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Written Answers

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 19 May 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 19th May 1977

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Pigs

3.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with present returns to pig producers; and if he will make a statement.

29.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the current situation in the pig sector of the farming industry.

32.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the state of the United Kingdom pig industry.

I recognise that pig producers' returns have not kept pace with rising costs, particularly of feed, in the last year. I have taken action to help the industry by introducing a temporary subsidy and by securing reductions in the monetary compensatory amounts applied to pigmeat imports. I propose to continue my efforts in the Council of Ministers to negotiate a different basis of calculation of these amounts which will reduce them further, and improve the competitive position of our producers.

19.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current level of the pig breeding herd.

21.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further plans he has to arrest the decline of the pig sector of the agriculture industry.

According to the latest sample survey conducted in March, the total breeding herd of sows and gilts in pig in England and Wales was 819,000 head, 5 per cent. below the level of December 1976 but 0·4 per cent. above the level of March 1976. I remain of the view that the best way to help the industry is to secure a further reduction in the monetary compensatory amounts paid on our imports of pigmeat, and, as I have said, I intend to continue to press for this.

22.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from the pig industry.

I have had representations from all sectors of the industry drawing attention to its difficulties and urging further Government action to assist the industry. I have made clear my intention to continue to press for a reduction in the level of monetary compensatory amounts applied to pigmeat imports.

Common Agricultural Policy

8.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will adopt it as his policy, and so inform the EEC Agricultural Ministers, that unless the common agricultural policy is scrapped within 12 months, he will unilaterally seek to institute the system of deficiency payments in the United Kingdom which formerly obtained.

My policy is to seek such amendments and improvements in the common agricultural policy as will ensure that it is better suited to our interests and those of the enlarged Community as a whole.

18.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on progress in the review of the CAP system.

27.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress he has made in the fundamental reform of the common agricultural policy since he assumed office as Minister.

During the debate on 11th May I explained in some detail my policy on improving the CAP and what we have achieved.

National Farmers' Union

15.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met the President of the National Farmers' Union.

My right hon. Friend last met the President of the National Farmers' Union on 6th May.

Sugar Beet

16.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the uptake of A and B quotas for this year's sugar beet crop.

I cannot at present add anything to the reply I gave to the hon. Member on 21st April, when I said that the British Sugar Corporation's estimate of production in 1977 is around a million metric tons of white sugar, which is the United Kingdom's basic, or A, quota.

Fisheries Negotiations

17.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the present state of negotiations between the EEC and the Icelandic Government concerning reciprocal fishing rights.

A joint Presidency Commission delegation will visit Reykjavik early in June, when the Community representatives will impress upon the Icelandic Government the importance they attach to a satisfactory fisheries agreement.

24.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he intends to press for a time limit to negotiations for an equitable internal fisheries regime within the exclusive economic zone.

As I have made clear to the House in the past, the Government regard a satisfactory solution of the fisheries problems as very urgent, and Community Ministers have already agreed to try and reach agreement on the main points by 30th June. This will not be easy, but, as I told the House yesterday, Agriculture Ministers have decided to hold a special Fisheries Council on 27th June.

31.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he next hopes to make a statement on the negotiations covering a common EEC fisheries policy.

I shall continue to keep the House informed on developments in fisheries negotiations. I hope that from now on progress will be quicker.

Veterinary Service

20.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the full-time establishment of the State Veterinary Service; and how many vacancies there are at the present time.

On 1st May 1977 the complement of the State Veterinary Service was 1,834. There were 112 posts unfilled.

Horticulture

23.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any plans to meet the chairman of the horticulture committee of the National Farmers' Union.

When my right hon. Friend met the council of the National Farmers' Union recently he arranged to have a further meeting with the chairman and other members of the Union's central horticultural committee as is mutually convenient.

Beef Producers

25.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the returns achieved by beef producers.

36.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the current position of beef producers.

The profitability achieved by individual beef producers depends among other things on the system they use and the prices they have paid for stores and calves. But returns to producers who market their animals this year will be underpinned by intervention and a target price for premiums on average almost 14 per cent. higher than last year. This should be adequate to support efficient beef production.

Krill

26.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what potential he assigns to krill as a source of food supply for the United Kingdom.

I see little prospect that krill could in the near future represent a significant source of food supply for the United Kingdom. Apart from practical difficulties arising from the distant location of the stocks, there are technical problems relating to processing and utilisation of the product in this country. Moreover, there are unresolved questions, some of which are to be studied by the International Whaling Commission, concerning the ecological effects of any substantial increase in the taking of krill by man. My Department is keeping in close touch with the study of these problems.

Council Smallholdings (Sale)

28.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many council smallholdings have been sold to tenants in England and Wales in each of the last five years.

Farmers' Incomes

30.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any further measures to propose to assist farmers' returns.

The guaranteed prices which my right hon. Friend announced on 6th May completed the determination of United "Kingdom farm support prices for the coming year. The package as a whole represents a good outcome for our farmers, who have every reason to look forward with confidence.

Butter (Ussr Purchases)

33.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether exports of subsidised butter from the EEC to the USSR have been resumed; and what was the EEC intervention price and the price paid by the USSR, respectively.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on 9th May. The EEC intervention price, which is set in units of account, is roughly £1,960 in Germany and £1,563 in France at the moment, compared with £1,170 in this country. The effect of current export subsidies and associated monetary adjustments is to reduce the export price of butter bought from the intervention agencies to about £567 per tonne. But handling costs and the trader's margin would have to be added to this.

Green Pound

34.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consultations he has had about his policy with regard to the value of the green pound.

I keep in close contact with organisations concerned with agriculture, food and employment, and am ready to discuss matters affecting the green pound whenever this is useful.

38.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report details of the different policies within the EEC towards the green pound.

The European Commission, with wide support from member States within the Community, considers that the representative rates (green currencies) should be kept as nearly as possible in line with the market rates used for the calculation of monetary compensatory amounts. There are, however, differing views within the Community on the speed of adjustment and on the question whether a timetable for adjustment should be set in advance.

Rivers (Yorkshire)

35.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to come to a decision on the application made by the Yorkshire Water Authority to extend designated rivers within Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Water Authority is having discussions with a number of organisations which have lodged objections against the proposed extension of main rivers. Some objections have already been withdrawn and it is hoped that the remainder will be resolved by discussion. If it proves impossible for the parties concerned to reach agreement my right hon. Friend will have to consider the outstanding objections in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Land Drainage Act 1976.

Livestock (Muzzling)

37.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will use his powers under Part I of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 to make a mandatory regulation prohibiting the muzzling of farm livestock other than for veterinary purposes.

Veterinary evidence suggests that this practice does not necessarily cause discomfort or distress to the animals and could in some circumstances have animal health advantages. I consider, therefore, that its prohibition by regulation would not be justified, but shall ensure that it continues to be kept under close review.

Employment

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the working population works on the land in England and Wales, respectively; and for what proportion of the gross national product they are responsible.

Of those in civilian employment in June 1976 the estimated proportion engaged in agriculture was 2½ per cent. in England and 5 per cent. in Wales. Information on the hon. Member's second question is not available in the form requested, but in 1974 agriculture, forestry and fishing were estimated to be contributing 2½ per cent. and 5 per cent. to the gross domestic products of the two countries, respectively.

