Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 950: debated on Wednesday 24 May 1978

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

Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 24th May 1978

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Rhodesia

6.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the continued breaking of oil sanctions against Rhodesia.

It is well known that Rhodesia is still able to obtain most of its oil requirements from the Republic of South Africa, which refuses to enforce United Nations mandatory sanctions. The independent inquiry which my right hon. Friend has established to investigate the supply of oil products to Rhodesia by British companies is in its concluding stages.

13.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the present situation in Rhodesia.

14.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement about Rhodesia.

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about recent developments in relation to Rhodesia.

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support any Government in Rhodesia which is created by the wishes of a majority of the Rhodesian people.

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about Zimbabwe.

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the latest developments in Rhodesia.

As my right hon. Friend said in the House on 4th May, we, together with the United States Government, are continuing our efforts to achieve a peaceful and internationally acceptable settlement. The plan is that British and American diplomats will leave for Africa shortly to prepare the ground for round table talks, and will stay as long as necessary.

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, during his discussions on Rhodesia, he plans to meet Mr. Bryon Hove.

My right hon. Friend met Mr. Hove on 3rd May to discuss recent developments in Rhodesia and to hear his assessment of the situation.

China

7.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to pay an official visit to Peking in the near future.

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends next to visit the People's Republic of China.

As my right hon. Friend said in the House on 26th April, our relations with China are increasingly important and substantial and he hopes to visit China before too long. Before then, he hopes to be able to welcome the Chinese Foreign Minister to the United Kingdom.

British Phosphate Commission

15.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the partner Governments in the British Phosphate Commission have yet determined the proportions in which the phosphate funds held by them are to be distributed.

Cambodia

12.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Cambodian Government about the establishment of a diplomatic mission in Phnom Penh.

None. There has been no change in the position since my reply to the hon. Member on 9th November 1977.—[Vol. 938, c. 651–2.]

Law Of The Sea

16.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made at the current session of the conference on the Law of the Sea in Geneva; and whether a further session is envisaged.

There was progress on some important questions, including aspects of sea bed mining, access to fisheries for States with limited fishing zones or none, and pollution from shipping. The conference worked out new negotiating texts on these matters, but further improvements are needed at the next meeting. This will be held from 21st August to 15th September in New York.

Luxembourg (Prime Minister)

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last had an official meeting with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

My right hon. Friend met Mr. Gaston Thorn, who is both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, at the last meeting of the Council of Ministers (Foreign Affairs) at Brussels on 2nd May.

Falkland Islands

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the illegal occupation by Argentina of an island within the Falkland Island Dependencies.

I would refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr).

Middle East

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on current progress towards peace in the Middle East.

Discussions between the Egyptian and Israeli Governments are continuing through the good offices of the United States Administration. Progress is regrettably slow. But both sides are determined to continue their efforts to reach agreement.

42.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's attitude to the present situation in the Middle East.

There is nothing to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave the hon. Gentleman on 22nd March.—[Vol. 946, c. 597.]

Mr Nicholas Love (Death)

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on the murder of Mr. Nicholas Love in Botswana.

We have been in close touch with the Botswana Government about this tragic incident. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister held talks with President Khama on 17th May during his visit here. The Prime Minister expressed the deep concern felt in this country about the incident involving the tragic death of Nicholas Love. He emphasised the importance of ensuring that the full facts became known.President Khama told my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister that he also deeply regreted the death of Nicholas Love and assured him that he was satisfied that Mr. Love had not been involved in any illegal or subversive activities. He explained that police investigations in Botswana had been completed and that a report had been submitted to the Attorney-General, who would ensure that criminal proceedings were instituted against anyone shown to have acted improperly. My right hon. Friend is sure the House shares his satisfaction that the good name of Nicholas Love has been vindicated. We welcome the President's assurance that normal Botswanan legal proceedings will be followed in this case.

Banabans

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in view of the desire of many Banabans now residing in Fiji to return to their homeland, Banaba, now derelict as a result of phosphate mining, the Government and their partners in the British Phosphate Commission, who have together benefited greatly from extraction of the Island's only resource, intend to assist in the work of restoration.

Notwithstanding the decision of the Vice-Chancellor to award damages of some A$14,000 in the replanting action against the British Phosphate Commission, the latter renewed its earlier offer of A$1·25 million in final settlement. In addition, the British Government have offered to finance a resources study of the island.

Ussr (Newspapers And Magazines)

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the availability of British newspapers and magazines to the general public in the Soviet Union, as provided for in the Helsinki Agreement.

No. Since 1975, there has been a small increase in the sales of British newspapers and magazines in the USSR. However, the total number imported is so small, and the conditions of sale are so restricted, that these publications cannot be said to be freely available to the Soviet public.

Jojoba Oil

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will enter into discussions with the Governments of the Soviet Union and Japan on ways of developing the cultivation of jojoba plantations in desert areas of the world, with a view to providing satisfactory substitutes for whale oil.

My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so. It has yet to be satisfactorily established whether jojoba oil can be a commercial substitute for sperm whale oil, but we will continue to be in close touch with research organisations in those countries where well-established programmes exist.

Belize

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding Her Majesty's Government's current policy towards Belize.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Reading, North (Mr. Durant) earlier today.

Human Rights

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the number of instances of non-compliance with the findings of the European Court of Human Rights since 14th January 1966.

Since February 1966, there have been nine judgments in which violations have been established by the European Court of Human Rights; the judgments of the Court are binding and in seven cases have been fully complied with.Of the remaining two, both of which concern the United Kingdom, no action is called for in the Irish State case and Her Majesty's Government are considering the implications of last month's judgment in the Isle of Man birching case.

Africa (Foreign Intervention)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he proposes to introduce a resolution at the United Nations Security Council condemning active intervention in African countries and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend has nothing to add to what he said in the House on this matter on 26th April.—[Vol. 948, cc. 1353–1356.]

Hong Kong

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the maximum penalty in Hong Kong for the employment of children.

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether United Kingdom exports to and investment in Hong Kong compare favourably with those of other developed countries; and if in his opinion they adequately reflect the British connection and Hong Kong's importance as a market and as a regional centre.

Britain is the third largest investor in manufacturing industry in and the sixth most important supplier to Hong Kong. This is in addition to our investments in service industries. Hong Kong is Britain's third most important market in South and East Asia, after Japan and India: in 1977 British exports, at £271 million, were over 33 per cent. higher than in 1976.Hong Kong is a market of great potential, especially in view of the plans to expand and diversify the colony's industrial base. The Government are co-operating closely with British industry to take full advantage of this.

Africa (Russian And Cuban Presence)

31.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will now raise in the United Nations the Russian and Cuban military presence in Ethiopia and the denial of human rights in that country.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend gave him and the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) on 26th April—[Vol. 948, cc. 1353–56.]—and to my reply to the hon. Member for Tynemouth (Mr. Trotter) on 10th April.—[Vol. 947, c. 331.]

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with individual African States or with the Organisation for African Unity with a view to raising at the United Nations the continuing involvement of Soviet and Cuban military personnel in the Angolan and Ethiopian civil wars.

