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Written Answers

Volume 974: debated on Monday 19 November 1979

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 19 November 1979

Home Department

Merchant Navy Personnel (Concessions)

47.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had from merchant navy personnel regarding concessions in respect of their temporary residence in the United Kingdom.

Immigration (Fiancées)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate the reasons why fiancées admitted from India and Pakistan increased by 20 per cent. between the second quarter of 1978 and the second quarter of 1979; and what projections he has made of the future pattern of entries.

Changes in the number of fiancées admitted from India and Pakistan are monitored regularly and the reasons for them are assessed to the extent that is practicable. There is considerable quarter-to-quarter variability in the numbers so admitted. Reliable projection of future patterns of entry of fiancées cannot be made because they can be effected by so many continuously changing factors.

Wirral (Local Government Boundaries)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his recommendation to the Wirral council on the advisability for an election in all the seats of each of the wards, following the establishment of new boundaries, is being followed.

I have not yet decided on the best procedure for implementing, with modifications, the proposals of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England for new electoral arrangements for the borough.

Civil Defence

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to be in a position to make a further statement regarding proposals for the improvement of civil defence in the United Kingdom.

It will be some months before my study of the possibilities can be completed.

Animals (Experimentation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what studies have been commissioned by his Department into the use of tissue culture in place of live animals for safety tests of drugs and chemicals;(2) what information his Department possesses about the use of trace element techniques to replace live animals in scientific experimentation;(3) what research has been commissioned by his Department into computerised clinical testing of drugs and chemicals for toxic effect in place of the use of live animals;(4) what information his Department possesses about X-ray or photographic techniques that can be used to eliminate the need for live animals in scientific experimentation.

The late Professor D. H. Smyth explained in his book "Alternatives to Animal Experiments" that evaluation of work to develop alternatives requires comparison of the new alternatives with existing methods using animals, and this involves the carrying out of a large number of animal experiments not directly aimed at solving any medical or scientific problem.My Department is aware of various nonsentient alternatives to the use of animals in certain experiments but has not commissioned studies of them. The attention of all licensees has been drawn to the importance of using alternative methods wherever these are available.

Purchasing Contracts

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many small businesses feature on the approved list of suppliers maintained by his Department for purchase contracts by means of selective tender.

Records of the numbers of small businesses on Home Office approved lists for purchasing contracts of goods and services are not maintained, but the Department's best estimate suggests that about 1,500 are included.

Mr James Kelly

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he expects to receive the report of the Chief Constable of Merseyside concerning his investigations into the events surrounding the death of Mr. Jimmy Kelly in Merseyside.(2) whether he will order an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jimmy Kelly on Merseyside.

In accordance with the provisions of section 49 of the Police Act 1964, allegations against the Merseyside Police concerning the death of Mr. James Kelly are currently under investigation by a senior officer from another force. I understand that the Chief Constable of Merseyside expects to receive his report by the end of the week, and will then submit it to the Director of Public Prosecutions for his independent consideration of the possible need for criminal proceedings.

House Of Commons

Select Committee Membership

asked the hon. Member for Carlton (Mr. Holland), as Chairman of the Committee of Selection, if he will give the criteria used by his Committee in the selection of honourable Members to serve on Select Committees.

No. This would not be desirable. The Committee does not, however, at present propose to nominate members of the Government, Parliamentary Private Secretaries, and regular Opposition Front Bench spokesmen.

Wales

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proposals the Government have for initiating all-party talks concerning the improvement of the government of Wales.

Overseas Development

Aid

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a list of the projects aided by the United Kingdom in the overseas development programme in each of the past two years and the current year, indicating the sums expended and the countries involved.

No. Listing information on all United Kingdom-aided projects would involve great effort at disproportionate cost. Full details of expenditure by country for the period 1973–1977 are shown in the latest edition of "British Aid Statistics" (1978), a copy of which is in the Library. Similar information for 1978 was given in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brown-hills (Mr. Shepherd) on 25 May 1979.

Education And Science

Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the expected outturn of expenditure on education in England and Wales, with authorities in Great Britain, in 1979–80; and how much and by what percentage it is expected to fall in real terms by 1980–81.

As explained in the Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81—Cmnd. 7446—the outturn for local authority current expenditure in 1979–80 cannot yet be estimated. If planned expenditure by local authorities on education is reduced by 3 per cent., as sought by the Government in relation to local authority expenditure on all services, the plans provide for a further reduction of £141 million or 1·8 per cent. in 1980–81 in total expenditure on education in England and Wales, with universities in Great Britain.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science by how much and by what percentage the planned expenditure on education in England and Wales, with universities in Great Britain, in 1980–81 is to be cut in real terms compared with the previous Government's planned expenditure for the same period as set out in Cmnd. 7439.

By about £430 million or 5·3 per cent., including the planned reduction of about £220 million in expenditure on school meals, milk and transport.

Nursery Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many places have been provided for nursery schools during each of the past five years: what has been the cost in each year; and if he will make a statement about the present and future programme.

