Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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

Written Answers To Questions

Monday 15th December 1979

House Of Commons

Members' Salaries

asked the Lord Pre-dent of the Council to what extent hon. Members' salaries would have to be increased to enable them to have the same purchasing power after allowing for inflation as when their salaries were raised in 1964; and, on the same basis what salaries would be necessary to give them the same incomes relative to the national average wage level in 1964 as compared with October 1978

I refer my hon. Friend to the Answer given to him by the Minister of State, Civil Service Department on 30th November—[Vol. 359, c. 339.]—and the Answer which I gave on 15th December—[Vol. 960, c. 399]—which provides the latest information available.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether, in view of the changed circumstances of the Government's incomes policy and the fact that hon. Members are the only section of the population who are now worse off financially than they were in 1964, he will implement fully the Boyle committee report on hon. Members' salaries.

Years of reckonable servicePensions at 1st September 1978*Maximum lump sum(a)Pensions at 1st September 1979Maximum lump sum(b)
253,5257,9313,9058,786
263,6668,2494,0619,138
273,8078,5664,2179,489
283,9488,8834,3749,841
294,0899,2004,53010,192
304,2309,5184,68610,544
*Based on pensionable salary of £8,460· 20.
†Assumes current pensionable salary of £9,372.

Notes:

( a) Gross pension payable before surrender of part of the pension in return for a commuted lump sum.

( b) Lump sum payable if the Member commutes to the maximum extent permitted.

asked the Lord President of the Council how any former hon. Members are now drawing pensions; how many of these are also in the House of Lords; which of these also draw payments in salaries and or expenses with full or part-time Government appointments; what the actual or average pensions of these former hon. Members were for each of the past four years; how much these have risen in percentage terms since the

The Government have no plans to increase Members' salaries in advance of the current review by the Review Body on Top Salaries.

Members' Pensions

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will publish in theOfficial Reporta detailed list showing the pensions receivable by hon. Members of Parliament after 25 to 30 years' service on an annual incremental basis on 1st September 1978 and 1st September 1979, on a comparative basis as requested in the letter sent to him on 8th December by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West.

The table below shows the gross pension (a) that would be awarded to hon. Members with different periods of reckonable service whose pensions began on the dates indicated and the lump sum that would be obtained by the maximum commutation permitted under section 11 of the Parliamentary and Other Pensions Act 1972. Comparable information for Metropolitan Police officers was supplied by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretarry in his answer of 7th December 1978.—[Vol. 959, c. 720–22.].indexing of pensions; and how these increases compare with the salary increases paid to hon. Members during the same period.

137 former hon. Members are in receipt of pensions from the Parliarmentary contributory pension scheme, and 51 of these are now Members of the House of Lords. It would be contrary to normal practice to give individual details of the financial position of former hon. Members. However a pension in payment on 1st December 1974 would have increased by 81·4 per cent. over the last four years. The salary in payment to hon. Members has increased by 53·3 per cent. over the same period.

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will state the additional costs to the Exchequer of allowing hon. Members the same pensions entitlement as civil servants.

There are only minor differences between the parliamentary pensions scheme and the principal Civil Service pension scheme, and in some respects, for example in its provision for widowers' and children's pensions, the parliamentary scheme is more favourable. Verry detailed actuarial calculations, requiring a disproportionate time and effort, would therefore be needed to determine whether the application of Civil Service arrangements to hon. Members would increase or decrease Excheqeuer expenditure.

Orders In Council

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list all Orders in Council made during the Christmas Recess.

Orders in Council with the following titles were made on 20th December 1978:Appropriation (No. 4) (Northern Ireland) Order 1978;Shops (Northern Ireland) Order 1978;Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1978;Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978;Scotland Act 1978 (Referendum) Order 1978;Wales Act 1978 (Referendum) Order 1978;European Assembly Constituencies (England) Order 1978;European Assembly Constituencies (Wales) Order 1978;European Assembly Constituencies (Scotland) Order 1978;European Communities (Services of Lawyers) Order 1978;Extradition (Genocide) (Amendment No. 2) Order 1978;Extradition (Hijacking) (Amendment) Order 1978;Extradition (Protection of Aircraft) (Amendment) Order 1978;Extradition (Tokyo Convention) (Amendment) Order 1978;

Naval and Marine Pay and Pensions (Pay and Allowances) Order 1978;

Naval Military and Air Forces, etc (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Amendment Order 1978;

Greenwich Hospital Special Pensions Regulations 1978 Approval Order 1978;

Mersey Channel (Collision Rules) Order 1978;

Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order 1978;

Dockyard Port of Chatham Order 1978;

Hovercraft (Application of Enactments) (Amendment) Order 1978;

St. Lucia Modification of Enactments Order 1978;

St. Lucia Termination of Association Order 1978;

St. Lucia Constitution Order 1978;

Hong Kong (Coinage) (Amendment) Order 1978;

South Africa (Prohibited Exports and Transactions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 1978;

South Africa (United Nations Arms Embargo) (Prohibited Transactions) Amendment No. 2 Order 1978;

South Africa (United Nations Arms Embargo) (Prohibited Transactions) (Isle or Man) (Amendment) Order 1978;

South Africa (United Nations Arms Embargo) (Prohibited Transactions) (Guernsey) (Amendment) Order 1978;

South Africa (United Nations Arms Embargo) (Prohibited Transactions) (Jersey) (Amendment) Order 1978;

Carriage of Goods by Sea (Parties to Convention) Order 1978;

African Development Bank (Privileges) Order 1978;

International Lead and Zinc Study Group (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1978;

Fugitive Offenders (Designated Commonwealth Countries) Order 1978;

Evidence (Proceedings in other Jurisdictions) (Gibraltar) Order 1978;

Evidence (Proceedings in other Jurisdictions) (Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia) Order 1978;

Evidence (Proceedings in other Jurisdictions) (Falkland Islands and Dependencies) Order 1978;

Evidence (Proceedings in other Jurisdictions) (Cayman Islands) Order 1978;

Civil Service Commission (No. 3) Order in Council 1978.

Additionally, Orders in Council were made on this date:—

approving the grant of a new Charter to the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom;

under the Charter of the British Broadcasting Corporation;

relating to promotions in the Royal Navy;

appointing a Member of the Review Board for Overseas Qualified Medical Practitioners;

five orders approving Acts of the Jersey and Alderney Parliaments;

directing the registration in Jersey and Guernsey of an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament;

under the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act 1913;

three Orders amending the Statutes of New College, Oxford, the University of Cambridge and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge;

two Orders amending the Ordinances of the Universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow;

appointing an Inspector of Schools;

eighteen Orders under the Burial Act 1853;

thirty-six Orders confirming Schemes made by the Church Commissioners.

Refreshment Department (Prices)

asked the Lord President of the Council, in the light of the fact that in the Members' self-service cafeteria a charge of 28p for 1½ounces of cheese is made, what is the actual cost which is paid to the suppliers for cheese.

I have been asked to reply.The displayed cafeteria price for pre-packed 1½ounce cheese is 21p, including VAT. If the hon. Member has at any time been overcharged perhaps he would write to me.The Catering Sub-Committee does not think it appropriate to disclose its purchase prices.

Overseas Development

Kenya (Land Settlement Schemes)

asked the Minister of Overseas Development when the various land settlement schemes in Kenya will be completed; and if she will summarise the results so far.

United Kingdom funding of the various schemes for land transfer in Kenya will cease on 31st March 1979. To date, about 1,400 farms with a total acreage of about 3·5 million acres have been transferred at a total cost of around £31 million to aid funds; only 34 of the farms eligible for transfer to Kenyan ownership under United Kingdom aid remain unsold.

Home Department

Political Refugees (Chile)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many political refugees from Chile admitted since 1973 had ties with the United Kingdom and responsible sponsorship when granted entry permits in numerical and percentage terms of those admitted.

I regret that the information requested could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

Ward Boundaries (Birmingham)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present position with regard to the review of ward boundaries within the area of the city of Birmingham district council; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England held a local meeting in January 1978 as part of its review of the electoral arrangements for Birmingham. It is not at present possible to say when we shall receive the Commission's final proposals.

Police (Departmental Memoranda)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether memoranda for the guidance of the police issued from his office have any standing at law; and whether it is proper for such memoranda to suggest or indicate that the police should or may vary legislation passed by both Houses of Parliament without such variations being sanctioned by both Houses of Parliament.

Circulars or memorandum issued by my Department for the guidance of chief officers of police do not have the force of law. They do not, and could not, convey authority for chief officers of police to vary legislation but may, where appropriate, contain advice on the exercise of discretionary powers conferred by Parliament.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will detail the matters on which a chief officer of police has either the power or discretion to vary legislation passed by both Houses of Parliament.

A chief officer of police has no power to vary legislation, although it may confer a discretion on him.

Firearms (Legislation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library all proposals made for tighter laws on firearms in Europe; and if he will report on the present position of any relevant negotiations.

I have arranged for a copy of the European Convention on the Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms by Individuals to be placed in the Library of the House. The aim of the convention is to prevent the avoidance of national firearms controls by persons purchasing weapons in participating countries other than their own. The United Kingdom has signed the convention but reserved the right not to apply the "double authorisation" procedure—Chapter III—and not to apply the notification procedure—Chapter II—in respect of shot guns, air weapons, ammunition and telescopic sights. Some amendments will be needed

GradeNumber in postSalary scale
Chief probation officer59*£5,770–£8,875§including supplements
Deputy chief probation officer2375 per cent. of the chief officer's salary
Assistant chief probation officer145†£6,297–£6,810 (4-point scale)
Senior probation officer933‡£5,193–£5,850(5-point scale)
Main-grade officer4,027£3,624–£5,034 provinces (10-point scale)
£3,822–£5,313 London (11-point scale)
Part-time officer121As above pro rata
Temporary officer20Based on main grade
Total5,328
*Figure includes four regional staff development officers.
†Figure includes four assistant regional staff development officers.
‡Figure includes two assistant regional staff development officers.
§The scale consists of 22 incremental points, which are arranged into three groups. Every chief probation officer post, except for those in the five largest metropolitan areas—Inner London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire—for whom special salary scales have been fixed, is assigned a five-point salary scale within one of the groups according to criteria agreed by the joint Negotiating Committee for the Probation Service. A pay settlement under phase 3 of the Government's pay guidelines has not yet been reached for chief and deputy chief officers.
The Department does not have detailed information about salary levels for probation service staff other than probation
Whole-timePart-time
Ancillaries63068
Administrative, clerical and secretarial2,340736
Day training centres2415
Student training units222
Regional staff development HQ72
Hostels, homes etc.:
Wardens or managers61
Deputy or assistant wardens or managers101
Others1315
Sessional supervisors16610
Miscellaneous47554

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list in theOfficial Reportthe additional duties, statutory and other wise, which have been placed upon pro- to the Firearms Act 1968 to enable the United Kingdom to ratify and implement the convention, but the controls applicable in the United Kingdom will be substantially unaffected.