Animals (Export)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list in the Official Report the principal legislation from which he has powers regulating the export of live animals from British ports in (a) British vessels and (b) foreign vessels; and at what point in the voyage his responsibility ceases;(2) if he is satisfied with the present arrangement concerning the regulation of the export of live animals from British ports; and if he will make a statement;(3) if he is satisfied with the working of the present arrangements concerning the conditions in which live animals are to be kept during export from British ports on British vessels; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to my replies to the hon. Members for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) and Plymouth, Drake (Miss Fookes) on 17th March and 21st April, respectively—[Vol. 928, c. 300; Vol. 930, c. 122–3.] These regulations are designed to protect the animals throughout the voyage and I am satisfied that they are effective in preventing unnecessary suffering.

Farmers' Costs

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of consumer spending power is represented by the increase in farmers' costs for the last 12 months for which figures are available.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to United Kingdom farmers.The "Annual Review of Agriculture 1977"—Cmnd. 6703—assessed aggregate cost increases for United Kingdom farmers since the previous review at £895 million. This represents about 1 per cent. of total consumer expenditure in 1976 of £73 billion, or about 6 per cent. of total expenditure on food by households and caterers of £16 billion. I should point out, however, that there could be problems in linking the cost and expenditure figures. It is not possible to say what proportion of United Kingdom farmers' cost increases were or will be passed through to consumers and, of course, a substantial proportion of our food is imported.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

The information requested is being assembled and I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Marginal Land

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate his Department has made of the amount of marginal land in the United Kingdom that satisfies the various criteria to qualify for financial assistance under the terms of the EEC less favoured areas directive, that at present is not included in this scheme.

There is a large area of poor land outside the less favoured areas in the United Kingdom. However, to qualify for assistance under the less favoured areas directive such land must normally form part of a homogeneous farming area with poor economic results and a low or dwindling population, of which a significant proportion are dependent on agriculture. No estimate exists of the amount of land outside the less favoured areas in the United Kingdom which satisfies these criteria, but the matter is being studied further following discussions with representatives of farmers' and landowners' organisations.

Tuc

Q3.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave him on 3rd February.

Q19.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Corbett) on 3rd February.

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q14.

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May 1977.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 19th May.

I refer my hon. Friend, hon. Members and my hon. and learned Friend, to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Ward).

European Community (Direct Elections)

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he proposes to hold with his successor as Chairman of the EEC Council of Ministers about the progress of the nine member countries towards direct elections to the European Parliament.

Cbi

Q7.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave him on 17th February.

Q13.

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

Q16.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Renton) on 5th May.

Nationalised Industries

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if he will call a conference of the heads of all the nationalised industries to agree a policy for prices of these industries.

Construction Industry

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister whether he has now received the letter from the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Mr. E. Lyons, dated 6th May, which requests a meeting with him to discuss the problems of the construction industry and its related professions; what

APPOINTMENTS PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS
Salary
British Broadcasting Corporation£
ChairmanSir Michael Swann10,000
Vice-ChairmanThe Hon. Mark Bonham-Carter2,000
National Governor for WalesDr. Glyn Tegai Hughes2,000
National Governor for Northern Ireland.Mr. W. P. G. O'Hara1,000
National Governor for ScotlandProfessor A. E. Thompson2,000
GovernorsMr. Roy Fuller1,000
Mr. G. A. G. Howard
Lord Greenhill of Harrow
Mrs. S. R. Clarke
Mr. E. P. Chappell
Lord Allen of Fallowfield
One vacancy
Crown Estate Commission
First CommissionerLord Perth5,240
Part-time CommissionersLord Allen of Fallowfield1,000
Sir Oliver Chesterton2,250
Captain I. M. Tennant1,000
Mr. R. B. Caws2,250
Mr. G. D. I. Innes-Lillingston1,000
Mr. O. H. Colburn1,000
Development Commission
ChairmanLord Northfield5,000
Forestry Commission
ChairmanMr. John Mackie6,200
Part-time CommissionersSir Ralph Verney1,000
Mr. A. M. Donnet
Mr. C. G. A. Latham
Mr. D. W. Bowser
Mr. David Gibson-Watt
Lord Chief Justice of EnglandLord Widgery23,050
Master of the RollsLord Denning21,175
President of the Family DivisionSir George Baker20,175

response he has made to that request; and when the meeting will take place.

A reply has now been sent conveying my agreement to a meeting with representatives of the construction industry. The date of the meeting has not yet been fixed.

Prime Minister (Appointments)

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

The list below shows the paid appointments on which it is my duty to advise the Queen. It also includes the Police Complaints Board whose members are appointed by me. The list excludes ministerial and ecclesiastical appointments and also a number of Civil Service appointments whose holders are recruited through normal Civil Service channels. I am also responsible for a number of unpaid appointments, notably to the boards of trustees of certain museums and galleries.

Salary

£
Lords of Appeal in OrdinaryLord Wilberforce21,175
Lord Diplock
Viscount Dilhorne
Lord Simon of Glaisdale
Lord Salmon
Lord Edmund-Davies
Lord Fraser of Tullybelton
Lord Russell of Killowen
Lord Keith of Kinkel
Lord Justices of AppealLord Justice Megaw19,425
Lord Justice Buckley
Lord Justice Stamp
Lord Justice Stephenson
Lord Justice Orr
Lord Justice Roskill
Lord Justice Lawton
Lord Justice Scarman
Lord Justice Ormrod
Lord Justice Browne
Lord Justice Lane
Lord Justice Goff
Lord Justice Bridge
Lord Justice Shaw
Lord Justice Waller
Lord Justice Cumming-Bruce
Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland.Lord Emslie20,425
Lord Justice ClerkLord Wheatley19,300
Comptroller and Auditor-GeneralSir Douglas Henley18,675
Parliamentary Commissioner for AdministrationSir Idwal Pugh18,675
Health Service Commissioner for England, for Scotland and for Wales
Clerk of the ParliamentsSir Peter Henderson18,675
Clerk of the House of CommonsMr. R. D. Barlas18,675
Royal Commission on the Press: Chairman.Professor O. R. McGregorFee of 2,500
Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth: ChairmanLord Diamond13,263
MembersSir Neville Butterworth1000
Professor John Greve
Mr. David Lea
Mrs. Dorothy Wedderburn
Professor Sir Henry Phelps Brown
Mr. Roy Cox
Mr. George Doughty
Mr. Deryk Vander Weyer

Police Complaints Board

Deputy ChairmenSir James Waddell8,500
Sir George Ogden
MembersMrs. Rosemary Wolff7,812
Sir Henry BoyneFee of £4 per case and £21 for attendance fee.
Mr. P. G. Clarke
Mr. Colin Gilbraith
Mr. D. G. Haffenden
Mr. G. E. D. Halahan
Sir Frederick Hayday
Mrs. T. O. Kellock
Sir Bernard Ledwidge
Professor Sir Roy Marshall
Mr. J. D. B. Richardson
Dr. James Robinson
Mr. Hugh Sanders
Mrs. J. S. E. Staughton
Mr. P. M. Vine
Mrs. Jean Williams

NOTE: The Chairman, Lord Plowden, does not draw a salary.

