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Written Answers

Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 25 May 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 25th May 1977

Political Parties (European Parliament)

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list in the Official Report details of the amounts of grants and allowances made available to the various political party groups represented on the European Parliament since the date of accession to the EEC; and what public accountability there is for the expenditure.

Details are not available, but the payments are made in respect of secretarial and administrative costs and accounted for under the Community budget in accordance with Title II of Part Five of the Treaty of Rome.

Lord President 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.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 19th May 1977; Vol. 932, c. 236], gave the following information:Except where shown none of these appointments is salaried. Any allowances which may exist are not paid by my Department and I am, therefore, unable to give details of the amounts actually received.

Body and Names

General Dental Council

Sir Rodney Swiss (President), Miss C. Avent, Mr. W. H. G. Cocks, Mr. G. D. Gibb, Mr. J. Sutherland, Dr. J. L. Trainer.

General Medical Council

Dr. T. T. Baird, Sir John Brotherston, Baroness Fisher of Rednal, Dr. M. F. Green, Professor Sir Denis Hill, my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes), Professor J. J. A. Reid, Professor M. Stacey.

General Optical Council

Sir Eric Richardson (Chairman), Mrs. D. Bellerby, Mr. W. Scott Charles, Dr. E. Colin-Russ, Dame Mary Green, Professor J. P. Quilliam, Mr. A. F. Williams.

Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Council—Dr. L. Adamson, Mrs. M. Puxon, 1 vacancy.

Chairman of the Statutory Committee—Sir Gordon Willmer.*

* Receives an officially approved fee of £1,250 per annum from the Society.

Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine

Sir Norman Lindop (Chairman), Miss B Brookes, Mrs. M. J. Davis, Mr. J. C. Whyte.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Mr. F. Abbey, Mr. A. C. L. Brown, my hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Mr. Grant) the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Kimball)

Council for the Education and Training of Health Visitors

Dr. C. C. Butler ( Chairman)

Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work

Sir Derman Christopherson ( Chairman)

General Nursing Council for England and Wales

Mr. M. Brooke, Mr. D. James

General Nursing Council for Scotland Mrs. M. B. A. Denny. 1 vacancy

Art, Royal College of

Court—Mr. F. H. K. Henrion

Aston in Birmingham, University of

Council—Mr. W. Baker, Mr. G. A. Cadbury

Bath, University of

Court—Lord Allen of Fallowfield, Mr. J. McLaren, Dr. F. S. Tinnion

Birmingham, University of

Court and Council—Mr. R. O'Brien

Bradford, University of

Court—Lord Bullock, Councillor J. Mernagh, Mr. J. E. Mortimer

Bristol, University of

Court—Mrs. M. Bowie-Menzler, Mr. P. G. Cardew, Sir John Wills

Brunel University

Court—Miss N. Hornsby, Sir James Taylor. Mr. E. A. Webb

Cardiff, University College

Council—Lady Ffrangcon-Williams, Mr. T. S. Roberts

Chelsea Physic Garden

Committee of Management—General Sir Antony Read

Children Act 1948—Appeals Tribunal

Welfare Panel—Mr. M. Phillips, Mr. P. Righton, Miss O. Stevenson

City University

Court—Mrs. I. Bonham, Professor M. Gowing, Lord Hunt. Lord Ironside

Cranfield Institute of Technology

Court—Professor J. F. Coales. Sir Derek Ezra, Mr. D. K. Fraser, Sir James Lighthill, Sir Frederick Warner

East Anglia, University of

Court—Lord Ashby, Lieut.-Colonel J. Innes, Lord Walston

Essex, University of

Court—Councillor A. T. Blowers, Councillor A. J. Coles, Sir Sigmund Sternberg.

Exeter, University of

Court—Mr. A. H. F. Fooks, Dr. R. Newton. Imperial College of Science and Technology

Governing Body—My hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham Mr. Atkinson, Sir Frederick Hayday, Sir Laurence Kirwan, Dr. S. Kitchener, Sir Edward Playfair, Mr. W. A. Prideaux.

Kent at Canterbury, University of

Court—Mr. T. B. Bunting, Dame Evelyn Denington, Dr K. Porter.

Lancaster, University of

Court—Professor G. Ashworth, Councillor J. Entwistle, Councillor H. Parker, Lady James of Rusholme.

Leeds, University of

Court—Sir John Armytage, Rt. Rev. John Moorman.

Court and Council—Mr. N. Free.

London, University of

Court—Sir Michael Clapham, Mr. P. Parker, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie Scarman, Rt. Hon. Lord Shawcross.

University College, London

Lord Northcliffe Chair of Modern English Literature—Mr. K. Miller.*

Heriot-Watt University

Convocation—Hon. Lord Birsay, Mr. D. W. A. Donald, Mr. W. S. Robertson. Holloway College, Royal

Council—Sir Ronald Gould.

Hull, University of

Court—Mr. K. E. Bantock, Mr. J. R. Blackburne, Miss C. Lambert.

Keele, University of

Court—Mr. J. D. Bradshaw, Mr. R. Howson, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie Scarman.

Leicester, University of

Court—Mr. G. Bromley, 2 vacancies.

Liverpool, University of

Court—Dame Janet Vaughan.

Loughborough University of Technology

Court—Mr. J. M. Hardy, Mr. E. P. McTighe, Mr. R. L. Wessel

Manchester, Victoria University of

Court—Lady Bowden, Rt. Rev. Patrick Rodger, Dame Mabel Tylecote, Mr. C. M. G. Wallwork, Lord Winstanley.

Manchester, University of, Institute of Science and Technology

Court—Sir Neville Butterworth, Mrs. D. Jeuda, Mr. F. A. Russell, Sir Alex Smith.* Salaried university appointment.

North Wales, University College of

Court—Dr. R. Elfyn Hughes, Mr. T. Jones, Baroness White.

Nottingham, University of

Court—Mrs. P. Germany, Dr. B. Kilkenny, Mr C. A. Unwin.

Open University

Council—Mr. A. Bridgewater, Mr. T. A. Casey, Lord Ritchie-Calder, Professor J. R. Webster.

Academic Advisory Committee—Professor J. C. Gunn, Mr. C. Hill, Professor H. T. Himmelweit, Dr. S. Holgate, Dr. H. Kay, Professor K. W. Keohane, Dr. W. Taylor, Lord Wynne-Jones.

Reading, University of

Court—Mrs. J. A. K. Periton, Hon. Mrs. P. Samuel, Mrs. R. Thomson.

Salford, University of

Court—Dr. H. P. Jost.

Sheffield, University of

Court—Sir Eric Mensforth, Councillor R. Thwaites, Councillor Mrs. P. White.

Southampton, University of

Court—Councillor A. Reynard, Mrs. E. da Rothschild, Councillor Mrs. B. Williams.

South Pacific, University of the

Court—l vacancy.

Stirling, University of

Court—Rt. Hon. Thomas Fraser, Dr. D. M. Mcintosh, Hon. Lord Stewart.

Conference—Mr. E. W. Craig, Dr. W. S Robertson, Sir George Wilson.

Strathclyde, University of

Convocation—Sir William Atwell, Mr. E. J. Dowdalls, Sir Iain Stewart.

Surrey, University of

Court—Councillor Mrs. M. King, Dr. M. G. Ormerod.

Sussex, University of

Court—Mr. N. J. Abercrombie, Mr. R. Bates, Mr. T. Jackson.

Swansea, University College of

Court—Judge Rowe Harding, Professor T. J. Morgan, Dr. T. Williams.

Ulster, New University of

Court—Mr. D. MacLaughlin, Mr. R. B. Morton, Mrs. M. G. Neill, Mr. B. Sherlock.

Veterinary College, Royal

Dr. H. Hudson.

Wales, National Library of

Court and/or Council—Miss H. C. Bassett, Mr. G. W. Bright, Hon. Jonathan Davies, My hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Mr. Ellis), Mrs. O. Caradoc Evans, Dr. G. Hughes, Mr. H. N. Jerman, Dr. R. Brinlev-Jones, Major F. Jones, Mrs. K. Idwal Jones, Rev. J. Jones-Davies, Mr. J. Beverley Smith, Professor J. Gwynn Williams.

National Museum of Wales

Court and/or Council—Dr. C. W. L. Bevan, Col. Sir William Crawshay, Mr. A. C. Davies, Hon. Jonathan Davies, Mrs. L. Davies, Professor Mansel Davies, Mrs. R. Jones, Professor W. J. Mathias, Mr. H. Nyman, Mr. J. E. H. Rees, Professor Charles A. Taylor, Mr. J. G. Thomas.

Wales, University of

Court and Council—Mr. C. N. D. Cole, Mr. T. Mervyn Jones, Mr. A. B. Oldfield-Davies.

