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Written Answers

Volume 957: debated on Thursday 9 November 1978

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 9th November 1978

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

Q4.

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the progress of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in so far as British interests are affected.

Progress in these talks has been marked by close consultation at all stages by the United States with the United Kingdom and other NATO allies. Her Majesty's Government welcome the progress that has been made so far and hope that it will soon be possible to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion. Both the United States and the Soviet Union have expressed a positive wish to reach an early agreement, and it seems possible that the outstanding contentious matters can be resolved by further negotiation. An important feature of such an agreement would be the dismantling of certain nuclear systems and this would constitute an important contribution to peace and detente.

President Carter

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister when he proposes next to meet President Carter.

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 9th November.

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if he will provide a list of his official engagements for 9th November.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 9th November.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 9th November.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his public engagements for 9th November.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his public engagements for Thursday 9th November.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 9th November.

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 9th November.

Q33.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q38.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 9th November.

Q41.

asked the Minister if he will list his official engage-engagements for 9th November.

Q44.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 9th November.

This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall be holding further meetings with ministerial colleagues and others.

Tuc And Cbi

Tuc And Cbi

Q8.

Q15.

Q17.

Q19.

Q20.

Q9.

I refer the hon. Member and my hon. Friends to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner).

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister when he last met representatives of the TUC and CBI.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Gould).

Q39.

I meet representatives of the CBI from time to time, at NEDC and on other occasions. Further meetings will be arranged as necessary.

South Africa

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will pay an official visit to South Africa.

City Of London

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to the City of London.

National Economic Development Council

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister when he next expects to take the chair at the NEDC.

Q30.

Nether Alderley

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if he has any plans to visit Nether Alderley.

Bank Of England

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister when he expects next to meet the Governor of the Bank of England.

Secretary Of State For Industry

Q37.

asked the Prime Minister if he will list the responsibilities he has allocated to the Secretary of State for Industry.

The Secretary of State for Industry is responsible for general industrial policy, including the Government's industrial strategy, and financial assistance to industry, though some of his responsibilities in the latter field relate only to England. He sponsors the National Enterprise Board, the British Steel Corporation, the Post Office, Cable and Wireless Limited, British Aerospace and British Shipbuilders, as well as the general manufacturing industries. The Secretary of State is also responsible for industrial research and the operation of the Government's industrial research establishments, and for the business statistics office.

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Q40.

asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Newcastle upon Tyne.

Broadcasting (Ministerial Duties)

Q43.

asked the Prime Minister if he plans any changes in the allocation of ministerial duties regarding broadcasting.

The hon. Member may assume that I do not intend to make any changes in departmental organisation or responsibilities unless and until I make a statement to the contrary.

Merseyside

Civil Service

Appointments (Classified Information Posts)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the policy of the Government towards the appointment of homosexuals to Civil Service posts handling documents and information of a high security classification.

Homosexuality is not in itself a bar to employment in the Civil Service on work involving access to classified information. There are no hard and fast rules relating to the employment of homosexuals on work of this nature; each case is considered on its merits.

Education And Science

Bromley Local Education Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she last met representatives of the Bromley local education authority.

There are regular contacts at official level between my Department and the Bromley local education authority. Members of the authority have not asked to see my right hon. Friend, and she has not had any occasion to ask to see them.

School Staffing Ratios

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if there will be an improvement in staffing ratios of schools in 1979–80; and if reasonable central support will be available to secure this.

Forward expenditure plans, as published in Cmnd. 7049, allow for a continued improvement in overall pupil-teacher ratios in the school year 1979–80. Details will be announced after the rate support grant settlement for 1979–80—financial year—is announced on 24th November.

Nursery Education

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will list the 18 education authorities with the worst record of educational provision for children under five.

The latest available statistics show that the percentage of the 3 and 4-year-old population receiving education—that is either in nursery schools and classes, or in primary schools—was lowest in the following 18 local education authorities:

  • Bexley
  • Bromley
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Hampshire
  • Hereford and Worcester
  • Kent
  • Oxfordshire
  • Redbridge
  • Salop
  • Surrey
  • Sutton
  • Trafford
  • West Sussex
  • Wiltshire

Home Department

Firearms And Shot-Guns

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the conditions printed on a firearms certificate and a shot-gun certificate are explicit and adequate to guide the owner of a firearm or shot-gun concerning the requirements specified in the Firearms Act 1968.

Yes. The conditions printed on a shot-gun certificate and a firearm certificate, prescribed in rules 2 and 11 of the Firearms Rules 1969, are not intended to be a guide to the full provisions of the Firearms Act 1968.

High Point Prison, Suffolk

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any prisoners convicted of sex offences are currently serving sentences at High Point prison in Suffolk; whether any of these have been regraded during the past 12 months; and whether he has changed his policy that High Point will be used for category C and D prisoners only.

On 3rd November 1978 four prisoners convicted of sexual offences were serving sentences of imprisonment at High Point. All were allocated to security category C in 1978. There has been no change of current policy as regards the use of this establishment for category C and category D prisoners only.

Prevention Of Terrorism

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; how many have been subsequently charged with offences; and with what offences they have been charged.

3,555 people have been detained in Great Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974 and 1976. An extension of detention under section 7 of the 1974 Act or section 12 of the 1976 Act has been approved in 288 cases; a further 721 people were detained for 48 hours or less. 2,546 people have been detained pending further examination at ports under the supplemental orders made under the Acts.147 people detained under the Acts have been charged with offences in Great Britain. Twenty of them have been charged with offences under the Acts. Four of the remainder have been charged with murder; three with attempted murder; one with conspiracy to murder 18 with conspiracy to cause explosions; 12 with unlawful possession of explosives; one with conspiracy to possess or procure explosives with intent to endanger life; 12 with offences under the Firearms Act 1968; one with causing an explosion; five with conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue; 22 with theft; eight with burglary; one with causing criminal damage; one with threatening to cause criminal damage; one with attempting criminal deception; one with taking a motor vehicle; one with unlawful wounding; two with possession of drugs; three with wasting police time; one with harbouring a person known to have committed an arrestable offence; four with assault on police; one with being found on enclosed premises; one with possessing an offensive weapon; four with offences under the Road Traffic Act 1972; five with criminal deception; one with obtaining a passport by deception; one with arson; and six with non-payment of fines. In addition, five people have been removed to the Irish Republic, and there charged, three with burglary; one with robbery; and one with theft.Thirty-five people have been returned to Northern Ireland, and there charged, eight with murder; four with robbery; five with firearms offences; four with unlawful possession of explosives; five with causing an explosion; one with the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle; five with burglary; two with arson; and one with riotous behaviour.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been charged with offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; and under which sections of the Act the charges have been brought.

Twenty-four people have been charged in Great Britain with offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976: three under sections 10(1)(a); two under sections 10(1)(a)and 10(2); two under section 10(1); eight under section 10(1)(b); three under section 1(1)(b); two under section 9(1); two under section 9(2)(a); and two under section 11(1). Four people were charged in Great Britain under section 1(1)(b) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974. Not all these people were initially detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been served with exclusion orders under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; how many have been deported (a) to Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland; how many have appealed against exclusion orders; and how many appeals have been successful.

