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Written Answers

Volume 961: debated on Friday 26 January 1979

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 26 January 1979

Trade

Licensed Dealers (Conduct Of Business) Rules 1960

asked the Secretary of of State for Trade if he will list all the organisations he has consulted in drawing up detailed proposals for amending the Licensed Dealers (Conduct of Business) Rules 1960.

The Take-over Panel, the Law Society, the Law Society of Scotland and the Stock Exchange were invited to put forward suggestions for amending these rules. Detailed proposals were then drawn up by my Department, and discussed with the Stock Exchange and Take-over Panel. As required by section 7(3) of the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act 1958, the rules will be published in draft, probably before the middle of this year. My Department will then write to all holders of a principal's licence inviting their observations, and draw up a final text in the light of these and any other comments received.

Prevention Of Fraud (Investments) Act

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he expects to bring forward legislation to bring up to date the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act.

Consultations on the proposed amendments to this Act are virtually complete. A Bill will be introduced when the parliamentary timetable permits.

Trinidad And Tobago

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what role British enterprises are playing in the important public sector development programme of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 15 December 1978; Vol. 960, c. 569–70], gave the following information:I am happy to inform the House that on 23 January 1979, at the invitation of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Her Majesty's Government signed a memorandum of understanding with that Government to provide a framework for establishing United Kingdom participation in a number of important construction projects. At this stage Britain has been invited to implement the construction of the Trincity housing project as well as certain "flatted accommodation" projects at agreed locations: the proposed Hall of Justice: the National Library complex: the proposed financial complex: a Government printery: and parking facilities at agreed sites.A number of these projects are likely to throw up other opportunities for British firms to make a sophisticated contribution to the development programme of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly where these can provide the opportunity for the transfer of technology to which that Government attach substantial importance under their programme of Government to Government agreements. It is the expectation of both Governments that as the development programme unfolds the memorandum of understanding will prove a suitable instrument to implement further co-operation.The large programme of construction and property management which will be undertaken by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago may require major developments of administration and of functional expertise within its machinery of government. Her Majesty's Government have undertaken to afford suitable assistance and advice in this respect from their own expert resources.The Government of Trinidad and Tobago also desire to expand and develop their programme of adult education and the memorandum of understanding notes the intention of both Governments to make suitable arrangements for advice and assistance in this area.

Northern Ireland

Houses (Valuation)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the approximate number of dwellings in Northern Ireland which have net annual values of £59, £129 and £224, respectively; and what percentage of the total dwellings in Northern Ireland is represented by dwellings of each such valuation.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23 January 1979, Vol. 961, c. 118], gave the following reply:The information is as follows:

Annual valuation(£)Approximate number of dwellingsPercentage of total dwellings in Northern Ireland
591,9740·37
1291,5280·31
2242600·06

Defence

Regents Park Barracks

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he plans to redevelop the Regents Park barracks in Albany Street, London; and if he will make a statement.

Regents Park Barracks is one of a number of important barrack sites in London all of which are required by the Army in the long term and which are being modernised or re-built according to a closely co-ordinated programme. When feasibility studies into the use of certain other sites have been completed, it will be possible to decide on the long term occupants of Regents Park Barracks and draw up a timetable for the necessary works services. It is not expected that the reconstruction work will begin before the mid-1980s.

Central Ordnance Depot, Chilwell

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement as to the current situation involving the closure of Central Ordnance Depot, Chilwell.

The modernisation of Central Ordnance Depots Bicester and Donnington, to which the stocks from COD Chilwell are to be transferred, is well under way. The planning of the operational transition from three to two depots without interruption of essential supplies has reached an advanced stage.

Tornado Aircraft

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the first Tornado Air Defence Variant is scheduled to make its maiden flight.

The flight of the first F2 prototype should take place towards the end of this year.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to increase production of front and rear fuselage sections of Tornado so as to obviate present delays in the aircraft's production programme.

Recovery measures to reduce the extent of this industrial slippage have been identified and are at present under review by the three partner nations. The slippages in the production programme are not likely to affect the rate of build-up of operational Tornado squadrons.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what explanation he has given to the German Government of the six-month delay in deliveries of Tornado aircraft to the German navy.

Changes in the delivery programme for Tornado are a matter for negotiation between the international management agency, NAMMA, which acts no behalf of all three partner nations, and Panavia, the prime contractor for the production of the Tornado. Full information about the causes of slippage in the programme has been provided by NAMMA to all three partners.

American Ballistic Or Cruise Missile System (Deployment In United Kingdom)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will confirm that Her Majesty's Government have no objection of principle to the deployment in the United Kingdom of an American ballistic or cruise-missile system to counter the USSR's deployment of SS-20 nuclear missiles against Western Europe; and whether discussions have taken place between the British and United States Governments on this matter.

NATO is studying the requirement for modernisation of the alliance's theatre nuclear forces as part of the NATO long term defence programme to maintain the credibility of the deterrent strategy. It is premature to consider the deployment of systems before firm proposals are available.

Royal Ordnance Factory, Leeds

asked the Secretary of State for Defence approximately what proportion of the Royal Ordnance Factory, Leeds, planned production in the years 1979 and 1980 is dependent on contracts with Iran.

On present plans about 85 per cent. of planned production at Royal Ordnance Factory, Leeds in 1979 and 1980 will be dedicated to contracts with Iran.

Soviet Ss-20 Ballistic Missile

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will include in his forthcoming White Paper on defence a passage dealing with the full extent of the threat posed to the United Kingdom by the operational deployment of the SS-20 mobile intermediary-range ballistic missile by the USSR.

I would ask the hon. Member to await publication which I hope will be within the next few weeks.

