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Written Answers

Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 11th May 1977

Home Department

Police (Recruitment)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give details of the campaign during the summer of 1976 in the Press to persuade coloured people to join the police; how many inquiries resulted; how many applicants there were; and how many of these applications were accepted.

A limited programme of advertising in the ethnic minority Press was carried out by the Home Office as part of the national police recruitment campaign between June and August 1976. The advertisements appeared in a number of Asian and English language publications which circulate among the Asian and West Indina communities in this country. The main purpose was to present to members of these communities the opportunities which the police service offers rather than to attract direct applications. Nevertheless, 126 inquiries leading to 32 applications to join police forces in England and Wales were received. As far as is known, none of these applicants has joined the police, but the total number of members of the ethnic minorities serving rose from 152 in June to 191 at 31st March 1977.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give details of the special advertising campaign designed to attract coloured persons to join the Metropolitan

Coloured Police Officers
ForceConstablesSergeantsTotal
Metropolitan Police77178
Greater Manchester Police606
Merseyside Police404
South Wales Police101
West Midlands Police27128

Plessey Equipment Purchases

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if Plessey electronic communications equipment is used by the Prison Service and the Metropolitan Police; and what was the total value of such equipment acquired by each service in each of the last five years.

Police at the end of 1975 and beginning of 1976; and what was the cost of this campaign and its results.

For this special advertising campaign advertisements were placed in the ethnic minority Press and a number of London newspapers. The total cost was £39,000. It produced 700 inquiries and 400 applications to join the Metropolitan Police. Since the end of 1975 the number of coloured officers serving in the Metropolitan Police has risen from 39 to 78.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total cost and what the cost per applicant of the national Press campaign to recruit coloured persons to serve in police forces.

The cost of the national campaign in the ethnic minority Press between the middle of June and the middle of August 1976 was £8,500. The resulting cost per applicant was £265·63.

Police Officers

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish in the Official Report details of the number of coloured police officers and their ranks at present serving in the following police forces: Metropolitan, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Wales and West Midlands.

So far as can be readily ascertained, no such equipment is in service with the Prison Service in England and Wales. The total contract value of such equipment acquired by the Metropolitan Police since 1972 is estimated to be £1·59 million. Information as to the value of equipment acquired in each year is not readily available.

Immigrants

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of male Asian immigrants to the United Kingdom in the years 1950 to 1977.

It is not practicable to make a reliable estimate of the numbers of male Commonwealth citizens who came to the United Kingdom from Asian countries before immigration control of Commonwealth citizens began in July 1962, when the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 came into force. The following table gives the readily available information:

ACCEPTANCES FOR SETTLEMENT ON ARRIVAL AND ON REMOVAL OF TIME LIMIT
Adult Asian men* from certain Commonwealth countries
(000's)
Accepted for settlement on arrival
July to December 19621·5
196323·4
19648·4
19657·5
19664·6
19675·4
19685·0
19692·7
Accepted for settlement on arrival or on removal of time limit
19702·7
19713·0
19723·1
19731·4
19744·2
19756·1
1976 (provisional)7·1
* Covers adult male citizens of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Adult male United Kingdom Passport holders
Accepted for settlement on arrival or on removal of time limit
19691·7†
19702·4
19715·1
197212·0
19732·4‡
19745·8
19755·4
1976 (provisional)4·5
† Accepted for settlement on arrival only.
‡ Excludes special voucher holders whose sex was not recorded; the number of male and female special voucher holders admitted was two thousand.

Airports (Police)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why a member of a private airport police force is not allowed to serve as a special constable in a public police force.

The appointment of special constables for any police area is a matter entirely within the discretion of the local chief officer of police. The Police Post-War Committee in its Fourth Report issued in 1947 recommended that members of private police forces should not be appointed or retained as special constables. Chief officers no doubt have regard to this recommendation, which has recently been endorsed by the Working Party on the Special Constabulary, whose report was published last month.

Animals (Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the 18,428 persons, licensed under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 to perform experiments, have medical qualifications.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of the 5,379,084 experiments performed during 1975 under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 were performed in hospitals;(2) how many of the 5,379,084 experiments performed during 1975 under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 were performed in universities;(3) how many of the 5,379,084 experiments performed during 1975 under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 were performed in medical schools.

Records are not maintained in a way which would enable figures to be given in the form requested, and it will be appreciated that hospitals, universities and medical schools are not always separate. The best estimate I can offer is that approximately 438,000 experiments were performed in hospitals—including units of the Medical Research Council—and 814,000 in universities. The figure for medical schools is included in these totals, in which there is an element of double counting.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will name the 65 registered premises where over 90 per cent. of all experiments were performed in 1975, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Jenkins) on 22nd November 1976; and if he will make a statement.

Publications (Indecent Display)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with the operation of the law concerning indecent display of books, magazines and posters in Central London; and if he will make a statement.

The law on this subject will be one of the matters we shall expect the proposed Departmental Committee on Obscenity, Indecency and Censorship to look into.

Tobacco Sales (Offences)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were proceeded against for offences relating to the sale of tobacco to children under 16 years of age during each year since 1969; and how many of these were found guilty.

The available information is as follows:

PERSONS PROCEEDED AGAINST IN MAGISTRATES' COURTS FOR OFFENCES AGAINST SECTION 7 OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT 1933—BY RESULT
England and Wales
YearProceeded againstNumber of persons Found guilty
19692523
19702222
19711414
19721814
19731414
19743028
19751414

Juvenile Offenders

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of those found guilty of offences in each of the main offence groups in the Metropolitan Police district during each of the last five years were in the 10 to 16 year age group.

Information for each of the last five years in the form requested is not readily available. The information for 1975 is set out in the table below. Such information as can be produced for other years is being prepared, and we will write to my hon. Friend in due course.

PERSONS AGED 10 AND UNDER 17 YEARS AS A PROPORTION OF ALL PERSONS FOUND GUILTY OF OFFENCES IN THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT
By offence group 1975
Percentages
Offence group
Violence against the person7·8
Sexual offences6·1
Burglary33·3
Robbery25·1
Theft and handling stolen goods13·7
Fraud and forgery3·1
Criminal damage12·2
Other indictable offences2·1
Total Indictable Offences14·6
Non-indictable offences (including motoring)1·1
Grand Total4·0

Poles

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report what action is required to be taken by British residents of Polish origin who came to fight for Great Britain in the Second World War and who are currently deprived of the vote in the country that has become their home, before they can attain United Kingdom citizenship; what is the cost involved; and if, in respect of those with more than 30 years' residence in the United Kingdom, he will waive these charges, which are not applied to much more recently arrived citizens of the Commonwealth and the Irish Republic.

In order to qualify for a certificate of naturalisation, a national must satisfy the requirements laid down in Section 10 of the Second Schedule to the British Nationality Act 1948.The fee for the grant of a certificate is £70, An applicant also has to meet the cost of inserting advertisements in local newspapers, and if his application is witnessed by a commissioner for oaths or notary public there is a fee of £1, as there is also on the taking of the oath of allegiance.My right hon. Friend has concluded, as have his predecessors who have considered the matter, that it would not be practicable to exempt particular classes of applicant from the obligation to pay fees, which are applied towards the cost of dealing with applications.Since April 1975 Commonwealth citizens and citizens of the Republic of Ireland have paid fees for registration. The current fee for registration at the discretion of the Home Secretary is £35.