My right hon. Friend has discussed the continued involvement of Soviet and Cuban military personnel in Angola and Ethiopia with African statesmen on numerous occasions. I would refer the hon. Gentleman to what my right hon. Friend said to the House on 26th April about referring this matter to the United Nations.—[Vol. 948, c. 1356.]

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to seek a debate at the United Nations on the current situation in Africa, having particular regard to the threat posed to British strategic and economic interests by the destabilising presence of Cuban troops in Angola.

I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the reply my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) on 26th April.—[Vol. 948, c. 1353–6.]

Cyprus

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with the Greek and Turkish Governments about a Cyprus settlement.

The British Government have regular consultations with all the parties to the Cyprus dispute. Most recently, the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend had discussions with the Turkish Prime Minister in London on 15th May. The last meeting with the Greek Prime Minister was on 25th January.

Indonesia

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current state of relations between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Indonesia.

Ussr

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether as the United Kingdom and the USSR fought against a common enemy in World War II, he will make a statement confirming that friendship with the Soviet Union remains his policy.

My right hon. Friend described the Government's present policy towards the Soviet Union in his address to the British/Soviet Parliamentary Group on 9th May. It remains the Government's firm intention to continue the search for a safer and more productive relationship with the Soviet Union.

Gibraltar

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in view of the stalemate that exists between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Spain concerning the Gibraltar issue, if he will consider representation from the inhabitants of Gibraltar for autonomous control in co-operation with Her Majesty's Government and the Spanish Government.

The best hope for progress over Gibraltar, following my right hon. Friend's meeting with the Spanish Foreign Minister in Paris on 15th March, lies in the joint working groups which it was agreed would be set up to examine various subjects of mutual interest.

European Broadcasting Union

39.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to visit the headquarters of the European Broadcasting Union.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Football Supporters (Visit To Argentina)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the notes prepared for football supporters visiting Argentina for the World Cup.

Yes: the notes read as follows:World Cup 1978 Notes for British Football Supporters visiting Argentina

Introduction

1. These notes have been prepared by the staff of the British Embassy at Buenos Aires, who hope you will have an enjoyable and trouble-free visit to Argentina. During the competition, British consular officers will be available at Cordoba, Mendoza and, if necessary, Rosario as well as at Buenos Aires itself. Their addresses and telephone numbers are at paragraph 12 below. They will do their best to help solve any problems you may have. You should get in touch with them at once if you are in difficulties with the local authorities.

Law and Order

2. The present military Government in Argentina came to power in March 1976. The authorities in Argentina have special powers under the "State of Siege" (state of emergency). There are restrictions on movement in certain areas, for example those in which army barracks and Government Offices stand. Signs have been erected, often the silhouette of a sentry with a rifle, at the limits of an area in which you may not stop. In certain circumstances the armed sentry, if warnings are ignored, has instructions to open fire.

3. During the World Cup, the Argentine Army will be responsible for the maintenance of law and order; but it is likely that the Federal and Provincial police (who are also armed) will be in day-to-day control of traffic and matters normally affecting the public. You are advised, particularly as questions or statements in English may not be understood, to be careful in any dealings you may have with the authorities. Identity documents such as your passport should be carried at all times and produced to officials who ask to see them.

Import Restrictions

4. The World Cup Organising Committee have drawn attention to the fact that arms of all types and other items "effecting security" may not be taken into Argentina.

Climate

5. In the World Cup Centres during the month of June it is likely to be chilly in the early morning and evening, but warmer in the middle of the day. June is a winter month when European weight clothing is worn. Bring a raincoat or umbrella.

Health

6. The cost of medical treatment is high. You would be well advised to take out temporary travel insurance before your departure.

Currency

7. Banking hours are from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday to Friday inclusive. Some years ago the current (new) Argentine peso was officially instituted, equal to 100 old pesos and, although only new peso notes are in use, the old peso rate is still frequently quoted. If a price sounds exorbitant, it may be that it is being quoted in old pesos (eg, 1.000.000 instead of 10.000). At present, £1 equals 1,250 pesos approximately.

Hotels, Restaurants and Tipping

8. In June, all hotel accommodation will be under the control of the World Cup authorities and prices, which will increase considerably, may rise to the equivalent of £25 or £50 per single room per night. Visitors are advised to ensure they have bookings or adequate funds to cover these costs. In addition, taxes and service charges are levied as a percentage on hotel prices. Restaurant bills may carry a service charge ("laudo') of up to 25 per cent., but even so it is customary to leave a small tip. The hotel management, when you register, will ask for your passport. You should ask them to return it as quickly as possible.

Taxis

9. Taxis are easily identifiable by their black and yellow roofs and by their taxi "flag" indicator. All taxis have meters but hitherto the officially approved rates have had to be increased frequently to keep pace with inflation so that the driver has had to calculate the actual fare by referring to a schedule. By June, however, it is the intention that meters will have been modified to incorporate the latest fare structure. A charge is also made for each piece of hand luggage.

Interpreters

10. Interpreters will be available at police stations, the offices of the World Cup Organisation (E.A.M.), principal hotels, football stadiums, as well as in public thoroughfares, to help with language problems.

Telephone and Postal Services

11. Direct dialling facilities will be available between Mendoza, Córdoba and Buenos Aires. Airmail to and from the United Kingdom may take about five days, but can take longer. Letters between Mendoza, Córdoba and Buenos Aires normally take about three to four days.

British Consulates

12 Consular assistance and advice will be available in Buenos Aires and in those World Cup Centres where Scotland play. Details are:

Buenos Aires:
  • British Embassy
  • Consular Section
  • Dr. Luis Agote 2412
  • (1425) Buenos Aires
  • Telephone Nos: 80–7071 to 7079

The office is open to the public from 10.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., Monday to Friday A duty officer is available to deal with emergencies arising outside these hours.

Córdoba:
  • Hotel Crillon
  • Rivadavia 83
  • (5000) Córdoba
  • Telephone Nos.: 46093—23938—46010

The Consul will be available from 29th May to 9th June. Depending on Scotland's success, these dates may be extended until 19th June.

Mendoza:
  • Hotel Plaza
  • Chile 1124
  • (5500) Mendoza
  • Telephone Nos: 214560 to 63

The Consul will be available on 10th and 11th June. Depending on the outcome of the first round matches, the office will also be opened from 12th-19th June.

Rosario:
  • Hotel Presidente
  • Avenida Corrientes 919
  • (2000) Rosario
  • Telephone No. 41245

Depending on the outcome of the Scotland matches during the first round, a temporary British consular office will be opened from 20th-22nd June.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken to provide consular services and advice to football supporters travelling to Argentina for the World Cup.

The staff of our embassy at Buenos Aires is being strengthened for the period of the competition and temporary consular offices are being opened at provincial centres in Argentina where Scotland is to play. Detailed discussions have taken place with tour operators and a note containing advice to supporters travelling to Argentina is being made available through travel agents in this country. The advice has been released to the Press and copies have been placed in the Library. Our embassy will be liaising closely with the Scottish Football Association's official party and will be ready to assist in any way it can

Mr Peter Sainsbury

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present position with regard to Mr. Peter Sainsbury, detained in Beirut since 30th September 1977 without being charged; and whether he will make a statement

Mr. Sainsbury was arrested in Beirut on 30th September 1977 and accused of issuing cheques without financial cover, fraud and abuse of confidence. Despite repeated representations by the embassy in Beirut to speed up the legal proceedings a trial date has not yet been fixed. A decision about bail is expected shortly. The embassy remains in close touch with Mr. Sainsbury and his lawyer.