Information is not available in precisely the form requested by the hon. Member. The tables following show the resources made available under my Department's nursery education building programme; and the net increase in the number of places and pupils in nursery schools and nursery classes in primary schools in England, for each of the past five years:

NURSERY EDUCATION BUILDING PROGRAMME
Financial YearExpenditure (£m)
1974–7521·5
1975–7617·2
1976–779·3
1977–782·7
1978–794·4
NET INCREASE IN PLACES AND PUPILS IN NURSERY SCHOOLS AND NURSERY CLASSES IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS (ENGLAND)
NURSERY SCHOOLSNURSERY CLASSES
Financtal YearPlacesPlaces
1974–751,0587,633
1975–7693610,354
1976–771,03012,997
1977–78 (provisional)4987,279
1978–79Not yet knownNot yet known
With regard to the present and future programme, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Dubs) on 23 October.

Trades Union Congress

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is now in a position to state whether the Trades Union Congress will be given a grant next year for education and training purposes.

No decision has yet been taken. A bid recently received from the Trades Union Congress is now under review by my Department and the Department of Employment.

Employment

Wolverhampton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what the numbers of registered unemployed men, women, boys and girls were in the Wolverhampton employment exchange area at the latest date; and how this compares with the corresponding period in 1978.

Noise Levels

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, (1) whether he has any plans to introduce legislation governing the level of noise at discotheques,(2) what is the lowest level of noise considered by his Department to constitute a serious threat to hearing; and if he will make a statement.

Jarrow

94.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many redundancies have been notified in the Jarrow constituency since May; and when he anticipates those involved will find alternative employment.

[pursuant to his reply, 5 November 1979, c. 21]: The number of proposed redundancies notified to my Department for the Jarrow constituency since May 1979 involved 1,005 employees employed at five establishments. The Manpower Services Commission is doing all it can to help the workers affected, both by placing them in known vacancies and by circulating particulars widely to potential employers. Arrangements are also made where necessary for them to be trained in new skills.

Wales

Helenor Bye

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales why he will not set up an inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Helenor Bye in respect of the medical treatment she received.

On the basis of the information at present available to him and having regard to the other avenues of investigation that are available I do not believe my right hon. Friend would be justified in instituting a statutory inquiry under section 84 of the National Health Services Act 1977.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps the area health authority is taking regarding complaints concerning medical treatment received by Helenor Bye.

Mid-Glamorgan health authority has supplied the solicitors representing Mr. and Mrs. Bye with a report of its investigation into the complaints made in this case. The clinical records have been released to a medically qualified consultant nominated by the complainants.

Home Helps

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number of home helps per 1,000 of the retired population in each county and district respectively; and if he will make a statement.

The numbers of home helps per 1,000 of the retired population in each county in Wales at 30 September 1978 were as in the following table. Figures in respect of districts are not availale.

Number of home helps—whole-time equivalents—per 1,000 of the retired population.(*)
Area
Clwyd4·2
Dyfed4·3
Gwent8·0
Gwynedd6·1
Mid-Glamorgan7·6
Powys6·6
South Glamorgan5·7
West Glamorgan4·3
Wales5·8
(*) Men aged 65 and over, women aged 60 and over at 30 June 1978.

Small Firms

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the meetings he has had with bodies representing small firms in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

I have had many meetings and contacts, both formal and informal, with a wide range of organisations and bodies concerned with the interests of small firms in Wales. I am also paying special attention to small firms in my programme of industrial visits.

Intensive Care Cots

asked the Secretary of of State for Wales how many intensive care cots for very sick and very small babies there are in Welsh hospitals; and if he will list those hospitals where these cots are located.

There is no designated regional or sub-regional unit specialising in the resuscitation and maintenance of life of the newborn. Facilities for the care of very sick and very small babies are available in the special care baby units at the following hospitals:

HM Stanley, St. Asaph; Maelor general, Wrexham; Bronglais, Aberystwyth; Nevill Hall, Abergavenny; Royal Gwent, Newport; County, Pontypool; St. Davids, Bangor; Bridgend general; East Glamorgan, Church Village; St. Tydfils, Merthyr; University hospital of Wales, Cardiff; St. David's, Cardiff; Morriston; Neath; West Wales general, Carmarthen.

Unemployment

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total number of unemployed in Wales at 14 November, or to the most recent convenient date; what were their sexes, ages and categories of previous employment; and when he estimates that his policies will have brought about a significant reduction in this figure.

The most recent information relates to 11 October 1979, when 85,816 persons were registered as unemployed in Wales. The distribution of these by sex and age was as follows:

NUMBERS REGISTERED AS UNEMPLOYED
Under 18181920–2425–2930–3435–4445–4950–5455–5960–6465 and overTotal all ages
Males4,2582,2742,1168,9766,7765,4097,2963,2083,3294,3527,26416955,427
Females4,9842,6552,0777,4324,1662,3612,6301,2921,3531,3706930,389
The latest information on categories of previous employment relates to 9 August and is given below:—
Numbers registered as unemployed
Order No.Standard Industrial ClassificationMalesFemales
IAgriculture, forestry, fishing1,016197
IIMining and quarrying2,12630
IIIFood, drink and tobacco1,091593
IVCoal and petroleum products13023
VChemicals and allied industries530298
VIMetal manufacture3,324305
VIIMechanical engineering1,372271
VIIIInstrument engineering82132
IXElectrical engineering722832
XShipbuilding and marine engineering17711
XIVehicles585223
XIIMetal goods not elsewhere specified1,177422
XIIITextiles536301
XIVLeather, leather goods and fur6753
XVClothing and footwear132923
XVIBricks pottery, glass cement, etc.370131
XVIITimber furniture, etc.404127
XVIIIPaper printing, publishing419308
XIXOther manufacturing industries862742
XXConstruction11,317217
XXIGas electricity and water32168
XXIITransport and communication2,406339
XXIIIDistributive trades3,5563,306
XXIVInsurance, banking finance and business services668524
XXVProfessional and scientific services1,3292,258
XXVIMiscellaneous services3,5333,061
XXVIIPublic administration and defence3,2731,829
Unclassified by industry16,94814,641

Reduction in unemployment will depend on many factors, but amongst the most important will be the response of all concerned to our measures to restore the economy and secure economic growth.