INDICTABLE OFFENCES RECORDED AS KNOWN TO THE POLICE AND INDICTABLE OFFENCES CLEARED UP—BYOFFENCE GROUP METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT
Numbers and percentage
19711972
Recorded as knownCleared upPercentage cleared upRecorded as knownCleared upPercentage cleared up
Violence against the person7,7785,608728,2615,88871
Sexual offences2,7261,965722,6861,86870
Burglary79,89816,0132079,22415,61120
Robbery2,727966353,1671,03233
Theft and handling stolen goods220,35157,11626220,92458,36226
Fraud and forgery25,30517,6617031,78722,03969
Criminal damage5,9361,349237,9012,21628
Other offences3733499449546895
Total345,094101,02729354,445107,48430
Numbers and percentages
19731974
Recorded as knownCleared upPercentage cleared upRecorded as knownCleared upPercentage cleared up
Violence against the person9,3686,699729,5856,44467
Sexual offences2,9992,087702,9902,09670
Burglary74,19213,6421888,16314,95517
Robbery2,680920343,15190329
Theft and handling stolen goods223,21057,59826265,20766,17925
Fraud and forgery31,99521,2936730,08019,50065
Criminal damage10,2693,0523014,0793,78327
Other offences5375069454449791
Total355,250105,79730413,799114,35728
Numbers and percentages
1975
Recorded as knownCleared upPercentage cleared up
Violence against the person10,9676,82462
Sexual offences2,5501,66065
Burglary99,57915,10715
Robbery4,4521,14726
Theft and handling stolen goods285,98065,94323
Fraud and forgery30,82520,48366
Criminal damage17,7404,40325
Other offences48542988
Total452,578115,99626
The statistics for 1976 are not yet available.

Crime (London)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out the number of indictable offences in each of the main offence groups which were (a) known to the police and (b) cleared up in the Metropolitan Police district during each of the last five years, indicating the percentage of known cases cleared up in each offence group.

Environment

West Yorkshire(Aid)

47.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment in view of the inner city blight and desolation particularly in the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Area, if he will further consider the need for Government aid to the West Yorkshire area, particularly in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield.

As my right hon. Friend said in his statement on 6th April—[Vol. 929, c. 1226–46.]—a large measure of priority must be given in the early years to the regeneration of the inner areas of the major cities to whom the Government are offering partnerships. Other cities and towns will, however, continue to have access to the Urban Programme, and on an increasing scale in later years.

Local Authority Mortgages

48.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will increase the amount of finance which local authorities can pro vide for mortgages.

Additional finance cannot be made available overall, but the arrangements announced by my right hon. Friend on 6th April will enable local authorities to adjust their capital expenditure programmes within generous limits to increase the amount available for mortgages.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is aware that, through no fault of their own, local authorities frequently have to charge higher mortgage rates than building societies; if he will bring forward proposals to allow local authorities to advance new mortgages and to protect existing mortgages in such a way that they do not pay excessive interest rates; and if he will make a statement.

This question is being considered as part of the general review of housing policy to be published shortly.

Planning Appeals

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate the time taken in reaching decisions on planning appeals covering major projects.

Information in the form requested is not available. In March 1977 planning appeals decided by my right hon. Friend following a local inquiry took an average of 42 weeks from start to decision. Major projects would be included in those appeals.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many planning appeals covering mineral projects undertaken over the past two years have been concluded (a) within the two months statutory period, (b) within three months, (c) within four months and (d) over four months.

There is no statutory period for the determination of planning appeals. During the two years ended on 30th April 1977, 50 appeals concerned with applications for planning permission for the winning and working of minerals and three enforcement appeals relating to mineral workings were determined. In addition, determination were made of two applications for planning permission for mineral working which were called in for the Secretary of State's decision. In no case was the determination made within four months of the date on which the appeal was lodged or the application called in, as the case may be.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, of all planning appeals dealt with by his Department what percentage relates to (a) housing, (b) construction in industry and commerce, (c) mineral projects, and (d) other; and what is the average time taken to dispense with appeals in each classification.

For the year ended 31st March 1977, 48 per cent. of the appeals decided related to housing development—including residential caravan sites—6 per cent. related to building in industry and commerce, 0·1 per cent. related to mineral projects and 45·9 per cent. related to other development. The information sought relating to average times is not available in the form requested but the average periods between receipt and decision taken by appeals decided in March 1977 were as follows:

42 weeks where the appeal was decided by my right hon. Friend following a local inquiry (14 per cent. of cases).
37 weeks where the appeal was decided by my right hon. Friend on written representations (9 per cent. of cases).
26 weeks where the appeal was decided by an inspector on written representation (19 per cent. of cases).
22 weeks where the appeal was decided by an inspector on written representations (58 per cent. of cases).

Rent And Mortgage Relief

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will update the information given to the hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. Thomas) which was published in the Official Report, 27th July 1976, c. 166–7.Mr. Armstrong: The relevant figures for England and Wales are as follows:

(a)(b)
Average subsidy from central Government and rate fund contribution, excluding rent rebate, per council houseAverage tax relief and option mortgage subsidy per mortgagor
££
1965–662930
1966–673034
1967–683238
1968–693641
1969–704449
1970–714858
1971–725062
1972–734673
1973–7465101
1974–75130136
1975–76161170
1976–77206214
The figures for 1976–77 are provisional.

Rate Rebates

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the number of claimants eligible for but not claiming a rate rebate; on what basis his Department's calculation is made; what is the total value of the unclaimed rebate; and what are the corresponding figures in the past five years

I estimate the number of householders who were eligible for rate rebates but who did not claim to be about 1·3 million for 1974–75 and 1·17 million for 1975–76.These figures are derived from an estimate of the numbers eligible for rebate based on the, Family Expenditure Survey and from returns by local authorities of the number of rebates granted. I have no reliable basis for estimating the amount unclaimed.Similar information for the former rate rebate scheme which operated until 1974 is not available.

Home Loss Payment

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he will take in the case of Mr. H. Towers of Wigston, Leicester, who has been waiting for over three years for the home loss payment to which he was entitled and has still not received any interest payment on that sum.

I understand that a home loss payment was made to Mr. Towers by the Leicestershire County Council in March. There is no statutory provision for the payment of interest on home loss payments.

National Parks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he will publish a list of all the national park authorities and the date on which they each publish their national park plan, indicating if any of them will have failed to publish their plans by 1st April 1977.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 1st April 1977; Vol. 929, c. 273], gave the following information:The answer should have included reference to the three national park authorities which will publish their plans later, viz:Northumbria, North York Moors and the Peak District.

Morgan Heating Services (South-West) Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has received an application under Section 64 of the Employment Protection Act 1975 from former employees of Morgan Heating Services (South West) Limited; if he will call for a report on the circumstances of redundancies of the Bristol branch of that company; and if he will make a statement.

No. Since the firm is not insolvent within the meaning of Section 69 of the Employment Protection Act 1975 the former employees are not yet covered by the insolvency provisions of the Act.The circumstances leading up to the redundancies are complicated. I have asked my officials to prepare a report. I will write to my hon. Friend letting him know the outcome as soon as possible.

Unfair Dismissal

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees sacked for refusing to join a trade union have subsequently been reinstated after industrial tribunals have found that they were unfairly dismissed.

Up-to-date information is not yet available but I am obtaining it and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Steel Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many men were employed in the steel industry in 1967 in England, Scotland and Wales, respectively; and how many he estimates will be employed in 1982.

The number of males employed in the steel industry in June 1967 in England, Scotland and Wales was 203,800, 30,100 and 70,400, respectively.Rationalisation, improved technology and higher productivity have reduced the number of workers in the industry, and further reductions are likely. It is not, however, possible to forecast with any degree of certainty how many workers will be employed in the industry in 1982.

Terms And Conditions Of Employment

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many claims have been made under Schedule 11 to the Employment Protection Act 1975; how many have been determined; and with what result.

I understand that the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has received 434 claims formally reported under Schedule 11 to the Employment Protection Act, up to and including 30th April.

One claim has been determined by the Central Arbitration Committee, but I understand that the award is not yet available.

Bromley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment why no projects under the Job Creation Programme have been approved in the London borough of Bromley.

I understand from the Manpower Services Commission that a project has been approved for the London borough of Bromley.

Deaf School Leavers

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he is taking to educate employers regarding the problems and abilities of deaf school leavers.

This is a function carried out by careers officers of local education authorities, who work in close collaboration with disablement resettlement officers of the Employment Service Agency.The agency publishes a leaflet giving advice to employers about employing those who are deaf or hard of hearing. More generally, I understand that the MSC is to publish shortly a new guide to employers on the employment of disabled people, designed to help them make the fullest use of the abilities of disabled workers.