Probation Service

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people work in the probation service and at what grades; and what are the salary levels for each grade.

The following table shows the number of professional staff in the probation and after-care service by grade as at 30th November 1978, the latest date for which figures are available, and the present salary scale for each grade.officers. The numbers of these staff on 30th June 1978, the latest date for which figures are available, were as follows:bation officers since their last pay increase.

No additional duties have been placed upon probation officers since their last pay increase on 1st July 1978.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the fact that a police constable on entry at 18 years now receives £4,000 per annum and a probation officer with post-graduate teaching and two years work experience receives less than that amount, he will seek to introduce a substantial improvement in rates of pay in the probation service.

I refer my hon. Friend the answer I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. Crowther) on 6th December.—[Vol. 959, c. 660].

Children's Legal Centre

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received a request for funds for the children's legal centre from the United Kingdom Association for the International Year of the Child; and, if so, what reply he has sent.

Yes; the Association has been informed that this is a matter for other Departments to which the request has been referred.

Drugs (Misuse)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he has received the proposals of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs regarding the classification and penalties for controlled drugs; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether the report of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the classification and penalties of controlled drugs will be published.

I have received a report, under cover of a letter from the chairman, Sir Robert Bradlaw, the terms of which are reproduced below. The Council's recommendations, which are summarised in the annex to the chairman's letter, are being considered by the Government. Arrangements are being made for the report to be published, but in the meantime a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

Following is the letter:

Dear Home Secretary,

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971—Review of the Classification of Controlled Drugs and of Penalties under Schedules 2 and 4

In my letter to you of 17th June 1977 I set out the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the amendments tabled to the then Criminal Law Bill when it was before the House of Lords, the effect of which would have been to remove entirely the penalty of imprisonment at present available under schedule 4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (the 1971 Act) on summary conviction of unlawful possession of cannabis or cannabis resin, or to make that penalty imposable only on a third or subsequent conviction. I said that while a substantial majority of the Council was, in principle, of the opinion that the penalty of imprisonment should no longer be available in relation to a person convicted of that offence who had no previous conviction of an offence under the 1971 Act (or its predecessors), and that the appropriate changes in the law to give effect to this principle should be enacted at the earliest opportunity, the Council was unable to recommend that the Criminal Law Bill be used for that purpose. You accepted the Council's advice and agreed that it should be afforded more time to consider the implications of the proposed change in relation to all controlled drugs.

2. Accordingly, I asked the Council's Technical Sub-Committee and its Working Groups on Cannabis and on Legal and Administrative Matters to examine and report on the principles governing the present classification of controlled drugs in schedule 2 to the 1971 Act and how those principles should now be applied in determining the penalties for offences involving those drugs laid down in schedule 4, having regard also to the majority opinion of the Council in relation to summary penalties for offences of unlawful possession of cannabis and cannabis resin. The combined Report by the Sub-Committee and the Working Groups in response to this request, a copy of which I am sending you herewith, was considered by the full Council at its meeting on 19th October. I should say at this point that the report is necessarily a summary and does not attempt to record fully the carefully argued and comprehensive contributions made to the discussions by members of these groups. Having considered this report and discussed the matter further, the Council decided to submit the recommendations which I have listed in the annex to this letter, and which I now submit accordingly.

3. It may be helpful for you to know of areas where there was a marked division of opinion within the Council. This remains the case as regards the manner in which cannabis and cannabis resin should continue to be controlled. The Council is unanimously of the opinion that the use of these drugs should not be legalised in the United Kingdom and that a deterrent to their use is still needed. It does not recommend any measure of "decriminalisation" on the pattern adopted by some of the United States of America. The Council is also at one in the view that any question of the liberalisation of the law in regard to the use of these drugs should be approached with caution. There is, however, a conflict of view. Some members' appraisal of all the available scientific evidence so far leads them to conclude that some alleviation of the penalties for unlawful possession could be contemplated at the present time without undue concern about its encouraging increased use and possible risk to public health. Others, having regard to reports of current, although inconclusive, scientific investigations are not satisfied that enough is known to recommend action which would be widely regarded as implying that the risks of using cannabis and cannabis resin are less serious than was believed; and which would encourage increased use. This division of opinion was reflected in the vote on recommendation iii in paragraph 8.1 of the Report that cannabis and cannabis resin should be transferred from Class B to Class C in schedule 2 to the 1971 Act in order to attract the lowest range of penalty. Twenty-one members of the Council voted for the recommendation and six against.

4. This division was also reflected in the vote on recommendation v that in respect of Class C drugs the maximum penalty on summary conviction of unlawful possession should be a fine of £200 only. The recommendation was carried by 16 for to 11 against. In regard to this recommendation, however, other factors than those concerned with the relative harmfulness of cannabis use led some members of the Council to oppose the removal of a penalty of imprisonment on summary conviction. It was argued that the proposal as a whole created an imbalance between the punishment available in the Crown courts and in the magistrates' courts which would lead to delay and expense, and that this would be too high a price to pay for the implementation of a principle which, in practice, was already being observed by magistrates' courts. Moreover, it was pointed out that removal of the magistrates' courts' discretion to sentence to imprisonment would deprive those courts of their power to make alternative, non-custodial disposals, in particular community service orders (paragraph 6.6 and Appendix 5) which had proved of value in some cases of unlawful possession. Other members of the Council, while not opposing the recommendation to remove the penalty of imprisonment, were sympathetic to this latter view, and I was asked to convey to you the opinion of the majority of the members that, in the event of the Government's taking steps to implement the recommendation, most careful consideration should be given to special provision being made at the same time for the magistrates courts' power to make community service orders in dealing with cases of unlawful possession of Class C drugs to be retained.

5. Recommendation vi in paragraph 8.1 of the Report, that the offence of unlawful possession of a Class C drug should be "arrest-able", was the one recommendation in the report to be rejected by the Council, by 14 votes to 13, on the argument that the working groups may have overstated the practical difficulties which the police would face and that there was not a sufficiently strong case to be made for an exception to the general prin- ciple described in paragraph 6.7 of the report. in respect of this drugs offence.

6. I am sending copies of this letter and of the Report for information to the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Health and Social Security, and Education and Science.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Bradlaw

Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Recommendations

  • 1. The United Kingdom Government should continue to pursue the aims of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with the utmost vigour.
  • 2. The existing classification of the drugs specified in Class A of schedule 2 to the 1971 Act is broadly correct and no change is recommended.
  • 3. The existing classification of the drugs specified in Class B of schedule 2 is broadly correct except for the inclusion of cannabis and cannabis resin which should be transferred to Class C.
  • 4. The existing classification of the drugs specified in Class C of schedule 2 is broadly correct except for the inclusion of methaqualone, which should be transferred to Class B.
  • 5. The penalties for the offence of unlawful possession of a controlled drug (section 5(2) of the 1971 Act) should be:

    Class A drug involved

    Summary: six months or £1,000, or both.

    On indictment: seven years or a fine, or both.

    Class B drug involved

    Summary: three months or £500, or both.

    On indictment: five years or a fine, or both.

    Class C drug involved

    Summary: £200.

    On indictment: two years or a fine, or both.

    6. The penalties for unlawful trafficking in a controlled drug (sections 4(2), 4(3), 5(3) and 8 of the 1971 Act) should be:

    Class A drug involved

    Summary: six months or £1,000, or both.

    On indictment: 14 years or a fine, or both.

    Class B drug involved

    Summary: six months or £1,000, or both.

    On indictment: 10 years or a fine, or both.

    Class C drug involved

    Summary: three months or £500, or both.

    On indictment: seven years or a fine, or both.

    Note: Offences under sections 12(6) and 13(3) of the 1971 Act, contravention of a direction prohibiting a practitioner etc., from possessing, supplying, etc., controlled drugs carry the same penalties as those which we have identified as "trafficking offences". We would expect, therefore, that if any change were eventually made on the lines of this recommendation the penalties for the section 12(6) and 13(3) offences would be similarly modified.

    7. Section 6 of the 1971 Act, restriction of cultivation of cannabis plant, should be repealed.

    Committal Hearings (Reportingrestrictions)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to make it an offence for any person to offer an inducement, whether financial or otherwise, to a defendant in return for making an application to lift reporting restrictions at a committal hearing under the terms of section 3(2) of the Criminal Justice Act.

    Alcoholic Drinks (Sale)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the current measures which prevent the sale of alcoholic drinks to children under age; and if he will make a statement.

    The penalties for offences against the Licensing Act 1964 connected with under-age drinking were greatly increased by the Criminal Law Act 1977. In the same year the licensing law was amended to allow the police to resume routine visits to licensed premises. We shall continue to keep this problem under review.

    Data Protection

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds the Metropolitan Police refused to give detailed information to the Committee on Data Protection.

    In January 1977 the Metropolitan Police submitted 19 typed pages of evidence to the committee. In March 1977 three officers gave oral evidence to the committee for almost two hours. They gave detailed answers to questions except where to have done so would have divulged classified information. Such matters were dealt with subsequently in a letter to the committee secretary written in response to an invitation to comment on a newspaper article about a computer project. Requests for additional information were received from the committee in July and September 1977. Both were responded to in detail. The Commissioner takes the view that the Metropolitan Police have given the fullest co-operation to the committee while exercising proper care in the handling of classified information.

    Professional Consultants (Reports)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the subjects on which professional consultants' reports were commissioned by his Department, and the total cost to the Department of such reports, in each of the years 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978.