Development Board For Rural Wales (Newtown)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of the finance of the Development Board for Rural Wales for 1976–77, 1977–78 and 1978–79, respectively, has been expended in Newtown as part of the on-going Mid-Wales Corporation's committed expenditure; and how much was spent in the rest of the Board's area for the same period.

The Development Board for Rural Wales assumed the responsibilities in Newtown, formerly undertaken by the Mid-Wales Development Corporation, on 1 April 1977.The following table shows the distribution of public expenditure in respect of the operations of the Development Board for Rural Wales in 1977–78 and 1978–79, in Newtown and the rest of the Board's area at constant prices.

£ million at 1979 Survey Prices
1977–781978–79
Newtown.5·04·9
Outside Newtown.1·33·2
6·38·1

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Mr William Beausire

52.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government will send a representative to be present at the trial of William Beausire before there is an exchange of ambassadors with Chile.

We are not aware of any trial in prospect concerning Mr. Beausire. The Chilean courts have recently agreed to reopen their inquiries into his disappearance. Our Embassy in Santiago will continue to assist in whatever way it can. As to an exchange of ambassadors, I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) on 9 November.—[Vol. 973, c. 358.]

Deep Sea Mining

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many parties to the law of the sea conference have presented legislation to their Parliaments for the grant of licences covering deep sea mining; and when he contemplates doing so in the United Kingdom.

Interim deep seabed mining legislation is under consideration in the United States Congress. Legislation for this purpose also has been tabled by an all-party group in the West German Parliament. The question of introducing legislation on this subject in the United Kingdom is kept under review.

British Council

asked the Lord Privy Seal what changes he expects to make in the allocation of funds for books and periodicals for British Council libraries in India consequent on his review of overseas expenditure.

In the current financial year the British Council's allocation of funds for books and periodicals in Council libraries in India is £175,270 and £42,280 respectively. As part of the reduction in its expenditures in 1980–81 the British Council intends to reduce these allocations to £111,440 and £26,480 respectively.

International Legislation (Application To United Kingdom)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what categories of European Community legislation, and what other resolutions or instruments of any other international body, are binding on Her Majesty's Government; and in which cases they require the approval of Parliament.

Under article 189 of the treaty establishing the EEC (Cmnd. 7460), regulations made by the EEC Council and Commission are binding on the United Kingdom, as are directives or decisions addressed to the United Kingdom: similar provisions apply under the ECSC and Euratom treaties. Proposals for Council legislation are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny in accordance with the undertaking given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in his reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Silverman) on 13 July.—[Vol. 970, c. 302.]Leaving aside the powers of the Security Council to decide upon measures under articles 39 and 41 of the United Nations Charter to maintain or restore international peace and security, no other international body is empowered to adopt resolutions or instruments binding on Her Majesty's Government, save in relation to matters concerning the internal functioning of the particular international body. Where it is necessary to give effect to any binding resolutions or instruments of an international body in the law of the United Kingdom, the appropriate measures are brought before Parliament.

Indonesia

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will seek to raise in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights the question of the detention without trial in Indonesia of several thousands of the people of that country.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission will not hold its next meeting until February 1980. The Government will consider what matters might be raised at this meeting nearer the time. The Indonesian Government have undertaken to release or bring to trial by the

1979–801980–81*
Eastern Europe107,010119,630
France72,04054,180
Germany104,600120,940
Western Europe90,41090,000
Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council†79,080Nil
Total£453,140£384,750
* The breakdown by programme for 1980–81 is based on estimates of demand, with the exception of the Commonwealth programme, and includes an element for risen costs.
† Includes £7,500 for administrative assistance but excludes £15,000 which the Council hopes to find to assist the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council in 1980–81.
These figures cover British Council grants only and do not include assistance from local authorities to individual projects.

European Communities (Reform Of Commission)

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has noted paragraphs 103 to 109 of the report of the independent review body "Proposals for Reform of the Commission of the European Communities"; and what action is being taken to implement the recommendations therein with respect to secondment of (a) civil

end of 1979 all political detainees still held.

Rhodesia

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will arrange for hon. Members to visit Zimbabwe as observers during the forthcoming elections.

It will be open to any Member of either House who wishes to do so to observe the elections. If there is a strong desire to set up an all-party parliamentary group to observe the elections, this can be discussed through the usual channels.

Youth Exchanges

asked the Lord Privy Seal what will be the grant to the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council in 1980–81.

No grant is being made from central Government funds to the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council in 1980–81.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give details of the grants for youth exchanges in the current financial year and for 1980–81.

Grants for youth exchanges in the current financial year and estimates for 1980–81 are as follows:servants from his Department and (

b) personnel from both sides of industry in those sectors for which his Department acts as sponsor.

