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Written Answers

Volume 932: debated on Monday 16 May 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 16th May 1977

Energy

Elderly Persons

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action he is taking to assist old people in making full and economical use of the fuel they purchase.

The Department of Energy gives advice on economical use of fuel as part of the "Save It" campaign—for example, through the free booklet "Compare Your Home Heating Costs" and others, and has also encouraged local authorities to make use of the Job Creation Programme to insulate the roofs of their buildings, including dwellings which old people live in. A number of other forms of advice and assistance are also available from a variety of sources.

Petrol

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what criteria are used in calculating the correspondence between the rise in price of petrol with the reduction in consumption.

Estimates of the effects of changes in the price of petrol on consumption are made by reference to the results of recent studies which have analysed previous experience of such changes. Some such results were published in February 1977 by the Department in Energy Paper No. 17, Report of the Working Party on Energy Elasticities.

Policy

16.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what consultations he has held recently on energy policy.

I am in regular contact with a wide range of interests concerned in energy policy matters, at home and abroad. I have recently held discussions in the United States, Saudi Arabia, the USSR and, of course, in Europe.

Research And Development

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the anticipated increase broken down into figures for each individual research activity into alternative energy sources in the current year and the forthcoming year; and what assessment for commercial success his Department places upon each research activity.

Within the main programmes approved to date my Department's spend on research and development on alternative sources is expected to increase between the two years approximately as follows: solar energy by 65 per cent.; wave power by 30 per cent.; and geothermal energy by 25 per cent. One of the objects of the present stage of the R & D programme is to get the data which will make possible a meaningful assessment of the chances of commercial success in each activity.

Electricity Supply

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will now publish a White Paper setting out his proposals for the reorganisation of the electricity supply industry in relation to the Plowden Report.

Drax B Power Station

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received from consumer consultative councils about the Drax B proposal.

The convening chairman of the electricity consultative councils wrote to me on 24th February.

North Sea Oil (Allocations)

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to invite applications for the new round of North Sea oil licence allocations.

Uranium (Control And Supply)

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what discussions he has had with the United States Administration about the future control and supply of enriched uranium so far as it affects the United Kingdom and internationally.

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply today to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley).

Coal Exports

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy on how many occasions he has met the Chairman of the National Coal Board during the past 12 months to discuss methods of how to increase the export of coal to the countries of the EEC; and if he will make a statement on the future plans for exporting coal.

Coal exports are a recurrent subject in discussions with the Chairman of the National Coal Board, and my right hon. Friend and I are satisfied that the Board, whose prime responsibility it is, is doing all it can to increase them. However, the plain fact is that although it is the lowest cost producer in the EEC, to which most of its exports go, in the present depressed state of the world market our coal is often not competitive with supplies from the major exporters—USA Australia, Poland, etc.—and direct price reductions to meet this competition would be extremely expensive. The problem is fully recognised within the European Community and various proposals for helping the situation are under discussion. Some of them are shortly to be debated in the House. In all this, both the Board and the Department are losing no opportunity to emphasise the importance to the Community as a whole of a thriving coal industry, and the Board is keeping up the pressure on coal importers and consumers in all its potential markets.

Industry

Power Plant Manufacturing

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he will outline his Department's policy on the power generating industry, so far as it affects the firms of Babcock and Wilcox and Clarke Chapman Ltd.

As my hon. Friend will know, the problems and the future of the power plant industry are urgently being examined in the light of the measures proposed in the CPRS report.

Drax B Power Station

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what number of jobs his Department estimates may be saved in the power plant manufacturing industry by bringing forward the ordering of the Drax B power station.

On its own, an order for Drax B may have little effect on long-term employment in the industry, stability for which is likely to be achieved only by a series of measures based on those proposed in the CPRS report.

British Leyland

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the British Leyland share, in its bus and truck division, of the United Kingdom market for buses and trucks during the years 1975–76, 1974–75, 1973–74 and 1972–73. respectively.

Figures for trucks for the years 1973 to 1975 have been published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The other information is not available from published sources.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the total British Leyland share of the United Kingdom car market during the years 1975–76. 1974–75, 1973–74 and 1972–73 respectively.

This information is published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has received the NEB report on British Leyland; and if he will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) on 13th May.

Chrysler United Kingdom Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will name the second director he has nominated to the board of Chrysler United Kingdom Limited.

I have nominated Mr. Roy Granthtam as the second of the two Government-nominated directors to serve on the board of Chrysler United Kingdom until 31st December 1979. I am pleased to say that the board has approved the appointment.

Reyrolle Parsons Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proposals or suggestions the Government have put to the board and management of Reyrolle Parsons Ltd. about the proposed transfer of its turbine generator interests to GEC.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 13th May 1977] gave the information information:A number of options are being urgently considered by the parties concerned, including the NEB.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Resale Price Maintenance

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he has had any representations from the retail traders for the reimposition of a system of resale price maintenance.

My Department has received representations to this effect from a small number of retail traders.

Consumer Credit Act 1974

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will make a statement about the implementation of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

I have made an order which will bring into force further provisions of the Consumer Credit Act.The provision in the Act making the creditor liable jointly with the supplier in respect of a misrepresentation or breach of contract where the credit is extended under a pre-existing arrangement between the supplier and the creditor will be effective from 1st July. From 1st October it will be an offence to canvass or solicitor debtor-creditor agreements (cash loans) off trade premises except where the visit has been requested in writing or in certain limited circumstances allowed by the Director General of Fair Trading. The provision in the Act prohibiting the sending of unsolicited credit cards will be effective from 1st July and from the same date it will be an offence to send to a minor any document inviting him to borrow money, obtain goods or services on credit or hire or to apply for information on credit or hire.Copies of the order are not at present available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Copies of the text have, however, been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

Century Oils Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he has yet received the Report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the take-over bid by Duckham/BP for Century Oils Limited; and when he expects to publish his decision.

My right hon. Friend received the report on 4th May and is considering it. He will announce his decision and lay the report before Parliament as soon as possible.

Overseas Development

Technological Aid

34.

asked the Minister of Overseas Development when she expects to receive the report from officials in her Department on maximising the use of appropriate intermediate technology in developing countries.

The report has just been completed, but I have not yet been able to consider it in detail.

Inter-Governmental Group On Indonesia

40.

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will make a statement about British participation in the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI) on 5th-6th April in Amsterdam.

We made a further commitment of £2·5 million of capital aid, and said that our technical co-operation programme would remain at least at last year's level. As in the recent past, we shall seek to increase the proportion of our aid to be committed to rural and semi-rural development, in the interests of the poorest people. However, we expressed our deep concern about the human rights position in Indonesia, and our hope that the release of political prisoners will be speeded up. I trust that it will.

Mozambique

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she will list the items in the British aid programme to Mozambique and specify their value.

The items agreed for purchase under the £5 million programme loan which is being disbursed at present, and their respective maximum values, are as follows:

£
Vehicles and spare parts3,340,000
Air-conditioning equipment337,000
Textile machinery375,000
Tractors and spare parts63,000
Aircraft spares and tyres325,000
Electrical generating plants, transformers supporting equipment aid substation480,000
Agricultural hand tools80,000

United Nations University

asked the Minister of Overseas Development why no financial contribution has been made or is intended by Her Majesty's Government to the United Nations' University.