    Following is a list of reports commissioned by my Department since 1974 from professional consultants.1974

    • Analysis of Home Accidents.
    • Hazards in the Home.
    • Fire Service Control Systems.
    • Optimum Sittings for Fire Stations and Testing of Fire Cover Models.
    • Simulation of Fire Brigade Activities.
    • Fire Brigade Tactics and Methods of Fire Extinction.
    • Skills needed by Firemen.
    • Post-Nuclear Attack Studies.
    • Design of Computerised System for Inner London Magistrates Courts.
    • Home Office Salaried Staff Payroll.
    • Home Office and Metropolitan Police Statistical Data Processing.
    • Study to Establish the Horserace Totalisator Board's 13th Levy Contribution.
    • Computerisation of Fingerprint Records.
    • Management and Technical Aspects of PNC Activities.
    • Pre-Production Planning of a Mechanical Hacksaw for Manufacture by Prison Industries.
    • Computerisation of Pattern Reproduction in the Prison Clothing and Textiles Industry.
    • Footwear Production in Prison Workshops.
    • Preparation of Specifications and Inspection Check-Lists for Marketing Prison Industry Woodwork Products.
    • Testing of Plastic Gulley for Manufacture in Prison Workshops.
    • Total: £148,682.

    1975

    • Computerisation of Private Mobile Radio Licensing Procedures.
    • System Design for the Computerisation of Private Mobile Radio Licensing.
    • Computing Requirements of Immigration and Nationality Department.
    • Studies of Telephone Enquiry Bureaux.
    • Comparative Study of Minicomputers, Terminals and Peripheral Hardware.
    • Optimum Methods for Recharging Firemen's Oxygen Bottles.
    • Cost Effectiveness of Fire Salvage Operations.
    • Administrative Use of Computers by Fire Brigades.
    • Costing of Fire Brigade Activities.
    • Study of a National Surveillance System for Home Accidents (Two Studies).
    • In-Depth Studies of Home Accidents.
    • Study of Characteristics of United Kingdom Population (Home Accidents).
    • Hazards in the Home.
    • Data Collection and Analysis in Drowning Accidents (Two Studies).
    • Priority Allocation Model for Home Accidents.
    • Optimisation of Prevention and Protection Measures (Home Accidents).
    • Consequential Losses from Fires.
    • Prison Location Data Analysis Study.
    • Prevention of Drowning Accidents.
    • Classification of Waters from Safety Aspects.
    • Optimisation of Water Safety Prevention and Protection Measures.
    • Local Government: Approaches to Urban Deprivation.
    • Advice on the Scientific Work of the Home Office.
    • Design of Garden Furniture for Manufacture by Prison Industries.
    • Production Planning and Control Procedures in Prison Woodwork Shops.
    • Clothing and Equipment Price Review (Prison Industries).
    • Research on Broadcasting Commissioned by the Annan Committee on the Future of Broadcasting.
    • Total: £208,702.

    1976

    • Provision of Information to Firemen Attending an Incident.
    • Health Monitoring Study of Firemen.
    • Training Operations and Scientific Advice (Home Defence).
    • Design Study of Air Conditioning to Support Computer Installation.
    • Feasibility Study of Portable Wheel Weighing System.
    • Feasibility Study of Multi Spectral Viewers.
    • Study of Computer Systems Interface.
    • Methods of Reducing Computer Run-Times for Criminal Statistics Programs. Replacement Products for the Prison Mailbag Industry.
    • Identification of Suitable Electrical/Plastic Products for Manufacture in Prison Workshops.
    • Design of a Domestic Electric Test Set for Manufacture in Prison Workshops.
    • Study to Forecast United Kingdom Industrial Environment up to 1982.
    • Viability of Producing Precision Turned Metal Parts in Prison Workshops.

    • Feasibility of Integral Skin Foam Process in Prison Industries Door Manufacture.
    • Total: £480,031.

    1977

    • Selection for Fire Service.
    • Nuclear Attack Protection Measures.
    • Electronic Aids for Personal Protection.
    • A Case Study in the Promotion of Social Action Through Television.
    • Cost of Possible Data Protection Control Systems.
    • Clockwork Toys for Manufacture in Prison Workshops.
    • Dust and Noise Levels in Prison Weaving Sheds.
    • Design of Commercially Viable Plastic/Electrical Products for Prison Industries. Consumer Research into Hairdryers Manufactured by Prison Industries.
    • Long Term Marketing Strategy for Prison Department Electrical/Plastics Industry.
    • Total: £119,918.

    1978

    • Consequential Losses by Fire.
    • Mortality in Firemen.
    • Fire Casualties.
    • Computer Engineering Services.
    • Portable Collection of Traffic Data.
    • Police Management Information Systems.
    • Inspection of Guyed Masts at Home Office Radio Station.
    • Demonstration Project on School Vandalism.
    • Market Research on Plastic Products for the Prison Industries Injection Moulding Machines.
    • Heating Systems for Prison Manufacture.
    • The Prison Interlock Garment Industry.
    • Total: £103,573.

    Accused Persons (Journalistic Offences)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to make it an offence for journalists and others to attempt to secure copy, in return for payment or reward, from persons accused or convicted of serious crimes.

    I do not consider that it is appropriate or practicable to deal with this matter by legislation. It it better to rely on voluntary restraint and the influence of the Press Council.

    Greek Citizens

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the legal rights of Greek citizens who would wish to work in the United Kingdom under the terms proposed for Greek accession to the EEC before and after any transitional period.

    In the EEC's accession negotiations with Greece it has been agreed that the provisions of the Treaty of Rome relating to the free movement of workers should be subject to a seven-year transitional period. The details of the transitional arrangements have not yet been finalised.

    Metropolitan Police Computer

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the functions of the Metropolitan Police computer which by 1985 will store criminal records and items of comment about criminals and suspected crimnials; and what controls he proposes to exercise on this computer.

    The computer enables records to be stored and retrieved more efficiently and therefore assists the prevention and detection of crime. Access to the computer is strictly controlled; and no links with other computer installations are contemplated.

    Styal Prison (Women Prisoners)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now able to announce the start of the scheme to allow women prisoners at Styal Prison to receive extended visits from their children; and, if not, what difficulties remain to be overcome, and when he expects these to be resolved.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to his Question on 10th November.—[Vol. 957, c. 368–9.]

    Immigration (Hotel Records)Order 1972

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the useful purpose served by the Immigration (Hotel Records) Order 1972 in respect of British citizens.

    Experience has shown that the requirements of the order relating to aliens may be evaded unless all travellers are required to provide some basic information about themselves.

    Taxi Trade (Tariff)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now able to announce his decision upon the request for a tariff increase for the London taxi trade; and if he will make a statement.

    Representatives of the London taxi trade are discussing with my Department an increase in London taxi fares which takes account of the recommendations of the Price Commission, and is based on the increase in cab operating costs, with an allowance for increased earnings consistent with the Government's earnings guidelines.

    Industry

    National Enterprise Board

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he is satisfied with the work being done by the National Enterprise Board.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will state the total borrowing of the National Enterprise Board, including all the borrowings of subsidiaries of the Board and including borrowings of the subsidiaries prior to their acquisition by the National Enterprise Board as at 31st December 1978.

    At 31st December 1978 the charges against the Board's financial limit were £660 million. The borrowings of the Board's non-wholly-owned subsidiaries are published in the accounts of these companies. The borrowings of the Board's wholly-owned subsidiaries prior to their acquisition by the Board are not published; they are a matter for the companies and the Board.

    Industry Act 1972

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total amount of grants paid out in the current year under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972.

    The latest figures available for the current financial year are for the period 1st April to 31st October 1978. They show that £53 million was paid out in grants under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972. This figure includes payments for regional selective financial assistance in England, Scotland and Wales and, secondly, payments for the shipbuilding intervention fund.

    Industrial Investment

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the level of industrial investment during the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available.

    Total investment by manufacturing industry in the 12 months ending September 1978 is estimated at £3,780 million at 1975 prices, an increase of 8 per cent, on the previous 12 months.

    Government Chemist

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry why a decision was taken to move the laboratory of the Government Chemist from London to Cumbria without details of specific costs being available.

    The decision to move the laboratory of the Government Chemist was just one element in the Government's broad dispersal programme announced in July 1974. Broad costs were available and showed an overall benefit. Detailed planning and costing could only be undertaken after the decision in principle was announced.

    Microelectronics

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, in considering the need for the Government strategy on the development of integrated circuits, he will ensure the widest possible cross-application of civil and military specifications, particularly in the use of common design and production facilities.

    Close collaboration already exists between the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Industry in the allocation of resources to support the Government's strategy for the integrated circuit industry. This includes development of common specifications, designs and production facilities and the application of defence developments and specifications to civil use.

    Computer Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total planned expenditure by his Department on the sponsorship of the computer industry in 1979.

    For projects already approved or under discussion, direct expenditure by the Department of Industry with companies for developments within the computer hardware and software sectors could reach some £3½ million in 1979–80. This is mainly for product development and work on supporting technology. The final spend will of course depend on the number of proposals put forward by industry in the coming months.This figure does not include funds available or committed under the microelectronics industry support scheme—£70 million—and the microprocessor application project—£55 million—some of which will have an impact in the computer industry as will the recent decision by the NEB to set up its semi-conductor operation INMOS at a cost of some £50 million.

    Shipbuilding Intervention Fund

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will give the figure of commitments entered into by his Department in respect of the shipbuilding intervention fund for the financial year 1978–79 so far; and if he will state how much has been paid out so far from the fund in the financial year 1978–79.

    During the first nine months of the 1978–79 financial year, offers of assistance from the shipbuilding intervention fund amounted to approximately £1 million. The total amount paid from the fund during the same period was £8·6 million.

    Engineering

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if it is his assessment that the most competitive sections of the engineering industry are actually those where the investment rate is lowest.

    A recent report by Sussex European Research Centre, which my Department is studying, has drawn attention to a statistical relationship of this sort. The report concludes tentatively that it is the less capital-intensive branches of the engineering industry which show the strongest relative trade performance. It remains my assessment, which is quite consistent with these findings, that a high level of investment properly directed can contribute significantly to international competitiveness.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) what specific action his Department is taking to help Great Britain's engineering industry to win back a larger share of its home market;(2) what specific action his Department is taken to arrest the decline in competitiveness of Great Britain's engineering industry.