Blowpipe Anti-Air Missile

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the full deployment of the Blowpipe anti-air missile to the Army is planned to be completed.

Milan Anti-Tank Guided Weapon

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the full deployment of the Milan anti-tank guided weapon to the Army is planned to be completed.

The deployment of Milan is planned to be completed by the early 1980s.

Harrier Aircraft

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, in the light of the decision of the President of the United States not to fund the AV-8B advanced Harrier, what plans he now has to produce an advanced Harrier in the United Kingdom, incorporating the advances achieved in the AV-8B programme and the modified Pegasus engine.

We have no current plans to adopt the new technology which has been developed for the AV-8B. However, preliminary studies into the feasibility of fitting a larger wing to the RAF Harriers and making other changes to improve range, payload, manoeuvrability and other aspects of performance have been completed. Studies to refine the design of this new wing are now proceeding.

Fixed-Wing Air Defences

asked the Secretary of of State for Defence what plans Her Majesty's Government have, in the light of the tenfold increase in the Soviet air threat in the past five years, for the strengthening and modernisation of the United Kingdom's fixed-wing air defences prior to the introduction into service of the Tornado ADV in 1986 or beyond.

The question is based on an assessment of the threat which does not coincide with our own estimates. However, we recognise there has been an increase in the threat, and we have made a range of improvements in our air defences to meet this. For the future, we plan to match the developing threat by continuing to increase the effectiveness of our fighter forces. Improvements include new and more powerful air-to-air missiles, more airborne tanker support for the fighters, and better air-borne and ground early warning radars to improve the control and direction of fighters to meet an attack.

Surface-To-Air Missile Defence

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps, beyond the deployment of a small number of Blood-hound missiles, he proposes to take to provide medium/high altitude surface-to-air missile defence for the United Kingdom; what consideration is being given to the British Aerospace Land Dart in this context; and if he will make a statement.

I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member on 8 March 1978.—[Vol. 945, c. 629.]

Panavia Tornado

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have taken place in regard to the possible sales of the Panavia Tornado to the United States of America; and if he will make a statement.

The USAF is considering a requirement for an enhanced tactical fighter. The Panavia Tornado is likely to be offered in response to any formal request or proposal. Presentations on the capabilities of Tornado have already been given by Panavia to appropriate American authorities.

V-Bomber Force

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, in the light of the increasing nuclear threat to the United Kingdom posed by the USSR's deployment of SS-20 mobile intermediary-range ballistic missiles and the Backfire nuclear strike bomber, what plans he has to modify and modernise the RAF's V-bomber force beyond 1982, on the lines of the United States Air Force's programme for the B-52 force.

None. On present plans the Tornado will replace the RAF's Vulcans in the strike role in the early 1980s and the latter will then be taken out of service.

Tactical Attack Or Cruise Missile

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what progress Her Majesty's Government have made in their investigation of a long-range tactical attack or cruise missile and its possible application for United Kingdom defence; and if he will make a statement.

We are undertaking limited studies of cruise missile technology to enable us to take an informed part in NATO discussions. There are, however, no plans to introduce cruise missiles into the forces of the United Kingdom.

Tornado Interdiction/Strike Aircraft

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the first squadron of Tornado interdiction/strike aircraft is expected to be in squadron service with the RAF.

It is expected that the first RAF Tornado GR Mk 1 squadron will be formed in the early 1980s; production aircraft will enter service from 1980 onwards.

Polaris Force

asked the Secretary of State for Defence by what date it will be necessary for Her Majesty's Government to take a decision on a system to replace the Polaris force if the United Kingdom's independent nuclear deterrent capability is to be maintained into the future.

The time has not yet come for a decision to be taken on whether to proceed with a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons to succeed the present Polaris force, since this will remain effective until the early 1990s. If it were decided to proceed, the time scale would be dependent upon the option chosen.

Laser Weapons

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to investigate high-energy laser weapons; and what contracts have been let for this purpose.

The studies to assess the potential threat from such weapons, to which I referred in my reply to the hon. Member for Hastings (Mr. Warren) on 27 May 1977—[Vol. 932, c. 622]—are still proceeding. Several small research contracts have been let within the defence industry, but I would not wish to go into further details.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Eritrea

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the United Nations Commission for Human Rights the need to end genocide being carried out in Eritrea.

The British Government have continued to make clear to the Ethiopian Government their deep concern over human rights violations in Ethiopia. These were considered at the 34th meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission last year and are likely to be considered again at its next meeting in February.

Prices And Consumer Protection

Safeguard Regulations

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection in which sectoral examinations or company investigations under the Price Commission Act 1977 a full or partial interim award has been automatically allowed under the safeguard regulations where it would not have been allowed if the decision had been within the Price Commission's discretion.

The Price Commission is obliged to allow interim price increases to the extent required by the safeguard regulations and it is not its practice to indicate whether it would otherwise have exercised its powers of discretion. The safeguard regulations are not applicable during sectoral examinations as prices are not subject to restriction at that time.

Energy

Central Electricity Generating Board (Coal Burn)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what he now estimates will be the coal burn of the Central Electricity Generating Board in the 1980s and 1990s, following the reported agreement between the Board and the National Coal Board.

The Government have indicated possible future levels of coal burn by the CEGB in the Green Paper on Energy Policy—Cmnd. 7101. This is in the process of being updated.The CEGB and the NCB consult regularly about future levels of coal burn but these are not embodied in formal agreements.

Nuclear Capacity

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he approves that part of the Central Electricity Generating Board corporate plan which indicated a target of 40,000–50,000 mw of nuclear capacity by the 1990s; and whether he is contemplating any changes in the number of nuclear stations likely to be built prior to 2000.

