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Written Answers

Volume 930: debated on Friday 29 April 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 29th April 1977

House Of Commons

European Community Business

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list in the Official Report in the manner of his Written Answers of 7th April 1975 and 14th April 1976 all debates relating to EEC documents, Treaty Orders in Council, budgets, debates on a motion to adjourn, import duties orders or other debates related to the European Communities that have occurred since 12th April 1976.

Title:

EUROPEAN ASSEMBLY (DIRECT ELECTIONS)

Motion by Mr. Walter Harrison:

That a Select Committee be appointed to consider proposals for Direct Elections to the European Assembly and arrangements requiring action by Parliament and by the European Community following the Government's commitment to proceed to such elections:

That Miss Betty Boothroyd, Mr. John Cartwright, Mr. William Clark, Mr. Alexander Fletcher, Mr. Bryan Gould, Mr. Roy Hattersley, Mr. John Horman, Mr. Douglas Hurd, Mr. Sydney Irving, Mr. Neil Kinnock, Mr. George Reid, Sir Anthony Royle and Mr. David Steel be members of the Committee:

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records, to report from time to time and to sit notwithstanding any Adjournment of the House:

That Four be the Quorum of the Committee.

Amendments on Order Paper:

Mr. Douglas Jay, Mr. Nigel Spearing, Mr. Roger Moate, Mr. Nigel Lawson

Line 5, after 'Mr. Roy Hattersley', insert 'Mr. Eric S. Heffer'.

Mr. Douglas Jay, Mr. Nigel Spearing, Mr. Roger Moate, Mr. Nigel Lawson

Line 6, after 'Mr. Neil Kinnock', insert 'Mr. Neil Marten'.

Period of Debate: 11.34 p.m.—12.34 a.m.

Time available: One hour.

Decision:

Questions on first two paragraphs (up to and including Mr. Neil Kinnock) of motion put and agreed to.

Question put, That the first amended be made:—

The House divided Ayes 25, Noes 76.

Question accordingly negatived.

Question put, That the second amendment be be made:—

The House divided Ayes 27, Noes. 67.

Question accordingly negatived.

It being over an hour since debate began, the Deputy Speaker ruled that, Debate to be resumed this day. (See details of 18th May 1976)

Date of Debate: 18.5.76 (See also details for 12 May.)

Title:

SELECT COMMITTEE ON DIRECT ELECTIONS TO THE EUROPEAN ASSEMBLY.

Motion by Mr. Walter Harrison:

That Mr. George Reid, Sir Anthony Royle and Mr. David Steel be members of the Committee:

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records to report from time to time and to sit notwithstanding any Adjournment of the House:

That Four be the Quorum of the Committee.

Period of Debate: 2.2 a.m. to 2.26 a.m.

Time Available: Unlimited (Open-ended suspension).

Decision:

Ordered, that Mr. George Reid, Sir Anthony Royle and Mr. David Steel be members of the Committee on Direct Elections to the European Assembly.

Ordered, That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records to report from time to time and sit notwithstanding any Adjournment of the House.

Ordered, That Four be the Quorum of the Committee.

Date of Debate: 18.5.76.

Title:

NEW ZEALAND BUTTER (COMMISSION DOCUMENTS Nos. R/2099/75 and R/1025/76).

Government Motion:

That this House do now adjourn.

Period of Debate: 12.32 a.m. to 2.2 a.m.

Time available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, the motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.

Date of Debate: 19.5.76.

Title:

EEC DOCUMENTS (PROCEDURE).

Government Motion:

That this House do now adjourn.

Period of Debate: 10.15 p.m. to 1.14 a.m.

Time Available: Three hours.

Decision:

It being three hours after the motion had been entered upon, the motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed without Question put.

Date of Debate: 11th June 1976

Title:

EDUCATION

Government Motion:

That this House takes note with approval of the Resolution of the Council and of the Ministers of Education meeting within the Council comprising an action programme in the field of education (Commission Document No. R/263/76) and also of the draft directive on the education of the children of migrant workers (Commission Document No. R/2085/75); and urges the Government to ensure that any instrument adopted by the Council on this subject does not impose unacceptable obligations on those responsible for the provision of education in this country.

Period of Debate: 12.10 a.m.—1.40 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Amendments on Order Paper:

Mr. Nigel Sperring, Mr. Julius Silverman. Mr. Douglas Jay, Mr. Brian Gould

Line 1, leave out 'with approval'

Mr. Nigel Sperring, Mr. Julius Silverman, Mr. Douglas Jay, Mr. Brian Gould

Line 3, after 'also', insert 'takes note'

Decision:

First amendment negatived

Second amendment made: After 'also', insert 'take note'

Main question, as amended, put:—

The House divided: Ayes 6, Noes 1

It appearing on the report of the Division that forty members were not present, Mr. Speaker declared that the Question was not decided, and the business under consideration stood over until the next sitting of the House.

Date of Debate: 16th June 1976

Title:

WHEAT (BREAD-MAKING QUALITY)

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission document No. R/1368/76 relating to Baking Tests (cereals)

Period of Debate: 12.28 a.m.—1.26 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/1368/76 relating to Baking Tests (cereals)

Date of Debate: 17-6-76.

Title:

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES.

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of the Report on Developments in the European Communities, November 1975-April 1976 (Command Paper No. 6497).

The following documents are relevant:

R/1815/75 Commission Report on European Union.

S/227/76 Greek Application—Commission Opinion.

S/334/76 Textile Imports—EEC/Macao.

S/383/76 Textile Imports—EEC/Korea.

S/504/76 Textile Imports—EEC/Malaysia.

S/384/76 Textile Imports—EEC/Singapore.

S/644/76 Textile Imports—EEC/Japan.

S/438/76 Financial and Technical Aid to Non-Associated countries.

Unnumbered Arrangements for the Community imports of New Zealand Butter.

R/534/76 Food Aid Programme in dried skimmed milk.

Unnumbered Ministry of Overseas Development report on Food Aid.

Period of Debate: 4.38 p.m.-10 p.m.

Time Available: One whole day.

Amendment:

Mr. Bryan Gould, Mr. Nigel Spearing, Mr. Douglas Jay, Mr. Roger Moate, Mr. Neil Marten.

Line 2, at end 'add calls on the Government to be sure that the EEC fully honours the Dublin Agreement of March 1975 on imports of New Zealand butter into the United Kingdom and disagrees with the Commission Report on "European Union" (R/1815/75):

Decision:

Amendment agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, agreed to.

Resolved.

That this House takes note of the Report on Developments in the European Communities, November 1975-April 1976 (Command Paper No. 6497) calls on the Government to ensure that the EEC fully honours the Dublin agreement of March 1975 on imports of New Zealand butter into the United Kingdom, and disagrees with the Commission Report on "European Union" (R/1815/75)

Title:

EMPLOYEES' RIGHTS AND COMPANY LAW.

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/2155/75, R/2863/75, R/2381/72, R/131/73, R/69/76, R/569/74, R/2128/72, R/2053/72, R/3128/75, R/1279/75, and R/160/76 relating to Employee's Rights and Company Law.

Period of Debate: 10.1 p.m.-12.58 p.m.

Time Available: remainder of day's sitting.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved.

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/2155/75, R/2863/75, R/2381/72, R/131/73, R/69/76, R/569/74, R/2128/72, R/2053/72, R/3128/75, R/1279/75 and R/160/76 relating to Employee's Rights and Company Law.

Date of Debate: 7.7.76.

Title:

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (UNITS OF MEASUREMENT)

Government Motion:

That the House welcomes the Directive (R/3070/75) relating to units of measurement, as mitigating the obligations assumed under the Treaty of Acession; and also welcomes the Government's intention to seek the clarification and amendment of the Directive as outlined in the replies to the honourable Members for Newham South and Macclesfield on 27 May, Official Report, c. 375–8.

Period of Debate: 10.26 p.m.-11.56 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House welcomes the Directive (R/3070/75), relating to units of measurement, as mitigating the obligation assumed under the Treaty of Accession: and also welcomes the Government's intention to seek the clarification and amendment of the Directive as outlined in the replies to the honourable Members for Newham South and Macclesfield on 27 May. Official Report, c. 375–8.

Date of Debate:: 12.7.76.

Title:

PUBLIC SUPPLY CONTRACTS.

Government Motion:

That this House take note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1361/73 and R/877/75 on Public Supply Contracts.

Period of Debate: 5.50 a.m.—6.15 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved.

That this House take note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1361/73 and R/877/75 on Public Supply Contracts.

Title:

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (DIRECT ELECTIONS).

Government Motion:*

That this House do now adjourn.

Period of Debate: 7 p.m.-9.59 p.m.

Time available:* Three hours.

Amendment on Order Paper:*

Decision:

That the question be now put—

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 109, Noes 196.

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Ten o'clock the motion for the Adjournement lapsed, without question put.

* See following.

See Lord President's Business statement—Hansard 12/7/76 Col. 30

Because of pressure of Parliamentary Business, debate was brought forward by means of a debate on the Adjournment. This meant that the substantial motion and amendment on order paper for 12th July could not be raised. For the record the following detail would have applied to the original arrangements for the date—

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of the First Report of the Select Committee on Direct Elections to the European Assembly (House of Commons Paper No. 489).

Time Available: Until any hour

Amendment on Order paper:

Mr. Douglas, Mr. Nigel Spearing, Mr. Bryan Gould, Mr. Robin F. Cook, Mr. Bob Cryer, Mr. Max Madden

Line 2, at end add 'calls on Her Majesty's Government not to accrue to any Convention or Agreement for Direct Elections to the European Assembly unless and until that Convention or Agreement has been debated and approved by this House'".

Date of Debate 19.7.76

Title:

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ( DRAFT BUDGET) ( COMMISSION DOCUMENTS:

R/373/76 Revised triennial financial estimates, 1976–77–78

R/672/76 Community's budgetary problems, Commission communication

R/794/76 Proposed transfer of appropriations, EAGGF Guarantee section, 1975

R1117/76 Rate of increase in non-compulsory expenditure, 1977

R/1370/75 Audit Board Report, 1973

R/118/76 Audit Board Report, 1974

R/1290/76 Discharge to Commission in respect of 1973 budgets, draft Council Decision

R/1291/76 Discharge to Commission in respect of 1974 budgets, draft Council Decision.)