    The aim of the industrial strategy, which was launched by the National Economic Development Council in 1975, is to reverse the long-term decline in the performance of manufacturing industry and to create an efficient, profitable and internationally competitive industrial base. Effort is being concentrated on 40 key sectors for which sector working parties have been set up under the aegis of the NEDC. The engineering industry is at the heart of this effort. Most sectors of mechanical and electrical engineering are covered by SWPs. The Government have acted positively in response to the recommendations in SWP reports.Furthermore, a range of incentives designed to encourage greater efficiency and competitiveness in British industry is provided by the Government through various schemes of selective financial assistance under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972. Several industry schemes relate to specific sectors of the engineering industry. In addition, companies within the sector are eligible for support under the product and process development scheme. Sector working parties have also identified the need for improved customer-supplier links as the key to effecting import substitution. Many SWPs are now in contact with other SWPs representing their customers and suppliers.

    Pay Settlements (Government Action)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will seek powers to make payments by way of compensation to firms which had grants cancelled under section 7 or 8 of the Industry Act 1972 as a consequence of the Government's pay sanctions policy.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement on the sanctions which he has asked the nationalised industries under his sponsorship to apply to Ford Motor Company.

    As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced in the House on 14th December, the Government are no longer using discretionary powers in the private sector as a measure to counter inflation.

    London Docklands

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list what provisions are available for the development areas which are not available to help the regeneration of the London dock areas.

    Whereas the provision of regional development grants, regional selective assistance and Government factories is statutorily confined to the assisted areas, the Inner Urban Areas Act 1978 enables local authorities in London's docklands to give financial assistance to commerce as well as industry. In addition, local authorities may build factories for industry which in the docklands may qualify for assistance from the Government's urban programme.The European Regional Development Fund at present can contribute to the cost of projects in assisted areas only, although this limitation may be ended if the proposed non-quota section is available outside the assisted areas. The Government contracts preference schemes are available only in special development and development areas.In the steering of mobile industrial projects, the Government give priority to the docklands and the other inner city partnership areas of London before the rest of the South-East but after the assisted areas.

    European Investment Bank

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish the guidelines by which his Department operates when considering the allocation of finance from the European Investment Bank for projects in special development areas, development areas and intermediate areas.

    The general guidance under which my Department operates the exchange risk guarantee scheme on loans from the European Investment Bank has been published and I am sending my hon. Friend separately a copy of this guidance. The detailed administrative guidance for officials in my Department is not published. As my hon. Friend will be aware, the exchange risk guarantee scheme applies essentially to projects in manufacturing industry which create additional employment in development and special development areas. We are prepared, exceptionally, to consider employment-creating projects in intermediate areas and projects which preserve employment throughout the assisted areas.

    Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what action he proposes to take on the proposal of the recent conference on the United Kingdom statistical system that an authoritative national body should be established to oversee general statistical policy, development and integration.

    I assume that the hon. Member is referring to a proposal contained in one of the papers discussed at the recent annual statistics users' conference. We are considering ways of improving our arrangements for consulting providers and users of official statistics, and the views expressed at the conference will be borne in mind.

    British Shipbuilders (Corporate Plan)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will place in the Library a copy of British Shipbuilders' corporate plan at present being considered by his Department.

    British Shipbuilders' corporate plan contains commercially confidential material and cannot as such be made public. My right hon. Friend will, however, be considering, as part of his review of the plan, what information can be made available to the House.

    Kirkby Workers' Co-Operative

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement about future Government financial assistance to the Kirkby workers' co-operative.

    As my right hon. Friend the Minister of State informed the House on 12th December last—[Vol. 960, cc. 405–6.]—the Government will consider any meaningful applications for assistance from KME in performance of their obligations under the Industry Act 1972. All such applications are judged on their merits under the criteria for Industry Act assistance which were laid before the House in January 1976.

    Small Businesses

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of a Government-backed loan guarantee scheme based on a ceiling of an individual £½ million per annum for small businesses.

    There are no plans to introduce a Government-backed loan guarantee scheme at the present time, and therefore it is not possible to give estimates of possible cost. The Government are, however, urgently examining with the banks the possibility of a commercial loan guarantee scheme.

    Motor Cars (Exports)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied that the sale overseas of British cars is not being hampered by the tardy conversion from manually operated to automatic gear change in models destined for overseas sale.

    I am sure that British car manufacturers are aware of the relative merits of automatic and manual gear change transmission systems, but if my hon. Friend has a particular point of concern perhaps he would write to me.

    Poland (Shipbuilding Orders)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what representations he has received from the Common Market on the subject of the Anglo-Polish agreement for the building of six new shallow-draft bulk carriers; if he will undertake not to allow any representations to influence any agreements to build these ships or any terms included in any such agreement; and if he will make a statement.

    It would not be helpful to the industry to disclose the substance of discussions with the Commission on any case for support under the intervention fund, but I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government continue to make every effort to assist the industry to secure orders on terms acceptable to all the parties concerned.

    Energy

    National Coal Board (Cokingcoal Subsidy)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether, in order to assist industry, particularly the mining industry, the steel industry and the motor manufacturing industry, he will consider increasing the subsidy to the National Coal Board on coking coal.

    The level of coking coal subsidy will be one aspect of the Government's consideration of the overall level of future grant support for the National Coal Board.

    Coking Coal (West Germany)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what amount of subsidy per ton is received by the West German mining industry on coking coal.

    The West German mining industry is estimated to receive on all coal produced in 1978 an average of £3·35/tonne of aid under various heads. In addition, 864 million DM—approximately £233 million—coking coal production aid was to be paid in respect of the first three quarters of the year. I have no information on what tonnage this covers.

    Committees Of Inquiry (Membership)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether, when appointing members to committees of inquiries into matters of public controversy, etc., he will publish the applications and biographical details of those concerned, if any, and what connections they have had with industries or other issues likely to be raised during the inquiries.

    On setting up such committees I arrange for the issue of press notices giving all relevant biographical details of the members appointed. I should be glad to furnish other information about such persons to the House if it wishes it.

    Severe Weather Conditions (Energysupplies)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many breakdowns of energy supplies occurred during the exceptional weather conditions experienced from Christmas day onwards; and if he will make a statement on how the United Kingdom's energy supplies functioned during this period.

    Electricity

    In England and Wales the national demand for electricity was fully met without difficulty. During the wintry weather, supplies to a limited number of consumers in rural areas, notably the South-West and North-East of England and North Wales were lost due to damage to lower voltage distribution lines. In some isolated cases, because of blocked roads, the restoration of supplies was delayed longer than usual and helicopters and specialist army vehicles had to be used for repair work. The Secretary of State for Scotland has responsibility for the electricity supply industry in Scotland.

    Gas

    In general gas supplies have been maintained to all customers, apart from certain large users whose contracts provide for interruption for specified periods

    Coal and Oil

    In common with all road transport, coal and oil deliveries were hampered by blocked roads and there were some delays.

    I would like to put on record my appreciation of the efforts of all those involved in the supply industries in maintaining and restoring supplies to consumers in the face of such adverse conditions.

    Oil (Price)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish a table showing the percentage change in the sterling price of oil, in real terms, (a) between June 1970 and March 1974 and (b) between March 1974 and the latest available date.

    A table is given below. The oil price index is based on the sterling price, fob, of Arab light oil, the present OPEC marker crude. This index is converted into real terms by dividing it by the implicit deflator for United Kingdom gross domestic product —GDP. While it is possible to show the

    Sterling oil priceGDP deflator*Real oil price indexChanges from previous period
    June 1970100100100
    March 1974780142549449
    August 19781,453277525—4
    1st January 19791,452n/an/an/a
    *The GDP deflator on a monthly basis is obtained by linear interpolation from the quarterly series.

    Employment

    Pensioners (Cost Of Living Index)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will list those factors in the cost of living index for pensioner households which have been most responsible for that index increasing at a faster rate than the general index of retail prices since the second quarter of 1974.

    A full comparison of the effect of rising prices on pensioner households compared with households in general cannot be made because housing costs are not included in the pensioner indices on account of the difficulty in collecting the information in this area where special provisions often apply. Over the period from the second quarter 1974 to the third quarter 1978, the indices for one and two-person pensioner households increased faster than the general index exclusive of housing at an annual rate of 0·9 per cent. and 0·6 per cent., respectively. The reasons for these differences are, firstly, items which occupy a greater proportion of pensioner expenditure, and which went up faster in price than prices in general, include butter, milk, tea, coffee, sugar, coal, electricity, newspapers and periodicals, postage and soda, polishes, etc.; secondly, items which occupy a smaller proportion of pensioner expenditure, and which increased in price more slowly than prices in general, include wines and spirits, furniture, radio and television, etc., men's outer clothing, women's outer clothing and children's outer clothing.

    Bakery Workers (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the basic rate of pay for bakery workers change in the sterling price following the first stage of the Abu Dhabi announced OPEC price rise, which takes effect from 1st January, no GDP deflator is as yet available to enable a real figure to be computed for that date.before the recent award: what were the average earnings of bakery workers for the latest date for which figures are available; and what increase in net weekly spending power a bakery worker earning average bakery worker earnings will receive as a result of the recent 14 per cent. award, assuming that he has a wife and two children and that all other assumptions and circumstances are the same as the assumptions in the answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North in the

    Official Report,30th November, column 298.

    Before the recent revision, the nationally agreed basic rates, including a supplement of £7·85, for a 40-hour week not involving night shift work ranged from £41·52 to £48·44, according to grade. The new earnings survey indicated that average gross earnings were about £76·80 per week in April 1978. This esimate, which is subject to a relatively high sampling error, relates to all full-time manual men aged 21 and over whose pay for the reference week was not affected by absence and who were affected by the Baking Industry National Joint Committee agreement for England and Wales. It includes the effect of night shift working.Corresponding estimates for later dates either before or after the recent wage settlement are not available. However, each £10 increase in gross weekly earnings results in an increase after tax and national insurance of £6·05, at levels of earnings at which the 33 per cent. and 6½ per cent. rates respectively currently apply.

    Women Employees(International Comparisons)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the 1978 full-time work force in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and the United States of America were women

    Unemployed Persons(Women)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the unemployed in the month of December in each of the last eight years was women.

