Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 24th May 1977

Defence

Ulster Defence Regiment

4.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will publish figures showing the extent to which the planned expansion of the full-time element of the Ulster Defence Regiment has been completed; and what further expansion of this element has been decided since the beginning of the recent strike.

Following the announcement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 17th December last year, action was set in hand to increase the number of full-time members of the UDR by 200 and to form full-time platoons to provide the UDR with a daytime operational capability. During the first four months of this year the strength of the full-time element increased by 61, and five full-time platoons became operational. These platoons are made up of existing full-time staff who transferred from other duties, part-time staff who transferred to full-time duties, and new recruits. A sixth full-time platoon is now being formed. The timing of a further expansion is under consideration.

Television Film "World In Action"

8.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department was consulted about the Granada TV "World in Action" film on 18th April 1977 relating to the multi-rôle combat aircraft.

No approach appears to have been made through the regular channels which we make available to Press and TV.

Mutually Balanced Force Reduction

10.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, in the light of the NATO meetings in London, if he will make a statement on further mutual balanced force reductions.

NATO Ministers meeting in London reaffirmed their support for the Western proposals in the MBFR negotiations, implementation of which would enhance peace and stability in Europe at a lower level of forces. We are still waiting for a satisfactory response to these proposals from the Warsaw Pact participants, and we hope that further progress can be made in the talks during the current round of negotiations which started earlier this month.

Fuel Conservation

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what action is being taken to ensure that the Armed Forces fully contribute to energy conservation policy.

The Armed Services are continuing to meet our reduced fuel consumption targets. Fuel efficiency committees have been established at all appropriate levels to co-ordinate action to avoid waste. A capital investment programme in energy saving projects has been initiated by the Property Services Agency and will be continued as fast as available resources permit.

Civilian Staff

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many men and how many women are currently employed in his Department; and what is the normal retirement age for each sex.

On 1st April this year, the Ministry of Defence civilian staff, excluding locally entered staff overseas, consisted of 194,393 men and 64,270 women. There is no difference between the sexes as to the age of retirement. The normal retirement age for industrial staff is 65. For non-industrial staff, the normal retirement age varies between 60, and 65, depending upon the grade or group concerned.

Pay

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage rise Service men will receive on average after increased charges for accommodation, etc., are taken into account.

Adult Service men have received supplements to pay ranging between £2·50 and £4 a week which represents an average increase for all Service men of 4·8 per cent. The increases in accommodation charges range between £1·05 and £2·52 a week for married quarters, and between 35p and £1·12 a week for single accommodation. The food charge has been increased by £1·12 a week and the garage charge by 14p a week. The extent to which these increases bear on the individual Service man varies enormously, according to whether or not he lives in Service accommodation, his marital status, his rank and so on. To calculate an average pay increase net of charges and weighted by all these factors would be difficult and possibly misleading.

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he intends to make a further increase in Service pay and allowances from 31st July 1977.

Any increase beyond that recently announced and effective from 1st April 1977 will depend on the arrangements which follow the end of the second year of the Government's counter-inflation policy. In this context I will, of course, ensure that the needs of the Armed Forces are fully taken into account. Meanwhile, allowances which compensate Service personnel for expenses incurred in the course of their duties continue to be increased when necessary to compensate for rising costs.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what comparison he has made between the weekly pay and allowances of an able seaman in the Royal Navy, and the current level of average industrial earnings.

Evidence of pay levels outside for jobs comparable in skill and responsibility to jobs in the Services is collected for the Review Body on Armed Forces Pay. Various indices and points of comparison are used, including evidence of earnings indicated by the New Earnings Survey. Comparison at the able seaman level with the current level of average industrial earnings is not a very useful indication in isolation and has not been made.

Weapons (Standardisation)

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the standardisation of weapons in NATO.

The United Kingdom plays a full part in continuing activity in this field in the European Programme Group and more widely in NATO. Most recently, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Norway and the Netherlands last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Feasibility Study on a NATO Anti Surface Ship Missile.

Weapons (Procurement)

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in the pro curement of new precision-guided weapons and "smart" bombs, he is to give priority to systems for use over sea or over land.

We plan to procure a range of weapons sufficiently flexible to deal with targets on land and sea, as operational requirements dictate. The question of one environment having a general priority over the other does not arise.

Fleet Review

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a further statement on the programme for the Review of the Fleet by Her Majesty the Queen which will take place at Gosport on Tuesday 28th June 1977.

Full details of the programme for the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review will be published in the Souvenir Programme which will appear on 1st June. The House may, however, wish to hear the following broad outline:The Review Fleet will assemble at Spit-head on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th June. On Tuesday 28th June Her Majesty the Queen will sail from Portsmouth Harbour at 11 a.m. in the Royal Yacht, which will anchor at the head of the review lines following the firing of the Royal salute; at 2.30 p.m. the Royal Yacht will weigh anchor and the Queen will review the Fleet; at 4.45 p.m. following completion of the review there will be a fly-past by the Fleet Air Arm. In the evening, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and members of the Royal Family will dine on board HMS "Ark Royal".

Her Majesty the Queen will return to Portsmouth Harbour in HMY "Britannia" at 9.35 a.m. on Wednesday 29th June.

Northern Ireland

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he can now make a further statement concerning the special allowance payable to Service men in Northern Ireland.

I have nothing to add today to what my hon. Friend the Undersecretary of State for Defence for the Army said on 19th April, when he undertook, in response to representations from all parts of the House, to conduct an urgent review of the problems of pay and conditions for the Services in Northern Ireland. This work is well advanced, and I will make a statement as soon as possible.

Nato (Expenditure)

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will resist the pressure to increase expenditure on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

NATO Ministers have agreed that the adverse trends in the NATO-Warsaw Pact military balance, and the need to avoid a continued deterioration in the relative force capabilities, require the Alliance to aim at an annual increase in defence expenditure in real terms in the region of 3 per cent. for the period 1979–84, though it was recognised that for some individual countries economic circumstances will affect what can be achieved. Decisions on United Kingdom defence spending for 1979–80 onwards will be taken in this year's public expenditure survey. I cannot anticipate the outcome.