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/1483/76 relating to the EEC 1977 Preliminary Draft Budget

Period of Debate: 7.15 p.m.-10.42 p.m.

Time Available: Half a day plus 1½ hours after 10 O'clock.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/1483/76 Relating to the EEC 1977 Preliminary Draft Budget.

Date of Debate: 28.7.76

(in Standing Committee)

Title:

TAX EXEMPTIONS

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/2688/1/77 and R/2689/1/75 relating to Tax Exemptions

Period of Debate: 10.30 a.m.-11.45 a.m.

Time Available: 2½ hours.

Decision:

(in Standing Committee)

Resolved that the Committee have considered Commission Documents Nos. R/2688/1/75 and R/2689/1/75 relating to Tax Exemptions.

Date: 29.7.76

Decision:

(on floor of House)

A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, etc.). That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/2688/1/75 and R/2689/1/75 relating to Tax Exemptions.

It was agreed to.

Date of Debate: 22.10.76

Title:

TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE MARKET IN MUTTON AND LAMB R/2274/75.

DAIRY SECTOR R/1742/76

BALANCE IN THE MILK MARKET R/1734/76.

CHANGES IN UNITED KINGDOM AND IRISH REPRESENTATIVE RATES R/2295/76.

MILK R/2387/76; R/2388/76; R/2389/76; R/2390/76; R/2391/76.

Government Motion:

Motion made and Question Proposed,

"… That this House do now adjourn."

Period of Debate: sometime after 11.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

Time Available: One day

Decision:

It being Four O'clock the Motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.

Title:

TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE MARKET IN MUTTON AND LAMB R/2274/75.

DAIRY SECTOR R/1742/76.

BALANCE IN THE MILK MARKET R/1734/76.

CHANGES IN UNITED KINGDOM AND IRISH REPRESENTATIVE RATES R/2295/76.

MILK R/2387/76; R/2388/76; R/2389/76; R/2390/76; R/2391/76.

Government Motion:

Motion made and Question Proposed,

"… That this House do now adjourn."

Period of Debate: sometime after 11.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

Time Available: One day

Decision:

It being Four O'clock the Motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.

Title:

LAWYERS' SERVICES.

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/2133/75 and R/646/76.

Period of Debate: 11.12 p.m.—12.45 p.m.

Time Available: 2½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved.

That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/2133/75 and R/646/76 on Lawyers' Services.

Title:

COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (VEHICLE TESTING).

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of the latest proposals of the Council of the European Communities for Road Worthiness, Tests following draft Directives R/1795/72 and R/1614/74 and in the light of the United Kingdom's leading position in this field welcomes these proposals as an important step forward towards harmonising vehicle testing arrangements within the Community.

Period of Debate: 12.46 p.m.-1.30 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved.

That this House takes note of the latest proposals of the Council of the European Communities for Road Worthiness Tests following draft Directives R/1795/72 and R/1614/74 and in the light of the United Kingdom's leading position in this field welcomes these proposals as an important step forward towards harmonising vehicle testing arrangements within the Community.

Date of Debate: 15th November 1976.

Title:

JOINT EUROPEAN TORUS PROJECT R/2284/76.

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2284/76 and of the Government's view that Culham is the best site for JET.

Period of Debate: 9.30 p.m.—11.16 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2284/76 and of the Government's view that Culham is the best site for JET.

Date of Debate: 29th November 1976.

Title:

VALUE ADDED TAX

R/1746/73; R/2268/7.

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/1746/73 and R/2268/74 on Value Added Tax.

Period of Debate: 10.17 p.m.-12.01 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved

That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/1746/73 and R/2268/74 on Value Added Tax.

Date of Debate: 2nd December 1976.

Title:

AGRICULTURE (MARKETING STRUCTURES) R/2157/75; R/238/76; R/471/76 R/2208/76.

Government Motion:

Motion made and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.

Period of Debate: 10.31–12.01 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings the Adjournment of the House lapsed without Question put.

Date of Debate: 3rd December 1976.

Title:

[RELEVANT FISHERY LIMITS BILL EEC DOCUMENTS S/353/76; R/2227/76; R/2362/76]

Period of Debate: 11.04 a.m.-3.33 p.m.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Date of Debate: 6.12.76

Title:

WATER SUPPLIES

R/2098/75

Government Motion:

That this House, recognising the existing duty of United Kingdom Water Authorities to provide sufficient and wholesome supplies of water, welcomes the EEC Draft Directive on the Quality of Water for Human Consumption (R/2098/75) and notes that it will not affect the extent to which authorities in the United Kingdom will need to enter premises to take samples,

Period of Debate: 10.36 p.m.-12.06 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, the Deputy Speaker put the Question, pursuant to S.O. No. 3 (Exempted Business).

Question agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House recognising the existing duty of United Kingdom Water Authorities to provide sufficient and wholesome supplies of water, welcomes the EEC Draft Directive on the Quality of Water for Human Consumption (R/2098/75) and notes that it will not effect the extent to which authorities in the United Kingdom will need to enter premises to take samples.

Date of Debate: 16–12–76

Title:

MEAT PRODUCTS (HEALTH REQUIREMENTS)

COM(71) 288

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of the draft EEC Directive on intra-Community Trade in Meat Products contained in COM(71) 288 and welcomes the Government's intention to press for the acceptance of Environmental Health Officers as supervising and certifying officers for the processing of meat products for intra-Community trade.

Period of Debate: 10.27 p.m.-11.57 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of the draft, EEC Directive in Intra-Community Trade in Meat Products contained in COM(71) 288 and welcomes the Government's intervention to press for the acceptance of Environmental Health Officers as supervising and certifying officers for the processing of meat products for Intra-Community trade.

Date of Debate: 16–12–76

Title:

MARINE POLLUTION

R/1146/76; R/105/76

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1146/76 and R/105/76 on Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea and Dumping of Waste at Sea.

Period of Debate: 11.50 p.m.-12.20 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1146/76 and R/105/76 on Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea and Dumping of Waste at Sea.

Date of Debate: 17–12–76

Title:

SKIMMED MILK

R/2866/76

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2866/76 on Skimmed Milk.

Period of Debate: 6.05 p.m.-7.01 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Amendment agreed to.

Main question, as amended, agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2866/76 on Skimmed Milk but regrets that the high level of stocks of milk powder make this measure necessary and urges the Government to secure a modification of the CAP in order to avoid the continual creation of such structural surpluses.

Date of Debate: 10th January 1977

Title:

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (DEVELOPMENTS)

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of the Report on Developments in the European Communities, May—November 1976 (Command Paper No. 6695).

Period of Debate: 4.27 p.m.-8.48 p.m.

Time Available: One whole day

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of the Report on Developments in the European Communities May—November 1976 (Command Paper No 6695).

Date of Debate: 10th January 1977

Title:

BANKING

R/3592/74; R/1820/75; R/2146/75

EUROPEAN EXPORT BANK

S/349/76

Government Motion:

That this House take note of Commission Documents Nos. R/3592/74, R/1820/75 R/2146/75 and S/349/76 on Banking and the European Export Bank.

Period of Debate: 8.48 p.m.-10.25 p.m.

Time Available: 2½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/3592/74; R/1820/75, R/2146/75 and S/349/76.

Date of Debate: 31st January 1977 (In Standing Committee)

Title:

IMPORT DUTIES (GENERAL) (No. 10) ORDER 1976

Motion by Mr. Douglas Jay:

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Import Duties (General) (No. 10) Order 1976 dated 2nd December 1976, a copy of which was laid before this House on 7th December, be annulled.

Period of Debate: 4.00 p.m.-5.29 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

(In Standing Committee)

Resolved, that the Committee have considered Import Duties (General) (No. 10) Order 1976 dated 2nd December.

Date: 1st February 1977

Decision:

(On the Floor of the House)

Motion made, and Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments Etc.),

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Import Duties (General) (No. 10) Order 1976 dated 2nd December a copy of which was laid before

this House on 7th December, be annulled. The House divided.

Question accordingly negatived.

Date of Debate: 31st January 1977

Title:

SKIMMED MILK R/70/77

Government Motion:

That this House take note of Commission Document No. R/70/77 on Skimmed Milk and Skimmed Milk Products."

Amendment—

'But regrets that such disposal arrangements are necessary; recognises the need to secure adjustments to the price support arrangements in order to achieve a better balance of the market in the milk sector; and urges the need to take further steps to avoid the creation of structural surpluses.'

Period of Debate: 9.59 p.m.-11.11 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Amendment agreed to

Main question, as amended, put and agreed to

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission documents R/70/77 on Skimmed Milk to Skimmed Milk products but regrets that such disposal arrangements are necessary; recognises the need to secure adjustments to the price support arrangements in order to achieve a better balance of the market in the milk sector; and urges the need to take further steps to avoid the creation of structural surpluses.

Date of Debate: 31st January 1977

Title:

CHILLING PROCESS FOR POULTRY R/I929176; R/89/77

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1929/76 and R/89/77, welcomes the progress that has been made towards arrangements for the continued use of the immersion method of chilling poultry, and supports the Government's intention to secure detailed amendments to meet the needs of the UK industry while retaining adequate health safeguards for the consumer.

Period of Debate 11.11 p.m.-11.28 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. R/1929/76 and R/89/77, welcomes the progress that has been made towards arrangements for the continued use of the immersion method of chilling poultry, and supports the Government's intention to secure detailed amendments to meet the needs of the UK industry while retaining adequate health safeguards for the consumer.'

Date of Debate: 7th February 1977

Title:

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (DIRECT ELECTIONS)

Motion by Mr. Hugh Dykes:

That this House calls on Her Majesty's Government to fulfil its undertakings to Parliament and to the Community to introduce legislation for the purpose of holding direct elections to the European Parliament: notes that unless this legislation is published forthwith there will be insufficient time for the Boundary Commissioners to complete the necessary work to meet the official target date of May-June 1978; and recalls the failure to bring forward the Bill at the earliest opportunity may prevent such elections taking place in any of the member-states, as provided in the September 1976 Convention to which Her Majesty's Government was a signatory.