    Following is the available information for Great Britain:

    December 197115·7
    December 197216·7
    December 197315·1
    December 1974*
    December 197521·3
    December 1976*
    December 197728·3
    December 197829·4
    *Because of industrial action by some staff in the Department of Employment group, information for December 1974 and December 1976 is not available.
    EMPLOYEES IN EMPLOYMENT: FEMALES: GREAT BRITAIN
    Full-timePart-time*(Thousands) Total
    June 19715,4682,7578,224
    June 19725,4542,8778,331
    June 19735,5423,1638,705
    June 19745,5123,4218,933
    June 19755,4223,5518,973
    June 19765,3663,5858,951
    June 1977N.A.N.A.9,081†
    June 1978N.A.N.A.9,149†
    *Part-time workers are defined as those normally employed for not more than 30 hours per week—excluding main meal breaks and overtime.
    †Provisional figures.
    N.A. Not available.

    Small Businesses

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of current job vacancies are with small businesses; and how many jobs filled during the past 12 months have been with small businesses.

    I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the available statistics concern the number of job vacancies notified to local offices of the public employment service, and the number filled by them. These statistics do not distinguish small businesses from others

    Public Employees

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his policy with regard to the position of public employees who by the nature of their work are unable to negotiate productivity agreements and who are therefore limited to a maximum pay increase of 5 per cent.; and if he will make a statement.

    The provision in the pay policy for self-financing productivity schemes is not restricted to particular groups

    Women Employees

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many women were in full-time employment in each of the last eight years;(2) how many women were in part-time employment in each of the last eight years.

    Factory Inspections(Rochdale And Bury)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many visits have been made by the factory inspectors to industrial premises in the Rochdale county district in each of the years 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978, respectively;(2) how many visits have been made by the factory inspectors to industrial premises in the Bury county district in each of the years 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978, respectively.

    I am informed by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that information on visits paid by factory inspectors is no longer kept in relation to individual local authority areas. The Greater Manchester area of Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate comprises the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester and includes the district councils of the city of Manchester, city of Salford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and Wigan. The total of visits by inspectors to premises under the Factories Act, the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act and the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act was 12,477 in 1975, 9,097 in 1976 and 9,668 in 1977. There were changes in boundaries of the HMFI area between 1975 and 1976 which affect comparability of the figures. The figures for 1978 are not yet available

    Professional Consultants (Reports)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the subjects on which professional consultants' reports were commissioned by his Department, and the total cost to the Department of such reports, in each of the years 1974, 1975, 1976 1977 and 1978.

    Hull Docks

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many official and unofficial disputes took place in Hull docks during each of the past six years; and what was the tonnage cleared through the port during each of those years.

    The number of stoppages in Hull and Goole docks which came to the notice of my Department is shown below. The figures exclude stoppages involving fewer than 10 workers or lasting less than one day, except where the aggregate of working days lost exceeded 100. The distinction between official and unofficial disputes is not available.

    Stoppages beginning in year
    19738
    19749
    19757
    19767
    19775
    19782 (provisional)

    Information about tonnages cleared is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, but I understand that the figures requested are as follows:

    Year

    Tonnages cleared—expressed 000's gross tons

    19735,601
    19745,608
    19754,543
    19764,499
    19774,252
    1978—to 30th 1978 September3,064

    National Union Of Mineworkers(Education Work)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what discretionary payments for education work were paid to the National Union of Mineworkers in the last 12 months.

    I have been asked to replyGrant towards the costs of trade union education and training incurred by the TUC and affiliated independent unions is paid jointly by my Department and by the Department of Employment. That grant is administered by the TUC in accordance with an agreed memorandum of arrangements. In the financial year 1977–78, £15,198·73 was paid to NUMW under those arrangements; no payment has been made to date in the current financial year.

    Male Earnings And Unemployment

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table for all regions on male earnings and unemployment on the same basis as that for the West Midlands,Official Report,5th December 1978, columns 601–2.

    Comprehensive regional estimates of average earnings are available only for April, from the new earnings survey. The following index numbers are based on the estimated average gross weekly earnings of full-time men aged 21 and over whose pay for the survey reference pay period was not affected by absence. They are subject to sampling errors.

    South-East

    East Anglia

    South-West

    West Midlands

    East Midlands

    Yorkshire and Humberside

    North West

    North

    Wales

    Scotland

    April 1970100100100100100100100100100100
    April 1971110112111108110110110108110111
    April 1972122123123120123123121122124124
    April 1973138143142137140141138141141143
    April 1974158165162154160162157162160163
    April 1975200208202189209209200212205213
    April 1976236246242223240247238251242253
    April 1977258269264247266270260272266277
    April 1978292306297277305309295310299313
    Index numbers, seasonally adjusted, of unemployed males—excluding school leavers—are:

    South-East

    East Anglia

    South-West

    West Midlands

    East Midlands

    Yorkshire and Humberside

    North West

    North

    Wales

    Scotland

    1970100100100100100100100100100100
    January to June 1971112133112129117117122109109125
    July to December 1971129149129171135142155128125145
    January to June 1972134143133193141148172134136150
    July to December 1972120119117169125130165124124138
    January to June 1973979497123100104141104102115
    July to December 1973828386958586114908994
    January to June 19748785981049590116939994
    July to December 197495†103†120†109*108†93†126†97†104†95†
    January to June 1975131‡142‡167‡158‡141‡116‡159‡110‡131‡103‡
    July to December 1975177182211226176147193124166125
    January to June 1976212210240261196168213133184142
    July to December 1976223*217*247*254*201*168*213*138*183*149*
    January to June 1977225226252241201163211143184159
    July to December 1977230233259245210174220150196167
    January to June 1978215219246234207174214157199166
    July to December 1978202208230228201170209153195155

    *Average of July to October; figures for November and December not available.

    †Average of July to November; figures for December not available.
    ‡Average of February to June; figures for January not available.

    Social Services

    Private Clinic Patients (Hirepurchase Operations)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what safeguards exist to protect patients offered operations on hire purchase by private clinics; and what recourse there is for a patient who is led to believe that he or she needs an operation and can afford it when the cost is spread over a year or more.

    Private medical treatment is a matter between the patient, his medical advisors and the private clinic. Private clinics providing credit facilities to individuals have to obtain a licence under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 which places on the Director General of Fair Trading the duty of administering the licensing system

    Family Incomes

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures similar to those given in

    TABLE 1
    SINGLE PERSON:
    RENT £5·30; RATES £1·95
    Former earningsUB£Rent rebate£Rate rebate£Net weekly spending power£
    All levels15·755·301·9515·75
    TABLE 2
    MARRIED COUPLE:
    RENT £5·30; RATE; £1·95
    Former earningsUB£Rent rebate£Rate rebate£Net weekly spending power£
    All levels25·505·301·9525·50
    TABLE 3
    MARRIED COUPLE WITH ONE CHILD AGED 3:
    RENT £6·00; RATES £2·35; CHILD BENEFIT £3·00
    Former earningsUB£FIS£Rent rebate£Rate rebate£Free welfare milk£Net weekly spending power£
    £30·0027·358·005·511·960·9538·52
    £35·0027·355·506·002·160·9536·71
    £45·0027·350·506·002·250·9531·80
    Above £45·0027·356·002·250·9531·30
    TABLE 4
    MARRIED COUPLE WITH TWO CHILDREN AGED 4 AND 6:
    RENT £6·30; RATES £2·35; CHILD BENEFIT £6·00
    Former earningsUB£FIS£Rent rebate£Rate rebate£Free school milk£Free welfare milk£Net weekly spending power£
    £30·0029·2010·005·622·001·250·9546·37
    £35·0029·207·506·242·201·250·9544·69
    £45·0029·202·506·302·351·250·9539·90
    £50.00 and above29·206·302·351·250·9537·40

    reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North—[ Official Report, 30th November, c. 298–306.]—showing the net weekly spending power of each family group during the first six months of unemployment, but assuming that there is no entitlement to earnings related supplement.

    The information requested is set out in the tables below. The assumptions made about the ages of the children and housing expenses are shown at the head of each table. Other assumptions are as in my reply to the hon. Member of 30th November 1978.A further assumption is that, for unemployment benefit purposes, class 1 contributions in the relevant tax year have been paid on earnings, or credited, sufficient to give entitlement to flat-rate benefit only but that, for the purpose of calculating entitlement to family income supplement, earnings immediately prior to unemployment have been in the range of £30 to £105. The tables therefore relate only to the particular illustrative situa

    TABLE 5
    MARRIED COUPLE WITH THREE CHILDREN AGED 3,8 AND 12:
    RENT £6·30: RATES £2·35; CHILD BENEFIT £9·00

    Former earnings£

    UB

    SB

    FIS

    Rent rebate

    Rate rebate

    Free school meals

    Free welfare foods

    Net weekly spending power

    ££££££££
    £30·0031·0512·005·541·972·500·9554·36
    £35·0031·059·506·172·172·500·9552·69
    £45·0031·054·506·302·352·500·9548·00
    £55·00 and above31·0510·102·500·9544·95
    12·005·541·972·500·9554·36
    £35·0031·0519·506·172·172·500·9552·69
    £45·0031·054·506·302·352·500·9548·00
    £55·00 and above31·0510·102·500·9544·95

    TABLE 6
    MARRIED COUPLE WITH FOUR CHILDREN AGED 3,8,11 AND 16:
    RENT £7·20; RATES £2·70; CHILD BENEFIT £12·00

    Former earnings

    UB£

    SB£

    FIS£

    Rent rebate£

    Rate rebate£

    Free school meals£

    Free welfare foods£

    Net weekly spending power£

    £30·0032·9013·506·132·203·750·9561·53
    £35·0032·9011·506·632·363·750·9560·19
    £45·0032·906·507·202·703·750·9556·10
    £55·0032·9014·551·503·750·9555·75
    £57·00 and above32·9016·053·750·9555·75
    UB=Unemployment Benefit.
    SB=Supplementary Benefit.
    F1S=Family Income Supplement.

    tions quoted, and have no general application and no validity if quoted out of context without stating the assumptions used.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures showing the net weekly spending power for families with each of two children aged 16 and 14 years, three children aged 16, 14 and 12 years, and four children aged 16, 14, 12 and 10 years, assuming that the parents are dependent on supplementary benefits plus disregards bringing their total income up to 120 per cent. of their supplementary benefit entitlement levels, and also taking into account the value of free school meals.