Northern Ireland

Education (Cowan Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will arrange for the Cowan Report on the reorganisation of secondary education and the working party report on alternative transfer arrangements to be debated by the Northern Ireland Committee.

If right hon. and hon. Members wish it, the Government will be happy to assist in arranging for a debate to take place in the Northern Ireland Committee, although this may not now be possible before the announcement that my noble Friend hopes to make on these matters in the near future. Right hon. and hon. Members may prefer to wait for the statement before holding the meeting of the Committee.

Insurance

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether he will consult with insurance companies about the exclusion of vandalism and malicious damage from policies covering property in Northern Ireland with a view to making these policies the same throughout the United Kingdom;(2) whether he will consult with the insurance companies about the exclusion of vandalism and malicious damage from policies covering house contents in Northern Ireland with a view to making these policies the same throughout the United Kingdom;(3) if he will consult with insurance companies with the object of allowing householders in Northern Ireland the same protection over their furniture as over the house itself;(4) if he will consult with the Building Societies Association about the possibility of its agreeing that the exclusion clause on vandalism and malicious damage should be deleted on property on which it has advanced a mortgage.

We have been in contact with the insurance companies and building societies, but the terms of their policies are their responsibility.

Defence

Quality Assurance

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) skilled mechanical craftsmen, (b) joiners, and (c) non-industrial staff are likely to be declared redundant as a result of the decision to close the Quality Assurance Directorate (Weapons) Workshops at Woolwich Arsenal.

The number of skilled mechanical craftsmen and joiners who are likely to be declared redundant is dependent on continuing efforts to redeploy them elsewhere in other Ministry of Defence establishments at various locations in the United Kingdom or in other Government employment locally. At the present time it is considered likely that non-industrial redundancy will be avoided.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many places will have to be found for apprentices still undergoing training after 1st April 1978, following the closure of the Quality Assurance Directorate (Weapons) training workshop at Woolwich Arsenal; and at which defence establishments.

Thirty apprentices will still be undergoing training after 1st April 1978, and at any one time a proportion of these will need to go to other Government establishments to complete their workshop training. Arrangements are being made to find suitable places for this training.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Diplomatic Staff

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at British embassies in German-speaking countries; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonweath Office personnel who have passed the Civi Service examination in German;(2) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at British embassies in French-speaking countries; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in French;(3) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at the British Embassy in Moscow; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in Russian;(4) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at British embassies in Spanish-speaking countries; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in Spanish;(5) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in German;(6) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in French;(7) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in Russian;(8) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in Spanish;(9) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at the British Embassy in Teheran; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in Persian;(10) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in Japanese; and how many at each level of proficiency;(11) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at the British embassies in Arabic-speaking countries; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in Arabic;(12) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at the British Embassy in Japan; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in Japanese;(13) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in Portuguese.(14) how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office civil servants of the rank of third secretary and above have passed the Civil Service examination in Arabic; and how many at each level of proficiency;(15) how many posts for third secretaries and above there are at British embassies in Portuguese-speaking countries; and how many are currently occupied by Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel who have passed the Civil Service examination in Portuguese.

The information requested is set out in Tables 1 and 2 below. It relates to Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel in Grades 1–8 and equivalent as at 5th May 1977, and covers all such personnel serving in the countries specified including consular posts and missions accredited to international organisations. The numbers of officers who have passed Civil Service Commission language examinations do not take account of examinations held in February and March, the results of which had not been received on 5th May.

TABLE 1
Column (a)—Number of posts in Grades 1–8 (and equivalent) in the countries specified.
Column (b)—Number of Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel in these grades currently serving in the countries specified who have passed a Civil Service Commission examination in the language.
Column (c)—Total number of Foreign and Commonwealth Office personnel in those grades who have passed a Civil Service Commission examination in the language.
Countries(a)(b)(c)
Arabic-speaking11346171
French-speaking21344203
German-speaking13548125
Portuguese-speaking321548
Spanish-speaking9734123
Iran16330
Japan301362
USSR211081
TABLE 2
Number of Civil Service Commission language examination passes at each level
LanguageLowerIntermediateHigherAdvanceTotal
Arabic863991171
Japanese418221862

Humanitarian Law Conference

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent Conference on Humanitarian Law in Geneva.

The conference now under way in Geneva is the fourth and final session of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict which was convoked by the Swiss Government in the spring of 1974. It is due to end on 10th June.The conference is considering the draft texts of two protocols which revise and supplement the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Hague Rules of Warfare (1907). The first protocol would extend the provisions of the Geneva Conventions concerned with the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, and in particular the civilian populations. The second protocol would break new ground by establishing a code for non-international armed conflicts, which at present are covered only by the minimal provisions of Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions. The two draft protocols were prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross in consultation with Government experts.United Kingdom experts took part in these preparatory consultations and the United Kingdom delegation has played an active rôle sessions of the conference.

Bakery And Confectionery Foods (Labelling)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if the proposed EEC Council directive on the approximation of the laws of member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs for sale to the ultimate consumer were adopted, whether he expects the provisions of Articles 4(1) and 11 would enable bakery and confectionery products to be totally exempted from the need to supply information under Article 3; and, if so, whether such derogation from the primary requirements of the directive would be declared necessary and the Commission notified accordingly;(2) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to the present proposal for an EEC Council directive on the approximation of the laws of member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs to the ultimate consumer; and if he will make a statement dealing particularly with the effect which the implementation of the same might have on the bakers and confectioners of the United Kingdom;(3) what representations he has received from individual bakers, confectioners and from their trade associations concerning the effect of the implementation of the present proposal for an EEC Council directive on the approximation of the laws of member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs for sale to the ultimate consumer;(4) whether, if the proposed EEC Council directive on the approximation of the laws of member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs for the ultimate consumer were adopted, he expects that British bakers and confectioners would be required to provide full particulars under articles 3 and 5B in respect of each loaf of bread and each item of confectionery sold whether or not prepackaged; if so, what is the estimated cost of providing such information; and what will be the likely percentage increase in the cost of living.

As I said in the House on 21st April—[Vol. 930, c. 517–39]—the Commission's proposals are, in general, acceptable to us. There are however some particular provisions about which we still have reservations. We are seeking to resolve these matters as discussions proceed.We have had 17 letters of representations from bakers and confectioners covering the provisions of the proposed directive in general and ingredient listing and exemptions for the small baker in particular. Officials have met representatives from the food industry covering the interests of bakers and confectioners on twelve occasions.It is proposed that, where food is sold without pre-packaging or where it is packaged on the sales premises at the consumers' request or for immediate sale, member States may adopt their own labelling requirements. Interested organisations representing the food industry and consumers will be consulted on any proposals to introduce such national requirements.It will not be possible until the final form of the directive is known to estimate the cost of implementing its provisions for those foods which will have to comply with them. Our objective is to keep cost increases to a minimum.

Common Agricultural Policy

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the additional cost to the United Kingdom balance of payments of the agreed increase in EEC farm prices; and how much of this he estimates can be attributed to the devaluation of the green pound.

I estimate that in the period to end March 1978, the farm prices package, including the effects of the butter subsidy and the United Kingdom contribution to the Community Budget, may add about £30 million to our foreign exchange costs. About one-quarter of this is attributable to the devaluation of the green pound. But in the longer term I would expect there to be a foreign exchange saving due to lower imports.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the latest available figures from the EEC Commission showing the EEC prices for farm products as a percentage of world market prices; and if he will give the name and reference of any official EEC publication containing this information.

