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Written Answers

Volume 934: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 28th June 1977

Defence

Civilian Traffic Control

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether Army personnel were utilised to control caravan traffic during the Jubilee holiday weekend in the area covered by the Southern Tourist Board; how many men were involved; and if the costs were borne under the heading of training exercises.

As far as I am aware, no Army personnel were employed in this way at the time and in the area in question. If, however, the hon. Member has any particular case in mind and would care to write to me I will of course look into it.

Infantry

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for reducing overstretch in the infantry.

As a first step, I have decided to reverse the decision taken in the defence review and announced in the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1975 (Cmnd. 5976) to disband No. 41 Commando Royal Marines. The Commando will now be available as part of the United Kingdom's contribution to NATO. It will be stationed in the United Kingdom. To help meet the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe's call for improved readiness of NATO forces it will be used in the infantry rôle and thus help to reduce the amount of service required

Sectoral Schemes (to 31st May 1977) £ millionAccelerated Projects Scheme £ millionSelective Investment Scheme (to 31st May 1977) £ millionTotal for each Region £ million
Scotland7·62·29·8
Wales0·62·32·9
Northern5·93·01·410·3
Yorkshire and Humberside18·421·80·240·4
NorthWest3·38·311·6
East Midlands5·11·46·5
West Midlands13·78·50·622·8
SouthWest 4·12·97·0
Eastern4·717·00·422·1
London and South East3·52·56·0
Other*14·114·1
TOTAL66·984·02·6153·5
* Projects spread over more than one region.

from units in BAOR for temporary duty in Northern Ireland. I am considering other ways of alleviating the burden on the Army in general, and BAOR in particular, resulting from their continuing commitments in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, to the extent that resources at present allow.

Airfields

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF airfields which were placed on a standby basis at the end of the Second World War have subsequently been returned to full operational use, either for the use of the Royal Air Force or the United States Air Force.

Of the 34 fully operational flying stations in the United Kingdom which are at present used by the RAF or USAF all but two were operational in 1947.

Industry

Government Aid

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish a table showing the cost of financial assistance under Section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 for each region since the introduction of the scheme.

The amounts of financial assistance offered for projects in each region under particular Section 8 schemes are as follows:

In addition, some £360 million has been committed in assistance, which cannot be divided by region, under the Offshore Supplies Scheme and to individual companies outside Section 8 schemes.

Regional Employment Premium

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what representations he received in 1976 from areas outside development areas pressing for the abolition of regional employment premiums.

Some representations were received criticising the payment of the regional employment premium.

Clothing (Grants)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total level of grants made under the clothing

CentreJanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay
Birmingham894811887390378
Bristol8857691,013642772
Cardiff647605621374483
Glasgow7598681,100645625
Leeds9159041,230712829
London1,4671,2331,3328891,245
Luton858815968570724
Manchester (including Liverpool Sub-Office)940928882621832
Newcastle796955974536620
Nottingham596472603395711

Courtaulds Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if any payment has been made to Courtaulds Ltd. in respect of the £750,000 interest relief grant for the Belmont weaving factory.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 933, c. 31], gave the following information:Payments of interest relief grant amounting in total to £450,000 were paid to Courtaulds in February 1975 and February 1976 in respect of the Belmont weaving factory.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if any Government money paid to Courtaulds Ltd. in respect of their Skelmersdale factory has been recovered.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 933, c. 31], gave the following information:

industry scheme since the terms of the scheme were made more attractive in an attempt to encourage applicants in December 1976.

Since the terms of the scheme were improved in December 1976, £1,781,300 has been offered under the scheme towards the cost of 109 projects.

Small Firms

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many inquiries have been received at each of the small firms information centres in the United Kingdom during each month in the present year.

The number of inquiries received by each of the small firms information centres in each month of this year is as follows:I refer my hon. Friend to the replies to the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Rodgers) on 27th January 1977—[Vol. 924, c. 742–3.] There has been no change in the position, in that £3·8 million has been paid to Courtaulds in respect of Skelmersdale Mill in grant aid, none of the money has yet been recovered but the amount to be repaid as a result of the closure is still to be determined in the light of the eventual use of the assets.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Lentils

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what was the average price of lentils in 1975 and 1976, respectively.

There are no official statistics which give the retail price of lentils. From the information available to me the retail price would not appear to have varied significantly over the past few years.

Kegs (Liquid Contents)

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what is the latest position regarding marking of kegs showing the liquid contents; and if he will make a statement.

At present there is no requirement to mark wholesale prepacks such as kegs or casks with an indication of the quantity of their contents.One of the recommendations in the recent report of the Working Party on Metrological Control Systems is that the adoption of the average contents system could provide the opportunity for bringing such containers within the scope of quantity marking legislation.I intend to examine the need for legislation in this particular case, in consultation with interested parties, when the average system has been implemented.

Energy

Energy Commission

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what progress he has made towards the establishment of an Energy Commission; and if he will make a statement.

Following the National Energy Conference in June last year, discussions have been proceeding with a view to the establishment of an Energy Commission with the following terms of reference:

"To advise and assist the Secretary of State for Energy on the development of a strategy for the Energy Sector in the United Kingdom; and to advise the Secretary of State on such specific aspects of energy policy as he may from time to time refer to them."
The Government have now decided to establish such a commission with a membership drawn on the following basis: seven representatives of the energy industries: the chairmen of the National Coal Board, the Electricity Council, the British Gas Corporation, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, the British National Oil Corporation, the South of Scotland Electricity Board and of the Petroleum Industry Advisory Committee; seven representatives drawn from the six general council members of the TUC fuel and power industries com- mittee, together with their secretary; seven others representing among others industry and consumer interests.I shall make a further announcement about the allocation of the seven non-producer seats as soon as possible.The Secretary of State for Energy will take the chair and the Minister of State, Scottish Office, will be a member. Other Ministers with an interest in energy matters will be able to attend meetings of the commission and to contribute to its work in order to establish the wide range of Government interest in energy policy.The commission will consider and seek to form an agreed view on major energy policy issues, particularly those of a strategic nature, as they arise and would consider, prior to publication, periodic and perhaps annual reports on the energy situation prepared by the Government, setting out decisions taken and other developments and reviewing current prospects and the matters likely to come up for decision.The setting up of this commission will not affect the existing executive responsibilities, nor will it in any way dimmish the responsibility of Ministers to Parliament for decisions taken in the energy field.Even with a commission of this size there will be many other interests which would wish to be kept informed of energy policy discussions and be in a position to put representations in writing to the commission. With that in mind it is the Government's intention that the documents coming before the commission would as a general rule be widely circulated so that they could be studied for that purpose. It should also be possible for the commission to invite other persons to attend as and when necessary at the commission's discretion.The Government believe that these new arrangements should prove generally helpful in the co-ordination of the nation's energy policy and in developing the role of the energy sector in the industrial development of the United Kingdom.I hope the commission will meet soon to discuss the organisation of its work. It is -my intention that its papers should normally be available to Parliament and the public.

Nuclear Fuels (Reprocessing)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what thermal oxide reprocessing capacity will be required at Windscale, Cumbria, for reprocessing oxide fuels under existing overseas contracts and to meet domestic (AGR) requirements;(2) what is the projected capacity of the thermal oxide plant referred to in the planning application currently under inquiry at Whitehaven.

I am advised that the design capacity of the proposed oxide reprocessing plant at Windscale is 1,200 tonnes per annum, but the average expected throughput of the plant assuming a 10-year operating life is 600 tonnes per annum. Depending on the outcome of the present public inquiry into the oxide reprocessing plant, it is proposed that 1,150 tonnes of oxide fuel under existing contracts would be reprocessed by 1995. Over the same period 3,000 tonnes of spent oxide fuel will have arisen from the operation of AGR plants under the existing programme.