Nato Shipping (Defence Proposals)

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals have been made by NATO for the defence of NATO shipping in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean.

In 1972 the NATO Defence Planning Committee (DPC) authorised SACLANT to undertake contingency planning for the protection of allied merchant shipping outside the NATO area in time of tension or war. The plan awaits final DPC approval.

Nato And Warsaw Pact Nations (Tanks)

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will indicate the comparative balance of tanks of the NATO and Warsaw Pact nations.

The Warsaw Pact has an advantage of about four and a quarter to one in terms of tanks stationed in Europe and the Western USSR.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many full-and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

A list of public bodies, to which the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces currently appoint persons other than public servants—together with any associated salaries—is in the final stages of preparation. I will write to my hon. Friend shortly.

Victoria Cross

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, further to his reply of 17th May to the hon. Member for Tynemouth concerning the Army Act 1965, he is satisfied with the adequacy of the law concerning the unauthorised wearing of the Victoria Cross in general, and by foreign visitors in particular.

Social Services

Mentally Handicapped Persons (Nursing)

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is aware of nursing problems which have arisen recently at hospitals where the mentally handicapped are being nursed in the Eastern Region; and whether he will make a statement.

I understand that at present patients from outside Cambridgeshire needing short-term admission to a hospital for the mentally handicapped are not being admitted to Ida Darwin Hospital Cambridge. I also understand that the AHA has received representations that additional nursing staff are needed at the hospital, and that the authority is considering this.

West Bromwich And District General Hospital

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he expects the new West Bromwich and District General Hospital in Sandwell to be opened as planned in October; and whether he will make a statement.

There have been delays in building, and it is now expected that the new hospital will be fully operational by summer 1978. There have been local reports that the delay is due to difficulties in recruiting consultant staff because of the phasing out of pay beds. I cannot accept that the availability of pay beds is a major factor in the attraction of staff, particularly as in the long term all pay beds will be withdrawn under the provisions of the Health Services Act 1976.

Medicines

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take on the thirty-seventh list of proposed international non-proprietary names of medicines published in the World Health Organisation Chronicle in March 1977.

World Health Organisation publishes a list of proposed international non-proprietary names (INN) for pharmaceutical substances twice a year. Member States have four months in which to consider their attitude to the proposals, and on this matter I look to the advice of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission. It is the responsibility of member Governments to decide upon the adoption of the list of recommended INN. Under the Medicines Act regulations have been made which comply with our obligations under EEC directives and require that where a recommended INN is in existence it shall be used as the appropriate non-proprietary name for medicinal sub- stances and ingredients in the United Kingdom.

Eraldin

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in view of the increasing public concern and attention to the Eraldin syndrome, he will now order an independent inquiry.

As my hon. Friend is aware, several independent advisory bodies are examining issues arising from the use of practolol (Eraldin). A panel of experts established jointly by the Chief Scientist of the Health Departments and the Committee on Safety of Medicines is examining the scientific aspects of therapy with beta-blocking agents in the light of the practolol syndrome. The Committee on Safety of Medicines is considering ways of improving the monitoring of adverse reactions. The Medicines Commission is looking at the wider issues. Although my right hon. Friend and I share my hon. Friend's concern over this matter we are not at present considering any additional inquiry.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current total of patients, as compared with a year ago, who are known to have suffered eye damage, skin rashes, deafness and sclerosing peritonitis from the side effects of the drug Eraldin.

In the period May 1976 to April 1977 the Committee on Safety of Medicines received approximately 320 reports of patients who had developed suspected adverse reactions to practolol (Eraldin). About 60 had developed sclerosing peritonitis, about 300 had suffered from eye reactions, about 150 had skin reactions and about 50 complained of deafness. These reports bring the total number to 1,350, including about 120 cases with sclerosing peritonitis, 795 with eye reactions, 750 skin reactions and 90 reports of deafness. Many reports cover patients with more than one condition. A cause-effect relationship cannot be assumed in every case.

Pharmacists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what reduction he expects to make in the amount paid to independent pharmacists for National Health Service prescriptions in the next full year; and what reduction in percentage terms and in real values that represents.

While it is impossible at present to forecast the overall amount which will be paid in the next full year to retail pharmacists for NHS dispensing, it is extremely unlikely that there will be any reduction in cash terms as compared with the current year.

Children (Economic Circumstances)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the number of children living in families with incomes (a) below the supplementary level, (b) at the supplementary level, (c) 20 per cent. above and (d) 40 per cent. above the supplementary benefit level for 1974, 1975 and 1976; and how many of these children were in families whose head of household was in full-time work.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

For the list of bodies to which my right hon. Friend makes paid appointments, with the exception of the Health Service Board, I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) on 19th May.—[Vol. 932, c. 245–8.]—The information in respect of the Health Services Board is as follows:

BodyPostNumber in postRemuneration
Health Services BoardChairman1£50 fee per day.
Members4£35 fee per day.
Apart from the Chairman of the Dental Estimates Board and the salaried members of the Pneumoconiosis Medical panels, all these appointments are part-time.The other details required are not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost to public funds.My right hon. Friend keeps under review the number of paid public appointments he makes to ensure that there are no more than are needed for the work to be done. In many cases the number of appointments are enumerated in the controlling statute or constitution.

Wheelchairs

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to improve the wheelchair service, in particular the speed of repairs, in the light of the survey of users of electrically-powered wheelchairs undertaken by Mary Marlborough Lodge Disabled Living Research Unit.