With the present constraints on public expenditure, I am unable to give a high priority to a direct financial contribution to the United Nations' University, though some modest indirect help is being given through my Ministry's Tropical Products Institute. I hope that the university will not hesitate to draw on British academic and intellectual resources for the carrying out of its programme.

Aid Expenditure

asked the Minister for Overseas Development if consideration has been given to increasing aid for overseas development to the figure indicated in July 1976; and if she will make a statement.

I should certainly like to be able to do more for the developing countries, having regard to the grave implications for them of the reductions in the aid programme in 1977–78 and 1978–79 of which my predecesor told the House on 17th January.—[Vol. 924, c. 23.] We shall of course be re-examining the figures for the aid programme in the next public expenditure review, but I cannot anticipate the outcome.

asked the Minister for Overseas Development what action she is taking to increase the amount of aid given by Her Majesty's Government for overseas aid; and when she expects the Government promises in July last as to the amount of such aid will be kept.

As I said in the reply I have given to my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North-East (Mr. Park) today, I should certainly like to be able to do more for the developing countries, having regard to the grave implications for them of the reductions in the aid programme in 1977–78 and 1978–79 of which my predecessor told the House on 17th January. We shall, of course, be re-examining the figures for the aid programme in the next public expenditure review, but I cannot anticipate the outcome.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Eggs (Grading)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated cost to the poultry industry of adopting the EEC grading of eggs into seven grades instead of the three United Kingdom grades: (a) in replacement machinery and (b) in cost of labour and packing.

It is not possible to make a precise estimate of these costs, but they will be limited. Discussions indicate that most packers will not need to replace machinery but will be able to continue to use existing equipment. Detailed advice on the requirements of the new system is being circulated after further discussion with the trade and producer organisations.

Marketing Board

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what are the activities of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the British Egg Marketing Board; who are its members; and what is its cost to public funds;(2) what are the activities of the Egg Quality Committee of the British Egg Marketing Board; who are its members: and what is its cost to public funds.

Committee and AddressChief OfficerChairman

Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee,

County Hall, Truro,

Cornwall, TR1 3AY.

A. L. Dennis, M.A., LL.B.

(Clerk)

J. C. T. Trewin

Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee,

The Courts,

Carlisle, CA3 8LZ.

A. Fraser, M.A.

(Secretary)

J. E. Lovell

Devon Sea Fisheries Committee,

County Hall, Topsham Road,

Exeter, Devon, EX2 4QD.

C. V. Lucas, LL.B.

(Clerk)

W. Badcock

Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee,

2nd Floor,

10 Tuesday Market Place,

King's Lynn, PE30 1LD.

J. R. Aldous

(Clerk and Chief Fishery Officer)

A. T. West

Isles of Scilly Sea Fisheries Committee,

Council of the Isles of Scilly,

Town Hall, St.Marys,

Isles of Scilly, TR21 0LW

J. Woosnam

(Clerk)

R. Lethbridge

Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries Committee,

County Hall,

Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ.

W. G. Hopkin

(Clerk)

J. V. Story

Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries Committee,

University of Lancaster,

Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4XY.

G. J. Barr

(Clerk Superintendant and Chief Fishery Officer)

S. Baxter

North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee,

Kingston House, Bond Street,

Kingston-upon-Hull,

North Humberside, HU1 3EU.

J. Haydon W. Glen, C.B.E., LL.B.

(Clerk)

T. H. Turner

Northumberland Sea Fisheries Committee 27 Grainger Street,

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5JY.

J. D. R. Bradbeer

(Clerk)

Lt. Col. G. H. Davidson

Southern Sea Fisheries Committee,

108 Old Christchurch Road,

Bournemouth, Dorset.

R. Sturt, B.A.

(Secretary)

C. C. Lucas

South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee,

15 The Kingsway,

Swansea, SA1 5JW.

J. Rhydderch

(Clerk and Chief Fishery Officer)

G. Evans

Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee,

Lloyds Bank Chambers,

28/29 Grand Parade,

St. Leonards-on-Sea,

East Sussex, TN27 6DR.

S. L. Clarke

(Clerk)

J. R. Leach

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in how many cases in each of the last five years his Department has been (a) consulted about and (b) registered an objection against specific proposals to develop agricultural land for other purposes; and in what proportion of the cases where a departmental objection has

The Egg Marketing Board was wound up in 1971. These two committees therefore no longer exist.

Sea Fisheries Committees

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the chairman and secretary of each of the sea fisheries committees in England and Wales, together with the address to which communications to each committee should be sent.

The information is as follows:been made the planning application for development has been either refused by the local authority or by the Government on a "call-in" basis.

I regret that this precise information is not available. A running sample survey since 1972 shows that an objection was made in one-fifth of the cases referred involving the development of agricultural land for other purposes. Disproportionate effort would be required to establish the outcome of these cases.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what criteria he applies when appointing members of sea fisheries committees; and how often such appointments are reviewed.

Under the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966, my right hon. Friend is required to appoint

"persons acquainted with the needs and opinions of the fishing interests of the district".
Appointments are made for periods not exceeding four years.

Arable Land

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the number of acres of arable land in England and Wales; and what is the current arable land loss rate from all causes in England and Wales.

The arable land returned at the June 1976 Agricultural Census for England and Wales totalled 13,638,000 acres. It is estimated that an average of 76,100 acres a year was transferred out of agriculture to all other uses in the six years ending June 1975, the latest period for which this information is available. It is regretted that separate figures for arable land transfers are not maintained.

Salmon (Conservation)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what account he takes, in his study of the use of monofilament nets, of the action taken to conserve salmon stocks in Irish waters and the restrictions applied to the use of such nets; and if he will make a statement.

I have asked to see the evidence which the Salmon Research Trust of Ireland provided to the Irish Government before their recent action to ban the use of these nets. I hope that this will be useful in the research which my Department is undertaking. The results of the Ministry's work last year off the North-East Coast were inconclusive, because conditions were atypical. The programme of investigation is being repeated this year.

Land Loss

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total staffing establishment of that section of his Department which is wholly or mainly concerned with scrutinising planning applications to prevent the loss of good agricultural land; and how many of these staff are based in: (a) London and (b) elsewhere.

This work is one of the responsibilities of the Land Service within the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service. The present complement of the Land Service is 503. The number of staff undertaking this work as part of their duties comprises two based in London and 253 elsewhere.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, when considering a planning application which would involve the loss of good agricultural land, his Department takes into account the overall land loss throughout the country in any particular year, or whether it decides solely on the basis of the merits or otherwise of the particular site in question.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 17th March.—[Vol. 928, col. 291.]

Latham asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food upon what criteria his Department decides whether an area of agricultural land is of significant size to warrant consideration of whether to register an objection against its being developed for urban or other non-agricultural use.

The size criterion applied is that in Article 15(1)(i) of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1977 (SI 1977, No. 289) for consultation by a local planning authority with my Department, namely, where in the opinion of the authority there is a likely loss of either 10 or more acres of land used for agriculture or less than 10 acres that would lead to further loss.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what proportion of cases where his Department is consulted over proposals to develop agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes his staff actually visit the site to assess the worth of the land by personal examination.