    120 per cent. of supplementary benefit entitlement, apart from rent, plus the value of free school meals for the families specified is £53·80, £62·91 and £70·52.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what increase in net weekly spending power a man with a wife and two children would receive if his gross wage was increased by 5 per cent. if his previous earnings were £50, £60, £70, £80, £90 or £100 per week, making the same assumptions as in the Answer to the Question of the hon. Member for North Norfolk,Official Report,30th November, c. 298; and if also he will state the percentage increase in each case.

    As in earlier replies to similar Questions by the hon. Member, the comparisons of net weekly spending power which involve yearly wage increases and changes in tax and benefit levels have been made over a past period of a year. The figures given in the table below therefore compare the net weekly spending power of a man with earnings in November 1977 of the various amounts requested with his position a year later when his earnings had been increased by 5 per cent. The table is based on standard assumptions, for example as to housing and work expenses, and has no general validity.

    MARRIED COUPLE WITH TWO CHILDREN AGED 4 AND 6

    Earnings

    Tax

    National insurance contribution

    Child benefit

    Rent

    Rent rebate

    Rates

    Rate rebate

    Work expenses

    Free school meals

    Free welfare milk

    Net weekly spending power

    Percentage increase in net weekly spending power

    November—
    197750·005·092·882·505·602·672·201·082·001·250·8140·5412
    197852·505·163·416·006·302·772·351·372·101·250·9545·52
    197760·008·493·452·505·600·972·200·482·001·2543·4611
    197863·008·644·096·006·300·982·350·452·101·2548·17
    197770·0011·894·022·505·602·2046·7911
    197873·5012·094·786·006·302·352·1051·88
    197780·0015·294·602·505·602·202·0052·8110
    197884·0015·575·466·006·302·352·1058·22
    197790·0018·695·182·505·602·202·0058·8310
    197894·5019·026·146·006·302·352·1064·59
    1977100·0022·095·752·505·602·202·0064·869
    1978105·0022·506·826·006·302·352·1070·93
    NOTES
    The assumptions made about the ages of the children, the housing expenses for this size of family and the work expenses are shown in the table. It has also been assumed that:—
    (i) the couple have no other personal income;
    (ii) national insurance contributions are payable at the non-contracted out rate;
    (iii) there are no tax allowances apart from personal tax allowances; and
    (iv) means-tested benefits are taken up in full.

    Immediate Care Schemes

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions he has had with the British Association of Immediate Care Schemes; and what financial support he has given in each of the last three years.

    Following a meeting between my officials and the British Association of Immediate Care Schemes in December 1977, a grant of £7,500 is being made towards the association's headquarters' administrative expenses in the current financial year. A further meeting is planned shortly to discuss the level of future financial support.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the number of lives saved in each of the last three years in road and other accidents as a result of the immediate care schemes ;(2) what is his estimate of the saving in lives that would result from the introduction of a national system of immediate care schemes.

    I regret that information on which to base estimates is not available. The protocol of a research project to evaluate immediate care schemes has not yet been received from the British Association of Immediate Care Schemes.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many doctors now give their time voluntarily and unpaid to assist immediate care schemes ;(2) if he will list in the Official Report the names of the areas which have immediate care schemes.

    I understand from the British Association of Immediate Care Schemes that in England over 1,100 doctors are participating in immediate care schemes based on the following centres: Ashford, Aylesbury, Baslow (Derbyshire), Bath, Binbrook (Lints), Blandford, Bodmin, Bristol, Bromley, Brough (East Yorkshire), Cambridge, Chester. Chesterfield, Chingford, Colchester, Coventry, Cullompton, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster, Durham, East Birmingham, Exeter, Frome, Grays, Great Yarmouth, Harrogate, Hatfield, Henley-on-Thames, Hythe, Ipswich, Kendal, Launceston, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Newbury, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Shields, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Penrith, Penzance, Plymouth, Preston, Richmond (Yorkshire), Rugby, Saffron Walden, Salisbury, Southampton, Stevenage, Tarporley, Tavistock, Tetbury (Glos), Tewkesbury, Warwick, Welwyn Garden City, Westbury, Whitby, Wye (Kent).

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people involved in road accidents in each of the last three years have received attention from immediate care schemes.

    Medical Treatment (Patients' Consent)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what statutory powers authorise the giving of medical treatment to individuals without their consent.

    Patients detained for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1959 may be given treatment for their mental disorder without their consent. Apart from this, there are no statutory powers to give medical treatment to individuals without consent. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind and will write to me I will look into it.

    Regional Intensive Maternitycare Units

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has of the number of regional intensive maternity care units which exist in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, West Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Scotland, Italy, England and Wales, Austria, Romania, Norway, Belgium, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Greece and the United States of America.

    A number of published sources provide a general description of maternity and child health systems in different countries. For example, the International Monograph Series on Early Child Care now includes volumes on Hungary, Sweden, the United States of America, Switzerland, Britain, France, Israel and Poland, with one on India in preparation, Only a few studies, however, go into such details as the number of maternity units that are combined with intensive neonatal care facilities. Thus, M. and A. Wyne in their 1976 study of French policy and legislation report that in 1970 there were in France seven neonatal intensive care units in teaching hospitals, with a further 20 planned so as to provide at least one in each region. In their 1974 study of services for pregnant women and young children in Finland, the same authors found that all maternity and neonatal care was concentrated in 19 central hospitals, with 3 more under construction or planned.In the United Kingdom the numbers of hospitals equipped and staffed to accept referrals of mothers with high-risk pregnancies and to provide a high level of intensive care to their babies when born —or to newborn babies referred from other units—are:

    England38
    Wales7
    Scotland5
    Northern Ireland1
    Estimated percentage of revenue expenditure on services for the mentally handicapped
    Health district1978–791979–80
    Portsmouth and South-East Hampshire7·77·8
    Southampton and South-West Hampshire (Teaching)6·46·3
    Winchester and Central Hampshire3·03·9
    Basingstoke and North Hampshire0·50·6
    The figures for Portsmouth and South-East Hants; and Southampton and South-West Hampshire districts reflect the existence of Coldeast and Tatchbury Mount mental handicap hospitals whose combined catchment areas extend throughout the Hampshire area.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which of the districts in the Hampschire area health authority do not have a residential children's unit for the mentally handicapped.

    The Basingstoke and North Hampshire health district does not have a residential unit for mentally handicapped children. The district is served by Coldeast Hospital, Salisbury Green, Southampton. Hampshire area health authority—teaching—and Hampshire county council are currently discussing the possibility of joint provision of resi

    We understand that there are eight similar hospitals in the Republic of Ireland.

    Sources:International Monograph Series on Early Child Care ed. H. B. and N. M. Robinson, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers Ltd. 8 vols, London 1972–78.

    The Protection of Maternity and Infancy by M. and A. Wynn, Council for Children's Welfare, London 1974.

    Prevention of Handicap of Perinatal Origin by M. and A. Wynn, Foundation for Education and Research in Child-Bearing, London 1976.

    Mentally Handicapped Persons(Hampshire)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the percentage of the expenditure by each of the districts in the Hampshire area health authority devoted to the mentally handicapped; and what are the planned percentages for 1979–80.

    The information requested is as follows:dantial facilities within the district for mentally handicapped children.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the increase or reduction of expenditure in real money terms which is planned for the services of the mentally handicapped in the (Basingstoke) North Hants Health District in the years 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81 and 1981–82 respectively.

    It is anticipated that in 1978–79 there will be an increase of £18,000 in revenue expenditure on services for the mentally handicapped, arising from additional staff appointments at Darlington House, Basingstoke, a new adult residential unit. In 1979-80 and subsequent years there will be a reduction of £23,000 as a result of the transfer of responsibility for patients occupying contractual beds at St. Mary's Nursing Home Alton, from Hampshire area health authority—teaching—to Hampshire county council.

    Childbirth And Rubella

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what was the incidence of congenital malformation among babies born in 1977 ; and what was the incidence of cerebral palsy ;

  • (2) how many inoculations against rubella were given to schoolgirls and adult women of child-bearing age during 1977 ; and what was the incidence of congenital rubella in 1977 and 1978 to the latest date for which figures are available ;
  • (3) what was the prevalence of caesarian section and of induced births in England and Wales in 1977.
  • I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Members for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Lomas), Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young), Walsall, South (Mr. George), Chorley (Mr. Rodgers), Welwyn and Hatfield (Mrs. Hayman), St. Marylebone (Mr. Baker), Eccles (Mr. Carter), Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Thomas), Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley), and Southampton, Test (Mr. Gould) on 17th November 1978.—[Vol. 958, c. 400–8.]

    Professional Consultants (Reports)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the subjects on which professional consultants' reports were commissioned by his Department, and the total cost to the Department of such reports, in each of the years 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978.

    Following is a list of reports commissioned by my Department since 1974 from professional consultants:

    Subjects which consultants were commissioned to report upon 1974–78

    1974

    • Management systems in the social security field
    • ADP systems in the social security field.
    • ADP systems in the NHS.
    • Hospital administration.
    • Social security administration.
    • NHS planning.
    • Operational research in the NHS.
    • Clinical applications of operational research.
    • Ambulance administration.
    • TOTAL COST:£467,883.

    1975

    • NHS administration.
    • Health care studies.
    • Ambulance administration.
    • Operational research in the NHS.
    • Information systems.
    • Clinical procedures.
    • ADP applications in the NHS.
    • ADP applications in the social security field.
    • TOTAL COST:£358,508.

    1976

    • NHS administration.
    • Social security administration.
    • ADP applications in the NHS.
    • Financial procedures.
    • Operational research in the social security field.
    • Clinical applications of operational research.
    • TOTAL COST:£188,973.

    1977

    • Review of personal social services.
    • Ambulance administration.
    • Supplementary benefit review.
    • Health care study.
    • Manpower planning.
    • Operational research study of social security benefits.
    • Clinical applications of operational research.
    • ADP applications in the NHS.
    • ADP applications to social security.
    • ADP applications to training.
    • Public attitudes towards supplementary benefit.
    • TOTAL COST:£181,756.