The Government have taken note of the proposals in question. The report of the Independent Review Body "Proposals for the reform of the Commission of the European Communities" was made at the request of the Commission itself; the Commission is currently considering the recommendations. There is no action yet for member States or the Council to take.Since our accession to the Community there have been secondments and external recruitments to the Commission from the Civil Service and from both sides of industry. We shall continue to encourage these. Recently there have also been arrangements for temporary exchanges of officials between the Civil Service and the Commission.

Ambassadors

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list those countries whose Governments Her Majesty's Government recognise but where such countries are not represented at ambassadorial level in London.

The Governments of the following States are recognised by Her Majesty's Government but there has been no representative at ambassadorial level accredited or nominated to London within the last year.

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Angola
  • Bhutan
  • Cape Verde
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Holy See
  • Kampuchea
  • Kiribati
  • Laos
  • Liechtenstein
  • Maldives
  • Monaco
  • Mozambique
  • Nauru
  • San Marino
  • Suriname
  • Tuvalu
  • Western Samoa

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) what are the criteria Her Majesty's Government apply to foreign countries in considering whether or not it is appropriate for the United Kingdom to accept representation of a foreign country at ambassadorial level;(2) if the criteria Her Majesty's Government apply in considering whether or not to receive an ambassador from a foreign country include the recognition by the Government of that country of the observance of human rights.

There are no set criteria for considering whether or not to accept representation in the United Kingdom of a foreign country at ambassadorial level.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list those countries whose Governments Her Majesty's Government recognise, but where the United Kingdom is not represented at ambassadorial level.

[pursuant to his reply, 15 November 1979, c. 690]: I have to make the following correction:Her Majesty's Government recognise the Governments of Albania, Argentina, Bhutan, Chile, Guatemala, Kampuchea and The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, but have not been represented at ambassadorial level, either resident or non-resident, within the last year.

Chile (Ambassador)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government will now indicate their readiness to welcome a Chilean ambassador to London.

There is not yet anything to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) on 9 November.—[Vol. 973, c. 358.]

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he expects to reach a decision on whether or not to approve an ambassador to Chile.

We are continuing to examine all aspects of our relations with Chile. I cannot yet say when we shall reach any final decisions.

Ussr (Diplomatic Representation)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government will seek to reduce the level of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' representation in Great Britain to that of chargé d'affaires.

Purchasing Contracts

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many small businesses feature on the approved list of suppliers maintained by his Department for purchase contracts by means of selective tender.

I regret that information on the size of businesses on approved lists of suppliers for purchase contracts by means of selective tender is not available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

European Council

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the status of the European Council under the treaties establishing the European Communities; and what powers it exercises in relation to requests to the EEC Commission for research and secretarial services.

The European Council is not referred to in the treaties. It was established by decision of the nine Heads of Government who agreed in December 1974

"to meet, accompanied by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, three times a year, and, whenever necessary, in the Council of the Communities and in the context of political co-operation".
It draws on the Council secretariat and on the Commission for support and for information as necessary.

Land Registry

asked the Attorney-General what, if any, is the consumer representation in the Land Registry department.

The interests of the public in matters relating to the Land Registry are represented in the rule committee constituted under section 444 of the Land Registration Act 1925 and the joint advisory committee of the Law Society and the Land Registry, by members of those committees.

asked the Attorney-General if he will consider lay representation on the joint committee of the Land Registry and the Law Society.

asked the Attorney-General if he will consider alterations in Land Registry requirements in order to simplify the process of conveyancing.

The suggestions relating to registered conveyancing made in the report of the Royal Commission on legal services—Cmnd. 7648—are under consideration and particular attention will be given to changes in Land Registry requirements which may be necessitated by the introduction of computerisation into the work of the registration of title department. Consideration will also be given to any proposals for simplification of the relevant law and procedures which may be made by the Law Commission in its forthcoming report on land registration.

asked the Attorney-General whether, in view of the current financial surplus of the Land Registry, he will lower registration fees for (a) the first registration and (b) subsequent registrations of residential property.

These and other fees charged by the Land Registry are under consideration.

asked the Attorney-General what financial surpluses or deficits have been made by the Land Registry department in the past 10 financial years.

The figures to the nearest £1,000 are as follows:

YearRegistration of Title DepartmentLand Charges and Agricultural Credits Departments
£000s£000s
1969–70- 857- 52
1970–71+ 592- 65
1971–72+ 2,487- 187
1972–73+ 6,491- 181
1973–74+ 2,397- 750
1974–75- 2,341- 962
1975–76- 3,095+ 10
1976–77- 2,616+ 835
1977–78+ 1,631+ 1,051
1978–79+ 4,763+ 1,160

Dr Wilfred Mann

asked the Attorney-General if he will refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to prosecution for breaches of the Official Secrets Act the conduct of Dr. Wilfred Mann in connection with the defection of Burgess and Maclean.

No. I have no information relating to the conduct of Dr. Wilfred Mann which would justify my making any such reference to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Anthony Blunt

asked the Attorney-General if he will refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to prosecution for breaches of the Official Secrets Act the conduct of Mr. Anthony Blunt in connection with the defection of Burgess and Maclean.

asked the Attorney-General if he will refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions the case of Mr. Anthony Blunt with a view to prosecution under the Official Secrets Acts in respect of the Burgess and Maclean case.

No. I refer the hon. Members to the written answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 15 November to the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Leadbitter).