Action to improve the wheelchair service is continuous, and consists more of relatively small changes and constant pressure to increase efficiency than of dramatic new initiatives. A few recent changes include a wider availability of models, particularly of powered chairs; speedier provision through wider stock holdings; better information to the people responsible for selection; and improvements in the handbook for users.The indications are that the longest repair delays discovered by the survey were experienced with Everest and Jennings chairs. The suppliers have long been pressed to produce replacements more quickly and there are now signs of some improvement. This is not, however, the complete answer. The repair of powered chairs has always been and remains a source of concern. The difficulty is that so many of the users have such complicated needs that the only certain way of ensuring constant availability of a suitable chair would be to make duplicate provision. Even if present cost and manpower constraints did not preclude this absolutely, it is doubtful whether such provision could be justified.If a wheelchair, whether powered or non-powered, cannot be repaired quickly, every effort is made to provide, as a temporary substitute, a chair which will be of some help even if it falls short of the ideal. We are currently considering a permanent exchange system in cases where repairs are expected to take a long time.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the electrically-powered wheelchairs prescribed by the NHS are meeting the needs of the patients; and if he will make a statement.

Electrically powered wheelchairs for indoor use and occupant control are supplied to people who are unable to walk and unable to propel an ordinary wheelchair where this will confer a measure of independence in the home. An electrically assisted pushchair is provided if the person normally pushing a patient cannot do so for reasons of frailty or difficult terrain. While improvements in the service are an ongoing process, there are many indications that the wheelchairs provided are a significant help to the recipients. Every effort is made to ensure that an issued chair meets the needs of an individual to the fullest possible extent. If my hon. Friend wishes me to look into any particular case of difficulty I shall be happy to do so.

Mr Caville

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that Mr. Caville, of 55 Station Road, Arlesford, Essex, is being given all the social security benefit to which he is entitled; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Caville's case is unusual and complex, and it is being carefully considered. I understand that the Chairman of the Supplementary Benefits Commission wrote to the hon. Member about this on 20th May, and he will be replying as soon as possible to the further points the hon. Member has raised.

Child Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the value of the £1·50 child benefit for April and November 1977, at April 1975 prices.

On the basis of the past and forecast movement in the General Index of Retail Prices the value of the £1·50 child benefit in April 1975 prices was £1·07 in April 1977 and in November 1977 will be £1·03.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the real value of the £1 child benefit compared with its value when it was first announced.

The £1 child benefit was announced in May 1976. On the basis of the movement in the General Index of Retail Prices this was worth 86p in real terms in April 1977.

Doctors And Dentists (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why there is a delay in the publishing of the Report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration; and when he will now publish it.

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) on 23rd May.—[Vol. 932, c. 379.]

Family Income Supplement

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the prescribed amounts from 19th July and arrangements for claiming family income supplement.

From 19th July the prescribed amounts will rise by £2·50 to the following levels:

Number of Children in the familyPrescribed amount of gross income below which family income supplement will be payable
£
141·50
245·00
348·50
452·00
For each additional child the pres-scribed amount will increase by £3·50.Under the transitional arrangements which operate before an uprating claims for family income supplement received on or after 24th May will be considered under the new prescribed amounts.I would urge any working family whose present gross income is below these amounts to claim without delay. Leaflets (FIS 1), which include a claim form and explain how to claim FIS, are available from post offices and local social security offices.Families who receive FIS are also entitled automatically to certain other benefits, including exemption from NHS charges for prescriptions, glasses and dental treatment, free milk and vitamins for expectant mothers and children under school age and free school meals.

Foetal Nutrients

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is aware of the research on lipid nutrients involved in brain growth at the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine; and if, in view of its implications for perinatal care, he will provide funds for increased research in this area;(2) what research is being undertaken into foods which will assist foetal brain growth.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd May 1977; Vol. 932, c. 329], gave the following information:I am aware of the research at the Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine. Other work in this field is being undertaken by Professor Dobbing at Manchester under a programme grant from the Medical Research Council, from support provided by the Health Departments and the Department of Education and Science, on vulnerable periods in the developing brain. Other projects are in progress in the universities and medical schools, and I understand that the Child Poverty Action Group is to finance a research project which includes work on food intake during pregnancy from the perspective of the lipid content of foods.Government research in this field would normally fall to be undertaken by the MRC whether or not it is commissioned by a Health Department. I have no present plans to ask the MRC to include further work in this field in its programme but it will always consider specific proposals submitted to it by researchers.

Commonwealth Heads Of Government (Conference)

Q4.

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now able to say whether President Field Marshal Idi Amin will be attending the Commonwealth Conference.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Lady the Leader of the Opposition on 19th May.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister whom he now expects to attend his reception for Commonwealth Prime Ministers at 10 Downing Street.

I refer my hon. and learned Friend to the reply which I gave him on 27th April.

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish the agenda for the forthcoming Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference in London.

The agenda is drawn up by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, in consultation with Commonwealth Heads of Government. It is confidential and will not finally be agreed until the meeting starts.

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now able to publish a list of the Heads of Government who will be attending the Commonwealth Conference.

No. It is likely that such a list will only become available shortly before the Meeting.

South Yorkshire

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make an official visit to South Yorkshire.

Tuc

Q7.

Q8.

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

Q10.

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

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 24th May.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 24th May.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 24th May.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 24th May.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements for 24th May.

Q28.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 24th May.

Q37.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 24th May 1977.

Q38.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 24th May.

I refer my hon. Friends and right hon. Members to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Thornaby (Mr. Wrigglesworth).

North Atlantic Council (Prime Minister's Speech)

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a transcript of his speech to the North Atlantic Council on 10th May 1977.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a transcript of his public speech to the North Atlantic Council on 10th May on defence.

Heads Of Government (Downing Street Meeting)

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister whether he proposes to establish machinery to monitor the progress of the agreements made at the London summit.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister, arising out of the Summit Conference on 6th to 8th May, what arrangements are to be made to monitor the growth performance of the seven nations represented at the Conference.

I refer my hon. Friend and the hon. Member to the reply which I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Watkinson) on 12th May.

"The Times"

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if The Times newspaper is purchased for the library at No. 10 Downing Street.

No. However, several copies were purchased by my office for official purposes.

Cbi

Q23.

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

Nato Meeting

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Government policies arising out of the discussions which took place at the NATO summit meeting held in London on 24th May 1977.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Watkinson) on 12th May.

Drax B Power Station

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Departments of Industry and Energy in relation to the need for the building of the Drax 'B' solid fuel power station.