Period of Debate: 4.4 p.m.-7.0 p.m.

Time Available: 3 hours

Decisions:

It being Seven o'clock, the proceedings on the motion lapsed, pursuant to Standing Order No. 6 (Precedence of Government business).

Date of Debate: 21.2.77

Title:

TEXTILES

S/1882/76; S/12/77; S/334/76; S/383/76; S/384/76; S/504/76; S/644/76; S/1203/76; R/1928/76; R/1879/76; S/1318/76; S/1325/76;S/1479/76;S/1601/76;S/1602/76; S/1633/76;S/1757/76;S/1984/76and S/205/77.

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. S/1882/76 and S/12/77 on textiles.

Period of Debate: 6.01 p.m.-11.04 p.m.

Time Available: Half a day

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. S/1822/76 and S/12/77 on textiles.

Date of Debate: 3.3.77

Title:

EXPORT CREDITS S/752/76; 1/427/76

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. S/752/76 and 1/427/76 on Export Credits.

Period of Debate 10.17 p.m.-11.11 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours.

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Documents Nos. S/752/76 and 1/427/76 on Export Credits.

Date of Debate: 9.3.77

(In Standing Committee)

Title:

ACTIVITIES OF THE DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INFORMATION IN 1975 (R/1695/76)

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Document No. R/1695/76 relating to the Report on the activities of the Directorate-General for Information in 1975.

Period of Debate: 10 a.m.-11.30 a.m.

Time Available: l½ hours

Decision:

(In Standing Committee)

Resolved that the Committee have considered Commission Document R/1695/76 relating to the Report on the activities of the Directorate-General for Information in 1975.

Date: 11th March 1977.

Decision:

(on Floor of House)

Motion made, and Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments etc.), that this House takes note of Commission Document R/1695/76 relating to the Report on the activities of the Directorate-General for Information in 1975.

Date of Debate: 15th March 1977

Title:

SAFETY AT WORK

R/960/76

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/960/76 and the Government's memorandum dated 10th March on Safety Information at the Workplace.

Period of Debate: 6.26 p.m.-8.5 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/960/76 and the Government's memorandum dated 10th March on Safety Information at the Workplace.

Date of Debate: 16th March 1977

Title:

AGRICULTURE PROPOSALS

R/360/77 and addenda 1 and 2 R/2469/76: R/2673/76

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/360/77 and addenda 1 and 2, R/2469/76 and R/2673/76; welcomes the Government's intention in respect of R/360/77 to negotiate a settlement which, taking into account the interests of consumers as well as of producers helps to secure a better balance of the market particularly in those sectors with a structural surplus, and in respect of R/2469/76 and R/2673/76, endorses the Government's view that decisions on whether Commission proposals for changes in a member state's representative rate should be accepted are primarily a matter for that member state.

Period of Debate: 4.39 p.m.-11.30 p.m.

Time of Debate: Half a day

Decision:

Amendment agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/360/77 and Addenda 1 and 2 R/2469/76 and R/2673/76; welcomes the Government's intention in respect of R/360/77 to negotiate a settlement which, taking into account the interests of consumers as well as of producers, helps to secure a better balance of the market, particularly in those sectors with a structural surplus; and, in respect of R/2469/76 and R/2673/76, endorses the Government's view that decisions on whether Commission proposals for changes in a member state's representative rate should be accepted as primarily a matter for that member state; further urges the Government to press for easier access into the United Kingdom for efficiently produced foodstuffs from outside the EEC; and opposes the EEC Commission's proposals for exclusive use of butterfat and milk proteins for a prohibitive levy on the production of isoglucose and for a tax on vegetables and marine fats and oils.

Date of Debate: 21st March 1977

Title:

COKING COAL

R/2639/76

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2639/76 and of the Comments in the Fourth Report of the Select Committee on European Legislation, etc., but is mindful that the proposal is only one of several aimed at providing long term security of Community energy supplies which as a whole are likely to be beneficial.

Period of Debate: 8.32 p.m.-10.14 p.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2639/76 and of the comments in the Fourth Report of the Select Committee on European Legislation, etc., but is mindful that the proposal is only one of several aimed at providing a long term security of Community energy supplies which as a whole are likely to be beneficial.

Date of Debate: 25th March 1977

Title:

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (DIRECT ELECTIONS)

Motion by Mr. Peter Mills:

That this House bearing in mind the Government's repeated pledges to use its best endeavours to bring about Direct Elections to the European Parliament in May or June 1978, authorises the Four Boundary Commissions to begin work forthwith.

Period of Debate: 11.07 a.m.-4.0 p.m.

Time Available: One whole day

Decision: It being Four O'clock, the debate stood adjourned.

Date of Debate: 28th March 1977

Title:

FISHERIES COM(76)660; S/102/77; S/232/77; R/388/77; R/616/77

Government Motion:

That this House takes note of Community Documents COM(76)660, S/102/77, S/323/77, R/388/77 and R/616/77 and of arrangements that have been made for the control of fishing by third countries and the management of fishery resources in the waters of member states and endorses the Government's intention to secure any further arrangements under the Common Fisheries Policy necessary to take proper account of the needs of the UK fishing industry.

Period of Debate: 11.06 p.m.-12.36 a.m.

Time Available: 1½ hours

Decision:

Question agreed to

Resolved

That this House takes note of Community Documents COM(76)660, S/102/77, S/232/77, and R/616/77 and of arrangements that have been made of the control of fishing by third countries and the management of fishery resources in the waters of member states, and endorses the Government's intention to secure any further arrangements under the Common Fisheries Policy necessary to take proper account of the needs of the UK fishing industry.

Date of Debate: 29th March 1977

Title:

BUDGET RESOLUTIONS AND ECONOMIC SITUATION R/2361/76; R/2520/76; R/566/77; R/567/77

Government Motions:

Amendment of the law

Motion made, and question proposed,

That it is expedient to amend the law with respect to the National Debt and the public revenue and to make further provision in connection with finance, but … etc.

Period of Debate: 4.56 p.m. on 29th March 1977-10.49 p.m. on 4th April 1977.

Decision:

Bill to grant certain duties to alter other duties and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance, presented accordingly and read the First time; to be read a Second time and to be printed.

Date of Debate: 1.4.77.

Title:

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT 1972.

Motion by Mr. John Lee:

That this House calls upon Her Majesty's Government to institute a review of the operation of the European Communities Act 1972, and meanwhile in furtherance of the House's oversight of Commission documents, orders that Standing Order No. 73A be amended as follows:

Leave out lines 27 to 29 and insert 'and in respect of any commission document'.

Line 41, leave out 'or commission document'.

Line 44, leave out '(or commission document)'.

Line 54, leave out 'or commission document'.

Line 56, at end insert—

  • '(4A) (a) Each committee to which a commission document is referred shall consider each document on a motion to approve, disapprove, or take note of that document (to which amendments may be moved), and subject to the provisions of the following sub paragraphs the chairman shall put any question necessary to dispose of the proceedings, if not previously concluded, when the committee shall have sat for two and a half hours after the commencement of those proceedings.
  • (b) At the first sitting of the committee, at any time after any question relating to the document has been proposed, a member of the committee rising in his place may claim to make a motion providing for a further sitting of the committee on another day, and the chairman shall put the question on such a motion forthwith, or may decline then to propose that question to the committee; and thereafter proceedings upon the original question shall be resumed.
  • (c) At the conclusion of two and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the second day on which the committee shall sit, if proceedings on the motion relating to the document have not previously been concluded, the chairman shall put any question necessary to dispose of it.
  • (d) When any motion relating to the document has been disposed of, the committee shall thereupon report the document and the result of the question upon the motion to the House without further question being put'.
  • Line 58, leave out '3(ii) or 3(iii)' and insert 'or 3(ii)'.

    Line 60, leave out 'or commisson document'.

    Line 63, leave out from 'thereon' to end of line 66.

    Line 69, at end insert—

    '(5A) When a committee to which a commission document has been referred has reported a resolution relating to the document, a motion may be made that the House doth agree with the committee in their resolution relating to that document: notice of such a motion may be given by any Member for consideration at the commencement of public business; and the question thereon shall be put forthwith'.

    Period of Debate: 11.24–3.31 p.m.

    Decision:

    Question put, That the amendment be made.

    The House divided:

    It appearing on the Report of the Division that Forty Members were not present, Mr. Deputy Speaker declared that the Question was not decided, and the business under consideration stood over until the next sitting of the House.

    Date of Debate: 4th April 1977.

    Title:

    EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (DRIVERS' HOURS) R/642/76.

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of EEC draft Regulation R/642/76 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport, the Minister of Transport's explanatory memorandum of 23rd April 1976 and the Secretary of State for Transport's supplementary memorandum of 31st March 1977.

    Proposed Amendment:

    add at end,

    …but calls upon the Government to ensure that, within certain limits and following a Community procedure, less restrictive provisions should apply for national transport than for intra-Community transport.

    Period of Debate: 10.49 p.m.-12.14 a.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    Amendment by leave, withdrawn.

    Main question put and agreed to.

    Resolved,

    That this House takes note of EEC draft Regulation R/642/76 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport, the Minister for Transport's explanatory memorandum of 23rd April 1976, and the Secretary of State for Transport's supplementary memorandum of 31st March 1977.

    Date of Debate: 6th April 1977.

    (In Standing Committee)

    Title:

    TOXIC AND DANGEROUS WASTES

    R/1966/76.

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of Commission Document R/1966/76 on Toxic and Dangerous Wastes.

    Period of Debate: 10.30 a.m.—11.30 a.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    (In Standing Committee)

    Resolved that the Committee have considered Commission Document R/1966/76 relating to Toxic and Dangerous Wastes.

    Date: 19th April 1977.

    Decision:

    (On the floor of the House)

    Motion made and Question,

    That this House takes note of Commission Document R/1966/76 on Toxic and Dangerous Wastes put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, Etc.) and agreed to.

    Date of Debate: 20th April 1977.

    (In Standing Committee)

    Title:

    RIGHTS OF ESTABLISHMENT OF DENTISTS R/2196/76

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2196/76 on Rights of Establishment of Dentists.

    Period of Debate: 10.30 a.m.-11.24 a.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    (In Standing Committee)

    Resolved that the Committee have considered Commission Document R/2196/76 relating to the Rights of Establishment of Dentists.