My Department's standing instructions require an inspection in all cases unless the divisional surveyor is satisfied that he already has sufficient information.

Law Of Contempt

asked the Attorney-General when he intends to introduce legislation to implement the recommendations of Lord Phillimore's Committee on Contempt of Court.

My noble Friend and I are considering the recommendations of the Phillimore Committee in consultation with other Ministers concerned.

Civil Service

Dispersal

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the latest estimated cost of implementing the proposals in the Hardman Report.

The costs of the dispersal programme are being reassessed

DepartmentFunctions charged to the FundFunctions arranged on repaymentVisits charged to the Fund
Agriculture, Fisheries and Food1211
Cabinet Office1
Civil Service Department18
Defence, Ministry of1161
Education and Science5
Employment2
Environment710
Foreign and Commonwealth Office947522
Health and Social Security1042
Home Office32
Lord Chancellor33
Overseas Development74
Prime Minister's Office2020
Scottish Office9
Trade and Industry531911
Treasury528
Welsh Office1

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many functions were arranged for each Department by the Government Hospitality Fund on a repayment

in the light of the current review of the timetable.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what would be the total cost at present prices of the scheme to transfer 4,000 civil servants and their familes from London to the Cardiff area.

The costs of the dispersal programme as a whole are being reassessed in the light of the current review of the timetable.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he is satisfied with the progress made in the programme to transfer Civil Service jobs to Scotland; and if he will make a statement.

The programme has been and is being implemented with all possible speed.

Government Hospitality Fund

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many functions and visits involving expenditure from the Government Hospitality Fund, either as a direct call on the fund or on a repayment basis, were sponsored by each Government Department in the financial year 1976–77.

The number of functions and visits charged to the fund and the number of functions arranged on a repayment basis for Departments during the financial year 1976–77 were as follows:basis in each of the financial years 1973–74, 1974–75 and 1975–76; and what was the total cost attributable to each Department.

The number of functions—shown in brackets—and their total cost arranged for each Department by the Government Hospitality Fund

Department1973–741974–751975–76
£££
Agriculture, Fisheries and Food(2)367·94(6)2,602·53
Cabinet Office(5)812·92(2)330·83
Civil Service Department(8)1,864·48(12)3,061·08(9)2,232·29
Customs and Excise(2)420·57
Defence, Ministry of(17)7,788·22(11)4,094·60(15)6,930·58
Education and Science(5)1,409·52(4)581·14(2)984·13
Employment(1)1,370·02
Environment(15)7,372·00(10)2,867·38(10)3,117·04
Export Credits Guarantee(2)687·85(1)330·85(1)470·13
Foreign and Commonwealth Office(134)25,889·85(163)26,623·22(128)24,224·28
Health and Social Security(5)1,047·95(5)1,941·43(1)120·24
Home Office(3)360·13(6)1,297·72(4)1,278·47
Lord Chancellor's Office(1)106·86(1)1,028·28
Northern Ireland Office(1)151·12
Overseas Development(1)232·27(3)1,474·26(6)1,724·99
Paymaster General's Office(1)126·34(1)878·03
Post and Telecommunications(1)53·05(1)45·84
Prime Minister's Office(61)19,134·99(25)5,497·93(30)7,870·21
Trade and Industry(12)4,008·33(8)2,55·83(21)8,459·28
HM Treasury(29)2,446·52(31)3,281·69(28)8,103·25
Welsh Office(1)425·10(1)114·38

Education And Science

Works Of Art (Export)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science in the light of the forthcoming sale of outstanding works of art at Mentmore, what consideration she will give to publicising in advance of such sales the Government's intentions towards specific objects for which export licences may be refused.

Export licences are required for works of art over 100 years old and worth £4,000 or more. If the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art were to recommend that an export licence should not be granted immediately my right hon. Friend would have to consider the recommendation on the merits of the particular case.

Commerce And Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps she is now taking to ensure that boys and girls, who stay on at school because of the difficulties in finding work, receive the kind of education and training that will fit them for the highly skilled jobs in industry and commerce; and if she will make a statement on future policy.

on a repayment basis in the three financial years 1973–74, 1974–75 and 1975–76 were as follows:

age do so for a variety of reasons, one of which, perhaps, in combination with others, may be difficulty in finding suitable work. It is for local education authorities, governing bodies and teachers to devise, within available resources, suitable curricula for all their sixth formers, having regard to their abilities and aptitudes and to their future employment needs.

Engineering

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will make a statement on the development of engineering education in the universities.

The University Grants Committee recently asked universities to make proposals for courses based on engineering which would be attractive to students aiming at careers in manfacturing industry. These courses would be of testing quality, with a high standard of entry, and could last four years instead of three. The UGC has considered the proposals put forward, and has decided to encourage courses of this kind at Birmingham University; Imperial College, London; in Manchester, at the University, the University Institute of Technology, and the Buisiness School; and at the University of Strathclyde, drawing on resources from other Scottish Universities. The UGC is also exploring similar proposals from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the Brunei University of Technology, and will be considering proposals for Wales. It is intended that the first entry to these courses, which will be strictly limited, will be in autumn 1978. I consider that this development will help to raise the standard of recruitment to management in British manufacturing industry, and will set a new objective for able boys and girls still at school.

Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will publish in the Official Report the increase in real terms in educational expenditure on young persons in the years from 1972 to 1976.

This information is to be found in Table 2.10, of Volume II of the White Paper, "The Government's Expenditure Plans" (Cmnd. 6721-II). At 1976 survey prices, expenditure on education, excluding libraries, in Great Britain was:

£ million
1971–726,032
1972–736,426
1973–746,765
1974–756,799
1975–766,976

Employment

Pay

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the proportion of employees covered by national agreements in (a) central Government, (b) local government (c) the nationalised industries and (d) other public bodies, the percentage increases in earnings for those in each of the four categories who are covered by national agreements, and who are not covered by national agreements respectively, in 1974, 1975 and 1976; and, in the case of those employees in each of the four categories who are covered by both national and local agreements, what is the proportion of their earnings determined by each kind of agreement.

The figures requested are not available. However, in each branch of the public sector, all the main categories of employees are covered by national collective agreements and supplementary local agreements are exceptional.

Cornwall

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he or any of his ministerial colleagues intend to visit Cornwall to assess the effects of continuing high unemployment.

Welsh Language

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees of his Deparment who have been appointed to posts in Welsh-speaking areas during the past five years have been sponsored by the Department to undertake part-time courses in the Welsh language.

Since the Department of Employment Goup was set up in 1974 four members of staff serving in Wales have been given assistance with external courses in the Welsh language. Information about courses approved before 1st January 1974 could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what policy his Department follows in relation to ensuring that the staff in the local employment offices in Welsh-speaking areas are fluent in the Welsh language and can discuss matters with the general public in the language of their choice.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it is the policy of the Employment Service Agency to ensure that, in the Welsh-speaking areas of Wales, at least one member of the staff in each employment office or jobcentre is able to converse with Welsh-speaking clients. As far as possible, the Agency also aims to have at least one Welsh-speaking member of staff in its offices in non-Welsh speaking areas.

Wages (Underpayment)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the largest industrial amount of illegal underpayment of wages in the last year for which figures are available; how many employees were affected; and what was the outcome of the operation.

