of approved design and accuracy and subjected to routine inspection by trading standards officers.

None. No regulations have been prescribed under either Section 11 of the Weights and Measures Act 1963 or Section 32 of the Water Act 1973 to require water meters to be subject to such approval and inspection. However, consumers are doubly protected; firstly, by the dispute procedure provided by paragraph 59 of Schedule 3 of the Water Act 1945; secondly, by the offence provisions of section 16 of the Weights and Measures Act 1963.

Sports Council

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the members of the Sports Council at 1st April 1977.

The members of the Sports Council as at 1st April 1977 are as follows:

  • Chairman
  • Sir Robin Brook, CMG, OBE
  • Vice-Chairmen
  • Mr. J. I. Disley
  • Mr. B. P. Atha
  • Members
  • Miss E. Alexander, OBE
  • Mrs. E. Baker
  • Mr. J. Charlton
  • Mr. N. R. Collins
  • Mr. J. S. Edbrooke, OBE
  • Mr. G. Edwards
  • Mrs. M. A. Glen Haig, CBE
  • Mr. A. Hardaker, OBE
  • Mr. P. Heatly, CBE
  • Mr. W. J. Hicks
  • Mr. F. J. Hill, CBE
REGIONAL COUNCIL FOR SPORT AND RECREATION
ChairmanVice-Chairman appointed by Minister of State for Sport and RecreationVice-Chairman elected by local authority representatives
NorthernJ. S. Calvert, T.D.J. Dunning.Councillor R. C. Baxter.
Yorkshire and Humberside.R. Hoyle, C.B.E., J.P.Professor J. A. Patmore.Councillor J. C. Cornwell.
North WestLord Pilkington.C. Muir.Councillor H. S. Armitage, O.B.E., J.P.
East MidlandsJ. Cattermole.Mrs. E. M. Tomlinson, J.P.Councillor J. Carr.
West MidlandsC. Cadbury, C.B.E.Vacant.Councillor Mrs. D. I. P. Gask, O.B.E., J.P.
EasternP. Wayre.Mrs. P. A. Bowen-West.Councillor J. H. Walker.
SouthernA. J. Sage, J.P.C. Hall.Councillor W. C. Carvosso.
South WesternN. R. Collins.G. Somerset.Councillor R. D. Cooper.
Greater London South East.Lord Selsdon.Vacant.Vacant.

Waste Paper Collection

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, in the light of the success of the Paper Savings Movement, based on 7, Barclays Avenue, Salford, and the sums of money raised

  • Mr. J. W. T. Hill
  • Mr. E. S. Hillman
  • Mr. P. Lewis
  • Lt. Col. H. M. Llewellyn, CBE
  • Mr. P. B. Lucas, DSO, DFC
  • Mr. I. S. McCallum
  • Mr. A. J. M. Miller, DSC, VRD
  • Mr. K. K. Mitchell
  • Lord Rupert Nevill
  • Mr. A. Pascoe, MBE
  • Miss M. E. Peters, MBE
  • Professor H. B. Rodgers
  • Mr. W. J. Slater
  • Dr. P. N. Sperryn
  • Mr. M. R. Steele-Bodger
  • Mr. P. Stephenson
  • Lt. Gen. Sir James Wilson, KBE, MC
  • Mr. J. B. Wilson, OBE

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state the amount of the Sports Council grant for 1977–78; and what percentage increase this represents over 1976–77.

Subject to the approval of the Estimates that have been presented to Parliament, the grant-in-aid to the Sports Council will be –11·5 million. In cash terms this represents an increase of 12·7 per cent. over 1976–77.

Sport And Recreation (Regional Councils)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the chairman and vice-chairman of the regional councils of sport and recreation.

The information is as follows:for local good causes, if he will investigate methods by which more paper saving organisations can be encouraged; and if he will make a statement.

We are keen to encourage successful waste paper collection schemes by voluntary groups when and where conditions are favourable. We shall be taking measures later this year, centring on a free guide giving detailed practical advice to voluntary groups. There will also be a national symbol and slogan. It is clear that there will need to be a great deal of co-operation between voluntary groups and the other interests concerned in waste paper collection.

Housing Action Areas (Reports)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place a copy of all housing action area declaration reports, which are available by law in council offices, in the Library.

No. These reports are not basically any different from the many other types of reports commissioned by local authorities and there would be no point in singling them out for special treatment in this way. A report on a housing action area is a working document prepared mainly to assist the local authority itself to take a decision and, after declaration, is made available for inspection locally, with other relevant documents, to anyone interested.

Transport

Pedestrian Crossing (Ash)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport why his Department has not yet approved the proposal of Surrey County Council, supported by the Ash Parish Council, for a pedestrian crossing on the A323 Aldershot-Guildford road at Ash Street, Ash, as part of the Council's 1977–78 programme.

The county council has been informed that the volume of traffic and the number of pedestrians wishing to cross at this site do not justify the provision of a Pelican crossing.

Road Repairs (London)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport, in the light of the fact that the Government's policy for expenditure has led local authorities in the Greater London area to cut down on road repairs and that in many boroughs there are now dangerous potholes measuring 12 inches to 15 inches in circumference and of depths of 3 inches to 5 inches which are causing dangerous hazards to motorists and pedestrians, what action he proposes to take to prevent loss of life and danger to limb by these dangerous roads and streets.

Maintenance of roads other than trunk roads is the responsibility of the local authority concerned. In the case of the Greater London Council, £180 million was accepted for Transport Supplementary Grant purposes for 1977–78 and it is for the GLC to decide, in consultation with the London boroughs, how this should be allocated between road maintenance and other local transport functions.Local authorities have been told they should keep in mind the overriding importance of the safety of travellers.

Subsidies

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, from sources available to him, he will publish figures for the proportion of urban public transport expenditure provided by revenue subsidies in Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, London and each of the six metropolitan counties.

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply on 28th March to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing).—[Vol. 929, c. 32–3.] Revenue from fares expressed as a percentage of operating costs in 1976–77 for London and the six English metropolitan areas is as follows—based on estimates provided by local authorities in mid 1976:

1976–77 Percentage
London (including underground)71
Greater Manchester70
Merseyside62
Tyne and Wear66
West Midlands59
South Yorkshire51
West Yorkshire77

Road Fund Licence

asked the Secretary of State for Transport, in view of the fact that for many years numbers of motorists have persistently refused to pay the road fund licence, what action he proposes to take to ensure that the recently announced £50 road fund tax is applied to all motorists.