Wales, University of, Institute of Science and Technology

Court—Sir Denning Pearson, Mrs. M. Rhydderch-Preece, Lord Raglan.

Wales, University College of, Aberystwyth

Court and Council—Ms. A. Clwyd, Mr. A. Davies, Baroness White.

Warwick, University of

Court—Councillor Mrs. Winifred Lakin, Professor R. H. Macmillan, Dr. D. G. Scott.

In addition to the appointments listed above my Department is responsible for occasional ad hoc appointments of the non-legal members of Independent Schools Tribunals constituted to hear appeals under the Education Act 1944.

"Daily Mail"

asked the Attorney-General if he will refer the recent case of Mr. David English, Editor of the Daily Mail, to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to prosecution for criminal libel or sedition.

The article in the Daily Mail is already the subject of a police investigation. In these circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage.

Social Services

Personal Incomes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the number of people in full-time employment in December 1975 and December 1976 whose income was not more than 10 per cent. above the appropriate supplementary benefit level.

It is estimated that in December 1975 there were about 300,000 families in Great Britain, in which the head of the family was under pension age, in full-time employment or self-employed, and the family's net income was not more than 10 per cent. above supplementary benefit level. Information is not yet available for December 1976.This estimate is rounded to the nearest 10,000 and is subject to sampling error. It is based on an analysis by the Department of Health and Social Security of Family Expenditure Survey data for 1975. The Family Expenditure Survey refers to the household population only.The supplementary benefit level is taken as being the supplementary benefit scale rate appropriate to the family. This is compared with the family's net income less net housing costs, less work expenses.The estimate does not indicate unclaimed entitled to supplementary benefit since persons in full-time work are not normally eligible to claim.The comparison is based on the family's normal income in the normal employment situation of the head. The estimate might, therefore, include families where the head has been off work due to sickness or unemployment for less than three months, if the family income when the head was at work was below supplementary benefit level.

Supplementary Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average weekly payment by the Supplementary Benefits Commission to heads of households over pensionable age, excluding that part of supplementary benefit payable in respect of rent and rates.

Information is not available in the form requested, but in February 1977 the average suplementary benefit payment to all supplementary pensioners with insurance benefits was £6·10 and to those without £18·17. The average rent addition for supplementary pensioner householders was £4·89.


asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will estimate the average level of national insurance retirement pensions received by single supplementary pensioners at the latest date for which figures are available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate how many single supplementary pensioners received weekly supplementary benefit, excluding that part of supplementary benefit upayable in respect of rent and rates of less than £1·50.

This information is not available and a reliable estimate could be made only at disproportionate cost.

Drug Addicts

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the locations of drug addiction clinics in the area of the East Anglian Regional Health Authority; and how many new cases were recorded at each clinic in the last year for which records are available.

Drug addiction clinics in the East Anglian Health Region are located at Burnet Place, Cambridge, and at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norfolk. Drug addiction patients are also treated in the Psychiatric Department of the Peterborough District Hospital.In the year ending 31st December 1976 the number of new patients treated at Burnet Place, Cambridge, was 14.The clinic at Norwich is a combined one for the treatment of both alcoholics and drug addicts and no breakdown of the overall number of new patients treated is available; the combined figure is, however, 20.Information about the number of the new patients treated for drug adiction in the Psychiatric Department of Peterborough District Hospital is not readily available but I am in touch with the Cambridgeshire Area Health Authority (Teaching) about this, and as soon as I hear from it I will write to my hon. Friend.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cases of drug addiction were being treated at the Peterborough District Hospital's special clinic at the last count; and how many of the patients gave addresses outside the area of Peterborough City Council.

The information is not readily available but I am in touch with the Cambridgeshire Area Health Authority (Teaching) about this and as soon as I hear from it I will write to my hon. Friend.

Hospital Waiting Times

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average waiting time for admission for orthopaedic surgery for each hospital in (a) Birmingham Area Health Authority and (b) Staffordshire Area Health Authority.

In 1975, the latest year for which figures are available, the average waiting times were:

(a) Birmingham AHA
Birmingham General10·6
Hast Birmingham General28·1
Good Hope17·4
Selly Oak8·2
Birmingham Accident17·0
Royal Orthopaedic18·6
Rubery Hill8·3
Dudley Road22·4
(b) Staffordshire AHA
Staffordshire General5·9
Standen Hall13·2
North Staffs Royal Infirmary2·5
Biddulph Grange16·5
Hartshill Orthopaedic16·9
Burton District Hospital
Centre Andressey15·6
I will let my hon. Friend have figures for 1976 as soon as they become available.

Employment (Statutory Definitions)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services 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 only definitions of "full-time" and "part-time" work are in Regulation 5 of the Family Income Supplements (General) Regulations 1971 (S.I. 1971 No. 226). This prescribes the circumstances in which a person is to be treated as being, or as not being, engaged and is normally engaged in remunerative full-time work. The test is whether he is and is normally enagged in remunerative work for not less than 30 hours a week.

Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the catchment area of the Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, is greater or less than the average for the region; and whether the waiting lists for non-urgent surgical operations are greater or less than the average for the region.

The catchment population is about 248,000, including Lichfield and Tamworth, compared with a regional average for health districts of about 235,000. In 1975, the latest year for which figures are available, the average waiting time for submission to hospital for non-urgent surgical cases was:

North Birmingham Health DistrictRegion
General Surgery16·815·2
I will let my hon. Friend have figures for 1976 as soon as these become available.

Pharmaceutical Products

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of pharmaceutical products is produced from within Scotland; and what are the numbers of people in the United Kingdom and Scotland so employed.

A census of production of the pharmaceutical chemicals and preparations industry carried out in 1972 showed that the net output in Scotland in that year totalled £2·796 million compared with a total net output of £326·807 million in the whole United Kingdom. The Census of Employment for 1975 showed that in June 1975 there were 3,300 employees in the industry in Scotland compared with 76,200 in the United Kingdom. More up to date figures are not available.


asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimates his Department has made of the likely rate of closure of independent pharmacies over the next five years.

Current pharmacy closure rates, which have recently shown signs of abating, cannot be projected reliably, because of the number of different factors, which singly, or in combination, may lead to closure.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the average profit for a pharmacist per prescription and the average profit per pharmacy of National Health Service prescribing, expressed in constant values in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Following are the figures, at 1972 values:

Gross profit per prescriptionAnnual gross profit per pharmacy
1976 (Estimate)0·206,489

Birmingham And Midland Accident Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will investigate the conditions of the Birmingham and Midland Accident Hospital with particular reference to the patients and staff who are at risk.

No. I am aware that conditions are less than satisfactory, but the Birmingham Area Health Authority (Teaching) knows of no evidence that patients and staff are at risk. If my hon. Friend has any evidence to the contrary I will gladly have it investigated.

Operating Theatres (Staff Safety)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has yet issued guidance to health authorities on precautions to be taken to protect the health and safety of hospital staff working in operating theatres.

My Department gave general guidance on the implications of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 for health authorities at the time when the Act first came into force in April 1975. Specific guidance on how to reduce the pollution of operating departments and certain other areas by waste anaesthetic gases was given in a circular issued in July 1976, which advised authorities that any necessary capital works required under this circular should be put in hand during the 1976–77 financial year.

Benefits (Loans)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of benefits paid by his Department by way of a loan has in fact been repaid in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

RegionAddress of Regional OfficeNumber of Local Offices
1.NorthernArden House, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 3JN.34
2.Yorkshire and HumbersideGovernment Buildings, Otley Road, Lawnswood, Leeds LS16 5PU.46
3.East Midlands and East Anglia.Block 1, Government Buildings, Chalfont Drive, Nottingham NG8 3RB.40
4.London NorthOlympic House, Olympic Way, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0DL.50
5.London SouthSutherland House, 29&–37 Brighton Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AN.61
6.London WestGrosvenor House, Basing View, Basingstoke, Hants. RG21 2EH.48
7.South WesternGovernment Buildings, Flowers Hill, Bristol BS4 5LA30
8.WalesBlock III, Government Buildings, Gabalfa, Cardiff CF4 4YJ.51
9.West MidlandsCumberland House, 200 Broad Street, Birmingham B15 1ST.38
10.North Western (Manchester)Albert Bridge House East, Bridge Street, Manchester M60 9DA.31
11.MerseysideSt. Martin's House, Stanley Precinct, Bootle, Merseyside L69 9BN.32
12.Scotland3 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh EH3 9SH90

Child Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether families where the father is on invalidity benefit and has transferred his tax allowances to his wife who is working are 70p a week worse off as a result of child benefit; how many families are thus affected; and what action he intends to take.