It is not possible to identify the largest underpayment from central records. Each of over 11,000 inspection records would need to be examined. The information could not, therefore, be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many employers were found to be illegally paying low wages in each of the last five years: and how many were prosecuted in each year.

The following is the information required:

YearNumber of Establishments Underpaying WagesNumber of Prosecutions
19768,993
19758,4682
19746,3472
19737,524
19726,584

asked the Secretary of State for Employment under what circumstances prosecutions are brought for the illegal underpayment of wages.

In the case of first offenders, prosecution is considered only if the offence is flagrant. In the case of other offenders, prosecution is always considered, but it is sometimes not possible to proceed because workers are unwilling to give evidence.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to publish the results of the Wages Inspectorate "low-pay blitz" on Wolverhampton.

Job Creation Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Employment for how long the job provided for Mr. T. Dan Smith under the Job Creation Programme will last.

I understand from the Manpower Services Commission that Mr. T. Dan Smith is employed by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which is sponsoring a 52-week project under the job creation programme.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs have been created for the Howard League for Penal Reform under the Job Creation Programme; and at what cost to public funds.

I understand from the Manpower Services Commission that a grant of £5,337 has been approved under the Job Creation Programme for a project, sponsored by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which will create two jobs.

Council Of Engineering Institution

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he received any representations from the Council of Engineering Institutions regarding the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations between publication of the proposals and the laying before Parliament of S1.1977 No. 500.

None was received either by my right hon. Friend or by the Health and Safety Executive.

Lewisham

Price asked the Secretary of State for Employment what new opportunities for youth employment were initiated in 1976 in the London borough of Lewisham; and what steps will be taken during 1977 to increase the number of jobs and training places available in the borough.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) that the special employment and training measures which it administers have created the following opportunities for young people in the borough of Lewisham:(

a) since January 1976, four projects involving 49 places have been approved under the Job Creation Programme;

( b) since September 1976, 10 schemes involving 21 places have been approved under the Work Experience Programme;

( c) since January 1976 the Training Services Agency (TSA) has started two new short industrial courses in its Lewisham district bringing the total to 12 courses providing 42 training places. These courses run on a continuous 12-week cycle: Young people from Lewisham are recruited also for other TSA courses in surrounding areas of London.

( d) a number of young people received off-the-job craft training sponsored by industrial training boards under training award schemes, including 13 in 1976–77 sponsored by the Engineering Industry Training Boards.

( e) employers in Lewisham, as elsewhere in the country, may be eligible for the incentive grants for recruitment of extra trainees which are provided by the industrial training boards and other organisations from funds allocated by the MSC.

The following opportunities for young people have been created in Lewisham by the special measures for which my Department is responsible:

( f) between October 1975 and October 1976, 80 young people obtained jobs with the help of the recruitment subsidy for schools leavers.

( g) since October 1976, 24 young people have obtained jobs with the help of the youth employment subsidy.

( h) an additional careers officer and an extra employment assistant have been appointed to the Lewisham careers office under the Government scheme for strenthening the careers service in areas of severe unemployment.

( i) Lewisham is also the site of a community industrial unit, whose expansion from 50 to 85 places I announced on 13th July last year. I am happy to say that Lewisham is one of the community industry areas where my right hon. Friend has approved expansion, as I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North-east (Mr. Park) today.

On 3rd March my right hon. Friend announced the extension and expansion of a number of these schemes and young people in Lewisham and throughout the country will benefit from these measures during the remainder of the year. The future of all the measures for young people has been reviewed by a working party set up by the MSC. The working party has recently reported, and its proposals for a new programme of opportunities for young people are now being considered.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the levels of unemployment in the London borough of Lewisham in January, April, July and October of 1975, 1976, and in respect of 1977 for January and April only, expressed as a percentage of the total work force.

The following table gives the information available for the employment office areas of Lewisham and Deptford, which most closely represent the London borough of Lewisham. Rates of unemployment can be calculated only for the whole of Greater London and not separately for Lewisham and Deptford.

NUMBER REGISTERED AS UNEMPLOYED IN THE EMPLOYMENT OFFICE AREAS OF LEWISHAM AND DEPTFORD
197519761977
January5,8897,438
April4,1456,4527,197
July4,6876,957
October5,6107,000
Because of industrial action by some staff in the Department of Employment Group, information for January 1975 is not available.

London

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the levels of unemployment in the Greater London Council area in January, April, July and October of 1975, 1976, and in respect of 1977 for January and April only, expressed as a percentage of the total work force.

Following is the information available. Rates of unemployment are calculated by expressing the numbers unemployed as a percentage of the total number of employees, including the unemployed.

GREATER LONDON
197519761977
per cent.per cent.per cent.
January..3·64·3
April2·23·84·1
July2·54·1
October3·14·1
Because of industrial action by some staff in the Department of Employment Group, information for January 1975 is not available.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest figure for unemployment among registered disabled workers in Southampton, Eastleigh and the adjacent travel-to-work area; what percentage of all registered disabled workers in the area this represents; and what is the corresponding figure for general employment in the area.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that on 14th April 1977, the latest date for which figures are available, 422 registered disabled people were unemployed in the travel-to-work area which comprises Southampton, Eastleigh, Hythe, Romsey and Woolston. This figure represents 12·8 per cent. of all registered disabled people in the area. The total number of people unemployed in the area was 9,044 or 5·1 per cent.

Unemployed Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the levels of unemployment in England and Wales in January, April, July and October 1975, 1976, and in respect of 1977 for January and April only, expressed as a percentage of the total work force.

Following is the information available. Rates of unemployment are calculated by expressing the numbers unemployed as a percentage of the total number of employees, including the unemployed.

ENGLAND AND WALES
197519761977
per cent.per cent.per cent.
January3·15·35·8
April3·45·25·6
July3·95·9
October4·75·6
Because of industrial action by some staff in the Department of Employment Group, the full monthly count of the numbers unemployed in January 1975 was not made and the figure given is an estimate based on simplified procedures.

European Community Standing Committee

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the meeting of the European Community Standing Committee on employment on 5th May 1977, at which Her Majesty's Government were represented.

I represented the United Kingdom Government at this meeting in Brussels which was chaired by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Employment. The agenda for the eleventh meeting of the Standing Committee covered three important items in the field of social affairs: employment prospects in the Community to 1980, the review of the European Social Fund and the co-ordination of the Community's financial instruments. There was a full and useful discussion of the first and second items based on papers prepared by the Commission. For the third item the Standing Committee received a communication from Commissioner Giolitti on the co-ordination of financial instruments in the Community.

Community Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is yet able to announce the areas which will benefit from the increase in capacity of community industry announced on 3rd March.

I am pleased to announce that my right hon. Friend has approved increased provision in 19 areas where community industry is already active. The Community Industry National Management Board is preparing recommendations for further allocations of the extra places to which my hon. Friend refers.The areas where expansion has been approved are:

  • Barnsley.
  • Camden & Islington.
  • Central Region (Scotland).
  • Coventry & Nuneaton.
  • Derbyshire North East.
  • Grimsby.
  • Gwent.
  • Gwynedd.
  • Leeds.
  • Lewisham.
  • Mid-Glamorgan.
  • Newcastle-on-Tyne.
  • North Humberside.
  • Nottingham.
  • Rotherham.
  • South Tyne.
  • Wakefield.
  • Wandsworth.
  • West Glamorgan.