156 exclusion orders have been made under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976. Notice of the making of an exclusion order has been served on 148 people, 141 of whom have been removed, 116 to Northern Ireland and 25 to the Republic of Ireland. Twenty-four of the 148 made representations objecting to the order. The order was revoked in seven of these cases. One case is still under consideration.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has refused an extension of five days to the police for the holding of a suspect under the Prevention of Terrorism Act; and, if so, on how many occasions.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department of the charges brought against suspects initially held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, whether any have been dropped before the case was heard; if so, which charges; whether any charges have led to an unsuccessful prosecution; if so, which charges; whether any charges have led to a successful prosecution; and if so, what was the sentence imposed in each case.

Details of the outcome of the more serious charges made in Great Britain are as follows:

Charges for offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974 (4)

Four people were charged under section 1(1)(b). Three were acquitted, and one was convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment and fined £400.

Charges for offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976 (16)

Three people have been charged under section 1(1)(b). One was convicted and sentenced to one day's imprisonment and the other two await trial. Two people have been charged and convicted under section 9(1); one was fined £50; the other was sentenced to three months' imprisonment. Two people have been charged and convicted under section 9(2)(a); one was fined £100 the other was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.
Two people have been charged under sections 10(1)(a) and 10(2). They were convicted and sentenced to eight years' and two years' imprisonment respectively. Two people have been charged under section 10(1). One was convicted and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment; the other was acquitted.
Three people have been charged under section 10(1)(a) and are awaiting trial. Two people have been charged under section 11(1). One was acquitted but sentenced to two years' imprisonment on another charge; the other was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

Murder (4)

Four people have been charged; three have been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment; in the other case, the charge was not proceeded with.

Attempted Murder (3)

Three people have been charged, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Conspiracy to Murder (1)

One person has been charged and is awaiting trial.

Conspiracy to cause explosions (18)

Eighteen people have been charged and fourteen convicted. Two have been sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment; one to 15 years' imprisonment; one to 14 years' imprisonment, one to 12 years', six to 10 years', one to seven years', one to five years', and one to four years'. Two cases were not proceeded with, and two are awaiting trial.

Unlawful possession of explosives (12)

Twelve people have been charged; one has been acquitted and 10 have been convicted. Two were sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment, two to 12 years' imprisonment, two to 10 years', one to seven years', one to five years' and two to four years'. One person is awaiting trial.

Conspiracy to possess or procure explosives with intent to endanger life (1)

One person has been charged and acquitted.

Offences under the Firearms Act 1968 (12)

Twelve people have been charged and convicted. Two were sentenced to two years' imprisonment, two were sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment (suspended) and fined £100; one was fined £150, one £105, one £100, one £60, one £25 and one £20; one was sentenced to three months' imprisonment. In one case the person concerned was admonished and ordered to forfeit his firearms and ammunition.

Police Force

Number of Detentions

Number of Applications for Extensions of Detention

England—

Metropolitan Police799104
Avon and Somerset Constabulary393
Bedfordshire Police470
Cambridgeshire Constabulary00
Cheshire Constabulary81
City of London Police248
Cleveland Constabulary71
Cumbria Constabulary42
Derbyshire Constabulary10
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary305
Dorset Police160
Durham Constabulary00

Causing an explosion (1)

One person has been charged, convicted and sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.

Persons returned to Northern Ireland and there charged

Murder (8)

Eight people have been charged; one was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, and seven are awaiitng trial.

Robbery (4)

Four people have been charged; one was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment, one was sentenced to a term of borstal training and two people are awaiting trial.

Firearms Offences (5)

Five people have been charged and three convicted. One was sentenced to four years' imprisonment (suspended), one to two years' imprisonment (suspended) and one to three months' imprisonment (suspended). Two are awaiting trial.

Unlawful possession of explosives (4)

Four people have been charged; in one case, the charge was not proceeded with, and one is awaiting trial. One person was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment and one person was sentenced to nine months' detention.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish in the Official Report the number of arrests and detentions by each regional police force of persons within their area under the terms of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; in how many cases applications were made for detention to be extended by a further five days; and in how many cases it was refused.

The total numbers of persons detained in England and Wales under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976 for each police force are as follows:

Police Force

Number of Detentions

Number of Applications for Extensions of Detention

Essex Police376
Gloucestershire Constabulary110
Greater Manchester Police613
Hampshire Constabulary14867
Hertfordshire Constabulary00
Humberside Constabulary50
Kent Constabulary469
Lancashire Constabulary675
Leicestershire Constabulary80
Lincolnshire Constabulary20
Merseyside Police92418
Norfolk Constabulary00
Northamptonshire Police201
Northumbria Police50
North Yorkshire Police10
Nottinghamshire Constabulary30
South Yorkshire Police10
Staffordshire Police00
Suffolk Police80
Surrey Constabulary8225
Sussex Police310
Thames Valley Police175
Warwickshire Constabulary00
West Mercia Constabulary21
West Midlands Police1069
West Yorkshire (Metropolitan) Police1277
Wiltshire Constabulary30

Wales—

Dyfed Powys Police590
Gwent Constabulary32
North Wales Police530
South Wales Constabulary612
2,866284
In addition, 689 people have been detained under the legislation in Scotland, in respect of four of whom extensions of detention were granted.
In no case has an application for an extension of detention been refused.

Police (Wales)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, and if so, to what extent, the

Strength
Authorised EstablishmentOrdinary dutyVacanciesDeficiency percentage
Dyfed Powys91690790·98
Gwent974942323·29
North Wales1,2761,241352·74
South Wales3,0692,8701996·48
TOTAL6,2355,9602754·41

Civil Prisoners

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what statutory provision the position of civil prisoners is defined; in what way their treatment differs from that of prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment; and if he will make a statement.

four police forces in Wales are currently below establishment.

The term "civil prisoner" is used for administrative convenience within the prison service to denote prisoners committed or attached for contempt of court, or for failing to do something required by the court. Under prison rule 63(1) certain privileges enjoyed by unconvicted prisoners are extended to them. These privileges relate to clothing, letters and visits and are defined in rules 20(1) and 34(1).

Unlicensed Firearms

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the growing practice of sheikhs and other high ranking Arabs travelling with guards carrying unlicensed firearms, what action he intends to take.

None. The unauthorised possession of firearms is an offence against the law, the enforcement if which is a matter for the police.

Public Bodies (Members' Pay And Expenses)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what annual increases in the rates of pay of the chairman, deputy chairman and commissioners of the Equal Opportunities Commission have been introduced since April 1976; and what were the expenses claimed by each during the last year for which figures were available.

Details of the salaries paid to the full-time chairman and deputy chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission are available in the directory of paid public appointments. Part-time commissioners receive a fee for each day's attendance. On 1st April 1976, the fee payable was £16 per day. This has been increased to ££17 per day from 1st July 1976. £18 per day from 1st July 1977 and £19.50 from 1st July 1978.The expenses claimed during the 1977–78 financial year by the chairman, deputy chairman and commissioners totalled £25,574. Individual figures cannot be provided without disproportionate effort.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what annual increases in the rates of pay of the chairman, deputy chairman and members of the Commission for Racial Equality have been introduced since 1976; and what were the expenses claimed by each during the last year for which figures are available.