    Date: 22nd April 1977.

    Decision:

    (On floor of House)

    A motion was made and the Question being put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments Etc.) That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2196/76 on Right of Establishment of Dentists.

    The House divided.

    And it appearing from the report of the Division that Forty Members were not present, Mr. Deputy Speaker declared that the Question was not decided and the business under consideration stood over until the next sitting of the House,

    Date of Debate: 20.4.77

    (In Standing Committee)

    Title:

    ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DENTISTS AND SENIOR PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS R/103/77

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of Commission Document R/103/77 on Advisory Committees on Dentists and Senior Public Health Officials Period of Debate: 10.30 a.m.-11.24 a.m.

    Time Available: 1½hours.

    Decision:

    (In Standing Committee)

    Resolved, that the Committee have considered Commission Document R/103/77 relating to Advisory Committees on Dentists and Senior Public Health Officials.

    Date: 22.4.77

    Decision:

    (On the Floor of the House)

    A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments etc.), That this House takes note of Commission Document R/103/77 on Advisory Committees on Dentists and Senior Public Health Officials.

    The House divided.

    And it appearing from the Report of the Division that Forty Members were not present, Mr. Deputy Speaker declared that the Question was not decided and the business under consideration stood over until the next sitting of the House.

    Date of Debate: 20.4.77

    (In Standing Committee)

    Title:

    DATA PROCESSING R/2697/76

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2697/76 on Data Processing Period of Debate: 10.32 a.m.-11.48 a.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours

    Decision:

    (In Standing Committee)

    Resolved, that the Committee have considered Commission Document R/2697/76 relating to Data Processing.

    Date: 22.4.77

    Decision:

    (On the Floor of the House)

    A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 73A (Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, etc.), That this House takes note of Commission Document R/2697/76 on Data Processing.

    The House divided.

    And it appearing from the Report of the Division that Forty Members were not present, Mr. Deputy Speaker declared that the Question was not decided and the business under consideration stood over until the next sitting of the House.

    Date of Debate: 20.4.77

    Title:

    EUROPEAN ASSEMBLY (DIRECT ELECTIONS) (COMMAND PAPER No. 6768)

    Government Motion:

    Motion made and Question proposed, That this House now do adjourn.

    Period of Debate: 3.42 p.m.-10.00 p.m.

    Time Available: Two full days

    Decision:

    It being Ten O'clock the motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.

    Date of Debate: 21.4.77

    Title:

    FOOD LABELLING AND JAMS AND MARMALADES

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/898/76 and R/2384/76 on Food Labelling and R/2126/75 and R/3186/76 on Jams and Marmalades.

    Period of Debate: 10.18 p.m.-11.20 p.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved,

    That this House takes note of Commission Documents R898/76 and R/2384/76 on Food Labelling and R/2126/76 and R/3186/76 on Jams and Marmalades.

    Date of Debate: 25.4.77

    Title:

    EUROPEAN ASSEMBLY (DIRECT ELECTIONS) (COMMAND PAPER No. 6768)

    Government Motion:

    Motion made and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.

    Period of Debate: 4.22 p.m.-10.00 p.m.

    Time Available: Two full days

    Decision:

    Question, That this House do now adjourn, put and negatived.

    Title:

    EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (DEFINITION OF TREATIES) ORDER 1977

    EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (DEFINITION OF TREATIES) (No. 2) ORDER 1977

    Government Motion:

    That the European Communities (Definition of Treaties) Order 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 3rd March, be approved.

    Period of Debate: 10.00 p.m.-11.30 p.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted Business):—The House divided:

    Question accordingly agreed to.

    Resolved,

    That the European Communities (Definition of Treaties) Order 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 3rd March, be approved

    Resolved,

    That the European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (No. 2) Order 1977, a draft of which was laid before this House on 3rd March, be approved

    Date of Debate: 27.4.77

    Title:

    DIRECT LIFE ASSURANCE

    Government Motion:

    That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/3247/73, R/3134/74 and R/402/75 on Direct Life Assurance and the Department of Trade's Supplementary Memorandum dated 26th April 1977.

    Period of Debate: 10.23 p.m.-11.40 p.m.

    Time Available: 1½ hours.

    Decision:

    Question put and agreed to.

    Resolved,

    That this House takes note of Commission Documents R/3247/73, R/3134/74 and R/402/75 on Direct Life Assurance and the Department of Trade's Supplementary Memorandum dated 26th April 1977.

    Armed Forces (Pay)

    asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement about the pay of the Armed Forces.

    The Armed Forces Pay Review Body has submitted its Sixth Report on Armed Forces pay. It is published today as Cmnd. 6801 and copies are avilable in the Vote Office. The report covers the pay for all ranks up to and including brigadier.The Government have accepted the Review Body's recommendations, which are in accordance with the anti-inflation policy. The Government wish to express their thanks to the Review Body for its continuing valuable work.In its Report the Review Body recommends that all officers and adult Service men and women should receive a pay supplement of 5 per cent. of their gross taxable earnings within lower and upper limits of £2·50 and £4 a week respectively; and that juniors and apprentices should receive proportionately smaller supplements. It also recommends that if a supplement under current restraint measures is introduced by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body for general medical practitioners in the National Health Service the same amount should be paid to medical and dental officers in the Services of the rank of brigadier—and equivalent—and below.Finally, the Review Body recommends increases in food and accommodation charges for all members of the Services.The effective date for all these increases is 1st April 1977.

    Labour Party

    asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for York (Mr. Lyon) Official Report, 5th April 1977, column 1102, that the Opposition must disavow their candidates and representatives who go beyond official party policy, he intends to take steps to disavow Government candidates and representatives who go beyond party policy.

    Prices And Consumer Protection

    Food Subsidies

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he has any plans for further changes in food subsidies.

    As part of the planned rundown of the food subsidy programme for 1977–78 I have decided to end the household flour subsidy with effect from 1st May. The subsidy is at present worth 1p per 1b. at the retail level and costs about £8 million a year. Decisions on the ending of the remaining subsidies in milk, cheese, and bread have yet to be taken and will be announced nearer the time.

    Defence

    Hms "Danae"

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence under what article of Queen's Regulations Mr. Ronald Biggs was invited to leave HMS "Danae", rather than being arrested.

    Under the Queen's Regulations for the Royal Navy J 2406, the commanding officer of one of Her Majesty's ships is responsible for the issue of orders governing the admission of visitors. Mr. Biggs would have been asked to leave under these instructions.Since Mr. Biggs did not commit an offence while on board HMS "Danae" the only powers under which he could have been arrested would have been the powers of "citizen's arrest" under the provisions of the Criminal Law Act 1967 The relevant provisions of this Act, however, apply only to England and Wales.Whilst one of Her Majesty's ships in a foreign port has extraterritoriality—that is, it is immune from local jurisdiction and enforcement of local laws—it is not correct to regard it as floating United Kingdom territory, and all laws of the United Kingdom do not necessarily apply to all persons on board that ship. The relevant provisions of the Criminal Law Act are such an example.

    Environment

    Lancaster House And Press Centre

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the expenditure on Lancaster House and the associated Press Centre in St. James's during the last 12 months.

    Expenditure in 1976–77 by my Department on Lancaster House and the Press Centre for the 1977 conferences amounted to £1,847,000. This includes all supplies and furnishings and a temporary building in the garden of Lancaster House.

    Big Ben

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the quarter chimes of the Great Clock to be sounding again.

    Repairs to the mechanism are now virtually complete, and it is planned to restart chiming at noon on Wednesday 4th May. A test ringing will be carried out beforehand.

    Transport

    Insurance (Motoring Abroad)

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will name the European countries in respect of travel to which British motorists do not now require to obtain a green card for insurance purposes;(2) if there are any negotiations to extend the countries in respect of travel to which green cards for insurance are unnecessary to include Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.

    An EEC directive provides for travel between member States without the need for green card insurance. These arrangements have been extended to Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, but I am not aware of any proposal to extend them to other countries.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what minimum motor insurance cover applies in each of the countries which do not require a green insurance card from British insurers.

    The information will take a little while to compile. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is ready.

    Railway Accident (Newmarket)

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the recent derailment near Newmarket of a late night freight train.

    The derailment of a freight train near Kennett shortly before midnight on Friday 15th April has been reported by the Eastern Region of British Railways. There were no casualties, but there was some damage to the track, which was not reopened until 18.30 on Sunday 17th April. The derailment was caused by a loose tyre on a mineral wagon and no inquiry is being held.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Billiards And Snooker Control Council

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the recent affiliation of Rhodesia to the Billiards and Snooker Control Council, in the light of international obligations to maintain sanctions.

    The Government regret that this affiliation was accepted. Nevertheless, acceptance of it, and of the fee paid in respect of it, does not constitute a breach of our sanctions legislation.

    Belize

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration has been given to providing for the security of Belize against a future Guatemalan take-over of the territory.

    I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Warley, East (Mr. Faulds) on 21st April.—[Vol. 930, c. 135.]

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has now been achieved towards an agreement with the Government of Guatemala about the future independence of Belize.

    I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Shoreham (Mr. Luce) on 7th April.—[Vol. 929, c. 605.]

    Arabian Trade (Documents)

    asked the Secretary of State State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the policy of his Department to witness documents relating to the Arab trade boycott which include questions as to whether or not any of the directors of the British firms involved are Jews.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not witness signatures on export documents required for use in Arab countries. The only action taken by officials in the Department on documents required for use overseas is to certify that they have been signed by a notary public or other official, without taking cognisance of their content. This procedure for authenticating documents for use in a foreign country is normal international practice.

    Home Department

    Lassa Fever

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advance notice of the arrival by air from West Africa was given to the immigration authorities in connection with the citizen found last week to be suffering from lassa fever; and what precautions or arrangements for quarantine or treatment were made as a consequence.

    None. I understand that the man concerned is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies with the right of abode in this country and who, as such, did not require leave to enter from the immigration authorities.

    Prisoners

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have been held at any time for which information is available in prisons in England and Wales for crimes committed in Jersey which are not offences in England and Wales.