All orders for stations beyond those mentioned in my statement to the House on 25 January 1978 will be a matter for decision at the appropriate time, in line with the Government's policy of establishing a flexible strategy for the United Kingdom nuclear power programme in the light of developing circumstances. The CEGB's corporate plan contains the board's view of possible responses of the electricity supply industry with respect to differing economic growth rates.

On-Shore Drilling

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report a list of the on-shore locations at which drilling has commenced or applications for planning permission have been made, indicating in each case the basic geology and depth of the strata in which oil or gas may have been found, the names of the companies involved and, in so far as public agencies are concerned, the costs so far incurred and his Department's judgment of the prospects of finding commercial quantities of oil or gas.

No drilling is currently taking place under on-shore petroleum licences but the Natural Environment Research Council is drilling a well on behalf of my Department at Shrewton, Wiltshire to obtain stratigraphic information. The well, on which about £1·0 million will be spent this financial year, is insufficiently advanced to assess prospects. Planning applications for petroleum drilling are made direct to the local planning authority concerned.

Oil Tankers And Terminals

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take action to prevent oil tankers not equipped with adequate safety equipment on the lines of the inert gas system from discharging their cargoes at terminals adjacent to built-up areas, namely, Canvey Island and Milford Haven; if necessary whether he will consider taking unilateral action on this matter; and if he will draw up and enforce up-to-date safety regulations for oil tankers and terminals.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 185], gave the following information:The Health and Safety Executive is currently preparing proposals for new regulations on the handling of dangerous goods in ports, including the relevant equipment, and any lessons learned from the disaster in Bantry Bay will be taken into account by the Executive and the Government Departments concerned.The fitting of inert gas systems is already the subject of international shipping agreements, which the Merchant Shipping Bill now before the House will enable the United Kingdom Government to ratify. The responsibility for this lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade.

Scotland

Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in the light of the comments of the lay observer concerning the case of Mr. R. Summerbell, of Bein Cottage, Glenfarg, he will bring forward legislation to empower the lay observer to take solicitors before the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal.

The lay observer does not report to my right hon. Friend on individual cases. I have noted the recommendation made in paragraph 26 of the report for 1976–77 of the first lay observer, the right hon. Margaret Herbison, which I shall consider further in the light of any views expressed by her successor, whose report for 1977–78 I expect to receive shortly.

Environment

Listed Buildings

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he takes to ensure the preservation of a listed building which he has determined to be worthy of preservation by refusing to grant consent to demolish.

Initially it is for the local planning authority to take any necessary steps to secure the preservation of a building following the refusal of listed building consent.

Gipsy Caravan Site, Sheffield

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will call in for his determination the proposal of the Sheffield city council to include facilities for storage and sorting of scrap metal on the Redmires gipsy caravan site.

My right hon. Friend did not call in the original Redmires proposals in 1976, and he considers that any variation in the details of the existing planning permission is similarly a local matter that should be left to the local planning authority to decide.

Telford New Town

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about his proposals regarding the development of Telford new town, indicating whether these have changed during the past six months.

My right hon. Friend's proposals remain those which he announced on 29 July 1977.

Surplus Married Quarters (Ex-Raf Thorney Island)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to the reply of the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, of 23 November 1978, on what date the Ministry of Defence handed over surplus married quarters at ex-RAF Thorney Island to the Property Services Agency; how many have been sold and what was the average price realised; how many have been let and how many have remained vacant; and, in respect of the latter, what has been the loss of revenue involved, taking current married quarters as a yardstick.

A total of 226 surplus married quarters were passed to the Property Services Agency for disposal at various dates between April and November 1978 and all are vacant. None has been sold or let.

It is the usual practice to sell such properties unencumbered by tenancies and so obtain the maximum receipt for public funds. The West Sussex county council has expressed an interest in buying Thorney Island, including the married quarters, but at present a possible future defence use is under consideration.

Ministerial Cars (Rovers)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many Rover cars are operated for the use of Ministers and of which model and year of manufacture; what is their expected remaining length of use; and what arrangements have been made to ensure the availability of spare parts to the end of this period.

A total of 24 Rovers SD1 3500, of which five were manufactured in 1976 and the rest in 1978, are operated specifically for Ministers by the Government car service. Length of use will be decided in the light of experience, but no difficulty is foreseen about the continuing availability of spares.Seventeen Rovers 3·5 manufactured in 1971–73 are also operated, but mainly as reserve cars pending disposal. Spares continue to be readily available.

County Council Bills (Notice Of Processions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department prepared, and whether it has approved, a model clause introducing a requirement that notice be given of processions in county council Bills currently before the Lords and Commons.

I have been asked to reply.The Home Office and other Departments took part in correspondence with counsel to Mr. Speaker, counsel to the Lord Chairman in another place, and Parliamentary agents about the form in which clauses on this and other subjects to be included in local authorities' Bills could best be drafted. That did not commit the Government to any view on whether such provisions should be enacted for the area of any local authority.

Transport

Western Avenue, Middlesex (Land Restoration)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what bodies are responsible for ensuring that the land adjacent to the road construction at the Greenford round-about on Western Avenue, Middlesex, will be restored with full regard to the need to protect the environment; and what powers are available to him to ensure that such restoration is carried out.

The land adjacent to the roadworks is in various ownerships and individual owners are responsible for its upkeep.

Home Department

Prison Officers (Overtime)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of hours of overtime worked by prison officers in the last full week for which figures are available; and how many additional prison officers would need to be recruited to eliminate overtime working.