The Commission for Racial Equality was established on 13th June 1977. At that time, the salaries paid to the full-time chairman and deputy chairman were £12,000 per annum and £8,000 per annum—excluding pay supplements—respectively. These were increased to £13,430 and £9,375 from 1st January 1978.The part-time commissioners, who include two part-time deputy chairmen, receive a fee for each day's attendance. On 13th June 1977, the fee payable was £17 per day. This has been increased to £18 per day from 1st July 1977 and to £1950 per day from 1st July 1978.The expenses claimed during the 1977–78 financial year by the chairman, deputy chairman and commissioners totalled £7,595. Individual figures cannot be provided without disproportionate effort.

Local Radio Stations

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the establishment of a local radio station to cover the areas of the Thamesdown borough council and the Kennet district council.

I announced my approval in principle for the locations of 18 new stations in the first phase of local radio expansion on 24th October.—[Vol. 955, c. 861–2.] The Home Office local radio working party is continuing its consideration of the future development of local radio to fulfil the Government's intention that local radio should be brought to as much of the population of the United Kingdom as possible as soon as possible. The working party will publish reports on the possibilities from time to time and I will reach decisions on the working party's proposals in the light of comments from the public and after such further consultation with the BBC and the IBA as may be necessary.I hope to be in a position to announce the locations of further new local radio stations in the course of 1979.

Firearms (Licensing)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the criteria for the granting of a licence to deal in arms; and what assessment is made of the applicant's character before such a licence is granted.

Any person who applies to the chief officer of police for the area in which his business is situated is entitled to be registered as a firearms dealer unless (a) he is prohibited under the Firearms Act 1968 from being registered; or (b) the chief officer is satisfied that he cannot be permitted to carry on business as a dealer in firearms without danger to the public or to the peace.In considering an application the chief officer of police would have regard to the character and background of the applicant, his experience and knowledge of firearms, and the security of his premises.

"Prison Medical Journal"

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the article in the Prison Medical Journal referred to The Sunday Times of 22nd October 1978.

Yes. I am arranging for the last issue and future issues of the Prison Medical Journal to be placed in the Library.

Kingston Upon Thames (Violent Crime)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a table in the Official Report to show the absolute and percentage increases in crimes involving violence in each year since 1970 in the Royal borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Environment

Inner Cities

27.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the progress of discussions with programme authorities on the inner cities policy.

All 15 programme authorities have now submitted their first inner area programmes, putting together the views of all the agencies involved and presenting a co-ordinated strategy for action in the areas where the problems are most severe. The programmes are currently being considered and authorities will be informed of the outcome soon.

Blocks Of Flats (Co-Ownership)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had on extending the idea of the co-ownership of blocks of flats; and if he will make a statement.

I am still considering the whole range of problems facing tenants and leaseholders of blocks of flats. My Department is in touch with organisations representing residents in such blocks.

Wildlife Preservation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will bring forward proposals to ensure that the importance of the area as wildlife habitat is one of the criteria taken into account when considering applications for major development and reclamation.

This has been done. The importance of nature conservation and concern that it should be fully taken into account when planning decisions are taken were expressed in circular 108/77. My right hon. Friend looks to local authorities to take full account of nature conservation factors both in formulating structure and local plans and in the consideration of individual planning applications.

Liverpool Street Station

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has yet received any proposals for the redevelopment of Liverpool Street station; and whether he will make a statement.

I called in proposals submitted by the British Railways board in 1976 to demolish and redevelop Liverpool Street and Broad Street stations with improved underground and bus interchanges, offices, shops and community facilities. A public inquiry was held and the Inspector reported in October 1977. These are major and complex proposals, and their full consideration is necessarily taking rather longer than usual. I will make a statement when I announce the decision on the scheme, which I hope to do soon.

Housing Policy (Technical Information)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide the information necessary to up-date Tables VIII 2, 5, 25 and 26 in Technical

TABLE VIII.2 (REVISED): CHANGES IN THE STOCK OF LOCAL AUTHORITY DWELLINGS: ENGLAND AND WALES
Thousands
1975–761976–771977–78*
Total at start of year4,7484,8704,902
Gains
Completions112109104
Acquisitions (from developers)1NilNil
Acquisitions (others)162214
Net gain from conversions122
Total gains130133120
Losses
Sales2614
Slum clearance111
Temporary houses demolished321
Other losses222
Total losses81118
Total at end of year4,8704,9925,094†
Net Gain122122102
Discretionary improvements413331
*Provisional figures; partly estimated and subject to revisions.
†Excludes 94,000 new town dwellings transferred on 1st April 1978.
TABLE VIII.5 (REVISED): TYPES OF HOUSES IN LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSING STOCK: ENGLAND AND WALES 1978
Thousands
Pre 19451945–641965 or laterAll ages
Houses and Bungalows
One bedroom198074173
Two bedrooms190362182734
Three bedrooms7531,0234242,200
Total9621,4656803,107
Flats
One bedroom39242403684
Two bedrooms 45347294686
Three bedrooms28116114258
Total1127058111,628
Dwellings with four or more bedrooms (houses and flats)475551153
Unclassified (mostly acquired by purchase)*......206
Total1,1212,2251,5425,094
*The 170,000 acquired dwellings shown in table VIII.3 of technical volume 3 of the housing policy Green Paper, plus "acquisitions" in 1976–77 and 1977–78 as shown in table VIII.2 (revised). Detail of dwellings sold, or withdrawn from the stock in other ways, is not sufficient to allocate them other than pro rata. For this reason, and because the returns are not complete, the figures in this table are estimates that cannot be relied on to the nearest 1,000.

Volume III of the Green Paper "Housing Policy", Command Paper No. 6851, to 1st April 1978 or the latest convenient date.

The revised tables are as follows:

TABLE VIII.25 (REVISED): AVERAGE LOCAL AUTHORITY RENTS BY TYPE, AGE AND SIZE OF DWELLING AT APRIL 1978: ENGLAND AND WALES
£ a week
Dwellings built before 1945Dwellings built 1945–64Dwellings built since 1964Dwellings completed in 1977–78
Houses
Two bedrooms4·875·576·406·96
Three bedrooms5·336·177·067·75
Bungalows
Two bedrooms3·884·465·065·57
Three bedrooms4·494·895·756·43
Flats
One bedroom4·054·825·395·86
Two bedrooms5·115·836·587·35
Three bedrooms5·816·807·528·99
Note: The figures for dwellings built before 1945 and in 1945–64 refer to the same dwellings—apart from there being a few differences in the District Councils providing figures—as the corresponding figures in table VIII.25 in technical volume III of the housing policy Green Paper. But the rents of dwellings built since 1964 include in addition dwellings completed in 1976–77 and 1977–78—about 213,000—see the revised table VIII.2.
TABLE VIII.26 (REVISED): CHANGES IN AVERAGE LOCAL AUTHORITY RENTS BY TYPE OF DWELLING 1969–78
31st March 1969 (£ a week)1st April 1978 (£ a week)Increase (£ a week)Increase (per cent.)
Two bedroom houses
Pre 19451·564·873·31212
1945–641·955·573·62186
Three bedroom houses
Pre 19451·755·333·58205
1945–642·166·174·01186
One bedroom flats
Pre 19451·364·052·69198
1945–641·764·823·06174
Two bedroom flats
Pre 19451·915·113·20168
1945–642·255·833·58159
Three bedroom flats
Pre 19452·115·813·70175
1945–642·826·803·98141
Note: The reference in the note to table VIII.25 (revised) about comparability with table VIII.25 of technical volume III applies also to this table.