In order to be affected in the way my hon. Friend suggests an invalidity pensioner would have to have a wife who earned a substantial amount. Taking a family with one child, the joint income including invalidity benefit and the wife's earnings would have to exceed £67.95 a week before tax liability could arise. By contrast, a married man whose earnings are the sole support of himself, his wife and child would pay up to £14 a week by way of income tax out of a £68 wage.The number of invalidity pensioners with a wife who earns over £42.80 a

This information is not available, as records of recoverable payments of benefit are not kept centrally.

Departmental Offices

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the regional headquarters of his Department and give the number of local offices in each region.

As follows:week—the amount of wife's earnings included in the figure of £67.95—is thought to be about 30,000. But given that only about one-third of married invalidity pensioners have dependent children, and that a wife is less likely to be in a full-time job if she has dependent children than if she has not, the number of families actually affected may be of the order of 10,000.In all the circumstances, and given the relative tax positions, we do not consider that any special action is called for.

Benefits (Accountability)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether every social security claimant has a right to demand a written explanation showing how his or her benefit is calculated.

St Mark's Hospital, Finsbury

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) why there is a difference of timing between the proposed dates for reopening the closed wards of St. Mark's Hospital and the other closed wards in the same district;(2) what additional costs per month will result from the opening of Fournier Ward at St. Mark's Hospital;(3) what is his estimate of the increased cost under the heading of administration and clerical in his previous replies which will fall on St. Mark's Hospital when Fournier Ward is reopened;(4) what is the ratio between his figure for the savings accruing from Fournier Ward at St. Mark's Hospital, being closed in a given month and the costs of its being open in the same month.

The timing of ward reopening in the City and Hackney District is a matter for district decision in the light of its priorities. An estimate of the cost associated with reopening Fournier Ward is £6,000 per month. A more accurate figure would require disproportionate expenditure of time and effort. The estimated figure of £6,000 includes the cost of one part-time member of both catering and medical records staffs and one member of the clerical staff at St. Mark's. Recruitment of all or some of these and the gradings required are now under consideration, and an exact ratio of reopening costs to previously estimated closure savings cannot, therefore, be calculated.

Medicine Prescribing

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, as a way of reducing the NHS drugs bill, he has considered arranging for general practitioners to be visited regularly by well-informed doctors or pharmacists in order to complement the information about drugs which general practitioners receive from other sources.

One of the functions of my Department's Regional Medical Service is to visit doctors and give advice about prescribing where appropriate. The measures for promoting economies in the drug bill currently being discussed with the medical profession include devising ways of improving the quality and quantity of the information provided to doctors. I hope to widen these discus- sions in due course so as to include the pharmaceutical profession.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what evidence he has that local authorities have cut the provision of services made for disabled people under the terms of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and if he will make a statement.

There has been a general and consistent increase in the provision of services. Expenditure on aids, adaptations to homes and telephones rose from about £2·8 million in 1972–73, the earliest year for which figures are available, to about £8·8 million in 1975–76. Similarly, other services of which disabled and frail elderly people are the main beneficiaries have shown a marked increase. For example, expenditure on meals on wheels has risen from about £4·5 million to about £12·8 million and, on home helps, from about £37 million to about £90 million over the same period. My hon. Friend may also like to know that the number of households helped under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act rose from about 185,000 in the year 1972–73 to about 370,000 in 1975–76.


Rent Acts (Review)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if his review of the Rent Acts is yet complete; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington (Mr. Adley) on 18th May.

Planning Applications

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it was his Department's intention by its Circular 45/75 to indicate to local authorities that they should, as a matter of course, release to the Press all information relating to planning applications, in order that the Press may be able to publish details before the committee considered such applications; and what steps have been taken to ensure that local authorities fully understand the intention of this circular.

Circular 45/75 stressed the need for all those concerned in local authority affairs to take postive action to ensure the maximum degree of openness in the conduct of public business. The circular recommended that local authorities should not seek to prevent newspapers publishing comments or reports in advance of meetings by means of an embargo on information they are obliged to supply under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960. This applies to planning matters as much as to other council business.We are not aware that local authorities generally are failing to understand the intention of the circular.

Local Authorities (Land Purchases)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what acreage of land was bought individually by each local authority in England in 1976–77 for housing and other purposes, respectively, under the Community Land Act.

The provisional figures supplied by authorities are as follows:

Housing(acres) Other
Cumbria CC67
Durham City10·2
Wear Valley6
Blyth Valley0·7
Newcastle upon Tyne30·4
South Tyneside8
Tyne and Wear CC4·3
Bristol2 properties
Devon CC16·2
Poole5 properties
Taunton Deane19·5
Greater London Council0·45·6
North Bedfordshire9·7
St. Albans1
Housing(acres) Other
North Norfolk9·3
West Midlands CC26
Newcastle under Lyme76
Staffordshire Moorlands50
Wyre Forest9·62·25
East Sussex CC20
Kent CC4·5
Oxford City4·8
Windsor and Maidenhead2·5
Portsmouth City2·6
Manchester City6·3
Salford City0·25
Ellesmere Port17
Liverpool City87
North East Derbyshire39·6
South Derbyshire1
Hinkley and Bosworth42·8
Leicester City7·6
East Lindsey16·1
South Holland2
Nottinghamshire CC5·4
Nottingham City1·9
South Yorkshire CC144·3
North Wolds1·52
Information as at 23rd May 1977.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what acreage of land was acquired by local authorities in England in each of the last four financial years for housing and other purposes respectively.

Unfortunately, apart from the information on the acreage of land acquired by local authorities under the Community Land Act, given to my hon. Friend in a separate answer today, there is at present no other reliable information on the acreage of land acquired by local authorities. In the future, information on the acreage of all local authority acquisitions of development land is expected to become available as a by-product of the development land tax returns made to the Inland Revenue.

Departmental Inspectorate (Central Excavation Unit)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total cost of the Central Excavation Unit of the Inspectorate of his Department in 1976–77; and how much of this was attributable, respectively, to establishment expenses, permanent staff salaries, running costs and services such as the laboratory, drawing and office.

The cost of the Central Excavation Unit in 1976/77 was £112,688. This figure is made up of £3,727 establishment expenses for setting up and running the unit's base at Fort Cumberland; £22,367 permanent staff salaries, including staff providing laboratory and drawing services; £86,594 running costs, including fee paid and volunteer staff, equipment, transport, etc.

Office Building

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many companies have been refused office development permits by the Location of Offices Bureau up to the latest available date in 1977; and what is his estimate of the number of jobs which would have beep created with each application.

The issuing of office development permits is my responsibility and is not the responsibility of the Location of Offices Bureau. In the few years ended 31st March 1977 the number of applications refused were as follows:


It is not possible to give an estimate of the number of jobs which would have been created had all these applications been granted because

  • (a) the issue of an office development permit does not always lead to planning permission being granted or to new offices being built;
  • (b) some applications which have been refused have been subsequently granted while others have been refused more than once, sometimes for development of another site.
  • Local Government (Complaints)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in the light of the judgment given by the Divisional Court on 15th February 1977, in reinvestigation into complaint against Liverpool City Council, he will make a statement about the disclosure to local commissioners of information and documents which in their opinion are relevant to investigations into complaints of alleged maladministration.

    The Government fully share the concern expressed by the Commissions for Local Administration in England and Wales and the Commissioner for Local Administration in Scotland about the practical consequences of the judgment given in this case. It is the Government's intention to seek an appropriate opportunity to amend Section 32(3) of the Local Government Act 1974 and Section 30(3) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975 to ensure that local commissioners have an unrestricted right of access to such information and documents as are relevant to the conduct of their investigations. In so doing it will be the Government's intention to achieve a result similar to that achieved by Section 11(3) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 and thus to provide that, whatever restriction a Minister or an authority may seek to impose in the public interest on disclosure by a local commissioner, they must nevertheless supply him with such information and documents as he requires in the course of his investigation.I am confident that pending the introduction of such legislation the authorities subject to investigation under the respective Acts will co-operate to the fullest extent with the local commissioners.

    Location Of Offices Bureau

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes in the staff of the Location of Offices Bureau he anticipates following the bureau's new remit.

    The implications of the proposed change in the terms of reference of the Location of Offices Bureau on the Bureau's staffing arrangements are currently under consideration, but no immediate change in the number of staff employed by the Bureau is envisaged.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if recent applicants who have been refused office development permits by the Location of Offices Bureau now have their applications automatically reconsidered following the bureau's new remits.

    Office development permits are my responsibility, not that of the Location of Offices Bureau. It is normal for unsuccessful applicants to renew their applications, if they wish to do so, in the light of changes in office development control policy.

    Law Courts (Glasgow)

    asked the Lord Advocate what steps he is taking to relieve the pressure on the courts in Glasgow.