    1978

    • Management systems in the NHS.
    • Manpower systems in the NHS.
    • Clinical studies.
    • NHS planning.
    • ADP projects in the NHS.
    • ADP projects in social security.
    • Attitudes to claimants to options for change in the supplementary benefits scheme.
    • TOTAL COST:£87,157.

    Sickness Benefit(Public Sector Employees)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to bring to the attention of public sector employers who themselves compute entitlement to sickness benefit the undesirability of demanding that their employees should produce a form Med 3 doctor's statement covering trivial absences of a single day or less; and if he will make a statement.

    Arrangements for sickness absences in the public sector, as elsewhere, are matters for agreement between employers and their staffs. However, some years ago the attention of employers and bodies concerned with negotiation of terms and conditions of service in the public sector was drawn to the desirability of bringing their arrangements into line with those for payment of social security sickness benefit and not requiring medical evidence of sickness for absences of three days or less. The response to these approaches was generally co-operative and as far as I am aware this principle is followed in much of the public sector.In the National Health Service, where Whitley Councils are largely responsible for negotiating sick pay schemes, sick notes are not required, with some minor exceptions, for absences of less than three days.

    Geriatric And Psychogeriatric Hospitals(Greater Manchester)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons were awaiting admission to geriatric and psychogeriatric hospitals, at the most recent date for which figures are available, in the county districts of Greater Manchester county ; and if he will make a statement.

    Following is the information:

    Area Health AuthorityNumbers waiting
    Bolton42
    Bury
    Manchester78
    Oldham2
    Rochdale
    Salford (31.10.78)62
    Stockport (30.9.78)88
    Tameside (30.9.78)48
    Trafford29
    Wigan (31.10.78)17
    Total Greater Manchester366
    NOTES.
    1. All figures show the position on 30th November 1978 unless stated otherwise.
    2. Waiting list figures for the elderly severely mentally infirm are not kept separately and the above figures should be taken to include them.

    Kidney Machines

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of the extra 400 kidney machines promised to the National Health Service in the year 1978–79 by Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Statement, Official Report, 11th April 1978, columns 1196–7, are in service for patients; and if he will make a statement.

    I have now given approval for health authorities to go ahead with schemes in each region to provide facilities for a total of 418 additional patients to be treated by dialysis. In some cases this approval also covers plans for increasing the number of transplants undertaken which will in due course release further dialysis facilities. My Department is also discussing further developments with three regional health authorities.Detailed statistics on the number of additional patients accepted for treatment as a result of this exercise will not be available until later this year but I have no reason to believe that health authorities are not making every effort to bring these additional facilities into use as soon as possible.

    Private Homes (Medical Care Ofex-Hospital Patients)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the supervision taking place in small private homes looking after people receiving medical benefit and who are immediate ex-hopsital patients; and whether, in view of the loss of life at a home at Clacton-on-Sea housing ex-mental health patients, he is satisfied with existing safety arrangements for such homes.

    I assume the hon. Member is referring primarily to people who have been discharged from mental illness and mental handicap hospitals and who have some continuing disability.Social service authorities have a duty to provide social work support to people who are or have been suffering from mental disorder: they have a duty to such people whether they live at home, or find lodgings in private boarding houses that have not sought to specialise in the care of former patients, or are accommodated in homes which do so specialise. In addition, an authority's mental welfare officers are empowered to inspect any non-hospital premises in which a mentally disordered person is living if they have reasonable cause to believe that the person concerned is not under proper care. In guidance to authorities since 1976, my Department has repeatedly emphasised that care of the mentally ill and mentally handicapped should be given priority in the use of resources. I am aware that different social services authorities carry out this function in different ways and with differing degrees of effectiveness, often reflecting pressures on their resources. But I shall continue to urge both health and local authorities to improve these services.As regards specialised accommodation, under the National Assistance Act 1948 and the Mental Health Act 1959, private residential homes and hostels whose sole or main object is to provide accommodation for people suffering from mental disorder must be registered by the relevant local authority. The authority must satisfy itself as to the suitability of staff, services, facilities and premises. The authority is empowered to authorise someone to enter and inspect any premises which are used, or believed to be used, as a home for the mentally disordered. I am currently reviewing the registration requirements for both voluntary and private accommodation for various groups of vulnerable people, including the mentally disordered.I am looking urgently into the circumstances of the fire at Clacton, including any lessons the fire may have for our review of the registration requirements. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as I have all the relevant facts and have been able to study their implications.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many homes in England and Wales are housing more than five people who are immediate ex-hospital patients and in receipt of medical benefits.

    The information is not available, but I expect to form some estimate of the number of such establishments in the course of the review of the provisions governing the registration of voluntary and private homes, under social services legislation, which is already in hand.

    Geriatric And Psychiatric Beds(North-West Region)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to increase the number of geriatric/psychiatric beds in the Mersey and North-West region.

    My concern is that comprehensive local services for the elderly and for the mentally ill, including sufficient hospital beds in appropriate locations, should be developed in each district.In my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Crewe (Mrs. Dunwoody) kin 5th December 1978 I set out my Department's general guidance on the rates of provision of beds in different types of hospitals for the elderly and mentally Ill. [Vol. 959, c. 627–8.] I am not specifically seeking an increase in the overall number of beds; as stated in my earlier reply, the detailed assessment of local needs is a matter for the health authorities themselves. In the case of services for the mentally ill, I would expect there to be a continuing decline in total bed numbers, with fewer patients in mental illness hospital and future services increasingly located in general hospitals. The strategic plans published in 1977 by both the Mersey and North-Western regional health authorities set out their proposals for developing comprehensive and integrated local services in accordance with we Department's general policies for the elderly and the mentally ill. The implementation of these proposals has been the subject of discussion between the Department and the two regional health authorities which will be continuing in the context of the revised strategic plans they are to submit this year.

    Ambulance Services

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, how many people were employed in the ambulance services in each of the last 10 years ; how many people have left the service during each of those years ; and how many have been recruited to the service during each of those years.

    The tables below show, respectively, the numbers and whole time equivalents, of ambulance officers and ambulance men/women, excluding. administrative and clerical staff, workshop staff and miscellaneous staff such as store-men, canteen staff and vehicle and station cleaners, in England at 30th September for the years 1968–1977—the latest available date. I regret that statistics on leavers and recruits to the service are not held centrally.

    TABLE A
    NUMBERS OF AMBULANCE OFFICERS AND AMBULANCE MEN/WOMEN EMPLOYED IN THE AMBULANCE SERVICE IN ENGLAND AI 30TH SEPTEMBER

    1968

    1969

    1970

    1971

    1972

    1973

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    Ambulance officers (includes control room, supervisory and training staff)2,0712,1522,2212,3022,3792,604N.A.3,0363,0623,148
    Ambulance men/women13,10513,17613,51513,69513,91614,026N.A.14,04414,21714,314
    Totals15,17615,32815,73615,99716,29516,630N.A.17,08017,27917,462
    N.A. =Not available.

    TABLE B
    WHOLE TIME EQUIVALENTS—AMBULANCE OFFICERS AND AMBULANCE MEN/WOMEN EMPLOYED IN THE AMBULANCE SERVICE IN ENGLAND AT 30TH SEPTEMBER

    1968

    1969

    1970

    1971

    1972

    1973

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    Ambulance officers (includes control room, supervisory and training staff)1,9852,0572,1242,2072,2762,5102,7223,0083,0463,130
    Ambulance men/women12,39612,47512,72213,03613,33513,51213,31013,98614,13814,272
    Totals14,38114,53214,84615,24315,61116,02216,03216,99417,18417,402

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which of the ambulance services in England and Wales are up to establishment; which are below establishment; and in the latter case, by what number and by what percentage the service in question is below establishment.

    Information on the establishments of health authorities' ambulance services in England and Wales is not held centrally and could not be provided without disproportionate expense.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking in order to increase recruitment for the ambulance service; and whether he will intensify such steps.

    Responsibility for the provision of ambulance services, including recruitment to the service, rests with the health authority concerned. In order to give general encouragement to recruiting a careers leaflet on the ambulance service is being prepared by my Department and should be available later in the year. I do not consider that any other initiatives are required at this stage.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services by what percentage the pay of a recruit of the ambulance service is below that of a recruit to the fire service and to the police service, respectively.

    A direct comparison is not possible; patterns of work and hours of work and payment for them vary as between the three services. The weekly rate of pay for a trainee ambulance man 18 years and over is £45·80 for a 40 hours of day work, Monday to Friday. The rate of pay for an 18-year-old fireman is £69·47 for 48 hours—in the process of reducing to 42 hours—working rotating shifts covering 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a police constable on entry at 18½ years the weekly rate of pay is £61·16 for 40 hours also working rotating shifts and weekends.These figures for trainee ambulance men take no account of the recent offer made to the trade union side of the ambulance men Whitley Council within the guidelines of the Government's coun- ter-inflationary policy which would be effective from 1st January 1979.The rates quoted for the firemen, however, are those effective from 7th November 1978 and for the police from 1st September 1978.

    Family Income Supplement

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table giving the numbers of new claims for family income supplement for each year since the scheme's inception; and if he will list also the numbers of claimants who continued to draw family income supplement for each subsequent year.

    I regret that information is not available in the form requested, but the hon. Member may find it helpful to refer to table 32·05 in "Social Security Statistics 1976 ", published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which shows the total number of claims for family income supplement (FIS) processed up to 1976 and the number of FIS awards made in response to new and repeat and renewal claims. Corresponding information for 1977 and 1978 is shown in the table below. A "renewal claim" is one made up to four weeks before or after a FIS award expires. A "repeat claim" is one made more than four weeks after a FIS award expires.

    FAMILY INCOME SUPPLEMENT
    Great Britain
    19771978
    Total claims processed152,449160,449
    Number of awards:
    New and repeat47,52148,373
    Renewal39,85641,371
    Source:100 per cent. count.

    Clofibrate

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking in the light of recent reports of possible harmful effects from the drug clofibrate.