Immigrants (Indian Sub-Continent)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of applicants for entry clearance from the Indian sub-continent are granted entry clearance at the time of their first interview.

Numbers of entry clearances issued at first interview are not statistically recorded. However, it is estimated that about 50 per cent. of those applying for settlement in Islamabad; 45 per cent. in Dacca; 65 per cent. in New Delhi and 70 per cent. in Bombay obtain their entry clearances at first interview.

European Community (Intervention Surplus Sales)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Common Market Commission to ensure that any future sales on sub-economic terms of intervention surplus supplies will be only to those countries known by Her Majesty's Government to comply strictly with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Government's policy is to minimise agricultural surpluses but that when they do occur, Community consumers should benefit whenever possible. The consideration which my hon. Friend has raised would of course be borne in mind in the Government's examination of any proposal by the Commission for the sale of agricultural surpluses on concessional terms outside the Community.

European Assembly Members (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consult the TUC and the CBI before any new salary scale for the remuneration of elected Members of the European Assembly is implemented.

The decisions on the emoluments of elected Members of the Assembly will be a matter for the Council of Ministers acting unanimously. I expect that there will be opportunity for debate in this House and the Government will also take fully into account any views received from the TUC and CBI.

Hong Kong (Child Labour)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many factory owners were convicted in Hong Kong last year for using child labour.

Arms Limitation

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response Her Majesty's Government have suggested should be made by the Russians to the United States decision to postpone development of the neutron bomb; and what response Her Majesty's Government have suggested should be made to Mr. Brezhnev's proposal that no additional tanks or men should be added to Warsaw Pact forces.

The Government's view is that the Soviet Union should respond by measures to moderate the threat which we see from the scale of their build-up of both nuclear and conventional armaments.Any undertaking not to increase Soviet forces further in Central Europe is welcome. President Brezhnev's statement calling on Western states to freeze their forces in the area, however, would still leave NATO forces at their present disadvantage. It would not produce the genuine parity which is the Western objective in MBFR.

European Community

Enlargement

46.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in the course of negotiations for the enlargement of the EEC, he will take steps to ensure that Greece, Portugal and Spain enter the Community with an agricultural system based on deficiency payments rather than a system based on the current common agricultural policy régimes.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my hon. Friend gave him on 11th May.—[Vol. 949. c. 599–600.]

62.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he hopes to make in discussions on the question of enlargement of the EEC at the next meeting of Foreign Ministers.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Hoyle) and the hon. Members for Hazel Grove (Mr. Arnold) and Banbury (Mr. Marten).

Paris

52.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to visit Paris on official EEC business.

My right hon. Friend has no plans to visit Paris on official EEC business at present.

Brussels (Meetings)

54.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times he proposes to visit Brussels officially in the next three months for EEC meetings.

My right hon. Friend expects to attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 25th July. He also expects to attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg in June and other EEC meetings in Copenhagen and Bremen.

Foreign Affairs Council

55.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to meet EEC leaders; and if he will make a statement.

The next EEC Foreign Affairs Council meeting will be in Luxembourg on 6th June.

United Kingdom Membership

56.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider publishing a review of the results of United Kingdom membership of the EEC.

The Government regularly publish White Papers reporting on developments in the Communities. My right hon. Friend does not at present see need for more.

Political Violence And Murder

57.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions there have been between the Foreign Ministers of the European Community on the question of political violence and murder.

Discussions on problems of political violence and terrorism have taken place within the Nine at all levels, including that of Foreign Ministers. A number of measures of practical co-operation have already been implemented and others are being studied. In addition on the instructions of Ministers, officials of the Nine are studying the possibility of closer juridical co-operation to combat terrorism.

Council Of Ministers

58.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what specific work is now being undertaken on individual EEC subjects in the Council of Ministers as a result of requests received from the last Summit Meeting of EEC Heads of Government.

Work which should contribute to a common overall strategy for economic recovery is progressing in a number of bodies reporting to Finance, Foreign, Social Affairs, Energy and Development Ministers; Foreign Ministers reviewed the follow-up to the European Council in this field on 2nd May, and plan to do so again in June. Action on the European Foundation is being pursued by Foreign Ministers, and on marine pollution by Foreign, Transport and Environment Ministers. The legal decision by the Council of Ministers fixing the date of direct elections awaits ratification of the Act annexed to the Council Decision of 20th September 1976 by all member States.

59.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the main subjects he proposes to raise at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers.

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) and my hon. Friend the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Williams).

Direct Elections

60.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Comonwealth Affairs when he next expects to discuss the arrangements for direct elections to the European Assembly with his colleagues in the Council of Ministers.

Aid Programme (Non-Associate Countries)

61.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, at the next meeting of Foreign Ministers of the EEC, he will impress upon his colleagues the need for further improvements in the aid programme to non-associate countries.

This matter was recently discussed at the Development Council of 25th April, where my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Overseas Development pressed strongly for a substantially improved programme of aid for non-associates. We shall continue to urge the need for such a programme which we regard as vital.

Energy

Fluidised Bed Combustion

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when the first commercial fluidised bed combustion boiler is expected to be available for the industrial market; and how much of that market jointly served by coal, oil and gas is likely to be regained by coal.

Large industrial fluidised bed boilers are being offered by Babcock & Wilcox Ltd. For smaller boilers, including the packaged boiler range, fluidised bed combustion technology is close to commercial exploitations, but the timing depends upon the success of the present programme of development and prototype testing in which vigorous NCB sponsorship is playing an important part. The Green Paper on Energy Policy contains estimate of the success which coal may achieve in improving its share of the industrial market.

Coal

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, what are the production costs of coal per ton for the most recent year for which figures are available, the value per ton subsidy that would be payable under Commission proposals relating to intra-Community trade in power station coal and the estimated gap between that sum and international prices generally.

The most recent published average cost of coal production is that for 1976–77 which was £18·87/ton (£18·57/tonne). The 1977–78 figure is not yet available but I understand it will be in the region of £21-£22/tonne. The Com- mission are proposing aid at the rate of 10eua/tonne (£6·70). There is no established level of international prices but I understand that the information being collected by the Commission under the surveillance scheme for power station coal disclose that in 1977 prices cif European ports varied between $29 and $40 per tonne. The gap would also depend upon transport and other costs.

Coal Technology (Development)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when the report of the Coal Tripartite Research and Development Working Party will be published; and whether the Government intend to provide financial support for development of coal technology.

The report of this working party, which is published today, recommends that the Government should consider funding up to two-thirds of the cost of projects concerned with using coal to make petrol, chemical feedstocks and substitute natural gas and with new combustion technologies.The Government accept this recommendation and are prepared to provide up to £20 million towards the estimated total cost of £32 million for these projects over the period to March 1983. The balance will fall to the National Coal Board and the British Gas Corporation.The Government will consider further financial support for these projects beyond March 1983 as required.