National Economic Development Council

Q26.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hemp-stead (Mr. Corbett) on 1st March.

Edge Hill

Q29.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister whether he has plans to make an official visit to Edge Hill.

Political Life (Allegations)

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister what further inquiry he intends to initiate or pursue into the subject matter of the investigation concerning South African involvement in discrediting the Liberal Party, which he referred to in the Official Report, 20th May 1976, columns 1703–4, in the light of the completion of the recent criminal proceedings in the Central Criminal Court; and whether he will make a statement.

As I told the House in reply to a Question from the hon. Member for Blaby (Mr. Lawson) on 26th October, the investigation to which the hon. and learned Member refers has been taken as far as possible on the basis of the evidence available. The recent proceedings in the Central Criminal Court do not affect that position. Unless new evidence is forthcoming, I do not envisage further action.

Doctors And Dentists (Pay)

Q39.

asked the Prime Minister if he will now publish the Report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration which has been in hand since 4th April 1977.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. and learned Member for Denbigh (Mr. Morgan) on 16th May.

Central Policy Review Staff

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied with the performance of the Central Policy Review Staff.

Government Patronage

Q40.

asked the Prime Minister if he will recommend the establishment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the extent of patronage exercised by Government Ministers, the manner in which it is exercised, and related matters.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave him on 2nd November.

Prime Minister (Appointments)

asked the Prime Minister how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

As far as paid appoinments are concerned, I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 19th May to my hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan).I make some 170 unpaid appointments, of which more than half are trustees appointed to the boards of museums and galleries. Information about expenses is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. In most cases the number of these appointments is fixed by statute, and I have no plans to reduce the present number.

House Of Commons

Parliamentary Papers (Photostatic Copying)

asked the Lord President of the Council what was the total number of staff employed in using the photostatic copying machines in the Member's Interview Floor during the week ending 13th May; how many machines and electric and other typewriters were in use; what were the amounts of time spent and all costs involved; and what was the reason for this operation.

Because HMSO was unable to supply essential parliamentary papers, they have been produced in the Members' Interview Floor. For the week ending 13th May 1977 the total number of staff used on the photostatic copying machines was 28, together with 20 typists. There are six copying machines and 12 electric typewriters. The amount of time worked on each respectively was 756¾ hours and 430 hours. The total cost was £8,560·86 of which £4,163·45 was labour and £4,397·41 materials.

Administration

asked the Lord President of the Council when he intends to introduce a House of Commons (Administration) Bill.

It is the Government's intention to introduce such legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows, but I cannot undertake to do so this Session.

Lord President Of The Council (Appointments)

asked the Lord President of the Council how many full-and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

I make 148 such appointments, mostly to university governing bodies, under Royal Charter powers which I have no authority to abrogate. These appointments are all part-time and attract neither salary nor expenses from official funds. No full-time appointments are made.

Chancellor Of The Duchy Of Lancaster (Appointments)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

I refer my hon. Friend to the Answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) on 19th May.—[Vol. 932. c. 235].

Employment

Unemployed Persons

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many of the total of unemployed at the end of March 1977 were women and how many were men.

The numbers unemployed are counted on a selected day in each month. At 10th March the number unemployed in Great Britain comprised 338,613 females and 989,468 males. The corresponding figures for 14th April were 343,096 and 992,539.

Chemical Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate of numbers of employees engaged in 1976 in the chemical industry, as defined in orders IV and V of the Standard Industrial Classification, in Scotland, England and Wales; and if he will express the figures in percentage terms.

The following table gives the numbers of employees in employment at December 1976 in the orders specified and the percentages they form of employees in employment in all industries and services:

Employees in employment(000's)Percentage of employees in all industries and services
Scotland32·01·6
England413·02·2
Wales22·82·3
These figures are provisional and are subject to revision when the 1976 census of employment results become available.

Drilling Technology Centre

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many trainees graduated from the Drilling Technology Centre and how many failed in 1976.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that a total of 351 trainees successfully completed training courses in 1976. Only six trainees failed to complete their courses.

Tayside

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what were the total numbers of women in employment in Dundee and Tayside, respectively, in June 1975 and June 1976; and what proportion of the Scottish total these represent.

At June 1975, the latest date for which employment estimates are available for local areas and regions in Scotland, there were 41,600 female employees in employment in Dundee and 69,600 in the Tayside Region. These figures represent 4·8 per cent. and 8·1 per cent., respectively, of the total number of female employees in employment in Scotland. The results of the 1976 census of employment will be available later in the year.

Manpower Services Commission (Scottish Committee)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many times the Scottish Committee of the Training Services Agency met in 1976; what recommendations were made from the meetings; and what changes in personnel have occurred in the last year.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Training Services Agency has no Scottish Committee. The interim MSC Committee for Scotland met for the first time on 12th January 1977, and has met once since on 28th April. The Committee has advised the Commission on permanent arrangements for decentralising the manpower services in Scotland, the existing range of MSC activities in Scotland, and the priorities for manpower policy there. Six members of the Committee have been appointed on the nomination of the Scottish TUC and the CBI (Scotland). The Comimssion is at present seeking nominations for the remaining three members. The Committee is chaired by the MSC's Chairman.

Earnings

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his latest estimate of average weekly earnings for men in manual work.

The latest available estimate relates to October 1976. In my Department's regular annual survey of earnings and hours of manual workers in manufacturing and certain other industries, the average gross weekly earnings of full-time manual men, aged 21 and over, were £66·97. Between October 1976 and March 1977 the monthly index of average earnings of all categories of employees throughout the economy in

Act or regulationSummary of definitionSummary of purpose
I. Contracts of Employment Act 1972, as amended, Schedule 1 paragraphs 3·4C (inclusive).Less than 16 hours per week.To exclude week of part-time work from the computation of period of continuous employment for the purposes of qualifying for the following rights—
1. Minimum period of notice under Contracts of Employment Act.
2. Written particulars of terms of employment under ditto.
3. Redundancy payment under Redundancy Payments Act 1965.
4. A right not to be unfairly dismissed under Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974.
5. The following rights under Employment Protection Act 1975—
(a) guarantee payments during lay-off or short time;
(b) remuneration during period of medical suspension;
(c) maternity pay and the right to return after maternity leave;
(d) time off to look for work or make arrangements for training when under notice of dismissal;
(e) written statement of reasons for dismissal.

creased by about 5½ per cent. Separate estimates for full-time adult males are not available from this index.