    My responsibility in regard to the courts centres on matters of prosecution.There is undoubtedly pressure in the High Court, and I found it necessary recently to appoint an eighth Advocate Depute. The High Court sitting in Glasgow, which commenced on 25th April 1977, dealt with 31 cases and lasted four weeks, which is considerably longer than normal.The relief of pressure in the High Court, Sheriff Court and District Court is a matter on which I and the procurators fiscal keep a constant watch to ensure that the number of prosecutions brought is not so great as to swamp the courts altogether. Alternatives to prosecution may have to be considered. This is a topic which the Secretary of State and I are at present pursuing.


    asked the Lord Advocate whether he will convene a meeting with the sheriffs.

    I attended the conference of the Sheriffs' Association in November 1976, and I had a meeting with the President and office bearers of the Association in February of this year. I have no immediate plans for a further meeting, but I am, of course, available if the sheriffs desire to have one.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Mr Peter Jay


    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what qualifications are necessary to hold the appointment of Her Majesty's Ambassador in Washington in 1977; and which of these qualifications are held by Mr Peter Jay but not by any serving member of the Diplomatic Service.

    I would refer the hon. Gentleman to what my right hon. Friend said publicly on the day of his appointment.


    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has happened to the goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment left by the Turkish Cypriots on British based soil in 1974–75; whether these goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment are being serviced; and when these goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment will be returned to their owners.

    The goods, vehicles and agricultural equipment left in the Western Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus by their Turkish Cypriot owners are at present stored in a fenced and protected compound, at Episkopi. Regular surveys of the goods and other equipment are made by the Sovereign Base Area authorities and the heavier vehicles are kept as roadworthy as practicable. Some of the soft goods are, from time to time, condemned on grounds of hygiene and destroyed.

    The British Government would be pleased to see these possessions returned to their owners, in circumstances mutually acceptable to all concerned, and hope that this question can be resolved in inter-communal discussions under United Nations auspices. The Government have made it clear that they can accept no responsibility for these goods, although considerable efforts have been made by the British authorities to prevent loss or damage despite there being no obligation to do so.


    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the strength of the Belize Police Force and local defence force and what plans he has to strengthen the local defence force.

    The Belize Police Force currently numbers 653 men. There is also a Belize Volunteer Guard. We are assisting the Belize Government in the establishment and training of a local defence force.

    Commonwealth Heads Of Government (Conference)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether bullet-proof cars will be used for the carriage of the Heads of State attending the Commonwealth Conference in general, and for President Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, in particular.

    It is not customary to provide information on security matters of this type.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the £4,500 to be spent by the Government on flags for the Commonwealth Conference is to be spent on Ugandan flags.

    Ibrahim El Mabruk

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Libyan Embassy about the inclusion in its diplomatic staff of Ibrahim El Mabruk; and if he will make a statement.

    No representations have been made to the Libyan Embassy about the inclusion in its diplomatic staff of Ibrahim El Mabruk. Mr. Mabruk's appointment as a member of the staff at the Libyan Embassy was terminated on 11th March and he left the United Kingdom the same day.

    Education And Science

    Corporal Punishment

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she proposes to take any further action about the use of corporal punishment in schools

    My Department has today sent a consultative letter about corporal punishment in schools to a number of interested bodies. The text of the letter is as follows:

    • Department of Education and Science
    • Elizabeth House, York Road, London, SE1 7PH
    • Telegrams Aristides London Telex 23171
    • Telephone 01-928 9222 ext
    Date May 1977

    Corporal Punishment

    I am writing on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education and Science to invite the views of your organisation on the use of corporal punishment in schools.

    The Secretary of State is aware that this is a subject on which strong and frequently divergent views are held. With the concurrence of the Secretary of State for Wales, she is concerned to discover what common ground there may be between those of different views who may be disposed nevertheless to join in a considered approach to a problem which, for one reason or another, appears to have been more difficult to resolve in this country than in many others.

    Some of the bodies on the attached list have expressed views officially in the past, and may wish to change, repeat or add to them. Others have not previously been approached by the Department. The Secretary of State would be glad to hear the views of all interested bodies on this topic and, in order to explore what common ground is possible (or not possible), would be grateful to know whether each organisation would be prepared to allow its views to be made known to the other bodies being consulted. It would be helpful to have your views by 15th July if possible. The fact that this consultation is taking place will be made publicly known, but evidence received will not be published.

    Yours sincerely

    P. S. Litton

    List Of Bodies To Be Consulted

    Advisory Centre for Education

    Assistant Masters' Association

    Association of Assistant Mistresses

    Association of Community Home Schools

    Association of County Councils

    Association of Directors of Social Services

    Association of Educational Psychologists

    Association of Headmistresses

    Association of Metropolitan Authorities

    Association of Professional Advisers to Children's Regional Planning Committees

    British Association of Social Workers

    British Medical Association

    British Paediatric Association

    Catholic Education Council

    Church of England Board of Education

    Conference for Advancement of State Education

    Free Church Federal Council

    Headmasters' Association

    Headmasters' Conference

    Health Visitors Association

    Howard League

    Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools

    Institute for Study and Treatment of Delinquency

    Magistrates' Association

    National Association of Governors and Managers

    National Association of Head Teachers

    National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers

    National Children's Bureau

    National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations

    National Council for Civil Liberties

    National Council for Special Education

    National Council of Voluntary Care Organisations

    National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

    National Union of Teachers

    Portia Trust

    Residential Care Association

    Royal College of Psychiatrists

    Society of Education Officers

    Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment

    Artistic Works (Sales)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement about the impending sales of fine art collections in 1977 mentioned in the Adjournment debate on 17th May by the Under-Secretary of State.

    I had in mind the sale of objects from Mentmore Towers, and the sales planned for 22nd June and later of books from the John Evelyn Library.

    British Library

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if it is the practice of the British Library Research and Development Department to approach one organisation which is a potential guarantee indicating its willing- ness to give a grant for a particular project while not approaching other interested bodies; and if she will make a statement.

    The British Library's practice in financing research required in the national interest is similar to that of Government Departments. A single organisation may be approached if the amount of money involved is small or if only one organisation has the necessary qualifications.

    Secondary School Reorganisation

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science which authorities had not submitted plans for secondary reorganisation on non-selective lines by Tuesday 24th May; and whether she will make a statement.

    Bexley and Kingston have submitted complete and definitive proposals in reply to the Department's letter of 24th November. Buckinghamshire, Essex and Sutton have sent complete but provisional replies containing proposals which are subject to ratification by education committees or councils or both, and I expect to receive a similar reply from Trafford before the end of the month. Redbridge has submitted incomplete proposals. Tameside has not submitted proposals. I am considering what action to take in each case, and my Department will be writing to several of these authorities shortly.

    Adult Education

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) which former colleges of education, other than Wentworth Castle, she proposes, upon the completion of the current closure programme, for use as centres of adult education and continuing education, in accordance with the suggestion of the Minister of State at Leeds on 14th May 1977;(2) in respect of which former colleges of education, other than Wentworth Castle, she has received proposals from local education authorities or voluntary bodies for the future use of the premises as centres of adult and continuing education.

    It would be for the local education authority or voluntary body to make proposals for such uses. My right hon. Friend has received no such proposals except for Wentworth Castle.


    Nuclear Fuel


    asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether, following the recent accident on the Winchester Bypass, he is satisfied that the safety precautions for carrying nuclear fuels in road vehicles are adequate.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to regulations that vehicles carrying nuclear fuels should be given police escort throughout their journey.

    The safety of all radio-active material in transit is ensured by the type of packaging used which varies according to the level of radioactivity involved. In the case of irradiated nuclear fuel elements, the flasks used are designed to standards which would enable them to withstand very severe accident conditions involving both impact and fire. Because of these built-in design features it is not considered necessary on safety grounds to regulate for police escorts to be provided.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether, following the recent accident on the Winchester Bypass, he is satisfied that the safety precautions for the transport of nuclear fuels by road are adequate; and whether he will make a statement.

    Yes. The carriage of all radioactive material in the United Kingdom is governed by stringent regulations and codes of practice, based on internationally agreed standards. This incident involved natural uranium hexafluoride, which, in the radioactive sense, is an innocuous material, and the absence of any spillage is evidence of the adequacy of the packaging used.

    Motorway Construction

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of new motorway he expects to be built in England during the next 10 years.

    M5 (Contract)

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what action he has taken to ensure that only amounts properly payable are included in the final account for the Gloucester to Cheltenham contract of the M5, and to seek compensation from Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners for the additional cost to his Department arising from investigation of the matters reported in House of Commons report HC18.