The take up of these places will depend on local conditions.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the increase in unemployment among young persons in the years from 1972 to 1976.

The numbers registered as unemployed are analysed by age in January and July each year. The following table shows the number of unemployed young people under 18 years of age in Great Britain during the period January 1972 to January 1977:

(000's)
1972
January55·8
July56·9
1973
January47·0
July27·0
1974
January
July33·4
1975
January
July105·0
1976
January106·1
July268·4
1977
January122·4
Because of industrial action by some staff in the Department of Employment Group information for January 1974 and January 1975 is not available.The statutory school leaving age was raised from 15 to 16 under the provisions of the School Leaving Age Order 1972 and the School Leaving Age (Scotland) Regulations 1972, which came into operation in September 1972.

School Leavers

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the average length of time between a young person leaving school and entering employment for the first time in each of the years from 1972 to 1976.

Home Department

Ricardo Yanez Espinoza

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he refused an entry visa to Ricardo Yanez Espinoza who had been detained in one of the concentration camps in Chile, and who applied to come to the United Kingdom following the closure of this camp last November and is now in hiding in Chile.

When an application was made on Sr. Yanez' behalf and, subsequently, when notice of appeal against the refusal of that application was lodged, there was no indication that his case fell into one of the categories for admission. If my hon. Friend has more up-to-date information on the position of Sr. Yanez, I am willing to consider it.

Urban Programme (Lewisham)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many urban aid programme projects were started in the London borough of Lewisham in 1976; and what was their total value.

Work was started in 1976 on four projects approved for grant-aid under the urban programme to a value of £47,260 capital and £23,950 annual running costs. In addition, four holiday projects approved to a value of £3,240 were run in 1976.

Probation Service

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he remains satisfied with the morale of the Probation Service, in the light of the recent working document of the National Association of Probation Officers Members' Action Group.

Standards Of Conduct In Public Life

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to bring forward legislation implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public Life, Command Paper No. 6524.

Consultations are now going on with the local authority associations and other bodies closely affected by the Royal Commission's proposals. The Government will announce their conclusions in due course. It is too early to say when we shall be able to bring forward legislation.

Parliamentary Candidates (Declaration Of Interests)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to ensure that candidates at the next General Election declare interests in line with the requirements of existing hon. Members.

This would be an appropriate matter for consideration by a Speaker's Conference on Electoral Law, as recommended by the Select Committee on Members' Interests.

Immigrants

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any further statement to make on the answer given to the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West on 20th April 1977.

NUMBERS RESIDENT IN VARIOUS LOCAL AUTHORITIES AT THE TIME OF THE 1971 CENSUS BY PLACE OF BIRTH OUTSIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM
Place of Birth
New Commonwealth (including Pakistan)Republic of IrelandOther Countries outside the United KingdomAll countries outside the United Kingdom
Avon13,2408,23014,81036,280
Bedfordshire15,51512,20517,85545,575
Berkshire20,80010,72519,86551,390
Buckinghamshire10,4505,70516,32532,480
Cambridgeshire7,4203,96020,67532,055
Derbyshire10,0506,63010,21526,895
Gloucestershire6,3854,5509,43020,365
Hampshire25,83513,01030,50069,345
Hertfordshire15,42515,45025,85556,730
Kent22,26011,93525,83560,030
Lancashire18,95512,95015,37047,275
Leicestershire28,1508,26014,34550,755
Northamptonshire6,0706,95510,70023,725
Nottinghamshire14,5658,02515,57538,165
Oxfordshire9,6557,15022,71539,520
Salop3,1001,8804,3559,335
Suffolk5,7853,08521,97030,840
Warwickshire8,1956,7157,51022,420
West Sussex8,5855,27515,47029,330
Aylesbury Vale2,4451,5503,8307,825
North Bedfordshire5,5052,2107,59515,310
Birmingham69,14045,90514,380129,425
Blackburn5,4151,4302,1609,005
Bolton7,5702,3053,22013,095
Bradford22,8154,40511,14538,365
Bristol8,7754,9707,74521,490
Calderdale2,9252,8303,3659,120
Charnwood2,3759102,4255,710
Coventry15,19015,8505,92036,960
Derby7,7653,3254,37515,465
Dudley4,8351,2452,0008,080
Gloucester2,6851,1601,7105,555
Gravesham3,3401,0301,2855,655
Ipswich2,4907203,5056,715
Kirklees14,3903,7904,64522,825
Leeds14,7258,73511,48034,940
Leicester23,2804,9206,56034,760
Luton8,3357,6703,33519,340

I regret that the reply of 20th April to the hon. Member which was printed in the Official Report—[Vol. 930, c. 85–8.]—inadvertently contained some discrepancies. A corrected and extended version of the table contained in that answer appears below giving details of the number of persons born outside the United Kingdom who were resident in the various local authority areas at the time of the 1971 Census. Separate figures are given for those born in the New Commonwealth—including Pakistan—in the Republic of Ireland, and in other countries outside the United Kingdom. The first column includes those in respect of whom certain local authority expenditure may be eligible for grants under Section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966. No more recent information is available.

Place of Birth

New Commonwealth (including Pakistan)

Republic of Ireland

Other Countries outside the United Kingdom

All countries outside the United Kingdom

Manchester17,29523,04010,57550,910
North Hertfordshire3,1101,2903,1207,520
Northampton2,5803,0052,6958,280
Nottingham10,8603,9906,82521,675
Oldham4,5052,1653,41010,080
Oxford4,0652,7455,59012,400
Pendle2,1105608753,545
Preston4,8902,1501,8958,935
Reading5,6552,7753,94512,375
Rochdale4,9253,6003,37511,900
Rugby2,2501,5151,4655,230
Sandwell15,6303,0302,91521,575
Sheffield8,3353,1406,41517,890
Slough8,7102,9703,51015,190
Southampton4,8252,6254,60512,055
Tameside3,3651,7603,0008,125
Trafford3,6856,5653,94014,190
Walsall9,3201,4551,68512,460
Warwick3,7103,1852,5009,395
Wellingborough1,7805709903,340
Wolverhampton20,0652,9254,38027,370
Wycombe4,9901,5054,32510,820
Barking2,7003,0451,2356,980
Barnet16,3259,11526,33051,770
Brent39,18022,06518,13579,380
Camden14,78012,74526,44553,970
Croydon16,9806,79011,04534,815
Ealing33,44014,69515,71063,845
Enfield11,3754,6407,75523,770
Greenwich7,7304,6304,02016,380
Hackney25,4557,05510,51043,020
Hammersmith16,08013,75013 58043,410
Haringey34,5959,51511,96556,075
Harrow7,9756,4658,41022,850
Hillingdon6,0554,9006,75017,705
Hounslow14,3055,8007,93528,040
ILEA219,510116,495183,270519,275
Islington22,55512,91011,05546,520
Kensington and Chelsea12,6358,66036,20057,495
Lambeth33,47512,70013,61559,790
Lewisham16,6056,4255,81028,840
Merton8,1454,4306,89019,465
Newham20,1354,2003,11527,450
Redbridge7,9855,2155,38518,585
Southwark16,0159,1305,45530,600
Tower Hamlets11,8053,9004,18519,890
Waltham Forest14,5054,3003,36022,165
Wandsworth26,80511,15513,77051,730
Westminster15,45013,27538,35067,075

National Finance

Cabinet Ministers (Salaries)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the gross salary required to give a Cabinet Minister who is married with no children the same net income as he enjoyed in 1965.