Sports Council

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if the recent increase in the grant to the Sports Council applies solely for the remainder of the current financial year; and if the grants for 1979–80 and 1980–81 will be increased at the same rate.

The increase that I announced recently is for the current financial year. The level of grant-in-aid for 1979–80 has yet to be decided.

Returnable Containers

Mr.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress the Waste Management Advisory Council has made on its deliberation on the public benefits of returnable containers;

and when he proposes to take steps to introduce mandatory deposits on all containers of edible liquids to encourage their return.

The working party which is examining the environmental and economic implications of different container systems expects to report early next year. I hope that this study will provide the basis for a decision on whether restrictions on non-returnable containers are needed.

Rate Support Grant

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the amount of rate support grant payable to the Kent county council in each of the years 1968–69 to 1978–79; what was the value of the grant in real terms related to 1968–69 prices; and what proportion of the county's total expenditure this represented in each year.

The amount paid in rate support grant to the Kent county council for each of the years 1968–69 to

YearsGrantGrant expressed at 1968–69 pricesPercentage of total expenditure
££%
1968–6934,334,61934,334,61956·55
1969–7039,611,23838,051,14158·95
1970–7145,892,05240,504,90061·22
1971–7253,687,27842,575,16158·63
1972–7363,365,21046,184,55558·57
1973–7476,303,13951,175,81459·98
1974–7581,806,63645,022,91545·10
1975–7693,595,27341,468,88542·44
1976–7796,764,22137,887,36138·55
1977–7898,039,50634,581,83635·94
1978–7991,890,22029,461,43630–16
For the period 1968–69 to 1973–74 these figures include the payments made to the former Canterbury county borough whose major functions were transferred to the county council in the local government reorganisation in 1974; they include both the resources and needs elements of rate support grant which were payable to these authorities at that time. Since 1974–75 only the needs element is paid direct to the county council and therefore the figures shown do not include resources element.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the value of rate support grant per head of population paid to local authorities in Hertfordshire, the inner London area, and the outer London area in 1978–79; what was the average rate income per head of population in each of these areas; and what are the corresponding figures for each of the last five years.

HertfordshireInner LondonOuter London
Grant per headRate income per headGrant per headRate income per headGrant per headRate income per head
££££££
1973–746260561305262
1974–7579701031527272
1975–761029012624095108
1976–77105109160275110113
1977–7897128149283127115
1978–7998140158298143117
An increase order has yet to be made in respect of 1978–79 grant.

Community Land Act (House Construction)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses are being erected or are being completed in England on land provided under the Community Land Act.

Comprehensive information is not available, but land for at least 1,600–1,700 houses has been made available to private developers under the community land scheme and we estimate that at least a half of the houses have

1977–78 and the latest figures for 1978–79, together with the estimated value of the grant, in each of the years, related to 1968–69 prices; and the proportion of the county's total expenditure this represented is as follows:

The amounts paid in rate support grant per head of population to local authorities in Hertfordshire, the inner London area, and the outer London area, for each of the years from 1973—74 to 1977—78, and the latest estimates for 1978–79, together with the average rate income per head of population in each of these areas over the corresponding period, are set out below:been completed or started. Many other houses are being built on land owned by authorities before 6th April 1976 and subsequently released to private house-builders.

Inner Urban Areas Act

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average percentage for districts designated in London under the Inner Urban Areas Act for each of the following categories, together with the equivalent percentage in respect of the London borough of Camden (a) population loss, (b) over-crowded households, (c) single parent families, (d) pensioners, (e) unemployed, and (f) lack of basic amenities.

The decision to designate particular districts took into account the scale and intensity of social and economic

(a)(b)(c)(d)(e) †(f)
Estimated population lossOvercrowded householdsSingle-parent familiesPensionersUnemployedHouses lacking basic amenities
Average of desig-19,4003,6973,96037,9985,74329,754
nated London8·3%4·2%4·5%15·9%34·2%
Boroughs*
Camden16,9374,4613,21031,9343,79629,723
8·2%5·4%3·9%17·4%36·2%
Notes:
*Brent, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth.
† Unemployment rates are not available separately for individual London boroughs. The figures in the table are based on the total unemployed registered at the local unemployment and careers offices primarily serving each borough. For Camden the figures are those of the Camden Town local employment office area.

Housing (Glc Investment Programme)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the housing investment programme, submitted to him by the Greater London Council, includes details of the proportion of the work on its construction branch contracts that is carried out by private sub-contractors; and if he will publish this information.

British Urban Development Services Unit

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has completed his consideration of the future of the British urban development services unit.

Yes. In view of the limited success which the unit has achieved since it was established I have decided that it should be wound up. I am, however, satisfied that a number of overseas governments remain interested in drawing on the experience and skills of our new towns. My Department has taken over responsibility for the unit's outstanding commitments and will serve as a focal point to deal with any further inquiries for British new town development expertise. These requests will be channelled to the new town development corporations which has set up an overseas engage-

deprivation and also their concentration in parts of those districts. Averages for groups of complete districts can therefore be misleading.

The figures requested are shown in the table below:

ment committee to provide a co-ordinated response to such approaches.

Transport

Vehicle Licensing

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how much will be saved in administrative expenses by the ending of the current scheme for vehicle licensing.

It is estimated that abolition of vehicle excise duty on petrol-driven vehicles would save about £20 million annually in staff and general administrative costs.

Dipped Headlights

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the law relating to the use of dipped lights; and whether the research concluded by his Department in January 1978 will produce any alteration in policy.

My right hon. Friend has no proposals at present for changing the law on the use of dipped headlamps. But he is prepared to consider any representations on the matter.

Traffic Management

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration has been given by his Department to the introduction of traffic management schemes now operating in other countries, notably the United States of America, which in the United Kingdom would permit traffic to turn left against a red traffic light at all junctions.

We regard the North American practice as unacceptable for this country. In the United Kingdom a red light has always meant "stop" for all drivers, whether they propose to turn or go ahead, unless a green arrow signal points to a permitted direction of travel. To allow a left turn against a red signal would devalue the message and lessen road safety.The United Kingdom rule about the red light applies also on the Continent, and indeed the Vienna convention on traffic signs and signals, to which we conform, does not permit turns against red signals in the absence of positive arrows.