Oil Production Licences

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about progress on the award of fifth round petroleum production licences.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd November 1977; Vol. 939, cols. 767–8], gave the following further information:I am now able to announce confirmation of award as follows:BLOCK 20/9

  • BNOC
  • Phillips Petroleum Exploration UK Ltd.
  • Fina Exploration Ltd.
  • Agip (UK) Ltd.
  • Century Power and Light Ltd.
  • Halkyn District United Mines Ltd.
  • Oil Exploration Ltd.

BLOCK 3/9b

  • BNOC
  • British Gas Corporation
  • Amerada Exploration Ltd.
  • Texas Eastern (UK) Ltd.

Environment

North Region Strategy Team

63.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he has taken on the final report of the North Region Strategy Team published in March 1977.

My right hon. Friend has invited and received comments on the report from local authorities, the Economic Planning Council and other interested organisations. These have been considered and inter-departmental discussions are proceeding.

Football Ground Improvement Trust

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the present position with regard to the Foot-funds have been raised so far and from ball Ground Improvement Trust; what which sources; whether any distributions have been made and to whom; and whether he will make a statement.

The Football Ground Improvement Trust is an independent trust formed by the Football League and the Pools Promoters Association. I am informed the Trust has raised about £3 million to date.The Pools Promoters Association provides the Trust with 12 per cent. of its income from spot the ball competitions and I am pleased to acknowledge this generosity and its value to those clubs so far designated under the 1975 Safety of Sports Grounds Act. I was very pleased to accept an invitation to present a cheque to Ipswich Town Football Club, on the morning of this year's Cup Final, which brought the total finance so far distributed to designated clubs to above £1 million.It is hoped that after matters of ground safety have been given a first priority, the Trust will be able to assist with more general ground improvements and later with the provision of community sports facilities under the auspices of football league clubs.

Rent Acts

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the implications for the administration of the Rent Acts of the judgment in the case of Somma v. Hazelhurst.

In Somma v. Hazelhurst, the Court of Appeal held that agreements under which the respondents had been granted the right to share accommodation owned by the appellant were licences and thus not subject to the Rent Act 1977. The court, however, also expressly approved another county court decision in which agreements having similar characteristics had been held to have created a joint tenancy to which the 1977 Act applied.My right hon. Friend was aware, from evidence submitted to the review of the Rent Acts and from other sources, that even before the judgment a considerable number of owners had allowed property to be occupied under agreements purporting to be licences to share accommodation. The immediate implications of the judgment appear to be that the status of any particular sharing agreement will continue to depend on the circumstances and the intentions of the parties when the agreement was entered into. It is not possible at present to estimate to what extent the use of agreements to share accommodation will become more common as a consequence of the judgment, but for the reasons mentioned its implications may not be as widespread as some have feared.

Yarmouth Castle, Isle Of Wight

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he has found it necessary to close Yarmouth Castle, Isle of Wight, on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer season.

The arrangements for custody staff at monuments in my care are being re-examined to help achieve reductions in civil service manpower. At present only one custodian is employed at Yarmouth Castle, so the monument is closed on his days off. This position is under review.

Metropolitan Councils (Civic Titles)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those metropolitan councils whose head is termed "Lord Mayor" and those where the title is "Mayor"; and if he will explain the criteria for such titles.

The following city councils have lord mayors: Birmingham; Bradford; Coventry; Leeds; Liverpool; Manchester; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and Sheffield. All other metropolitan districts have mayors.The style of "Lord Mayor" is an exceptional honour bestowed on cities by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Home Secretary. The chairman of a borough council has the style "mayor". Any district council may petition for borough status.

Appeldurcomb House, Isle Of Wight

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will reconsider his decision to remove custodian care from Appeldurcomb House on the Isle of Wight.

The proposal to make this an open monument arose from a general re-examination of the custody arrangements at all monuments in my care. A final decision has still to be taken.

Mobile Homes

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he hopes to introduce legislation to protect more adequately the occupiers of permanent mobile home sites.

I cannot say at this stage when we will be in a position to announce proposals.As the report of the Mobile Homes Review pointed out, the preparation of new legislation may take some time if it is to prove more satisfactory in practice than the existing arrangements and full consultation with interested parties is essential.

Derelict Land (North-West)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much derelict land there was in Mersey- side, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria in 1974 and 1977; and how much was provided in reclamation grants in those areas in those years.

The amounts of derelict land in these areas in 1974 and the amounts of derelict land grant paid in the financial years 1974–75 and 1977–78 are listed below. There has been no survey of the amounts of derelict land since 1974.

Area of derelict land on 1st April 1974 (hectares)
Merseyside529
Greater Manchester3,405
Lancashire2,370
Cheshire1,711
Cumbria1,773
Grant paid
1974–751977–78
££
Merseyside194,218589,968
Greater Manchester139,0731,818,042
Lancashire427,852535,605
Cheshire129,504353,584
Cumbria431,827165,430

Local Authorities (Payment Of Bills)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a circular advising all local authorities to settle their bills as expeditiously as possible, especially to small and medium sized businesses to which they owe money.

No. This is purely a question of local financial administration; but I am not aware of any evidence to suggest that local authorities are dilatory in settling their bills.

Home Department

Sanchez Ramirez

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that Sanchez Ramirez alias Carlos has not managed to enter the United Kingdom during the last two years, and that adequate security measures are in force to ensure his continued exclusion.

I have no grounds for believing that this man has entered the United Kingdom recently. Appropriate instructions are in force about any attempt he might make to do so.

Jersey And Guernsey

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what services his Department provides (a) to the States of Jersey and (b) to the States of Guernsey; and what charges are made for such services.

The principal services provided by the Home Office to the States of Jersey and the States of Guernsey are the accommodation in prisons in England and Wales of certain offenders sentenced by the Island courts, for which the full economic cost is charged; the training of certain Island officers, for which the full economic cost is charged; and the inspection of certain Island services, for which the charge depends on the duration of the inspecting officer's visit.

Water Safety

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he anticipates making an announcement on the recommendation of the Working Party on Water Safety.

INDICTABLE OFFENCES RECORDED BY THE POLICE IN CERTAIN POLICE FORCE AREAS IN 1977—BY OFFENCE GROUP
Number of offences
Offence groupMerseysideGreater ManchesterLancashireCheshireCumbria
Homicide*11281655
Violence against the person (excluding homicide)3,0484,1931,7971,056646
Sexual offences5451,397553317119
Burglary37,46638,70912,7997,7384,270
Robbery9855151326825
Theft and handling stolen goods68,80593,63730,06517,10010,995
Fraud and forgery2,0426,3642,731903925
Criminal damage†5,1827,3762,2851,3051,151
Other offences4321,09335512161
Total118,516153,31250,73328,61318,197
* Murder, manslaughter and infanticide.
† Excluding criminal damage value £20 and under.

Parliamentary And Local Authority Candidates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the Representation of the People Act so as to prevent

The Government's examination of the working party's proposals is progressing, but is not yet complete. I cannot at present add to the reply I gave to a Question by the hon. Gentleman on 28th February.—[Vol. 945. c. 116–17.]

Crimes (North-West)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were reported, and how many resulted in successful prosecution, in each year since 1970, in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria in each of the following categories: violence against the person, burglary, robbery, theft and handling stolen goods, fraud and forgery, criminal damage, murder and manslaughter, and sexual offences.