I regret that information on the number of overtime hours worked by particular weeks is not available centrally. In the financial year 1977–78 prison officers in England and Wales worked a total of about 9·27 million overtime hours. It would not be possible in certain operational matters, such as escort duties, entirely to eliminate overtime working and, allowing for this, it is estimated that additional manpower of the order of 3,500 officers would be required.

Prisoners

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his latest estimate of the number of inmates of Her Majesty's prisons who are (a) mentally ill and (b) mentally sub-normal.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk) on 20 November and 17 January—[Vol. 958, c. 416–22; Vol. 960, c. 756.]

Prisons (Educational Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total level of expenditure on education in Her Majesty's prisons in the years

1976–771977–78
££
Reimbursements to local education authorities—teaching services3,481,6704,212,519
Materials, stores equipment324,589356,618
Estimated out-turn expenditure on education in 1978–79 is:—

£
Reimbursements4,878,814
Materials etc.497,184

Magistrates' Courts (Powers)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has decided to issue a consultation paper on the question of the power of magistrates' courts to call for medical reports; and, if so, when it is likely to be published.

Scientologists

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how long the ban on the entry of Scientologists has been operating; and when he expects that the recommendations of Sir John Foster's report will be implemented;(2) if he will state the evidence on the basis of which his ban on the Church of Scientology is formed.

Immigration restrictions and the reasons for them were announced in the course of a statement made on 25 July 1968 by the then Minister of Health about the policy generally of the Government of the day toward scientology. The whole question of the present Government's policy is under consideration, but I cannot say when conclusions will be reached.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Arable Land

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of arable land in the United Kingdom is owned by persons who are not citizens of the United Kingdom; and

1976–77, 1977–78 and that projected for 1978–79.

Final outturn expenditure on education in prison service establishments in 1976–77 and 1977–78 was:how this compares with five and 10 years ago.

As the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) was told on 24 October, this is one of the matters currently under consideration by the committee of inquiry into the acquisition and occupancy of agricultural land. My right hon. Friend hopes to receive the report shortly.—[Vol. 955, c. 760.]

Social Services

Area Health Authorities (London)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consideration he has given to the possibility of establishing a single district area health authority in each of the London boroughs.

I shall consider any changes proposed by authorities already reviewing their structures but do not intend to consider any general changes in the organisation of the National Health Service until after the Government have received and considered the report of the Royal Commission on the National Health Service, expected later this year.

Supplementary Benefits

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will list, for each year from 1974 to 1977, the number of families with children and the number of persons in these families living below, on and up to 100 per cent., at 120 per cent., and at 140 per cent. of the supplementary benefit level according to the standard employment status groupings;(2) how many children in each year from 1974 to 1977 were living in families

(

a) below, ( b) on and ( c) up to 110 per cent., 120 per cent. and 140 per cent. of the supplementary benefit level; and, in each case, how many of these families had a head in full-time work or self-employed or unemployed;

(3) if he will list in the Official Report the number of persons and families living ( a) below, ( b) on and ( c) up to 110 per cent., 120 per cent. and 140 per cent. of the supplementary benefit level in 1977, according to the standard family and employment status groupings.

The information requested for 1977 will be available later in the year when I would propose to write to my hon. Friend answering her questions. Meanwhile, I draw her attention to the information given in my reply to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Wainwright) and my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Miss Lestor) on 1 August 1978.—[Vol. 955, c. 261–3.]

Funeral Expenses

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will describe the rules governing the awards of supplementary benefit to cover funeral expenses; and if he is satisfied that the system is operating satisfactorily.

The rules to which the hon. Member refers are set out by the Supplementary Benefits Commission in paragraphs 105 to 107 of its handbook—fifth edition, 1977. I have no reason to believe that the commission's arrangements are not satisfactory.

Benefits (Industrial Dispute)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department is making social security payments in respect of persons, or the families of persons, who are laid-off work as a result of the Transport and General Workers' Union strike.

Those laid off will normally get unemployment benefit for themselves and their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list all the headings of tax-free social security benefits to which the family of a striking member of the Transport and General Workers' Union on average wages could be eligible for, during the present Transport and General Workers' Union strike, for which he would not be eligible when he is in full-time employment.

If the hon. Member has any particular case in mind, perhaps he will write to me.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what latest estimate he has made of the amount of money in social security benefits his Department has paid in respect of families of Transport and General Workers' Union strikers over the present dispute;(2) what latest estimate he has made of the amount of social security benefits that are being paid to persons, or to the families of persons, laid off work as a result of the present Transport and General Workers' Union strike;(3) what estimate he has made of the total value of social security benefits his Department will pay in respect of the families of all strikers, official and unofficial, during the week Tuesday 16 January 1979 to Monday 22 January 1979 inclusive.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much will be paid by his Department in tax-free social security benefits to the family of a striker involved in the present Transport and General Workers' Union strike, in respect of being married with three children, aged eight, 11 and 16 years, on average rent and rates.

This would depend on the amount of any other resources, such as strike pay, income tax refund and wife's earnings, and also on the amount of any rent and rate rebates.

Benefits (Railways Dispute)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department pays social security benefits to the families of ASLEF train drivers during the present run of one-day ASLEF strikes.

If the hon. Member has any particular case in mind, perhaps he will write to me.

Elderly And Mentally Ill Persons (North-West England)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what ways the Mersey and North-West regional health authority's revised its strategic plans published in 1977 for developing comprehensive and integrated local services for the elderly and the mentally ill.

The information requested by my hon. Friend will not be available until the authorities submit to my Department the strategic plans which they are presently revising.

Operations (Actions For Negligence)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cases of action for negligence in National Health Service hospitals involving brain damage occasioned by misapplication of anaesthetics involved in operations were reported to his Department for the years 1976, 1977 and 1978; in how many of such cases negligence was proved; and if he will give such information for each area health authority.