A2 (Traffic Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the latest traffic statistics taken at measurement points on the A2 between the Blackwall tunnel and the Greater London Council boundary together with comparative statistics available for dates five years, 10 years, 20 years and 40 years ago and forecasts of future levels of traffic.

The following data are available for 16-hour traffic flows on the trunk road section of the A2 recorded at sites in the London borough of Bexley either side of Danson Road:

ESTIMATED AUGUST TRAFFIC FLOW (0600–2200 HOURS)
YearSite A (to West)Site B (to East)
19549,81411,939
195914,00916,997
196524,09828,745
197132,413
1972..43,108
197639,161..
1977..50,597
.. Not available.
Ten years hence we expect the flow at site B to be about 65,000 vehicles per 16-hour day.From the Bexley-Greenwich boundary westwards towards Kidbrooke and the Blackwall tunnel A102 the route is a metropolitan principal road for which the Greater London Council is the highway authority.

Employment

Government Contracts

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to monitor the equal opportunity policies of firms carrying out contracts for the Government, as proposed in the White Paper on racial discrimination.

In the White Paper "Racial Discrimination" the Government proposed to take a more active role in eliminating racial discrimination in employment by making it a standard condition of Government contracts that contractors should provide on request to the Department of Employment such information about their employment policies and practices as the Department might reasonably require. Proposals for procedures to implement this undertaking have now been prepared and will shortly be the subject of consultations with the CBI, the TUC and the Commission for Racial Equality.

Petroleum (Storage)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many liquid petroleum gas storage sites, containing 15 tons or more, there are in (a) England and (b) Wales; and what percentage of them, in each case, is sited in urban areas;(2) whether there has been a reduction from 100 tons to 15 tons in the definition of liquid petroleum gas storage sites regarded as major hazard sites; and if he will give the date of the change.

I understand from the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that there has been no change in the quantity of liquefied petroleum gas currently specified in guidance to planning authorities as the criteria for identifying major hazard sites. Information about the number of LPG sites containing 15 tons or more is not, therefore, readily available centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost of administrative and inspectoral resources.The Health and Safety Commission has recently published a consultative document containing its proposals for hazardous installations (notification and survey) regulations. Such regulations would make the kind of information sought more readily available in future.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he proposes, in the interests of public safety, to end the anomaly whereby the storage of liquefied petroleum gas is in the majority of cases free from licensing control whereas that of liquefied natural gas is controlled.

I am informed by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that although, in contrast to liquefied natural gas, the storage of liquefied petroleum gas is not subject to the licensing controls of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928, there are, in premises subject to the Factories Act 1961, requirements for the siting, storage and marking of containers for such gases under regulation 7 of the Highly Flammable Liquids and Liquefied Petroleum Gases Regulations 1972. In addition, the Health and Safety Commission has agreed to a review and updating of the legislation governing highly flammable liquids and gases. Preliminary work has already commenced on the preparation of a code of regulations for fuel gases which will include controls on the storage of both liquefied petroleum gas and liquid natural gas. A consultative document setting out proposals for the regulations is to be published.

Trades Union Congress (Staff Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he proposes to take in the light of the TUC's intention to give increases in pay to its staff beyond the Government's pay limit.

I have nothing to add to my reply of 24th October 1978 to my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Lewis)—[Vol. 955, c. 818.]

Special Temporary Employment Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made in setting up a scheme to involve private sector companies in projects for building and landscaping work under the Manpower Services Commission's special temporary employment programme.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that arrangements have now been agreed with trade unions and employers' organisations in the building and landscape industries which will allow schemes funded under the special temporary employment programme—STEP—to be linked with local authority contracts for building and landscape work in inner city areas.The arrangements will run initially for one year and will apply in those inner city areas which the Government have designated as being in need of special help. They will enable STEP funds to be used to provide temporary jobs for the long-term unemployed on building and landscape work put out to contract by local authorities. The main features of the scheme are:

  • (a) Local authorities in consultation with the Manpower Services Commission will identify suitable building and landscape work on publicly owned land and property in the inner city.
  • (b) Contracts will be put out to tender in the normal way, and the local authority will ask the contractor to state the number of jobs he can make available on the project to the long-term unemployed—normally the unskilled element of the work force; the successful contractor may be either a private firm or local authority direct labour department.
  • (c) MSC will be able to fund as a project under STEP the element of the tender which is to provide jobs for the long-term unemployed.
  • (d) As with normal STEP projects, schemes will need the approval of the MSC's area board which includes representatives from local trade unions, employers, local authorities and voluntary organisations.
  • I very much welcome this new initiative as a small but important contribution to the development of the special temporary employment programme. It should provide between 500 and 1,000 temporary jobs for the long-term unemployed. It will assist private companies and direct labour departments to maintain permanent employment for their skilled workers. And it will also enable local authorities to increase the work being carried out to improve our inner cities.

    Energy

    United Kingdom Continental Shelf (Hydrocarbon Installations)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many separate installations are located on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf for the purpose of providing hydrocarbons, including auxiliary function in connection therewith.

    There are at present some 74 offshore installations on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf engaged in the development of the nation's oil and gas resources. This figure includes oil production platforms, gas production platforms and mobile rigs whether employed on drilling work or as accommodation units, but excludes unmanned offshore loading buoys and support vessels—for example, diving ships, barges, safety ships, etc. The number fluctuates with the movement of mobile units, and the installations greatly vary in size.

    Marathon Shipyard, Clydebank

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will issue a direction to the British National Oil Corporation to give a second order for the construction of a drilling rig by Marathon at Clydebank, in view of the critical order position at the yard; and, if not, whether he will make a statement on the future of the yard and the contribution it will make to Scotland's exports of oil industry equipment.

    Urgent discussions are in progress involving a number of potential part users of a jack-up rig, and in which my Department is also engaged, with a view to an order being placed with the Marathon yard at Clydebank. However, this is a complex issue and I cannot at this stage anticipate the outcome. Meanwhile, the question of directing BNOC to acquire such a rig does not arise.

    Conservation

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the detailed arrangements for the United Kingdom energy conservation demonstration projects programme.

    The Department of Energy is today publishing Energy Paper No. 32—"Energy Conservation Research, Development and Demonstration—an initial strategy for industry". This sets out the criteria and detailed arrangements for the Government's programme to demonstrate to industry the benefits of novel applications of existing or improved technology.

    Initially, the Government propose to place emphasis on saving energy at the point of use and on improved process efficiency. Six technologies and six industrial sectors have been identified for priority attention. One objective is to achieve an annual energy saving worth at least £5 for each £1 of Government sup port.

    Government assistance for demonstration projects will combine the traditional shared-cost contract type of arrangement used for R & D projects with the provision of grants. In the case of users of the technology to be demonstrated grant aid will be the norm but it is expected that manufacturers of the project equipment will often prefer the shared cost arrangement.