Self-Employed Salesmen

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if there is any reason why jobcentres should not assist in the recruitment of self-employed salesmen where the addition of such persons would strengthen the capacity of a company to sell its goods in either the home or overseas market.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that there is nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member's earlier Question on 22nd November 1976.—[Vol. 919, c. 946.]

Statutory Definitions

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the Acts or regulations which are the responsibility of his Department where full-time or part-time work is defined; and what is the definition used in each case.

The Acts and regulations which are the responsibility of my Department where "full time" or "part time" work is defined and the purposes of the definition are as follows:

Act or regulation

Summary of definition

Summary of purpose

II. Employment Protection Act 1975, section 119(8).Less than 16 hours per week.To disqualify part-time workers from the following rights (which do not depend on continuous period of employment)—
(a) time off for trade union duties and activities;
(b) time off for public duties;
(c)itemised pay statement.
(Note: the above rules are relaxed in favour of workers who have worked 8 hours or more per week for at least 5 years.)
III. The Wages (Aerated Waters (England and Wales) Order 1977.1. At least 40 hours a week; part-time worker less than 40 hours a week;1. Different terms for cost-of-living allowance and earnings supplement;
2. Part-time driver/salesman/delivery worker gets 2p per hour more than full-timers.
2. Driver/salesman/delivery worker at least 30 hours a week; part-timer less than 30 hours a week.
IV. The Wages (Aerated Waters) (England and Wales) (Holidays) Order 1977.At least 30 hours a week.Entitlement to customary holidays with pay.
V. The Wages (Booksellers and Stationers) Order 1976.At least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
VI. The Wages (Coffin Furniture and Cerement Making) Order 1976.At least 34 hours per week.Guaranteed week.
VII. The Wages (Corsets) (Holidays) Order 1977.Part-time worker less than 20 hours by reason only of his non-availability.Calculation of holiday entitlement.
VIII. The Wages (Dressmaking and Women's Light Clothing) (England and Wales) (Holidays) Order 1976.Part-time worker less than 20 hours by reason only of his non-availability.Calculation of holiday entitlement.
IX. The Wages (Hairdressing Undertaking) Order 1977.At least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
X. The Wages (Laundry) Order 1977At least 39 hours (32 in special cases).Guaranteed week.
XI. The Wages (Licensed Residential Establishments and Licensed Restaurants) Order 1976.Not less than 64 hours a fortnight.1. Only full-time workers entitled to 5p per week laundry money where employer does not provide free laundry facilities.
2. Only full-time worker is entitled to premium payment in respect of Saturday work. Special provisions of customary holidays applicable to full-timers only.
XII. The Wages (Ready Made and Wholesale Bespoke Tailoring) (Holidays) Order 1976.Part-time worker less than 20 hours a week by reason only of his non-availability.Calculation of holiday remuneration.
XIII. The Wages (Pin, Hook and Eye and Snap Fastener) Order 1976.At least 36 hours per week.Guaranteed week.
XIV. The Wages (Retail Bread and Flour Confectionery) (England and Wales) Order 1976.At least 36 hours a week.1. Guaranteed week.
2. Saturday premium.
XV. The Wages (Retail Bread and Flour Confectionery) (Scotland) Order 1976.At least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.

Act or regulation

Summary of definition

Summary of purpose

XVI. The Wages (Retail Drapery, Outfitting and Footwear) Order 1976.At least 34 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
XVII. The Wages (Retail Food) (Scotland) Order 1976.At least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
XVIII. The Wages (Retail Furnishing and Allied Trades) Order 1976.At least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
XIX. The Wages (Retail Newsagency, Tobacco and Confectionery) (England and Wales) Order 1976.(Other than certain street newsvendors remunerated on a sessional or piece rate basis) at least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
XX. The Wages (Retail Newsagency, Tobacco and Confectionery) (Scotland) Order 1976.At least 36 hours a week.Guaranteed week.
XXI. The Wages (Rope, Twine and Net) (Holidays) Order 1976.Part-time worker less than 40 hours a week by reason only of his non-availability.Calculation of holiday entitlement.
XXII. The Wages (Rubber Proofed Garment) (No. 2) Order 1976.At least 33 hours per week.Guaranteed week.
XXIII. The Wages (Sack and Bag) (Holidays) Order 1977.Part-time worker less than 24 hours a week by reason only of his non-availability.Calculation of holiday entitlement.
XXIV. The Wages (Shirt-making) (Holidays) Order 1976.Part-time worker less than 20 hours a week by reason only of his non-availability.Calculation of holiday entitlement.
XXV. The Wages (Unlicensed Place of Refreshment) Order 1976.At least 36 hours per week.Guaranteed week.

Abraham Moss Centre, Manchester

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will consult the Manpower Services Commission over the cut-hack in places for courses in literacy and numeracy for adults at the Abraham Moss Centre, Manchester, with a view to restoring the number of places.

I have consulted the Manpower Services Commission and am advised that there is no intention to reduce the number of places on courses in literacy and numeracy available for adults in the Manchester area. However, in order to ensure that the geographical spread of courses more closely meets the demand from students, only one course will be held at the Abraham Moss Centre in the 1977–78 academic year, but an extra course will be provided in Openshaw and the number of places increased on courses held in Oldham and Swinton.

Asbestos

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what research work is being carried out regarding danger to health arising from concentrations of blue and white asbestos is homes and places of employment; and what conclusions have so far been reached.