Pages 199/200 of "The Agricultural Situation in the Community 1976 Report" published by the EEC Commission in January 1977 give the following figures, relating to 1975 or 1975–76, of EEC entry prices as a percentage of what are described as "world market" prices. But since the prices used to represent "world market" prices are in general based on the lowest offer prices of individual consignments they do not represent the prices at which regular trade takes place:

Common wheat124
Durum wheat145
Husked rice137
Barley117
Item (and CCT number)Common Levy £/100kgACA £/100kgMCA £/100kg
Common wheat (10.01A)5·26941·05832·325
Barley (10.03)3·16640·99572·037
Maize (10.05B)3·70810·95012·061
White sugar (17.01A)11·551606·852
Butter 82–84 per cent. fat content (04.03A)106·7612*25·5042·480*
Cheddar cheese (04.04E I(b) 1 bb)93·3185*5·046738·344*
Skimmed milk powder (04.02A II (b) 1)52·2727019·455
Boneless frozen beef (02.01 A II (b) 4 bb 33)115·25906·194938·346
Lard (15.01 A II)5·27391·03835·564
Pigmeat: Carcases (02.01 A III(a) 1)16·48453·250017·389
Salted bacon sides (02.06B I(a) 2aa)22·25704·223823·475
Eggs (04.05A I (b))21·7817†2·46205·243
Poultry meat ("70 per cent. chickens") (02.02A I(b))13·0326‡2·09974·502
* There are special rates for New Zealand butter and cheese.
† Includes a supplementary levy of 20ua/100kg (£11·3921)(applicable on imports from certani
‡ Includes a supplementary levy of 5ua/100kg (£2·8480)countries of origin).
Note: Regulations provide for supplementary levies to operate in these two sectors when average free at frontier offer prices fall below sluice gate prices.Offer prices relate to consignments of varying characteristics depending on circumstances

Maize128
White sugar109
Live bovine animals158
Pigmeat113
Butter320
Skimmed milk powder (Spray)266
Olive oil207
Oilseeds127

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report the current EEC common levies, expressed in £ sterling at the current market rate of exchange, for: common wheat, barley, maize, white sugar, butter, Cheddar cheese, skimmed milk powder, boneless frozen beef, lard, pigmeat, eggs and poultrymeat, together with the lowest offer price, the monetary compensatory amount and the accession compensatory amount for the United Kingdom.

EEC common import levies and accession compensatory amounts are expressed in sterling after conversion at the representative rate. When converted to sterling at the current market rate of exchange used for the purposes of monetary compensatory amounts (£1=1·27402 ua) the levies and ACAs at 10th May 1977 for the items requested are as follows. United Kingdom mcas are fixed in sterling and those shown below are in operation on the same date.and information about the lowest offer prices is not readily available.

British Commonwealth Ex-Services League

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance will be offered by the British Government towards the triennial Conference of the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League to be held in Edinburgh on 23rd to 27th May.

I am glad to say that the British Government are prepared to make a grant of £5,000 towards the cost of this conference. In agreeing to make this grant, the Government have in mind the important work being done by the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League towards the welfare of ex-Service men throughout the Commonwealth and its contribution towards intra-Common-wealth relations.Parliament will be asked to approve the necessary Supplementary Estimate in due course. In the meantime, an advance will be sought from the Contingencies Fund.

Transport

Road Haulage (Costs)

3.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received since the Budget about road haulage costs.

Seat Belts

7.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will introduce legislation to encourage the use of seat belts by providing that the non-use of seat belts will in future result in the limitation of liability to third party insurance only.

I do not believe that this would have the desired effect, and it would create unjustifiable hardship. In some recent court cases compensation has been reduced where the injured party was not wearing a seat belt, but this has had no measureable effect on wearing rates.

Railways

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy towards improved productivity on British Railways.

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he is satisfied with current levels of productivity on British Rail.

I always welcome improved productivity in transport, as we must all do, throughout British industry.

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy towards trunk route electrification on British Railways.

I look at any schemes the Railways Board submits to me on their merits.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Central Transport Consultative Committee and other bodies on proposals to replace rail by bus services; and whether he will make a statement.

I have noted the views of the Central Transport Consultative Committee on the Railways Board's proposals and I have heard many other views from time to time.

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received any estimate from the British Railways Board of the number of track miles on which passenger services may have to be withdrawn by 1986 in the event of a continued flat investment level for British Railways beyond 1981.

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with rail passengers about future rail policy.

Frequent; as a rail passenger myself I am always listening and taking note.

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the present track mileage of British Railways; if any plans exist to cut down on this in the next year; and whether any agreement on this has been arrived at with the National Union of Railwaymen, the Amalgamated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Footplatemen, and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association.

22,311 on 1st January 1977. I know of no such plans; the question of agreement, therefore, does not arise.

41.

Evans asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of railway lines have been closed in Wales during the last 20 years; and how many remain fully active for freight and transport.

million at outturn prices)
19721973197419751976
Eastern18·722·630·147·239·2
London Midland28·325·724·330·929·0
Scottish14·112·010·817·115·8
Southern14·718·323·928·621·1
Western10·011·113·216·311·9
Investment not directly attributable to any one region has not been included.

Lorries

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the present stage of discussions within the EEC on the proposal to harmonise maximum lorry weights.

The Commission is completing detailed proposals to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for decision.

Bramley Level Crossing (Hampshire)

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport on the basis of what information about the relative safety of the alternatives he arrived at his decision to approve the proposal of British Railways to install an automatic half-barrier installation on the level crossing at Bramley, Hampshire; and what powers he has to rescind his consent if shown to be based upon wrong information.

The relative safety of various methods of level crossing protection can be derived from the statistics of level crossing accidents published in the Annual Report on the Safety Record of the Railways in Great Britain. Under Section 66(7) of the British Transport Commission Act 1957 I have power to

Full information is not readily available, but I understand that 832 miles have been closed to passenger services. 980 miles are still fully operational for freight and passenger services.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the level of investment in each British Railways region for each of the last five years.

I understand from the British Railways Board that the following sums have been invested in rail services in each of their regions:amend or revoke any level crossing order made under that Act.

M6 (West Midlands)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the defects recently discovered in road joints on the elevated sections of the M6 motorway in the West Midlands.

The joints installed when the viaducts were built were of the buried type. This means that there is no discontinuity in the surface at the joint, thus giving a smoother ride. Although they have been used successfully elsewhere, many of them broke down on the M6, and replacement by a different type of joint is now being carried out progressively.

Tachographs

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he intends to implement EEC directive 1463/70 about the introduction of tachographs into lorries.

National Bus Company

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he next proposes to meet the Chairman of the National Bus Company.

Policy (White Paper)

38.

Evans asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish his White Paper on Transport policy.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Faversham (Mr. Moate).

British Railways Board

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he next expects to meet the Chairman of the British Railways Board.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to Questions from the hon. Members for Banbury (Mr. Marten), Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Henderson) and Daventry (Mr. Jones).

Passenger Transport Executives

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the performance of passenger transport executives in running public transport.

The way in which passenger transport executives exercise their functions is a matter for the metropolitan county council concerned, as the passenger transport authority.

Inner Cities

45.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the level of Government funding for public transport services in inner cities.

Expenditure on public transport serving the needs of inner cities falls within local authority responsibility for local transport. The Government provide support through rate support grant and transport supplementary grant in England, and through RSG alone in Scotland. These are block grants, and cannot be related to any separate part of local authority expenditure, but the Government expect local authorities with inner city problems to reflect these in their transport policies and programmes.

Lorry Drivers

46.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what response he made to the Transport and General Workers Union suggestion that there should be a Government committee of inquiry into the question of drivers' overnight accommodation.

My right hon. Friend is considering the suggestion and intends to discuss it further with the Transport and General Workers Union.

Road Traffic, Accidents And Casualties

asked the Secretary of State for Transport by what percentage the annual average volume of traffic on United Kingdom roads has risen since 1945; and by what percentage the average annual number of casualties has risen over the same period.

I regret that the information is not available in the precise form requested but the following is available:

AVERAGE ANNUAL RISE IN TRAFFIC AND CASUALTIES 1949–1976. GREAT BRITAIN
Percentage
Motor Traffic+6·4
Road casualties+2·4

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list, respectively, the totals of persons killed or seriously injured as a result of two-wheeled motor vehicle accidents in each of the years 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976.