Experience suggests that the level of evasion is not affected by increases in the rates of duty. Last year my Department received and acted upon over 1 million reports of apparent unlicensed use. A new survey of evasion is now in hand, and given centralisation of vehicle licensing records on computer at Swansea I am considering new methods both of deterring evasion and of catching evaders.

Passenger Coaches (Asbestos)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied that there is no danger to daily commuters travelling in coaches where blue asbestos has been inserted in the construction.

Where blue asbestos has been used in the construction of passenger coaches it is normally exposed only during maintenance and repair or as the result of an accident. My right hon. Friend is satisfied, on assurances from the British Railways Board, that in normal service the levels of blue asbestos dust to which passengers are exposed are well below the standards recommended by the Advisory Committee on Asbestos.

Home Department

National Council For Civil Liberties

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what public funds have been made available to the National Council for Civil Liberties (a) in 1976, and (b) to date in 1977; and for what purposes.

I am informed that the Equal Opportunities Commission has made a grant of £5,000 to the National Council for Civil Liberties towards a three-year project on women's rights. The project includes the production of a film illustrating tribunal procedures for use in courses in advocacy in tribunals with particular reference to the Sex Discrimination Act and Equal Pay Act. No other public funds have been made available to the NCCL.

Immigrants (Forged Passports)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the growing practice of immigrants obtaining false and forged passports to enter Great Britain, what further action he has taken to prevent such malpractices; on how many occasions he has been notified of cases in the past generally and by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West in particular; and what action he took on these notifications.

Both the Immigration Service and the police have established special intelligence units whose functions include the prevention and detection of attempts to enter the United Kingdom illegally with false or forged passports—including forged British visitors passports. Both services work closely with their counterparts in neighbouring countries in combating illegal entry.Any relevant information, whether general or about individual cases, which may come to the attention of hon. Members should be given to us, and will be actively followed up wherever that is possible. It would require disproportionate expenditure to compile from records of individual cases the information requested about notifications from hon. Members or others.

Terrorism Prevention

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; how many have been subsequently charged with offences; and with what offences they have been charged.

2,500 people have been detained in Great Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976. An extension of detention under Section 7 of the 1974 Act or Section 12 of the 1976 Act has been approved in 250 cases; a further 568 people were detained for 48 hours or less. 1,682 people have been detained pending further examination at ports under the supplemental orders made under the Acts.110 people detained under the Acts have been charged with offences in Great Britain. Eleven of them have been charged with offences under the Acts. Eight of the remainder have been charged with murder, three with attempted murder, 12 with conspiracy to cause explosions, seven with unlawful possession of explosives, six with conspiracy to possess or procure explosives with intent to endanger life, seven with contravention of Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968, five with conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue, 16 with theft, one with robbery, nine with burglary, one with assisting offenders, two with causing criminal damage, two with attempting criminal deception, one with handling a stolen vehicle, three with handling stolen property, one with unlawful wounding, one with possession of drugs, three with wasting police time, two with causing an explosion, one with harbouring a person known to have committed an arrestable offence, one with attempted theft, one with assault on police, one with being found on enclosed premises, one with possessing an offensive weapon, one with fraud, two with offences under Section 6 of the Road Traffic Act 1972 and one with criminal deception.In addition, three people have been returned to the Irish Republic and there charged, two with burglary and one with robbery. Fifteen people have been returned to Northern Ireland and there charged, two with murder, one with conspiracy to cause an explosion, three with armed robbery, two with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, three with unlawful possession of explosives, two with causing an explosion, one with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and one with burglary.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been charged with offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; and under which sections of the Act the charges have been brought.

Eight people have been charged in Great Britin with offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976; two under Section 10(1)(a) and Section 10(2), two under Section 10(1)(a), one under Section 1(1)(b), one under Section 9(1), one under Section 9(2)(a), and one under Section 11(1). Three people were charged in Great Britain under Section 1(1)(b) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has refused an extension of five days to the police for the holding of a suspect under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; and, if so, how many.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department of the charges brought against suspects initially held under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, whether any have been dropped before the case was heard; if so, which charges; whether any charges have led to an unsuccessful prosecution; if so, which charges; whether any charges have led to a successful prosecution; and, if so, in each case, what was the sentence imposed.

As I indicated in the course of the debate on the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976 (Continuance) Order 1977 on 9th March, I have asked the police to consider whether information on the outcome of charges can be provided and I hope that further information will be available shortly.

Exclusion Orders

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been served with exclusion orders under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; how many have been deported to (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland; how many have appealed against exclusion orders; and how many appeals have been successful.

My predecessor and I have made 96 exclusion orders under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976. Notice of the making of an exclusion order has been served on 88 people, 82 of whom have been removed, 59 to Northern Ireland and 23 to the Irish Republic. Nineteen of the 88 made representations objecting to the order and my predecessor revoked the order in five of these 19 cases.

Hooliganism And Vandalism

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will initiate a campaign against hooliganism and vandalism.

The police, and others in co-operation with the police, area already waging a campaign against these undesirable and criminal activities. My actions are designed to support that campaign.We have made provision for increases in police strength, promoted discussion of measures to combat hooliganism associated with football matches, and will soon hold a conference about measures to prevent vandalism.We also propose, through the Criminal Law Bill, which is being considered in another place, to increase substantially the maximum fines and amounts of compensation which offenders may be ordered to pay by magistrates' courts for offences associated with vandalism and hooliganism.This is not a matter for the Government or the police alone. Our campaign needs in particular the support of all those who are in a position to control or influence young people who may be tempted to commit acts of hooliganism and vandalism.

Girls (Prisons And Remand Centres)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many 14 to 16-year-old girls were in (a) prisons and (b) remand centres at the latest available date; and how many of them were 14-year-olds;(2) how many 14 to 16-year-old girls were in (

a) prisons and ( b) remand centres at the latest available date.

On 28th February 1977 there were 15 girls aged 15 or 16 in prison in England and Wales, and 10 in remand centres. There were no 14-year-old girls in Prison Service establishments on that day.

One-Parent Families

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to implement the Finer Report's recommendation that maintenance and affiliation order defaulters should not be imprisoned.