Windscale

asked the Secretary of State for Energy why the explosion at Windscale on 28th April was not made public; if he will ensure that in future, when similar incidents occur, they will be published; and what steps have been taken to see that incidents such as these do not recur.

This incident occurred during an experiment in a sealed handling facility at a Windscale laboratory. A chemical reaction caused a pressure rise sufficient to force off a plastic waste container attached to a port on the facility, so releasing some plutonium activity into the laboratory.The incident, in which no one was injured, was notified to me under the general arrangements I have made for the reporting of incidents at nuclear installations. These arrangements envisage that details of minor occurrences will be published in a quarterly statement by the Health and Safety Executive; this incident fell into that category.I understand, however, that BNFL has decided that during the course of the Windscale planning inquiry it will make public details of all incidents, however trivial, which it reports to the Government under the procedure referred to.BNFL has instituted an inquiry to decide what action should be taken to prevent a recurrence. Operations in the laboratory have been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry and the completion of decontamination work.

Central Electricity Generating Board

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when the CEGB last placed an order for turbine generator equipment for a new power station on employment preservation grounds.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether it is the normal practice of the Central Electricity Generating Board, when ordering a power station in which the turbine-generators are a replica of those in an earlier station, to place such an order by single or competitive tender.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many of the Central Electricity Generating Board's orders for turbine-generators for new power stations since 1964 have been placed by single tender.

I am advised by the CEGB that since 1964 orders for turbo-generators at the following CEGB power stations have been placed by single tender:

StationDate
Pembroke1964
Didcot1964
Hinkley Point B1967
Heysham1972
Ince B1972

Oil Production Licences

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if any further approvals have been issued to holders of petroleum production licences under model clause 15 of the licence terms.

On 15th June 1977 an approval was issued for the development and production programme in respect of the Auk field. This is the second field for which an approval has been issued and the programme covers the period to the end of 1981. The programme contains details of the field area, the offshore facilities and maximum and minimum quantities of petroleum to be produced in each year. Under model clause 15 of the licence terms the licensee may not develop or produce from a field without my right hon. Friend's consent or in accordance with an approved development and production programme.

Gas Explosions

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether the report of the inquiry into serious gas explosions is yet ready for publication.

I have arranged for copies to be placed today in the Libraries of both Houses, and I hope that general publication will follow shortly. It provides a thorough analysis of facts and issues involved, and makes various recommendations aimed at reducing still further the number of incidents. In so far as these would involve action by the Government, we are considering them and shall announce our response as soon as possible.

Gas Flaring

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what further consents he has given, under the licence terms, for the flaring of associated gas from the Brent field.

Oil production from the Brent field was shut down on 14th June in order to implement the summer offshore work programme planned by Shell as field operator.My right hon. Friend has given careful consideration to the next stage of the programme proposed by Shell/Esso and has concluded that he is not able to give his consent to the re-start of Brent B oil production this autumn, because of the very substantial wastage of associated gas by flaring that this would entail.Shell/Esso has been advised of his decision that the Brent B platform should remain shut down to enable the installation of gas re-injection facilities to be completed.

The start of oil production from Brent D platform is also scheduled for this autumn, and as gas re-injection facilities should be installed from the time of startup my right hon. Friend expects to give consent for the more limited flaring of gas that will inevitably occur during the commissioning of the gas injection equipment.

Employment

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many registered disabled persons are registered as unemployed at offices of his Department covering the city of Birmingham; and how this compares with the past two years;(2) how many employers in the area covered by his Department's Birmingham offices are not employing the 3 per cent. quota of registered disabled persons; and how this compares with the past two years.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that the information is as shown below:

Unemployed registered disabled people
Employment Office/Jobcentre12th May 1977May 1976May 1975
Aston380419304
Birmingham134135145
Handsworth182170144
Selly Oak582486383
Sparkhill*163
Sutton Coldfield849259
Small Heath147309235
Washwood Heath227196161
* Opened October 1976. The total as at 12th May includes people formerly registered as unemployed at Small Heath.
On 1st June 1977, 721 firms in the areas covered by the above employment offices/jobcentres were not employing the 3 per cent. quota of registered disabled people compared with 754 in 1976 and 702 in 1975.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration has been given by his Department into the possibility of taking over existing industrial premises in Wales from companies that have gone into liquidation, for the purposes of converting the premises and using the existing equipment as sheltered workshops for disabled persons.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that when it has been established that there is a sufficient number of severely disabled people for a further viable workshop in any area of Wales, all possible sources of premises and equipment will be considered on their merits.

School Leavers

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action his Department has taken to assist summer term school leavers in obtaining employment.

As my right hon. Friend informed the House on 3rd March, to meet the needs of this year's school leavers additional funds are being made available to extend and expand the Government's special measures for alleviating unemployment among young people. The Government are also currently considering the Manpower Services Commission's report "Young People and Work", which proposes a new programme of opportunities for young people. A statement to the House about this will be made tomorrow.

Newspaper Industry (Closed Shops)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will discuss with the Press Council, when he next meets it, the operation of the closed shop in the newspaper industry.

As required by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Amendment) Act 1976, I shall be consulting the Press Council in due course about the preparation of a draft charter on the freedom of the Press which will, amongst other things, contain guidance on the application of union membership agreements to journalists.

Wines And Spirits (Bottling)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs in (a) Scotland and (b) England and Wales are directly attributable to the bottling of the 42 million proof gallons of wines and spirits imported to the United Kingdom.

This Department's employment statistics are analysed according to the Minimum List Headings of the Standard Industrial Classification. This does not identify separately the bottling of wines and spirits, whether or not they are imported, and I regret that the information is not available.

Shipbuilding And Allied Industries Management Association

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if ACAS is yet in the position to say whether or not members of the Shipbuilding and Allied Industries Management Association are to be recognised by the Shipbuilders' Corporation.

No. I understand that ACAS has not yet completed its inquiries into the Section 11 references made by SAIMA and other unions in the shipbuilding industry.

Hotel And Catering Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied that there are sufficient native butchers, patissiers and bakers to meet the employment requirements of the hotel and catering industry without employing foreign labour.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission, which administers the public employment service, that there are no precise figures of the supply and demand of butchers, patissiers and bakers for the hotel and catering industry.The latest statistical information shows that for the occupational groups which include these trades the number of workers registered as unemployed exceeds the number of unfilled vacancies.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the availability of apprenticeship opportunities for people seeking full-time employment in the hotel and catering industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the average wage level of (a) chefs (b) patissiers (c) butchers (d) bakers (e) hotel receptionists and (f) housekeepers in similar hotel establishments in each of the nine EEC countries.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to inform school leavers of the availability of opportunities for employment in the hotel and catering industry.

Careers officers of the local education authorities careers services are required to provide a careers guidance service to young people about to leave school. To assist them a supply of literature explaining careers opportunities in a wide range of industries, including hotel and catering, is made available to them. Careers officers also arrange visits to local employers' establishments to enable young people to see at first hand what working conditions are like, and hotel and catering establishments are among those visited. Close contact is maintained with local employers in the industry to ensure that any vacancies they have can be brought to the notice of young people seeking such employment.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many requests for permits to employ foreign labour in the hotel and catering industry have been received by his Department each year since accession to the EEC; what percentage of these applications for permits has been granted for each year; and how many such applications have been for skilled and unskilled jobs respectively.

The number of permits issued—including permissions given for those already in this country when the application was made—for both foreign and Commonwealth workers for work in the hotel and catering industry—as defined in the Standard Industrial Classification—is given in column 1 of the table.Records of applications for work in the hotel and catering industry are available, but they exclude workers in hostels and some industrial catering establishments not covered by the quota arrangements. The figures, which are therefore not strictly comparable with those in column 1, are in column 2. Column 3 expresses the figures in column 1 as a percentage of those in column 2.Records of applications do not distinguish between skilled and unskilled jobs.