The information available is published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", but comparable figures are available only from 1st April 1974 because of the reorganisation of police force areas, and information regarding persons convicted is readily available only from 1975. The number of indictable offences recorded by the police in 1977 was as follows; other figures for 1977 are not yet available.both parliamentary and local authority candidates from being nominated simultaneously in more than one constituency or ward; and if he will make a statement as to the current situation.

For parliamentary elections, a candidate may be nominated for as many constituencies as he wishes. For local government elections, a candidate may stand for election to more than one local authority, if he is qualified by residence or otherwise. He may not, however, contest more than one electoral area in elections to a single authority. Before any amendment of the law is considered I think it would be appropriate for the position at parliamentary elections to be reviewed by a Speaker's Conference.

Local Government Act 1966

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much expenditure has been incurred under Section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 during each year since its provisions came into force.

The grants paid under Section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 are as follows:

£m (to nearest £100,000)
1967–681·4
1968–691·8
1969–703·7
1970–714·4
1971–725·5
1972–737·0
1973–749·4
1974–7510·2
1975–7613·8
1976–7720·4
1977–7824·7 (Estimate)
1978–7925·7 (Estimate)

Short-Stay Visitors

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of short-stay visitors to the United Kingdom who illegally overstay their permitted period.

As I informed the House last year, an investigation is being made into the extent of overstaying by people admitted for temporary purposes. I expect the results to be available in the autumn.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many short-stay visitors arriving at Heathrow during the periods of one month and one year for which the most up to date figures are available were: (a) refused entry, (b) returned to their country of origin within 24 hours, (c) held at Heathrow or a detention centre, (d) given temporary admission after investigation, and (e) given temporary admission but subject to strict "report" conditions.

Information about the treatment of people seeking entry for short visits is not collected in the form requested. Following is the available information for March 1978 and the year ended 31st March 1978 relating to all persons refused entry, detained and granted temporary admission at Heathrow:

Number of persons
March 1978Year ended 31st March 1978
Refused entry4796,297
Returned within 24 hours2222,860
Held at Heathrow or at Harmondsworth detention centre*72811,551
Given temporary admission†1411,952
* These figures include some people detained pending further examination, but subsequently given leave to enter; and some temporarily detained pending departure, including some refused at other ports and those to be deported or removed as illegal entrants.
A small number of persons refused entry at Heathrow but held at other detention accommodation may be excluded.
† Information about the numbers given temporary admission subject to reporting conditions is not available, but the numbers are known to be small.

Scotland

Friarton Bridge

64.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is likely to be the total cost of the new road crossing of the River Tay at Friarton; and how this compares with the total cost of the Tay Road Bridge at Dundee.

The latest estimated total cost of Friarton Bridge is £9·5 million. The cost of the Tay Road Bridge was £5·3 million in 1966.

Teachers (Remedial Work)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many remedial teachers are currently employed in Scotland in each year of primary and secondary school education.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave him on 19th January. Information about the stages of primary and secondary education at which remedial teachers are employed is not collected in the annual school census.—[Vol. 942, c. 313–314.]

Torness (Nuclear Power Station)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what response he intends to make to the application from the South of Scotland Electricity Board for consent to the construction of an advanced gas cooled reactor nuclear power station at Torness, East Lothian.

I have received representations from several organisations and individuals to the effect that there should be further public inquiry into the South of Scotland Electricity Board's application to construct a nuclear power station at Torness in the light of the decision to adopt the advanced gas cooled reactor system in place of the steam generating heavy water reactor system for which the Board have approval at present.

CrossingResponsible Authority1974–751975–761976–77
Erskine BridgeSecretary of State for Scotland380,557417,495417,743
Forth BridgeJoint Board1,413,5601,376,874*1,587,248
Tay BridgeJoint Board656,637600,484*695,513
* 45 week period 16th May 1975 to 31st March 1976.

Scottish Transport Group (Shipping Services)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about his undertakings in terms of the Highlands and Islands Shipping Services Act 1960 with the Scottish Transport Group's shipping subsidiares Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd. and David MacBrayne Ltd.

As part of a reorganisation of some of their subsidiary operating companies the Scottish Transport Group propose to bring all their shipping services under one subsidiary—Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd.—and to wind up David MacBrayne Ltd. The two companies have the same management, and the services at present operated in the name of David MacBrayne will be operated by Caledonian MacBrayne.As a result of this I shall withdraw my undertaking with David MacBrayne Ltd. which was approved by the House on 11th December 1973. The services

After careful study of these representations, I have concluded that they raise no relevant considerations materially different from those discussed at the public inquiry in 1974 which led to the Reporter's conclusion that Torness is a suitable site for a nuclear power station of any one of the four types, including the advanced gas cooled reactor system, considered at the inquiry.

I have, therefore, today granted consent under Section 2 of the Electric Lighting Act 1909 for the construction of an advanced gas cooled reactor power station at Torness.

Tolls

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing the total revenue derived from tolls in Scotland in each of the years 1975, 1976 and 1977.

The toll revenue derived from the Erskine, Forth and Tay road bridges is as follows:previously operated by David MacBrayne Ltd. will continue to be grant-aided through the undertaking with Caledonian MacBrayne approved by the House on 5th August 1975. The total amount of revenue grant to the Scottish Transport Group will not be affected and the change will not alter the charges for the services or their operation.

Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial help he is giving to local housing authorities to meet expenditure incurred by them in the discharge of their responsibilities under the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977.

The main expenditure that will fall on housing authorities will relate to the provision of housing accommodation and that will attract subsidy in the usual way. I have agreed with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities that the sum of £300,000, being the best estimate that can be made of the cost in 1978–79 of certain management functions which have been transferred from social work to housing authorities, should be treated for subsidy purposes as housing expenditure rather than expenditure on social work.

Transport

Roads (Sussex)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what are the figures for expenditure on road construction and maintenance in Sussex in the last 10 years.

Following are the figures for East Sussex, West Sussex and the former county boroughs of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings for the last nine available years. Data for earlier years were not compiled on a comparable basis, and comparable figures for 1976/77 are not yet available.

£ thousand
YearConstruction*Maintenance
1967–684,2972,997
1968–695,2873,119
1969–704,8353,363
1970–713,6814,072
1971–725,3804,563
1972–735,6405,405
1973–747,6086,450
1974–756,5446,828
1975–768,6538,640
* Including improvements.
† Including cleansing, gritting and snow clearing.

Driving Tests (Glasgow)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many are currently waiting for driving tests in the Glasgow area; and how long, on average, applicants are having to wait for their test.

On 19th May, the position was as follows:

Driving Test CentreApplicants awaiting L testsWaiting time (weeks)
Anniesland Road2,05118
Riddrie98218
Rutherglen1,35418
Shawlands2,44018
Shettleston3,89419
10,721

Vehicle Excise Duty (Repayments)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport, further to his Answer of 10th May, Official Report, Volume 950, c. 308, whether he will report progress on his Department's exercise to repay vehicle excise duty overpaid at the time of the 1977 Budget.