My right hon. Friend has no present intention of introducing legislation for this purpose. He is not satisfied that this recommendation could be implemented without causing unaccept- able hardship to the recipients or unacceptable extra public expenditure.

Prisoners

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were in cells designed for one and how many in cells designed for two at the latest available date.

The information requested is not available from central records and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were (a) awaiting trial and (b) sentenced at the latest available date.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total prison population at the latest available date; how many of these are women; and how many are aged between 14 to 16 years.

On 28th February last there were 41,577 persons in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales. Of these 1,319 were females and 2,059 were aged 14–16 years.

Prison Population

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report the population of certified normal accommodation of each prison, remand centre, borstal and detention centre at the latest available date.

The information requested is given in the following table, which indicates the position on 13th February last:

ESTABLISHMENT AND POPULATION IN CNA
Establishments for Male Offenders
Remand Centres
Ashford412
Brockhill137
Cardiff100
Exeter54
Latchmere136
Low Newton251
Norwich52
Pucklechurch85
Risley764
Thorp Arch156
Winchester119
Local Prisons
Bedford272
Birmingham1,018
Bristol559
Brixton1,048
Camp Hill1
Cardiff388
Canterbury327
Durham1,024
Dorchester243
Exeter433
Gloucester338
Leeds1,067
Leicester365
Lewes353
Lincoln525
Liverpool1,559
Manchester1,495
Norwich399
Oxford283
Pentonville1,339
Shrewsbury256
Swansea287
Wandsworth1,377
Winchester560
Wormwood Scrubs1,365
Closed Training Prisons
Acklington301
Albany272
Aylesbury306
Blundeston404
Channings Wood237
Chelmsford192
Camp Hill494
Coldingley269
Dartmoor450
Erlestoke27
Exeter38
Featherstone158
Grendon170
Gartree238
Haverigg467
Hull83
Kingston (Portsmouth)101
Lancaster199
Long Lartin318
Maidstone393
Northallerton187
Northeye335
Nottingham249
Onley340
Parkhurst379
Preston543
Ranby481
Reading143
Shepton Mallet251
Stafford733
Standford Hill169
Swinfen Hall173
Verne499
Wakefield733
Open Training Prisons
Appleton Thorn298
Ashwell322
Ford541
Kirkham401
Leyhill296
Rudgate308
Springhill188
Standford Hill366
Sudbury348
Borstals
Feltham (Finnamore)50
Gaynes Hall164
Gringley71
Guys Marsh183
Hatfield196
Hewell Grange93
Hollesly Bay354
Lowdham Grange210
Usk82
Westerby224
Deerbolt156
Dover201
Everthorpe359
Feltham268
Glen Parva278
Grendon10
Hindley306
Huntercombe167
Manchester197
Portland453
Rochester389
Stoke Heath438
Wellingborough315
Wormwood Scrubs146
Detention Centres
Campsfield House60
Eastwood Park128
Foston Hall72
Kirklevington130
Send89
Whatton (Junior)104
Aldington80
Blantyre house83
Buckley Hall81
Haslar66
Hollesley Bay97
Medomsley69
New Hall72
North Sea Camp135
Usk83
Werrington74
Watton (Senior)84
Sub-Total (Males39,364
Establishments for Female Offenders
Remand Centres
Low Newton28
Pucklechurch61
Risley147
Prisons
Askham Grange115
Drake Hall98
Durham36
East Sutton Park17
Holloway292
Moor Court102
Styal200
Borstals
Bulwood Hall123
East Sutton Park38
Styal15
Sub-Total (Females)1,272
Grand Total (Males and Females)40,636

Some 660 other prisoners were held in hospital and other units not forming part of certified normal accommodation.

Boys (Remands To Prison)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to lay an order preventing boys aged 14 years being remanded to prison service establishments; and if he will out line his policy on the matter.

The Government's policy is to phase out the remand of all juveniles to prison department establishments under certificates of unruliness. Progress depends on the provision of the necessary alternative resources within the local authority system. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Social Services and for Wales plan to discuss the next step in phasing out these remands with the local authority associations later in the year, in the light of the resources available and of experience in absorbing all 14-year-old girls on remand in the child care system.

Parole And Sentence Remission

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plan to bring forward new proposals for (a) remission and (b) parole; if so, for what category of prisoner; and, if not, why not.

My right hon. Friend naturally keeps these matters under continuing review, but he has no immediate plans to bring forward new proposals.

Begging, Drunkenness And Prostitution

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were imprisoned for simple drunkenness in the last year for which figures are available; and how many are currently in prison.

None, because the maximum penalty for simple drunkenness is a fine. Some of the 2,463 persons received during 1976 into prison in default of payment of a fine for drunkenness may have been fined for simple drunkenness, but it would not be possible without disproportionate cost to ascertain the precise number.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women and (c) young persons, are currently in prison for begging or sleeping rough; how many of these were imprisoned without the option of a fine; and what was the sentence in each case.

On 30th June, 1976, there were 17 people in prison for begging or sleeping out. All were adult males, 13 had been sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine, five for three months, five for one month and one each for four months, two months and 14 days.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to decriminalise the offenders of (a) simple drunkenness (b) begging and sleeping rough and (c) soliciting by prostitutes.

We have no present proposal for legislation which would make it no longer a criminal offence to be drunk in a highway or other public place; action on this matter would need to be carefully weighed, because of the implications for public expenditure. Offences of begging and sleeping rough, and soliciting by prostitutes, have recently been reviewed by the Working Party on Vagrancy and Street Offences, whose report, as announced on publication, the Government have accepted in principle. We propose to take a legislative opportunity in due course to implement its recommendations.

Sunday Trading

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any proposals to amend the Shops Act to give more discretion to shop keepers in tourist areas to open on Sundays.

Departmental Correspondence

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the administrative procedures of his Department in order to ensure that all letters sent by Ministers receive replies, or reminders are sent.

Administrative procedures relating to ministerial correspondence in my Department are kept under constant review.

Prison Costs

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average weekly cost of keeping (a) a man, (b) a woman and (c) a schoolchild in prison.

In the financial year ended 31st March 1976, the latest date for which information is available, the average weekly cost of keeping a man and a woman in prison was £75 and £101, respectively. The cost of keeping young persons of school age in prisons is not separately recorded.