(1)(2)(3)

Issues

Applications

Per cent.

19737,1849,87473
19747,1488,96380
19759,16211,98876
1976*3,8445,91765
Equivalent figures for 1977 are not available.

* Because of industrial action affecting statistical work in the last quarter of 1976 information about work permit applications dealt with was not fully recorded. Consequently the number of permits and permissions given and applications refused cannot be stated accurately. The table above covers recorded data only.

Transport

Motor Cars (Safety)

asked as Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to ensure that motor car bodies fulfil certain minimum requirements in terms of strength as a safety measure.

The national type approval regulations, which come into effect on 1st October, enforce requirements relating to the protection of car occupants in a collision, in particular, the strength of door latches and hinges, seat belts and their anchorages, and the steering mechanism. Other possibilities, including protection against rear and side impacts, and the strength and height of bumpers are being examined in bodies concerned with developing international standards in this field.

Road Accidents (Leek)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many accidents occurred on roads in the Leek parliamentary constituency in each of the past three years;(2) how many accidents occurred on the A52 in the Leek parliamentary constituency in each of the past three years.

Statistics of road accidents in local areas are a matter for the local authorities concerned, and my Department supplies figures only in relation to trunk roads, or motorways, for which it is responsible. Only a small part of the A52 within the Leek parliamentary constituency is trunk road. I therefore suggest that the hon. Member gets in touch with the Staffordshire County Council, which is the local highway authority.

Driving Tests (Waiting Time)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is (a) the waiting time for driving tests in the Uists area of the Western Isles and (b) the average waiting time nationally.

(a) Tests are conducted in the Uists area when demand justifies a visit by examiners. They were last conducted in February; the next tests will be conducted from 18th-21st July.(

b) 14 weeks at the beginning of June.

Wheel Spray

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what experiments his Department or the Road Research Laboratory has made towards the reduction of spray from heavy vehicles in wet weather.

The Department has carried out a series of experiments to find the best road surface for reducing spray and is now testing this at nine sites in England. I will send the hon. Member a leaflet about this.We are also assessing the design of mudguards and airflow control devices to see whether spray can be reduced without increasing running temperatures of brakes and tyres or interfering with maintenance.

Western Avenue Flyovers

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the design proposals for pedestrians to negotiate the new flyovers at Western Avenue and Oldfield Lane and Church Road and Western Avenue at Greenford and Northolt in Middlesex; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. Both schemes have ben designed to enable pedestrians to cross Western Avenue safely at levels different to those of the trunk road traffic.

Brakes

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of road traffic accidents causing death or serious injury is caused by brake system failures; and what proportion of road accident deaths and serious injuries are so caused.

I regret that the information requested is not available on a national basis because the resources needed to conduct the necessary in-depth investigations would be disproportionate to the benefits that might be expected. Localised investigations are, however, conducted by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory into the causes of road accidents and I refer the hon. Member to its leaflet LF 392 Issue 2, published in April 1975, which contains some information on the contribution of vehicle defects to road accidents.

Vehicle Licences

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an up-to-date estimate of the loss of revenue currently arising from non-payment of vehicle licensing; and if he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) on 25th April—[Vol. 930, c. 216.]

Bus Fares (West Yorkshire)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to receive the report of the traffic Commissioners inquiring into the proposed increases in bus fares in the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County area; and if he will make a statement.

The traffic commissioners are an independent body who will consider this application and publish their decision in due course. My responsibility is to consider any appeal arising from that decision. In the absence of an appeal there is no report on the case to the Secretary of State.

M3

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, in the light of the continuing serious accidents occurring on the Winchester bypass, he will make the completion of the M3 motorway a priority project.

The national road building priorities include important routes to the ports, of which the M3 is one.

Civil Service

Official Bodies (Appointments)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many members other than civil servants have been appointed by Government Ministers to official bodies in the past 12 months; and how many of these members were judicial appointments made by the Lord Chancellor.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on Thursday 23rd June—[Vol. 993, c. 519].

Dispersal

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress has been made in the last 12 months to date in disperal of Civil Service jobs.

US $ million
197419751976
Intra-EEC Trade:
EEC exports to EEC139,027145,816167,544
EEC imports from EEC139,606147,544168,502
Intra-EFTA Trade:
EFTA exports to EFTA9,4969,87710,274
EFTA imports from EFTA 9,2969,95010,460
Exports are valued fob and Imports cif.

Sources: OECD Series A December 1975, May 1977.

TMF Direction of Trade May 1977.

Horticultural Glass (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether his Department has concluded its investigation into the large amounts of horticultural glass being imported into the United Kingdom; and when the findings will be published.

My Department has completed its anti-dumping investigation into imports of horticultural glass originating in Czechoslovakia, Poland,

In the 12 months ended 31st March 1977, the latest period for which information is available, 1,550 Civil Service posts were dispersed from London, of which 1,048 were dispersed as a result of the programme announced on 30th July 1974.

Scotland

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if any changes have been made to cash limits for 1977–78 which are within his responsibility.

Yes. The cash limit on block SDD2 is being increased by £0·1 million to enable the programme of conservation work on Edinburgh New Town to be continued in 1977–78. This has been fully offset by a reduction in block SDD/LA1. The change will be reflected in a winter Supplementary Estimate to be published later in the year.

Trade

Europe

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what were the levels of intra-EFTA and intra-EEC trade, respectively, during each year since 1974.

The information is the following:Romania and the USSR; a public announcement was made on 30th May 1977. In the case of Poland, Romania and the USSR varying degrees of dumping were found, and satisfactory voluntary undertakings as to future price levels were received from the exporters concerned. Imports from Czechoslovakia were found not to be entering the country at dumped prices.

Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing the imports of steel products, expressed in tonnes, into the United Kingdom from each of the eight member States of the EEC during each of the last six years; and what were the corresponding exports from the United Kingdom.

Information for 1971 to 1975 is published in the Iron and Steel Industry Annual Statistics for 1972 to 1975, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library. Following is the information for 1976:

Thousand metric tons
ImportsExports
Federal Republic of Germany760237
France287147
Italy273140
Netherlands936103
Belgium-Luxemburg39976
Irish Republic30191
Denmark691

the Secretary of State for Trade what were the total imports and exports of steel, respectively, by the enlarged EEC during each year since 1974.

Available international sources of statistics do not show steel separately. The following figures show trade in Iron and Steel (SITC 67):

Value US $ million
197419751976
EEC imports of iron and steel13,26712,56913,694
EEC exports of iron and steel22,42621,42119,220

Sources:

1974–75 OECD Statistics of Foreign Trade Series B.

1976 Eurostat Monthly Trade Bulletin.

South Africa

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the value of British exports to South Africa in each of the past five years; and what percentage of total British exports this represented in each of those years.

Following is the information:

United Kingdom exports to South Africa £ million, f.o.b.Percentage of total United Kingdom exports
19723083·2
19733743·0
19745253·2
19756843·4
19766452·5

Multinational Companies (Directors' Perquisites)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if, in the light of the report on Lonhro made to his Department under Section 165 of the Companies Act, he will issue a suggested code of conduct for the guidance of directors of multinational public companies, particularly in the matter of non-taxable perquisites.

No. I am not aware of any recommendation in a report to the Department under Section 165 which would call for such a code of conduct. Taxation legislation contains provisions for the taxation of benefits in kind, and Questions relating to the taxation of perquisites are for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Aircraft Noise

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list the endeavours of his Department to reduce aircraft noise over the London borough of Ealing.

Examples of action taken which reduce aircraft noise over Ealing are the noise certification of new types of aircraft, and, in respect of Heathrow in particular, restrictions on night jet movements, the preferential runway system, noise abatement take-off procedures including the meeting of specified noise levels.

Tour Operators

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what new proposals he has to safeguard the interests of clients of tour operators who have booked holidays for the coming summer; and if he will make a statement.