Energy

Nuclear Waste

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a study of the paper by an expert on nuclear physics on the dangers of the movement of nuclear waste through thickly populated areas, a copy of which has been sent to him; and what action he has taken or proposes to take.

I am considering the paper sent to me by the hon. Member and will write to him about it in due course.

Electrical Goods (Labelling)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what will be the effect, if any, of his proposals to introduce energy labelling on a range of electrical goods (a) manufactured in the United Kingdom and (b) imported from abroad; and what will be the cost.

The effect of the proposed measures will be that purchasers of household appliances which use significant quantities of energy will have information on the comparative energy consumption and running costs to take into account in making their choice. The proposals apply to both United Kingdom manufactured and imported goods. It is not possible to apportion the costs and benefits between United Kingdom-produced and imported goods.Overall current departmental estimates, compiled after consulting the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Electrical Appliances and the Consumers' Association, are that the annual costs of running a successful energy labelling scheme on household electrical appliances, including those costs incurred by manufacturers, importers, retailers and Government, will total approximately £17 million to £22 million.Annual benefits in terms of energy saved are conservatively estimated to be in the range of £50 million to £100 million, although substantially higher estimates of savings were put forward by the Consumers' Association in its report "Energy Efficiency Labelling", published by the Department of Energy in April 1978.

Oil Companies (Foreign Assets)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will introduce legislation to seek to control the sale of foreign assets by British oil companies by ensuring that such assets have to be offered first to the British National Oil Corporation.

Natural Gas

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether the price paid by industry for natural gas in other EEC countries is significantly lower than it is in the United Kingdom; and whether he will impose countervailing duties on imports of products made by these industries on the lines which have been suggested in the case of imports from the United States of America.

It is very difficult at present to say definitively how United Kingdom industrial gas prices compare with those in Europe. Valid comparisons of gas prices in EEC countries are particularly difficult, given possible differences in timing of contracts, escalation provision, exchange rates and calorific value. The United Kingdom has no powers to impose countervailing duties on imports from other member States.

National Coal Board (Houses)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has now changed his policy of offering National Coal Board houses first, as a matter of principle, to the local authority for sale.

This is a matter for the National Coal Board, and I am asking the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Coal Mining (Recruitment)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish the

MonthOil Production (million tonnes)Gas Flared (million of cubic feet/day)
January6·0709
February5·7666
March5·5591
April5·8678
May6·8694
June6·9752
July7·1620
August6·7640
September6·7708
Total157·2Average673
Flaring will decrease from 1 November as the restrictions at Brent, announced to the House on 29 October take effect.

Kemeny Report

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will request the United States authorities to make available to him the full text of the Kemeny Commission report on the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster with a view to publishing the findings of that report in an appropriate form within the United Kingdom.

The Kemeny Report was published in the United States on 31 October.I have arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

Industry

Giro

asked the Secretary of Statae for Industry whether, if the Post statistics for current recruitment to the mining industry in Scotland and in Great Britain and the number of vacancies our standing.

This is a matter for the National Coal Board, and I am asking the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

North Sea Gas Flaring

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much gas has been flared off in North Sea installations during the period 1 May to 30 October.

The following table gives figures for oil production and the flaring of gas associated with that production from January to September 1979. Production and flaring figures for October are not yet available.Office decides to join the Comittee of London Clearing Bankers, it will still be the policy of his Department that National Giro should continue to provide the unique Giro transfer service for which it was created.

That would be a matter for the Post Office. I understand however that entry into the clearing house would not affect National Girobank's ability to provide a Giro transfer service.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether his proposals for the separation of the postal and banking business of the Post Office from its telecommunications activities include the merger of the banking business of National Giro with the National Savings Bank.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether his Department has any arrangements for settling bills from the Post Office by using National Giro transfer facilities; and, if he will give details.

No. My Department settles Post Office accounts through the Paymaster General's Office.

Sewing Machines

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing the volume and value of domestic sewing machines produced and

DOMESTIC SEWING MACHINES (INCLUDING SEWING MACHINE HEADS)
Total sales by United Kingdom manufacturersUnited Kingdom exports*
Number thousandValue £ thousandNumber thousandValue £ thousand
19546397,529Not available
1958Not available7,586Not available
19684236,824Not available
1972Not available3638,058
1978Not available19,828312†16,829
1979—January-MarchNot available2,40857†3,938
April-AugustNot available126†7,588
* Including re-exports.
† Including some non-domestic items.

Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing the volume of steel produced

CRUDE STEEL PRODUCTION
'000 tonnes
United KingdomWest GermanyFranceItalyUnited States of America‡Japan
195216,68115,80610,8673,63584,5216,988
196024,69534,10017,2818,46290,06722,138
196724,25736,74419,65515,890115,40662,154
197225,29343,70424,09619,812120,75696,912
197820,31141,25622,83624,288124,308102,108
1979 (January to August inclusive)16,160*30,73814,71915,43185,77774,074
EXPORTS OF STEEL PRODUCTS
'000 tonnes
United KingdomWest GermanyFranceItalyUnited States of America‡Japan
19521,858l,776†2,5741333,6881,599
19602,8207,8375,4871,1272,7872,241
19673,70111,9226,4732,0841,7328,756
19724,43913,8318,4723,8022,89820,928
19784,23518,41610,9438,2752,34830,908
1979 (January to June inclusive)3,278*8,8745,3893,5841,21614,888
* January to September inclusive.
† Excluding exports to the German Democratic Republic.
‡ Excludes the production of independent foundries.
Sources: Iron and Steel statistics bureau: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

exported by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, the United States of America and Japan in 1952, 1960, 1967, 1972, 1978 and 1979 to date.