Actions for negligence against health authorities are reported to my Department only in a minority of cases, when an out of court settlement is proposed which would result in an authority paying £10,000 or more to the person bringing the action. During 1976 to 1978 five such actions concerning patients suffering brain damage, and involving anaesthesia, were reported to my Department. Information is not available centrally of cases in which negligence is determined by the courts.

Psychiatric Patients

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidance he has given to psychiatrists and others working in psychiatric hospitals on the validity of consent to treatment by patients who are heavily drugged at the time they are asked to sign a consent form.

None. Doctors are legally and ethically responsible for the treatment of their patients, and for obtaining appropriate consent to treatment. The medical defence association—to which all hospital doctors are required to belong—advise doctors on their legal liabilities and ethical obligations in relation to obtaining appropriate consent to treatment. The Department does not usually give guidance on these matters, but chapter 6 of the Government's White Paper on the review of the Mental Health Act 1959 discusses certain problems related to consent to treatment by psychiatric patients, especially those detained under statutory powers.

Elderly People At Risk

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report, authority by authority in London, at the most recent convenient date, the number of elderly people identified as at risk, impaired or handicapped, to the Social Services Department but not yet allocated to a social worker; and what percentage this represents of the estimated number of retired people living in each local authority area.

Reallocation Of Resources (South-East Thames Region)

asked the Secretary of State for. Social Services what effect his decision on the 1979–80 level of expenditure to be permitted by the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham area health authority will have on the pace of reallocation of resources in the South-East Thames region and, in particular, on the improvement in the financial position of the Kent area health authority.

My right hon. Friend's decision on the 1979–80 level of expenditure to be permitted by the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham area health authority (teaching) is an essential step towards bringing that authority's rate of expenditure within its authorised cash limit. In determining the allocations to be made in 1979–80 to the Thames regions, we shall take into account, within the scope allowed by the increased resources available to the National Health Service nationally, the need for the Thames regional health authorities to be in a position to increase allocations to those of their areas whose present resources fall below the calculated target. I have no doubt that the South-East Thames regional health authority will bear this in mind when it exercises its responsibility for determining the 1979–80 allocations for its areas other than the AHA(T).

White Paper "1981 Census Of Population"

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received in response to his White Paper "1981 Census of Population", Command Paper No. 7146.

Representations on the 1981 census were invited by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys from early in 1977; Cmnd. 7146, published in July 1978, took them into account and representations arising directly from it have been few. The two most frequent have been on change of address and on ethnicity. It has been represented that address five years ago should be asked in addition to address one year ago, and this is being considered. Consultation and tests on the form of an ethnic question continue. An announcement will be made in due course.

Hospital Waiting Lists (Walsall)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the number on the waiting list at hospitals in the Walsall area health authority for surgical, medical and other kinds of operations or treatment at the most recent date available and at the equivalent date in 1976 and 1974.

Scientology

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the evidence which he has received in respect of the ban on Scientology.

It would not be appropriate for me to publish any such evidence, in the light of legal advice which the Government have received as to the propriety of making any statement on these matters pending the disposal of High Court actions for libel brought by the Church of Scientology. The hon. Member will be aware that the Parliamentary Commis- sioner for Administration referred to this advice in his report, published yesterday, on a complaint forwarded to him by the hon. and learned Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew).

Cancer (Children's Services)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will announce further details of the independent advice he is seeking on services in Manchester for children with cancer.

The Secretary of State has appointed Lady Marre, as chairman, and Mrs. Mary Warnock and Dr. White Franklin with the following terms of reference:

"To examine the decision to develop a new regional department at the Christie Hospital for the treatment of children with cancer, in the light of representations that have been made by the staff of the Royal Manchester Children's hospital and others; and to recommend whether the development should proceed."
I understand that Lady Marre intends to invite written and, where appropriate, oral evidence.

Doctors, Dentists And Opticians

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish the numbers of qualified doctors, dentists and opticians who were working in the United Kingdom in each of the past 10 years; and how many of these worked exclusively in the private sector, how many only in the National Health Service, and how many work in both the private and public sectors.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 18 January 1979; Vol. 960, c. 904], gave the following information:It is not possible to answer the question in the form requested, since information held centrally relates only to Great Britain. Also, the available analyses of doctors are based on principal occupation and it is, therefore, not possible to provide information on those working in both the public and the private sectors. Finally, information on qualified dentists and opticians is held centrally only for those working in the National Health Service.Table 1 below gives the estimated numbers of qualified doctors in Great Britain in the public and private sectors, separately, for the years 1968 to 1977—the latest available year. Information on the number of dentists and opticians working in the National Health Service for the years 1968 to 1977 are given in tables 2 and 3 below respectively.

TABLE 1
QUALIFIED DOCTORS WORKING IN GREAT BRITAIN 1968–77
YearAll doctorsWorking in the public sectorWorking in fields other than the public sector
196864,50061,8002,700
196966,20063,0003,200
197068,00064,2003,800
197170,80067,2003,600
197271,60067,5004,100
197375,20071,8003,400
197477,50073,6003,900
197579,50075,4004,100
197679,90076,1003,800
197781,60077,8003,800
NOTES(1) These figures are based on the number of fully and provisionally registered civilian doctors at 30 September each year together with, from 1971 to 1977 inclusive, the number of doctors holding temporary registration who were confirmed as working in Great Britain at 30 September each year.(2) All figures are estimated and based on the principal occupations of the doctors concerned. The estimates are rounded to the nearest hundred.(3) The "public sector" includes doctors working in the National Health Service, universities, the Civil Service, the public health laboratory service, special hospitals, the Employment Medical Advisory Service and factory doctors.
TABLE 2
QUALIFIED DENTISTS WORKING IN GREAT BRITAIN 1968–77
YearDentists
196814,020
196914,130
197014,340
197114,570
197214,900
197315,150
197415,260
197515,690
197616,030
197716,440
NOTES(1) These figures are based on the number of general dental practitioners at 30 September each year together with the whole time equivalent of those dentists who work in the hospital and community health services.(2) Some general dental practitioners also work in the hospital and community health services and to this extent the above figures will include some duplication.(3) The figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