    On 31st March, the latest date for which information is readily available, no persons were being held in prisons in England and Wales for crimes committed in Jersey which are not offences in England and Wales. I regret that historical information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

    Police (Motor Cycle Purchases)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the police force are purchasing BMW motor cycles from Germany; if he will consult the Secretary of State for Industry about the availability of suitable British machines manufactured with the benefit of financial aid from the taxpayer under the Industry Act; and if he will make a statement.

    It is for police authorities to decide in the light of the needs of their forces which motor cycles should be bought. They are well aware of the extent to which British-made machines are available, and they take into account Home Office advice, issued after consultation with the Department of Industry, asking them and chief officers of police to survey the market carefully before buying a foreign vehicle and satisfy themselves that no suitable British-made vehicle of comparable specification and price is available. Following that advice some authorities have tested appropriate British machines and decided, for reasons they have explained to the manufacturers, that they do not meet the force requirement. The two Departments keep in close touch in this matter.

    Police (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made on the negotiations on police pay.

    My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, with the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland and me, met representatives of the three Police Federations on 7th March and invited them to return to the Police Council, on an informal basis if need be. Four meetings have taken place under the chairmanship of Sir John Nightingale, outside the Police Council, with representatives of interested parties. At the meeting on 25th April 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 forward. I understand these are now being considered by the Federations. I hope they will decide to accept them, because they represent the limit to which we can go within the framework of phase 2.

    Human Tissue Act 1961

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ensure that coroners are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the Human Tissue Act 1961.

    We have today sent out a circular letter to coroners on this matter, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

    Northern Ireland

    Domestic Violence And Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will introduce legislation to seek to extend the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976 to Northern Ireland.

    The Office of Law Reform has recently published a consultative document on the Reform of Family Law in Northern Ireland, in which one of the subjects discussed is the need for legislation similar to the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976, and comments on whether provisions of this kind should be made for Northern Ireland have been invited.

    Docks (Rating)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a list of the dock hereditaments covered by Article 2 of the Valuation (Docks) Order (Northern Ireland) 1977 and show the net effect on the rates payable on such hereditaments as a result of the application of this Article vis-à-vis the formula laid down by S.I., 1975, No. 2179 (N.I.).

    Dock hereditaments covered by Article 2 of the Valuation (Docks) Order (NI) 1977 are as follows:

    • Belfast Harbour Commissioners
    • Larne Harbour Ltd.
    • Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners
    • Warrenpoint Harbour Authority
    • Carrickfergus Borough Council
    • Coleraine Harbour Commissioners
    • North Down Borough Council (Bangor)
    • Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (Kilkeel Harbour)
    • Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (Ardglass Harbour)
    • Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (Portavogie Harbour)
    The net effect of the rates payable on such hereditaments under this article cannot be stated until revised net annual values are calculated based on certified statements of relevant receipts furnished
    1974197519761977 (up to 29th April)
    Murder211
    Attempted murder2151
    Possession of firearms or explosives851
    Armed robbery11
    Malicious damage and hijacking11
    Hijacking2
    Totals123234

    by the various dock authorities within six months following 31st March 1977 or, alternatively, within 12 months following 31st December 1976. The Commissioner will revise the net annual value within two months of receiving such a certificate.

    Public Services (Recruiting Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total cost of advertising vacancies in the education and library boards and health and social services boards, and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 1976–77.

    The actual costs of advertising vacancies in 1976–77 in education and library and health and social services boards are not available. The estimated costs are:

    £
    Education and library boards (including teaching posts)83,200
    Health and social services boards (including Central Services Agency)201,200
    The cost of advertising vacancies in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive is a matter for that body.

    Young Offenders

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will state for the calendar years 1974, 1975, 1976 and to the nearest convenient date in 1977, how many young persons have been held in prisons under the authority of transfer directions made by him under the Northern Ireland (Young Persons) Act 1974; and on what offences the young persons were held.

    The information is as follows:the young persons in prisons under the authority of transfer directions made were subsequently found guilty of the offences for which they were charged; what sentences were imposed upon them; and whether any charges were withdrawn and a lesser offence substituted.

    Twenty persons have been found guilty, and were sentenced as follows:

    Detention under Section 73 of the Children and Young Persons Act (NI) 1968
    During the pleasure of the Secretary of State3
    For 14 years1
    For 12 years1
    For 8 years1
    For 7 years2
    For 5 years3
    For 3 years3
    For 2 years1
    Imprisonment (having attained 17 years before trial)
    For 12 years2
    For 12 years (suspended for 3 years)1
    Borstal training2
    Of the remaining 22 persons who have been the subject of transfer directions, 20 have yet to come to trial—five have been granted bail: one of these absconded on 30th December 1974—and two have been acquitted.In none of these cases have any charges been withdrawn and a lesser offence substituted.

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many young persons held in prisons in Northern Ireland under transfer directions made by him were in prison for periods of longer than six months before their case came before trial; why it was not possible to complete their cases within a six-month period; and whether he will give an undertaking that all young persons held under such circumstances will have their cases brought to trial within six months.

    Four young persons were held in prison under transfer directions for periods longer than six months. In one case—eight months—police inquiries were protracted because of the complexity of the case. In two others—seven months 25 days and seven months four days—they were being jointly charged with adults and earlier hearings were not possible. In the fourth case—six months 25 days—it proved impossible to com- plete the normal processes in any shorter period.The direction of prosecutions is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions acting under the Attorney-General and, therefore, it is not possible to guarantee that cases of this kind will all be completed within a six-months limit. Under arrangements made in 1974 the Northern Ireland Office maintains close liaison with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police to ensure all possible priority for these cases, and my noble Friend the Minister of State has instructed that these arrangements should continue.

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provision is made for the education of young persons while they are held in prisons under transfer directions made by him; what various levels of instruction are given; and how many continue their education on transfer to other prisons on being found guilty.

    Young persons in respect of whom transfer directions have been made under the 1974 Act are accommodated in the Juvenile Remand Unit at Her Majesty's Prison, Belfast, or, in the case of females, at Her Majesty's Prison Armagh. On arrival each young person is interviewed ad assesed by the prison education officer, who draws up a programme of education based on the individual's needs and aspirations. Whole and part-time specialist teachers are available to provide for all levels of intellectual and academic abilities. After sentence, a full range of educational facilities is available to all inmates of prisons and borstals; full-time education is compulsory for all young persons under the statutory schoool leaving age.

    Social Services

    Travel Expenses

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the procedure for obtaining assistance with travel expenses for relatives visiting hospital patients.

    Under the supplementary benefits scheme beneficiaries and, very exceptionally, non-beneficiaries may receive assistance from their local social security office with the costs of visiting close relatives in hospital.

    Contraceptive Pill

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the health risks to women over 35 years of age who use the contraceptive pill.

    There is some risk with all medicines. The main health risk to women who use oral contraceptives is the possible development of deep-vein thrombosis and embolism; compared with nonusers, the risk has been estimated to be three times greater, whatever the age of the user, but in any case it remains very small. There is also the risk of coronary thrombosis; for women over 35, and in particular over 40, that risk is greater. Studies on the health risks of oral contraceptives have been widely publicised; doctors may be expected to be familiar with the findings and take them into account when prescribing contraceptives. The risks of contraception must, of course, be balanced against the risks of pregnancy.

    Child Benefit

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what circumstances families will be financially worse off as a result of the introduction of the child benefit scheme; whether such circumstances had been envisaged by his Department when the scheme was drawn up; and what steps he proposes taking to remove such anomalies.

    The child benefit scheme involves a major change in the structure of family support by replacing a tax allowance with a cash benefit. Inevitably the conditions of entitlement set out in the Child Benefit Act and Regulations could not be identical with those for child tax allowances; and consequently the person with title to the tax allowance may not have title to child benefit. This was made clear during the passage of the Child Benefit Act. Transitional arrangements have been made to allow continued title to full child tax allowances for parents of non-resident children and some students; and, as I said in my reply to the hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) on 22nd April—[Vol. 930, c. 192–3]—the Budget proposals reduce still further the number of the relatively few families who would still be worse off. It is not possible to frame a simple list of categories of people who would be in this position since this will typically depend on the interaction of particular circumstances. To take a fairly simple example, some people with tax-free national insurance benefits may be worse off, depending on how long they are on benefit, but only if they have substantial other income in the course of the tax year. If the hon. Member is interested in any particular group I will be glad to see if I can help him further.

    Mentally Handicapped Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many mentally handicapped adults and children there are in the South-East Staffordshire Area Health Authority area, and in Burton-on-Trent, respectively.

    Precise information about the number of mentally handicapped adults and children is not available nationally or for particular areas. The Staffordshire County Council has a record of 238 adults and 219 children in the South-East Staffs health district—including 58 adults and 66 children of school age in Burton—but it would be wrong to assume that these figures include all mentally handicapped adults and children in the district.

    Drinking And Driving

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any further plans to ask hospitals to collect information in confidence about blood alcohol concentration in victims of road accidents.

    I am not at present satisfied that the collection of such information would assist in reducing accidents caused by drinking.

    Mental Health Services

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what was the total revenue expenditure on services for the mentally ill for the East Anglian Regional Health Authority for 1975–76 and for each area health authority within that region;

    (2) what was the total revenue expenditure in 1975–76 on services for the mentally ill in the North-East Thames Regional Health Authority and for each area health authority within that region:

    (3) what was the total revenue expenditure on services for the mentally ill in 1975–76 for the North-Western Regional Health Authority and for each area health authority within that region;

    (4) what was the total revenue expenditure on services for the mentally ill for 1975–76 for the North-Western Thames Regional Health Authority and for each area health authority within that region.