Prisons (Special Units)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many specialised Rule 43 units there are at each of Her Majesty's prisons by location; what is the individual accommodation of each unit; what is the size of the waiting list at each prison for admission to a Rule 43 unit; what is the longest period that a prisoner has remained in a Rule 43 unit; and when these were established.

There are three special units in Gloucester, Reading and Wakefield prisons. These units house men who have been segregated for their own protection under Rule 43 elsewhere and are likely to need such segregation for a considerable time. The other details asked for are:

GloucesterReadingWakefield
Number of cells819239
Waiting list*1785
Date openedOctober 1973April 1970November 1975
* On 4th March 1977.
The longest period a prisoner has remained in one of these units is seven years—that is, since the unit at Reading opened.

Broadcasting (Annan Report)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from journalists of Border Television Limited about misrepresentation in the Annan Committee Report; and if he will make a statement.

None; though I understand that representations have been made to the secretariat of the Annan Committee.

Scotland

Food Supply

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the extent of Scottish self-sufficiency in major foodstuffs, as reflected by Scottish production and Scottish patterns of consumption.

The following estimates relate to 1973–74:

Production as percentage of Consumption
Beef105
Mutton and Lamb300
Pigmeat85
Poultrymeat140
Liquid Milk100
Cheese90
Butter15
Eggs80
Barley90
Oats105
Wheat20
Potatoes90
Fish300
These estimates cover the major commodities that can be produced in Scotland. They exclude a number of minor items such as vegetables and temperate fruits where Scottish self-sufficiency is relatively low and a large range of commodities not grown in Scotland at all such as tea, coffee, citrus fruit, sugar and rice. Thus in total they account for about 60 per cent. of Scottish food consumption.

Blind Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons are registered as blind in Scotland.

This information is no longer collected centrally. At 31st December 1974, the last date for which figures are available, there were 10,063 persons in Scotland who were registered as being blind.

A74 (Accidents)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the figures for injury accidents on the A74 for each of the last three years showing, where possible, the weather conditions during which these accidents happened.

The total number of injury accidents on the A74 south of

January-MarchApril-JuneJuly-SeptemberOctober-DecemberTotal
197429514653179
197534425337166
197621213034106

Roads (Dundee)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress is being made towards improvement of trunk roads in Dundee; and what are the projected costs for improvements already planned.

Improvement of the western part of A972 Kingsway trunk road in Dundee is being planned.The statutory orders for the first phase were published in June 1976 and I hope that the last of the objections lodged against them will be withdrawn shortly. The other phases are at an earlier stage of consideration and similar statutory procedures will be necessary.The estimated cost at November 1976 prices for the first phase is £3·7 million, but detailed estimates of the cost of the remaining improvements are not available.

Community Service

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what experiments are currently being carried out into community service orders; and where they are based;(2) what is the cost to date of experiments in community service orders.

Grampian, Lothian, Strathclyde and Tayside Regional Councils have agreed in principle to participate in experimental community service schemes for offenders and planning is proceeding. No expenditure has yet been incurred on the operation of these schemes.

Motorways

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what mileage of motorway is under construction in

the M74 for the years 1974, 1975 and 1976 are set out in the following table. It is not possible readily to give concise details of weather conditions in relation to individual accidents but, as a general guide, the information is also shown for each quarter.

Scotland; and what starts will be made on motorway projects in each year to 1982.

Eight miles of motorway are under construction. A start should be made in April on a scheme of about one mile, tenders have been received for a further scheme of just over five miles, and I expect that a further scheme of about 4½ miles will start towards the end of the year. In view of the need to control public expenditure the programme is being kept under review. It is, therefore, not possible to allocate starting dates to other motorway schemes at present.

Hunterston B Power Plant

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the costs per unit of electricity produced at Hunterston B, inclusive and exclusive of research and development costs and capital and fixed charges; and how they compare with the average costs of production in Scotland.

I am asking the Chairman of the South of Scotland Electricity Board to write to the hon. Member.

Power Stations (Torness And Carriden)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement on planning consent and consent under Section 2 of the Electric Lighting Act 1909 given to the South of Scotland Electricity Board in respect of sites at Torness and Carriden indicating what progress has been made.

Consent under Section 2 of the Electric Lighting Act 1909 for the construction of a steam generating heavy water reactor power station at Torness was given to the South of Scotland Electricity Board on 5th February 1975 after a public local inquiry had been held. The consent carried with it planning permission under Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development) (Scotland) Order 1950, as read with Class XIX of the first schedule to the order. No work on the construction of the station has been undertaken pending completion of the current review of the SGHWR programme.Following a public local inquiry in May 1974 into the South of Scotland Electricity Board's application for Section 2 consent to construct an oil/gasfired power station at Carriden the reporter concluded that further information on atmospheric conditions in the Forth Valley was required. A survey being undertaken by the Warren Springs Laboratory has been extended accordingly. When the findings of the survey, which are expected later this year, are available, further consideration will be given to the board's application.

Sports Council (Grant)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the amount of the Sports Council grant for 1977–78; and what percentage increase this represents over 1976–77.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the grant-in-aid to be paid to the Scottish Sports Council in 1977–78 will be £1·9 million. This represents an increased in cash terms of 11·7 per cent. over 1976–77.

Teacher Training Colleges

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in the absence of costings and a feasibility study, upon what criteria his proposals in the consultative document on the future of teacher training colleges in Scotland are based.

The proposals take account among other things of the reduced need for teachers, the development of in-service training, the educational effectiveness of the colleges of education and the need to run them economically.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he now expects to make a statement of his conclusions on the future of the teacher training colleges in Scotland.

I have nothing to add to the answer given on 23rd March to Questions by the hon. Members for Dunbartonshire, East (Mrs. Bain), Edinburgh, North (Mr. Fletcher), Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) and Edinburgh, West (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton).—[Vol. 928, c. 1277–78.]

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, before issuing the consultative document on teacher training colleges in Scotland, he considered the proposals of the Educational Institute of Scotland that the colleges should not be closed or merged, but that the intake to all of them should be cut back, with slightly heavier cuts being borne by the larger colleges.

I am not aware of any such proposals, but I am considering the comments made by the Educational Institute of Scotland on the consultative document.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he considered any alternative reorganisation for teacher training colleges in Scotland before issuing the consultative document; if so, what other possibilities he considered; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he considered closing or merging any colleges of education in Scotland other than the four mentioned in the consultative document; what were his reasons for choosing the four colleges concerned; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend considered a number of possibilities. The reasons for his proposals are set out in the consultative paper.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations he will have on possible and viable diversification within the Scottish colleges of education.