    Grant aid to users will usually take the form of a Government contribution of up to 25 per cent. of the capital cost of the plant or equipment and its installation. In addition, financial assistance of up to 100 per cent. will be available to cover the installation and operation of monitoring or other special ancillary equipment required for demonstration or testing purposes. In the case of the manufacturer who has the prospect of increased sales of plant or equipment if the demonstration project is successful assistance will generally be provided by means of shared cost arrangements—normally 50 per cent. Over £20 million is available for demonstration projects under the Government's scheme and I hope that companies will take full advantage of the opportunity for demonstrating the benefits, in the forms of energy and cost saving, of improved or adapted technology.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Zambia (Arms Supplies)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether any small-arms are included in the shipment of arms to Zambia; and, if so, of what type and quantity;(2) whether he will publish a full list of types and quantities of armaments being supplied to Zambia as outlined in his statement of 2nd November.

    My right hon. Friend has nothing to add to his statement in the House on 2nd November—[Vol. 957, c. 186–7.]

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the cost of British arms so far despatched or promised to Zambia; approximately how many persons are required to man the anti-aircraft equipment included; what proportion of these crews is British subjects; and if any charge to public funds will arise in the event of any of them being killed or injured.

    On the cost and other details of the equipment, my right hon. Friend has nothing to add to his statement in the House on 2nd November—[Vol. 957, c. 186–7.] No British Service personnel will be stationed in Zambia. The manning of the equipment is a matter for the Zambian Government, and no British financial or other responsibility is involved.

    Antigua (Space Research Corporation)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is prepared to undertake an investigation into the activities of the Space Research Corporation in the British protectorate of Antigua; and if he will make a statement.

    We are consulting urgently the Government of Antigua with a view to ensuring that allegations made concerning the Space Research Corporation are thoroughly investigated and any necessary action taken. We are also in touch with the United States and Canadian Governments.

    Diplomats (Education Allowances)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether increases in tax-free educational allowances paid to diplomats will be subject to the Government's 5 per cent. limit on incomes;(2) what the increase in the cost of diplomats' tax-free educational allowances was in the last financial year; and whether this was in accordance with the Government's pay policy.

    The cost of boarding school allowances paid to Diplomatic Service staff serving overseas—which are tax free—increased by £236,048 to £1,814,991 in the financial year 1977–78. Changes in the boarding school allowance ceilings, within which boarding school fees may be reimbursed, are made in order to reflect increases in average boarding school fees. Pay policy limitations do not apply to payments, like boarding school allowance, which reimburse staff for expenses necessarily incurred in the course of, or as a consequence of, their employment.

    Small Claims

    asked the Lord Advocate if he is now in a position to make a further statement about the proposed experimental procedure for small claims in the sheriff court to which he referred in the House on 19th April in response to a Question from the hon. Member for Fife, Central.

    I have been working on details of a voluntary small claims pilot scheme and I have consulted interested bodies about the rules of the proposed procedure. I am now in a position to announce that a pilot scheme for claims of up to £500 will commence in Dundee sheriff court on 1st January 1979. This will benefit consumers who wish to pursue their own claims.

    Scotland (Referendum)

    asked the Lord President of the Council (1) if he will make a statement on the extent and estimated cost of the campaign which the Government intend to have in seeking to obtain a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum; and if he intends to issue and make public guidance to Departments on what expenditure is or is not permitted in connection with the campaign;(2) if the travel and accommodation costs of Ministers participating in the Scottish referendum on 1st March will be met from public funds; and if there are any other persons whose costs will be financed in this way.

    So far as the Government are concerned, expenditure for the campaign will be limited to the activities of Ministers fulfilling official engagements at which they will continue to explain the Government's policy as approved by Parliament and seek the electorate's endorsement of it. No useful estimate of the limited costs involved is possible and guidance to Departments is unnecessary. The distinction between Ministers' official and political activities is well established and understood.

    asked the Lord President of the Council if the services of information officers and other civil servants will be used in connection with the Government's campaign for a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum.

    Only to the extent necessary to assist Ministers to continue to explain the Government's policy on devolution as now approved by Parliament. Civil Servants would not, of course, be used for any party political activity.

    asked the Lord President of the Council if it is the Government's intention to produce any leaflets or other printed material to be distributed to the public as part of the Government's campaign to seek a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum.

    asked the Lord President of the Council if it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to seek the opportunity of making ministerial broadcasts during the Scottish referendum.

    If such broadcasts were made, the normal rules would, of course, apply.

    asked the Lord President of the Council if it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to provide information, advice or any resources from the Civil Service or public funds to the Yes for Scotland umbrella organisation; and if he will make a statement.

    No distinction would be made in responding to requests for factual information from any organisation or individual. Financial assistance would have required statutory provision in the Scotland Act.

    asked the Lord President of the Council what discussions or correspondence he has had with the BBC or the independent broadcasting organistations about television and radio coverage of the Scottish referendum; and if he will make a statement.

    None. I hope that there will be opportunities to explain to the people of Scotland and Wales the importance of voting in the referendum. However, any allocation of time for this purpose would flow from an initiative by the broadcasting authorities.

    House Of Commons

    Members' Salaries

    asked the Lord President of the Council what action he has taken since August to reconvene the Boyle Committee to consider Members' salaries; and when he expects it to report.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Lomas) on 24th October—[Official Report, Vol. 955, c. 798.]

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Green Pound

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current differential between the green pound and the £ sterling.

    The current difference between the rate for the green pound and the market rate used for mca purposes is 32·3 per cent., giving an applied mca percentage of 30·8.

    Agricultural Products (Storage)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food by how much the agricultural industries of each EEC country have contributed to the current stocks of agricultural products held or financed by the EEC.

    The current level of stocks held by each member State, based on recent information, is as shown in the table. In some cases, the figures include commodities originating in one member State but held in intervention stores by another. It is not possible to show these separately.

    AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS HELD IN INTERVENTION AND PRIVATE STORAGE SCHEMES (FEOGA AIDED)

    Product

    Belgium

    Denmark

    France

    Germany

    Italy

    Ireland

    Luxembourg

    Netherlands

    United Kingdom

    Butter (tonnes)33,50213,18089,405179,93321032,0452,97681,48669,318
    SMP (tonnes)87,35128,39532,890537,3746,23038,4835,99153,47673,888
    Cheese (tonnes)17,99037,934
    Beef (tonnes)1027,49790,66132,15049,66111,19514,415
    Table Wine ('000 hl)3,4631023,02511
    Grape Must ('000 hl)363155
    Concentrated Grape Must ('000 hl)1625
    Breadmaking Wheat (tonnes)25,196621,303171,0793,082
    Barley (tonnes)8,651127,20120,764
    Rye (tonnes)33,698479,8732,783
    Durum (tonnes)69,864

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table similar to that published on 16th June 1977 showing the EEC appropriations in respect of public and private storage for