The effects of occupational exposure to all forms of asbestos are being widely studied both in this country and abroad. Some of the more significant studies are listed below.A long-term study of asbestos workers was initiated by the Employment Medical Advisory Service in 1971. The main purposes of this research is to learn as much as possible about the natural history of exposures to asbestos of different types of varying but measured doses of dust; and to provide the evidence of the need for, and ultimately the effectiveness of dust control measures of all types.The Health and Safety Executive is also carrying out research which aims to improve the methods of determining concentrations of asbestos in dust samples and in monitoring techniques. Research is also being sponsored into the use of automatic counting techniques for asbestos fibres. A study of post-mortem material is being carried out under the auspices of the Medical Research Council to determine whether crocidolite (blue asbestos) has a different pattern of causation of death from that of other asbestos. This study has been going on for approximately two years.Among the other research projects being undertaken are the following: experimental studies of the fibrogenic and carcinogenic action of the principal types of asbestos, the development of immunological techniques for the surveillance of populations at high risk, and the effect of size and shape of fibres on their fibrogenic and carcinogenic action.The EEC is also concerned about the effects of asbestos both in the environment and in the work place, and a research study commissioned by it on the public health risks of exposure to asbestos has recently been published. This study contains an extensive list of references to research work on asbestos. Reference should be made to the individual papers for the writers' conclusions.Most of this work is directly related to asbestos exposure at work, but it is anticipated that the results will also be helpful in dealing with any risk that might arise in the home.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

The total number of paid full- and part-time appointments is 13 and 148 respectively. The estimated total annual cost for salaries and fees in 1976–77 is £300,000. No useful estimate of expenses is possible without incurring disproportionate costs. I keep under review the number of appointments to be made and ensure that there are no more than are needed for the work to be done.

Incomes Policy

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the Government were able to ensure strict observance throughout the public sector of the wages policy contained within Command Paper No. 6151 including paragraph 4 of the Annex to that document; and if he will list the sectors where strict observance was not applied.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the reference in paragraph 20 of Command Paper No. 6507 to interpretation of wages policy in phase 2 means that in the Government's view what applied in particular cases during phase 1 should apply without amendment in phase 2.

The position is that in general the interpretation of the policy in particular circumstances is the same as in the previous period.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, for the purposes of implementing phase 2 of the incomes policy, what guidance the Government have given the public sector, including local authorities, on how to calculate "incremental drift".

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd May 1977], gave the following information:No detailed guidance has been laid down, but it has been open to negotiators to discuss particular problems on the costing of incremental systems with my Department if they wish.

Education And Science

Victoria And Albert Museum

39.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science why the Victoria and Albert Museum is to close one day in each week; and what savings will be made by this action.

It is a consequence of the reductions in Civil Service manpower to which the Government are committed. As a result the number of warder posts will be reduced by 22.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will consider making recommendations that the Victoria and Albert Museum should be reopened on Fridays on a charge basis to cover costs.

No. It is Government policy to make no charge for admission to a national museum.

School Meals

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will publish in the Official Report the numbers of pupils eligible for free school dinners but not claiming; on what basis her Department's calculation is made; what is the estimate of the value of unclaimed meals; and what are the corresponding figures for the past five years.

Figures of pupils with an entitlement to free school meals are not known, but my Department estimates that in 1976–77 the number who did not claim free meals although eligible was about 300,000, representing £8·7 million worth of unclaimed meals. The calculation that about 75 per cent. of those entitled to free meals actually took them is based on information derived from supplementary benefit and family income supplement statistics and from analyses made by the Department of Health and Social Security of Family expenditure Surveys.The figures for earlier years are:

YearEstimated number of pupils eligible for free school meals but not claimingEstimated value of unclaimed meals £m.
1971–72230,0005·2
1972–73240,0005·5
1973–74200,0004·6
1974–75220,0005·0
1975–76400,00011·6
The charge for a school dinner was 12p in 1971 and 15p in 1975.The abnormally high figure of unclaimed meals in 1975–76 is thought to be an indication that increased unemployment, amongst other factors, was not matched by applications for free meals.

School Transport

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the estimated total cost of school transport in 1976–77.

£91·2 million, including transport to games fields, etc., and for pupils attending special subject centres, according to information published jointly by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and the Society of County Treasurers in "Education Estimates Statistics 1976–77" (Cols. 75–76, 105–6 and 126), a copy of which is available in the Library.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by her which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if she will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

Eight full-time and 128 part-time. The total annual cost of salaries and expenses is of the order of £200,000. These appointments are kept under review to ensure that no more are made than are necessary.

School Management (Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she now expects to receive the Report of the Committee on the Government and Management of Schools under the chairmanship of Mr. T. Taylor; and when she expects to publish it.

My right hon. Friend expects to receive the Committee's report in June and is hoping to publish it by the early autumn.

Food Processing (Research)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will publish in the Official Report details of all basic research being conducted into food processing with the support of public funds, together with the expenditure involved on each project and the location of the establishments at which such research is being carried out.

This information is not readily available, but I will arrange for it to be circulated in the Official Report at an early date.

Rabies

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research is being carried out with a view to developing an effective vaccine against rabies; and if she will make a statement.

Work on developing improved vaccines for rabies has been done in the United States and in France, and since 1973 the Medical Research Council has been testing the newly developed French vaccine, prepared by the Mérieux Laboratories, for its protective effect against rabies in man. The Council's trials, involving about 400 people, have shown the vaccine to be superior to those currently in use. It produces an increased antibody response after fewer doses, it is effective in more people, its administration is painless and side effects are minimal.The new vaccine has been licensed for use in this country as a preventive measure in people at special risk and the Council is currently undertaking experiments designed to show whether it will also work well in people who have already been bitten by a rabid animal.Promising research is in progress at the Animal Virus Research Institute (AVRI), grantaided by the Agricultural Research Council, on an anti-rabies vaccine for use on animals. Most of the work on improved anti-rabies vaccines for animals is taking place in countries where an endemic problem exists such as France, Germany and the United States.

Paymaster-General (Appointments)

asked the Paymaster General how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by her which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission: what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appoint- ments;and if she will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Publication (Departmental Purchases)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many copies of the British Farmer and Stockbreeder are purchased by his Department;(2) how many copies of the

Farmer's Weekly are purchased by his Department.