I am considering various suggestions for diversification of the range of courses in colleges of education put forward in response to my right hon. Friend's consultative paper of 17th January.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the publication of the document "Teacher Training from 1977 Onwards", he is still considering the option of leaving all 10 Scottish colleges of education open.

Mathematics And Science Teachers

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the effect in Scotland of the plans to increase the number of mathematics and science teachers; and, in particular, whether these plans will alter his proposals for the teacher training colleges.

Discussions are being arranged with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, and other interested bodies about measures to improve the supply of teachers of subjects in which there are still shortages. I do not expect these measures to have any significant implications for my recent proposals.

Tanning Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the position of the tanning industry in Scotland.

I am aware that a number of firms in the industry, faced with rising costs for raw materials, are having cash flow difficulties and are receiving assistance from the Government through the Temporary Employment Subsidy Scheme.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has had from the Scottish tanning industry; and if he will make a statement.

Bachelor Of Education Degree

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will undertake a re-examination of the case for a four-year Bachelor of Education degree for Scottish primary teachers in place of the existing three-year diploma.

Energy

Oil Refining

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total refinery distillation capacity in each of the EEC countries and his estimate of the existing over-capacity in the terms of EEC requirements.

At the end of 1975 total refinery distillation capacities in Community countries, as notified to the OECD, were as follows:

million tonnes a year
Belgium48·7
Denmark11·0
France169·5
Germany (F.R.)153·9
Ireland2·8
Italy220·7
Luxembourg
Netherlands102·1
United Kingdom147·2
Total855·9
In the recent EEC Commission document "Community Approach to Refining Problems within the Community" [R/684/77] it was estimated that there were some 220 million tonnes a year spare capacity in the Community in 1975, after allowing for normal under-utilisation.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) of the total United Kingdom refinery capacity, what is the present over-capacity bearing in mind the present yield and current market demand;(2) what is his estimate of the number of new refineries and/or modified existing plants required to produce the volume of light and medium distillates required to meet immediate and prospective demand in the United Kingdom.

In 1976 the utilisation of gross United Kingdom annual refining capacity of about 146 million tonnes was approximately 67 per cent. After allowance for factors such as maintenance and seasonal variations in demand, this corresponds to a utilisation level of about 79 per cent. of achievable capacity. It is not possible to judge overall capacity needs by reference to the demand for particular refined products. Existing capacity is, however, sufficient to meet United Kingdom demand for middle distillates for the present and in the foreseeable future. The United Kingdom does not at present have enough secondary upgrading capacity to produce the yield pattern needed to meet national demand for light distillates, but the refining industry has put forward a number of schemes for new upgrading plants.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) considering the growing numbers of export refineries on stream, under construction or planned in the Middle East and on the Mediterranean literal, whether he proposes in collaboration with the Community to protect the EEC market;(2) whether he has recommended to or discussed with the Commission the prospect of an EEC approach to product imports involving either quantitative restrictions or additional import duties.

These problems are amongst those examined in the Commission's recent communication to the Council about the Community approach to refining problems within the Community which was briefly discussed at the Energy Council on 29th March and will be further considered by the Council in due course.

Oil (Minimum Support Price)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has now abandoned, modified or postponed his proposal for an EEC minimum support price for oil; and if he will make a statement.

No. Our position is unchanged, and the Commission was requested by the Council on 29th March to do further work on the subject.

Joint European Torus Project

asked the Secretary of State for Energy why no decision has yet been reached by the EEC Energy and Research Ministers on the siting of the thermonuclear fusion project; and when he now expects an agreement.

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier this afternoon to the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King).

Petroleum Products (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the EEC regulations dealing with the import of petroleum products.

Imports of petroleum products are, or can be, affected by the following instruments:

  • Regulation 459/68 (anti-dumping).
  • Decision 72/455 (terms for imports from third countries).
  • Regulation 3254/74 (notification of imports: extension of Regulation 1055/72).
  • Regulation 2677/75 (application of Regulation 3254/74).
  • Directive 491/76 (notification of prices).
  • Regulation 1507/76 (preferential tariff ceilings for imports from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in 1977).
  • Regulation 3021/76 (preferential tariffs for certain products originating in developing countries in 1977).
  • Regulation 3031/76 (preferential tariff quotas for imports from Spain in 1977).
  • Regulation 3037/76 (preferential tariff ceilings for imports from Israel in 1977).
  • Regulation 3040/76 (preferential tariff quotas for imports from Egypt in 1977).
  • Regulation 3053/76 (preferential tariff quotas for imports from Turkey in 1977).

Research

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any proposals to broaden research and development at the Atomic Energy Authority establishment at Harwell to allow for a higher priority of work on solar, tidal, wavepower and windpower; and if there are any plans to step up work at Harwell on improving efficiency of combustion systems using coal and other energy conservation projects.

My Department's Energy Technology Support Unit at Harwell is being built up to enable it to meet its functions of assessment and management of our growing R & D programmes in these fields and of the overall strategic assessment of national energy R & D requirements. Harwell already carries out a substantial energy R & D programme for several Government Departments. My Department is placing R & D contracts with Harwell when it is the most appropriate establishment to carry out the work.

Nuclear Power Stations

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what benefits he expects for the United Kingdom from the proposed EEC guaranteed loans for the financing of nuclear power stations.

Both nuclear power stations and industrial fuel cycle installations are eligible for loans under the Euratom scheme. I understand that applications for loans are being made by the Electricity Council and SSEB.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has now withdrawn his opposition to the proposed EEC guaranteed loans for the financing of nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement.

The United Kingdom reservation on the Euratom loans scheme was lifted at the Energy Council of 29th March 1977.

Uranium

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any proposals to support research to assess the prospects for extracting uranium from sea water.

No. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Macfarlane) on 18th October 1976.

Gas Prices

asked the Secretary of State for Energy why he has not yet published the exceptional circumstances which justify his intervention, under the Counter-Inflation Act 1973, to increase gas prices outside the provisions of the Price Code; and when he intends to do so.