    The matters requiring investigation were shown by HC18 to have involved no question of corruption or fraud, and I should like to take the opportunity for re-emphasising this. It is also appropriate to recall the strongly expressed wish of the then Department of the Environment that part of the works under the Gloucester to Cheltenham contract of the M5 which would effectively permit Tewkesbury to be bypassed should be completed in 12 months in time to handle the summer traffic of 1970, and that the fact that this was achieved reflected credit on all concerned, not least Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners.When Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners saw HC18 on its publication and presentation to the House they considered that certain of the Report's findings were inconsistent with the facts as known to them. Discussions were held between Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners and the Department of the Environment—now Transport—and a number of points were raised by the firm and re-examined with the assistance of Messrs. Corderoy. The outcome of these processes, as agreed between my Department and Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners, is as follows.First, Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners explained that the "Final Account" referred to in HC18 was in fact a draft which they prepared in December 1974 to assist the investigation and which would be subjected to detailed scrutiny before forming the basis for certifying the Final Account due to the contractor. The result of the firm's checking is that £27,809 of the apparent net overbilling of £41,662 summarised in Appendix B of HC18 is properly payable under the terms of the contract and that the net balance of £13,853 will, therefore, not be certified and will be excluded from the Final Account.Secondly, at my Department's suggestion Messrs. Corderoy compared the information concerning early payments with that of other payments which could be considered to have been delayed under the terms of the contracts rigorously applied. From this work my Department has concluded that it has not incurred additional cost in the discharge of the contract.Thirdly, Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners will adjust the Final Account to allow for revalution of Claim 18, which they agree they undervalued by £11,862.Fourthly, they have also agreed to examine an alternative valuation of Claim 14 which is now being prepared, and to discuss any differences between this and their own valuation with the Department with a view to making any last adjustment to the Final Account which may be necessary for this reason.The investigation has imposed costs on Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners as well as upon the Department. For the Department the question is how far it is justified in calling upon the firm to pay the fees due in Messrs. Corderoy. Many aspects of the matter which have been investigated have proved to be within the scope of discretion exerciseable by Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners under the contract. On the other hand, the firm accept that there were two exceptional grounds in this case for calling upon them for a payment: first, because the investigation resulted from a disagreement between the firm and its measurement engineer on this contract, thus involving expenditure in fees to Messrs. Corderoy; secondly, because work done by that employee when he was within the firm on salary reimbursed by the Department had to be duplicated for the purpose of the investigation by other employees of the firm whose salaries were similarly reimbursed.

    Accordingly, Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners have agreed to pay to the Department the sum of £33,353 comprising a 50 per cent. contribution towards Messrs. Corderoy's fees for these studies and £13,500 being the cost of the reimbursed salaries involved in the duplicated work.

    In the light of thorough investigation which has been conducted by Messrs. Corderoy with the full co-operation of Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners and all others concerned, I regard this outcome not only as fair to the contractors and to my Department but also as creditable to Messrs. Freeman Fox and Partners.


    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to respond to the Report on Advanced Ground Transport Research which the Select Committee on Science and Technology published in 1976.

    A White Paper setting out the Government's response to the Select Committee's Report will be laid before the House on the afternoon of 26th May. Copies will be available from the Vote Office.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Food Distribution (Costs)


    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has made an assessment of the increase in food distribution costs in Scotland as a direct consequence of the additional taxes and duties levied in the Budget.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Hove (Mr. Sainsbury) on 26th April—[Vol. 930, c. 279–80.]—about the increased costs to food distributors in the United Kingdom arising from changes in vehicle excise duty and duties on road fuels. I am afraid that it is not possible to break down these estimates between different parts of the United Kingdom. I should add that the decision to rescind the increase in petrol duties will not substantially affect the estimates provided in that answer since most commercial vehicles use derv rather than petrol.

    Feeding Stuffs (Contamination)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if any milk or meat from animals, which have consumed feeding stuffs found to have been contaminated by aflatoxin, is known to have been supplied in Great Britain for human consumption over the course of the past two years; and what steps are being taken to prevent such an eventuality;(2) if any incidents involving the contamination of animal feeding stuffs imported into the United Kingdom or produced at home have been reported over the course of the last two years; and if he will make a statement.

    During the past two years my Department has received three reports of animal sickness suspected to have resulted from the consumption of feeding stuffs contaminated by aflatoxin. The present procedure, in cases such as these, is to inform the local health and enforcement authorities and the manufacturer concerned. With effect from 1st October 1976 the Fertilisers and Feeding-stuffs (Amendment) Regulations 1976 fixed maximum levels for aflatoxin in feeding stuffs. These take account of the need to protect human, as well as animal, health. At these levels there would not be any significant carry-over into milk and meat.Additionally, there have been cases of anthrax in animals attributable to feeding stuffs. Circumstantial evidence points to an importation of groundnuts as the source of infection in recent cases in Salop and neighbouring counties.

    Common Agricultural Policy

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, given the growing consumer interest in common agricultural policy negotiations he will take an initiative to convene once a year a joint conference of consumer and agricultural organisations in order to promote a better understanding of the problems and needs of both sides.

    I have frequently emphasised that farmers and consumers have common interests, but I believe that the promotion of better understanding between them is primarily for the representative organisations concerned.

    Land Loss

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much cultivatable land has been lost since 1970 through the construction of motorways and other major trunk roads.

    Food Imports And Exports

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what are the total exports from the EEC to non-EEC countries of each of the 10 most important items of food in the diet of the average United Kingdom family;(2) what were the imports of food for the 10 most important items in the diet of the average United Kingdom family in 1971; and from which countries they came;(3) if he will set out the 10 most important items of food in the diet of the average family; what percentage of total consumption of these items is produced in the United Kingdom; and what percentage is imported from (

    a) the EEC and ( b) the rest of the world.

    , pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 18th May 1977], gave the following information:Ranked according to expenditure per head, as recorded in the 1976 National Food Survey, the 10 most important food groups in the diet of the average household are (1) meat other than carcase meat—including bacon, ham, poultry, manufactured products; (2) carcase meat; (3) liquid milk; (4) bread; (5) cakes and biscuits; (6) oils and fats—butter, margarine, etc.; (7) potatoes; (8) processed vegetables; (9) fish and fish products; (10) fresh fruit.Much food is imported or exported in raw form but is bought by households as processed products. So the classification of food for the National Food Survey differs considerably from that for trade statistics. Moreover, it is not possible to give self-sufficiency statistics for manufactured food which may be produced from home-grown or imported commodities. The following table contains statistics which are related as closely as possible to the information requested on self-sufficiency and on the percentages of total

    Table I
    NFS RankingCommodityPercentage of Home ProducedUnited Kingdom Imported from EECSupplies in 1976* Imported from Rest of World
    1Bacon and ham46504
    Poultry meat99§§
    2Carcase meat and offals77815
    3Liquid milk10000
    4 and 5Wheat and flour562222
    Oils and fats†172855
    8Canned vegetables771112
    10Citrus fruit0595
    Apples and pears‡483418
    * Provisional.
    † Imports include some for industrial use.
    ‡ Crop year 1975–76.
    § Insignificant.,

    Source: Food Facts: United Kingdom Sources of Supply for Food and Feedingstuffs.

    The following table gives the data requested about imported supplies in 1971

    Table II

    NFS Ranking


    Quantity 000 tons

    United Kingdom Imports in 1971 Largest Suppliers

    1Bacon and ham369Denmark
    Poultry meat11Denmark
    2Carcase meat and offal720Irish Republic, New Zealand
    3Liquid milk0
    4 and 5Wheat and flour4,631*Australia, Canada, France, U.S.A.
    6Butter384Australia, Denmark, Irish Republic. New Zealand, U.S.A.
    Oils and fats1,287†Canada, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, U.S.A.
    8Canned vegetables212Italy
    9Fish150Denmark, Norway
    10Citrus fruit485Cyprus, Israel, South Africa, Spain
    Apples and pears314Australia, France, Italy, South Africa

    * Wheat equivalent.

    † Crude oil equivalent (some for industrial use)
    ‡ New crop.

    Source: Food Facts: Annual Statement of Overseas Trade of United Kingdom.

    The following table gives the data requested about exports from the EEC

    Table III

    Total Exports from EEC to Third Countries (latest available year)

    NFS Ranking



    Quantity(000 tonnes)

    1 and 2Beef and veal1975348
    Mutton and lamb19754
    Poultry meat1975138
    3Liquid milk1975237
    4 and 5Wheat and flour1975–767,790*
    Vegetable oils and fats1974–75722
    8Vegetables (canned)1975–76125
    10Citrus fruits1975–76250
    Apples and pears1975–76259

    * Wheat equivalent.

    Source: Statistical Office of European Communities.

    supplies imported by the United Kingdom from the EEC and from third countries.

    for the commodities included in Table I:

    for commodities linked as closely as possible with those in Tables I and II:


    Birds (Protection)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is satisfied that there are adequate safeguards to protect the nests of rare birds in Scotland being plundered by thieves.

    Rare birds, their nests and eggs are specially protected under the Protection of Birds Acts, and, given the remoteness of-many of the nesting sites, I am satisfied that as much as possible is being done by the official and voluntary agencies concerned to ensure that the safeguards provided by the law are effective.