I regret the information is not readily available in the precise form requested but the following information is available:

CASUALTIES AMONGST USERS OF TWO-WHEELED MOTOR VEHICLES: GREAT BRITAIN, 1966–76
KilledSeriously injured
19661,13421,582
196792018,737
196887717,114
196979115,592
197076115,378
197180014,782
197272913,380
197375013,791
197479613,905
197583815,775
197699018,861

Tyres

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what study he has made of the developments and research taking place in tyre technology in repairing tyres by the use of an aerosol containing a mixture of rubber foam, gas and liquid; if the Road Research Laboratory is working on this project; and if he will make a statement.

Such aerosol sealants are not currently the subject of research by this laboratory. They are liable to disguise damage to carcases of tyres, and a current British Standard for tyre repairs precludes their use either for temporary or for permanent purposes.

LesseeService Areas
Trust Houses Forte LtdScratchwoodM1
Newport PagnellM1
WoodallM1
FleetM3
GordanoM5
CorleyM6
KeeleM6
Charnock RichardM6
Burton woodM62
Granada Motorway Services Ltd.ToddingtonM1
Woolley EdgeM1
HestonM4
Leigh DelamereM4
FrankleyM5
ExeterM5—under construction
SouthwaiteM6
BirchM62
Washington-BirtleyA1(M)
Rank Leisure Services Ltd.Farthing CornerM2
AustM4
Hilton ParkM6
KnutsfordM6
FortonM6
Ross Motorway Services LtdLeicester Forest East.M1
MemburyM4
Hartshead MoorM62
Galleon Roadchef LtdTaunton DeaneM5
SandbachM6
RownhamsM27
Kenning Motor GroupStrenshamM5
AndertonM61
Blue Boar GroupRothersthorpeM1—under construction
Watford GapM1
Mobil Oil Company Ltd.Michael WoodM5
Burton WestM6
Mecca Ltd.TrowellM1
BP Oil Company LtdKillington LakeM6
Westmorland Motorway Services LtdTebay WestM6
Rent receipts£
1966–67461,00
1967–68453,00
1969–70577,00
1970–71643,00
1971–72851,00
1971–72822,00
1972–731,442,000
1973–741,905,00
1974–752,877,000
1975–763,256,00

Motorway Service Areas

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those organisations benefiting from motorway concessions, together with the amount each paid for the benefit by outlet for each year for the last 10 years or whatever shorter time the concession has been in existance.

It is not our practice to divulge the details of individual contracts with the motorway service area operators. A list of the operators with the service areas they operate and a table showing the total annual receipts of rent for the last 10 years for which figures are yet available are given below:

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how the cost of each concession granted on the motorway is computed; and what method he uses to grant such concession.

Motorway service areas are leased, usually for 50 years, to their operators after competitive tenders for the development of the site. My Department pays the capital cost of the site and of the necessary engineering works on it. The operator pays for the catering buildings and petrol filling stations. Tenders are judged on the scale, layout and appearance of the development proposed and on the rent offered, which is composed in part of a fixed amount and in part of a varying percentage of gross turnover. No tender is accepted unless the expected receipt of rent represents a reasonable return on the Department's capital expenditure.

Driving Tests (Manchester)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the driving test centres in Greater Manchester, and state the average time people have to wait from first applying until they can take their test at each of these centres.

The position on 29th April was as follows:

Driving Test Centres in Greater ManchesterWaiting period (weeks)
Bolton9
Bury13
Didsbury11
Failsworth11
Reddish16
Rochdale11
Sale7
Strangeways14
Whalley Range15
Wigan14
Withington9

Motor Vehicles (Exhaust Emissions)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what interest his Department has taken with motor manufacturers in seeking to reduce the emission of fuel exhaust.

Since 1973 all new vehicles have had to conform to strict standards of construction to limit the emission of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. These requirements have been made more stringent for vehicles first used from 1st April this year, and standards are to be introduced for nitrogen oxides within the next two to three years. The United Kingdom is currently involved in consideration of yet stricter standards for all three types of pollutants within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

A57 (Todwick And Anstow Crossroads)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will allow the improvement of Todwick and Anstow crossroads on the A57 to proceed without delay.

I would refer my hon. Friend to my letter of 11th May, which he should by now have received.

Motorways (Diversion Signs)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to launch a national advertising campaign to explain the purpose of the new geometric motorway diversion signs.

A national advertising campaign would not be justified, but leaflets to explain the purpose of the new signs will be produced in the near future for distribution to motorists. Also, the signs will be illustrated in the Department's booklet "Know Your Traffic Signs" in due course.

Traffic Regulation (Road Markings)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what powers county councils now have to alter and mark roads without reference to him where parking is forbidden or restricted although the original authority was given by him.

Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967, as amended by the Transport Act 1968 and subsequent legislation, county councils have wide powers for the regulation of traffic on roads for which they are the highway authority without reference to the Secretary of State. These powers can be used to vary or revoke traffic regulation orders on these roads, whether the original orders were made by the authority themselves or by another authority and, in the majority of cases, whether or not the original orders were confirmed by a Minister. Only in a minority of cases, mainly where the variation order would introduce or perpetuate a denial of access by vehicles to premises for more than eight hours in 24, would the consent of the Secretary of State be required.

Road Construction (North-West England)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give an up-to-date estimate of the cost of outstanding highway schemes in the North West Region, stating the mileage and

Estimated startMileageEstimated cost (at November 1976 prices)£ million
A6M Stockport North/South bypassc6·522·0
A41 Improvement at Chesterd3·04·0
A49 Tarporley bypassc1·70·5
A51 Chester-Tarvinc3·72·0
A52 Barthomley link to M6c4·03·0
A54 Kelsall bypassb2·13·0
A56 Haslingden bypassb2·57·5
A56 Accrington E bypassb4·111·0
A59 Mellor Brook-Whalleyf7·48·0
A59 Bickerstaffe-Bretherton stage 1c14·116·5
A59 Bickerstaffe-Bretherton stage 2f14·5
A59 Bretherton-Huttonf3·76·0
A59 Commercial Hotel-Crooks Housef2·41·5
A59 Preston Southern bypassf4·824·0
A59 Stoop Hill Plantationf1·50·5
M56 Hapsford-Stoakb2·66·0
M56 Stoak interchangeb2·14·5
M56 Stoak-Powey Laneb1·43·5
M58 Aintree-Skelmersdaleb8·026·0
M58 Skelmersdale-M6u3·42·0
M63 Stockport east-west bypassb2·415·0
M63/66 Manchester outer orbital, Portwood-Dentonc3·724·5
M65 M6/M1-Whitebirkb10·232·0
M65 Whitebirk-Hyndburnb2·19·0
M65 Hyndburn-Huncoat Junctionb2·99·5
M65 Huncoat Junction-Burnleyb2·59·5
M66 Bury Easterly bypass (Northern section)u5·818·5
M66 Manchester outer orbital, Denton-Middletond9·457·0
M67 Hyde bypassu3·216·0
M67 Denton relief roadb1·311·5
A483 Chester southern bypass-Welsh Borderc2·43·5
A523 Macclesfield inner relief roadc1·15·5
A523 Improvement between Macclesfield and Hazel Grovef7·912·0
A580 Grade Separation at Irlamu0·79·0
A590 Dalton in Furness bypassc2·26·0
A590 Diversion High Newtonc2·43·0
A590 Meathop-Sampool Bridgeb3·85·0
A590 Ulverston diversion stage 3b0·60·5
A590 Greenodd diversionb0·62·0
A590 Arrad Foot diversiona0·91·0
A590 Improvement east of Newby Bridgec1·01·0
A628 Improvement and bypasses east and west of National Park(formerly A616 Manchester-Sheffield)dNot yet determinedNot yet determined
A5117/A550 Junction improvementfNil2–0
Start dates are quoted in bands:
(a) 1977.
(b) 1978 and 1979.
(c) 1980–82.
(d) 1983–85.
(e) after 1985.
(f) no start date determined.
(u) under construction.

cost of each scheme and a detailed expenditure programme over the next 10 years.