    The Committee on Safety of Medicines has studied the results of a number of recent studies of clofibrate, including the WHO primary prevention study. Because of doubts about the value of clofibrate in the prevention of fatal heart attacks and concern about an associated increase in the incidence of gall bladder disease, the committee feels that it should not be used routinely in treating patients with raised cholesterol levels. However, there is no doubt that clofibrate is effective in reducing abnormally high levels of cholesterol and other similar substances in the majority of patients treated. At present the committee sees no reason to recommend the drug's withdrawal but will continue to monitor closely events relating to its use. It is a matter of clinical judgment whether or not to use clofibrate in individual cases.An item on the benefits and risks of treatment with clofibrate will be included in the next edition of the committee's publication "Current Problems" shortly to be issued to all doctors and dentists in the United Kingdom. Arrangements are in hand for warnings in manufacturers' data sheets to be strengthened to emphasise the increased incidence of gall stones amongst patients treated with this drug.

    Skelmersdale (Community Hospital)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the outcome of his Department's discussions with the North-West regional health authority on its consultative document which raised the question of a special financial allocation being made to enable a community hospital to be built in Skelmersdale.

    My Department has advised the regional health authority that this question should be taken up in the first instance with the Skelmersdale New Town Development Corporation. I am writing to my hon. Friend and to my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. McGuire), who has also written to me on this subject.

    Health Education Council

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement giving the reasons why Mr. Leslie Baines is appointed only acting chairman of the Health Education Council; and when he expects to appoint a full chairman.

    Mr. Leslie Baines, who had served as vice-chairman of the Health Education Council for six years and as a member since its inception in 1968, was due to retire from council membership on 31st December 1978. However, at my request, and at some personal inconvenience to himself, he agreed to act as chairman for a period of six months to enable me to give further consideration with my colleagues to the question of making a long-term appointment to take effect from 1st July 1979.

    Detoxification Centre (Leeds)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the review of the future of the Leeds detoxification centre is yet complete ; if so, what is proposed ; and, if not, when he expects the review to be completed.

    It is hoped that the review can be completed by the end of March, but this depends on the result of further discussions with the health and local authorities in Leeds and the Centre's management committee.

    Benefits (Claimants' Order Books)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) why is it not possible to issue single books to claimants by the local offices of the DHSS when the payment is more than £30;

  • (2) how long it has been the policy of his Department that books to the value of more than £30 cannot be issued by local DHSS offices ;
  • (3) if he will revise the present system in order that books of more than £30 can be issued through the local offices of the DHSS.
  • A variety of order books are used over the range of benefits administered by the Department. The maximum value of orders in each type of book differs having regard to the weekly rate of benefit. For many benefits paid by local offices a single book of more than £30 value is issued, but some benefits have a £30 limit.For security reasons a limit is set on the maximum value of orders. In fixing the various maxima a balance has to be struck between security, the convenience of claimants and efficient economic administration. These limits are kept under regular review.

    Hospital Waiting Lists (Staffordshire)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people are currently waiting for hospital beds in the Staffordshire area, and what were the numbers waiting at the same date in each of the past five years.

    Comparable figures prior to 1974 in the form requested are not centrally available. The information at 31st December in each year is as follows:

    19747,616
    19759,583
    197610,012
    197711,728
    197813,622

    Fluoridation

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report the area health authorities which have voted in favour of artificial fluoridation of the public water supply, together with the county, district and parish councils in the areas covered by the health authorities and the decisions which those elected bodies have made on fluoridation.

    The following area health authorities in England have so far decided in favour of seeking to introduce this valuable preventive health measure in their areas. The remainder of the Question could be answered only at disproportionate cost, but I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Belfast, South (Mr. Bradford) on 13th December 1978.—[Vol. 960, c. 232–3.]

    Northern region

    Cleveland ; Cumbria ; Durham ; Northumberland ; Gateshead ; Newcastle-upon-Tyne ; South Tyneside ; Sunderland.

    Yorkshire region

    North Yorkshire; Bradford; Calderdale Kirklees ; Leeds ; Wakefield.

    Trent region

    Derbyshire; Leicestershire; Lincolnshire; Nottinghamshire; Doncaster ; Rotherham:Sheffield.

    East Anglia region

    Cambridgeshire ; Norfolk ; Suffolk.

    North-West Thames region

    Bedfordshire; Hertfordshire; Barnet; Brent and Harrow; Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow ; Hillingdon ; Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster.

    North-East Thames region

    Essex; Barking and Havering ; Camden and Islington ; City and East London ; Enfield and Haringey ; Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

    South-East Thames region

    East Sussex; Kent; Greenwich and Bexley: Bromley ; Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.

    South-West Thames region

    Surrey; West Sussex; Croydon ; Kingston and Richmond ; Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth.

    Wessex region

    Dorset ; Hampshire ; Wiltshire.

    Oxford region

    Berkshire ; Buckinghamshire ; Northamptonshire ; Oxfordshire.

    South-Western region

    Avon; Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ; Devon ; Gloucestershire ; Somerset.

    West Midlands region

    Hereford and Worcester; Salop: Staffordshire; Warwickshire; Birmingham; Coventry ; Dudley ; Sandwell ; Solihull ; Walsall.

    Mersey region

    Cheshire; Liverpool; St. Helens and Knowsley ; Sefton.

    North-Western region

    Lancashire; Bolton; Bury: Manchester ; Oldham ; Rochdale ; Salford ; Stockport ; Tameside ; Trafford ; Wigan.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether an indemnity has been offered to any water authority to cover it against successful legal claims made against it arising from fluoridation of the public water supplies; and, if so, whether he will publish in theOfficial Reportthe terms of such an indemnity.

    My predecessors and I have offered such an indemnity to water authorities since 1962, after the publication of the report on the successful conclusion of the first five years of the official fluoridation studies in the United Kingdom—Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No. 105, HMSO. I am sending a copy of the current indemnity to the hon. Member and placing one in the Library.

    Mentally Abnormal Offenders

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what research is being carried out jointly with the Home Department on mentally abnormal offenders in prison.

    None at present, but we are commissioning research into the group of mentally disordered offenders described by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department in his reply to my hon. Friend on 8th November 1978.—[Vol. 957, c. 181–2.] A suitably qualified researcher is being sought.

    Day Nursery Places

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many day nursery places exist in the Rochdale county district; when it is planned to increase this number; and by how many.

    On 31st March 1978 there were 253 places in local authority day nurseries in the Rochdale metropolitan district. In addition, private premises were registered to provide all-day care for up to 154 children.The local authority plans to provide a further 27 day nursery places within the next two years ; no information is available about possible increases in private provision.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many day nursery places exist in the Bury county district; when it is planned to increase this number; and by how many.

    On 31st March 1978 there were 110 places in local authority day nurseries in the Bury metropolitan district. In addition, private premises were registered to provide all-day care for up to 224 children.The local authority has no immediate plans for further provision; no information is available about possible increases in private provision.

    Death Grant

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the buying value of £20 today, as com- pared to its buying value when the death benefit was fixed at £20.

    Based on the movement of the General Index of Retail Prices up to November 1978, the latest month for which a figure is available, the death grant would need to be increased to £124.81 to have the same value as £20 in July 1949, when the death grant was introduced.

    Old-Age Pensions

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of(a)a 5 per cent. and(b)a 10 per cent. increase in the level of old-age pensions during the fiscal year 1979–80.

    The full year cost of increasing old age pensions, that is, retirement pensions, old persons' pensions and supplementary pensions, excluding any tax offset, would be (a)£410 million ; (b)£820 million.

    Autism

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state the amount of funds provided by his Department for research into the causes and treatment of the autistic syndrome and subventions made by him for institutions housing and treating those so suffering.

    pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 12th December 1978: Vol. 960, c. 132], gave the following information:I now understand from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science that the Medical Research Council spent £45,000 during the financial year 1977–78 on the three projects mentioned in my reply to my right hon. Friend's other Question on 12th December.—[Vol. 960, c. 131.]

    Means-Tested Benefits

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many means-tested benefits are reckoned on net income and how many on gross income.

    pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 12th December 1978; Vol. 960, c. 134], gave the following information:

    The following are on net income bases:

  • 1. Supplementary benefit;
  • 2. Free milk and vitamins;
  • 3. Help with National Health Service charges for dental treatment, dentures and glasses; prescriptions; wigs and fabric supports;
  • 4. Patients' hospital travelling expenses;
  • 5. Legal aid (civil);
  • 6. Legal advice and assistance;
  • 7. Legal aid (criminal);
  • 8. Accommodation under part III of the National Assistance Act 1948;
  • 9. Professional training scheme for disabled people;
  • 10. Free school meals;
  • 11. Awards for students taking certain postgraduate courses;
  • 12. Awards for students on first degree or comparable courses or initial teacher training courses and courses leading to the Diploma of Higher Education, the Higher National Diploma, or the Higher Diplomas of TEC and BEC ; and
  • 13. Awards for students at long-term adult residential colleges.
  • The following are on gross income bases:

  • 1. Family income supplement;
  • 2. Rent rebates and allowances;
  • 3. Rate rebates; and
  • 4. Remission of direct grant school tuition fees.
  • Perinatal mortality Stillbirths and deaths under one week of age

    Infant mortality

    Deaths under one year of age

    By legitimacy

    Legitimate

    Illegitimate

    Legitimate

    Illegitimate

    194828,2732,27324,8551,911
    194926,3242,04522,2051,677
    195024,8791,81119,4181,399
    195124,7151,77218,9481,275
    195224,1461,68817,4171,138
    195324,1821,62617,2511,073
    195424,6571,59116,1431,017
    195524,0101,56915,627986
    195624,7011,63315,600954
    195725,0841,70815,6841,036
    195824,7831,71915,6801,005
    195924,3021,76815,5851,044
    196024,4781,81615,9911,127
    196124,4472,04816,1681,225
    196224,0642,28816,6771,510
    196323,2492,23816,5061,536
    196422,6832,40015,7801,665
    196521,2202,35314,7461,649
    196620,l3552,33414,5011,646
    196719,0572,41613,6111,655
    196818,2662,26413,3501,632
    196916,7972,08612.6701,721
    197016,6292,04212,5741,693
    197115,6741,97512,0511,669
    197214,153179011,0901,408
    197312,7861,58810,0761,331
    197411,6141,5559,1831,276
    197510,3361,4338,2521,236
    19769,1701,3027,2301,104
    19778,4911,2666,7861,055
    Equivalent rates were given in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Corbett) on 30th November 1978