The information requested is only available for the United Kingdom, and sales data have had to be used as a proxy for production data. Data for 1954, 1958 and 1968 have been given in the absence of any for 1952, 1960 and 1967.Following is the table:and exported from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, the United States of America and Japan in 1952, 1960, 1967, 1972, 1978 and 1979 to date.

Microelectronics

asked the Secretary of State for Industry further to the reply of the Minister of State on 6 November 1979 to the hon. Member for Hornchurch, if he will indicate the nature of the findings of the Mori poll of national microelectronics awareness.

The final report of the finding of the Mori survey of microelectronic awareness has not yet been received by the Department of Industry.

Statistics Of Trade

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the outcome of the reviews of coverage and operation of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947, with particular reference to the confidentiality ruling.

The Government have no plans at present to amend the Statistics of Trade Act or to relax the confidentiality restrictions placed on the information collected.

European Communities (Reform Of Commission)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has noted paragraphs 103 to 109 of the report of the Independent Review Body "Proposals for the reform of the Commission of the European Communities"; and what action is being taken to implement the recommendations therein with respect to secondment of (a) cipil servants from his Department and (b) personnel from both sides of industry in those sectors for which his Department acts as sponsors.

The Government have taken note of the proposals in question. The report of the Independent Review Body "Proposals for the reform of the Commission of the European Communities" was made at the request of the Commission itself; the Commission is currently considering the recommendations. There is no action yet for member States or the Council to take. Since our accession to the Community there have been secondments and external recruitments to the Commission from the Civil Service and from both sides of industry. We shall continue to encourage these. In addition, my Department is currently arranging for more secondments to the Commission of both departmental and industry representatives.

Neath

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether, in view of the reorganisation to be carried out by the Metal Box Company at its Neath factory, which will reduce the number of jobs available in the area by at least 500, he will now withdraw his decision to downgrade the status of Neath from that of a special development area to that of an assisted area.

While we are always prepared to consider solid evidence of significant relative changes in the economic prospects of individual travel-to-work areas, it is premature to draw conclusions about the longer-term impact of this reorganisation.

Bilston

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if employees of the British Steel Corporation at Bilston, who have been made redundant or are about to be made redundant, will receive assistance from the European Coal and Steel Community funds allocated to help employees affected by the closure or slimming down of plants in the steel industry.

Income support payments are already being made to affected employees of BSC Bilston. Application will shortly be made for a contribution from ECSC funds towards the cost of these payments.

Post Office Board (Membership)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will take steps to ensure the continuance of trade union representation on the board of the Post Office after 31 December.

My right hon. Friend is at present considering the composition of the Post Office board after 31 December 1979. He will announce his decision in due course.

Post Office Corporation

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects to receive the report on the management of the Post Office Corporation by the industrial relations unit of Warwick university; and whether the report will be published in full.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will place in the Library a copy of the Warwick university report on the industrial democracy experiment in the Post Office.

The industrial relations unit of Warwick university was invited by the Post Office and the Council of Post Office Unions to monitor and evaluate their agreed two-year experiment in industrial democracy in the Post Office. The unit's report is confidential to the parties to that agreement. It is for them, and not my right hon. Friend, to decide whether the unit's report should be published.

Regional Development (Wales)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total saving gained through the reduction and withdrawal of regional development incentives in Powys, Ceredigion and Merioneth.

The information available is not related to the areas specified and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what additional public expenditure is to be made available to replace savings made by the Government through the withdrawal of regional development incentives in the Development Board for Rural Wales area.

None. One of the objectives of these changes in the gradings of the assisted areas was to save public expenditure.

Car Manufacture (Inspection Systems)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is being done to encourage car manufacturers in the United Kingdom to adopt the latest microprocessor-controlled electro-optic inspection system now widely used in the United States of America, which increases car reliability and lowers fuel consumption.

[pursuant to his reply, 15 November 1979, c. 694]: The Department has a scheme designed to encourage the application of microprocessors, and electro-optic inspection systems could be considered under this scheme but the choice of inspection system must remain within the discretion of the manufacturer.

Social Services

Rent And Rate Rebates

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many people he estimates will be better off receiving supplementary benefit rather than rent and rate rebates consequent upon the removal of the electricity discount scheme; how many extra staff his Department will need in order to undertake the necessary individual calcluations; and how soon he expects these calculatons to be completed;(2) how many people he estimates will United States of America, which increases be better off receiving supplementary benefit rather than rent and rate rebates consequent upon the elimination of the parental income scale for school meals envisaged in the Education (No. 2) Bill; and how many extra staff his Department will need to undertake the necessary individual calculations.

Invalidity Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the numbers claiming invalidity benefit and if these data could be also presented according to (a) the claimant's age, (b) whether the claimant has a spouse and (c) one child, two, three, or four or more dependent children.

The following tables give the numbers receiving invalidity benefit on 3 June 1978, the latest date for which figures are available. The dependants shown are those for whom an increase of benefit was claimed. Only in exceptional cases will the "adult" dependant not be the spouse.