Trunk road schemes in the North-West are listed in the attached table. The phasing of expenditure depends on many factors and cannot be predicted accurately. The table indicates the expected start date of schemes; most will be built with 2-year contracts.

Scotland

Fishing Limits

49.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will extend the area in which industrial fishing has been banned.

There is no area in which industrial fishing is currently banned. Under the Norway Pout (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 1977 the fishing of Norway pout in an area of the North Sea was banned from 21st February to 31st March. The continuation of this ban after 1st August is to be the subject of a proposal to be submitted by the EEC Commission before that date. The purpose of the ban is to reduce the damaging effect on immature white fish stocks taken as by-catches in Norway pout fishing, and the area concerned is that where most protection can be given to these stocks. The case for extending the area and the period to which the prohibition applies will be kept under consideration in relation to the Commission's proposal.

Oil-Related Infrastructure (Cowal)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what sum has to date been spent in the Cowal area, out of funds earmarked for expenditure on infrastructure in areas where oil-related industries are located.

Since the scheme of special financial assistance began in 1975–76, grants totalling £14·7 million have been allocated to local authorities in Scotland incurring net additional expenditure on oil-related infrastructure. Of this total £441,633 has been allocated to Strathclyde Regional Council and £25,259 to Argyll and Bute District Council. These grant payments cannot be related directly to the Cowal area, but the case for special assistance to the two authorities was mainly based on infrastructure needs arising from oil-related developments there.

Probation

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library copies of the probation schemes required in terms of Section 27(3) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will publish figures distinguishing by sex, by age groups 16 to 21 years and 21 years and over, and by type of procedure, showing the number of probation orders made in each of the years 1971 to 1976 inclusive which (a) were completed on the normal date, (b) were discharged early on the grounds of good progress, (c) were terminated because of further offence, and (d) were terminated because of a breach of requirement;(2) how many males aged 21 years and over sentenced to periods of imprisonment by sheriff courts of summary procedure in each of the years 1971 to 1976 inclusive were the subject of social inquiry reports before sentence; and how many males aged 21 years and over were sentenced to periods of imprisonment by sheriff courts of summary procedure in each of the years 1971 to 1976, inclusive;(3) how many females aged 21 years and over sentenced to periods of imprisonment by sheriff courts of summary procedure in each of the years 1971 to 1976, inclusive, were the subject of social inquiry reports before sentence; and how many females aged 21 years and over were sentenced to periods of imprisonment by sheriff courts of summary procedure in each of the years 1971 to 1976, inclusive.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) to what he attributes the decline in the use of probation reported in the report Social Work in Scotland, 1974; and what steps he has taken since to investigate and remedy this decline;(2) in view of the comment of the Scottish Council on Crime, paragraph III of its Memorandum 1975 that social inquiry reports were not always of an acceptable standard either in terms of content or of presentation, what steps he has taken to obtain further or more recent evidence as to the views of sentencers concerning the adequacy of reports; and what steps he has taken or intends to take to investigate and remedy this inadequacy.

Various factors may have contributed to the decline in the use of probation by Scottish courts. A document entitled "The Social Worker Reports" was prepared and issued by my Department in 1974 to give evidence on the preparation and presentation of social inquiry reports to courts and other agencies. Several local authorities have taken initiatives to strengthen services provided to the courts in their areas—for example, by the appointment of designated court officers. My Department is undertaking a programme of research on the arrangements made for the supervision and treatment of offenders by local authority social work departments. The Advisory Council on Social Work has recently set up a working group to examine, among other subjects, a number of aspects of probation. In the light of any recommendations which may be made by the Council my right hon. Friend will consider whether any further guidance should be given to local authorities.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many probation hostels exist in Scotland, understanding by the term "probation hostel" an institution used in terms of Section 2(6) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1949 now Section 183(5) and 384(5) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975; and what plans there are for the further development of such provision;(2) what applications he received during each of the years 1971 to 1976, inclusive, from (

a) local authorities, and ( b) voluntary organisations for financial assistance in the establishing or running of probation hostels in Scotland;

(3) what encouragement, advice and assistance he gave to ( a) local authorities and ( b) voluntary organisations to establish and run probation hostels in Scotland during each of the years 1971 to 1976 inclusive.

Information is not available centrally on the number of hostels used exclusively or in part for persons on probation. A number of local authorities have plans for the provision of accommodation suitable for offenders, but implementation of these will depend on the availability of resources. Advice has been issued to voluntary organisations on the financial assistance available to them under Section 10 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. My Department receives from time to time inquiries from voluntary organisations about the availability of grants for probation hostels and seeks, where possible, to provide advice and assistance on the development of this type of provision. For various reasons, organisations have experienced difficulties in implementing their proposals, but an application for grant for a probation hostel in Aberdeen was received and approved earlier this year. It is expected that this hostel will be opened shortly.

Imprisonment

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he intends to take either to encourage or require sheriff courts of summary procedure to consider a social inquiry report prior to imposing sentence of imprisonment on persons aged 21 years and over, irrespective of the number of previous convictions of that person.

My right hon. Friend is considering the possibility of extending the present "first offenders" legislation to cover all persons who have not previously served a custodial sentence.

Police (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when next he plans to meet representatives of the police to discuss police pay; and if he will make a statement.

Scottish Office Ministers have met representatives of the Scottish Police Federation several times during the recent discussions about police pay. We shall meet them again as often as is necessary.

Atmospheric Pollution

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what will be the cost of adaptation of oil-fired generating plant in Scotland to reduce sulphur emission in the current draft EEC directive comes into effect; and what representations he has made about the proposal.

I understand that the hon. Member has been informed by the chairmen of the Scottish electricity boards that, on certain assumptions about the rate of load growth, relative fuel prices and the definition of zones of special protection for the purposes of the proposed directive, the annual cost to the two boards might be in the range of £2 million-£8 million. Full account is being taken in discussions on the proposed directive of the implications for the electricity boards.

Offenders (Lodgings)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many supported lodgings have been provided by (a) local authorities and (b) voluntary organisations specifically for offenders during each of the years 1971 to 1976. inclusive.

Social Work Services (Intermediate Treatment)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements have been made by the Social Work Services Group for adequate educational liaison in connection with intermediate treatment schemes.

Advice has been issued by my Department on the need for close liaison between local authority social work departments and the other agencies which may be able to contribute to programmes of intermediate treatment.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many residential units have been established in connection with intermediate treatment schemes to date;(2) how many intermediate treatment schemes for juveniles have been established; where these are located; and when each commenced.

I am sending the hon. Member the information that is available to me about intermediate treatment schemes in existence or planned. It is not comprehensive, since such schemes may be developed on an informal basis locally.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what resources have been transferred from residential care to assist development of intermediate treatment schemes;(2) how many cases have been referred by children's hearings and by voluntary steering to intermediate treatment centres for juveniles.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the adequacy of powers available to children's hearings to make orders directing children to attend intermediate treatment centres.

A child subject to a supervision requirement made by a children's hearing may attend an intermediate treatment centre as a condition of that requirement or at the instigation of the supervising social worker. I consider that, in this respect, the present powers of the hearings are adequate.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what financial aid and services have been made available to local authorities operating intermediate treatment schemes for juveniles;(2) if he is satisfied with the operation to date of intermediate treatment centres for juveniles; and what proposals he has for extension or contraction of the schemes.

In addition to the resources made available by local authorities, intermediate treatment projects have received grants of approximately £205,000 from my Department over the last five years under the Urban Programme. Over the same period, grants totalling £92,000 have been paid to voluntary organisations in connection with their work in this field. My Department has issued a memorandum of guidance on the development of intermediate treatment programmes, and from time to time arranges conferences and seminars on this subject. Depending on the availability of financial resources, I hope that local authorities and voluntary organisations will continue to develop a broad range of facilities for children subject to supervision requirements made by children's hearings.

Bases (Subsidies)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in the Official Report the level of subsidies awarded to each company in the Scottish Bus Group for each of the last five years, indicating the level of take-up in each case.