APPOINTMENTS NOT PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS
First Church Estates CommissionerSir Ronald Harris

Cambridge University

Regius Professor of Modern HistoryThe Reverend Professor W. O. Chadwick
Regius Professor of Civil LawProfessor P. G. Stein
Regis Professor of PhysicProfessor W. J. H. Butterfield
King Edward VII Professor of English LiteratureProfessor J. F. Kermode
Master of Trinity CollegeLord Butler of Saffron Walden
Master of Churchill CollegeProfessor Sir William Hawthorne

Oxford University

Regius Professor of GreekProfessor P. H. J. Lloyd-Jones
Regius Professor of Modern HistoryProfessor H. R. Trever-Roper
Regius Professor of Civil LawProfessor A. M. Honore
Regius Professor of MedicineProfessor Sir Richard Doll
Regius Professor of HebrewProfessor W. D. McHardy
Provost of EtonLord Caccia
Principal of King's College, LondonSir Richard Way

Bank of England

GovernorMr. G. W. H. RichardsonDetails of their re-muneration can be found in the Bank's Annual Report.
Deputy GovernorSir J. Q. Hollom
DirectorsMr. J. S. Fforde
Mr. C. W. McMahon
Mr. J. C. R. Dow
Mr. George Blunden
Lord Nelson of Stafford
Sir Maurice Laing
Lord Robens of Woldingham
Mr. G. A. H. Cadbury
Lord Greene of Harrow Weald
Mr. Leopold de Rothschild
The Viscount Weir
Mr. J. M. Clay
Mr. Hector Laing
Sir Alastair Pilkington
Sir Robert Clark

Civil Service

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of those appointments and their salaries and allowances.

The Minister for the Civil Service makes no paid public appointments.

Chancellor Of The Duchy Of Lancaster

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

Lord Presiddent Of The Council (Public Appointments)

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

I am having this information assembled and I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Furniture

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection (1) if he will investigate the alleged refusal of leading furniture manufacturers to supply furniture discount chains;(2) if he will estimate the effect on furniture prices of the policies towards furniture discount chains of leading furniture manufacturers.

The Director General of Fair Trading is responsible for examining allegations of this kind, and if my hon. Friend will send him details he will look into them. Without knowing more about the policies to which my hon. Friend refers I cannot estimate their precise effect on prices, but any restriction on competition is liable to maintain prices at a higher level than they would otherwise be.

Copyright (Music)

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether, in view of the decision to give increased scope to the work of the Price Commission, he will make arrangements to ensure that henceforward the Performing Rights Tribunal is advised to have regard to the principles adopted by the Price Commission with regard to charges for services when dealing with disputes which involve increased charges for the public use of copyright music.

I have no reason to believe that the Performing Rights Tribunal does not take account of current policy on prices and charges in considering any dispute referred to it.

Food (Personal Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what proportion of the average industrial wage is now spent on food.

The proportion of income the average industrial wage earner spends on food varies according to his circumstances, including any other forms of income he and other members of his household may have. Information on how households spend their income is given in the Family Expenditure Survey. The latest available data, which cover the year up to June 1976, show that households whose expenditure patterns form the basis of the General Index of Retail Prices spent on average, 25 per cent. on food—including 3·3 per cent on meals out—out of an average total weekly expenditure of £60·42. Full details of the Family Expenditure Survey for the year to June 1976 are given in Vol. 85, No. 3—March 1977—of the Department of Employment Gazette.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

I am arranging for the information about salaried appointments to be provided as soon as possible. A list including unpaid appointments could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

Energy

Nuclear Reprocessing

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the countries which have nuclear reprocessing facilities; if he will give capacities in each case; and in respect of the USA whether there are any commercial facilities in the private sector.

I am advised that reprocessing facilities in the United Kingdom can deal with 2,250 tonnes/year. As regards countries overseas, the following capacities have been reported:

Country (excluding those with centrally planned economies)Expected capacity Tonnes/Year 1977
France1,100
Germany40
Japan20
India60
In addition, France and the United Kingdom will each have about 5 tonnes/year reprocessing capacity for fast reactor fuels. The American plant at Barnwell—Allied Gulf Nuclear Services—with a planned capacity of 300 tonnes is a commercial facility in the private sector, but its future is dependent on United States Government policy.

British National Oil Corporation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the number of people employed in BNOC in Glasgow; and when he expects the full complement to be reached.

This is a matter for the Corporation. I have asked the chairman to let the hon. Member know the up-to-date position.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of those appointments and their salaries and allowances.

The information is contained in the White Paper "List of Members of Public Boards of a Commercial Character as at 1st April 1977" (Cmnd. 6803) which was published earlier this month. Since the White Paper was printed there have been a few changes in the membership of electricity boards, about which I will write separately to the hon. Member.

Social Services

Pensions

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the value, in real terms, by which retirement pension has been reduced since it was last raised.

Regional Health AuthorityNumber of Authorised Pay BedsNumber of Hospitals with Authorised Pay Beds
Before 20th May 1977After 20th May 1977Before 20th May 1977After 20th May 1977
Northern1691174944
Yorkshire3022394946
Trent2472045143
East Anglia1561262624
North West Thames4613535550
North East Thames4102995248
South East Thames4333196861
South West Thames2471785753
Wessex1871464444
Oxford2151843325
South Western2021526255
West Midlands3943047973
Mersey1641263834
North Western3362725151
London Postgraduate Boardsof Governors2271941111
England—Total4,1503,213725662
Scotland2341845146
Wales60472323
Great Britain—Total4,4443,444799731
In 161 instances at the request of the authority concerned authorisation has been given on a group rather than on an individual hospital basis. It is a condition

On the basis of the movement of the General Index of Retail Prices, the retirement pension rates introduced in November 1976 had lost 5·7 per cent. of their real value by March 1977—the latest date for which a figure is available. This represents a decrease in real value of 87p a week in the standard rate payable to a single person and of £1·39 in the married couple's rate.

Pay Beds

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he has taken to implement Section 3 of and Schedule 2 to the Health Services Act 1976, relating to the phasing out of pay beds; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales and I have issud revised authorisations under Section 1(1) of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 giving effect to the 1,000 reductions in pay bed authorisations prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Health Services Act 1976. The effect on the present distribution of pay bed authorisations, summarised regionally, will be as follows:of all such group authorisations that the daily occupancy of authorised pay beds by paying patients shall not exceed at any one time the authorised number of pay beds for the group as a whole; subject to this overriding condition a hospital covered by a group authorisation may admit paying patients at any one time up to the limit authorised for the hospital concerned. In most instances the limit for an individual hospital is identical to the number of pay beds it was authorised to provide when the Health Services Bill received Royal Assent. In eight instances we have approved modifications proposed by health authorities where these reflect more fairly than the former authorisations the present distribution of acute facilities. We are satisfied that these group authorisations will make it easier for the Health Srvices Board to recommend the progressive withdrawal of remaining pay bed authorisations. A list of the revised authorisations as they affect individual hospitals has been placed in the Library.Admissions of paying patients are generally low in relation to the number of authorisations, so that the present reduction in authorisations is not likely to have any immediate widespread effect. Where, however, the reductions lead to an actual decrease in the number of private patients admitted to National Health Service hospitals resources will be released for general National Health Service use. It will be for health authorities, whose allocations have been compensated for the estimated loss of income, to consider the use to which such resources are put according to local circumstances.

Psycho-Surgery

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients underwent psycho-surgery last year; and if he will make a statement about his Department's policy on psycho-surgery.

Information on the number of patients who underwent psycho-surgery last year is not available, but I would refer the hon. Member to the information in the reply of my right hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen)—then Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Security—to my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) on 21st of January 1976—[Vol. 903, c. 512]. Arrangements are currently being made to obtain more detailed information on psychosurgical operations in respect of 1977 and subsequent years.In general, my Department does not have policies on medical treatments; it is normally for doctors to consider what lines of treatment they should offer to their patients, in the light of present knowledge of their advantages and disadvantages, the alternatives available, and the condition of the individual patient. On current evidence I have found no reason to treat psychosurgery as a special case, or to seek to influence doctors who may advise a patient that they think psychosurgical treatment would be in his best interests. Though this is today more rarely used, I have seen recent published studies which suggest that it is still of significant value in treating a limited number of intractable psychiatric conditions.

Amphetamines

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many drug companies still supply amphetamines for use in the National Health Service; if general practitioners' prescription of these drugs is monitored; if further discussions with the General Medical Services Committee have sought a voluntary restriction on prescribing; and if he will make a statement.

Four drug companies market amphetamines, but whether these drugs are used in the National Health Service depends upon individual doctors' decisions as to what drugs their patients need. All prescribing by general practitioners in the National Health Service is subject to monitoring. I understand that in 1970 the Annual Representative Meeting of the British Medical Association adopted a resolution that doctors should avoid prescribing amphetamines.The production and supply of amphetamines and the issue of prescriptions for them is controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1973 (S.I., 1973, No. 797).

Doctors And Dentists (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report in respect of each report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration first (a) the date on which it was received by the Prime Minister and (b) the date on which it was published.

ReportDate sent to the Prime MinisterDate Published
1st Report29th October 19711st December 1971
2nd Report6th June 197223rd June 1972
3rd Report6th June 19735th July 1973
Supplement to 3rd Report29th June 197318th July 1973
2nd Supplement to 3rd Report7th December 197319th December 1973
4th Report17th May 197418th June 1974
Supplement to 4th Report19th December 19742nd January 1975
5th Report1st April 197518th April 1975
Supplement to 5th Report5th September 197518th September 1975
2nd Supplement to 5th Report22nd December 197515th January 1976
3rd Supplement to 5th Report5th February 197611th February 1976
6th Report15th April 197611th May 1976

Brook Hospital, Woolwich

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what decisions has been reached about the future location of the regional specialist units now at the Brook Hospital, Woolwich; and for what reasons.

None. It is for the South-East Thames Regional Health Authority to consider the matter in the light of the intended future pattern of services in the Greenwich and Bexley area, on which it awaits proposals from the area health authority. However, I have told the regional health authority of my preliminary view that it would not be desirable to move further work of this kind into Central London, particularly when this would mean so heavy a concentration of neurological and neurosurgical services at one end of the region.

Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what developments there have recently been in the availability of vehicles for disabled people.

I congratulate the motor manufacturing industry on its responsible and far-sighted attitude to the problems of disabled people and, in particular, for having successfully developed many modifications to production cars for the benefit of disabled drivers. The modifications to the Ford Escort now make it suitable for many severely disabled people. This car offers an additional valuable new facility for private purchasers who are disabled, including many recipients of the private car allowance. I have decided that a modified Ford car

The information requested is given below:should also be included in the range of motor cars on issue by my Department, so that in future disabled people who are eligible for motor cars may be offered a basic Ford Popular, with modifications to the controls if necessary, when the Department's doctors find a Mini medically unsuitable. I must emphasise that it is not possible to stretch resources to permit the issue of a more expensive car in the Escort range than the basic Popular saloon. The private car allowance will, of course, continue to be available to those who find this the most acceptable option open to them. Mobility allowance, to be increased to £7 a week in the autumn, will also remain as an alternative for disabled people who qualify for it under existing or impending legislation. I am writing to the principal voluntary associations giving them details of this extension to the range of motor vehicles on issue by my Department.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is now in a position to make a statement about the civilian use of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich.

Last autumn I asked the Greenwich and Bexley Area Health Authority to construct a plan for future services in its area on the basis that 140–150 beds in the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital should be used for National Health Service patients. I have now withdrawn this request following representations from the area health authority about the effect this would have on local plans for rationalisation of services. I am consulting my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence about the extent to which facilities at the military hospital might realistically be used by National Health Service patients.

Health Services Commissioner (Annual Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to receive the Annual Report of the Health Services Commissioner for 1976–77.

The Health Service Commissioner has, as in earlier years, made a single annual report on the performance of his functions in England, Scotland and Wales. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I presented the report to the House on Tuesday 17th May. It has

BodyPostNumber in PostRemuneration
Adjudicator (Non-Participating Employments).Adjudicator1£40 fee per day
Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards.Chairman1£6,700 p.a.
Vice Chairman1£1,200 p.a.
Area Health AuthoritiesChairmen90Honorarium £2,000 p.a.
Attendance Allowance BoardChairman1£50 fee per day
Medical members5£34·80 fee per day
Lay members2£20 fee per day
British PharmacopoeiaChairman1£32 fee per day
Members16£27 fee per day
Chief Scientist's Research CommitteeMembers16£15·75 fee per day
Committee on Dental and Surgical Materials.Chairman1£32 fee per meeting
Members15£27 fee per meeting
Committee on Safety of MedicinesChairman1£32 fee per meeting
Members19£27 fee per meeting
Committee on the Review of MedicinesChairman1£32 fee per meeting
Members20£27 fee per meeting
Dental Estimates BoardChairman1£11,000 p.a.
Vice Chairman1£24 fee per day
Members7£24 fee per day
Dental Rates Study GroupChairman1£25 fee per day
General Practice Finance CorporationChairman1£28 fee per day
Deputy Chairman1£26 fee per day
Members5£23 fee per day
Health Services BoardChairman1£50 fee per meeting
Members5£35 fee per meeting
Industrial Injuries Advisory CouncilChairman1£26 fee per day
Members16£22 fee per day
Medical Appeal TribunalsMembers318£34·80 fee per day
Medical BoardsMembers1,400£11·37 fee per session
£14·36 when acting as chairman.
Medical Practices CommitteeChairman1£8,580 p.a.
Members8£30–£32·50fee per day
Medicines CommissionChairman1£32 fee per meeting
Members18£27 fee per meeting
National Development Group for the Mentally Handicapped.Chairman1£25 fee per day
Members2£21 fee per day
3Secondment arrangements (Department re-imburses employing authority)
National Insurance Advisory CommitteeChairman1£26 fee per day
Members7£22 fee per day
Occupational Pensions BoardChairman1£5,289·84 p.a.
Deputy Chairman1£4,039·84 p.a.
Members12£21 fee per day

been published today, and copies may be obtained from the Vote Office.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

My right hon. Friend makes paid appointments to the bodies listed in the table below.Some of the other details required—which apply also to some 8,700 unpaid appointments for which my right hon. Friend is responsible—are not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost to public funds.

Body

Post

Number in Post

Remuneration

Pneumoconiosis, Byssinosis and Miscellaneous Diseases Benefit Board.Chairman1£50 fee per day
Deputy Chairman1£40 fee per day
Members6£20 fee per day
Pneumoconiosis Medical PanelsMembers32Civil Service rates of pay
22£11·37–£17·39fee per session
Regional Health AuthoritiesChairmen14Honorarium £2,000 p.a.
Supplementary Benefits CommissionChairman1£9,600 p.a.
Deputy Chairman1£2,000 p.a.
Members6£1,000 p.a.
Workmen's Compensation (Supplementation) Board.Chairman1£50 fee per day
Deputy Chairman1£40 fee per day
Members6£20 fee per day

St Mark's Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now estimate the savings to the National Health Service as a whole, and not only to the City and Hackney District, resulting from the closing of one ward at St. Mark's Hospital.

No. The purpose of the closure was to reduce the rate of spending in one district of the Health Service.

Cheques

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cheques for social security benefit have been reported lost by the rightful beneficiaries during each of the past two years; and how many have subsequently been encashed by persons not entitled to the benefit.

The information is as follows:

19751976*
Girocheques reported lost, stolen or not received150,000184,000
Replacements issued80,00098,000
Fraudulent encashments†60,00077,000
The number of fraudulently encashed girocheques in both years represents 0·07 per cent. of issues in respect of all benefits.
*Provisional figures.
†Includes encashments by the original payee after the issue of a replacement.

Home Department

Election Results

39.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make arrangements that in future all election results shall be announced in order of precedence rather than alphabetically.

This is primarily a matter for the returning officer to decide. I doubt whether legislation would be appropriate.

Bromley (Model Aircraft Flying)

40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the reasons for the delay in announcing the results of the public local inquiry held in January in respect of the new bye-laws proposed by the London borough of Bromley with regard to the flying of power-driven model aircraft in Norman Park, and other matters; and when he now expects the result of this inquiry to be known.

The barrister who conducted the inquiry has not yet completed his report, but hopes to let us have it fairly soon. My right hon. Friend will then consider it, and announce his decision as soon as he can.

Howard League For Penal Reform

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what grants have been made available to the Howard League for Penal Reform from public funds.

No grants have been made available to the Howard League for Penal Reform from public funds under the control of the Home Office.

Equal Opportunities Commission

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the codes of practice for employers and advertisers to be published by the Equal Opportunities Commission; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the Commission hopes to publish guidance on employment advertising practice in the near future and that an employment code of practice will follow in due course.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now take steps to make the commissioners appointed to the Equal Opportunities Commission full-time.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the Official Report the criteria used to appoint commissioners to the Equal Opportunities Commission.

My right hon. Friend has had in mind the relevance to the responsibilities of the Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act of the knowledge and experience of those appointed.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will fill the remaining vacancy on the Equal Opportunities Commission with someone committed to women's liberation; and when the vacancy will be filled.

In filling the vacancy my right hon. Friend will have in mind the relevance of the contribution which the person concerned can make to the work of the Commission in discharging its responsibilities under the Sex Discrimination Act. He hopes to make the appointment shortly.

Police (Complaints)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what statutory authority he has decided that when the Police Complaints Board overrules a chief officer's decision not to bring disciplinary charges against an accused police officer, and at the ensuing disciplinary tribunal a finding of guilty is made by a majority of two to one, and that minority consists of the chief officer or his deputy sitting as chairman on that tribunal, this fact shall be withheld from the accused and the public.

Section 6(1)(e) of the Police Act 1976 empowers me to make regulations as to the procedure to be followed by disciplinary tribunals under Section 4. Regulation 16(8) of the Police (Discipline) Regulations 1977, which are made under Section 6 of the Police Act 1976 and Section 33 of the Police Act 1964, prescribes that, where a disciplinary tribunal set up under Section 4 of the Police Act 1976 reaches its decision by a majority, this fact shall not be made known in announcing the decision. I made these regulations after consultation with the Police Advisory Board.

Murder

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions there have been for attempts to commit murder and of conspiracy to murder in each of the years since 1965.

The available information is as follows:Number of persons found guilty of:

Attempted MurderThreat or conspiracy to murder*
19652929
19665024
19673831
19684635
19694658
19704630
19715226
19722961
19734653
19745236
19754642
* Includes the offence of assisting offender by impeding apprehension or prosecution in a case.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will fist all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

Information in respect of the paid appointments for which I am responsible is set out in the following table.Current remuneration ranges from £16 a day for certain part-time appointments to £10,600 a year for certain full-time appointments. Travelling and subsi-

BoardChairmanMembers
Equal Opportunities CommissionMiss Betty Lockwood*Lady Howe (Deputy Chairman)*
Miss Margaret Allen†
Lord Allen of Fallowfield†
Mr. John Beale†
Miss Ethel Chipchase†
Miss Ann Mackie†
Mr. Alexander Nicol†
Miss Agnes Patrick†
Mrs. Marie Patterson†
Mr. Eric Robinson†
Mrs Caroline Woodruffe†
Mr Philip Jones†
Mr. Peter Urquhart†
* Full-time.
† Part-time.
Gaming Board for Great BritainSir Stanley Raymond†Mr. R. McPhail†
Capt. the Hon. Richard Stanley†
Sir James Starritt†
Lord Allen of Abbeydale†
† Part-time.
Horserace Betting Levy BoardSir Desmond Plummer†Mr. John Marriage†
† Part-time.
Horserace Betting Levy Appeal Tribunal for England and Wales.Mr. N. Kohler†
Mr. J. T. W. Scruby†
† Part-time.
Horserace Totalisator BoardMr. Woodrow Wyatt†The Duke of Devonshire†
Dame Elizabeth Ackroyd†
Sir Alexander Glen†
Mr. Tony Stratton Smith†
Mr. Frank Chappell†
† Part-time.
Parole BoardSir Louis Petch†Dr. D. Anton-Stephens†
Mr. G. W. Appleyard†
Miss E. E. Barnard†
Dr. O. V. Briscoe†
The Hon. Mr. Justice Bristow†
Mrs. D. L. Butt†
Mr. S. G. Clarke†
Viscountess Colville of Culross†
His Honour Judge da Cunha†
Mr. A. R. Davis†
Mr. S. R. Elliott†
Dr. A. Falla†
Mr. Justice Forbes†
Mr. L. R. Frayne†
Lady Katherine Giles†
His Honour Judge Green†
The Hon. Mr. Justice Griffiths†
Sir Richard Hayward†
Mr. K. L. Hollingsworth†
Mr. P. W. Hopson†
Dr. E. Jacoby†
Miss M. B. Jobling†
Miss J. K. Lawrence†
Mr. I. P. Llewellyn-Jones†
Mrs. D. Marlow†
Mrs. A. Morris†
Her Honour Judge Suzanne Norwood†
Mr. R. H. Pamplin†
Mr. P. W. Paskell†
Canon C. Pinder†
Mrs. P. Richardson†
Miss M. I. Roeves†
Dr. A Storr†
Mr. J. E. Hall Williams†
Dr. M. R. Penry Williams†
† Part-time.

stence expenses are in addition paid where appropriate.

Board

Chairman

Members

BBC(a)Sir Michael Swann†The Hon. Mark Bonham Carter (Vice-Chairman)†
Professor A. E. Thompson†
Dr. Glyn Tegai Hughes†
Mr. Bill O'Hara†
Lord Allen of Fallowfield†
Mr. Roy Fuller†
Mr. George Howard†
Lord Greenhill of Harrow†
Mrs. Stella Clarke†
Mr. E. P. Chappell†
(a) Appointments to the BBC are made by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister on the advice of the Home Secretary.
IBALady Plowden†Mr. C. Bland (Deputy Chairman)†
Professor Huw Morris-Jones†
Dr. W. J. Blease†
Dr. T. F. Carberry†
Professor J. Ring†
Mr. W. Anderson†
Mrs. H. M. Warnock†
The Marchoness of Anglesey†
Mrs. A. M. Coulson†
Mr. A. J. R. Purssell†
Criminal Injuries Compensation BoardMr. Michael Ogden QC†Mr. D. A. Barker QC†
Mr. I. J. Black QC†
Mr. J. S. Boyle†
Sir William Carter†
Mr. B. W. Chedlow QC†
Sir Alun Davies QC†
Mr. J. Law QC†
Miss J. Littlewood†
Mr. D. G. A. Lowe QC†
Mr. R. I. Sutherland QC†
Mr. D. B. Weir QC†
Mr. C. H. Whitby QC†
Community Relations CommissionLord Pitt†The Very Rev. Alfred Jowet† (Deputy Chairman)†
Mr. C. T. H. Plant†
Dr. A. F. A. Sayeed†
Mrs. R. L. Wolff†
Race Relations BoardSir Geoffrey Wilson*Mr. L. Freedman (Deputy Chairman)†
Sir Roy Wilson (Deputy Chairman)†
Mrs. E. Christie†
Mr. Rank Malik†
Miss A. M. Patrick†
Mr. C. T. H. Plant†
Miss S. Roberts†
Mr. T. S. Roberts†
Mr. M. Singh†
NOTE: The Community Relations Commission and the Race Relations Board will cease to exist on 13th June 1977 when the Race Relations Act 1976 comes into force and the Commission for Racial Equality becomes fully operational.
Commission for Racial EqualityMr. David Lane*Mr. Clifton Robinson (Deputy (Chairman)*
Mr. Pranlal Sheth (Deputy Chairman)†
Councillor Bashir Maan (Deputy Chairman)†
Mrs. Juliet Cheetham†
Mr. Frank Cummins†
Mr. Tom Jackson†
Mrs. Anowara Jahan†
Mr. Courtney A. Laws†
Mr. William Morris†
Mr. Robert J. Ramsey†
Miss Gwenneth M. Rickus†
Dr. Preetam Singh QC†
Mr. Alan N. Wilson†
Women's Royal Voluntary ServiceBaroness Pike†

*Full-time.

† Part-time.

Transport

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

The paid appointments are those shown under British Railways Board, British Transport Docks Board, National Bus Company, National Ports Council, and Port Authorities on pages 34, 37, 39 and 40 of "A Directory of Paid Appointments made by Ministers" issued by the Civil Service Department and published by HMSO in April 1976. Unpaid appointments are made to the bodies listed below. The other particulars sought by my hon. Friend are not readily available and could only be collected at disproportionate cost to public funds.

Name of BodyNo. of Appointments
Advisory Committee on the Landscape Treatment of Trunk Roads20
Berwick-on-Tweed Harbour Commission2
Cattewater Harbour Commission1
Cowes Harbour Commission1
Eastern Traffic Commissioners16
East Midlands Traffic Commissioners18
Falmouth Harbour Commission1
Harwich Harbour Conservancy Board4
Humber Local Advisory Board (of the BTDD)17
King's Lynn Conservancy Board2
Lancaster Port Commission2
Metropolitan Traffic Commissioners22
Milford Haven Conservancy Board8
Motor Rallies Advisory Committee20
Northern Traffic Commissioners20
North Western Traffic Commissioners28
Poole Harbour Commission2
Railways and Coastal Shipping Committee3
Scottish Traffic Commissioners18
Southampton Local Advisory Board (of the BTDD)16
South Eastern Traffic Commissioners21
South Wales Traffic Commissioners9
Teignmouth Harbour Commission2
Western Traffic Commissioners17
West Midlands Traffic Commissioners11
Yorkshire Traffic Commissioners27

Cransley, Northants (Road Safety)

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is aware that at the annual parish meeting of Cransley, Northants, on 4th May 1977 it was agreed that in the interests of road safety the Broughton-Cransley A43 traffic should be kept at different levels; and what answer was given to the letter, correspondence ref. EMRT/60009/TR47/047, from the parish council dated 6th May to his regional controller in Nottingham.

My right hon. Friend is aware of the views of the Cransley parish meeting; the parish council's letter has not yet been answered as it was not received by the regional controller until 16th May.

M1 And M6 (Petrol Supplies)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make a statement on the availability of petrol on motorway service stations on the M1 and the M6, publishing details of the service stations now unable to provide petrol, and the action he will take to restore full service.

As a result of an agreement between the parties to the dispute, supplies of fuel to the affected service areas on the M1 and M6 have been resumed. The three service areas affected, Newport Pagnell on M1 and Keele and Corley on M6, are now trading normally.

Employment

Dangerous Substances (Packaging)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects the EEC Council of Ministers to consider Council Document R/2203/76 of 24th September 1976 on the Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Substances; how it will be implemented in the United Kingdom; and when he expects such implementation to take place.

Document R/2203/76 was received by the Council of Ministers in September 1976 and is currently under active consideration by officials within the Council machinery. I do not expect the proposals to be adopted until further detailed discussion has taken place, but it is usual for directives concerning the control of dangerous chemicals to require implementation within 18 months of adoption. My right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment have powers to implement the majority of these proposals through regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after consultation with the Health and Safety Commission, and the Control of Pollution Act 1974, but may also need to invoke the European Communities Act 1972.

Disabled "Len Of Birmingham"

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has yet received details of the case of "Len of Birmingham", raised by the hon. Member for Reading, South (Dr. Vaughan) in the debate on mobility for the disabled on 26th April; what action he has taken; and if he will make a statement.

I am informed by the Chairman of the Manpower Services Commission that following my undertaking given in the debate on mobility for the disabled on 26th April—[Vol. 930, c. 1103]—the Employment Service Agency has made inquiries of its Birmingham offices, but, on the basis of the information given by the hon. Member for Reading, South (Dr. Vaughan) it has been unable to trace either a registration for employment or an application for assistance under its fares to work scheme from "Len of Birmingham". I understand that the case was brought to the hon. Member for Reading South's notice by his hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam) and I have accordingly written to ask him to let me have fuller particulars. I am both disturbed and surprised that it is taking so long for the hon. Members to supply me with the necessary information, since the case was represented by the hon. Member for Reading, South as one of great concern, and it seems a possibility that "Len" might qualify for assistance under the fares to work scheme.

Mr A E Lemon

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, further to the answer given to the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West on Monday 4th April (No. 49), whether he will ensure that the payment to Mr. A. E. Lemon of Camberley, Surrey, from the Manpower Services Commission, as recommended in the report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration on 28th October 1976 (C307/K) to the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West is now made immediately, as promised in that answer.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the initial payment referred to in my reply of 4th April has been authorised and will be made within the next few days.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of those appointments and their salaries and allowances.

It is assumed my hon. Friend's Question refers to paid public appointments for which my right hon. Friend is responsible. I am sending my hon. Friend a list of such appointments and arranging for copies to be placed in the Library. Information concerning unpaid appointments could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Duchess Of Gloucester House, Isleworth

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the future of the Duchess of Gloucester House.

It has become increasingly evident in recent years that the Duchess of Gloucester House at Isleworth, a residential hostel for paraplegics, has not been providing the most satisfactory answer to their accommodation needs. The Government and the Manpower Services Commission have come to the conclusion that they can no longer justify this special provision. The Manpower Services Commission is conscious of its responsibilities for ensuring a smooth transition to alternative accommodation and there will be no sudden closure of the house. It will be phased out over a reasonable period of time. Meanwhile, no further applications for residence will be accepted. I have been assured by the Manpower Services Commission that the Employment Service Agency, working in close co-operation with local authorities and others concerned with services for disabled people, will ensure that each resident will be helped in every way possible to find suitable alternative accommodation. The emphasis throughout will be on meeting their needs on an individual basis and in full consultation with them.Assurances have been given to staff representatives that the interest of each member of staff will be carefully considered and safeguarded to the fullest possible extent.

Environment

Improvement Grants

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many improvement grants have been awarded by the Walsall Borough, later Walsall Metropolitan District Council, since 1966; and what is the average per 1,000 dwellings receiving improvement and other grants (a) for England and Wales and (b) for West Midlands metropolitan district councils.

A total of 3,594 grants to private owners for the improvement of dwellings were approved by the former county borough of Walsall and Metropolitan District Council in the years 1966 to 1976 inclusive. Current average rates for private sector renovation grants approved per 1,000 dwellings of total housing stock in England and Wales and in West Midlands metropolitan district councils are as follows:

England and Wales4·0
Birmingham4·5
Coventry4·5
Dudley1·3
Sandwell2·3
Solihull0·4
Walsall2·6
Wolverhampton1·8

Kirkby

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures he intends to take to help with the problem of derelict and vandalised properties in Kirkby, following the ministerial visit to the area.

I toured Kirkby on 5th April and also had a useful and constructive discussion with members and officers of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council. I am giving serious consideration to the points they raised, in order to see how the Department might best help.

Council Houses (Maintenance)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what funds have been allocated in the past five years for the maintenance and repair of council housing in Southampton; and what will be the allocation for 1977–78.

No specific capital allocation for repairs and maintenance is made to housing authorities, although they may use for repairs funds more generally made available under Section 105 of the Housing Act 1974. Expenditure on repairs and maintenance is more typically met out of revenue.

Commission For Local Administration

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has plans to ensure that local authorities comply with findings and recommendations of local commissioners.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 17th March by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Walker).—[Vol. 928, c. 256–7.]The Commissioner for Local Administration in Scotland is statutorily responsible for reviewing annually the operation of Part II of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975 and may convey any recommendations or conclusions reached in the course of his reviews to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mobile Homes

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when the report of the review of the Mobile Homes Act will be published.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Ovenden) on 13th May.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will arrange for the rents of mobile homes to be considered in the review of the Rent Acts.

No. Mobile home rents are being given thorough consideration in the Mobile Homes Review.

Empty Houses

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement indicating the time, form and place of the pilot survey of empty residential accommodation which he intends shall be undertaken.

The survey of vacant accommodation will be based on a national sample of dwellings recorded as being vacant in the ½ per cent. labour force survey currently being undertaken by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Properties identified as vacant will be revisited in autumn 1977. If on this second visit a property is found to be occupied a check will be made with the occupants to confirm that it was vacant in May 1977; they will then be asked if they know why it had been vacant. Where properties are found to have been vacant for some considerable time the owners will be traced and asked for details why the property remained empty. Details of tenure, age of the dwelling, its condition and amenities will also be collected.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

The paid appointments are those shown on pages 34–43 of "A Directory of Paid Public Appointments made by Ministers" issued by the Civil Service Department and published by HMSO in April 1976 except those under British Railways Board, British Transport Docks Board, National Bus Company, National Ports Council, and port authorities which are made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. The unpaid appointments were listed in my answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Knox) on 19th October last. The other particulars sought by my hon. Friend are not readily available and could only be collected at disproportionate cost to public funds.

Industry

Regional Aid

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many firms have been referred by his Department to (a) the North-East and (b) Merseyside in (i) the last year and (ii) the last six months.

I regret that information in the form requested is not available. However, my Department provides information about locations in the assisted areas to firms, and during the 12 months up to 30th April 1977 80 firms from outside the Northern Region visited locations in the North-East and 42 firms from outside the North-West Region visited locations in Merseyside. For the six months up to 30th April 1977, the corresponding figures were 45 and 23, respectively.

Television Sets

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the current manufacturing capacity in the United Kingdom for (a) colour television sets and (b) monochrome sets.

I regret that the informaton is not available. The highest annual sales by United Kingdom manufacturers of colour television sets were 2,125,000 in 1973, and it is not thought that current manufacturing capacity is less than at that time. Because of the progressive change in demand from monochrome to colour, a similar deduction in respect of black and white sets would not be meaningful.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what sales of (a) colour television sets and (b) monochrome sets have taken place during each of the last three years; and what is his estimate of such sales during the current year.

Sales of television sets by United Kingdom manufacturers are published in Business Monitor PQ 365.2.

The figures for the last three years are as follows:

Colour

Monochrome

19741,947,000669,000
19751,586,000538,000
19761,544,000*560,000*

* provisional

I am not able to give an estimate of the level of sales in the current year.

Cornwall

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

My colleagues and I in the Department of Industry have at present no plans to do so. The regional office keeps us fully informed of economic developments and prospects for employment.

Plessey Company Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) if the Plessey Company has indicated that it is prepared to withdraw the redundancy notices at its Kirkby and other plants; and, if not, what offers it has made to provide alternative employment;(2) if he is satisfied that the discussions with the Plessey Company on the threatened redundancies at Kirkby are proceeding with sufficient urgency; and if he expects to announce the result soon.

Discussions with Plessey are proceeding with the utmost urgency and I hope that it will be possible to provide information in the near future.

Merseyside

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has now completed his study of the Report of the National Enterprise Board on Merseyside; and what action he proposes to take on the report.

Electronic Components

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what financial assistance has been provided by the Government to promote research and development in the electronic components industry for each financial year since 1971–72.

The amount of financial assistance provided by the Department of Industry and its predecessors to the electronic components industry was as follows:

£'000s
1971–72273
1972–73873
1973–741,350
1974–751,869
1975–762,251
1976–773,131
In addition, the Ministry of Defence contribute to R & D in the electronic components industry; this is the concern of the Secretary of State for Defence.

Computers

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what financial support has been given by his Department to the main frame computer industry for each year since 1968.

The following payments were made to ICL Ltd. under the Computers Merger Scheme 1968, and the Science and Technology Act 1965. The final payment was made on 30th September 1976.

£million
1968–694·35
1969–704·0
1970–713·25
1971–722·25
1972–7311·95
1973–749·45
1974–7510·2
1975–768·3
1976–773·25
In addition, some of the assistance given under more general support schemes for the computer industry went to the mainframe manufacturers. It would be impracticable to separate this, but the total assistance under these schemes—Advanced Computer Technology Project and shared cost development contracts—was:

£ million
1968–690·8
1969–700·7
1970–711·0
1971–720·7
1972–730·8
1973–742·3
1974–751·0
1975–760·7
1976–770·9

Telecommunications

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what financial support has been given by his Department for research and development in the telecommunications industry for each year since 1971–1972.

In addition to any financial assistance for regional investment, financial support by the Department of Industry for research and development in the telecommunications industry—Minimum List Heading 363—was approximately as follows:

£000s
1972–3100
1973–4100
1974–5169
1975–6379
1976–7763

Radio, Radar And Electronics

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what research and development has been sponsored by his Department in the radio, radar and electronics capital goods sector since 1971–1972 with the amount of public funds expended or allocated for this purpose.

In addition to any financial assistance for regional investment, financial support by the Department of Industry for research and development in the radio, radar and electronic capital goods sector—Minimum List Heading 367—mainly for avionics, hydrographic and data buoy equipment, marine simulator and satellite communications earth stations—was approximately as follows:

£000s
1972–3315
1973–4180
1974–5344
1975–61,367
1976–71,599

Advance Factories

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many advance factories are empty and available for occupation in Sunderland; on what date they were completed; how many advance factories are under construction in Sunderland; and why the Government, in the light of those figures, announced plans on 28th February 1977 for seven more advance factories to be built in that town.

There are two advance factories empty and available in Sunderland, both of which were completed in April 1976. Four more are under construction. The six combined could provide jobs for approximately 300. The total unemployed stood at 14,000 in the Wearside TTWA at the end of February. The need for action to reduce this high total led to the announcement on 28th February of seven additional factories in Sunderland which could provide about 324 more jobs. This number of factories we could expect to let within a reasonable length of time.

British Leyland

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied that British Leyland is achieving the target of improved efficiency and better industrial relations as forecast in the NEB Summary Report published in July 1976; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) on 25th April—[Vol. 930, c. 700.]

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if productivity in British Leyland increased or decreased in the 15-month period covered by British Leyland's 1975–76 Report.

By December 1976 output of cars per man had fallen slightly below the figure since October 1975, but there have been significant improvements since then. My right hon. Friend told the House on 2nd March that the improvements in productivity achieved up to last summer had not been maintained, and that a review of British Leyland's plans had become necessary.

Aircraft And Shipbuilding (Nationalisation)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) what proportion of the total compensation payments for shareholders in shipbuilding companies he expects to be paid out by Her Majesty's Government by (a) vesting day, (b) one month after vesting day, (c) three months after vesting day and (d) later than three months;

(2) what further particular practical problems he now envisages will occur in negotiating the terms of compensation for nationalisation, to be paid out to shareholders and companies under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Act 1977;

(3) when he expects to fix the compensation payment dates for the shipbuilding companies to be nationalised under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Act 1977;

(4) if he will give a progress report on the negotiations now taking place with the companies to be taken into public ownership under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Act 1977, and the firm date when he expects compensation to be paid; and in what form the payment will be effected.

Whinney Murray & Company, as the Government's advisors on the compensation payable under the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977, are at present collecting from the companies concerned information needed for the valuation. Meanwhile, my Department has arranged an introductory meeting with the stockholders' representatives collectively.The timing of compensation payments will depend on the progress of the negotiations, which will have regard to the circumstances of each case. Compensation will be satisfied by the issue of Government stock.

Planning Agreements

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement about the importance he attaches to the process of negotiating planning agreements with the top 100 companies.

The Government remain fully committed to the system of planning agreements, and it is my objective to make progress as rapidly as possible in discussions with important companies, not necessarily confined to those in the top 100.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) how many planning agreements are in the process of discussion with the top 100 companies;(2) how many planning agreements with the top 100 companies are nearing completion.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

I am arranging for the information about salaried appointments to be provided as soon as possible.

Trade

Oil Pollution

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the expenditure by Her Majesty's Government on the provision of goods and services to combat oil pollution, or the threat of oil pollution, at sea in each of the financial years since 1968–69.

Whilst the task of preparing for and dealing with oil spills at sea involves several Departments, my own has the major operational role. The amounts incurred, excluding overheads, by the Department of Trade in each financial year since it assumed responsibility for oil clean-up action at sea, expressed in round figures, are set out hereunder. The principal matters covered are the purchase and maintenance of equipment, transport and dispersant; storage accommodation; tug conversion; training and exercises; minor unattributable spills. Expenditure incurred in major incidents, which in general is recovered from the shipowner, is not included; nor is the cost of continuing research into clean-up methods.

£
1970–7137,500
1971–7290,000
1972–73116,000
1973–7482,000
1974–75118,000
1975–76438,500
1976–77204,000

Shipping (Safe Manning)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what action has been taken to implement the recommendation of the Rochdale Committee of Inquiry into Shipping, that guidelines should be issued to the British shipping industry on adequate safe manning of merchant ships.

I am glad to say that both sides of the industry have agreed on a statement of principles which is being publishd today by the Department of Trade and that the Department is offering an entirely new service to industry whereby, at the request of the owners, it will issue Safe Deck Manning Certificates to individual ships, stating the minimum deck crew which, in the opinion of the Department, is required for safety purposes.

European Community

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what is the balance of trade deficit, at seasonally adjusted values, with the Common Market for the 12 months to the end of March 1977;(2) whether the balance of trade deficit, at seasonally adjusted values, with the Common Market for the first quarter of 1977 is an improvement over the same period of 1976; and if he will give the figures.

Figures on a balance of payments basis for the first quarter of 1977 are not yet available. The following are the crude trade balances—i.e., exports f.o.b. less imports c.i.f.—with the rest of the EEC:

£ million, overseas trade statistics basis, seasonally adjusted
19761st quarter478
19771st quarter580
19762nd quarter—1977 1st quarter2,324

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will list all the public appointments for which he is responsible, the names of the present holders of these appointments and their salaries and allowances.

I am arranging for the information about salaried appointments to be provided as soon as possible. A list including unpaid appointments could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Plessey Company Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department uses Plessey electronic communication equipment; and what was the total value of such equipment acquired by his Department in each of the last five years.

Yes. The value of such equipment bought in each of the last five years was:

1972–73£49,053
1973–74£36,228
1974–75£49,192
1975–76£90,990
1976–77£39,495

Saudi Arabia

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance he was able to give to British exporters to Saudi Arabia by his visit to that country on 13th May; and whether there was any significance in his choice of a Friday, when officials and others may generally be expected not to be at work.

I visited Saudi Arabia on 12th and 13th May. Despite the fact that my crowded schedule dictated a visit which overlapped with the Muslim weekend I had the honour to be received by His Majesty King Khalid and by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Fahd, and I had extremely useful and cordial discussions with them and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Royal Highness Prince Saud. These gave me the opportunity to emphasise the importance the British Government attach to the further expansion of British trade and co-operation with Saudi Arabia. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the successful outcome of the second meeting of the United Kingdom/Saudi Joint Economic Commission which took place in Riyadh from 9th to 11th May.

Uganda

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he intends to seek to restore diplomatic relations with Uganda before the commencement of the Commonwealth Conference.