    It is not possible from the accounts of NHS authorities to identify expenditure on the treatment of patients suffering from specified diseases or conditions, except where treatment is given in hospitals in which the beds are provided exclusively or predominantly for the use of a single specialty. Services for the mentally ill are provided not only in such special purpose hospitals but frequently in acute and other hospitals, and also as part of the community health services. I regret, therefore, that the information is not available in the form requested.Expenditure in 1975–76 of area health authorities within these four regional health authorities on hospitals specifically designated as psychiatric (mental illness) was as follows:

    EAST ANGLIAN REGION
    £
    Area Health Authority—
    Cambridgeshire2,478,8883
    Norfolk5,406,814
    Suffolk3,386,213
    Total for Region11,271,910
    NORTH-WESTERN REGION
    £
    Area Health Authority—
    Lancashire5,791,019
    Salford (Teaching)4,947,851
    Stockport198,545
    BoltonNIL
    BuryNIL
    Manchester (Teaching)NIL
    OldhamNIL
    RochdaleNIL
    TamesideNIL
    TraffordNIL
    WiganNIL
    Total for Region10,937,415

    NORTH-EAST THAMES REGION
    £

    Area Health Authority

    Essex6,752,418
    Barking and Havering4,057,462
    Camden and Islington5,343,652
    City and East London1,191,067
    Redbridge and Waltham Forest8,153,044
    Enfield and HaringeyNIL
    Total for Region25,497,643

    NORTH-WEST THAMES REGION
    £

    Area Health Authority

    Bedfordshire3,104,069
    Hertfordshire2,605,975
    Barnet4,583,483
    Brent and Harrow5,030,002
    Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow (Teaching)5,946,572
    HillingdonNIL
    Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster (Teaching)7,773,843
    Total for Region29,043,944

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total expenditure on services for the mentally ill for 1975–76 for each local authority within the London Central Region, Regional Planning Area No. 8 of the Social Work Service.

    Some local authority services—e.g., field social work services—are of a general nature, and it is not practicable to separate out expenditure on these into expenditure on specific client groups. Thus, total expenditure by individual local authorities on services for the mentally ill cannot be identified.

    Christmas Bonus

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if it is his intention to pay a bonus to retirement pensioners at Christmas 1977.

    No. A bonus payment is bound to be arbitrary in coverage, and to exclude many deserving groups. A general uprating of benefits, such as will take place in November, is an altogether fairer method of distributing the resources which are available.

    Private Patients

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in how many cases he has authorised access by private patients to specialised facilities in the National Health Service under Section 8 of the Health Services Act: what charges he has made in each case; and what conditions for such access he has laid down.

    None so far. I am currently discussing with representatives of the medical profession and intend shortly to consult other interested bodies about the detailed procedures for affording private patients access to specialised facilities in NHS hospitals under the provisions of Section 8 of the Health Services Act.

    NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN RECEIPT OF, AND ANNUAL COST OF, ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE IN WALES
    Number of people in receipt of attendance allowance as at 31st MarchEstimated cost of attendance allowance for year ending 5th April
    Higher rateLower rateTotal£ million
    19737,000*7,0002
    19748,0003,60011,5003
    19759,6005,70015,3005
    197610,8007,50018,3008
    197712,0009,30021,30011
    * Lower rate attendance allowance was introduced in stages between June and December 1973.

    Disabled Housewives

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what plans he has to compensate disabled housewives for expenses incurred due to their disability since the non-contributory invalidity benefit was introduced for other categories of disabled persons;(2) when he intends to make the noncontributory invalidity benefit available for disabled housewives.

    As I have already announced, in my reply to the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Bulmer) on 8th February—[Vol. 925, c. 626]—non-contributory invalidity pension, which is paid on the basis of incapacity for normal or alternative work, will be extended to married women in November of this year. In accordance with normal national insurance provisions, the benefit will not be paid retrospectively.

    Family Incomes

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now bring up to date the net weekly spending power figures published in reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North, Official Report, 10th November 1975, c. 540, amended, Official Report, 8th March

    Attendance Allowance

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total number of persons in receipt of attendance allowance in each of the Welsh counties in each of the past five years; and what is the relative cost for each area.

    It is regretted that the information requested is not available by Welsh counties. The total figures for Wales are as follows:1976, c.

    96, showing the relative financial position in and out of work for each family grouping, on the assumption that earnings or previous earnings were £30, £40, £50, £60, £70, £80, £90 and £100 per week, respectively, assuming ( a) that the initial Budget proposals are brought into force, and ( b) that the conditional Budget proposals are brought into force.

    , pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 19th April 1977; Vol. 930, c. 81–2], gave the following information:An unjustifiable expenditure of staff time would be necessary to supply the information in exactly the form requested by the hon. Member. The five tables below are extracted from readily available information and give illustrative details as at April 1977 of the net weekly spending power for five family types at the earnings levels specified, both where the head of the family is employed and during weeks three to 28 of unemployment—that is, while earnings-related supplement is payable. The assumptions which have been made about the ages of the children and housing and work expenses are shown at the head of each table. Income tax refunds have not been included as part of net weekly spending power for the unemployed man for the reasons given in the reply to the hon. Member on 15th October 1976. The approximate weekly amounts of refunds,

    Family typeApproximate weekly tax refund (1977–78 tax allowance levels)
    (a) Tax rate 35 per cent.(b) Tax rate 33 per cent.
    ££
    Single person5·455·15
    Married couple8·257·80
    Married couple+one child (aged 3)9·609·05
    Married couple+two children (aged 4,6)10·7510·10
    Married couple+four children (aged 3,8,11,16)13·7012·90
    Receipt of tax refunds may affect entitlement to free school meals, but does not affect any other means-tested benefits.Because of the many assumptions which have had to be made, the tables relate only to the particular illustrative cases quoted, and have no general application and no validity if quoted out of context. In the unemployed situation the net income figures illustrate the maximum
    TABLE 1
    Single person: Rent £4·70, rates £1·85 work expenses £2·00
    (a) Employed: Tax rate 35 per cent.
    Earnings (£)TaxN.I.Rent rebateRate rebateNet weekly spending power
    305·081·731·640·6916·97
    408·582·300·0920·66
    5012·082·8826·49
    6015·583·4532·42
    7019·084·0238·35
    8022·584·6044·27
    9026·085·1850·19
    10029·585·7556·12
    (b) Employed: Tax rate 33 per cent.
    Earnings (£)TaxN.I.Rent rebateRate rebateNet weekly spending power
    304·791·731·640·6917·26
    408·092·300·0921·15
    5011·392·8827·18
    6014·693·4533·31
    7017·994·0239·44
    8021·294·6045·56
    9024·595·1851·68
    10027·895·7557·81
    (c) Unemployed: weeks 3–28
    Former earnings (£)Total U.B.Rent rebateRate rebateNet weekly spending power
    3017·764·141·5316·88
    4019·853·621·3718·29
    5021·133·301·2619·14
    6022·412·981·1620·00
    7023·682·711·0720·91
    8024·962·491·0021·90
    90, 10025·082·470·9921·99

    where payable, for the 1977–78 tax year, are, however, shown below, for information.

    theoretical level of income replacement during unemployment, since it has been assumed that there have been no previous spells of unemployment or sickness, which would affect the amount of unemployment benefit and earning-related supplement payable. It has also been assumed that the family income supplement continues in payment throughout the first six months of unemployment.

    TABLE 2

    Married couple: Rent £4·70, rates £1·85, work expenses £2·00

    (a) Employed: tax rate 35 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Net weekly spending power

    302·251·733·511·3322·31
    405·752·301·590·6725·66
    509·252·880·0729·39
    6012·753·4535·25
    7016·254·0241·18
    8019·754·6047·10
    9023·255·1853·02
    10026·755·7558·95

    (b) Employed: tax rate 33 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Net weekly spending power

    302·131·733·511·3322·43
    405·432·301·590·6725·98
    508·732·880·0729·91
    6012·033·4535·97
    7015·334·0242·10
    8018·634·6048·22
    9021·935·1854·34
    10025·235·7560·47

    (c) Unemployed: weeks 3–28

    Former earnings (£)

    Total U.B.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Net weekly spending power

    3021·754·701·8521·75
    4027·854·051·5026·85
    5029·133·731·4027·71
    6030·413·411·3028·57
    7031·683·091·2029·42
    8032·962·781·1030·29
    90, 10033·082·761·0930·38

    TABLE 3

    Married couple plus 1 child aged 3: Rent £5·30, rates £2·10 work expenses £2·00, child benefit £1·00

    (a) Employed: Tax rate 35 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    300·931·734·503·831·470·7529·49
    404·432·302·691·090·7529·40
    507·932·880·990·4932·27
    6011·433·4536·72
    7014·934·0242·65
    8018·434·6048·57
    9021·935·1854·49
    10025·435·7560·42

    (b) Employed: Tax rate 33 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    300·881·734·503·831·470·7529·54
    404·182·302·691·090·7529·65
    507·482·880·990·4932·72
    6010·783·4537·37
    7014·084·0243·50
    8017·384·6049·62
    9020·685·1855·74
    10023·985·7561·87

    (c) Unemployed: Weeks 3–28

    Former earnings (£)

    Total U.B.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    3023·954·505·301·950·7530·05
    4029·005·211·9129·72
    5032·184·411·6531·84
    6033·464·091·5532·70
    7034·733·771·4533·55
    8036·013·451·3534·41
    90, 10036·133·421·3434·49

    TABLE 4

    Married couple plus 2 children aged 4 and 6: Rent £5·60, rates £2·20, work expenses £2·00, child benefit £2·50

    (a) Employed: Tax rate 35 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    301·736·304·521·690·750·7534·98
    403·292·301·303·301·300·750·7534·51
    506·792·881·820·780·7536·38
    6010·293·450·1839·14
    7013·794·0244·89
    8017·294·6050·81
    9020·795·1856·73
    10024·295·7562·66

    (b) Employed: Tax rate 33 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    301·736·304·521·690·750·7534·98
    403·102·301·303·301·300·750·7534·70
    506·402·881·820·7836·02
    609·703·450·1839·73
    7013·004·0245·68
    8016·304·6051·80
    9019·605·1857·92
    10022·905·7564·05

    (c) Unemployed: Weeks 3–28

    Former earnings (£)

    Total U.B.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    3026·506·305·401·970·750·7536·37
    4029·001·305·602·170·750·7534·27
    5034·734·921·8236·17
    6036·014·601·7237·03
    7037·284·281·6137·87
    8038·563·961·5138·73
    90, 10038·683·931·5038·81

    TABLE 5

    Married couple plus 4 children aged 3, 8, 11 and 16: Rent £6·30, rates £2·50, work expenses £2·00, child benefit £5·50

    (a) Employed: Tax rate 35 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    301·739·805·992·212·250·7543·97
    400·332·304·804·741·812·250·7546·42
    503·832·883·551·422·250·7545·96
    607·333·451·850·820·7547·34
    7010·834·020·2250·07
    8014·334·6055·77
    9017·835·1861·69
    10021·335·7567·62

    (b) Employed: Tax rate 33 per cent.