Financial support for bus services is provided by the regional councils and payments to individual companies are a matter for the Scottish Transport Group. The total of revenue grants paid by all local authorities to the group in each of the last five years is shown in the group's report and accounts for 1976 which were laid before Parliament on 4th May 1977.

Public Holidays

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what specific legislation exists in Scotland for the definition of public holidays and the timing thereof.

Bank holidays are designated under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, but these apply only to bank employees. In Scotland, there is no legislation bearing on general holidays, which by custom and tradition have for long been arranged at local level by the local authorities after taking into account views of interests in their areas.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in the Official Report the number of public holidays in Scotland as compared with other member nations of the EEC.

Seven public holidays are generally observed in Scotland, apart from the additional holiday this year to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and the May Day holiday to be introduced in 1978. According to information published by the EEC for 1975, the number of generally recognised public holidays in other EEC countries is Belgium 10, Denmark 10, Federal German Republic 10 to 13, France 8 to 10, Netherlands, seven, Ireland seven to eight, Italy 17 and Luxembourg 10.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation guaranteeing a fixed number of general public holidays in Scotland to which everyone would, in normal circumstances, be entitled, and making specific provision as to the authority responsible for fixing the timing of the laid-down number of days.

No. I am not aware of any widespread dissatisfaction with the present practice, whereby holidays are fixed locally. This appears to have advantages, including the avoidance of congestion of the kind which occurs on Bank holidays in England and Wales.

Social Services

Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what was the total cost to public funds of supplying, maintaining and running the Invacar invalid tricycle in each of the last five years for which figures are available;(2) what is his estimate of the cost to public funds of the provision and maintenance of one Invacar invalid carriage in each of the last five years.

Following is the available information for England:

TOTAL EXPENDITURE*
(£ Million)
1972–734·275
1973–744·697
1974–755·321
1975–766·760
1976–777·821
AVERAGE COST PER 3-WHEELER DRIVER AT 30 SEPTEMBER
(£)
1972243
1973267
1974302
1975365
1976425
*The figures include the cost of providing new and refurbished second-hand vehicles to first applicants and as replacements, repairing and maintaining all vehicles on issue and in the reserve fleet, insurance, driving tuition and petrol tax allowance. Administration costs which are not separately recorded are not included.

Family Income Supplement

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of the total cost of increasing the level of qualification for family income supplement in July and November 1977.

The July uprating is expected to cost about £1 million to November 1977. An estimate of the cost from November will be available when details of the November uprating are announced.

Health Authorities (Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he intends to instruct health authorities to re-examine their proposals for capital expenditure in 1977–78 with a view to concentrating on items of essential health provision rather than apparently less essential schemes such as laundry buffer stores.

NUMBER OF PERSONS IN RECEIPT OF VARIOUS SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
Benefit in payment by virtue ofBenefitDateNumber of persons in receipt of benefit on date shown (Thousands)
UnemploymentUnemployment benefit (with or without earnings-related supplement) only.7th February 1977447
UnemploymentUnemployment benefit (with or without earnings-related supplement) and supplementary benefit.7th February 1977138
Unemploymentsupplementary benefit only7th February 1977560
Low earningsFamily Income SupplementJanuary 197779
RetirementRetirement pension only26th November 19766,848
RetirementRetirement pension and supplementary benefit.26th November 19761,569
RetirementSupplementary benefit only26th November 197691
In addition, at 26th November 1976, 72,000 widows over pension age were in receipt of widow's benefit and a further 22,000 were in receipt of widow's benefit and supplementary benefit.

Radiography Services

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the present state of radiography services in the health service both for diagnosis and treatment in particular regarding the replacement of out-of-date equipment; and what steps, if any, he proposes to take to improve the situation.

The provision of diagnostic radiology and radiotherapy equipment including the replacement of existing apparatus, as a matter for the health authorities to plan. In the last financial year some £18 million was spent by them

It is for health authorities to keep their capital programmes under review in order to make the most effective use of the resources available to them in the selection of small schemes to meet local needs and priorities.

Benefit Recipients

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of people currently drawing social security benefits who are out of work, currently drawing social security benefits as supplements to income, and currently drawing social security benefits as supplements to retirement pensions, respectively.

The latest available information is as follows:on replacement and initial purchase of such equipment. I regard this as generally satisfactory in the present financial circumstances.

X-Ray Equipment (Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the expenditure figures on X-ray equipment for diagnosis and therapy by individual regions for the years 1974 to 1977 and the proposed expenditure for 1977–78.

I regret that the information is not available by individual regions but total expenditure on X-ray and other electro-medical apparatus purchased centrally in the financial years 1974–75, 1975–76 and 1976–77 was £8·596 million, £13·783 million and £18·047 million, respectively. The forecast expenditure in 1977–78 is £13·8 million at outturn prices.

Brain Scanners

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many X-ray brain scanners are held in National Health Service hospitals; and if he will list these.

23 EMI brain scanners are held in the National Health Service at the following hospitals:

  • Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.
  • Atkinson Morley Hospital, Wimbledon.
  • Brook General Hospital, Woolwich.
  • Central Middlesex Hospital.
  • Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.
  • Freedom Fields Hospital, Plymouth.
  • Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.
  • Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street.
  • Leeds General Infirmary.
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary.
  • Midland Centre for Neurosurgery and Neurology, Smethwich.
  • National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square (2).
  • Newcastle General Hospital.
  • North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary.
  • Preston Royal Infirmary.
  • Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford.
  • Salford Royal Hospital.
  • Sheffield Royal Infirmary.
  • Southampton General Hospital.
  • The London Hospital.
  • The Maudsley Hospital.
  • Walton Hospital, Liverpool.
Three more brain scanners are on order.

Frauds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the top 10 categories of most common frauds of the social security system for which convictions have been achieved in each of the last seven years.

Information is not kept in precisely this form. But among the commoner offences leading to prosecution and conviction in recent years have been: receiving benefit whilst having income from undeclared earnings; women falsely declaring their husband to be in desertion; women falsely declaring the constitution of their household; manipulation and wrongful encashment of Girocheques, false declarations in respect of home address and last payment of benefit received.

Doctors (Incomes)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the average gross and net real incomes of general practitioners for each of the past five years, taking 1972–73 to be 100.

The following table gives the required information. The figures have been calculated by applying movements in the retail price index to the average payments given in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Pavitt) on 6th April.—[Vol. 929, c. 569.]

INDEX OF AVERAGE AMOUNTS (GREAT BRITAIN FIGURES) PER GENERAL MEDICAL PRACTITIONER PAID BY FAMILY PRACTITIONER COMMITTEES
YearAverage gross income (inclusive of all practice expenses)Average net income
1972–73100·0100·0
1973–7497·595·1
1974–7593·488·4
1975–76*99·799·0
1976–77†96·088·3
*Provisional.
† Estimated.

Prisoners (Relatives' Visits)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the cost to public funds in each of the last eight years of paying for travel costs of relations visiting prisoners in gaol in Great Britain; what has been the cost of accommodation for such relations paid for by social security during the period of such visits; how many such visits were made; and how many persons were provided with such accommodation.

Information is available from 1971 when the Home Office took over financial responsibility.

PeriodCostNumber of awards
April-March:£
1971–72115,69333,478
1972–73136,37329,272
1973–74121,20323,534
1974–75133,73623,078
1975–76226,23529,131
April 1976–February 1977222,02730,100

The further details asked for are not recorded.

Speech Therapists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many speech therapists are employed by each area health authority in England; and what percentage in each authority work full-time in maintained schools.

The numbers of speech therapists—whole-time equivalent—employed by area health authorities England at 30th September 1975 are out in the table below. The percentage requested is not available centrally, but it is estimated that nearly 70 per cent. speech therapy services are devoted treating pupils in maintained schools, children not vet of school age.