MENAGE AT 31 MAY 1978

All ages

Under 20

20–2425–2930–3435–3940–4445–4950–5455–5960–6465+
All claimants462,4001,2505,95010,50018,70021,60028,60037,80057,50090,550157,95032,000
No dependents169,0001,2504,6504,9007,3507,90010,40013,50023,35035,45052,8507,400
Adult only187,300502003504501,3506,20016,85039,70098,40023,750
Adult and 1 child33,6506501,1001,4001,0003,4005,9507,5508,5503,650400
Adult and 2 children26,2504502,2504,1003,0503,9504,4004,0502,9001,05050
Adult and 3 children14,0001001,0502,4502,8002,9002,2501,35070035050
Adult and 4 children7,9504009502,7002,000950500300150
Adult and 5 or more children4,750501007001,1501,200650600200100
No adult but 1 child8,3002502004008001,3002,0002,1501,000200
No adult but 2 children6,4502006509001,5001,650750300350150
No adult but 3 children1,95050150400400500300150
No adult but 4 children1,700400250350400200100
No adult but 5 children1,100600350505050

WOMENAGE AT MAY 1978

All ages

Under 20

20–2425–2930–3435–3940–4445–4950–5455–5960+
All claimants96,8502,1505,5006,6005,5506,5508,25011,25018,80028,0504,150
No dependents93,0501,5505,2006,3005,2006,0007,80011,00018,25027,8003,950
Adult only50050100150200
Adult and 1 child
Adult and 2 children5050
Adult and 3 children5050
Adult and 4 children
Adult and 5 or more children
No adult but 1 child2,05060025020025020020050300
No adult but 2 children90050100100250150150100
No adult but 3 children200100100
No adult but 4 children
No adult but 5 or more children5050

Invalidity Benefit (Optical Care)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report the cost of extending free optical care to the claimants of invalidity benefit.

The cost cannot be estimated reliably in the absence of information about individual patients' optical needs and choices but would probably be of the order of £½ million.

Renal Patients (Oxford)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the situation with regard to heating cabinets for peritoneal fluids used by patients not on kidney machines in the renal units of Oxford hospitals.

Oxfordshire area health authority informs me that special heating cabinets are not normally required for heating peritoneal fluids used for continuous ambulent peritoneal dialysis. However, in the case of patients who have no domestic source of heating suitable for this purpose, the authority is proposing to supply heating cabinets. The cabinets are on order and will be provided as soon as possible.

One-Parent Families (Christmas Bonus)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in view of the high cost of children's toys, he will seek power to extend the pensioners' Christmas bonus to one-parent families.

No. The groups to whom the bonus is paid, which are the same as in the last year of the previous Administration, seem to be about right. One-parent families will, however, be helped by last week's uprating of social security benefits. The total paid to these families will now be running at a level of about £1,100 million a year.

Unemployment Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of those unemployed in Dundee and Scotland have exhausted their right to unemployment benefit; and what percentage of those unemployed in Dundee and Scotland they represent.

Family Spending Power

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current net spending power of a family on average income (a) with two children under 11 years and (b) with two children under 16 years, taking account of all welfare benefits at current prices; and what are the corresponding figures for 1964 expressed at current figures.

Cancer (Birmingham)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people have died of cancer in Birmingham in every year since 1954 to date, breaking the figures down into particular cancer sites.

, [pursuant to his reply, 12 November 1979, c. 433]: The figures are as follows:

DEATHS FROM CANCER IN BIRMINGHAM CB, 1954–77
All malignant neoplasmsBuccal cavity and pharynxOesophagusStomachIntestine and rectumLarynxLung and bronchusBreastUterusProstateLeukaemiaOther malignant neoplasms including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopcietic tissue
Males
19541,2124531161207254185N.A.23297
19551,2523041195178194111N.A.32345
19561,2783127190183164323N.A.33363
19571,3221830200200224682N.A.40342
19581,26543281921771346819422227
19591,27039271761621549429228235
19601,29422331861452352618231245
19611,24926242041441450327624232
19621,27924291731781751816425250
19631,30124241701451558726426244
19641,24822261491311352638632260
19651,36424261561521757019136291
19661,33820291571671754458136282
19671,39423251971581859837222278
19681,4613041162176166257431306
19691,43025331621532560938142297
19701,40024511341651660427429301
19711,35522371561711852817535312
19721,41722341841581358538527306
19731,44317471631741762816737292
19741,44514341501621462128736325
19751,41920471321501459349443322
19761,51228521361682763448926348
19771,44517431581531162149135312

All malignant neoplasms

Buccal cavity and pharynx

Oesophagus

Stomach

Intestine and rectum

Larynx

Lung and bronchus

Breast

Uterus

Prostate

Leukaemia

Other malignant neoplasms including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopcietic tissue

Females
19541,08610181532375022710723261
19551,03910201432092732199421248
19561,0281291421956521711522251
19571,129151816620038223610423282
19581,08915221411996782379320278
19591,1209201492393672369029278
19609959181301893722058421264
19611,0517241401942692368725267
19621,07614141361784782209929304
19631,09215221561824762348228293
19641,04813181391633762268622302
19651,073161913718119222110335268
19661,0947281301812922308832304
19671,121221912619721002177936323
19681,1466171262003962389532333
19691,167112712320811142396829347
19701,13792610819831292477726314
19711,1581225106191311725610218328
19721,05717171001841082267030305
19731,233122612922321332409043335
19741,207173011519341552617525332
19751,147102811616221352427434344
19761,1609279818821312378222364
19771,144104011417261392387218335
1. These serial figures should be interpreted with caution. They hive not been adjusted for changes in numbers and age distribution of the population.
2. Birmingham CB was combined with Sutton Coldfield MB to form Birmingham Metropolitan County District in 1974. The figures shown for 1974 onwards have been assembled for that part of the Metropolitan County District which was Birmingham CB until reorganisation.
3. The figures shown for each site are broadly comparable throughout the period but in some cases there may be differences of detail resulting from successive revisions of the international Classification of Diseases on which they are based.