The benefits of the Air Travel Reserve Fund will continue to be available. It is, of course, important that holiday makers should make certain that their business is placed with licensed air travel organisers, and I am considering how this can be more effectively communicated to the public.

Computers

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many orders for computers have been made by British Airways, by means of open tender system, in the years 1974–75, 1975–76 and 1976–77.

One main frame data-processing computer was purchased in each of these years. Tenders were invited for the two most recent purchases, but tendering would not have been relevant for the computer purchased in 1974–75 because it was simply for enhancement of an existing facility.

Hotel, Catering And Institutional Management Association

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he last met representatives of the Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management Association; and if he will make a statement.

I have not met the association, but I and my Department are always ready to meet it at an appropriate level on any matter within my responsibilities which it is necessary to discuss.

Hotels And Restaurants

asked the Secretary of State for Trade with which representative bodies in the hotel and catering industry he has recently met, other than statutory bodies such as the tourist boards or the British Tourist Authority; what matters were discussed; and when he next intends to arrange to meet commercial interests representative of the industry.

My right hon. Friend has not held any such meeting since the occasion mentioned in his answer of 25th March to the hon. Member. I have a series of early meetings planned with representative interests having local concern in the development of tourism, including the consultations announced in my right hon. Friend's reply to the Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara) on 20th May. My Department is naturally regularly in touch with commercial interests representative of the industry on a variety of topics.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what further steps he has taken concerning the proposals statutorily to register hotel and guesthouse accommodation, in view of the activities of so-called pirate operators competing unfairly with small hotels and guesthouses.

I am well aware that competition from casual accommodation at the height of the season is a source of anxiety to some regular proprietors. With my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales I am reviewing the operation of a voluntary registration scheme having regard to all relevant factors.

United Kingdom-United States Air Travel

asked the Secretary of State for Trade why he agreed that United States operators should continue to be able to carry passengers from the United Kingdom to Europe; and what equivalent right will be available to United Kingdom carriers in the United States.

In a negotiation of this type it is impossible to get all one wants. However, there will be a substantial immediate reduction in the points in Europe to which United States airlines can continue to carry United Kingdom originating traffic and the majority of those that remain are to be phased out over the next five years. In return, United Kingdom airlines will get rights to carry traffic between the United States and Canada and points in Latin America.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how he intends to satisfy himself in practice that the capacity controls to be included under the new air service agreement can be effectively enforced.

The method of implementing the capacity control mechanism is clearly laid down in the new agreement. The agreement also includes provision for a review at the end of four years, at which any defect will be taken into account.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether, under the new air service agreement, a US carrier will be able to operate a cargo-only service between Houston and London in conjunction with the British carrier who will otherwise have sole rights on this route; and, if so, why he agreed to this provision, having regard to the fact that on the corresponding service from Atlanta to be operated solely by a US carrier, there is to be no right for a United Kingdom carrier to operate a cargo-only service.

Both British Caledonian and a US carrier can operate non-stop all-cargo services between Houston and London from the date of signature of the new agreement. However, whereas British Caledonian will be entitled to operate a non-stop all-cargo service from Atlanta after three years, this right will not be available at any time to a US carrier.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether, under the new air service agreement, Laker Airways remains a United Kingdom designated flag carrier on the London-New York route; and whether he hopes to be able to negotiate better terms for Laker's United States of America permit for the Skytrain service than that at present granted by the CAB for the service.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4], gave the following information:In my statement on 23rd June I announced that I intend to designate Laker Airways as the second United Kingdom airline on the London-New York route I am still considering the conditions that the CAB attached to Laker's US permit and its restricted period.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade to what extent United States of America scheduled or supplemented operators will be able to operate services similar to the Laker Skytrain as a result of the recent agreement (a) on the London-New York route and (b) on other United Kingdom to United States of America routes.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4, gave the following information:Under the new agreement, only one US scheduled carrier will be able to operate on the agreed routes to the United Kingdom, except on the routes from New York and from Los Angeles, where two US carriers can be designated. The extent to which these carriers will be able to offer Skytrain-type services will be a matter for the aeronautical authori- ties on both sides, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the new agreement.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what change in United Kingdom-United States of America air fares he expects to see in real terms up to 1981.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4], gave the following information:The Civil Aviation Authority estimates that, if the capacity control arrangements in the new agreement work out as we hope, there will be a modest reduction in North Atlantic scheduled passenger air fares in real terms by 1981.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the annual growth in recent years in United Kingdom-United States of America air travel; and what rate of annual growth he expects up to 1981.Mr. Dell,

pursuant to the reply [ Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4], gave the following information:

The changes in total United Kingdom-USA North Atlantic passenger traffic over the previous year, including both scheduled and charter services, since 1972 have been:

1973+ 3·6 percent.
1974 -11·9 percent.
1975 + 0·5 percent.
1976 +19·7 percent.

The Civil Aviation Authority estimates that this traffic will grow by some 8 per cent. per annum between 1977 and 1981.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what reduction he expects to take place in seat capacity on the United Kingdom-United States of America air route as a result of the new air services agreement.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4], gave the following information:The new capacity control mechanism should prevent capacity on the North Atlantic routes from rising more rapidly than the demand. I expect that there will, therefore, be less capacity than if the old agreement had continued.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what restrictions on United Kingdom-United States of America charter flights he expects to see as a result of the recent air services agreement.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4], gave the following information:None. On the contrary, the new agreement provides that the present memorandum of understanding on charters, under which the Americans lifted their severe restrictions on the access of our charter airlines to the US market, will be renewed annually, subject to certain conditions, pending the negotiation of a permanent bilateral agreement on North Atlantic charter services. It has been agreed that the bilateral agreement will contain, among other things, provisions for the freedom of market access to which I attach great importance.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the present value in money terms of the total United Kingdom-United States of America air market; what are the United Kingdom and United States of America percentage shares of the market; what is his estimate of the total market in 1981 expressed in current £ sterling; and what he expects to be the United Kingdom and United States of America shares in that year.

pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 2–4], gave the following information:In 1976 the value of the United Kingdom-United States of America scheduled airline market under the Bermuda Agreement was £378 million, of which the United Kingdom share was nearly 43 per cent. In 1981 the CAA expects the market to have grown to some £838 million in current—i.e., 1981—prices, or £640 million at today's prices.In the new agreement, United Kingdom airlines have solo rights from Manchester indefinitely and to Houston for three years. On all other routes they will face competition from United States airlines. There is no provision for fixing market shares, and market share will be determined by the competitiveness of United Kingdom airlines. Any estimates of market share under conditions of competition must be highly speculative, but I expect United Kingdom airlines to have fairer opportunities under the new agreement than they would have done under the Bermuda Agreement to fight for a bigger share of this growing market.

Performing Right Society Limited

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will institute an urgent inquiry under the Companies Act into the affairs of the Performing Right Society Limited.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol 934, c. 3] gave the following information:I know of no grounds for doing so, but I shall consider any information my hon. Friend will let me have on this company.

Home Department

Immigration And Entry Staff

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what were the total staff dealing with entrants to the United Kingdom through the ports of Dover East and Dover West in 1976 and 1977, respectively; whether the general facilities have increased by 46 per cent. in 1977 in line with the number of entrants; and whether he will increase the staff forthwith;(2) in view of the 25 per cent. increase in people entering the United Kingdom at ports other than Dover East and Dover West, to what extent there has been an increase in the staff at these entry ports; and whether he will take action to increase the staff by 25 per cent. forthwith.