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to visit Edinburgh.

    My right hon. Friend is in Edinburgh at present in attendance on Her Majesty the Queen during her Silver Jubilee visit.

    Fishing Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to meet representatives of the fishing industry.

    My right hon. Friend and I met representatives of the fishing industry in Brussels on Monday 16th May. Further meetings will be arranged whenever circumstances warrant this.

    Fish Farming

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he has taken to encourage fish farming in Scotland.

    Government support for this growing industry takes a number of forms, including research and development work, disease control measures and financial assistance.

    State Hospital, Carstairs

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the present arrange- ments for outside groups to visit the State hospital at Carstairs for the purposes of fulfilling sports fixtures or other activities.

    The arrangements are made by the senior recreation officer and take place under the security supervision of nursing staff. Sports fixtures and activities with outside groups at the hospital are now being gradually resumed.


    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had from the National Farmers' Union of Scotland in regard to the present state of the agricultural industry in Scotland.

    The President of the Union wrote to my right hon. Friend on 6th May expressing concern at some of the decisions arising from the annual review and the EEC farm price settlement. I discussed the matter with the President and other office bearers last week.

    Govan (Housing)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has received from Glasgow District Council for house building or modernisation projects in Govan.

    Since 15th May 1975 my right hon. Friend has approved proposals from Glasgow District Council for the provision of 810 new houses and for the modernisation of 66 council houses in Govan.

    Economic Affairs

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will initiate and publish research work showing the prospects for the Scottish economy in 1980.

    There are no plans to initiate such a study at the present time.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will institute an official study into the Scottish economy on the lines of the BBC study.

    Coast Protection

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received regarding the problem of coast erosion in the Kirkcaldy constituency; and what action he intends to take to assist the regional council in financing the necessary capital and maintenance expenditure involved in coast protection.

    The Scottish Development Department is at present corresponding with the regional council about the problem of coastal erosion at Buck-haven, and I understand that, following an approach by my hon. Friend, my noble Friend has agreed to meet him and a delegation from the council in the near future. Exchequer grant will be available to the regional council under the Coast Protection Act 1949 to assist in financing approved capital works. Specific grant is not available towards the maintenance of such works.

    Brain Scanners

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many brain scanners are currently in use in Scotland: in which hospitals they are sited; what further brain scanners are to be installed in Scotland; in which hospitals they will be sited; what criteria are used in deciding where brain scanners should be sited; what provision is made for the training of staff to operate and maintain them; what assessment has been made of the extent of their clinical use; and how many patients have benefited from their installation in Scottish hospitals.

    Four EMI brain scanners are at present in operation, one at each of the neurosurgical departments in Scotland, located at the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Dundee Royal Infirmary, and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. A further scanner is to be installed at the Southern General Hospital. Current advice is that each neurosurgical department should have at least one brain scanner.Comprehensive training courses are provided by EMI for staff using the equipment, who also co-operate closely with the respective health board's medical physics department. EMI have engineers and stocks of spares based in Scotland to ensure rapid response in the event of faults or breakdowns.The clinical uses of the scanners are under continuous review at the units where they are installed; in particular an evaluation, including an assessment of clinical uses, was carried out at the Southern General Hospital in 1975.The number of patients investigated at the Southern General Hospital was over 2,300 in 1976. The other scanners have not been in operation long enough for comparable figures to be available.

    Food Supply

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied in the light of the Price Review, that adequate food supplies will be available for the housewife from home-produced sources.

    The decisions on farm support prices and related arrangements assure our farmers of a fair return for their labours and should encourage them to produce more food at prices the consumer can afford.

    Royal High School, Edinburgh

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement about the progress of the conversion of the former Royal High School in Edinburgh into a building for the proposed Scottish Assembly.

    So far as progress is concerned, I have nothing to add to my reply given to the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow) on 27th April. As my right hon. Friend indicated in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Gourlay) on 7th April, the estimate of the cost of the work being done meantime on the Royal High School is £2 million. Of that sum, £1–35 million is for building works.—[Vol. 930, c. 1205–6; Vol. 929, c. 653–4.]


    Secretarial Services

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of typing originating in London was sent outside London in, respectively, 1976 and January to March 1977; where such typing was sent during these periods; what is the average time taken, at the latest available date, between the original dictation of a letter sent outside London for typing and its return to London for signature; how such letters are sent to and from London; and how many typists are employed in London, and outside London, respectively, in the places to which typing is sent.

    It would require a disproportionate amount of time and effort to establish what proportion of all typing work originating with personnel in central London was sent elewhere for typing in 1976 and in the period from January to March 1977. The time taken between the original dictation of a non-urgent letter sent outside Central London for typing and its return to London for signature averages about two and a half working days. Material for typing is sent outside Central London by departmental van service or through the post.About 470 typists are employed in typing pools in Central London and 140 in the following locations to which work is sent:

    Outer London: Chessington, Hayes, Mottingham, Pinner, Sidcup, Wandsworth, Woolwich, Waltham Cross.

    Elsewhere: Brighton, Chatham, Latimer (Bucks), Portsmouth.

    Home Department

    Television (Wales)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the latest estimated cost of running a fourth television channel in Wales providing Welsh language programmes and in addition English language programmes of Welsh interest; and, under the Government's proposals, what proportion of this cost should come from central Government funds.

    The initial capital cost for a fourth television channel in Wales providing Welsh language programmes as envisaged in the Siberry Report (Cmnd 6290) would, at 1976 prices, be of the order of £11 million, together with annual operating expenditure of the order of £7 million. These estimated costs and the precise method of meeting them, including any Government subvention, will be among the matters to be considered in the forthcoming talks between officials and the broadcasting authorities to which my right hon Friend referred in the reply he gave to a Question by my right hon. Friend the Member for Anglesey (Mr. Hughes) on 25th February—[Vol. 926, c. 721–22.]. The cost of any English language programmes of Welsh interest on the same channel would be additional, but no estimate is available.

    Police (Chief Constables' Reports)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will deposit in the Library a set of the annual reports by chief constables for the most recent convenient year.

    Police (Numbers)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total size of the police service to which he referred in his answer of 5th May to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central.

    The reference was to the establishment of the Police Service in England and Wales, which stood at 118,210 on 31st March 1977.

    Police (Pensioners)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police pensioners there are who (a) had their police service interrupted by war service in the 1914–18 war and (b) being members of the Civil Service, would have joined earlier and earned police pension rights, had it not been for the war; and what would be the estimated cost of providing police pensions for these two categories.

    Voluntary Services Unit

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many grants for project aid to voluntary bodies in Scotland, England and Wales, respectively, in 1976–77 have been made by the Voluntary Services Unit; and what was the expenditure in each case;(2) what grants have been made by the Voluntary Services Unit in 1976–77 in Scotland, England and Wales; and if he will express these figures in percentage terms.

    In 1976–77 the Voluntary Services Unit made the following 68 grants to voluntary organisations in Scotland, England and Wales:

    Young Volunteer Force Foundation323,205
    Volunteer Centre182,000
    Pre-Retirement Association11,000
    National Youth Bureau—Voluntary Opportunities Digest2,355
    Cruse Clubs Limited23,000
    Westminster Pastoral Foundation26,000
    Child Poverty Action Group10,000
    Young Volunteer Resource Unit25,500
    Check Rights Centre3,200
    Community Service Volunteers185,000
    The Cresset30,000
    Welsh Council of Social Services2,255
    Romany Guild2,187
    British Council for Aid to Refugees85,500
    Fair Play for Children Campaign26,000
    Albany Trust13,500
    National Playing Fields Association42,750
    Action Resource Centre10,000
    National Elfrida Rathbone Society10,250
    British Association of Settlements15,500
    BAS Adult Literacy Organiser9,370
    Wandsworth Council for Community Relations4,000
    Community Transport22,300
    Brixton Neighbourhood Community Association22,250
    Melting Pot Foundation12,500
    After Six Housing Advisory Trust12,000
    Handicapped Adventure Playground Association7,000
    Family First Trust5,000
    Girls Alone in London Service10,000
    West End Co-ordinated Voluntary Services42,290
    National Association of Widows4,300
    National Council of Social Service/Metropolitan Counties Scheme33,400
    National Association of Community Relations Councils8,000
    Central Council for the Disabled9,000
    British Council of Churches10,800
    National Association of Indian Youth14,000
    Runnymede Trust14,000
    Greater Manchester Council for Voluntary Service6,600
    National Association of Youth Clubs35,000
    Family Day Centre Projects:
    Consultancy Service7,500
    1. London Council of Social Service25,880
    2. Gingerbread (Croydon)9,000
    3. Aide a Toute Detresse20,000
    4. Defoe Day Centre Project20,000
    5. Cambridge House and Talbot15,427
    6. Camden Family Service Unit8,584
    7. Liverpool Personal Service Society5,800
    Onward Industries38,500
    Advisory Committee for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers5,500
    Newham Community Renewal Programme21,000
    Merseyside Council of Voluntary Service6,600
    Lambeth Community Trust50,000
    Task Force22,055
    Board of Social Responsibility4,000
    London Council of Social Service—Community/Work Service29,575
    Returned Volunteer Action6,250
    Swindon Viewpoint3,750
    North Kensington Amenity Trust58,500
    Gulbenkian Foundation (Strathclyde Area Resource Centre)15,450
    South Wales Anti-Poverty Action Committee32,991
    At least 16 of these grants were to organisations whose work extends to Scotland, but only the last two listed—3 per cent.—were made for specifically Scottish or Welsh projects. This is because grants to voluntary bodies in Scotland and Wales are normally the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales respectively.