TABLE 3
QUALIFIED OPTICIANS WORKING IN GREAT BRITAIN 1968–77

Year

Ophthalmic opticians

Dispensing opticians

19685,7531,150
19695,6391,204
19705,5671,296
19715,4771,342
19725,3881,393
19735,3091,426
19745,2521,402
19755,2761,536
19765,3431,627
19775,3501,749

NOTES

(1) These figures are based on the number of ophthalmic and dispensing opticians in the general ophthalmic service at 30 December each year together with the whole time equivalents of ophthalmic and dispensing opticians in the hospital service at 30 September each year.

(2) Some general ophthalmic practitioners also work in the hospital service and to this extent the above figures will include some duplication.

Means-Tested Benefits

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the number of people drawing means-tested social security benefits, broken down by category of benefit at the most recent date available and at the equivalent date in 1976 and 1974.

Health Service Workers

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will list the matters which come within the responsibility of a joint consultative committee for health service workers and give details of the intended membership of such committees.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 25 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 246], gave the following information:Joint consultative machinery between National Health Service staff and management and the subjects appropriate to discussion by that machinery are matters for agreement between representatives of both sides. The general principles of consultation outlined in paragraphs 46 and 47 of chapter 11 of the Lord McCarthy's report "Making Whitley Work" offer a framework within which joint consultation can be conducted.

Television Licences (Concessionary Scheme)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the current estimated cost of the concessionary 5p television licence scheme as it is applied to retirement pensioners living in sheltered accommodation;(2) what would be the cost of extending the concessionary 5p television licence scheme to cover all retirement pensioners.

I have been asked to reply.The present cost—including administrative costs—of the old persons' home 5p television licence concessionary scheme is about £5 million in a full year. It is estimated that the cost of extending this scheme to cover all households containing one or more retirement pensioners—also including administrative costs—would be between £100 million and £110 million in a full year.

National Finance

European Regional Development Fund

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the size of the European regional development fund for 1979 following the adoption of the 1979 Budget by the European Parliament; and what is the policy of the British Government towards the continuing dispute about the size of the fund between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers.

On the first part of the hon. Member's question, I refer to the answer that I gave him on 16 January [Vol. 960, c. 730.]On the second part of the question, as I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on the same day [Vol. 960, c. 729], Her Majesty's Government are concerned to uphold the authority of the Council in its relations with the Assembly, and are also concerned about the practical functioning of the Community, including in the budgetary area.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what votes the British Minister has so far cast in the Council of Ministers on the size of the European regional development fund for 1979.

At the Budget Council on 18 July 1978 I, and representatives of all other member States, agreed to appropriations from the regional development fund in 1979 of 620 MEUA for commitments, and 320 MEUA for payments, in line with the 1977 decision of the European Council. At the Budget Council on 20 November, after failing to secure acceptance by the Council of a compromise proposal that I made which would have taken account, both of the European Council's decision and of its resolution at Bremen on resource transfers to the less prosperous member States, I did not oppose the Assembly proposal to increase commitment appropriations by 480 MEUA and payment appropriations by 233 MEUA.

Personal Incomes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list, for each year since 1970–71, including his estimate for 1978–79, the average real weekly net income and the average real weekly take-home pay, expressed in December 1978 prices, for a man on average earnings who is (a) single, (b) married with no children, (c) married with one child under 11 years, (d) married with two children under 11 years, and (e) married with two children under 11 years and two other children between 11 and 16 years.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 18 January 1979; Vol. 960, c. 864], gave the following information:The figures are as follows:

Real weekly take-home pay at December 1978 prices£Real weekly net income at December 1978 prices £
Single personMarried manMarried 1 child aged under 11Married 2 children under 11Married 4 children, 2 under 11, 2 aged 11–16Married 1 child aged under 11Married 2 children under 11Married 4 children, 2 under 11, 2aged 11–16
1970–7160·6063·6066·1066·9069·4066·1069·4077·40
1971–7262·2064·9067·8069·2072·8067·8071·5080·10
1973–7366·9069·3072·0073·4076·8072·0075·5083·60
1973–7468·1070·4072·8073·9076·9072·8075·8083·10
1974–7566·7069·4072·1073·7077·6072·1075·4082·90
1975–7663·4066·1068·5069·5072·3068·5071·7078·80
1976–7761·9064·9067·4068·8072·3067·4070·7077·90
1977–7862·2065·8067·2068·5071·4068·3071·2077·40
1978–7965·7069·2069·8070·5072·2072·4075·7082·70

Take-home pay is earnings less tax and national insurance contributions. Net income is take-home pay plus family allowance or child benefit, and is therefore, for those without children, equal to take-home pay.

For years 1970–71 to 1977–78 average earnings are the average of the Department of Employment's estimates of the average weekly earnings of full time adult male workers in all occupations in April at the start and finish of each income tax year. For 1978–79 the April 1978 new earnings survey estimate has been updated to October 1978, taking account of movements in a centred three-month moving average of the whole economy index of average earnings of all employees.

The price index used is the general index of retail prices—all items.