Northern Regional Health Authority
Cleveland7
Cumbria8
Durham10
Northumberland4
Gateshead3
Newcastle-upon-Tyne8
North Tyneside2·5
South Tyneside0·5
Sunderland4
Total47
Trent Regional Health Authority
Derbyshire13·5
Leicestershire23
Lincolnshire6·5
Nottinghamshire21·5
Barnsley3
Doncaster4·5
Rotherham1
Sheffield10
Total83
North-West Thames Regional Health Authority
Bedfordshire4
Hertfordshire17
Barnet6
Brent/Harrow11·5
Ealing/Hammersmith/Hounslow6·5
Hillingdon4·5
Kensington & Chelsea/Westminster10·5
Total60
South-East Thames Regional Health Authority
East Sussex18·5
Kent31
Greenwich/Bexley17·5
Bromley7·5
Lambeth/Lewisham/Southwark5
Total79·5
Yorkshire Regional Health Authority
Humberside14
North Yorkshire16·5
Bradford6·5
Calderdale1
Kirklees6·5
Leeds18
Wakefield3·5
Total66

East Anglia Regional Health Authority

Cambridgeshire10·5
Norfolk9
Suffolk5·5
Total25

North-East Thames Regional Health Authority

Essex32·5
Barking/Havering4
Camden/Islington17
City & East London22·5
Enfield/Haringey5·5
Redbridge/Waltham Forest7·5
Total89

South-West Thames Regional Health Authority

Surrey21·5
West Sussex11·5
Croydon8
Kingston/Richmond4·5
Merton/Sutton/Wandsworth19·5
Total65

Wessex Regional Health Authority

Dorset9
Hampshire17
Wiltshire7
Isle of Wight1·5
Other7·5
Total42

South-Western Regional Health Authority

Avon25
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly6
Devon4
Gloucestershire3
Somerset6·5
Total44·5

West Midlands Regional Health Authority

Hereford and Worcester11·5
Salop0
Staffordshire14·5
Warwickshire8
Birmingham20
Coventry6·5
Dudley5·5
Sandwell4·5
Solihull4
Walsall5
Wolverhampton2
Total81·5

Oxford Regional Health Authority

Berkshire30
Buckinghamshire13
Northamptonshire12·5
Oxfordshire17
Total72·5

Mersey Regional Health Authority

Cheshire19·5
Liverpool12
St. Helens/Knowsley1
Sefton3·5
Wirral6
Total42

North-Western Regional Health Authority

Lancashire11·5
Bolton0·5
Bury2
Manchester24
Oldham5
Rochdale0·5
Salford6
Stockport5·5
Tameside3·5
Trafford3·5
Wigan0
Total61

Surgical Appliances

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps are being taken to minimise delay in supply of surgical appliances through the National Health Service.

Surgical appliances are usually supplied promptly, and I believe that the record of appliance contractors is a good one, bearing in mind that many of these appliances are, of necessity, individually tailor made. I am, however, anxious to eliminate any delay that can possibly be avoided. My Department is writing to health authorities and surgical appliance suppliers, asking them to do all they can to promote prompt delivery. We are also asking them to arrange for systematic progressing of orders by hospitals, where this is not already being done, and calling for reports to my Department where local progress chasing is not successful. These arrangements will be monitored as part of a programme of visits to hospitals and contractors by departmental staff.

Hospital Equipment (Sales)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what policy is pursued by his Department on the sale of hospital equipment which is no longer in use.

National Health Service equipment that is obsolete or surplus to an authority's requirements is normally circularised in the first instance within the NHS. If not disposed of in this way it may then be sold to non-NHS hospitals, local authorities or the Joint Mission Hospital Equipment Board, or, in the last resort, sold as scrap.

Private Beds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report (a) how many wards in the following hospitals contain private beds: St. Bartholomew's, St. Mark's, St. Matthew's, Eastern, Hackney and German; (b) how many of the wards containing private beds are now closed; and (c) how many wards containing National Health Service beds are currently closed in each hospital.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 9th May 1977], gave the following information:Private beds need not be set aside within a particular ward, but, where authorised, private patients may be admitted to any part of the hospital. St. Bartholomew's Hospital has six such private beds authorised, St. Mark's 12 and the German three. There are no other authorised private beds at the hospitals listed.At present St. Mark's restricts private admissions to eight places only and the German admits no private patients. Authorised private beds will be reduced from 21st May by three at St. Mark's and three at the German under the provisions of the Health Services Act 1976.Ward closures at the listed hospitals, including temporary closures for economy or for upgrading, are as follows:

St. Bartholomew's Hospital3
St. Mark's Hospital1
St. Matthew's Hospital1
Eastern Hospital1
Hackney Hospital6
German Hospitalnil

One-Parent Families

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures showing the net weekly spending power of a single mother with two children not over 11 years of age in April 1976 and in April 1977, assuming in each case weekly earnings of £25, £30, £35, and £40.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 2nd May 1977; Vol. 931, c. 27], gave the following information:The net weekly spending power of a single mother with two children aged 4 and 6 on the basis of the assumptions described in the notes, is as shown overleaf:

Earnings

Tax

National Insurance Contributions

Family Income Supplement

Rent Rebate

Rates Rebate

Free Welfare Milk

Free School Meals

Net Weekly Spending Power

April 1976—
£251·444·304·421·650·600·7529·91
£300·911·731·803·791·450·600·7530·38
£352·662·012·991·190·7529·89
£404·412·302·090·8830·89
April 1977 (a)—
£251·448·805·021·850·750·7533·93
£301·736·304·401·650·750–7535·32
£351·542·013·803·771·450·750·7535·17
£403·292·301·303·221·270·750·7534·90
April 1977 (b)—
£251·448·805·021·850·750·7533·93
£301·736·304·401·650·750·7535·32
£351·542·013·803·771·450·750·7535·26
£403·102·301·303·221·270·750·7535·09
(i) The figures for April 1977 reflect the proposed tax changes announced in the Budget, (a) based on a tax rate of 35 per cent. and (b) a tax rate of 33 per cent.
(ii) The following assumptions have been made:
April 1976: family allowances and child interim benefit totalling £3 in payment; rent £4·72; rates £1·90; work expenses £1·75.
April 1977: child benefit plus child benefit increase totalling £3 in payment; rent £5·60; rates £2·20; work expenses £2.
(iii) For family income supplement purposes family allowances were taken into account throughout but child interim benefit was not taken into account until July

National Finance

Emigrants

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to provide for a system of tax-clearance certificates for emigrants.

This possibility has been considered on a number of occasions but it has been concluded that it is impracticable.

European Community Budget

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated cost to the EEC budget of the agreed increase of EEC farm prices in a full year; and what is his latest estimate of the outturn of the EEC budget in 1977 on present commitments.

The Commission has not yet informed the Council of the estimated budgetary consequences of the recently agreed increases in EEC agricultural prices and related decisions. However Mr. Tugendhat, the Commissioner for financial affairs, is reported to have said in a recent speech that the cost of these decisions in a full year will be about 1,000 million units of account (£417 million), and will add 248 million units of account (£103 million) to the budget for 1977.It is not possible to forecast the outturn of the 1977 Community budget; the provision in the budget as adopted totalled 8,800 million units of account (£3,667 million), to which will need to be added the total of a supplementary budget needed to take account of the agricultural price settlement and other factors.

Construction Industry (Tax Exemption Certificates)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many construction contractors residing in, and operating from, the area covered by the Macclesfield constituency have applied for a 714 certificate; of these how many have been granted a certificate; and how many have been refused.

On 14th April, the date of most recent count, 956 applications had been received by inspectors of taxes dealing with the area covered by the Macclesfield constituency. Of these, 718 had been approved and 55 refused. The remainder were still under inquiry, in most cases awaiting further information from the applicants concerned.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many sub-contractors' certificates have been refused by the tax inspectors of his Department over the last 12 months to the latest available date.

15,473 sub-contractors had their applications turned down between 9th April 1976 and 14th April 1977. Some of them will subsequently have been granted certificates, either after appealing, or, having taken steps to meet the qualifying conditions, after a fresh application.