    Broadcasts (Members Of Parliament)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the BBC and IBA continue to maintain records of hon. Members' broadcasts on radio and television; if so, when he last inspected such records; and what figures have been supplied to him relating to the numbers of broadcasts made by members of each of the political parties.

    These are matters for the broadcasting authorities, who tell me that records are maintained of hon. Members' participation in broadcast network programmes. Information about participation in BBC broadcast network programmes is summarised in the BBC 1977 Handbook. In arranging such broadcasts, the broadcasting authorities pay particular regard to their overriding obligation to ensure in the public interest, accuracy in the presentation of news and fairness and due impartiality in their programmes on political issues and matters of current public policy.

    Police (Right To Strike)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Government will now extend their policy of granting the right to strike to the Post Office staff to include the police force.

    No. Whether or not the police should be granted the right to strike is a matter which will, no doubt, be considered in the course of the inquiry to which I have agreed into the constitution of the Police Federation.

    Ibrahim El Mabruk

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Ibrahim El Mabruk, formerly attached to the Libyan Embassy, has been readmitted to the United Kingdom.


    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities are provided in prisons for prisoners to see their relations, particularly when there are serious family problems.

    An unconvicted prisoner may have daily visits. A convicted prisoner may have a visit on reception, and is entitled to regular visits every four weeks. Many prisons allow visits more frequently. The Prison Rules provide that a governor may allow an additional visit where necessary for the welfare of the prisoner or his family. Visits normally take place in an open room, supervised by staff. Relatives may qualify for help in meeting travel costs.

    Police (Resignations)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will set out details of the policemen in all forces in England and Wales who resigned from the service without pension or gratuity during 1976 giving details of the number of years service completed before resignation.

    The available figures for the calendar year 1976 are as follows:

    Length of ServiceNo. of police officers resigning without pension or gratuity
    Less than:
    1 year1,058
    2 years853
    3 years210
    4 years179
    5 years185
    10 years481
    15 years245
    25 years76

    Civil Service

    Commonwealth Heads Of Government (Conference)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether accommodation has yet been booked for the delegates from Uganda attending the Commonwealth Conference.

    No accommodation has been booked by Her Majesty's Government for delegates from Uganda.

    Disabled Persons

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service how the figure of 112 registered disabled persons recruited by the Civil Service in 1976 given in reply to the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Mr. Hayhoe) relates to the figure of 43 persons recruited during that year given in his letter to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South.

    The figure of 112 registered disabled persons recruited to non-industrial posts in the Civil Service in 1976 given in reply to the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Mr. Hayhoe) combines the figure of 43 registered disabled persons, who were not in employment when recruited with the 69 who were in other employment when recruited.


    School Examinations (Results)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many O-level candidates there were in Wales in 1970. 1975 and 1976; and what percentage obtained five passes in each of those years.

    Information on examination achievements is not immediately available in this form. I am seeking to obtain it and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of schoolchildren in Wales left school without an O-level or CSE pass in each of the years since secondary education has become a Welsh Office responsibility; and what were the comparable figures for England.

    The information requested is as follows:

    Academic yearPercentage of leavers with no graded results* at CSE or GCE
    * Grade-5 in CSE; a pass at O-level prior to 1975 and grade A-C since then.


    Diving And Underwater Training

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

    I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that in 1976, 98 trainees successfully completed approved courses in Basic Air Diving and Underwater Working at UTC. 11 trainees were unsuccessful: one at the end of the course. Seven terminating prematurely for non-medical reasons, mostly because of unsatisfactory progress, and three finishing prematurely on medical 3rounds. 15 trainees successfully completed approved courses in mixed gas diving and three failed.

    Building Materials

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of unemployment in the building materials supplies industry; and whether that category of unemployed persons is additional to the 227,443 registered as unemployed in the construction industry on 10th February 1977.

    This Department's unemployment statistics are analysed according to the minimum list headings of the Standard Industrial Classification. The supply of building materials in most cases forms a part only of a number of such headings and, therefore, comprehensive statistics cannot be provided. Unemployed people who last worked in building materials supply are not included among the 227,443 unemployed at 10th February who last worked in the construction industry.

    Disabled Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the plans for the publication of an employers' guide on the employment of disabled people; what the guide's aims are; and what action he proposes to help promote their implementation by employers.

    The employers' guide, "Positive Policies", is published today by the Manpower Services Commission, which has prepared it in co-operation with the National Advisory Council on Employment of Disabled People. As its title implies, "Positive Policies" aims to promote the development of positive management and company policies covering all aspects of the employment of disabled people—that is, not merely recruitment, but induction, career development, training, physical access and safety. It also aims to increase employer's awareness of the range of facilities provided by the Employment and Training Services Agencies to help them employ disabled people."Positive Policies" is being sent to some 55,000 employers in both private, and public sectors—to all who have a quota obligation. The CBI and TUC have expressed full support, and are inviting their memberships to use their influence to help bring about the implementation, in agreed ways, of "Positive Policies". In addition, ministerial colleagues will be encouraging employers for whom they have sponsoring responsibility to take account of the guidelines in "Positive Policies" in the further development of their own employment policies.I know that the Manpower Services Commission and the Employment Service Agency regard the issue of "Positive Policies" as a major initiative in securing employers' co-operation in providing more and improved employment opportunities for disabled people. Discussions with employers following publication will be high among ESA's operating priorities over the coming year. ESA's Managers and disablement resettlement officers, in co-operation with disablement advisory committees, will be initiating a sustained programme of visits to employers to encourage them to incorporate the "Positive Policies" guidelines into management and company practice. We hope trade union and work place representatives will be involved in these discussions.The Government welcome "Positive Policies". It is now for employers, together with their union representatives, to show what more they can do to make the objectives of "Positive Policies"—equal employment opportunities for disabled people—a reality.


    Coal Mining

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his attitude to the European Commission's proposals relative to community aid for financing cyclical stocks of hard coal, coal and patent fuel, R 686/77.

    I believe that the Commission's proposals are a necessary, albeit minimum, contribution to the stabilisation of Community coal production. Coal demand tends to be cyclical, but coal production is relatively inflexible. So in times of low world coal demand, such as the recent years of recession, coal stocks tend to rise and their maintenance places a heavy burden on coal producers. They may thus be forced to close pits which cannot then readily be reopened. Hence the stocking aid proposals are aimed at assisting Community producers to maintain their production ready for when demand turns up again.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what Her Majesty's Government propose to do to stimulate intra-Community trade in coal, R 478/77, and to make United Kingdom coal more competitive with that imported into the EEC from countries outside the community.

    The Government are supporting the proposals put forward by the European Commission to reduce Community dependence on imported energy and to stimulate Community coal production and trade, including the proposal to monitor third country imports in R/478/77. It is expected that Community demand for coal will increase, and, as this is our main market, United Kingdom export opportunities should improve also. The United Kingdom is the cheapest coal producer in the Community and new investment under "Plan for Coal" should strengthen our position. However, in general West European coal is more difficult to mine than that of third country producers.

    Oil Production Platforms

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy how he interprets the trend of production platform development in the North Sea; and to what extent he anticipates that operators will adopt subsea completions.

    Several orders may be placed in 1977–78 for steel jackets and steel floating structures. The prospects for concrete structures are much less promising, though there are cases where operators are currently evaluating both steel and concrete. Operators are also assessing the technical and cost aspects of floating production systems and subsea completions, the use of which could increase as technology advances. Subsea completions can be used in conjunction with a fixed platform to reach otherwise inaccessible areas of the field under development. Whether at present a sub-sea system alone could be used to exploit a major reservoir is more doubtful.

    North Sea Oil

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the occasions when he has discussed exploitation of North Sea oil resources, including the next round of licences in the North Sea, with overseas Governments.

    I have had numerous meetings at which I have discussed our oil policy with representatives of foreign Governments both at home and overseas since taking my present office. I always take the opportunity to tell other Governments about progress. As I have already told the House—[Vol. 930, c. 324–6 and Vol. 930, c. 719–31]—I recently visited Norway on two occasions to discuss important matters relating to our common interests in North Sea oil and gas with the Norwegian Government.