European Community Budget

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the basis for Her Majesty's Government's opinion that the European Parliament's declaration of the adoption of the 1979 Budget was illegal; and why the Government are refusing to make a contribution to the Community's Budget on 1 February based on that declaration.

Article 203 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and corresponding provisions in the other two treaties, set out the budgetary procedure of the Communities. All the institutions of the Communities are required to conform during the budgetary procedure to a prescribed maximum rate of increase in non-obligatory expenditure. This maximum rate may be exceeded only by agreement between the Council and the Assembly. There was no such agreement in regard to the 1979 Budget. The Council concluded unanimously that the statements by the President of the Assembly, to the effect that this Budget had been finally adopted, did not, therefore, comply with the provisions of the treaties.On the second part of the hon. Member's question, I refer to the answer that I

gave to him on 23 January.—[Vol. 961, c.

91.]

Education And Science

Infant Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will have discussions with the Avon education committee concerning its provision of places at infant schools; and if she is satisfied that these are adequate places in the area for rising fives at infant schools for the April 1979 term.

My right hon. Friend understands that there is no shortage of places for children of statutory school age in Avon local education authority and that the admission of rising fives to school is a matter for the discretion of individual headteachers.

Education Act 1944 (Attendance Orders)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many references were made to her by parents during 1978 under section 37 of the Education Act 1944; and with what results.

During 1978 my right hon. Friend received two references from parents under section 37(4) of the Education Act 1944. In both cases directions were issued stating that the school named in the school attendance order be the school requested by the parent.

University Teachers (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in rectifying the pay anomaly which arose in respect of university teachers.

The first of the two approximately equal stages of the rectification of the university teachers' pay anomaly was implemented on 1 October 1978 in the form of interim pay scales. A claim for final updated scales to take effect from 1 October 1978 has still to be forwarded to the negotiating committee—Committee B.

Employment

Retail Distribution And Catering Industries

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will list the adult minimum wage rates proposed by the various wages councils covering retail distribution and the catering industries in the present pay round;(2) which wages councils in retail distribution have recommended settlements below the Government norm of £44·50p for low paid workers; and what wage rates have been recommended in these cases.

The rates vary with the grade of worker and area of employment. Those shown below are for large towns outside London, or in Scotland, the large towns:(1) Retail distribution—sales assistants

£
Bookselling and stationery trades wages council42·50
Bread and flour confectionery—E & W—Council42·00
Bread and flour confectionery (Scotland) Council38·20
Furnishing and allied trades wages council42·50
*Food trades—E & W wages council42·00
*Food trades—Scotland wages council42·00
The drapery, outfitting and footwear trades, and the two newsagency, tobacco and confectionery trades wages councils have yet to settle in this pay round.(2) Catering

£
Licensed residential establishment and licensed restaurant wages council
(a) lowest rate for non-service worker—e.g. kitchen porter)40·40
(b) lowest rate for service worker—e.g. porter33·20
Licensed non-residential establishment:

£
Bar staff—where neither meals nor accommodation are provided41·20
Lowest rate, club stewart
(a) accommodation nor provided43·10
(b) accommodation provided35·10
Unlicensed place of refreshment wages council has yet to settle in this pay round.

* At proposals stage—order not yet made

(2) All retail wages councils which have settled have awarded less than £44·50, except for most grades of manager and, in retail furnishing only, sale supervisors in the London area. Typical wage rates are as shown in the preceding answer.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will make available the background papers presented to the National Council on the Employment of Disabled People.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 19 January 1979; Vol. c. 916], gave the following information:No. It is, however, the practice of the Manpower Services Commission to publish the relevant background information on the development of its policies for disabled people, on which the National Advisory Council on Employment of Disabled People is consulted. Early last year it published, with the full support of the national advisory council, its development programme on employment and training of disabled people. This sets out proposals for the development of its services for disabled people over the next five to 10 years and is designed to stimulate debate about future policy alternatives.

Pay

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many women in full-time employment could benefit by the £3·50p a week pay increase allowed in the Government's new pay guidelines; and what percentage this is of the total female work force;(2) how many men in full-time employment could benefit by the E3·50p a week pay increase allowed in the Government's new pay guidelines; and what percentage this is of the total male work force.

, pursuant to the reply of the Under-Secretary of State [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. c. 168], gave the following reply:The new earnings survey indicates that gross weekly earnings, excluding overtime earnings, were less than £70 in April 1978 for about 3·8 million women aged 18 and over in full-time employment whose pay for the survey reference pay-period was not affected by absence, which was 82 per cent. of such women. The corresponding estimates for men aged 21 and over were about 4·5 million and 45 per cent.Because of subsequent increases in earnings the numbers currently earning less than £70 per week will be lower, but there will be, in addition, a number whose pay for the survey reference period was affected by absence—quite apart from juveniles and part-time workers who can benefit from the £3·50 proportionately. The figures include those who may still benefit more from the exception made in Cmnd. 7293 for increases where the resulting earnings are no more than £44·50 for a normal full-time week.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what has been the average percentage wage increase of full-time male manual workers in the period February 1974 to January 1979; and how this compares with the rate of inflation in that period;(2) what has been the average percentage wage increase of full-time female workers in the period February 1974 to January 1979; and how this compares with the rate of inflation in that period.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 168], gave the following reply:Estimates of movements in general average earnings separately for (i) female and (ii) manual male full-time workers are available only between new earnings survey reference periods. For those full-time workers aged 18 and over whose pay for the respective reference pay period was not affected by absence, the estimated percentage increases between April 1974 and April 1978 were 109·7 per cent. for females and 84·8 per cent. for manual males. The general index of retail prices increased by 83·4 per cent. over this period.