The number of immigration staff in post, including seasonal staff, at Dover East and Dover West on 1st June 1977 was 208, compared with 207 on 1st June 1976. Corresponding figures for other ports were 1,185 and 1,156 respectively. A review is currently being undertaken of the staffing needs of the Immigration Service which will take account not only of the amount and nature of the increase in traffic but also of the current need for economy in the use of Civil Service manpower.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of his staff deal with checks on those persons entering Great Britain to see that they leave eventually in accordance with their terms of temporary residence; and, in view of the fact that in the first quarter of 1977 the number of entrants totalled almost 2 million, what action has been taken to increase the staff dealing with these entrants to ensure that they do not remain in Great Britain as illegal immigrants.

The Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office as a whole is responsible, as one of its primary tasks, for the effective control after entry of those who enter this country lawfully and are subject to conditions on their stay. Staffing levels in parts of the Department are currently being reviewed.

Illegal Immigrants

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of the approximately 2 million people who entered Great Britain during the first quarter of 1977 remained as illegal immigrants; and on what basis he estimates these figures;(2) whether he will make a detailed statement showing how and in what way and on how many occasions checks were made in the first quarter of 1977 to see that the 1,994,000 people who entered through the ports of entry into Great Britain returned to their home countries properly and at the correct time in accordance with their terms of entry.

Checks on departure are made selectively. It would not be practicable in the compass of a parliamentary reply, or without disproportionate cost, to provide a full statement, such as my hon. Friend requests, of the action taken in individual cases. Many of those admitted in the first quarter of 1977 will still have a valid leave to remain

Asylum Applications

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for asylum are currently under consideration; and what are the countries of origin and the reasons for the applicants.

We do not keep a running total of such applications, which may be made before or on arrival in the United Kingdom or after entry has been granted in some other capacity. A total could be provided only at disproportionate cost by examining large numbers of individual files.

Parliamentary Electorate

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the present size of electorates in each of the parliamentary constituencies in the Northern Region.

The information requested is as follows:

ELECTORATES IN NORTHERN REGION CONSTITUENCIES
Parliamentary ConstituencyProvisional 1977 Parliamentary Elections
Barrow-in-Furness 54,421
Berwick-upon-Tweed42,703
Bishop Auckland75,134
Blaydon58,316
Blyth 77,687
Carlisle53,815
Chester-le-Street79,588
Cleveland and Whitby*64,651
Consett58,320
Darlington63,408
Durham77,382
Easington 65,416
Gateshead, East 63,904
Gateshead, West 30,180
Hartlepool65,968
Hexham66,846
Houghton-le-Spring60,609
Jarrow55,991
Morecambe and Lonsdale*68,597
Morpeth49,764
Newcastle upon Tyne, Central23,683
Newcastle upon Tyne, East45,463
Newcastle upon Tyne, North 39,898
Newcastle upon Tyne, West81,410
Durham, North-West63,329
Penrith and The Border56,974
Richmond, Yorks64,669
Skipton*53,438
South Shields71,437
Sunderland, North74,502
Sunderland, South78,009
Middlesbrough64,573
Redcar63,249
Stockton88,181
Thornaby 62,518
Tynemouth75,801
Wallsend90,179
Westmorland58,189
Whitehaven 52,224
Workington55,134
* Partly in another region.

Parliamentary Constituencies

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the Parliamentary Boundary Commission's Report on the Northern Region.

The Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England is statu-torily required to submit its next report on a general review of constituencies between April 1979 and April 1984. It seems likely, having regard to local government reorganisation, that the Commission will aim to report in the early part of that period. The Commission does not produce regional reports.

Police (Resignations)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give, for the longest stated period of time, the number of police in the Metropolitan area who have voluntarily left the force, been advised to leave or been dismissed through any stated course of irregularity; what these charges or allegations were; in how many cases prosecutions were initiated; and with what results.

I have asked the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for a report, and as soon as I receive this I shall write to my hon. Friend.

Police (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will add to the details of the emoluments other than salaries as paid to police officers by giving a cumulative actual or estimated worth of these emoluments on the stated grades and categories on a taxed and tax-free basis, on a weekly or annual basis.

This information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Meetings And Demonstrations (Police Supervision)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances private organisations are required to pay the cost of police supervision at meetings, demonstrations, entertainments and other functions.

This is a matter for individual police authorites. As a general rule no payment is required unless the event which creates a need for the pre- sence of police officers takes place on private property.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total income received from the public in 1976 in payments for police supervision of meetings, demonstrations, entertainments and other functions.

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Immigrants

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will review the ways in which immigrants arriving in Great Britain for work are eligible for protection under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give, for the longest and most convenient period of time, the annual rate of return to their homeland of immigrants; what were the costs to public funds; how many have returned to the United Kingdom; what steps are taken to keep checks; and what legal action can be taken against an immigrant who repeatedly returns to his homeland and subsequently re-enters the United Kingdom.

This information is not available; but in the five years from 1st April 1972 to 1st April 1977, 288 families, comprising 840 individuals, were assisted to leave the United Kingdom under the terms of Section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971 at an estimated cost to public funds of some £293,000.The immigration rules for control on entry exclude people, subject to immigration control who receive assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving this country, from readmission to the United Kingdom as returning residents unless, in the case of Commonwealth citizens, they were settled here at the coming into force of the Act and were also settled here at any time during the two years preceding their return; in which case their right to return within that period is protected by Section 1(5) of the Act. Details of people given assistance under Section 29 are circulated to immigration officers.Since the Act came into force, a total of 16 repatriates enjoying the protection of Section 1(5) have been readmitted.

Police And Firemen

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will add to the details or the comparison of salaries between the London police and fire brigade officers by giving details of their respective additional emoluments in kind, such as uniforms and housing, together with their actual or estimated cash worth.

As I explained in answer to my hon. Friend's previous Questions on 16th June—[Vol. 933, c. 225 and 226]—I am not responsible for fire service pay and conditions of service. I understand, however, that the principal emoluments which a whole-time fireman in the London Fire Brigade receives additional to those given in answer to the previous Questions are:National Health Service charges: a whole-time fireman with a liability to undertake fire-fighting duties is reimbursed NHS charges.Uniform: all articles of uniform clothing and personal equipment necessary to the performance of duties are provided free. The initial issue is estimated to cost £322.Travelling allowances: subject to certain limits, costs of travel between home and the fire station are reimbursed and are paid on the basis of the daily return fare for the journey.Messing allowance: a payment of 12½p per man per shift is paid towards the cost of messing.As to the emoluments of Metropolitan Police officers, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer to his other Question on 16th June—Vol. 933, [c.

222 and 223].

European Community Nationals

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any person, whatever his race or country of origin, who now holds a designation of an EEC person is allowed to enter and remain in the United Kingdom under Common Market rules.

EEC nationals do not have an unqualified entitlement to enter or stay in this country. We provide for their entry and stay in accordance with our obligations under the Treaty of Rome.

Police Houses

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has advised police authorities that unused police houses should not be made available to local authorities for use as temporary accommodation for the homeless; and whether he will make a statement of his policy on the subject.

No. In 1973 police authorities were urged to dispose of any of their police houses that were surplus to operational requirements or, where there was a longer term need to retain them but to no immediate need, to consider whether arrangements might be made for temporary leases.

Postal Voting

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if consideration is being given to granting electors absent from home on polling day in general elections a postal ballot as of right.

The Government consider that this would be an appropriate matter for consideration by a Speaker's Conference on Electoral Law.

Dietetics (Broadcast Advertising)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what changes have been recommended by the Medical Advisory Panel regarding dietary features of advertising on radio and television since the Independent Broadcasting Authority was set up; which of its recommendations have been implemented; and if he will make a statement;(2) in view of the dangers to children's health from food and drinks which contain sucrose if he is satisfied that the Independent Broadcasting Authority is complying with the spirit of its code in the advertising of this matter;(3) in what circumstances the Medical Advisory Panel is called upon as a body to deliberate on matters of policy as they affect dietary features of advertising on radio and television;(4) if he is satisfied that the Independent Broadcasting Authority pays adequate attention to the changing views of the medical and dental professions on dietary matters, and, where necessary, sees that advertisements and the content of television programmes meets the changing requirements of responsible opinion;(5) if he will recommend an amendment to the Independent Broadcasting Authority's code of advertising stating that advertisements shall not encourage consumption by children of food and drinks containing sucrose; and if he will make a statement.

Under the Independent Broadcasting Act 1973 the duty of drawing up a code governing standards and practice in all broadcast advertising, including the prohibition of classes of advertisements, and of enforcing the code is laid upon the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The Authority has a duty from time to time to consult with my right hon. Friend as to the classes of prohibited advertisements.In carrying out its obligations and on matters of general policy the Authority receives advice from its Advertising Advisory Committee, on which there is a medical representative, and, in relation to advertisements for medicines and treatments, from a medical advisory panel, A member of this panel is always consulted about proposed advertisements referring to nutritional or dietary regimes to ensure that the advertisements are not misleading, or harmful.I am informed that the IBA is satisfied that the code takes appropriate account of the interests of dental hygiene and that its policy in this respect, which has been recently reconsidered, is in accord with responsible medical opinion. It is the Authority's view that an amendment of the code along the lines proposed by my hon. Friend is not needed.

Obscenity (Prosecutions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been in the London metropolitan area in each of the last three years under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act, and how many convictions resulted.

Section 2 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, as amended, creates the offences of publishing an obscene article and having an obscene article for publication for gain. Section 3 provides a procedure for the seizure and forfeiture of obscene articles: proceedings under this section do not involve criminal proceedings against offenders. Details of proceedings under both sections of the Act in the Metropolitan Police District in the last three years are as follows. Some cases involve proceedings under both sections and have been counted twice.

OBSCENE PUBLICATIONS ACT 1959, SECTION 2
Persons proceeded against in Metropolitan Police DistrictPersons found guilty
1974214203
19756659
19766045
OBSCENE PUBLICATIONS ACT 1959, SECTION 3
Summonses heard in Metropolitan Police DistrictForfeiture orders made
1974115115
19756762
19765250

Au Pair Employees

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions he has given to immigration officers on their treatment of immigrants entering the United Kingdom as male au pair employees in respect of any protection afforded them under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

Immigration control is exempted from the scope of the Sex Discrimination Act. The Immigration Rules define an au pair arrangement only in relation to girls. Immigration officers are instructed that young men may be given leave to enter as visitors without objection being taken to their doing odd jobs about the house or garden or, if they are staying on a farm, helping with the harvest.

Supermarkets (Off-Licences)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many supermarkets with off-licence counters had licences granted in 1974, 1975 and 1976, respectively.

Drunkenness

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of offences of drunkenness in England and Wales in 1974, 1975 and 1976 in regard to persons under 18 years of age.

The available information is in terms of findings of guilt only, and is as follows:

Findings of Guilt for Offences of Drunkenness —Persons aged under 18 years: England and Wales
19745,018
19754,805
Figures for 1976 are not yet available.

Fire Precautions (Hotels)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the total amount made available in loans by each local authority to hotels and guest houses since the passage of the Fire Precautions (Loans) Act.

According to information provided by local authorities, the following amounts have been loaned to hotels and guest houses since the coming into operation of the Fire Precautions (Loans) Act 1963:

District CouncilAmount
£
Bedford 4,446
Birmingham 4,700
Bradford 1,287
Breckland2,500
Brighton 1,800
Bristol3,500
Camden—London Borough of900
Cardiff4,750
Chichester2,570
Cotswold 17,163
Dwyfor 1,000
East Hampshire600
Gosport2,500
Guildford2,400
Halton2,800
Harborough2,750
Hastings 1,654
High Peak4,055
Hyndburn600
Lancaster3,507
Leeds2,300
Lincoln 1,400
Northampton1,800
Penwith1,000
Ribble Valley3,324
Rother7,588
St. Albans1,270
Sheffield 2,370
South Lakeland300
South Tyneside1,500
South Wight600
Stockport3,000
Stockton-on-Tees1,303
Stroud4,250
Suffolk Coastal2,200
Sunderland 4,820
Swansea 450
Thanet 1,830
Torbay 1,648
Tynedale1,500
Vale of White Horse2,600
Wear Valley1,839
Westminster—London Borough of1,800
Worthing2,730
Ynys Mon—Isle of Anglesey3,000
121,904

Miss Suzanne Southey

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will inquire into and make a statement on the case of Suzanne Southey, an 11-year-old schoolgirl, living in Tring, who faces the threat of expulsion from Great Britain following a school visit to France.

Inquiries are being made, and as soon as they are complete I will write to the hon. Member. In the meantime we shall be writing to the child's parents asking them to send us her passport.

Drinking And Driving

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in regard to the total of driving offences in 1974, 1975 and 1976 involving driving while under the influence of alcohol, what percentage involved people under 18 years of age.

The readily available information relates to persons aged under 17 years:

Persons aged under 17 years of age, as a proportion of all persons proceeded against for driving while unfit through drink or drugs
England and Wales
YearPercentage
19740·3
1975 0·3
Figures for 1976 are not yet available.

Home Department

Grunwick Processing Laboratories Ltd (Picketing)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have now been injured in the violence at the Grunwick factory; and what is the nature of their injuries.

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that 95 police officers have received minor injuries. Two officers have received more serious injuries; one received a head wound and the other is suffering from a chipped heel bone.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police officer who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided to limit the number of pickets to six; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or himself;(2) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police officer who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided to arrange for the bus carrying workers to drive through the picket line without stopping; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or himself;(3) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police officer who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided not to make charges against the driver of the bus carrying workers despite complaints of dangerous driving made by hon. Members and others; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or himself;(4) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police officer who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided to pursue a policy of arrest of bystanders for obstruction; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or himself;(5) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police office who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided whether to issue special instructions; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis orhimself;(6) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police officer who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided to seal off with a cordon one entrance road to the works; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Policeof the Metropolis or himself;(7) if he will indicate the name and rank of the police officer who, in connection with the Grunwick dispute, decided to restrict the movement of newspaper, radio and television reporters and cameramen during the arrival of the bus carrying workers; and whether this decision was personally endorsed in advance by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or himself.

These are operational matters for which the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is responsible.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of police officers deployed outside the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories, Willesden, on each day since 13th June; what was the cost to public funds of providing these levels of deployment; and what were the official estimates of the numbers of pickets and supporters present on each of these days.

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that the maximum number of police available for duty outside the laboratories each day was as given below, but these totals do not necessarily represent the number engaged at any time during the day. The numbers given for pickets and demonstrators represent the maximum numbers estimated to be present at any time in the day. For much of each day the numbers were considerably smaller.

Number of police officers availableEstimated number of pickets/ demonstrators
13th June308700
14th June503700
15th June356700
16th June521700
17th June6881,500
20th June5561,200
21st June7651,000
22nd June631800
23rd June7932,000
24th June1,5212,200
27th June1,356900
The information about costs could not be obtained without disproportionate expense.

Social Services

Whittington Hospital (Neurosurgical Unit)

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to ensure that the neuro-surgical unit, planned for the Whittington Hospital, Archway, London N.19, will be established there.

The location of neuro-surgical units in the North East Thames Region is still being considered by the regional health authority and my Department has not been formally consulted. Estimates for re-establishing a neuro-surgical unit at the Whittington Hospital vary between £800,000 and £1 million.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consultations have taken place between his Department and the area health authority regarding the establishing of the neuro-surgical unit at the Whittington Hospital, Archway, London N.19; and if he will give an estimate of the cost of providing such a unit.

Mental Patients (Special Hospitals)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will indicate for each of the four special hospitals (a) the number of patients it is designed to accommodate and (b) the number of patients actually accommodated at the latest available date.

By present-day improved standards there is considered to be adequate accommodation for a total number of male and female patients as follows:

Broadmoor Hospital640
Rampton Hospital1,080
Moss Side Hospital 400
On 1st June 1977, the numbers of patients, male and female, in these hospitals were:

Broadmoor Hospital 776
Rampton Hospital972
Moss Side Hospital390
A fourth special hospital, Park Lane, is being built, partly to relieve overcrowding in Broadmoor. It is proposed to transfer patients to this hospital as each phase of building is completed. The advance unit, designed to accommodate 70 patients, held 70 patients on 1st June 1977.

Mentally Ill Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail those research projects that have been commissioned into the effectiveness of the various forms of care provided by local authorities for mentally ill patients discharged from hospital.

My Department is currently funding a wide range of research on the care and after-care of people suffering from mental illness, including those discharged from hospital. Much of this work should increase our knowledge of the effectiveness of different approaches to community-based services. An evaluation of the newly developing pattern of social services for the mentally ill is being carried out as part of the Worcester development project. Different approaches to residential care are being examined at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. The General Practice Research Unit, London, is studying the contribution of local authority social workers to the care of the mentally ill in general practice, and a project to evaluate the use of social workers in the management of cases of attempted suicide is being carried out at the University of Southampton. A pilot study of social work support for chronically mentally ill patients and their families has recently been commissioned at Sheffield University. Other relevant work, using information from psychiatric case registers in various parts of the country is also being funded; and some relevant research work is being sponsored independently. I am writing to the hon. Member with particulars of the projects my Department is financing.

Mental Hospitals

asked the Secretary of Slate for Social Services if he is satisfied that the £5 million allocated for the purpose of helping local mental hospitals to absorb more abnormal offenders has been used for this purpose.

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, East (Mr. Thomas) on 27th May.—[Vol. 932, c. 699.] Information has not yet come in from all regional health authorities, but I hope it will be available shortly for publication in the Official Report.

Fraud

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department treat as fraud cases those persons who register unemployed once a fortnight, and find a job the day after registration, but accept unemployment benefit for the second week of registration.

At present fortnightly signing operates only in exceptional circumstances, for example where there are difficulties about local office premises, or at certain public holidays. Under these arrangements the benefit itself is in general paid weekly in arrear, and, in the circumstances mentioned by the hon. Member, such cases would be treated as involving fraud.

Quarrymen

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the recent announcement concerning vaccine-damaged children, in advance of the Report of the Pearson Committee on Civil Liability, if he will now consider a scheme to assist slate quarrymen suffering from pneumoconiosis, silicosis and associated lung diseases.

No. My right hon. Friend made clear in his statement to the House on 14th June—[Vol. 933, c. 240–8]— that special considerations relating to such children warranted the making of an announcement in advance of receipt of the Royal Commission's report.

Psychiatric Units

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects the first regional secure psychiatric unit to be established; where it will be sited; and when the others will follow.

The South Western Regional Health Authority expects that the regional secure unit planned to be sited at Langdon Hospital, Dawlish, will be completed by 1980, and the North Western Regional Health Authority hope that the unit at Prestwich Hospital, Manchester will also be completed in 1980. All regional health authorities are planning secure psychiatric units, and preliminary planning submissions from seven regional health authorities have been given approval or are under consideration. It is hoped that the units will be established in the early 1980s. All regions have been asked to ensure that interim secure psychiatric facilities are provided in the meantime.

Walsall General Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many days the accident and emergency unit has been closed at Walsall General Hospital in the last two years; how many patients have had to be treated outside the area covered by the Walsall Area Health Authority; and if he is satisfied with present arrangements whereby the unit is again closed.

Between 1st January 1975 and 19th June 1977 the accident and emergency department has been closed on three days, though for about three months it was transferred from the general hospital to the manor hospital. Information about the number of patients who had to seek treatment outside Walsall on these days could not be obtained without disproportionate effort and expense. I very much regret that a shortage of medical staff means that the department has been closed at various times since 20th June, but the Walsall Area Health Authority is making every effort to solve the problem of recruiting additional staff.

Clioquinol

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in view of the widespread hazards of clioquinol, as exemplified by the information sent to him by the hon. Member for Brent, South, he will request the appropriate Section 4 Committee to review without delay the efficacy of this drug for the prevention and treatment of travellers' diarrhoea, and to make recommendations.

The Committee on Safety of Medicines continually monitors all marketed drugs, and are aware of the article in the Lancet of 28th May, to which my hon. Friend has drawn my attention. I am informed that the Committee is at present reviewing the safety and efficacy of clioquinol for the prevention and treatment of travellers' diarrhoea.

Telephones (Amplifiers)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will discuss with the Post Office the desirability of the introduction of free installation and provision of amplifiers in the telephones of those people who find this necessary because of hearing deficiency.

I have much sympathy with the underlying aim of the hon. Member's Question. The question of installation charges is, however, a matter for the Post Office, which is charged with responsibility for running its business as a commercial concern. Social services departments have powers to assist hearing-impaired people with telephone charges, including charges for amplification equipment. Where they are satisfied that a need exists, they have a duty to make arrangements to meet that need.The hon. Member may like to know that amplified handsets are currently available from the Post Office. I under- stand that inductive couplers are at present being designed and are likely to become generally available later this year.

Birmingham Area Health Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the Resources Allocation Working Party recommendations for the distribution of money takes account of the extra rôle of Birmingham Area Health Authority (Training) in any of its numerous specialities and training.

The working party's recommendations took specific account of the provision of facilities for clinical teaching and of services for patients crossing administrative boundaries; they recognised, in addition, that allowance needed to be made in the distribution of money for factors not taken into account in the objective assessment of relative need.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the amount of revenue budget for 1977–78 allocated to Birmingham Area Health Authority (Teaching); and how this compares with 1976–77.

I am advised by the West Midlands Regional Health Authority that the 1977–78 revenue cash limit for health services notified to the Birmingham Area Health Authority (Teaching) is £108·6 million, an increase, in real terms, of 0·7 per cent. over the previous year.

West Midlands Regional Health Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the amount of revenue budget for 1977–78 allocated to the West Midlands regional health authority; and how this compares with 1976–77.

The 1977–78 revenue cash limit notified to the West Midlands Regional Health Authority is £383·4 million and represents a growth, in real terms, of 1·8 per cent. over 1976–77.

Practolol (Eraldin) Syndrome

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects the panel of experts to conclude their investigation into the mechanism of the practolol (Eraldin) syndrome; and if there will be an interim report.

The panel has wide terms of reference on all beta-blocking agents, and I am advised that the studies into possible mechanisms of toxicity require detailed basic research and the monitoring of patients over long periods. These studies may take several years. The panel will give advice to the Chief Scientists of the Health Departments and the Committee on Safety of Medicines as it becomes available.

Hospitals (Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the capital expenditure allocation for each of the regional hospital boards for the years 1976–77 and 1977–78.

The capital expenditure allocations for 1976–77 and the provisional capital cash limits for 1977–78 for regional health authorities are set out below:

Expenditure Allocation* 1976–77Provisional Cash Limit 1977–78
£ million£ million
Northern25·119·0
Yorkshire25·319·3
Trent41·040·7
East Anglian12·613·9
North West Thames17·014·0
North East Thames22·316·0
South East Thames24·913·1
South West Thames28·518·4
Wessex19·519·6
Oxford15·015·4
Southwestern19·215·2
West Midlands28·218·4
Mersey23·023·6
Northwestern26·323·1
* Including allowances for services which may not be carried out during the year.

Maternity Benefits

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) which European countries reward mothers either in cash or kind for attending ante-natal clinics; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will introduce a scheme of benefits for women attending ante-natal clinics, as suggested in the letter sent to him by the hon. Member for Eccles.

France and Finland have schemes for benefits linked to attendance at ante-natal or post-natal clinics. We understand that Austria and Hungary also have such a scheme. There seems to be no firm evidence that the disincentive in loss of benefit for non-attendance weighs more heavily with women than the advantages of proper medical care. In this country we have seen greater advantage in attempting to improve the attendance rate at clinics by identifying practices which encourage high take-up of preventive services and in improving ways in which services might be taken to non-attenders. In the United Kingdom, removing contributory benefit rights from those who failed to attend a clinic would impose a double penalty on some of the most vulnerable mothers. Because our scheme is contributory and not universal, there would in any case be a substantial number of non-beneficiaries for whom the "fine" would be ineffective. My Department attaches greater importance to the continuing improvement of ante-natal and obstetric care for all expectant mothers, and will shortly publish, in association with the other United Kingdom Health Departments, a paper on safer pregnancy and childbirth designed to stimulate wide discussion.

Smoking

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions he has had with interested parties on the implications in public finance terms if the public were to accept in large numbers his recent official advice to give up smoking cigarettes.

The policy of discouraging people from starting or continuing to smoke was formulated after consultation with all Departments concerned and is the policy of the whole Government.

Area Health Authorities

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the names of the personnel whom he has appointed to each area health authority since 21st April 1976; and what was the date of each appointment.

Listed below are the appointments of area health authority chairmen I have made: those made since 21st April 1976, those new appointments made with effect from 1st August 1977 and those chairmen reappointed with effect from 1st August 1977.

Appointments Made Since April 21St 1976

South East Thames Region

Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham AHA( T)

Councillor S. G. C. Hardy, BEM—(1st June 1976)

Kent AHA

Mr H. V. G. Upton, FCA—(1st June 1976)

North Western Region

Rochdale AHA

Councillor Cleasby, JP—(5th October 1976)

Northern Region

Cleveland AHA

Mr. C. R. Chetwynd, CBE, MA—(1st January 1977)

West Midlands Region

Sandwell AHA

Mr. W. Timmington—(20th April 1977)

Solihull AHA

Mr. J. Black—(26th May 1977)

Wessex Region

Hampshire AHA( T)

Mrs. Irene Candy, CBE, BSc(Econ)—1st June 1977)

Appointments Made With Effect From 1St August 1977

Northern Region

Cumbria AHA

Councillor E. A. Martlew

Durham AHA

Councillor Mrs. M. Todd, BA, DipED, JP

Gateshead AHA

Mr. W. H. Bevan, CBE, FCIS

North Tyneside AHA

Councillor W. F. Fawcett

Sunderland AHA

Councillor J. S. McGrath

Yorkshire Region

Bradford AHA

Mr. J. S. Bell

Colder dale AHA

Mr. J. E. Goodman

Wakefield AHA

Councillor J. Smart, JP

Trent Region

Derbyshire AHA

Councillor C. Moulson

Nottinghamshire AHA( Teaching)

Mr. R. Wilson

East Anglian Region

Suffolk AHA

Mr. David W. Griffiths

North West Thames Region

Hertfordshire AHA

Mr. R. T. L. Lee

Hillingdon AHA

Alderman K. A. Gigg

Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster AHA ( Teaching)

Dr. J. E. O. Dunwoody

North East Thames Region

Barking and Havering AHA

The Rev. Peter Marshall

Camden and Islington AHA( Teaching)

Councillor Miss Lyndal Evans, JP, BSc(Econ)

Enfield and Haringey AHA

Miss Audrey Prime, OBE

South East Thames Region

Greenwich and Bexley AHA

Cllr. F. W. Styles, BEM

Sussex AHA

Dr. Peter Lindon, BSc, PhD, ACGI

South West Thames Region

Surrey AHA

Dr. Ivan Clout, OBE, MA, MRCS, LRCP, MRCGP

Kingston and Richmond AHA

Miss D. M. Barratt, BA

Oxford Region

Oxfordshire AHA ( Teaching)

Lady McCarthy

South Western Region

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly AHA

Mr. A. G. Bellingham

Somerset AHA

Mr. J. W. G. Frith

West Midlands Region

Coventry AHA

Mr. H. Clarke

Dudley AHA

Mr. H. Carpenter

Staffordshire AHA

Mrs. E. Murfin

Mersey Region

Wirral AHA

Cllr. Mrs. P. A. Roberts, JP

St. Helens and Knowsley AHA

Cllr. P. J. Gill

North Western Region

Oldham AHA

Mr. James Browning, JP

Stockport AHA

Mr. Alan Sidney Everett, FCIS

Trafford AHA

Cllr. A. E. Williams, JP, C. Eng., AFRAes, MI, MechE, F Inst E

Reappointments Made With Effect From 1St August 1977

Northern Region

Cleveland AHA

Mr. G. R. Chetwynd, CBE, BA

Newcastle AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. M. I. B. Straker, CBE, JP

Northumberland AHA

Mrs. J. G. M. Heppell

South Tyneside AHA

Mr. W. M. Darling, OBE, FPS

Yorkshire Region

North Yorkshire AHA

Mr. B. Hazel, CBE, JP

Humberside AHA

Sir John Dudding, BA, DL

Kirklees AHA Mr. S. Lyles

Leeds AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. N. B. Capindale, JP

Trent Region

Barnsley AHA

Councillor A. Williams

Doncaster AHA

Mrs. C. Wilson, JP

Leicestershire AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. C. Adolphe

Lincolnshire AHA

Mr. D. Thomas, MA

Rotherham, AHA

Mr. V. Thornes

Sheffield AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. J. M. Carlisle, B. Eng, C. Eng

East Anglian Region

Norfolk AHA

Sir Arthur South

Cambridgeshire AHA ( Teaching)

Mrs. P. R. Burnet

North West Thames Region

Barnet AHA

Mr. Thomas E. Parker, JP, OBE

Brent and Harrow AHA

Dr. Bryan Thwaites, MA, PhD, FIMA

Bedfordshire AHA

Mr. Gilbert D. Hitchcock

Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. Tom Meyer

North East Thames Region

Essex AHA

Mrs. Elizabeth Coker, DL, BSc.

City & East London AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. Francis M. Cumberlege, CBE.

Redbridge and Waltham Forest AHA

Mr. Cyril T. N. Banks, IP, FCA.

South East Thames Region

Bromley AHA

Mr. T. R. V. Bolland.

Kent AHA

Mr. H. V. G. Upton, FCA.

Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham AHA( Teaching)

Cllr. S. G. C. Hardy, BEM.

South West Thames Region

West Sussex AHA

Mr. E. M. Bird.

Croydon AHA

Mr. D. B. Sweaney.

Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth AHA ( Teaching)

Mrs. A. Munro, CBE, MA.

Oxford Region

Berkshire AHA

Sir John Hedges, CBE.

Buckinghamshire AHA

Mrs. H. R. Mallalieu, JP.

Northamptonshire AHA

Mr. G. J. Roberts, CBE, JP

Wessex Region

Hampshire AHA ( Teaching)

Mrs. Irene Candy CBE BSc(Econ).

Dorset AHA

Sir David Trench, GCMG, MC.

Wiltshire AHA

Sir Maurice Dorman, GCMG, GCVO, MA.

Isle of Wight AHA

Mrs. F. R. Margham, SRN, SCM.

South Western Region

Avon AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. C. W. Thomas

Devon AHA

Sir Derek Jakeway, KCMG, OBE

Gloucestershire AHA

Mr. R. F. Hunt, CBE

West Midlands Region

Birmingham AHA ( Teaching)

Mr. J. R. Bettinson

Hereford and Worcester AHA

Mr. A. E. V. Meredith, MIOB. MCSI

Salop AHA

Mr. F. Leath

Sandwell AHA

Mr. W. Timmington

Solihull AHA

Mr. J. Black

Walsall AHA

Mr. A. Toon

Warwickshire AHA

Major S. W. T. Birch, TD

Wolverhamplon AHA

Mr. P. Tredrea

Mersey