    Television Sets

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what agreement or understanding was reached between Her Majesty's Government on the one hand and (a) Sony and (b) National Panasonic on the other hand as to the proportion of components they would purchase from United Kingdom sources in the manufacture of television sets in the United Kingdom.

    Both these companies have undertaken to use United Kingdom components to the greatest possible extent as quickly as they can.

    British Steel Corporation

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry when his Department received the latest document setting out the British Steel Corporation's long-term strategy for a period up to 15 years ahead; and if he will make a copy available in the Library.

    There is no current document which it would be appropriate to make available to hon. Members.

    British Leyland

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, pursuant to his statement on 19th May, Official Report, column 695, he will include in his report his views on the industrial and economic damage caused to the United Kingdom and to British Leyland by the article on the company in the Daily Mail.

    I cannot comment on matters which are or may come before the courts. Naturally, I deplore any action which causes damage to United Kingdom companies or the economy.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he intends to refer to the Press Council the recent references made to him by the Daily Mail in relation to British Leyland.

    The Press Council announced on 23rd May that it is launching an immediate inquiry into the circumstances in which the Daily Mail came to publish allegations concerning the business conduct of British Leyland. In view of this my right hon. Friend does not consider it necessary for him to refer the matter to the Council.

    Small Businesses

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what arrangements his Department has made to examine the management education needs of the small business community.

    My Department, in association with the Department of Education and Science and the Training Services Agency, has recently commissioned the Manchester Business School to undertake research into the management and business education needs of the manufacturing sector of the small business community and the extent to which these needs are being adequately met by existing facilities. The study will concentrate, in particular, on an examination of the needs and current provision in respect of certain industries in which production by small firms represents a substantial proportion of the industry's net output. The research is expected to take about a year to complete and the possibility of conducting similar studies into the management and business education needs of other sectors of the small business community will be considered in the light of the conclusions reached on manufacturing. It is hoped that the study will provide, in regard to manufacturing, a basis for considering improved ways of meeting the management and business education needs of small businesses and the extent to which existing resources might be more effectively utilised.

    Northern Ireland

    Government Cars

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many official cars are attached to Northern Ireland Government Departments; what was the cost of buying these cars; what are the annual running cots; and what are the purposes for which officials are permitted to use the cars.

    38 official cars are attached to Northern Ireland Government Departments. 16 of them were bought for £36,690, and running costs amounted to £11,738 for 1976–77. Information on the costs of purchase and running of the remaining 22 DOE (NI) cars is not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate use of resources. Nine cars, including the Central Pool which services all Departments, are generally available for official duties, while the remaining 29 are earmarked primarily for special departmental duties, largely of a technical and professional nature, throughout Northern Ireland.

    Local Government Grants

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list in the Official Report the total amount paid to local authorities in Northern Ireland in respect of rate support grant in each of the last six years.

    There is no grant in Northern Ireland exactly equivalent to rate support grant. There is however, a general grant, payable to Northern Ireland district councils, which contains a resources element, as well as compensation for derating. A similar type of general

    Discussions continue on the requests for 1977, and figures are, therefore, not yet available.Separate figures in respect of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot students are not available.Since 1974 my Ministry has also provided additional support to some 560 Cypriot students in respect of fees and/or maintenance support.



    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proportion grant was payable to Northern Ireland local authorities prior to local government reorganisation on 1st October 1973.The amounts paid to Northern Ireland local authorities by way of general grant in each of the last six financial years were as follows:

    £ (millions)
    for period to 30th Sept. 97311·5
    for period from 1st Oct. 19731·4

    Overseas Development

    Cypriot Students

    asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) how many Turkish Cypriot students received British Government scholarships to study in the United Kingdom during the period 1967 to 1977;(2) how many Greek Cypriot students received British Government scholarships to study in the United Kingdom during the period 1967 to 1977.

    The number of Cypriot students and trainees who received British Government Scholarships to study in the United Kingdom from 1967 to 1976 were:of knitted cotton shirts imported in 1974, 1975 and 1976 came from EEC countries.

    2 per cent., 2·7 per cent. and 1·3 per cent. respectively in terms of numbers.

    Boeing 737

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what approach has been made to his Department by British Airways for the acquisition of Boeing 737 aircraft; and if he will allow these aircraft to be imported free of duty if such a request is made.

    No approach has been made to my Department for permission to buy Boeing 737 aircraft. After 1st July 1977, in accordance with the harmonisation of the common customs tariff within the EEC, no duty would be payable on an aircraft like the Boeing 737 which weighs over 15,000 kilogrammes.

    Economic Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade in which economic planning region or regions the relevant economic indicators of the United Kingdom's gas fields on 1st January 1976 were included.

    In regional estimates of gross domestic product so far available, which cover periods up to and including 1974, income from employment derived from the exploitation of the United Kingdom's gasfields has been allocated to the regions of residence of the employees.

    Current1st January 1966
    NorthTyne and Wear, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland.Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland, Westmorland, North Riding of Yorkshire.
    Yorkshire and Humberside.South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Humberside, North Yorkshire.East and West Ridings of Yorkshire (including City of York), Lincolnshire (Parts of Lindsey excluding Lincoln CB).
    East MidlandsDerbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire.Derbyshire (except the High Peak District), Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Lincoln CB), Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland.
    East AngliaCambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk.Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, Huntingdonshire, the Soke of Peterborough, Norfolk, Suffolk.
    South-EastGreater London, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex.Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, London (Greater London Council area), Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire (including the Isle of Wight), Borough of Poole.
    South-WestAvon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire.Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly), Devonshire, Dorset (excluding the Borough of Poole), Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire.
    West MidlandsWest Midlands, Hereford and Worcester, Salop, Staffordshire, Warwickshire.Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire.
    North-WestGreater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire.Cheshire, Lancashire, High Peak District of Derbyshire.
    For the purpose of compiling the regional accounts, profits accruing from the extraction offshore of oil and natural gas are to be allocated to a separate, twelfth, region called the Continental Shelf Region.

    The relatively small amounts of profits from this industry have been included with the profits and surpluses of other industries in Order II of the Standard Industrial Classification (Mining and Quarrying) and allocated among regions in proportion to the regional employment in this group of industries.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade into how many regions, for the purpose of economic statistics, the United Kingdom was divided on 1st January 1966; what were the boundaries of these regions then; into how many regions the United Kingdom is currently divided; and what are their boundaries.

    The land area of the United Kingdom is subdivided into 11 standard regions for statistical purposes: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and eight regions of England. Following are the definitions of the English regions, currently and on 1st January 1966:concerning his creation of a new United Kingdom region, for the purposes of economic statistics, to compromise the statistics of North Sea oil in that sector of North Sea north of 55° 50

    1 as defined in the Continental Shelf (Jurisdiction) Order 1968.

    The new Continental Shelf Region has been created by the Central Statistical Office for use in the regional accounts. In compiling regional estimates of gross domestic product the profits of the oil and gas extraction industry, derived from activities in the United Kingdom sector of the Continental Shelf, will be allocated to the new region. The Continental Shelf (Jurisdiction) Order 1968 defined the areas of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf to which English, Scottish and Northern Irish civil law are applied. The order has no relevance to the new region created for economic statistics.

    Oil Production (Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the total import bill for oil exploration and production equipment over the last 12 months on a balance of payments basis.

    The total cost of imports of oil production installations and drilling rigs in the 12 months ended March was estimated to be £339 million on a balance of payments basis. A proportion of this total would be made up of goods and services previously exported from the United Kingdom. There will be other imports of equiment for use in Continental Shelf operations, but this use cannot be identified at the time of importation.

    Company Reports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he proposes to issue a public discussion document or a Green Paper concerning the aims and scope of company reports, following his private discussion document on that subject; and, if so, when.

    My right hon. Friend intends to publish a Green Paper on the future of company reports in the summer.

    Middle East And Oil Exporting Countries

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade by how much the value of United Kingdom exports to Middle East and OPEC markets have increased during this decade.

    The value of United Kingdom exports to Middle East and North African markets increased by almost sixfold between 1970—£511 million—and 1976—£2,896 million. The value of United Kingdom exports to oil exporting countries increased by almost sevenfold during the same period—1970, £466 million; 1976, £3,143 million.

    National Finance

    Industrial Democracy

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Industrial Democracy in the Public Sector, which was set up at about the same time as the Bullock Committee, will be published.

    I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on Monday 9th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Gould).

    Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will state the conditions in which exemption from vehicle excise duty is granted to disabled people other than drivers of invalid three-wheelers; if he will estimate how many people benefit from this concession; and what loss of revenue is involved;(2) if he will