The ministerial consent will appear in the Gazette tomorrow and the majority of national newspapers shortly afterwards. As to the justification for my intervention, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Basildon (Mr. Moonman) on 28th March.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Holiday Caravans

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what consideration he has given to including site rents for static holiday caravans within the Price Code.

My right hon. Friend has no powers to extend the Price Code to include rents.

Tea And Coffee

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will refer to the Monopolies Commission the proposed acquisition by the sugar monopoly Tate and Lyle of Messrs. Ridgeways from International Stores having regard to the structure already existing in the tea blending and marketing trade in the United Kingdom.

I am advised that the proposed acquisition is unlikely to qualify for possible reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission under Section 64 of the Fair Trading Act 1973.

Trade

Export Credits Guarantee Department

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether the facilities of the Export Credits Guarantee Department are available for exports to agencies of any Government unrecognised or regarded as illegal by Her Majesty's Government and, if not, what criteria are applied by ECGD to exports to such agencies.

The facilities of the Export Credits Guarantee Department are available in principle to support British trade wherever this can be conducted on a sound commercial and legal basis. Thus, for example, ECGD cover is available for exports to agencies of the Government of the Transkei at the present time subject to the Department's normal underwriting criteria. However, ECGD facilities are not available in respect of illegal trade with Rhodesia.

Trade Balances

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the approximate balance of trade of the United Kingdom

UNITED KINGDOM TRADE BALANCES* WITH EEC AND THE REST OF THE WORLD BY COMMODITY GROUP, 1976
£ million
SITC Code NumberEECRest of the World
Passenger motor cars732·1-472+237
Motor cycles etc.732·91-7-57
Domestic refrigerators, electrical725·01-23+2
Domestic washing machines725·02-27+10
* Exports (fob) less imports (cif).
The information has been derived from figures in the December 1976 issue of "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom", a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library.

Dumping

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what is the total number of anti-dumping cases currently being investigated by his Department; and what was the comparable figure in March 1976;

CommodityExporting countryDate advertised
Single-barrelled sporting shotgunsU.S.S.R.5th February 1976
Double-barrelled sporting shotgunsU.S.S.R.5th February 1976
PVC leatherclothHungary16th March 1976
PVC leatherclothEast Germany10th January 1977
Stereo flongU.S.A.24th August 1976
Stainless steel bars and billetsSpain18th October 1976
Steel reinforcing barsSouth Africa21st December 1976
Non-alloy steel sections and flatsSpain1st February 1977
Non-alloy steel sections and flatsSouth Africa1st February 1977
Non-alloy steel sections and flatsJapan14th March 1977
Printed circuit board drillsU.S.A4th February 1977
Horticultural glassU.S.S.R.17th February 1977
Horticultural glassCzechoslovakia17th February 1977
Horticultural glassRomania17th February 1977
Horticultural glassPoland17th February 1977
Socket setsJapan18th March 1977
Compressed air breathing apparatusSweden24th March 1977
High speed steelAustria25th March 1977
Tool steelAustria25th March 1977
The comparable figure in March 1976 was 10 cases. These figures do not include cases which have not reached the formal full investigation stage. It would not be appropriate to list these, since this might prejudice our inquiries. In addition the Department is currently assisting the Commission in handling three formally announced anti-dumping complaints on behalf of United Kingdom industries.

Overseas Relatives Reunion Club

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps his Department has taken to help those who have

with the EEC and the rest of the world in (a) cars, (b) motor cycles, (c) refrigerators and (d) washing machines.

Official Report all anti-dumping cases currently being investigated by his Department, indicating the date on which each investigation commenced.

The following 19 cases are currently under full anti-dumping investigation:lost money and holidays because of the collapse of the Overseas Relatives Reunion Club.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor) on 1st April.—[Vol. 929, c. 304.]

Steel (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the level of imports and exports of bulk steels, stainless steels, tool steels and alloy steels in total, and for each of the area from which they have been imported, or to which they have been exported in the first three months of the current year; and how the position compares with 12 months ago and each of the previous five years.

These categories of steel cover a large number of detailed headings in the overseas trade statistics. This factor, combined with the great number of countries involved, mean that the information could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Some indication of the level of trade of finished steel products can, however, be obtained from the published "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom" available in the House of Commons Library.

Iranian Building Fair (British Exhibitors)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what representations were made to his Department following the calling in of bank guarantees of British exhibitors following the Iranian Construction '75 International Building Fair; and what action was taken by his Department.

Representations were received from three companies, two of which requested specific help from the Department. With the agreement of the company concerned, the first was referred to the appropriate shipping and forwarding agents for attention. In the second case, at my Department's invitation, the British Embassy in Tehran has used its good offices in an effort to bring about a settlement of the dispute, so far without success. I understand that legal action is now contemplated by the United Kingdom company involved.

Trade Marks

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what consideration he has now given to the Memorandum on the Creation of an EEC Trade Mark Supplement 8/76 by the Commission of the EEC; what discussions he has had with British industry and the appropriate trade associations; and if he will publish any representations he has made to the EEC about its impact on British trade marks, trade names and other established practices.

The memorandum referred has been considered in detail by my Department in the light of the advice of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trade Marks. This body was set up to advise the Secretary of State on all trade mark matters, and consists of representatives of industry, practitioners, the legal professions and consumers. The problems posed by the creation of a Community mark are complex, and the memorandum represents an attempt by the Commission to formulate a workable scheme as a basis for discussion. Officials from all member States and the Commission have participated in two meetings of a working group at which the memorandum was discussed. The Commission will now produce a draft instrument taking account of the conclusions of this group, and this draft will form the working document for a further series of working group meetings, of which the first will be held in May of this year. The hon. Member will see from this that our views are made known during the working group discussions, so that the question of separate representations does not arise.Throughout the discussions, my officials will keep the Standing Advisory Committee informed and will seek its advice; nevertheless, any person or organisation wishing to express an individual viewpoint to my Department may, of course, do so.

National Finance

Foreign Currency Bonds

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the position with regard to the issue of foreign currency bonds in substitution for official holdings of sterling.

Following earlier discussions with the main official holders of sterling, the Bank of England, acting on behalf of the Treasury, has today advised official holders of sterling of the detailed terms of the offer of foreign currency bonds. The date of subscription will be 10 calendar days later, 14th April.2. The issue will be in the form of bearer bonds, to be denominated in four separate currencies: US dollars, deutschemarks, Swiss francs and Japanese yen. The dollar bonds will be issued with three different maturities, of five, seven and 10 years, and the issues in other currencies will be for a single maturity of seven years. Subscribers are expected to subscribe to the bonds solely from then existing holdings of sterling and will be expected normally to retain the bonds to redemption. The bonds will, however, be negotiable, and a number of leading banks and securities houses have agreed to assist holders to sell their bonds should they need to do so. While the initial offer is limited exclusively to official holders of sterling, there is no bar on subsequent disposal of bonds to others, including private buyers. Her Majesty's Government has no obligation to buy any bonds before maturity.3. Subscriptions will be payable in sterling on 14th April at the Bank of England. Because the bonds are denominated in foreign currency, it has been necessary to specify an exchange conversion formula. The sterling price of the bonds of each denomination has been based on the average of the spot rates for each currency in London at noon on the 10 business days preceding 4th April or, where it was more favourable to subscribers, the appropriate rate for such currency in London on 1st April.4. Unlike the foreign currency borrowing undertaken by Her Majesty's Government and public sector bodies hitherto, this operation is not intended to raise foreign currency in the markets for balance of payments purposes but to fund part of the existing liabilities to official holders of sterling and, simultaneously, to convert these onto a foreign currency basis. It will not, therefore, increase the total of our external debt. In order to encourage official holders to accept the change in the currency composition and maturity structure of their reserves that holdings of these bonds will involve, the terms, while based on such market analogues as there are, also incorporate deliberate adjustments to reflect that the bonds are not on all fours with normal market issues or placements.5. The terms offered, at par in all cases, are as follows:

per cent.
5-year dollar bonds8⅜
7-year dollar bonds8⅝
10-year dollar bonds8⅞
7-year deutschemark bonds
7-year Swiss franc bonds5⅞
7-year Japanese yen bonds8

6. Information on the amounts subscribed for each of these bonds will be made available after subscription day, 14th April.

Investment

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the balance of investment between inward investment by other countries in the United Kingdom and outward investment by the United Kingdom in other countries, in relation to (a) the EEC, (b) the Commonwealth and (c) the rest of the world, for the most recent available year.

In 1976 United Kingdom private investment overseas amounted to £1,923 million and overseas investment in the United Kingdom private sector to £2,124 million. No geographical breakdown of these aggregate figures is available.An analysis by area of inward and outward non-oil direct investment for 1974 is published in table 19 of "United Kingdom Balance of Payments 1965–75", published by the Central Statistical Office and available in the Library, 1975 figures are scheduled for publication in the Department of Industry journal, "Trade and Industry" in late April. No such area analysis is available of portfolio or oil company investment.An analysis of United Kingdom investment transactions with the EEC only in 1975 is included in Annex 6 of "United Kingdom Balance of Payments 1965–75".

Construction Industry (Tax Exemption Certificates)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications have been received from self-employed building trade workers for 714 certificates at the latest available date; how many of the applications have been refused; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the refusals.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) on 28th March 1977.—[Vol. 929, c. 40.] A certificate is refused where an applicant fails to meet the conditions laid down in Schedule 12 to the Finance (No. 2) Act 1975.

Invisible Earnings

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a breakdown of the net private sector invisible earnings by trading the areas, used in the Department of Trade monthly balance of payments statements Table 4, for the years 1971 to 1976.

I regret that, for practical and conceptual reasons, information on invisible earnings is not available in the detail requested. Estimates of earnings in the years 1973 to 1975 from the other countries of the European Communities as a whole have however been prepared for the categories of invisibles usually identified in the balance of payments accounts. The estimates are pub-

Net weekly value of family allowance as a percentage of average male manual earnings for a married couple with two children under 11 where earnings are the stated percentage of average earnings
Year100 per cent.60 per cent.40 per cent.
1946–474·14·14·1
1947–483·93·93·9
1948–493·63·63·6
1949–503·53·53·5
1950–513·33·33·3
1951–522·63·03·0
1952–533·83·83·8
1953–543·94·24·2
1954–553·53·93·9
1955–563·33·63·6
1956–573·13·43·4
1957–582·63·23·2
1958–592·53·13·1
1959–602·53·03·0
1960–612·32·82·8
1961–622·22·62·6
1962–632·12·52·5
1963–641·82·42·4
1964–651·72·22·2
1965–661·62·02·0
1966–671·52·02·0
1967–681·41·91·9
1968–691·22·63·6
1969–701·11·93·6
1970–711·02·43·4
1971–721·12·63·1
1972–731·02·72·7
1973–740·70·72·4
1974–750·60·62·1
1975–761·11·12·7
1976–771·01·02·3
Family allowance deduction—"clawback"—has been take into account where appropriate.Where the weekly amount of family allowance payable was increased during

lished, together with a description of the principles of estimation involved, in Annex 6 of "United Kingdom Balance of Payments 1965–75."

Family Allowances

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing for a married couple with two children earning (a) 100 per cent., (b) 60 per cent. and (c) 40 per cent. of average male manual earnings, the net weekly value of family allowance, after tax where applicable, expressed as a percentage of average male manual earnings in each year since 1946.

The figures are as follows:the income tax year, the figures are based on the average weekly rate in force over the whole year.For year up to and including 1969–70 average earnings are the Department of Employment's estimates of the average weekly earnings of full-time male manual workers aged 21 and over in manufacturing and certain other industries at October of each year. For later years the New Earnings Survey estimates of the average weekly earnings of similar workers in April of each year have been used.

Accountants (Government Contracts)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those accountancy firms which have received consultancy contracts from the Treasury and Inland Revenue in the past three years, stating the subjects of such consultany in each case.

HM Treasury

Arthur Anderson & Co. Assistance with implementing a revised financial information system for central government expenditure.

Inland Revenue

None.

Parliamentary Elections (Costs)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the total costs to public funds of the General Elections of 1964, 1966, 1970, February 1974 and October 1974, respectively.

The total costs to public funds were, respectively, £2,550,000; £2,850,000; £3,800,000; £5,850,000 and £6,850,000.