My Department purchases 349 copies of the British Farmer and Stockbreeder and 420 copies of the Farmer's Weekly.

Planning Agreements

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with which companies, sponsored by his Department, he is having discussions about planning agreements; and when he expects to make an announcement.

My officials are continuing informal exploratory talks with a number of leading companies engaged in food and drink manufacturing. I am not yet in a position to say when we will be able to make an announcement.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

I make no full-time appointments, but I am responsible for making 1,380 part-time appointments, not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission, of which 100 are salaried, 254 are fee paid, 988 are unpaid and 38 are not paid from public funds. In some cases, the appointments are made jointly with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, as appropriate. The total annual amount paid in respect of salaries and fees is approximately £165,000. Information about expenses, other than salaries and fees, is not readily available and could only be assembled at disproportionate cost.As to the final point, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Carshalton (Mr. Forman) by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Civil Service Department on 1st November 1976.—[Vol. 917, c. 959–60.]

Attorney-General And Lord Chancellor (Appointments)

asked the Attorney-General how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him and his noble Friend, respectively, which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

As regards my own appointments, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) on 19th May 1977.My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor makes 760 full-time appointments at a cost to central Government funds of approximately £10,036,700 for salaries and £501,700 for expenses; and about 34,800 part-time appointments costing approximately £1,305,300 for fees and £354,400 for expenses. The number of full-time appointments, and their cost, includes 443 members of the judiciary appointed by the Crown on the advice of my noble Friend and paid out of the Consolidated Fund. The number of part-time appointments includes 774 ad hoc appointments as deputy judges. It also includes about 24,100 justices of the peace in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 4,477 General Commissioners of Income Tax. The annual cost stated excludes that falling on the funds of authorities and Departments other than that of my noble Friend in respect of the lay magistracy and of the salaries, fees and expenses of 99 full-time and 2,294 part-time appointments to administrative tribunals.The numbers of appointments to be made are kept under review, and my noble Friend and I ensure that there are no more than are needed for the work to be done. In many instances the number is controlled by statute.

Adamstown Community And Advice Centre

asked the Attorney-General what is his policy for the future of the Adamstown Community and Advice Centre in Cardiff; what is his estimate of the deficit in the centre's operation on 31st March 1977; and if he intends to fund any deficit incurred in 1977–78 to run the centre at 1975–76 staffing and service levels.

The Adams-town Community and Advice Centre in Cardiff is one of five independent law centres funded by my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor. The centre estimated its deficit for the year ended 31st March 1977 at £25,950; my noble Friend made a grant towards it of £24,345. My noble Friend has not yet determined the grant for the centre for 1977–78, but he expects that it will be sufficient to enable the centre to maintain its existing staffing and service levels.

Law Centres

asked the Attorney-General what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on law centres.

I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor on 15th June 1976.—[House of Lords c. 1212.] That statement remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Civil Service

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

I make no paid appointments outside the Civil Service. Within the Civil Service the only appointments which are not subject to certification by the Civil Service Commission are casual appointments and short-term appointments for periods of less than five years.

Energy

Hunterston Power Station

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of the research, development, engineering and advisory costs of the advanced gas-cooled reactor programme provided by the Atomic Energy Authority is applicable to the Hunterston B power station.

The UKAEA's total research and development costs on the AGR programme have to date been about £150 million. It would not be appropriate to attribute a proportion of these costs to particular stations.

Drax B Power Station

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how contracts for Drax B will be awarded.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will now make a statement as to the ordering of the Drax B power station; whether the work will be carried out by C. & A. Parsons; and what will be the effect on employment at that firm, having regard to its having given notice of 1,600 redundancies.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when tenders will be invited for power plant equipment needed for Drax B.

My right hon. Friend has nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said on 12th May. Discussions are continuing.

Electricity (Demand And Supply)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was (a) the peak demand on electricity in the year to 30th April 1977 and (b) how many megawatts of generating capacity were available on the date of peak demand.

The following is the information:

Public supply electricity system, Great Britain, year ended 30th April 1977
Simultaneous maximum load(a) met (megawatts)47,902
Public supply electricity system—output capacity of plant available at time of simultaneous maximum load (mega watts)53,220
(a) Defined as the maximum load on the grid at any one time plus the load on stations not connected to the grid, and is the sum of the maximum load met by the Central Electricity Generating Board, and the loads met at the same time by the two Electricity Boards in Scotland.

Oil Production Platforms

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much Government money has been invested to date in research and development into steel and concrete platforms, respectively; and whether he has any knowledge of outlays for similar purposes by the industry concerned.

Much of the research work supported by the Department is applicable to offshore installations of any form of construction, and includes programmes on environmental data collection; wind, wave and current forces; foundations; and inspection and repair. Of those programmes of direct relevance to the construction of steel or concrete oil and gas production platforms a number have been undertaken in collaboration with industrial participants. The total expenditure incurred on this work by my Department and industry respectively up to 31st March 1977 is shown below:

Department of Energy contribution
£ thousands
Steel platforms1,966
Concrete platforms274
Industrial contribution
Steel platforms2,290
Concrete platforms788
While there has been a large amount of further expenditure within industry by individual organisations it is impossible to quantify this in detail.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many full-and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

I am at present responsible for 55 full-time and 96 part-time appointments to the boards of nationalised industries which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission. Annual salaries paid total some £835,000; expenses incurred on the business of the boards are reimbursed. The numbers of posts filled within the statutory complement reflect the needs of individual boards and are kept under regular review.

Oil Industry (Employment)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list the numbers and percentages of foreign nationals employed offshore and onshore on oil exploration, maintenance and development in the Scottish jurisdiction sector of the North Sea, showing the number and percentage of citizens of member States of the EEC;(2) if he will list those oil companies holding exploration and production licences in the North Sea, showing the numbers and percentages of foreign nationals employed by them directly, or indirectly, through contractors and subcontractors, showing in each instance, where figures exist, the numbers and percentages of citizens of member States of the EEC.