Economic Planning

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will give the latest figures for the number of people assisted in each English economic planning region, Scotland and Wales under each of the following measures: temporary employment subsidy, short-time working compensation scheme, small firms employment subsidy, job release scheme, adult employment subsidy, job introduction scheme, youth opportunities programme, community industry, special temporary employment programme, and job creation programme;(2) if he will indicate for the following schemes (

a) the date the scheme started, ( b) the date the scheme closed or closes for applications or the date on which the scheme ceased operation and ( c) the cumulative number of people assisted in each English economic planning region, Scotland and Wales, namely, youth opportunities programmes, special temporary employment programme, job creation programme, temporary employment subsidy, small firms employment subsidy, short-time working compensation scheme, job introduction scheme, adult employment subsidy, job release, community industry, recruitment subsidy for school leavers, youth employment subsidy, and work experience scheme.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 165–6], gave the following information:The latest information on the points raised is set out in the table below:—

Regions
South-East and East AngliaSouth-WestWest and East MidlandsYorkshire and Humberside
MeasureDate scheme startedDate scheme closed or closes for applications or date on which scheme ceased to operateSpot dateCumulativeSpot dateCumulativeSpot dateCumulativeSpot dateCumulative
Temporary employment subsidy18. 8.197531. 3.1979(b)13,38066,2206,33028,51021,42098,48912,02057,339
Short time working compensation scheme15. 5.197831. 3.1979(b)3232Nil109NilNil5,1825,218
Small firms employment subsidy1. 7.197731. 3.1980(b)SE-1,054SE-1,054604604W-1,199W-1,1993,4083,408
EA-NilEA-NilE-846E-846
Job release scheme3. 1.197731. 3.1979(b)SE-3,526SE-4,0811,5572,942W-1,131W-1,3442,9997,924
EA-482EA-5321,5572,942E-1,204E-1,789
Adult employment subsidy7. 8.19786. 5.1979(b)NilNilNilNilNilNil5069
Job introduction scheme4. 7.1977January 1980(c)3126024261W-15W-841074
E-6E-53
Youth opportunities scheme1. 4.1978NA9,500NA7,500NA14,700NA9,700
Community industry(a)1972Permanent scheme5392,090101220W-305W-2,1108543,850
E-342E-870
Special temporary employment programme1. 4.1978NA730NA500NA1,240NA940
Job creation programme9.10.197531.12.1977(b)(e)14,000(e)14,000(e)12,000(e)17,000
31.12.1978(c)
Recruitment subsidy for school leavers13.10.197530. 9.1976(d)5,6091,8204,3873,350
Youth employment subsidy1.10.197631. 3.1978(d)4,6663,5176,0245,751
Work experience programme21. 9.197631. 3.1978(d)8,0007,5007,0006,000

Regions

South-East and East Anglia

South-West

West and East Midlands

Yorkshire and Humberside

Measure

Date scheme started

Date scheme closed or closes for applications or date on which scheme ceased to operate

Spot date

Cumulative

Spot date

Cumulative

Spot date

Cumulative

Spot date

Cumulative

Temporary employment subsidy18. 8.197531. 3.1979(b)27,920128,6775,78029,4437,52033,48313,03056,549
Short time working compensation scheme15. 5.197831. 3.1979(b)2,5732,57368685252428428
Small firms employment subsidy1. 7.197731. 3.1980(b)8,6399,7965,2796,4553,8054,3784,5156,323
Job release scheme3. 1.197731. 3.1979(b)4,29612,5281,3664,1899062,9421,9545,710
Adult employment subsidy7. 8.19786. 5.1979(b)38047094138NilNilNilNil
Job introduction scheme4. 7.1977January 1980(c)4033668211991188
Youth opportunities scheme1. 4.1978NA16,700NA14,0006,4958,5008,43111,400
Community industry(a)1972Permanent scheme5612,3109265,3605341,9601,0175,160
Special temporary employment programme1. 4.1978NA1,110NA1,1701573204371,090
Job creation programme9.10.197531.12.1977(b)(e)43,000(e)37,000(e)25,000(e)68,000
31.12.1978(c)
Recruitment subsidy for school leavers13.10.197530. 9.1976(d)5,1523,4432,5293,889
Youth employment subsidy1.10.197631. 3.1978(d)8,3438,0014,6076,533
Work experience programme21. 9.197631. 3.1978(d)9,0007,0008,0007,500

Footnotes

(a) Under the special measures additional funds have been made available since 1975 to provide extra places; the statistics supplied relate to the whole scheme.
(b) Date scheme closes for applications.
(c) Date on which scheme ceases operation.
(d) Date scheme closed.
(e) Ended 31 December 1978.

Job Creation

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications have been received under the special temporary employment programme for the funding of co-operative workshops; and how many have been approved, giving details of the name of the sponsor, the amount of grant, the number of jobs

SponsorMSC grant£Number of jobsNature of enterprisesPeriod of funding
Dowlais Knitwear66,00022Manufacture of skirts and blouses44 weeks from 18 December 1978
Bristol youth workshop41,35412Manufacture of wooden kitchenware and packaging. Light engineering work.52 weeks from 18 December 1978
Antur Aelhaearn8,78613Manufacture of knitted woollen goods.12 weeks from 1 January 1979
Aguirre40,99013Manufacture of hand-made textiles, clothing, leatherwork.49 weeks
Balham Food and Book Co-operative24,0137Retailing of food and books52 weeks
MDB Electronics29,76016Manufacture of domestic and industrial safety alarms.34 weeks

created, the nature of project and the period of funding.

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 166], gave the following information:I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that 12 applications for funding of co-operative workshops have been received of which six have so far been approved. Details are as follows: