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Written Answers

Volume 934: debated on Thursday 30 June 1977

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 30th June 1977

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q3.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements for 30th June.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements for 30th June.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 30th June.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements for 30th June.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 30th June.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 30th June.

Q28.

I refer my hon. Friends and the hon. Members to the reply which I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. McCrindle).

Tuc

Q8.

Q12.

Q19.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister what recent meetings he has had with the TUC; and if he will make a statement.

Q23.

Q35.

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

Secretary Of State For Energy (Press Conference)

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if the public remarks on the EEC by the Secretary of State for Energy at a Press conference in London on 2nd June represented Government policy.

In so far as my right hon. Friend's speech touched directly upon Government policy, the answer to the hon. Member's Question is "Yes".

Road Haulage

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to his statement that four-fifths of Labour's programme has already been carried out, Official Report, 22nd March 1977, column 1075, his Government are still committed to introducing legislation at an appropriate time to extend public ownership of road haulage.

The Government's intentions are set out in paragraph 47 of the White Paper on transport policy, presented to Parliament on 27th June.

Secretary Of State For Trade (Speech)

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister whether the speech of the Secretary of State for Trade to the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in London on Wednesday 15th June on the benefits of EEC membership represents official Government policy.

Cbi

Q15.

Q33.

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

Wealth Tax

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to his statement that four-fifths of Labour's programme had already been carried out, Official Report, 22nd March 1977, column 1075, his Government are still committed to the introduction of a wealth tax.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to the hon. Member for Plymouth, Drake (Miss Fookes) on 29th November.

Construction Industry

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister when he expects to meet representatives of the construction industry.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Melton (Mr Latham) on 23rd June.

Collective Cabinet Responsibility

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement about the principle of collective Cabinet responsibility, in the light of the Government's legislative proposals for direct elections to the European Assembly.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Lady the Leader of the Opposition on 16th June.

National Security

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister if he will institute an inquiry into the present-day security issues which may arise out of recent revelations concerning the late Mr. Donald Beves.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Lipton) on 20th June.

Banks And Insurance Companies

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to his statement that four-fifths of Labour's programme has already been carried out, his Government are still committed to nationalising banks and insurance companies.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to his statement that four-fifths of Labour's programme had already been carried, out, Official Report, 22nd March 1977, c. 1075, his Government are still committed to introducing legislation, at an appropriate time, to nationalise banks and insurance companies.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) on 21st June.

Lord President Of The Council

Q29.

asked the Prime Minister if he will dismiss the Lord President of the Council.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Lewis) on 16th June.

Government Ministers (Conduct)

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of the rules of guidance given to Minister regarding their conduct whilst in office.

Ports, Banks And Insurance Companies

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to his statement that four-fifths of Labour's programme had already been carried out, Official Report, 22nd March 1977, c. 1075, his Government are still committed to the nationalisation of the ports, banks and insurance companies, at an appropriate time.

It remains the Government's intention to bring the country's commercial ports and cargo handling businesses under public ownership and control. On the second part of the Question, I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) on 21st June.

Government Legislation (Voting)

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister whether free voting will be allowed on any forthcoming legislation other than that which has already been announced.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Lady the Leader of the Opposition on 16th June.

Grunwick Processing Laboratories Limited

asked the Prime Minister if the advice he tendered to the House, on those whom he considers as legitimate picketers at Grunwick, is intended to convey his view that all, and only, members of trades unions affiliated to the TUC be considerd as legitimate pickets or all, and only, members of the particular union organising the picketing be considered as legitimate pickets.

I have nothing to add to what I told the House on Thursday 23rd June.

Industry

Accelerated Projects Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what amount of financial assistance has gone to Wales, Scotland and England, respectively, under the accelerated projects scheme.

The amounts of financial assistance offered for projects in Wales, Scotland and England and payments made up to 31st May 1977 were as follows:

Offers £mPayments £m
Wales2·2500·065
Scotland2·2220·358
England79·1129·810
*Other 0·587
TOTAL 84·17110·233
* Projects spread over two countries.

Development Area Incentives

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish a list of those incentives for manufacturing industries to invest and increase their employment in special development areas and development areas, that are not available outside these areas; and what is the annual cost of each of these schemes.

The main incentives for manufacturing industry to invest in special development areas (SDAs) and development areas (DAs) which are not available elsewhere are:

Cost in 1976/77 £m
Regional development grants on new plant and machinery at 22% in SDAs and 20% in DAs369.4
Regional development grants on 369·4 new buildings and works at 22% in SDAs and 20% in DAs (and in Intermediate Areas (IAs))
Regional selective financial assist ance (also available in IAs)68·0
Government advance factories (also available in IAs)20·5
Improved terms for regional selective financial assistance in SDAs were announced on 27th June.In addition, industry in the SDAs and DAs is eligible for certain free training services, help for workers transferred from other areas and preferential treatment when tendering for Government contracts. In SDAs, small firms taking on additional employees will be eligible for a small firms employment subsidy as from 1st July 1977.The figure for advance factories includes expenditure by the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies.

Instrumentation And Automation Equipment

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the Government's scheme to aid instrumentation and automation equipment has now received the full approval of the EEC.

We are still negotiating with the European Commission following further comments on the scheme by various interested parties.

Selective Financial Assistance

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many companies have submitted requests for assistance under the selective financial assistance scheme launched in December 1976; how many were approved and how many rejected; and what is the total level of grants so far authorised under the scheme.

The selective investment scheme has got off to an encouraging start. Since the scheme was announced, my Department has received 133 applications covering the whole spectrum of manufacturing industry. Of these, nine have so far been approved, representing assistance of some £4 million to bring forward projects costing £43 million creating 712 jobs and preserving 3,457 jobs. A further 42 applications have been either withdrawn or rejected.

Industry Act Schemes

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proposed Industry Act schemes have been submitted by the Government to the EEC Commission for its consideration or approval; and when decisions are expected in each case.

All the sectoral industry schemes under Section 8 have been agreed with the EEC Commission under the usual procedures, and discussions are continuing on a scheme for the instrumentation and automation sector.

Regional Assistance

asked the Secretary of State for Industry why the North-West Industrial Development Association is to receive only £135,000 in 1977–78 compared with the £250,000 promised to the North of England Development Council, when the North-West has a higher number of unemployed.

The grants are allocated to the English regional development associations on the basis of the numbers of unemployed in the development areas in the regions covered by these associations. In May of this year, the figures were 100,822 in the Northern Region and 78,189 in the North-West Region. In deciding the size of the grants, more weight has been given to the Northern Region because of the deep-seated structural unemployment and the particular problems of the industries there.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) why Scotland received £124·4 million of regional expenditure in 1975–76 compared with the £71·3 million received by the North-West, in view of the fact that the unemployment total in the latter is nearly 30,000 greater;(2) why the Northern Development Area received nearly twice as much regional preferential money as the North-West Region, in view of the fact that unemployment in the North-West is almost twice as high as that in the Northern Region.

My Department's regional expenditure on any area depends on its assisted status and on industry's response to the incentives offered.On 9th June this year unemployment, as a percentage of the total number of employees, in the North and in Scotland was higher than in the North-West; the rates were 7·5 per cent. in the North-West; 8·6 per cent. in the North and 8·6 per cent. in Scotland.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the grant paid in each of the last four years to: (a) the North-West Industrial Development Association and (b) the North of England Development Council.

The grants paid to the North-West Industrial Development Association and the North of England Development Council for the years in question were:

NWIDANEDC
1973£20,000£40,000
1974£67,500£100,000
1975£67,500£106,600
1976£67,500£106,600

Industrial Development Advisory Board

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list the members of the Industrial Development Advisory Board, together with their directorships.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 30], gave the following information:The membership of the Industrial Development Advisory Board is as follows:MEMBER AND DIRECTORSHIPSSir Robert Clark

(Chairman):

  • Hill Samuel & Co. Ltd. (and certain of its subsidiaries), Hill Samuel Group Ltd., Bank of England, Black-Clawson International Ltd., British Leyland Ltd., City & International Trust Ltd., Eagle Star Insurance Trust Ltd., Hickson & Welch (Holdings) Ltd., Imperial Metal Industries Ltd., Marchwiel Holdings Ltd., Parsons & Whittemore Ltd., Parsons & Whittemore Lydon Ltd., Royal Opera House Trust Ltd.

Sir William Barlow:

  • Ransome Hoffman Pollard Ltd., Glynwed Ltd., Royal Worcester Ltd.

Sir Kenneth Bond:

  • GEC Limited, AEI Limited, English Electric Company Limited, GEC-Schreiber Ltd.

The Right Hon. Lord Brown:

  • Anglesey Aluminium.

Mr. D. R. Chilvers:

  • None.

Mr. S. T. Graham:

  • Midland Bank Ltd., Clydesdale Bank Ltd., Northern Bank Ltd., Midland Bank Insurance Services Ltd.

Mr. E. A. B. Hammond:

  • None.

Mr. C. A. Hogg:

  • International Paint Company Ltd., CIA Mexicana de Pinturas International, Cour-taulds Ltd., Holborn Property Co. Ltd., Novaceta SPA (OItaly), Shalimar Paints Ltd. (India), Wertog Properties Ltd.

Mr. J. D. Hughes: None.

Mr. F. S. McWhirter:

  • None.

Mr. C. H. Urwin:

  • National Enterprise Board, National Freight Corporation.

Arrangements are made to avoid conflicts of interest when cases are taken by the Board.

Home Department

Bromley (Borough Council Elections)

46.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the reason for the delay in the presentation of the report in respect of the local meeting held in Bromley at the beginning of March on the warding arrangements for the 1978 borough council elections; and when he expects to receive a submission from the Local Government Boundary Commission on this matter.

I understand that the Assistant Commissioner who held the local meeting will shortly submit his report to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. I expect that the Commission will let my right hon. Friend have its final proposals for the future electoral arrangements for Bromley later this year.

Remanded Persons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons are at present remanded in custody in England and Wales; and what is the longest period currently served by a remand prisoner.

On 31st May 1977 there were 3,452 persons awaiting trial in prisons and remand centres in England and Wales, and 1,768 persons who had been convicted and were awaiting sentence. The longest period to that date that any of these persons had been held on remand in custody was 491 days.

Mental Health Act

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what consideration the inter-departmental working party is giving to proposals for reform of Sections 60 and 65 of the Mental Health Act contained in the MIND special report, Volume 2 of "A Human Condition";(2) in view of the fact that the European Commission of Human Rights is now considering whether Section 65 of the Mental Health Act 1959 is in violation of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, whether the Inter-Departmental Working Party on the Mental Health Act is considering any fundamental reforms of that section.

The interdepartmental committee of officials is considering MIND's proposals, together with other proposals made by Lord Butler's Committee on Mentally Abnormal Offenders concerning Sections 60 and 65, in the course of its review of the Mental Health Act 1959. The Government's conclusions on the need for amendment of the Act generally will be published in due course in a White Paper.If the eventual findings of the European Commission of Human Rights on the complaints at present before it should have any implications for United Kingdom law and practice governing restricted patients, these will, of course, be carefully considered.

Electoral Candidacy (Public Servants)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what categories of employees in the public sector are debarred from either standing as candidates or operating as election agent in the area in which they work by the nature of the involvement by their employment dictates in the mechanism of the election procedures.

By virtue of Section 80(l)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972, registration officers and returning officers and their staffs are disqualified from being elected a member of the local authority which employs them. It is also an offence under Section 86(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1949 for a returning officer or any officer or clerk appointed under the election rules to act as agent of a candidate.

Vandalism

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons under 18 years of age were convicted of vandalism in the past three years.

There is no specific offence of vandalism. Those committing acts of vandalism are normally prosecuted under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Information is readily available only for those aged under 17 years. The following table shows the number of persons aged under 17 found guilty of offences of criminal damage.

PERSONS UNDER 17 FOUND GUILTY OF OFFENCES OF MALICIOUS DAMAGE AND CRIMINAL DAMAGE—ALL COURTS
ENGLAND AND WALES
Number of Persons
19739,678
1974 10,133
19759,399
Figures for 1976 are not yet available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the cost of vandalism during each of the past five years.

The information upon which reliable estimates could be based is not available. From such information as it was able to collect, the working party of the Home Office Standing Committee on Crime Prevention reported in 1975 that the annual cost of wilful and unnecessary damage must run into tens of millions of pounds; it could be as high as £100 million.

Prison Hospital Radiologists

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any of those persons in the Prison Service who conduct radiological examinations are registered with the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine.

Broadcasting (Cardiff)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received following the publication of the Annan Report on the possible establishment of a commercial radio station in Cardiff: and if he will make a statement.

Representations have been received by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, and passed to the Home Office, from the policy Committee of Cardiff City Council in support of a proposal to establish a local radio station in Cardiff.

Community Development Projects

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community development projects in Lancashire have been supported by public funds; and in which areas.

No community development projects have been supported by public funds in the county of Lancashire.

Community Relations Councils

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local community relations councils there are in Lancashire; and how many receive a grant from the local community.

Five in the county of Lancashire. Each receives grants or aid in kind from local authorities as well as assistance from local businesses and voluntary organisations from time to time.

Albany Trust

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the amount in grants paid to the Albany Trust over each of the past three years.

The Home Office Voluntary Services Unit has made the following grants to the Albany Trust during the past three years:

1974–75£10,000
1975–76£10,000
1976–77£13,500

Legal Aid

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of applications for criminal legal aid granted in England and Wales in the 1976 calendar year.

The provisional figure for the total number of applications for criminal legal aid granted in England and Wales in 1976 was 362,232.

Gosport (Ward Boundaries)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to approve the Boundary Commission's recommendations for the reorganisation of the ward boundaries in the borough of Gosport.

My right hon. Friend will shortly be considering the final proposals of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England for the future electoral arrangements for Gosport, together with the representations made to him about these proposals.

Scientology

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy to restrict the entry of any foreign nationals into the United Kingdom solely on the grounds that they are associated with the Church of Scientology, and if he will make a statement.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave on 23rd May to Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis).—[Vol. 932, c. 371–2.]

Norman Park, Bromley (Model Aircraft Inquiry)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the fee payable to the barrister who conducted the recent public local inquiry in respect of the new byelaws proposed by the London borough of Bromley with regard to the flying of power-driven model aircraft in Norman Park and other matters and on what basis this payment is calculated.

The appropriate fee, determined by reference to the fees paid generally to lawyers in private practice for work undertaken in the public service, is £45 a day. It is payable in respect of time spent on work connected with the inquiry, including presiding at the inquiry and preparing the report.

Authority making byelawsHampshire County Council.Adur District Council.Lake District Special Planning Board.Bromley Borough Council.
Subject-matterWater-skiing on Upper River Hamble.Hang-gliding on Mill Hill.Speed limit on certain Lakes.Flying of model aircraft in parks.
Inquiry held byMr. Michael Howard.Mr. Leo Charles.Mr. M. Burke-Gaffney.Mr. J. W. McDonald.
Date when inquiry completed13th November 1975.6th August 1976.22nd October 1976.31st January 1977.
Date when report received10th May 1976.23rd March 1977.7th March 1977.Not yet
Date of decision13th June 1976.No decision yet reached.

Traffic Congestion (London)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, following recent traffic congestion in central London and in particular the very heavy congestion of traffic in Park Lane during the lunchtime period on Wednesday 22nd June, he will request the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis to make a report on the deployment of police officers at particular junctions and the extent to which congestion is affected thereby.

The Commissioner of Police tells me that the severe traffic congestion in the West End on 22nd June occurred after traffic at Hyde Park Corner was stopped to enable a mounted troop to pass from Constitution Hill to Apsley Gate, when traffic was already impeded by road works in Piccadilly. Police officers and traffic wardens were deployed to assist at the main junctions affected until normal traffic flow was restored. Details of the deployment of

Public Inquiries

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the local public inquiries which have been held under the auspices of his Department in the period from January 1975, specifying in each case the name of the person conducting the inquiry, the length of time which elapsed between the end of the inquiry and the completion of the report, and the further time which elapsed before the announcement of his decision.

The following information relates to local inquiries held in connection with the confirmation of byelaws. Four such inquiries have been held since January 1975. Particulars are given in the table below.police officers at particular junctions, and their effect on easing traffic congestion, could be established only at disproportionate cost.

House Of Commons

Members' Pay

asked the Lord President of the Council (1) in the light of the fact that on the basis of April 1977 prices, hon. Members' salaries would have to be raised to £7,475 per year to restore the real value to that of July 1975, and to £10,035 per year to restore them to the level approved by Parliament in January 1972 and that such increases would not restore the salary to its 1964 value, what action he proposes to take to restore Members' salaries to their 1964 or 1972 level; (2) whether he has received the document prepared by the Amalgamated Society of Technical and Managerial Staffs of which many hon. Members are members, showing that their salaries are well below those agreed to in 1972 and 1964 and that even if the salary of £8,000 per annum recommended by the Review Body had been payable this would not have kept them up with the average earnings of other workers; and whether he will arrange to meet the Union to negotiate or discuss this subject;(3) whether he is aware that in real terms the present salary of a Member is only 60 per cent. of the amount which was approved by Parliament in January 1972 following the report of the first Review Body, that this report recommended an increase to £4,500 per annum which did not then compensate for the rise in prices since the previous review in 1964 and nowhere near matched the rise in average earnings; and when Members' salaries are likely to be restored to the January 1972 agreed level;(4) in the light of the fact that Members' salaries are falling behind on the basis of average earnings and worth of salaries compared with 1964, 1972 and 1975 and that Members are being taxed when travelling to and from Westminster when they supply their own transport or use public transport, whether he will seek to remedy this situation.

I intend that the House should debate the whole general issue of Members' pay at the appropriate juncture, which will afford the suitable opportunity for right hon. and hon. Members to put forward their own views on these matters.

asked the Lord President of the Council to what extent Members' salaries would have to be increased to restore their purchasing value in real terms to that of 1964.

If the gross salary of a Member in October 1964—£3,250—were to be increased in line with the movement of the Index of Retail Prices between that date and May 1977, the resulting gross salary would be £10,490.

Total of superannuation benefits brought into payment early
Number of casesTotal of lump sum compensation payments £ millionLump sum £Pension (or compensation allowances) £ million
19731,6411·30·80·3
19741,0281·21·10·4
19758991·41·50·5
19761,2132·73·31·2

Civil Service

Central Veterinary Laboratory (Dispute)

48.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service why he has refused to agree to any independent arbitration or mediation in the matter of the dispute involving his Department and the employees at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, concerning the payment of London weighting allowance.

What in effect is at issue is a proposal to amend the existing national Whitley agreements on London weighting so as to add to the area of entitlement to the outer London weighting allowance. The Government are wholly uncommitted on the merits of this proposal, but the determining factor at present is that incomes policy has prevented any review of the agreements since 1975. The position has been fully explained to the National Staff Side.

Redundancy Payments

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether redundancy payments to civil servants, or payments in compensation for early retirement, are cash limited; if so, under which limits; and what was the total expenditure on such payments in each of the last seven years, broken down by Department.

Awards under the premature retirement provisions of Section 10 of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme are charged to subheads Al and A2 of the Vote for Civil Superannuation, etc. (Class XIV, Vote 6), which is not subject to cash limits. Expenditure is not accounted for separately from expenditure on pension and lump sum retirement benefits. Available details of awards under Section 10 for the calendar years since 1973 are as follows:

Grunwick Processing Laboratories Ltd (Dispute)

asked the Attorney-General whether the Chairman of the Post Office has replied to his letter asking for information as to the steps which he has taken, or proposes in the immediate future to take, in relation to prima facie continuing breaches of the Post Office Act arising from non-delivery of mail to Grunwick; if so, in what terms; if he has replied; and, if no reply has been received, when he expects a reply.

Yes, to the effect that the Post Office would take the action which it has taken in regard to this matter, as announced by it at noon yesterday, 29th June, and which was reported in the Press by 1.30 p.m. yesterday; yes; this docs not arise.

asked the Attorney-General if he will refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to prosecution for reckless or dangerous driving the activities of Mr. Malcolm Alden and Mr. Kenneth Pearson in driving a bus at the Grunwick factory between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on 21st June.

No. Investigation of allegations of reckless or dangerous driving is a matter for the police.

Transport

Al(London)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding the widening of the A1 road between central London and North Circular Road.

The A1 trunk road between the North Circular Road and Winchester Road has been the subject of public inquiries in recent years. Many representations have been received by the Department but details are not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.The short length of trunk road southwards from Winchester Road has already been widened. Further south the A1 is a metropolitan road and the responsibility of the Greater London Council.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have taken place between his Department and the Greater London Council regarding carrying out a survey of the A1 south of the Archway with a view to possible widening.

A1 (Archway)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Government propose to change their policy on the proposed road widening of the A1 Archway scheme due to the high cost of such a proposal.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he proposes to have with the London borough of Islington regarding his proposal to widen the Archway Road, A.1.

Orders authorising the widening were made in April 1975. There is no proposal for further consultations.

Trade

Air Services (United Kingdom- United States Agreement)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether, under the new air service agreement, a US carrier will be able to operate non-stop between Dallas/Forth Worth and London, but the United Kingdom carrier on this route will be required to make a stop en route; and, if so, why there is this difference, and why he agreed to the arrangement.

The new routes to Texas and Georgia are too thin to justify nonstop services by more than one carrier at the start. It has therefore been agreed that for a three-year period British Caledonian Airways will operate solo on the Houston route, while a United States of America carrier or carriers will operate solo on the Atlanta and Dallas routes. The imbalance that this will create is offset by deferring for three years the start of operations on an additional United States of America gateway point, whereas our additional point—Manchester—will be available immediately.

Czechoslovakia

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish a table showing the total value of imports and exports between the United Kingdom and Czechoslovakia, analysed by each of the main sections of trade, for each of the last five years.

This information is published in Tables 1 and III of Volume I of the Annual Statements of the Overseas Trade of the United Kingdom for years 1972 to 1974, and in Tables II and V of the December issues of the Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom for 1975 and 1976. Copies of all "these publications are available in the House of Commons Library.

Commonwealth Countries

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage of exports from the United Kingdom went to Commonwealth countries in 1952, 1962 and 1972; and how this compares with the figure for 1976.

The figures are:

United Kingdom Exports to the Commonwealth* as a Proportion of Total United Kingdom Exports
Percentages, overseas trade statistics basis
195238
196229
197218½
197615
* As at present constituted.

Air Services (United Kingdom-United States Agreement)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade which British airlines were designated as carriers to Los Angeles under the Bermuda Agreement; and which airline has now been so designated under the revised air services agreement.

Under the 1946 Bermuda Agreement, British Airways and British Caledonian were designated for the Los Angeles route. Under the new agree- ment I intend, as I announced in my statement of 23rd June, to keep open the choice of the route, other than New York, on which two British carriers can be designated.

Copyright (Royalty Rates)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he has received the report of the public inquiry held to consider the statutory royalty rate provided for in section 8 of the Copyright Act 1956; and if he will make a statement.

I have received a very care-full report prepared by Mr. H. E. Francis, QC, in which he finds that the present statutory rate of royalty has not, in the words of Section 8, "ceased to be equitable". Consequently I do not propose to make any change. I am arranging for the report to be published.

Social Services

Dentists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many full-time equivalents of dental officers and denial auxiliaries are employed in the Community Dental Service; and how many dental surgeries there are in this sector.

At 30th September 1976 there was a whole-time equivalent of 1,444 clinical dental officers in post in England. Figures for dental auxiliaries are not available for the same date but at 30th September 1975 there was a whole-time equivalent of 142 in England. At 31st December 1976 there were 2,681 surgeries available.

Regional Health Authorities (Chairmen)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he remains satisfied with the system of appointments to the chairmanship of regional health authorities.

Apart from filling casual vacancies, I am not required to appoint or reappoint chairmen of regional health authorities until the term of office of the present chairmen expires on 31st July 1978. I shall then carry out the duties laid upon me by the First Schedule to the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973.

School Dental Officers (Leek)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many schoolchildren there are per school dental officer in the Leek parliamentary constituency; and what is the comparable figure in England and Wales.

Information is not available in respect of parliamentary constituencies, but on the basis of the latest available figures there were 6,547 schoolchildren per dental officer in the area of Staffordshire Area Health Authority and 6,308 in England. A small part of the time of dental officers is taken up in the treatment of patients other than schoolchildren.

Corsodyl

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the widespread criticisms among dentists and others of the usefulness of prescribing an antiseptic as treatment for a lifelong condition like gingivitis, if he will ask the Committee of Safety of Medicines to examine the effects of corsodyl and to report as a matter of urgency.

The licensing authority was satisfied with the safety, quality and efficacy of corsodyl as an adjunct in the treatment of gingivitis when a product licence was granted in 1975. However, I have noted my hon. Friend's comments and will refer them to the Committee on Dental and Surgical Materials for consideration.

Chlorhexidine Gluconates

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report his estimate of the cost to the National Health Service of prescribing chlorhexidine gluconate type drugs for use in dental care.

Chlorhexidine mouth-wash and gel have only recently been added to the list of preparations which dental practitioners may prescribe, and I therefore cannot make an estimate of the kind requested.

Doctors

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what procedure is adopted by family practitioner commit- tees or other bodies, concerning the certification of fitness of general medical practitioners; and what criteria are laid down for those signing such certificates.

General medical practitioners are independent contractors to family practitioner committees for the provision of National Health Service general medical services, and they are not in general required to provide certificates of fitness. If, however, a family practitioner committee is satisfied, after receiving a report from the local medical committee, that because of physical or mental disability a doctor on its medical list is unable to carry out his obligations under his terms of service, alternative arrangements may be made for the care of his patient; and in such cases the doctor, before being allowed to resume his NHS work, may be required to provide a medical report by a suitably qualified doctor as to such aspects of his health as the local medical committee may specify.

Mr Peter Macbryan

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General that Mr. Peter MacBryan should not be prosecuted and that the documents which he sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions did not warrant prosecutions, he will withdraw the allegations officially made against Mr. Peter MacBryan.

I am not aware of any allegations officially made against Mr. MacBryan.

Hospital Waiting Lists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people have been waiting for more than six months for admission to hospital for non-urgent treatment under the National Health Service.

The information is not available in the form requested. At 30th September 1976, in England 150,595 patients were recorded as waiting more than one year for hospital in-patient admission to all specialties for non-urgent treatment.

Infant Mortality (Leek)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the rate of infant mortality in the Leek parliamentary constituency in the most recent year for which figures are available; and how this compares with the previous three years.

The infant mortality rate —deaths of children under one year of age per 1,000 live births—in the Leek parliamentary constituency was 17 in 1975 compared with 19 in 1974, 11 in 1973 and 13 in 1972.

Prescriptions (Leek)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many prescrip-

Calendar YearPrescriptionsValue £
Staffordshire Executive Council Area:
To 31st March19741,083,922714,534
Staffordshire Family Practitioner Area:
From 1st April19743,933,9982,963,146
19755,522,5175,100,383
19765,738,2516,707,384

Member's Correspondence

Lewis asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why it took until 21st June to send a formal acknowledgment card to the letter sent to him by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West dated 2nd June 1977, Ref. P.O. (MIN-H) 1323/28, as this did not need any investigation or examination.

My hon. Friend's letter was not received in my office until Friday 17th June. It is regretted that an acknowledgment card was not sent out on that day.

Attendance Allowance

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services it he will arrange for foster parents who look after exclusively a severely handicapped child to receive the same attendance allowance as parents who have to care for a severely handicapped child.

As I announced in my reply to Questions from the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam) and my hon. Friend the Member for Eccles (Mr. Carter-Jones) on 21st March, the regulations are being amended to enable attendance allowance to be paid for handicapped foster children, who otherwise satisfy the conditions for the allowance, by not later than 1st September 1977.— [Vol. 928, c. 409–10.]

tions were dispensed by chemists under the National Health Service in the Leek parliamentary constituency in each of the past three years; and what was the value of these prescriptions.

Information in the form requested is not readily available. The number and value of National Health Service prescriptions dispensed by pharmacists in the former Staffordshire Executive Council Area and from April 1974 in the larger Staffordshire Family Practitioner Committee Area—in both of which the Leek constituency is included —were as follows:

Doctors And Dentists (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to remedy the situation disclosed by the Seventh Report of the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body.

I have taken careful note of what the Review Body says in its report, and its observations will be taken into account when my Department next submits evidence to the Review Body

One-Parent Families

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, pursuant to the reply given on 21st June with reference to one-parent families, he will list in the Official Report those proposals of the Finer Report which he regards as impractical.

As my hon. Friend will be aware, the Finer Committee made a large number of recommendations involving both local authorities and other Departments as well as the Department of Health and Social Security. Many of these recommendations have already been implemented. Further progress on others will depend upon the availability of manpower and financial resources, both of which will be severely restricted for the foreseeable future.

But the Government do not consider that the guaranteed maintenance allowance, to which my hon. Friend referred, is a practical proposition because, with the integral arrangements for recovery from liable spouses, it would require several thousand extra civil servants, for its administration and would cost at least £250 million. Moreover, it would involve a complicated form of means-testing and, for the many lone parents receiving supplementary benefit, would have meant simply transferring them from one means-tested benefit to another. However, substantial improvements have been made in existing benefits, such as widowed mothers' allowance and supplementary benefit, as a result of which additional income support for one-parent families since the Government took office adds up to no less than £490 million a year, including the increases due in November next. The question of any further financial provision for one-parent families can only be considered in the context of social security and family support policies in general and in the light of the prevailing financial and manpower position.

Vaccine-Damaged Children

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what advice he would give to parents of vaccine-damaged children, who are considering, or who are taking legal action for damages against his Department for brain damage suffered by children vaccinated on his advice against whooping cough, in the light of his recent announcement on compensation.

Parents of vaccine-damaged children who are considering or who are taking legal action for damages against my Department should, of course, be guided by their own legal advisers. Subject to such advice, I would suggest that they await the publication of details of the compensation scheme when their claims will be considered in the light of its terms.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures over the last 10 years indicating the number of children vaccinated against whooping cough and the number of cases of whooping cough recorded.

Figures for cases and the number of children vaccinated are not available for exactly the same age groups.The number of children under age 16 who completed primary courses of vaccination against whooping cough each year from 1967 in England was as follows:

Thousands
1967676·4
1968596·6
1969433·4
1970587·1
1971608·5
1972600·9
1973556·5
1974439·4
1975249·0
1976239·3
(Lower numbers in 1969 arc due to changes in the recommended schedule of vaccination.)The number of cases of whooping cough recorded each year since 1967, in England, of children under age 15 is shown below. The number of cases in 1976 is not yet known.
Thousands
196618·6
196731·2
196816·3
19694·7
197015·9
197115·4
19721·9
19732·3
197415·0
19758·0

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many case histories of vaccine-damaged children, as a result of whooping-cough vaccine, have been sent to the committee on safety of medicines; and what are the conclusions.

The committee has received a number of reports of damage to children immunised against whooping cough or other diseases during the last 20 years. These reports have come from various sources in a variety of forms, many of them quite recently. The committee's examination of the cases will take a considerable time to complete and no conclusions are yet available.

Whooping Cough

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the figures showing the number of cases of whooping cough recorded for each year commencing 10 years before vaccination against whooping cough was introduced and up until the latest date for which figures are available.

Whooping cough immunisation was introduced by many local health authorities from 1942 onwards and on a national scale in 1957.Serial tables showing numbers of whooping cough cases notified in England and Wales in each year since the disease became notifiable in 1939 have been published regularly in the Registrar General's annual volumes — Statistical Reviews Part 1, Table 28 (1940-49), Table 31 (1950–57), Table 29 (1958–73) and publication, Scries MB2, No. 1, Table 1 (1974–75). Also, "Whooping-Cough Vaccination, Review of the Evidence on Whooping-Cough Vaccination by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation", published recently by my Department, contains all of these figures and similar information for Scotland. These publications are available in the Library.

Education And Science

Primary Schools (Leek)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much was spent on primary school building in the Leek parliamentary constituency in each of the past five years.

The information is as follows: 1972–73, £284,300; 1973–74, £89,300; 1974–75, £62,600; 1975–76. £22,600; 1976–77. £70,156.

Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much has been spent per head of population on education in each of the past four years.

For the last four years for which figures are available the information is:

Expenditure per head of population' England and Wales
Financial YearOutturn prices1976 Survey prices
£ £
1972–7365112
1973–7474120
1974–75101121
1975–76122123

Leicestershire Education Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she proposes to meet the Leicestershire Education Authority to discuss its decision to change catchment areas for the purpose of allocating secondary school places; and if she will make a statement.

Complaints which have been received in the Department are at present under consideration. My right hon. Friend or I would, of course, consider any request that we should meet representatives of the authority.

Bagworih And Battram Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will give her approval as a matter of priority to the additional allocation to its 1977–78 building programme applied for by the Leicestershire County Council to make possible the rebuilding of Bag-worth Primary School to replace the old school demolished as a result of mining subsidence and also to cater for the pupils of Battram School currently threatened by subsidence damage.

The Leicestershire education authority expects to finance the replacement for Bagworth and Battram schools largely from compensation, which is currently being negotiated between the authority and the National Coal Board. When these negotiations are complete. I shall sympathetically consider the claim for additional resources to make up the difference between the amount of compensation and the cost of the new school.

Teachers

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many qualified teachers it is anticipated will be leaving the university and colleges of education in Wales this summer.

If previous patterns of staying on for a fourth year and of examination success continue, some 2,250 students from the colleges, polytechnic and university departments of education in Wales are likely to complete successfully a course of initial training this summer.

Teacher Training Costs

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much it costs to train and accommodate an infant, a primary and a secondary school teacher assuming he or she completes: a three-year and a four-year residential course in a college of education.

In 1975–76, the latest year for which information is available, the average annual institutional and support costs of a student training as a teacher at a maintained or voluntary college of education was £2,125 at 1976 survey prices. Separate costings for the training of infant, primary and secondary teachers are not available.

Teachers (Employment)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will establish an advisory unit to assist newly qualified teachers in their quest for suitable employment, in view of the fact that some 17,500 of those who successfully completed teacher training courses in 1976 had not been able to enter the teaching profession by the beginning of the spring term 1977.

The hon. Member overstates the extent of teacher unemployment. In March only 5,195 people were registered as unemployed and seeking work as school teachers. I do not believe it would be helpful to set up an employment advisory unit since the current employment difficulties in the profession are caused by lack of vacancies, not by lack of information about them. There are already well established methods of obtaining posts through the Professional and Executive Register and the education Press. The newly qualifying have additional help through the careers advisory services in their training institutions to which my Department sends lists of local education authorities who would welcome more applications for particular types of posts.

Environment

Housing Co-Operatives

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report the number of housing co-operatives that have been established since 1974; what are their names and addresses; and how many properties they now own.

Seven housing cooperatives have been established in England since 1974. They are: Birch Housing Co-operative Ltd, 9 Slade Lane, Manchester 13; Crumpsall Housing Co-operatives, 14 Seymour Road, Manchester M8 6BG; Fairhazel Co-operative Ltd, 49 Canfield Gardens, London NW6; Ladybur Housing Co-operative Ltd, 68 Ladysmith Road, London N17; Lodge Lane East Co-operative Housing Ltd, 108 Granby Street, Liverpool 8; People in Common Housing Co-operative Ltd, 58 Clarence Street, Burnley, Lanes; Triangle Tenants Union, 37 Springfield Road, Coventry.These co-operatives own a total of 262 dwellings. In addition the Co-operative Housing Agency lists in the April 1977 edition of its directory 70 co-operative development groups, 31 of which have secured registration as friendly societies, which do not yet own any property.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report the total numbers of compulsory purchase order public inquiries presided over by one of his Department's inspectors in each of the last five years.

The total number of compulsory purchase orders dealt with at public inquiries was:

1972859
1973897
1974898
1975420
1976531
Objections to more than one compulsory purchase order are occasionally heard at the same inquiry.

Organs (Departmental Contracts)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the site of each of those musical organs the contracts for which were authorised by him and the price that was paid for each, specifying to which company the contract was awarded.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 29th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 272], gave the following information:Two pipe organs were installed in Ministry of Defence churches at HMS "Raleigh", Cornwall, and Moore Barracks, Folkestone. Electronic organs were installed in:

  • (a) Ministry of Defence churches at the following locations: Aldershot, Troon, Arborfield, Mill Hill, Bovington, Det Mold, Germany, HMS "Mercury", RAF Shawbury, RAF Waddington, RAF New ton, RAF Marston, RAF Upavon, RAF Brampton, RAF Marham, RAF Locking, RAF Lindholme, Hone, Germany, Ver-den, Germany, HMS "Angelo", Malta, Wolfenbuttel, Germany, Dortmund, Ger many, Nienburg, Germany, Herford, Germany, RN Hospital, Malta, MCTC, Colchester, Ripon Barracks, RAF West Raynham, RAF Anglesey, RAF Church Fenton, RAF Hawthorne, HMS "Sultan", Gosport, Hobart Barracks, Germany, Normandy Barracks, Germany, RAF Guttersloh, Osnabruck Barracks, Germany, RAF Doncaster, Belsize Gar rison, RAF Masirah, HMS "Raleigh", Tor Point, RN Yeovilton, Outer Hebri- dies, RM Arbroath, RAPC Winchester, RAF Swindby, Fallingbostel, Germany,Celle, Germany, RAF Gibraltar, RAF Bruggen, Germany, HMS "Heron", Long Kesh, Northern Ireland, RAF Odi-ham, HQ SHAPE, Belgium, RAF Digby, Willich, Germany, Hamm, Germany, Lemgo, Germany, HMS "Dryad", Duish-burg, Germany
  • (b) Chapels in HM prisons, borstal in stitutions and detention centres at the fol lowing locations: Kirklevington, Meadow- sley, Lowdham Grange, Warnington House, Preston, Norwich, Haverigg Camp, Newton Abbot, Ford, Glasgow, Market Harborough, Lewes, Parkhurst, Dorches ter, Morpeth, Devizes, Portsmouth, Bar nard Castle, Inverness, Leicester, Hol- loway, Newmarket, Reading, Cardiff, Dartmoor, Portland, Strathaven, Tulli- body, Stirling, Rochester. Prices and the names of the contractors are treated as confidential.
  • asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the number of contracts his Department has made for the building of musical organs over the last five years.

    pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 29th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 272], gave the following information:Fifteen contracts, for the purchase in all of two pipe organs and 99 electronic organs.

    Driver And Vehicle Licensing

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many jobs have been lost in Scotland as a result of the establishment of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre at Swansea.

    I have been asked to reply.Ultimately a net total of 76 jobs will be lost, though there will have been a net increase in the number of jobs in certain assisted area constituencies—including the hop Gentleman's constituency.

    Orpington Police Station

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in view of the need to conserve public funds but in response to the need for a police station in Orpington, he will allow a developer to build Orpington Police Station on the site already selected, and permit the Metropolitan Police to rent the building on agreed conditions.

    I have been asked to reply.No proposal involving private development of the site for Orpington police station is under consideration by the Receiver for the MTD and I cannot say whether the cost and other implications of any such arrangement would be acceptable.

    Tourism (Accommodation Registration)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what powers are available to local authorities to require all those letting bedroom accommodation in hotels and guest-houses to register the availabe accommodation with the appropriate local authority.

    pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 29th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 272], gave the following answer:We know of no such power apart from that in Part II of the Kensington and Chelsea Corporation Act 1972.

    National Finance

    Civil Servants (Motor Cars)

    45.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he was first approached by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West about the tax-free cars supplied to civil servants; why on 16th June one of the private secretaries to the Financial Secretary had to write explaining that he could not reply to the hon. Member's letter of 21st April; and in the light of the further letter from the hon. Member dated 18th June, if he will explain how and why this delay has occurred in connection with this matter.

    There were two letters sent by my hon. Friend on this subject: The first to the Treasury, to which a reply was sent on 5th May, and the second to the Civil Service Department, which was then transferred to the Treasury. A reply to the second letter was sent on 23rd June. Delay occurred as a result of the transmission of correspondence between Departments.

    Wives

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of married women in employment have been taxed separately from their husbands in each of the past three years.

    I regret that information is not available in precisely the form requested but the figures below show for each year the estimated percentage of married couples, whose income includes wife's earned income, who would benefit from an election to have the wife's earned income taxed separately.

    per cent.
    1974–752
    1975–763
    1976–773
    The figures for 1975–76 and 1976–77 are provisional. The 1974–75 figure is derived from the Inland Revenue's Survey of Personal Incomes and is subject to the limitations of that survey in its coverage of small incomes (see page 35 of Inland Revenue Statistics 1976).

    Value Added Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate, for each EEC member country, whether, on 1st April 1977, it required trade associations to charge value added tax on subscription income.

    In general, membership subscriptions paid to trade associations were taxable in EEC countries on 1st April 1977 to the extent that such organisations were regarded as being engaged in commercial or economic activities. Because of the great variety of circumstances it is not possible to give precise details for each member State of the practical effect of the tax in this field.

    University Lecturers (Overseas Earnings)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider giving university lecturers resident in the United Kingdom some relief from taxation on earnings from lectures or teaching abroad.

    University lecturers who are employees and qualify under the provisions in this year's Finance Bill will be entitled to the same tax relief on overseas earnings as any other employee.

    Standard Of Living

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the standard of living of the average industrial worker last declined over a period of more than two and a half years.

    The earliest date for which reliable figures are available is 1946. Since then there has been no period of two and a half years over which the standard of living of the industrial worker on average earnings has declined continuously.

    Sub-Contractors (Tax-Exemption Certificate)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a magnetic strip is incorporated in the photo-identity 714 card for sub-contractors in the building industry; and, if so, what purpose is served by this.

    Railway Season Tickets

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether an employee of a nationalised industry or person otherwise engaged in public service employment is chargeable to tax as a benefit on the provision by the employer of season railway ticket or its equivalent when the employee is earning less than £5,000 a year and also when the employee is earning more than £5,000 a year.

    Where an employer provides an employee earning £5,000 or more a year with a season ticket, the employee is chargeable to income tax by reference to the amount

    Rate(s) in force on 1st May
    Tax19741977
    inland Revenue*
    Income Tax33–83%35–83%†
    —investment income surcharge10–15%10–15%
    Corporation Tax‡42–52%42–52%
    —cooperative societies and building societies40%40%
    Capital Gains Tax16½–30%17½–30%‡
    Development Gains Charge33–83%
    Estate Duty0–75%
    Capital Transfer Tax0–75%§0–75%
    Petroleum Revenue Tax45%
    Development Land Tax66⅔80%
    Stamp Duty0–2%0–2%
    Customs and Excise
    Value Added Tax:
    Standard rate10%8%
    Higher rate12½%
    Car Tax (of wholesale value)10%10%
    Duties on Alcoholic Drink:
    Whisky (per bottle: ⅙ gallon 70· proof)£1·9845£3·1605
    Beer (per pint of average strength)4p7·5p
    Wine (per bottle of ⅙ gallon):
    (a) EEC table wine (not exceeding 15 per cent.)24p55p
    (b) Spanish sherry (18–20 per cent.)40p79·5p
    British Wine (per bottle of ⅙ gallon):
    (a) Light (not exceeding 15 per cent.)22p
    (b) Heavy (15–18 per cent.)26p
    Made-Wine (per bottle of ⅙ gallon):
    (a) Light (not exceeding 15 per cent.)53p
    (b) Heavy (15–18 percent.)57·9p
    Cider and Perry (per pint)3p
    Hydrocarbon Oil Duties (per gallon):
    (a) Road fuel22·5p35p
    (b) Rebatable oillp2·5p||
    Tobacco Duties:
    Variable according to product, e.g. 20 standard tipped cigarettes19–5p35·5p
    Betting and Gaming Duties:
    (a) Pool Betting Duty (percentage of stake)40 %40 %
    (b)General Betting Duty (percentage of stake)4% on course4% on course
    7½ % off course7½ % off course
    (c) Gaming machine licence duty (per machine)£12· 50–£300£7 · 50–£200
    (d) Bingo Duty (percentage of stake)2½%5%
    Matches (per 7,200)49p49p
    Mechanical Lighters (each)20p20p
    Protective Duties¶VariousVarious
    EEC Agricultural Levies¶VariousVarious

    which it has cost the employer to provide it. Where he earns less than £5,000 a year, there is no charge to tax. This applies whatever the nature of the employment.