The 1977 Brown Book gives figures for oil-related employment as far as they are known. Of the work force of some 10,000 estimated to be employed on offshore installations covered by the Mineral Workings Act 1971 we estimate that about half are foreign nationals. There is much variation according to types of employment. In some specialised drilling activities the proportion of foreign nationals is higher, whereas in the case of the work force on production platforms the proportion of British nationals is higher. The latter is the area of greatest growth as we move into the production phase. Figures by operator or by activity are not available. The work force is highly mobile, and full details could only be obtained at disproportionate expense.

Home Department

Fines

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total amount of court fines imposed during 1976 or the most recently convenient accounting year; what was the cost of collecting these fines; and what happened to the balance.

Information as to the total amount of fines imposed is not available centrally, but the total amount of fines collected by the courts in the financial year ended 31st March 1976 was £45,885,990. The cost of collecting fines is not distinguishable from other costs relating to the administration of magistrates' courts. Fines and fees collected by magistrates' courts are remitted to the Home Office for payment into the Consolidated Fund.

Prisoners (Quashed Convictions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the criteria he uses to authorise ex gratia payments to persons who have served gaol sentences which were subsequently quashed by the Court of Appeal.

There is no statutory provision for the compensation of persons acquitted in the normal course of trial or appeal. Exceptionally, my right hon. Friend may authorise an ex gratia payment from public funds if the circumstances are compelling and there has been some misconduct or negligence on the part of some public authority.

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as to salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

Some 2,800, of which all but four are part-time. 127 of the appointments are paid and the cost of these to public funds in 1976–77 was about £310,000. Travelling and subsistence expenses are paid where appropriate, but the total sum is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. I keep the number of appointments under review to ensure that there are no more than are needed for the work to be done.

Fire Service (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what wage increases were paid to firemen during phase 1 of the incomes policy; what increases were paid during phase 2; what was the total wage bill for the Fire Service during the year of phase 1; what is the total wage bill expected to be for the year of phase 2; and what was the deduction from Fire Service wages to take account of incremental drift.

A supplement of £6 a week was paid to firemen with effect from 7th November 1975. An additional supplement subject to a weekly minimum of £2·50 and to a weekly maximum of £4 was paid with effect from 7th November 1976. No deductions were necessary on account of increments. I regret that estimates of the total wage bills for the Fire Service during the periods November 1975 to November 1976 and from November 1976 until the next Fire Service's pay settlement are not available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

Police (Motor Cycle Purchases)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what were the reasons given by police authorities to the British motor cycle manufacturers why their machines did not meet the force requirement, which were referred to in the answer given in a Parliamentary Question by the hon. Member for Uxbridge on 29th April;(2) what was the nature of the tests carried out by some police authorities on British motor cycles which have led to them informing the manufacturers that the motor cycles did not meet the force requirements.

Some police authorities, whose forces have evaluated British motor cycles in recent trials by experienced riders under operational conditions and over a period of some months, have told the manufacturers that excessive vibration made the machines unsuitable for police use.

Police (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what wage increases were granted to policemen during phase 1 of the incomes policy; what is the position with regard to phase 2; and what deductions are to be made from the pay of individual policemen to take account of incremental drift.

Police up to the rank of chief superintendent got an increase averaging 29·8 per cent. with effect from 1st September 1975. I told the House on 19th May that I was proposing to make and lay regulations at an early date to give the federated ranks increases of 5 per cent. on earnings with a minimum of £2·50 and a maximum of £4 a week with effect from 1st September 1976. It has not been necessary to make any deductions to take account of increments.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

At the present time there are three such appointments; one full-time, one part-time and one on a daily fee paid basis. The sum paid annually in salary and expenses for the first two appointments is £48,136; the level of remuneration for the third, who has only recently been appointed, has not yet been determined. The numbers and costs of such appointments are, as a matter of policy, kept under review, but there are no plans at present to reduce the number of posts.

Heads Of Government (Visits)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when was the last occasion when the United Kingdom was visited by the Head of a government with which the United Kingdom did not at that time have diplomatic relations.

President Amin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has been notified if President Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada will be accompanied by his wife when he attends the Commonwealth Conference.

Mr Michael Moses

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will issue Mr. Michael Moses with a new passport, in view of the fact that the immigration authorities at Heathrow have marked his passport in a manner that inhibits him from travelling freely to other countries.

No. United Kingdom passports held by persons subject to control under the Immigration Act 1971 are not replaced until they become full or outdated.

European Community

Commissioners (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will express in £ sterling the net annual income of an EEC Commissioner exclusively from his income from that office and excluding other income, based on his basic salary less household allowance, dependent children allowance, education allowance for two dependent children, social security payment, after taxation (wife not working) and including his residence and entertainment allowances.

The net annual income of a member of the European Commission, based on his basic salary taxed in accordance with the family circumstances described, plus residence and entertainment—but no other—allowances, is as follows:

Annual SalaryBelgian Francs
Net of tax and minus 49,836 francs social security payments2,056,608
Residence allowance per annum467,136
Entertainment allowance per annum175,860
Total2,699,604
Converted into pounds sterling at the current commercial rate of 62 Belgian francs=£l this amounts to £43,534. The commercial rate is, of course, not a precise indication of relative purchasing power, and is not the rate used by the Commision itself in calculating staff pay in different Community countries. This, of course, represents a hypothetical case, not the actual financial circumstances of any individual Commissioner. These would vary according to personal details, family circumstances, etc.

Northern Ireland

Ministerial Appointments

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many full- and part-time appointments, respectively, are made by him which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission; what is the total sum paid annually as salary and expenses for such appointments; and if he will take steps to reduce the number of such posts.

At present I make seven full-time and 220 part-time public appointments which are not subject to regulation by the Civil Service Commission. In the financial year 1976–77 a total of £162,000 for salaries, fees and expenses was paid in respect of these appointments. The numbers of all such appointments are, as a matter of policy, kept under review to ensure that there are no more than are needed for the work to be done. In many cases the numbers of appointments are enumerated in the controlling statute or constitution.

Northern Ireland

Mr Douglas Deering