Assuming for 1977–78 full implementation of the Budget proposals, in money terms a gross ministerial salary of £7,575 per annum would be required to give the same net income after tax and national insurance contributions as that enjoyed in 1965–66 when the ministerial salary was £8,500 per annum. Expressed in real terms, the gross ministerial salary required would be £51,163 per annum—using as price index the average General Index of Retail Prices—All Items, for the tax year 1965–66, and for 1977–78 the index for March 1977.This calculation is based only on the ministerial salary and does not take account of either the abated Parliamentary salary receivable by a Minister who is also a Member of the House of Commons or of any other income.

National Debt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the cost to public funds of the National Debt Commission; and how many people it employs.

The gross cost of the National Debt Office is about £480,000 per annum, including some £300,000 in respect of salaries and administration costs. The Commissioners are statutorily empowered to recover costs in respect of many of their functions and all but about £50,000 of the gross costs was so recovered in 1976–77. At 1st April 1977 the number of staff employed was 58.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the procedure for members of the public to make donations to relieve the National Debt; how this is brought to the public's attention; and if he will consider launching a campaign to encourage donations.

Members of the public may make donations to relieve the National Debt by sending them to the Controller General, National Debt Office, Royex House, Aldermanbury Square, London, EC2V 7LR.The address of this office appears in published works of reference, but is not given any special publicity. Members of the public inquiring about making donations are informed of the procedure on request. I have no plans for launching a campaign to encourage donations.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the size of the National Debt on 1st March 1974 and 1st March 1977.

To the nearest available dates to those asked for the National Debt was as follows: 31st March 1974, £40,124,527,285; 31st March, 1976, £56,571,585,311.

Customs And Excise Act 1952

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what person or persons have the power to allow proceedings to be compounded under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952; and what are their names and qualifications.

The Commissioners of Customs and Excise and persons to whom the Commissioners have delegated their statutory powers, in this regard, either generally or specifically, under Section 4(1) of the Customs and Excise Act 1952. The level to which responsibility is delegated in particular types of case is determined by the nature and gravity of the offence. A complete list of names could only be compiled at the cost of disproportionate time and effort.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) why the Commissioners of Customs and Excise do not publish separate details of the number of cases dealt with by settlement under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952;(2) How many of the 20,318 cases of convictions and settlements under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952 were by settlement.

It would not be possible to provide a detailed breakdown between those cases dealt with by the courts and those settled under Section 288 which take adequate account of the gravity of the offences. Consequently, misleading inferences could well be drawn. But more than four-fifths of the individuals involved in offences in 1975–76 elected to settle with the Commissioners of Customs and Excise.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what was the shortest period for which a person was imprisoned in 1975 and 1976 under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952; and what was the offence;(2) what was the longest period for which a person was imprisoned in 1975 and 1976 for offences under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952; and what was the offence.

Section 288 is not a penal provision.The shortest and longest periods for which a person was imprisoned for offences under any section of the Act in the years in question were:—

Terms
ShortestLongest
19752 months8 years
19762 months12 years

In each case the offence was the illegal importation of drugs.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the criteria employed by the Commission of Customs and Excise when deciding to compound proceedings and arrange settlement under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952.

Each case has to be decided on its merits. The main points taken into consideration are the gravity of the offences and the best interests of law enforcement and of the revenue. The Commissoners are also mindful of the costs involved and the pressures on the courts if proceedings were to be taken in the very large number of minor smuggling or other offences.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many women were imprisoned under Section 288 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952 in 1974, 1975 and 1976; and what was their offence.

Section 288 is not a penal provision.The number of women imprisoned for offences under any section of the Act was: 1974, 17; 1975, 14; 1976, 13. In all cases the offence was illegal importation of drugs.

Portugal (United Kingdom Pensioners)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what taxation arrangements are in force for the pensions of United Kingdom citizens resident in Portugal.

Under our tax treaty with Portugal—published as Statutory Instrument 1969 No. 599—a pension paid to a resident of Portugal would be taxable only in Portugal. If, however, the pension was, broadly speaking, for services rendered to the United Kingdom Government it would be taxable only in the United Kingdom.

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the effect on the retail price index if the basic rate of income tax were reduced (a) to 30 per cent. and (b) to 25 per cent., using the same calculations as he gave in his Budget Statement, Official Report, 29 March, column 284.

On the assumption that such reductions replaced increases in wages yielding the same net benefit, a reduction in the basic rate of income tax to 30 per cent. together with the other tax reliefs announced in the Budget would be worth 4¾ per cent. off the RPI by the end of 1978, and a reduction in the basic rate to 25 per cent. would be worth 8¼per cent. off the RPI. This is before any increases in indirect taxation which might be needed to offset such large direct tax reductions.

Tax Yields

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were receipts from direct taxation in the last financial year expressed as a percentage of receipts from indirect taxation; and what were the corresponding figures for each of the preceding 15 years.

Receipts from direct taxation were 125 per cent. of receipts from indirect taxation in 1976–77. Corresponding figures for the preceding 15 financial years were as follows:—

Financial YearDirect Tax as % of Indirect Tax
1961–6299
1962–6398
1963–6492
1964–6590
1965–6695
1966–6786
1967–6888
1968–6981
1969–7084
1970–7191
1971–7297
1972–7391
1973–74108
1974–75123
1975–76123

Jubilee Crowns

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to increase the supply of Jubilee crowns so that all who wish to buy these coins can receive them by 7th June.

The Royal Mint is already achieving the maximum output possible from the plant available and I regret that I therefore cannot offer any prospect that more than about 20 million cupro-nickel jubilee crowns will be available by 7th June. Production will continue after that date however and everyone who wants to obtain one of these coins should be able to do so in the following weeks.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the cost of the proposed reliefs of taxation relating to incomes at which rates above the standard rate become payable; and how much of this relates to investment income.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 9th May 1977], gave the following information:It is not possible to give a breakdown by range of income for the £43 million tax relief relating to the treatment of foreign earnings, retirement annuities and savings bank interest, but of the remaining £2,250 million it is estimated that £635 million is in respect of those who are higher rate taxpayers or who would have been higher rate taxpayers but for the increase in the threshold to £6,000. An estimate is not available of the amount of the relief relating to investment income and would in any case rest on arbitrary assumptions as to which part of a mixed income forms the top slice, but the amount of relief relating to the investment income surcharge going to higher rate taxpayers is about £25 million.