I announced on 10th May that we would consider all claims we had received by that evening. In the event those amounted to some 167,000. To date we have paid 99,436 claims, and have rejected 30,010. There are thus about 38,000 claims still to be dealt with. Of those, some 31,000 appear to be outside the criteria for repayment and further information is being sought on them.

European Community (Regulation No 1463/70)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received a formal response to the Government's reply to the EEC Commission's reasoned opinion about implementation of Regulation (EEC) No. 1463/70.

The Commission has now notified the Government, in a letter dated 11th May, of its decision taken at a meeting on 26th April to initiate proceedings against the United Kingdom before the Court of Justice. The letter said that the United Kingdom Government would be given formal notification of the start of proceedings. No indication was given of the likely timetable.

British Rail (Main-Line Electrification)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made with the review he has undertaken to conduct jointly with British Railways on main-line electrification; and if he will make a statement.

In the Government's reply to the report on British Rail by the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries, we said that we would review jointly with the British Railways Board the case for further main line electrification. The Board has now put to me as a basis for this review a policy paper drawing together the lessons of the Board's studies and experience so far. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

The joint study will be carried out by a Steering Group which will be chaired jointly by Mr. D. Bowick, a Vice-Chairman of the British Railways Board and by Mr. J. Palmer, an Under-Secretary in my Department. Their terms of reference are

"to review the case for a programme of main line electrification, to analyse the various relevant considerations, and formulate the issues for decision".

The Steering Group will report to the British Railways Board and to me.

Arrangements will be made during the course of this review to seek the views of the railway industry and of other bodies concerned. I hope that anyone who wishes to contribute views for the Steering Group's consideration will write to my Department. Contributors may find it useful to refer to the Board's policy paper, copies of which are available from the Board.

I shall of course be ready to consider any specific schemes for electrification that the Board wishes to put to me in the normal way while the review is in progress.

Civil Service

North-West Economic Planning Region

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants were employed in the North-West Economic Planning Region in each of the years since 1970.

The estimated numbers of non-industrial civil servants employed in the North-West Economic Planning Region, at 1st January of each of the years since 1970, are given in the table below. Part-time staff are included as half units, and for consistency the staff of the Manpower Services Commission have been included throughout.

1st January
197043,100
197143,600
197243,900
197345,800
197447,900
197550,000
197653,900
197755,700
197856,800
Comparable information for industrial civil servants is available centrally only for the years shown below; information for the other years could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.
1st January
197410,300
197711,000
197810,800

House Of Commons Official Report (Publication)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service when printed copies of the Official Report for the House of Commons for 12th April will be available in the Vote Office.

I regret that I am at present unable to give a precise date when the Official Report for the House of Commons for 12th April will be available, but it is likely that it will not be before the Summer Adjournment.

Employment

Temporary Employment Subsidy (North-West)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs in the North-West Economic Planning Region are estimated to be due to the provision of the temporary employment subsidy.

As at 12th May, 113,386 jobs in the North-West Economic Planning Region had been supported by TES since the inception of the scheme.

Sheltered Workshops

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what priority is given to sheltered workshops in respect of Government ordering by his Department or any industries sponsored by it; whether he will accept the recent recommendations of the National Advisory Council for the Employment of Disabled People in this respect; and if he will make a statement.

Mine is not a purchasing Department, but I am responsible for sheltered employment policy. I welcome the recommendations of the NACEDP working party which reviewed the arrangements under which sheltered workshops obtain business from the public sector. An adequate supply of work at realistic prices is necessary if sheltered workshops are to provide suitable employment for severely disabled people. and I have written to my colleagues asking that they give sympathetic consideration to the recommendations in the report.

Lower Incomes (Royal Commission Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has yet received the expected report on lower incomes from the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth; and if he will make a statement.

The sixth report of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth, on lower incomes, has been received and is being published today as a Command Paper. In accordance with the reference made to the Commission in June 1976, it provides a comprehensive and objective analysis of incomes at lower levels and examines recent trends and the economic, social and other factors which give rise to low incomes.Lord Diamond and his fellow commissioners have once again performed a notable public service by providing an authoritative factual analysis of the issues referred to them, as a basis for more informed debate and action by all concerned with improving the position of those on lower incomes.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Feedingstuffs (Price Competition)

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection (1) what steps he proposes to take, and when, to promote greater price competition, as recommended in the Price Commission report on prices, costs and margins in the production and distribution of compound feedingstuffs for cattle, pigs and poultry;(2) what discussions have been held with BOCM Silcock, and with what outcome, on comments that its system of loyalty discounts has reduced competition because it is the price leader, made in the Price Commission report on prices, costs and margins in the production and distribution of compound feedingstuffs for cattle, pigs and poultry;

(3) whether he will publish in the Official Report those observations and recommendations made in the Price Commission report on prices, costs and margins in the production and distribution of compound feedingstuffs for cattle, pigs and poultry on which BOCM Silcock, as price leader, has taken, or proposes to take, action within a stated time;

(4) what action he proposes to take on the observation in the Price Commission report on prices, costs and margins in the production and distribution of compound feedingstuffs for cattle, pigs and poultry, that six out of the seven firms which account for more than half of the market co-ordinated their price increases in 1976–77;

(5) what discussions have been held, and what has been the outcome, with BOCM Silcock, as the price leader, concerning its high level of profitability, following publication of the Price Commission report on prices, costs and margins in the production and distribution of compound feedingstuffs for cattle, pigs and poultry.

The report is still being discussed with interested parties. My right hon. Friend will make a statement when these discussions have been completed.

Trade

Textile Imports

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the value of textile imports into the United Kingdom on each of the years since 1970.

Following is the information:

£ million c.i.f.
1970275
1971346
1972400
1973558
1974752
1975734
1976979
19771,203
NOTE. These figures cover wool tops; synthetic and regenerated (artificial) fibres; knitted or crocheted fabrics, elastic or rubberised; and textile yarns fabrics, made-up articles and related products (other than textile clothing).

Education And Science

Examinations

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the number of O-level and A-level GCE passes in the Greater Manchester county districts in each of the last four years.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many O and A-level passes were achieved and how many were not achieved in schools in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria in each of the years since 1970.

Information is not collected by my Department on the residence of those attempting GCE O-and A-levels in a particular year. The Department carries out an annual survey based on a one-in-ten sample of those leaving school each year which includes information on examination achievements, but statistics relating to the years in which these school leavers attempted their GCE examination are not readily available. Due to sample size, results for the smaller LEAs would not be reliable statistically. Some statistics at regional level of school leavers' GCE achievements are published annually in Statistics of Education, Volume 2, copies of which are in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many pupils sat CSE examinations in West Gloucestershire, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester and Tewkesbury and South Gloucester in 1977, 1976 and 1975, respectively;(2) how many pupils sat O-level examinations in: West Gloucestershire, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, Stroud, and South Gloucester in 1977, 1976, and 1975 respectively;(3) how many pupils sat A-level examinations in: West Gloucestershire, Gloucester, Stroud, Cheltenham, South Gloucester, and Cirencester and Tewkesbury, in 1977, 1976, and 1975, respectively;(4) how many pupils sat CSE, O-level, A-level examinations in Forest of Dean in 1977, 1976 and 1975, respectively.