    Taxes

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will bring up to date with further details the information as contained in the Official Report of 16th June with the actual tax, or average on 1st May 1974 and 1977 or on either date; and what was the total revenue raised by these taxes inclusive in 1974 and 1977.

    The information requested on tax rates is as follows:

    Rate(s) in force on 1st May
    Tax19741977
    Other
    Vehicle Excise Duty (per year):
    (a) Private cars£25£50
    (b)Goods vehicles—general, etc.:
    16cwt£30£50
    5 tons£189£324
    10 tons£459£824
    National Insurance Surcharge (levied on employer in respect of employees' earnings)2%
    Local Authority Rates (average rate poundages in England and Wales):
    (a) Domestic39·4p60·8p
    (b) Non-domestic52·0p80·2p
    * The range of nominal Inland Revenue tax rates is shown where more than one rate is in force
    † The Chancellor proposed, in his Budget Speech, a reduction of the basic rate of income tax to. 33 per cent. subject to a satisfactory agreement on the next round of the pay policy. Such a reduction would lead to a corresponding reduction in the lowest rate of CGT (on the alternative basis of charge) to 16½ per cent.
    ‡ The rates of Corporation Tax currently in force apply to profits of the financial year 1976 (i.e. the year ending 31st March 1977). The rates in force on 1st May 1977 of the financial year 1977 will be set in next year's Finance Act.
    § CTT applied to lifetime gifts only in 1974.
    || Except that for kerosene the duty was lp.
    ¶ Fuller details available in Customs and Excise Tariff.
    The total revenue derived from these taxes was £25,116 million in the financial year 1974–75, and is estimated at £41,326 million for 1977–78. A more detailed breakdown of the revenue derived from the individual taxes is available in the relevant Financial Statement and Budget Reports.

    Industrial Workers (Pay And Deductions)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the gross wage and each item of deduction used to reach the take-home pay of a worker on average industrial earnings having two young children under 11 years of age: (a) in December 1974, expressed both in then current terms and updated to April 1977 terms and (b) in April 1977 in the current terms.

    Income Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost in revenue terms, compared with the revenue estimated for the 1977 Budget proposals with the 33 per cent. basic rate assumption, of moving to an income tax structure under which the first £10,000 of taxable income would be charged at 30 per cent., the next £5,000 at 40 per cent. and the balance at 50 per cent.

    Scotland

    Arbroath Infirmary

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement setting out the terms of his agreement with the Tayside Health Board regarding the future status and function of Arbroath Infirmary and the timetable for implementing these proposals.

    Consideration of Tayside Health Board's request for approval to the arrangements it proposed to make to permit the withdrawal of specialist in-patient services from Arbroath Infirmary was suspended because the board had decided that no change would be made until a health centre proposed for the infirmary site had been built and commissioned. In order to maintain specialist services at the infirmary in the meantime, however, it became necessary to determine periods of contractual service for medical staff and my right hon. Friend indicated that he agreed in principle with the eventual withdrawal of specialist in-patient services and with the board's decision that no change should be made until the health centre was available. Nearer that time he will consider the specific proposals for alterations in the organisation of services.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when his decision regarding the proposals to alter the status and functions at Arbroath Infirmary was taken; and which organisations and individuals were informed of that decision at that time.

    My right hon. Friend's agreement in principle with the board's aim to withdraw specialist in-patient services eventually from Arbroath Infirmary was communicated to Tayside Health Board on 26th May 1977.I regret that the hon. Member was not notified at the same time, but 1 understand that the board advised him, and the large number of organisations and individuals who had earlier lodged representations about the proposals, of this agreement on 6th June.

    Employment (Training)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that adequate technical training facilities are provided in the North of Scotland, and the Islands especially, in view of the fall in unskilled jobs which will follow the end of oil-related construction.

    My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland who deals with education, wrote to the right hon. Member in March 1976 giving a comprehensive explanation of the facilities for further education and industrial training in the North of Scotland and the Islands and dealt specifically with the need for training when short-term job opportunities end. There is nothing I can usefully add to what he said at the time, but if the right hon. Gentleman has any further points to raise I shall be happy to consider them.

    Housing Associations

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many housing associations there are in Scotland and Glasgow, respectively; how many staff they employ; and how many houses they have improved, in respect of Scotland and Glasgow, respectively.

    I understand from the Housing Corporation that of the 132 registered housing associations in Scotland 47 have registered offices in Glasgow. Information is not readily available about the number of staff whom they employ. From 1974 up to March 1977 some 745 houses had been improved by housing associations, including 326 in Glasgow.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether it is his policy to encourage housing associations to manage their own property or to employ professional factors with experience of housing management.

    The management of their property is a matter for the housing associations themselves.

    Housing

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish his new proposals for housing in Scotland.

    My proposals for Scottish housing are contained in the Green Paper "Scottish Housing—A Consultative Document" (Cmnd 6852) which I presented to Parliament on Tuesday 28th June 1977.

    Council Houses (Maintenance Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing the average cost of maintaining, repairing and managing council houses in each of the district councils.

    Estimates of the expenditure by district authorities in 1976-77 on the management and maintenance of council houses are given in the "Rating Review", June 1976, published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Scottish Branch), a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library.

    Police (Scotland) Bill

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends to introduce a Bill on the lines of the Police (Scotland) Bill.

    Yes. I am convinced of the need for legislation in this field and will introduce a Bill as soon as possible.

    House Purchase And Improvement

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is prepared to review and increase the 1977–78 allocations to local housing authorities for lending for house purchase and improvement.

    I am conscious of growing demands on local authorities for lending funds, particularly in urban areas. I have decided to increase by £4·5 million the provision in this sub-programme for the current year which will thus be increased from £13-8 million to £18·3 million. I shall be writing shortly about increased allocations to the authorities under greatest pressure.

    Energy

    Drax B Power Station

    Mr. Kilroy-Silk