    Earnings (£)

    Tax

    N.I.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    301·739·805·992·212·250·7543·97
    400·312·304·804·741·812·250·7546·44
    503·612·883·551·422·250·7546·18
    606·913·451·850·820·7547·76
    7010·214·020·2250·69
    8013·514·6056·59
    9016·815·1862·71
    10020·115·7568·84

    (c) Unemployed: Weeks 3–28

    Former earnings (£)

    Total U.B.

    F.I.S.

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    3031·609·805·592·082·250·7548·77
    4031·604·806·302·482·250·7544·88
    5036·246·302·492·250·7544·73
    6041·115·672·100·7546·33
    7042·385·352·0046·43
    8043·665·031·9047·29
    90, 10043·785·001·8947·37

    Education And Science

    Rate Support Grant

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will introduce elements of specific grant for particular educational purposes to the rate support grant.

    I would ask the hon. Member to await the publication of the Government's views in the light of public reaction to the Layfield Report.

    Employment

    Wages

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many men and women earned less than two-thirds the average (median) wage for men in each year since 1970, giving the figure separately for men and women.

    The following estimates, derived from the New Earnings Survey, relate to full-time men aged 21 and over and full-time women aged 18 and over whose pay for the April survey pay period was not affected by absence. They are based on total gross earnings per week including overtime pay, bonuses, etc., and make no allowance for the smaller number of hours worked by women and the inclusion of younger women aged 18 to 20. The estimates are subject to sampling error. The estimates from 1975 onwards are not fully comparable with those for earlier years because employees earning below the deduction card limit for tax purposes are excluded and consequential changes have been made in the method of compilation of the estimates. The effect on the estimates for men is slight but these changes reduce the estimates for women by about ¼ million.The numbers earning below the specified level in April 1976 represent about 10 per cent. of the total number of men at all earnings levels and about 55 per cent. of the total number of women.

    ESTIMATED NUMBERS (IN MILLIONS) OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES EARNING LESS THAN TWO-THIRDS THE MEDIAN GROSS WEEKLY EARNINGS OF FULL-TIME MEN AGED 21 AND OVER
    Men aged 21 and over (millions)Women aged 18 and over (millions)
    April—
    19701·13·4
    19711·23·4
    19721·23·5
    19731·23·5
    19741·13·4
    19751·12·8
    19761·02·5

    Western Isles

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people registered as unemployed in the Western Isles were unemployed for over 26 weeks last year.

    Comprehensive analyses showing the length of time unemployed people have been on the register are made at quarterly intervals. At 13th January 1977, the latest date for which this information is available, 412 unemployed people in the Western Isles had been registered for more than 26 weeks.

    Motor Cycle Manufacture

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many vacancies at present exist for skilled men to work in the British motorcycle industry; and if the rates for British workers are comparable with those paid for similar work in other sections of British industry in the Midlands.

    It is regretted that information is not available in the form requested. Vacancy statistics are analysed separately by occupation and by industry but analyses combining both characteristics are not undertaken. There are no nationally negotiated minimum wage rates covering workers in the motor cycle industry.

    Job Creation

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will publish in the Official Report the locality of area action committees under the Job Creation Programme and the names of their members;(2) if he will take steps to ensure that spending under the terms of the Job Creation Programme goes equally into providing jobs for girls as well as boys, and ensure that advertising in connection with the scheme is sexually neutral;(3) if he will ensure that publicity for Job Creation Programme schemes makes it clear that girls are equally able to apply for work under any job creation programme;(4) how many jobs in the Job Creation Programme were provided for boys and girls, respectively; how much money was spent on boys and girls respectively; and if he will make a statement;(5) how many men have been appointed members of local area action committees; and how many women have been so appointed;(6) how many people have been returned to the dole queue after the 52-week embargo on job creation has expired for them; and if he will make a statement;(7) how many school leavers have obtained permanent jobs as a result of Job Creation Programme training;(8) if he will amend the criteria for appointment to area action committees under the Job Creation Programme to include women's organisations, so that women are appointed to these committees.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the allocations of money between regions on the Job Creation Programme schemes.

    I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that, under the Job Creation Programme, money has been allocated to regions as follows:

    AreaTotal Allocationm)
    London and South-East7·5
    Merseyside18·0
    Midlands6·5
    Northern21·0
    North-West10·0
    Scotland30·5
    South-West6·5
    Wales16·0
    Yorkshire and Humberside10·0
    Administrative costs2·1
    Not yet allocated1·9
    Total130·0

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs have been created in the Job Creation Programme to date; and how much they have cost.

    I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that, to date, grants totalling £106·8 million have been allocated to the Job Creation Programme, providing 75,337 jobs.

    National Finance

    Construction Industry (Tax Exemption Certificates)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds appeal commissioners are able to overrule a refusal by the Inland Revenue to grant a 714 certificate.

    Under Section 70(6) of the Finance (No. 2) Act 1975 the appeal commissioners can reverse any decision by an inspector of taxes to refuse an application for a certificate, except where this relates to his discretion to disregard for the purpose of certification, failure by the applicant to comply with either a tax obligation or a request to supply accounts or other information.

    £ Sterling

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what number of £ sterling was of the equivalent value of £1,000 on 5th April 1974 on each of the following dates: 5th April 1975, 5th April 1976 and 5th April 1977, respectively.

    The internal purchasing power of the £ sterling in April 1975 and in April 1976 is estimated to be, respectively, about 82 per cent. and 69 per cent. of its value in April 1974. Therefore, the respective sums of £1,215 and £1,445 would be required in April 1975 and in April 1976 to have an internal purchasing power equivalent to that of £1,000 in April 1974.Information for April 1977 is not yet available. The internal purchasing power of the £ sterling in March 1977 is estimated to be about 58 per cent of its value in April 1974. The amount required in March 1977 to have internal purchasing power equivalent to £1,000 in April 1974 is approximately £1,710.These estimates are based on movements in the General Index of Retail Prices.

    Incomes Policy

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the maximum rate of pay increase he estimates to be comparable in his Budget strategy for reducing inflation.

    The Government agree with the TUC's Economic Review that the increase in earnings will need to be in single figures if we are to achieve the objective of a single-figure inflation rate.

    Cash Limits

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the increase in expenditure in constant price terms allowed for between 1976–77 and 1977–78 in Cash Limit Block Number DHSS1 as published in Command Paper No. 6767.

    The expenditure, in constant 1976 Survey Prices, allowed for in Cash Block DHSS1 for 1977–78, is £6·7 million (1·6 per cent.) greater than the comparable planned expenditure for 1976–77 included in Cmnd 6721.

    Scotland

    Local Government Debt

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total debt of local authorities in Scot- land to central Government at the latest available date.

    I have been asked to reply.The provisional figure of debt outstanding by local authorities in Scotland to the Public Works Loan Board at 31st March 1977 was £1.484·7 million.

    Trade

    Disabled Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what action he is taking to increase the number of registered disabled persons employed in the Export Credits Guarantee Department and the Department of Trade; and when he expects to achieve the 3 per cent. target in each case.

    It is the normal practice of my Department and the Export Credits Guarantee Department when recruiting staff directly to stress that registered disabled persons may apply. Additionally it is our practice to keep in touch with appropriate Department of Employment jobcentres, which are well aware of the needs of the registered disabled, when we are recruiting. Achievement of the 3 per cent. target is conditioned by recruitment needs and the number and capabilities of registered disabled persons applying for employment. In accordance with the Civil Service Department's code of practice preference would be given to a disabled person over a non-disabled person if otherwise the respective merits of candidates are fairly evenly balanced. It is, therefore, not possible to estimate when the target may be reached.

    Ussr

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress has been made in fulfilling the long-term programme for the development of economic and industrial co-operation between the United Kingdom and the USSR; and what effect it has had on the balance of payments.

    Since the signature of the Long-Term Economic and Industrial Programme with the Soviet Union in February 1975 there have been negotiations between British companies and Soviet organisations on many of the items in the programme, leading to the signature of some major contracts—for example, the contracts for forging and manipulating machinery won by Davy Loewy in February and April 1976, valued at nearly £25 million, and the contract for a high density polyethylene plant awarded to Constructors John Brown in February of this year valued at over £46 million. Other negotiations for major contracts within the co-operation programme are being actively pursued by a number of British companies.Some other major contracts have meanwhile been concluded for items not in the co-operation programme, notably the contract awarded last December to the British consortium Coberrow Ltd. for gas pumps, valued at over £87 million.In all, contracts worth over £188 million have been awarded to British companies since February 1975 within the terms of the credit agreement concluded that month. Of this almost £174 million represents United Kingdom content.Although our exports to the Soviet Union increased from £110 million in 1974 to about £240 million last year, representing an estimated 50 per cent increase in volume, I am still not satisfied with the level of business which we are winning in the Soviet Union. My right hon. Friend intends to press the Russians for the early conclusion of further contracts with British firms when he visits Moscow next month for the annual meeting of the British-Soviet Joint Commission.

    Aviation Fuel

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade to what extent United Kingdom aircraft operators use Jet A rather than Jet B fuel; what are the relative implications of the two fuels so far as fire hazard in aircraft accidents is concerned; and whether he is satisfied that United Kingdom operators should continue to be allowed to use Jet B.

    The approval of fuels for use in aircraft on the United Kingdom register is a matter for the Civil Aviation Authority, and I am advised by the Authority that, while all United Kingdom registered turbine engined aircraft are certified to use either Jet A or Jet B fuel, all United Kingdom operators use Jet A fuel as a matter of preference and in accordance with the CAA's own published advice. Jet B fuel is likely to be used only in the now very rare circumstances when supplies of Jet A are not available.The safety issues which arise are also matters for the Civil Aviation Authority, and with regard to fire hazard in an aircraft accident the Authority advises me that if the crash is a major one the type of fuel is of little consequence, but if it is a potentially survivable accident the rate of spread of fire, if it occurs, Is likely to be somewhat less with Jet A than with Jet B fuel.

    General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he plans to visit Geneva in order to take part in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade multilateral negotiations.

    Cars

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the total number of motor cars exported to other member States of the EEC and to Japan, respectively, during the first quarter of 1977 and for the same period during 1966.

    Following is the information:

    UNITED KINGDOM EXPORTS OF MOTOR CARS*
    To EECNumbers To Japan
    First quarter of 197735,502386
    First quarter of 196640,042‡N/A§
    * SITC Code 732.1.
    † Existing eight member States.
    ‡ Excluding used cars, the numbers of which would be comparatively small.
    § Not available.
    Current information is published in "Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom".

    Pilotage And Merchant Shipping (Legislation)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether the Merchant Shipping Bill mentioned in his Written Answer, Official Report, 21st March, 1977, c. 378, covering such matters as marine pilotage, is still in the course of preparation, in view of the fact that the Advisory Committee on Pilotage is in the early stages of its work and has not yet made any representations.

    The terms of reference of the Advisory Committee on Pilotage include working for early agreement on the content of future pilotage legislation. The Committee has been giving priority to this with a view to marine pilotage measures bing included in the Merchant Shipping Bill which is in course of preparation.

    Motor Cycles

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many motor cycles produced by the Meriden Motor Cycle Co-operative and other British manufacturers have been exported to the Fedral Republic of Germany to fulfill orders

    United Kingdom trade in motor cycles* with Federal Republic of Germany
    ExportsImports
    Number£'000 (fob)Number£'000 (cif)
    First quarter of 1977617516633804
    First quarter of 19762718360309
    * SITC Item Code 732.91.

    Film Industry (Interim Action Committee)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will announce the names of the members of the Interim Action Committee on the Film Industry.

    The Interim Action Committee which is to be chaired by my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) and which will follow up progress made by the Terry Report on the Future of the British Film Industry will have the following members:

    • David Berriman
    • Lord Brabourne
    • Sir Max Brown
    • Edmond Chilton
    • Michael Deeley
    • Lord Delfont
    • Lady Falkender
    • David Gordon
    • Allan Grant
    • Lord Lloyd of Hampstead QC
    • Anthony Mallinson
    • Alasdair Milne
    • David Puttnam
    • Alan Sapper
    • Professor Geoffrey Sims
    • Sir John Terry
    • Brian Tesler
    • Alexander Walker
    Appointments are for an indefinite period and members will be unpaid.

    from the police force in that country during the past five years.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what was the number and value of British motor cycles exported to the Federal Republic of Germany during the first quarter of 1977 and the comparable figures for the first quarter of 1976;(2) what was the number and value of motor cycles imported from the Federal Republic of Germany during the first quarter of 1977 and the comparable figures for the first quarter of 1976.

    Following is the information:Mr. F. Morris Dyson has been appointed Secretary to the Committee.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade why it has taken him a year to appoint members of the Interim Action Committee on the Film Industry; and what is still holding up the announcement.

    I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given today to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Molloy).

    Oil Pollution

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he is satisfied with the contingency plans of his Department for dealing with oil slicks on the Gower coast; and if he will seek to take action against ships discharging their waste material into the open sea.

    My Department, which works closely with local authorities in the protection of the coast from oil pollution, has anti-pollution resources located at Swansea and Milford Haven. In October last the Department staged a major oil pollution exercise specifically to test the adequacy of the contingency arrangements for the protection of the Gower peninsula from oil spills at sea. Lessons learned from such exercises are applied for the improvement of the contingency plans. The Department follows up all reports of alleged discharges of oily wastes by ships, and takes appropriate action against offenders under the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971.

    Middle East

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he has given any advice to firms wishing to trade with Middle East countries as to whether or not they should complete at the request of the Governments of those countries forms asking if any of their directors are Jews; and whether he will make a statement.

    Many firms with Jewish directors trade successfully with Middle East countries and this is made clear to inquiring firms.

    Industry

    Power Plant Manufacturing

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the plans he is considering for the future of the power turbine manufacturing industry will require a contraction in employment; and, if so, to what extent the contraction may occur on Tyneside.

    Future levels of employment in the power plant industry will depend to a large extent on the decisions taken on the measures proposed in the CPRS report. These are now under urgent consideration.

    Knitting

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what action has been taken on the recommendation of the National Economic Development Office working sector report for the knitting industry that an export agency should be created to help small firms to form consortia or take co-operative action on overseas sales of knitting products.

    Following an offer from my Department to consider making funds available for a feasibility study, representatives of the industry are con- sidering whether to proceed- with the proposal.

    Regional Aid

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what formula he uses in determining the amount of grant to be paid to the North-East Development Council, the North-West Industrial Development Association and the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Association.

    The grants are determined by the size of the working population, the percentage of unemployment in the area, and the assisted area designation covered by each of the associations.

    Motor Cycles

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total amount of money made available to the British motor cycle industry under the Industry Act since October 1974.

    £4.475 million in the form of loans and £950,000 in the form of grants. A further grant of up to £500,000 is to be made available to Meriden Motor Cycles Ltd. to purchase marketing assets from Norton Villiers Triumph Ltd. when negotiations between the two companies have been concluded.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the prospects for increasing the production of British motor cycles for both the home and overseas markets; and if he will make a statement.

    This is a matter for the motor cycle manufacturers. I am not aware of any current plans by British manufacturers for a substantial increase in production for either the home or overseas market.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what discussions he has had with the National Enterprise Board concerning the design and production by the British motor cycle industry of machines comparable with the German BMW machine, which it is reported is to be produced in substantially increased numbers, many of which will be exported to Great Britain.

    British Tanners Products Ltd

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much cash has to be paid by British Tanners Products Ltd. to the Barrow Hepburn Group, following the acquisition by the National Enterprise Board of its 50 per cent. holding in British Tanners Products Ltd.

    Japanese Television Sets

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects to reach a final decision on the installation in England of Japanese colour television manufacturing facilities.

    I am still considering this matter but hope to come to a decision soon.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proportion of the output of Japanese colour television sets manufactured in Wales was exported in 1976.

    Only two such firms were in operation. Export figures from individual companies are confidential.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what reduction in imports of colour television sets into the United Kingdom has taken place as a result of the establishment of colour television manufacturing facilities by Japanese companies in the United Kingdom.

    There has been a reduction in imports of colour television sets into the United Kingdom from Japan; but what part is attributable to the establishment of colour television manufacturing facilities by Japanese companies in the United Kingdom cannot be stated.

    Overseas Development

    Departmental Staff Offices (Dispersal)

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) what effect the proposed transfer of posts in her Department to Glasgow will have on the regional career structure of the personnel involved, particularly in the executive officer/higher executive officer area; and if she will give details of the posts to be transferred;(2) what effect the proposed transfer of posts in her Department to Glasgow will have on the promotion prospects of the personnel transferred, particularly in view of the fact that the number of posts envisaged by Hardman as available far transfer is unlikely to be realised.

    The career management and development of staff who are to be relocated at East Kilbride is currently under consideration in the departmental Whitley Council. I envisage that promotions to Executive Officer and above will continue unler a single system of promotion boards as at present, and movement between London and East Kilbride, both on promotion and for career development purposes, will be encouraged. If staff once relocated did not wish to move again they would, of course, suffer some diminution of their promotion prospects within my Ministry as a whole, but this problem is faced by staff in a number of Government offices which are geographically separated from their headquarters.Information based on current assumptions about the posts to be relocated was given in my reply to the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mr. Stewart) on 14th March—[Vol. 928, c.

    27–8.] The breakdown by grades is under review and for the moment I can give no further details.

    Bolivia

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will withhold the provision of further aid to Bolivia until there is a substantial improvement in the treatment accorded to political prisoners in the country and the attitude adopted towards exiled trade unionists.

    When considering the provision of aid to any developing country I always take into account questions of human rights. I also have to consider the benefits which British aid could provide for the poorer sections of the community whom we aim to help. Both these factors will be taken into account in any decision on further aid to Boliva.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development if her Department has been involved in arranging for a $25 million loan from Hanover Manufactures Limited to the Bolivian Mining Corporation; and if this is in any way linked to ODM grants to the Bolivian mining industry.

    My Department was not involved in any way in the recent commercial loan granted to the Bolivian Mining Corporation, nor was it in any way linked with any aspects of the aid programme.

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development if Her Majesty's Government have recently agreed to provide financial aid to the Bolivian mining industry; and, if so, how much.

    Energy

    Participation Agreements

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has reached any further participation agreement.

    , pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 21st December 1976; Vol. 923, c. 123], gave the following information:Her Majesty's Government, the British National Oil Corporation (BNOC), Amoco, Texas Eastern and Amerada Hess have today signed Memoranda of Principles setting out the arrangements to be concluded between them to give effect to Her Majesty's Government's policy of securing majority State participation in the Montrose field.The arrangements with Amoco are very similar to those already agreed in principle with other major oil companies with significant refining and marketing interests in the United Kingdom. The arrangements with Texas Eastern and Amerada Hess which relate solely to their interests in the Montrose field are almost identical to the Memoranda signed with them on 25th January 1977 covering the Beryl field. As a result of the Memoranda signed today, the State will have access to 51 per cent. of petroleum production from Montrose after taking into account the British Gas Corporation's existing licence interest in that field.BNOC's rights to take petroleum, at market price, will apply to up to 29 per cent. of the production attributable to the interests of Amoco, Texas Eastern and Amerada Hess, and in the case of Amoco will be subject to certain rights of repurchase. BNOC will become a joint holder of licences PO19 and PO20, and will have the right to information and an effective voice in field operations, with specific voting rights under the Montrose operating agreement.The three companies have each agreed to maintain effective and regular consultation with Her Majesty's Government, advised by BNOC, on all matters of concern to either party arising from their petroleum operations in the United Kingdom. Amoco has also declared its intention to use any UKCS oil from its finds under existing licences in support of its United Kingdom feedstock requirements; to optimise use of UKCS oil in relation to its United Kingdom market; and to conduct trade in crude oil or products at the best price obtainable, using best endeavours to safeguard United Kingdom Government petroleum revenues and so as to maximise the benefit to the United Kingdom balance of payments. The memorandum also provides the basis for majority State participation in future commercial finds under licences held by Amoco.