One-Parent Families (Tax Reliefs)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he expects the extra additional personal allowance announced in the Budget for one-parent families to be reflected in their tax codes and to be paid to them;(2) why the full extra tax relief announced in the Budget is being delayed for lone parents during the present period when for other taxpayers relief is being incorporated in tax codes and will be reflected in pay packets on the first payday after 17th May;(3) whether he will investigate coding lone parents with an "H" or a special suffix so that extra tax relief can be paid to them as quickly as to other taxpayers;(4) whether there was a delay in increasing additional personal allowances for one-parent families last year or in previous years.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 11th May 1977], gave the following information:Tax offices will be sending out notices of amended PAYE codes taking into account the increase in the additional personal allowance to employees and their employers on the 27th May. Employers should therefore be able to use the new codes not later than the first pay day after 31st May.Tax offices do not usually have to recalculate codes and issue individual coding notices to take account of increases in the single, married and wife's earnings allowances or the single and married age allowances. Codes which contain these allowances normally end with "H" (married), "L" (single or wife's earnings), "P" (single age) or "V" (married age) and employers are instructed to amend employees' codes ending with these letters to give effect to the increases. But effect can only be given to an increase in the additional personal allowance through the recalculation of codes by tax offices and the issue of individual notices. Since these codes generally contain the single allowance most of them end with "L" and care has to be taken that the amended codes, which will also reflect the increase in the single allowance, are not increased a second time by employers. A gap of about two weeks is therefore left between the date from which employers are instructed to increase codes ending in "L"—18th May—and the date from which employers are expected to be able to use the codes containing the increased additional personal allowances—1st June.This procedure has been adopted ever since the code system using suffix letters was introduced in 1973–74. In 1976 and 1975 the gap was nearer three weeks than two so the amended codes should be operated a little more quickly this year.The practicability of allocating suffix "H" to codes containing the additional personal allowance has been under consideration for some time and while no firm decisions have been taken it is probable that this will be done from 1978–79. It should then be possible to give effect to increases in this allowance for nearly all concerned as quickly as increases in the other allowances and without the need for tax office action in each individual case.

Northern Ireland

Terrorists

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons in each year since 1969 have been imprisoned or kept in detention centres in Northern Ireland for Irish Republican Army or other terrorist activities.

The figures for persons ordered to be interned or detained under emergency legislation from 1971 until detention ceased in 1975 are as follows:

1971–766
1972–656
1973–511
1974–313
1975–11
Prison records do not separately identify persons imprisoned for terrorist activities and it is not possible therefore to answer that part of the question in the form requested. All special category prisoners, however, have been convicted of offences connected with the civil disturbances. Special category status, which was introduced in June 1972, has not been granted to prisoners convicted of offences committed after 1st March 1976 when there was 1517 such prisoners. Comparable figures for the years 1973–1975 were 423, 755 and 1232 respectively. By 11th May 1977 the number of special category prisoners had fallen to 998. Some 330 post 1st March offenders have been sentenced to imprisonment for offences believed to have been connected with the disturbances.

Doctors (Pay)

asked the Prime Minister (1) when he expects the report of the review body on doctor's pay to be published;(2) when he expects to announce the Government's decisions on the recommendations contained in the report of the review body on doctors' pay.

Commonwealth Prime Ministers (Conference)

asked the Prime Minister whether he has been informed by the Commonwealth Secretary which Commonwealth Prime Ministers he has invited to the Conference in London next month; and if he will list which Heads of Government have accepted and which have refused his invitations.

As I told my hon. and learned Friend on 12th May, I do not yet have such a list from the Commonwealth Secretary-General; the final attendance is only likely to be known shortly before the meeting.

European Community

Parliament

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the cost to the British taxpayer of moving the European Parliament from Luxembourg to Strasbourg; and how many times a year this occurs.

Six sessions of the Parliament are held each year in Strasbourg. I understand that it is difficult to calculate the exact cost falling on the Parliament's budget of moving staff, documents and equipment there. The major costs, per session, have been estimated as:

  • (1) Travel costs of officials Belgian Francs (BF) 700,000;
  • (2) Subsistence allowance payments BF 5,600,000;
  • (3) Transfer of documents and equipment BF 110,000.
  • The United Kingdom share of the total Community budget in 1977 is 19·24 per cent.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Portugal (British Pensioners)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many United Kingdom citizens resident in Portugal are receiving pensions from the British Government.

    Her Majesty's Consulate-General at Lisbon pays disability pensions to 22 United Kingdom citizens resident in Portugal for the Department of Health and Social Security, and three pensions for the Ministry of Overseas Development. Information is not readily available about pensions paid directly to United Kingdom residents in Portugal by other Departments. I shall endeavour to obtain this and shall write to the hon. Member.

    United States (Her Majesty's Ambassador)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonweath Affairs what advice he took from outside his Department before recommending the appointment of the United Kingdom's new Ambassador in Washington.

    As I made clear on 11th May, this appointment was my personal recommendation, although, as is normal, I consulted the Prime Minister before the customary protocol procedures were carried out.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing all emoluments payable to Her Majesty's Ambassador in Washington, indicating which are taxable.

    The emoluments at present payable to the Ambassador are as follows:

    £per annum
    Salary (Grade 1) taxable18,675
    Frais de representation non-taxable43,448*
    Diplomatic Service Allowance or Representational Secondment Allowance†Non-taxable
    Boarding School Allowance†Non-taxable
    Children at Post addition†Non-taxable
    Accountable Indirect Representational Supplement†Non-taxable
    Child Benefit†Non-taxable
    *This sum is calculated to cover the additional expenses of his assignment, which consist mainly of expenditure on the upkeep of his official residence and on official entertainment.
    † Whether he is eligible for these, and at what rates, depends on his family and other circumstances. If he receives child benefit, his frais are abated correspondingly.

    Ethiopia (British Nationals)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of British nationals currently resident in Ethiopia.

    It is estimated that there are at present some 600 United Kingdom nationals resident in Ethiopia.

    Uganda

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied with the provisions for the future safety of British subjects in Uganda, having regard to the recent report of Amnesty International suggesting that atrocities are being committed there on a large scale.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 16th March to the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow).—[Vol. 928, c. 186.]

    Scotland

    Scottish Assembly

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is considering a new site for a Scottish Assembly now that building work has been suspended on the former Royal High School in Edinburgh.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether any consideration is being given to choosing an alternative site to the Royal High School for the proposed Scottish Assembly.

    No. The position remains as stated in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Gourlay) on 7th April. Building work on the Royal High School buildings is now proceeding to the stage described in that reply.—[Vol. 929, c. 653–4.]

    Colleges Of Education

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the outcome of his consultations on the proposals for the future of the colleges of education.

    Police (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the progress made in negotiations on police pay.

    Regional Employment Premium

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the effect on Scotland of the abolition of regional employment premium; and what proposals he has for providing an alternative system to protect manufacturing industry.

    The withdrawal of REP was part of a package of measures designed to allocate available resources more effectively. The net effect of the package in Scotland was expected to be to reduce unemployment below what it would otherwise have been in the current year. The new measures announced included: an additional £80 million in both 1977–78 and 1978–79 for expenditure on selective assistance to industry; £100 million for the new selective investment scheme; and additional spending of £120 million during 1977–78 and 1978–79 on measures to reduce unemployment. Since then my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Employment have announced measures including the extension of the job creation programme and the temporary employment subsidy and the introduction of a new employment subsidy for small manufacturing firms in special development areas. Manufacturing industry, of course, continues to benefit from the full range of regional incentives under the Industry Act 1972.

    Housing Policy

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress he has made in his review of housing policy.