    EUROPEAN AGRICULTURAL GUIDANCE AND GUARANTEE FUND—GUARANTEE SECTION 1977 EXPENDITURE AND 1978 APPROPRIATIONS IN RESPECT OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE STORAGE
    CommodityChapterArticle or ItemHeading1977 Expenditure (MUA)1978 Appropriations (MEUA)
    Cereals606015Buying in and subsequent operations21·193·0
    Rice61611*Intervention in respect of rice0·11·0
    Milk and Milk626213Private storage (of skimmed milk)Token entry
    Products.6214Public storage and special disposal measures (in relation to skimmed milk)250·1391·0
    6220Private storage (of butter and cream)36·442·0
    6221Public storage and special measures for the disposal of public stocks of butter186·5297·8
    6230Storage of cheese14·910·0
    487·9740·8
    Oils and Fats636311Storage (of olive oil)9·215·0
    6331Storage (of colza, rape and sunflower seeds)1·0
    9·216·0
    Sugar646413Public storage1·62·0
    Beef and Veal656510Private storage61·833·0
    6511Public storage177·8218·3
    239·6251·3
    Pigmeat66661*Intervention in respect of pigmeat6·918·0
    Wine696910Aid for private storage36·161·5
    6911Aid for the re-storage of table wines1·12·0
    37·263·5
    Tobacco707011Storage7·19·2
    Fisheries717111Aid for private storage1·0
    Flax and Hemp73730*Intervention in respect of flax and hemp13·815·0
    Total824·51,210·8
    (£343·5m)(£791·4m)
    Notes:
    1. The figures for 1978 are drawn from the general budget of the European Communities for the financial year 1978 (OJ Vol. 21 No. L36 of 6th February 1978) as amended by supplementary budget No. 2 (OJ Vol. 21 No. L121 of 8th May 1978) and do not therefore take account of later developments. Those for 1977 are taken from the draft budget document for 1979 adopted by the Council on 18th July 1978.
    2. The figures do not include the effect of the double rate of conversion since a separate budget entry was made for the total effect in both years and was not broken down by commodity. The total for 1977 storage costs in mua has been converted to sterling at the rate of 2.4ua=£1 and that for 1978 in meua at 1·53ua=£1.

    1977 and the provision made in the EEC budget for 1978.

    The information requested is set out in the table below which should be read in conjunction with the notes.

    3. Budget heads marked with an asterisk (*) include expenditure on aid other than storage as follows:—

    (a) Rice (article 611)Production refunds and subsidy for supplies to the French overseas Department of Réunion
    (b) Pigmeat (article 661)Measures to encourage consumption of pigmeat e.g. advertising
    (c) Flax and hemp (article 730)Acreage payments

    4. The cost of sugar storage refunds (item 6412) has not been included because this relates to an orderly marketing rather than an intervention buying and storage measure. Producers and refiners pay a levy which, taking one year with another, equals the cost of the refunds.

    Wine

    25.

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will resist any further pressure from Common Market countries to enforce the mandatory bottling of wine at source; if his Department has prepared estimates consumer and the employment effects on of the economic consequences to the British industries; and if he will make a statement.

    I am not aware of any recent pressure for the mandatory bottling of wine at source at either Community or governmental level. In general, the question of the place of bottling of wine should be a matter for commercial judgment. The consequences for consumers and for employment levels in the United Kingdom of any move to mandatory bottling at source would depend on its extent.

    New Forest Ponies (Export)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to ban the export of New Forest ponies for slaughter.

    There are already legal safeguards designed to prevent horses and ponies from being exported for slaughter.

    Beef Calves

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the number of calves retained for beef rearing at the latest available date on an annual basis compared with 1973.

    I regret that this information is not available from official statistics.

    Green Currencies

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food by what percentage the green value of each currency varies from (a) the agricultural unit of account and (b) the European unit of account, assuming in both cases that the monetary co-efficient is based on the latest market rates of exchange.

    Column I in the following table shows the percentage upon which the monetary compensatory amounts applicable from 6th November were based. Column II shows the percentage difference between the representative rate of each country and average market rates of exchange with the EUA in the period 25th to 31st October, the reference period taken into account in determining these monetary compensatory amounts.

    Column IColumn II
    Belgium and Luxembourg+3·3+20·3
    Netherlands+3·3+20·2
    DenmarkNil+ 18·9
    Germany+ 10·8+26·6
    France-121+7·3
    Ireland-6·6+ 12·5
    Italy-19·7+ 1·8
    United Kingdom-32·3-8·6
    The mca percentages applied in this period by France, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom were each 1·5 percentage points less than the percentage shown in column I.

    Fishery Organisation Society (Funds)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to ensure that the funds made available by the Development Commission to the Fishery Organisation Society to promote the establishment and development of fishermen's co-operatives are neither reduced nor channelled through another organisation.

    Grant has been paid hitherto on a year by year basis. Discussions as to new arrangements are currently in progress.

    European Community Levies And Prices

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table similar to that published on 21st June 1977, columns 461–2, showing the EEC common levies on foodstuffs, together with the related monetary compensatory amounts for the latest available date, together with the net cost to the importer.

    Common Levy*M.C.ANet Import Levy
    Item and CCT No£/mt.P/lb.£/mt.P/lb.£/mt.P/lb.
    Common wheat (10.01A)66·4793·0226·7531·2139·7261·81
    Barley (10.03)71·5233·2523·7471·0847·7762·17
    Maize (10.05B)65·6082·9823·7471·0841·8611·90
    White sugar (17·01A)220·82310·0369·2903·15151·5336·88
    Butter 82–84% fat content (04.03A)†1,630·45974·02460·44020·901,170·01953·12
    Cheddar cheese (04.04EIb1bb)t1,443·81265·55362·96016·481,080·85249·07
    Skimmed milk powder (04.02AIIb1)729·74533·13187·0908·49542·65524·64
    Boneless frozen meat (02.01 AIIb4bb33).1,714·21677·83421·02019·111,293·19658·72
    Lard (15.01 AII)102·7804·6759·7802·7143·0001·96
    Pigmeat carcases (02.01AIIIal)‡321·28014·59186·8008·48134·4806·11
    Salted bacon sides (02.06BIa2aa)433·76619·69252·18011·45181·5868·24
    Eggs (04.05AIb)ç414·10718·8060·6302·75353·47716·05
    Poultrymeat 70% chickens (02.02AIb)║192·0388·7251·9802·36140·0586·36
    NOTES:
    * Conversion from units of account into sterling has been by means of the representative rate of £1 = 1·57678 ua and multiplying by the current monetary co-efficient of 1·308.
    † There are special rates for New Zealand butter and cheese.
    ‡ Does not include a supplementary levy which at present applies only to imports from the German Democratic Republic.
    ç Includes a supplementary levy applicable to imports from certain countries of origin. Regulations provide for supplementary levies to operate in this sector when average free-at-frontier offer prices fall below the sluice gate price.
    ║ Does not include a supplementary levy which at present applies only to imports from the German Democratic Republic and Spain.

    Seals

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many seals have been slaughtered in United Kingdom waters in each year since 1970.

    England and WalesScotland
    Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)Common seal (Phoca vitulina)Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)Common seal (Phoca vitulina)
    1970107880
    197114320777569
    19721,329392808386
    1973273951,271507
    1974811,916640
    19751,46711,772376
    19765001,672467
    197734301,656351
    No licence to kill grey seals off Northern Ireland has been issued in this period.