Truancy

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many prosecutions were brought against parents for non-attendance of children in the Greater Manchester county districts during each of the past five years.

Statistics concerning prosecutions brought against parents for the non-attendance of their children at school are not available. Information is, however, published by the Home Office on the total number of prosecutions under the Education Acts and it seems likely that the majority of those are prosecutions for non-attendance under Section 39 of the Education Act 1944. The numbers of such prosecutions in the Greater Manchester police area, since local government reorganisation, are:

1974 (April-December)235
1975486
1976453
Figures for 1977 are not yet available.

Probationary Teachers

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether a probationary teacher has a right to see reports on him which are made by education advisers or others; and if there is any agreement with the National Union of Teachers on this matter.

The probationary teacher has no statutory right to see any reports on him. There is no national agreement with the teachers' associations on the matter.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether it is in order for a local authority to expect a probationary teacher to spend most of his time teaching mathematics even if he was engaged on the understanding that his post would be in his speciality and he has no relevant mathematics qualification; and if she will make a statement.

Authorities have been advised by my Department that probationary teachers should be working in conditions which give them a fair chance of showing their practical proficiency. Should a teacher fail to complete probation satisfactorily in the circumstances described he would be justified in citing the facts in any subsequent representation and they would no doubt weigh heavily in his favour.

Nursery Education (Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what was the expenditure on nursery education in Gloucestershire in 1976–77 and 1977–78; and what is the planned expenditure in 1978–79;(2) what was the expenditure on nursery education in: Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Avon, Somerset, Gwent and Hertfordshire in 1976–77 and 1977–78; and what is the planned expenditure for 1978–79.

Analyses of the net recurrent expenditure of each local education authority contained in "Education Estimates Statistics" for financial years 1976–77 and 1977–78 published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy—CIPFA—show no expenditure for Gloucestershire under the heading nursery education: the authority closed its only nursery school in July 1976 but will clearly have incurred some expenditure after 1st April 1976. CIPFA statistics of actual expenditure for financial years 1976–77 and 1977–78 and estimates for 1978–79 are not yet available: following is the other information requested, extracted from "Education Estimates Statistics", copies of which are avialable in the Library.

NET ESTIMATES OF RECURRENT EXPENDITURE: NURSERY EDUCATION
£000
Financial years
1976–77*1977–78
Avon1,007697
Somerset6672
Wiltshire1217
Hereford and Worcester.96112
Gwent1,231923
Hertfordshire1,6611,608
* 1976–77 estimates at 1976 Survey prices.
† 1977–78 estimates at 1977 Survey prices.

Roman Catholic-Anglican Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she foresees any obstacles in giving full departmental recognition to joint Roman Catholic and Anglican voluntary aided schools, both primary and secondary.

My right hon. Friend foresees no particular obstacles to approving the establishment of such schools. The criteria for recognition of joint or ecumenical schools are identical to those for voluntary aided schools in general.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many joint Roman Catholic and Anglican voluntary schools have already been established in England and Wales; and how many more are the subject of proposals now before her.

This information cannot readily be extracted from the Department's records, but only a very few RC-Anglican joint schools have been established since September 1973 when St. Cuthbert Mayne School in Torquay, the first such venture, was established.My right hon. Friend is aware that joint schemes are being considered by promoters in a number of areas. She is presently considering a proposal for a joint scheme in Richmond, Surrey, to be formed through the amalgamation of St. Mary Magdalene CE School and St. Edward the Confessor RC School.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she is aware of any contractual difficulties in establishing inter-denominational voluntary schools such as joint Roman Catholic and Anglican schools.

My right hon. Friend is not aware of any difficulties of this kind.

University Entrants

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many pupils went on to university from West Gloucestershire, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, and South Gloucester, in 1977, 1976 and 1975, respectively.

I regret that information is not available in the detail requested. In 1976–77 there were 635 fulltime and sandwich undergraduate new entrants to universities in the United Kingdom from Gloucestershire.

School Population (Gloucestershire)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the total schools population of West Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean, Cheltenham, Stroud, Gloucester and South Gloucestershire and Cirencester and Tewkesbury, respectively.

Statistics in respect of the specified areas of Gloucestershire are not readily available. However, in January 1977 the total number of pupils attending all schools situated in Gloucestershire was 100,781.

Handicapped Children (Warnock Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when the report of the Warnock Committee on the education of handicapped children and young people will be published; and if she will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, and I have today published the Committee's report—Cmnd. 7212. Copies are available in the Vote Office. In reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Kings-wood (Mr. Walker) on 26th April—[Vol. 948, c. 575.]—I expressed thanks to Mrs. Warnock and her colleagues for their work and announced the Government's intention to consult widely before reaching decisions on the report's recommendations. Consultations with interested bodies will be initiated in due course.

Social Services

Romsley Hill Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to announce his decision regarding the future of Romsley Hill Hospital.

Widow's Pensions

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail the entitlement to pension of a woman who was widowed and received a widow's pension under 60 years of age, who remarries a man not yet retired, both until his retirement and thereafter, both in the case of remarriage between 60 and 65 years for that woman and over 65 years.

Widow's pension is payable until age 65 but ceases on remarriage. From age 60, however, a widow also has an alternative title, subject to her retirement or her reaching age 65, to a retirement pension on her husband's contributions at the same rate as the widow's pension she was receiving immediately before she reached age 60. A retirement pension does not cease on remarriage.Where, therefore, a widow remarries between the ages of 60 and 65 she will lose her widow's pension, but she will be entitled, on retirement or on reaching age 65, to a retirement pension on her first husband's contributions at the same rate as the widow's pension, regardless of whether her remarriage took place before or after her retirement. Remarriage after age 65 does not affect title to retirement pension on a previous husband's contributions.Moreover, provided she has retired or reached age 65, she may also have an alternative title to a retirement pension on her own contributions, or, subject to her second husband retiring or reaching age 70, to a retirement pension on his contributions. For the purpose of determining her title to a retirement pension on her own contributions, she can substitute her first husband's contribution record for her own for a period up to his death. She will receive whichever pension is from time to time the more advantageous to her.Under the new pensions scheme, where title first arises on or after 6th April 1979, the woman will be able to combine any pension on her own contributions alone with the higher of the pensions on the contributions of her husbands up to a prescribed maximum.A retirement pension payable to a widow between the ages of 60 and 65 is subject to the earnings rule but may not be reduced below the amount of the widow's pension which would have been payable if she had not been receiving a retirement pension. In addition to any retirement pension, a widow may receive any increments as a result of deferred retirement and any graduated retirement benefit to which she may be entitled.

Hospital Closures

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many hospital closures in England he has approved in the last 12 months; in how many cases the closure was opposed by the community health council concerned; and if he will list in the Official Report the cases where he upheld the community health council and refused the closure.