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost, both in 1977–78 and in a full year, of raising the P 11 D limit, defining higher-paid employees for the purposes of Section 69 of the Finance Act 1976, from £5,000 to (a) £6,000, (b) £7,000 and (c) £8,000.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of the estimated outturn of income tax for 1976–77 of £17,030 million, and the 1977–78 forecast after all Budget changes including those of a conditional nature of £18,065 million, what amount relates to each case to tax at the higher rates.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the breakdown of the £2,293 million of income tax reliefs granted in his Budget between the amount that will accrue to taxpayers with incomes of £4,000 or less and the amount that will accrue to those with incomes in excess of £4,000; and what the corresponding amount would have been merely to keep pace with inflation over the past 12 months.

asked the Chanlor of the Exchequer if a high income-tax payer will be given the option, if it is to his advantage of refusing the minimum grant of £80 for the next academic year and keeping the child tax allowance at the 1976–77 level.

I shall let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

Value Added Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether increases in the turnover limit for the registration of small businesses so as to maintain the value of the limit in real terms under the Sixth Directive on value added tax will be calculated from the date when the current limit was first fixed or from a later date; and, if the latter, what date.

The Sixth Directive will permit member States to maintain the real value of exemption limits for small businesses as at the time when the limit was introduced into the national value added tax system.

Sports

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the tax relief for overseas earnings announced in the Budget applies to gifted sportsmen and sportswomen competing abroad and earning substantial income or winning prizes.

Yes, provided they are employees, working abroad for the required number of days, and the earnings are properly attributable to their overseas duties.

Child Tax Allowances (Students' Parents)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how he proposes to compensate those parents of students over 19 years of age for the reduction in child tax allowances for the rest of the current academic year who do not qualify for the transitional relief set out in the reply by the Chief Secretary to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) on 29th March 1977.

I shall let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when local tax offices were notified of the transitional arrangements to be made for parents of students whose child tax allowances were to have been reduced and who cannot benefit for adjustments to parental contribution scales.

I shall let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

Investment Income Surcharge

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current value of the exemption from investment income surcharge on maintenance income at 1974 prices.

Construction Industry (Tax Exemption Certificates)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applicants for a 714 certificate who having been refused a 714 certificate and then appealed, have subsequently been granted these forms.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 31st March 1977; Vol. 929, c. 241], gave the following information:

I regret that this information could not be provided without disproportionate effort and expense. Some applicants have had their certificates granted by the appeal commissioners. Others, having initially been refused, have taken steps to meet the qualifying conditions, and have been granted certificates by their inspectors of taxes on a second application, before any appeal has been heard. No central records are available, however, of the numbers involved in either case.

Tax Allowances

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the principal personal income tax allowances would have to be in April 1977 to restore their real value to that of April 1973 and April 1976, respectively, assuming (a) an inflation rate of 17 per cent. in the year to April 1977, and (b) an inflation rate of 20 per cent. in the year to April 1977; and if he will state the cost of the appropriate changes in each case.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24th March 1977; Vol. 928, c. 646], gave the following answer:The information is as follows:

Assumption ( a) (Inflation rate of 17 per cent. for year to April 1977):

Allowance

Equivalent for real value at

April 1976

April 1973

££
Single and earning wife's allowance8601,160
Married allowance1,2691,511
Age allowance:
Single1,1821,364*
Married1,8191,949*

* Equivalent for the age exemption levels in 1973–74.

Assuming only these changes, for 1977–78 the estimated full year cost of increasing the allowances to these levels would be about £1,450 million and £3,730 million, respectively.

Assumption ( b) (Inflation rate of 20 per cent. for the year to April 1977):

Allowance

Equivalent for real value at

April 1976

April 1973

££
Single and earning wife's allowance8821,190
Married allowance1,3021,550
Age allowance:
Single1,2121,400
Married1,8661,999

Assuming only these changes, for 1977–78 the estimated full-year cost of increasing the allowances to these levels would be about £1,690 million and £4,010 million, respectively.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the various bands of income for tax purposes would have to be in April 1977 in order to cover the same real income as in April 1973 and April 1976, respectively, assuming (a) an inflation rate of 17 per cent. in the year to April 1977, and (b) an inflation rate of 20 per cent. in the year to April 1977;

Assumption ( a) (17 per cent. inflation rate for year to April 1977):

Present band (taxable income)

Revalorised from April 1976

Revalorised from April 1973

£

£

£

0–5,0000–5,8500–9,745*
5,000–5,5005,850–6,4359,745–11,695*
5,500–6,5006,435–7,60511,695–13,645
6,500–7,5007,605–8,77513,645–15,595
7,500–8,5008,775–9,94515,595–19,495
8,500–10,0009,945–11,70019,495–23,395
10,000–12,00011,700–14,04023,395–29,245
12,000–15,00014,040–17,55029,245–38,990
15,000–20,00017,550–23,400over 38,990
over 20,000over 23,400
Assuming only these changes for 1977–78, the estimated full year cost of raising the higher rate bands to these levels would be about £255 million and £710 million, respectively.

* In 1973–74 the number of bands was one less than 1976–77.

Assumption (b) (20 per cent. Inflation rate for year to April 1977):

Present band

Revalorised from April 1976

Revalorised from April 1973

£

£

£

0–5,0000–6,0000–10,000*
5,000–5,5006,000–6,60010,000–12,000*
5,500–6,5006,600–7,80012,000–14,000
6,500–7,5007,800–9,00014,000–16,000
7,500–8,5009,000–10,20016,000–20,000
8,500–10,00010,200–12,00020,000–24,000
10,000–12,00012,000–14,40024,000–30,000
12,000–15,00014,400–18,00030,000–40,000
15,000–20,00018,000–24,000over 40,000
over 20,000over 24,000
Assuming only these changes for 1977–78, the estimated full year cost of raising the higher rate bands to these levels would be about £290 million and £760 million, respectively.

* In 1973–74 the number of bands was one less than 1976–77.

Tax Credit Scheme

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to the statement of the Secretary of State for Social Services to the House, Official Report, 9th February, columns 1509–10, what would be the net cost to the public funds of introducing the tax credit scheme as amended by the following assumptions (a) child tax allowances for children under 11 years of age to be abolished and allowances for children over 11 years of age to be reduced correspondingly and child benefit to be introduced at a weekly rate of £2·34 plus a 30p supplement for each third and subsequent child, (b) the single and married tax allowances to be replaced by credits equivalent to the cash

and if he will state the cost of the appropriate changes in each case.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24th March 1977; Vol. 928, c. 646], gave the following answer:The informat