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimates he has of the annual consumption of fish by seals within United Kingdom waters.

    The following is the information requested as at 6th November 1978. The information corresponds to that given for 4th July 1978 and 3rd August 1978 in reply to similar Questions earlier this year.—[Vol. 953, c. 121–2; Vol. 955, c. 633–4.]

    I have been asked to reply.Figures are recorded only for grey and common seals killed during the close season under licences issued under the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 or the Grey Seals Protection Act (Northern Ireland) 1933. These figures are:

    I have been asked to reply.The scientific advice which I have been given by my Department is that grey seals and common seals in Scottish waters take some 195,000 tons of fish annually, of which about 130,000 tons is likely to comprise commercially exploited species. The estimated loss of potential catch in about half of this amount. No similar estimate has been made for grey seals and common seals in other waters of the United Kingdom.

    Milk (European Community Directives)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration has been given to the EEC draft milk hygiene directives; what is the likelihood of their being made effective when certain EEC animal disease derogations expire at the end of the current year; what changes to the directives are being sought by the Government; and if he will make a statement.

    Discussion on long-standing Commission proposals to harmonise health and hygiene standards for liquid milk has recently been renewed at official level within the EEC. The proposals are wide-ranging and complicated, but the Government's general aim will be to ensure that any proposals which may be adopted would require milk production in other member States to meet the same high standards as are laid down in our own regulations.The animal health derogations referred to by the hon. Member are not dealt with in the draft liquid milk directives, and we regard them as a separate issue.

    Mackerel Fishing

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has read paragraph 49 of the Fifth Report of the Expenditure Committee for Session 1977–78 intituled " The Fishing Industry"; what is the Government's response to the specific recommendation appearing at the end of that paragraph, namely, that the special position of local communities of fishermen in Devon and Cornwall, heavily dependent upon returns from the mackerel fishing in recent years, should be fully safeguarded; and why no observations on this specific recommendation appeared in the Government observations published on 3rd November.

    I have read all the Expenditure Committee's report. The report covers a very large number of points. The Government's observations concentrated on those points which the Committee picked up in its own summary of conclusions and recommendations.As regards the last sentence of paragraph 49 of the Committee's report, the Government are very conscious of the importance to South-Western fishermen of the mackerel fishery; in the mackerel licensing arrangements, we are seeking to strike as fair a balance as possible between the various conflicting interests.

    Industry

    Telephones

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many persons are waiting for telephones to be installed, and what were the comparable waiting lists in each of the previous 10 years.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) how many households in Great Britain had at least one telephone in 1935, 1940, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970 and 1975; and what he estimates the number will be in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000;(2) how many people are at present on the waiting list for a telephone;(3) how many telephone boxes there are in Great Britain at the latest available date; how many are out of action because of vandalism; and if he will make a statement;(4) how many households possess a telephone in each of the counties in Great Britain at the latest available date.

    South-West Region

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps are being taken to regenerate industry in the South-West region; and if he is satisfied with current industrial progress.

    The selective assistance schemes operated under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 are available throughout the South-West in addition to the regional incentives to industry available

    in the South-West assisted areas. Progress has been satisfactory given the current world-wide depression.

    Regional Development Fund

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the totals of sums made available to the United Kingdom from the EEC Regional Development Fund for 1975 to the latest convenient date and separately in the last financial year; and of these totals what sums have been made available for projects in Norfolk.

    Between the inception of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 1975, and today, the Commission has agreed to contribute £194·1 million towards the costs of projects located in the United Kingdom assisted areas. Of this total £50·53 million was allocated in the financial year ending 31st March 1978. None has gone to projects in Norfolk since the ERDF can contribute to the costs of projects in assisted areas only.

    Prices And Consumer Protection

    Pay Settlements (Government Action)

    asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if he will list the powers that he or the Price Commission have, specifying the sections of existing legislation, to order firms to reduce prices because they have awarded wage claims in excess of the Government's norm.

    Neither the Price Commission nor I have the power to restrict prices simply on the ground that a firm has reached a pay settlement above the Government's pay guidelines. However, in exercising our respective functions under the Price Commission Act 1977, both the Commission and I must have regard to the full range of matters referred to in section 2 of the Act. These include the desirability of encouraging reductions in costs by improvements in the use of resources and of securing reductions in prices of goods and charges for services in consequence of such improvements. Increases in labour costs must clearly be taken into account.

    Trade

    Industrial Democracy

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) how many trade unions have responded to the White Paper on industrial democracy; and how many of them have rejected the proposals for worker directors;(2) how many commercial and industrial organisations have responded to the White Paper on industrial democracy; and how many of them have rejected the proposals for worker directors;(3) which organisations support the idea of worker directors.

    My Department has received representations on the White Paper on industrial democracy from the TUC, the CBI, the British Institute of Management, the Institute of Directors and about 70 organisations and firms. It is for the bodies concerned to decide whether their representations are for the public record.

    Film Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the current position of the film industry.

    We shall be putting forward in this Session a Bill to increase the lending limit of the National Film Finance Corporation and we are continuing work, with a view to eventual legislation, on proposals for a British film authority.

    Noise Insulation

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is aware that some people living near Heathrow may lose entitlement to grants for noise insulation because the work cannot be completed by 31st December 1978; and if he will extend the date for completion.

    I understand that, because of the large number of applications that were received before the closing of the former noise insulation grants schemes for Heathrow and Gatwick, it is unlikely that all the work can be completed by the end of this year. I have decided, therefore, to extend the time allowed for completion of this work by six months. The necessary statutory instruments will be laid before the House as soon as possible.

    National Finance

    Personal Incomes

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish figures for each member State of the EEC and for Sweden, the United States of America, Australia and Japan, showing the level of gross income, including family allowances as appropriate and measured as a percentage of local average earnings, at which each of a single person, a single-wage married couple, a two-wage married couple, a married couple with two children aged 15 and 12 years, and a married couple with four children aged 15, 12, 9 and 6 years pays (a) income tax and (b) income tax plus social security contribution, at a rate or combined rate of 40 per cent., or the nearest equivalent, assuming in every case no tax relief other than the main personal allowances, works expenses, and so on, and that all the income is earned.

    I regret that an answer could be supplied only at a disproportionate cost.

    Vehicle Excise Duty

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current yield of road tax on cars and vans below 30 cwt.

    The yield of vehicle excise duty on cars and vans below 30 cwt. is estimated to be £820 million in 1978–79.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates to be the annual loss to the Revenue through evasion of road tax and the number of vehicles involved.

    I estimate the total annual loss to the Revenue due to evasion of vehicle excise duty to be somewhere about £70 million to £90 million. The exact number of vehicles involved is not known; in the case of cars, a recent survey by the Department of Transport estimated that between 7 per cent. and 9 per cent. of owners were evading the duty.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current yield of road tax on commercial vehicles and vans above 30 cwt.; and how many staff are required to administer the collection of the tax.

    The yield of vehicle excise duty on goods vehicles of 30 cwt. and above is estimated to be £246 million in 1978–79. It is not possible separately to identify the number of staff engaged in collecting the duty on these vehicles.</