Only closure proposals opposed by the local community health council, a minority of all such proposals, come to my right hon. Friend for final decision. In the period 1st June 1977 to 22nd May 1978, 22 closures have been approved, including two part closures, and three proposals for closure submitted have not been approved, including one part closure. They are:

St. Nicholas' Hospital, Plumstead;
Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire—part closure— and
Oakmere Rehabilitation Centre, Cheshire

Drug Trials

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether, in the light of the comments in Volume 16, Number 5, 3rd March 1978, of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, he will disallow the cost of the Winthrop benorylate compliance study to count as research expenditure under the terms of the pharmaceutical price regulation scheme;(2) what steps he currently takes to assess whether commercially-sponsored projects involving general practitioners in prescribing a particular drug company's products for reward are scientifically sound and ethically proper;(3) whether he will take steps to prevent general practitioners from taking part in projects involving the prescription of drugs to their patients for reward, where the scientific value is exceeded by the commercial benefit to the drug company concerned.

I refer my hon. Friend to the general statement on clinical trials in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Pavitt) on 22nd March.—[Vol. 946, c. 603.]Where a clinical trial is in accordance with the relevant product licence my Department's inquiries are directed to the question of whether any payments made to the practitioner are commensurate with the work entailed. Any suggestion of payments in excess of this would be taken up as a possible breach of the Code of Practice of the Pharmaceutical Industry.The information about the study of benorylate does not suggest that objections could be raised to the study on these grounds and I am advised that the trial could be justified as a basis for obtaining clinical data.

Abortion

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why information on statistics of legally-induced abortion which used to be published in the Registrar General's Statistical Review of England and Wales is no longer made available in the latest Her Majesty's Stationery Office publication on the subject.

The Registrar-General's publication on statistics of abortions was revised in 1974, and account was taken of suggestions and criticisms that had been made. A number of new tables were introduced and others were omitted. The decision to suspend coding of social and occupation factors, partly for economic reasons and partly because of the limited quality of the information, led to the omission of several tables.

Jersey And Guernsey

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what services his Department provides (a) to the States of Jersey and (b) to the States of Guernsey; and what charges are made for such services.

The principal services provided by my Department to the States of Jersey and the States of Guernsey are as follows:—

  • (a) Pricing of pharmaceutical prescriptions and provisions of medical supplies purchased under NHS central purchasing arrangements. A charge is made for the full cost of both of these services.
  • (b) Treatment in NHS hospitals, under the terms of a reciprocal health care agreement, for residents of the Islands where treatment cannot be provided by the Islands' services. Costs are balanced against these incurred by the Islands' authorities in treating British visitors.
  • (c) Arrangements for medical examinations and other services under the terms of a reciprocal social security agreement, which provides that charges shall be waived.
  • (d) Use by the States of Jersey of the Department's computer installation to process social security information. A charge is made for the full cost of this service.
  • North-West Region (Health Facilities)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the fact that the capital stock in health facilities in the North-West based on the region's weighted population is approximately £108 million below average, he will revise the allocations for capital expenditure currently proposed for 1979 to 1982 by upgrading the North-West in order to bring it into parity of provision with other regions.

    We are fully aware of the needs of the region for capital resources, and the assumption within which it has been asked to plan its capital programme for the years 1979–80 to 1981–82 is higher in relation to weighted population than

    Area Health AuthorityHospitalAverage daily number of available beds in 1977
    WiganBillinge160
    Atherleiph116
    Astley56
    Whelley70
    BoltonBolton General194
    Hulton100
    Wilkinson49
    BuryFairfield92
    Florence Nightingale44
    Robinson Kay50
    RochdaleBirch Hill131
    Marland94
    SalfordHope38
    Ladywell230
    Eccles and Patricroft22
    OldhamOldham and District General233
    Westhulme25
    TraffordBridgewater134
    Denzell Continuation19
    Ashton on Mersey19
    StockportStepping Hill51
    St. Thomas'187
    Cherry Tree6
    Mauldeth Home77
    TamesideTameside General106
    Hyde91
    Shire Hill74
    Manchester North DistrictNorth Manchester General309
    Monsall37
    Manchester South DistrictWithington329
    Wythenshawe132
    Greater Manchester Total3,275
    Detailed information about the catchment areas for individual hospitals is not available centrally.

    that of any other region. It represents the highest planning assumption we can fairly offer to the North-Western Region having regard to current public expenditure forecasts and to the relative needs of other regions.

    Actual allocations, and the speed with which inequalities between regions can be reduced, will depend on the relative needs of regions as assessed year by year and the capital resources available.

    Geriatric Beds

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the number of geriatric beds available in the Greater Manchester County, giving a breakdown on a hospital-by-hospital basis and defining the catchment area for each hospital.

    Asbestosis (Appeals)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received recommendations for the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council to relax the right of appeal to medical arbitration tribunals for people who have had claims for disability benefit for asbestosis rejected by pneumoconiosis medical panels; when any new rules will come into operation; and if he will make a statement.

    The proposals referred to in my reply to my hon. Friend on 2nd May have now been considered by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council and I shall shortly be making a statement.—[Vol. 949, c. 86.]

    Doctors' Lists (Greenwich And Bexley)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients have been removed from general practitioners' lists at the request of the doctor in the Greenwich and Bexley area during each year since 1974.

    Number of children on the registers of local authority Day NurseriesMaximum number of children permitted to receive full Day Care in Registered Premises
    1975197619751976
    Bolton273277None12
    Bury96118NoneNone
    Manchester1,1331,147213248
    Oldham344277183132
    Rochdale247235142206
    Salford300315120151
    Stockport1631839962
    Tameside433406None50
    Trafford427398387141
    Wigan26728358None

    Doctors (Practice Expenses)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the current regulations affecting the right of a general practitioner to claim practice expenses in respect of remuneration paid to his wife.

    The salary a general practitioner pays to his wife for work in his NHS practice is normally reimbursed with other practice expenses which are included on an average basis in the fees and allowances. On 1st April 1978, however, an experimental scheme was started whereby a single-handed rural doctor can claim an

    The figures are as follows:

    1st April to 31st December 1974656
    1st January 1975 to 30th September 1975680
    (a whole-year figure for 1975 is not available)
    1st January to 31st December 1976550
    1st January to 31st December 1977609

    Day Nurseries

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children attended day nurseries in the county districts of the Greater Manchester Metropolitan County over the last five years.

    The number of children on the register of local authority day nurseries and the maximum number of children permitted to receive full day care in registered premises are given below, as at 31st March 1975 and 1976. Statistics prior to 1st April 1974 would not be comparable because of local authority reorganisation, but information relating to the old local authorities is in the Library. Figures for 1977 are not readily available.allowance for the work done by his wife on one or more of certain specified duties in the practice. The amount of the allowance is related to the average direct reimbursement of salary for unrelated staff doing similar duties.

    Kidney Dialysis Treatment

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the latest figures available for the numbers receiving kidney dialysis treatment at home and in hospital; what is the cost per patient; what plans he has for using the additional resources provided in the Budget; and what further steps he is taking to increase the total receiving treatment.

    At 30th June 1977 there were 2,375 patients on dialysis in England and Wales of whom 1,644 were being dialysed in their own homes. The annual running cost of maintaining a patient on haemodialysis is estimated to be approximately £10,000 in hospital and £6,000 at home.My Department is discussing with regional health authorities and representatives from dialysis units how the high rate of expansion in the dialysis services, envisaged by the budget announcement may most appropriately be implemented. A further announcement will be made when we have completed consultations.

    Means Tests

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many different means tests are currently in use; and if he will list them together with a summary of the criteria in each case.