    The work of the review has been completed and I shall publish its findings in a Green Paper in the near future.

    Fishing Limits

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress he has made in securing adequate exclusive limits for the fishing industry.

    The objective of the Government continues to be to obtain a settlement which secures the interests of the fishing industry. We shall study the EEC Commission's proposals very closely and we hope that they will form the basis for substantial negotiations leading to an acceptable solution.

    Haddock (Landings Order)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will refer the safety aspects of the Haddock (Restrictions on Landing) Order 1977 (S.I., 1977, No. 781) to the Health and Safety Executive.

    The purpose of the order is to limit the quantities of ungutted haddock which may be landed. It has long been the practice of the industry to gut white fish catches at sea and there is no evidence that this practice has given rise to problems on safety.

    Arable Land

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of acres of arable land in Scotland; and what is the current arable land loss rate from all causes in Scotland.

    The area of arable land recorded at the June 1976 agricultural census was 1,105 thousand hectares—2,731 thousand acres. The amount of arable land lost from agriculture in the year ended June 1976 was 1,400 hectares—3,500 acres.

    Law Of Contempt

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to introduce legislation to implement the recommendations of Lord Phillimore's Committee on Contempt of Court.

    In consultation with my right hon. Friends concerned I am considering the recommendations of the Phillimore Committee on Contempt of Court. No decision has yet been made about the introduction of legislation on this subject.

    Education (Statistics)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is now in a position to announce the results of his review of publications policy for educational statistics.

    I have published today a statistical bulletin containing provisional estimates of the deficit or excess of teachers in education authority secondary schools by subject at the time of the September School Census in 1974, 1975 and 1976. This bulletin is planned as the first in a continuing series of statistical bulletins on educational matters which I propose to publish as soon as possible after the information contained in them becomes available, so providing much more up-to-date reports than is possible in the detailed and comprehensive publication Scottish Educational Statistics. A limited number of bulletins will be published in 1977 and the long term aim is to have bulletins covering a wide range of educational subjects; they will be available free of charge, and copies will be placed in the Library.

    Social Services

    Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services under what statutory authority local authorities have to provide disabled people with personal transport, either by direct provision or by meeting the cost of commuting the mobility allowance for the purpose of car purchase.

    I am advised that authority exists in Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948, as amended, under which my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Social Services has directed local authorities to make arrangements to provide, whether at centres or elsewhere, facilities for social rehabilitation and adjustment to disability including assistance in overcoming limitations of mobility. While it is not for me, or my right hon. Friend, to interpret the law, it would seem likely that this would enable a local authority to provide a car if it so wishes. The matter would be one entirely for the discretion of the authority, which would be entitled to make a charge. Section 29 does not authorise assistance to be given in the form of cash payments.

    Baby Units

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many special care baby units were operating at the latest date for which figures are available; and of these, how many were able to measure, respectively, environmental oxygen and arterial oxygen.

    In 1975 there were 254 hospitals in England with special care baby units. I regret that the other information requested is not available centrally.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average number of cots in special care baby units; and if he is satisfied that the units are of a size to provide optimum care.

    The average is 15·7 cots. The Report of the Expert Group on Special Care for Babies (DHSS Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No. 127, 1971), a copy of which is in the Library, set out the advantages of special care baby units of sufficient size. Health authorities will best be able to determine the size of unit required in a particular place, although units of less than 10 cots will rarely be justified.

    asked the Secertary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the staffing levels in special care baby units have improved since the review undertaken by the working party on the prevention of early neo-natal mortality and morbidity; and if he will make a statement.

    The improvement of standards of special care for the new born is one of my Department's priorities, and Circular HC(76)40, issued last August, asked health authorities to review their services for the new born in the light of the Report of the Working Party on the Prevention of Early Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity, which was annexed to the circular; and of the earlier Report of the Expert Group on Specal Care for Babies. The circular suggested that health authorities would wish to consider levels of staffing as part of the review. All regional health authorities have confirmed that they are reviewing services for the new born as requested in the circular.

    Chronically Sick And Disabled Persons Act 1970

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his calculation of the number of handicapped people who have been helped under the provisions of Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 since it came into operative effect;(2) what is his calculation of the total number of handicapped people who have been helped under and the provisions of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 since they came into operative effect.

    It is not possible for me to make a precise calculation. To give but one example, it is difficult even to estimate the large number of handicapped people who will have been helped by improved access facilities under the provisions of Sections 4–8 of the Act. They would possibly have to be numbered in millions. The scale of provision made under Section 2 of the Act is indicated in the following table:

    Year ending 31st MarchNumber of households assisted under Section 2 except holidays (estimated)Number of handicapped people assisted with a holiday (estimated)
    1973159,00081,000
    1974199,00090,000
    1975234,000105,000
    1976300,000101,000

    Note: Except in the case of holidays, the information collected shows numbers of households, not people, who were helped under Section 2.

    I understand that by the end of 1976 over 2,000 specially designed housing units for disabled people had been completed in keeping with the purpose of Section 3 of the Act; and that there are now well over 200,000 orange badge holders under the provisions of Section 21 of the Act.

    This reply relates to beneficiaries of only eight sections of a very wide-ranging Act of Parliament. As my hon. Friend is aware, the Act is one of 29 sections; and I trust he will accept that it would be extremely difficult to maintain statistics of the total number of handicapped people who have been helped under all its provisions.

    Retrolental Fibroplasia

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the number of babies handicapped by retrolental fibroplasia in the last year for which figures are available;(2) what is his estimate of the number of persons in the United Kingdom handicapped by retrolental fibroplasia.

    In the year ending 31st March 1976, the number of children under 5 years of age in England newly registered as blind or partially sighted as a result of retrolental fibroplasia is estimated to be about 14. This estimate is based on an analysis of about two-thirds of the new cases registered. It may be an underestimate, as registration may occur at a later age and, in some instances, may never occur at all. It is very difficult to estimate accurately the total number of people handicapped by retrolental fibroplasia. I will write to my hon. Friend on this matter as soon as possible.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to reduce the incidence of retrolental fibroplasia resulting from excess oxygen.

    The incidence of retrolental fibroplasia is minimised by high standards of neo-natal care. I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to his other Question today concerning action I am taking on this matter.

    Disabled Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the new help for disabled people made available by all Government departments between 18th June 1970 and March 1974; and if he will list the new help given to the disabled on the same basis since March 1974.

    No co-ordinated information on new help for disabled people was kept before 1974. It is not possible, therefore, for me to reply in respect of the period prior to March of that year. I shall be publishing an updated list covering the period since March 1974 in the Official Report as soon as possible.

    Spinal Injuries Association

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what financial help his Department gives to the Spinal Injuries Association; and if he will make a statement.

    I have recently informed the Association that it will be receiving a grant from my Department of £10,000 for the financial year 1977–78 and that we shall also look sympathetically at future requests for financial help. The Spinal Injuries Association is one of the younger voluntary bodies, but it has already shown a dynamic and pioneering spirit. I pay tribute to all those invloved in this important new organisation, and hope that the grant we are making will enable them to make further progress.

    St Marks Hospital

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services for what reasons he considers that no account should be taken of the cost of treating in other hospitals patients who would have been treated at St. Marks but for the closing of one women's ward, in calculating the savings resulting from the closing of that ward.