Scotland

Rate Support Grant

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about rate support grant in Scotland in 1980–81.

As I have intimated to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, I intend that the rate support grant for Scottish local authorities in 1980–81 should be derived from total relevant expenditure of £2,009·9 million, and that the grant percentage should continue to be 68½ per cent. I have determined relevant expenditure at a level 2 per cent. below that for 1979–80 because of the overriding need to curtail public expenditure in the national interest. The aggregate grant I propose is £1,362·8 million, of which rate support grant forms £1,247·9 million.I also intend to make provision for additional grant in respect of increased costs of £5·3 million for 1978–79 and £80 million for 1979–80—with the possibility of a second increase order in 1980 of up to £19 million for 1979–80. I also intend that the cash limit for additional grant for cost increases during 1980–81 should be £194 million. This will be a firm cash limit which will not be subject to review.The main object of the formula for the distribution of grant will be to retain the arrangements made for 1979–80, as the Convention has recommended. Within this general objective, however, I propose to reduce the ratio of resources element to needs element from 1:4 to 1:7 so that authorities striking comparatively high rate poundages will thereby secure less additional resources than under the 1979–80 formula. I shall lay the necessary order for the approval of the House as soon as possible, together with the report required by statute.

Teachers (Dismissals)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many day school teachers were dismissed in each of the last three years; and how many of them had their registrations withdrawn by the General Teaching Council.

The numbers of education authority teachers dismissed from primary and secondary schools over the last three years are as follows:

1976–7722
1977–7822
1978–795
I am informed by the General Teaching Council that over the same period it withdrew registration of 34 teachers, but it is not known how many of these are included in the above figures. If my hon. Friend requires further information, he may wish to approach the Council direct.

Dundee District Council (Boundaries)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the organisations and individuals who made objections to the Local Government Boundaries Commission regarding the proposed new boundaries for elections to Dundee district council.

The Commission has not yet reported to the Secretary of State on its current review of electoral arrangements for the city of Dundee district council, and the Secretary of State is not therefore aware of what objections it is considering.

Tayside Regional Council (Boundaries)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the organisation and individuals who made objections to the Local Government Boundary Commission regarding the proposed new boundaries for Tayside regional council elections.

The report on the Tayside region which the Commission submitted to the Secretary of State on 16 September 1977 indicates that the Commission considered objections made to it by:

  • Angus district council
  • Perth and Kinross district council
  • Glenfarg community council
  • Councillor John Kidd
  • Mr. D. Maclean
  • Whitfield community council
  • Craigiebank and district community council
  • Craigie club for retired persons
  • Downfield and district community council
  • Dundee Labour Party
  • The Communist Party
  • Councillor Welsh
  • Councillor McAuley, and
  • Councillor Christie.

Local Authorities (Employment)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total number of those employed by each local authority in Scotland at present; and what are the corresponding figures for 1976.

Schoolchildren (Continuity Of Education)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what duties are laid upon regional authorities which require them to provide continuity of tuition to schoolchildren studying for O grades once the children have embarked upon an O grade course.

None specifically. Under section 1 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1962, education authorities have a general duty to secure that there is made for their area adequate and efficient provision of school education. School education is defined as progressive education appropriate to the requirements of pupils in attendance at schools, regard being had to their age, ability and aptitude.

Direct Grant Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the annual fees at present at each direct grant school in Scotland.

Three-year-oldsFour-year-olds
Authorityper centper cent
Borders6·617·9
Central12·126·7
Dumfries and Galloway2·711·3
Fife13·257·2
Grampian12·623·6
Highland2·89·9
Lothian29·642·2
Strathclyde17·227·1
Tayside15·121·8
Orkney12·921·3
Shetland3·85·2
Western Isles14·224·9

Probationary Teachers (Promotions)

asked the Secretary of Slate for Scotland how many awards of promoted posts in secondary schools in subject and guidance have been given to those who, at the time of appointment,

The maximum day tuition fees payable at the beginning of the current session at grant-aided secondary schools were as follows:

Name of School and Maximum fee per session day education in Secondary Departments only
£
Dollar academy705
Benedictine convent school330
St. Joseph's college660
Albyn school for girls705
Robert Gordon's college634
St. Margaret's school687
George Heriot's school648
St. Mary's music school750
Craigholme school for girls597
Kelvinside academy648
Laurel Bank school756
St. Aloysius college519
Westbourne school for girls702
High School of Dundee690
Daniel Stewart's and Melville college864
Mary Erskine school864
George Watson's college864
Hutchesons' grammar school573
Park school840
St. Columba's school840
Morrison's academy675

Nursery Education

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of 3-year-olds and what percentage of 4-year-olds attend nursery school in each region and island authority.

At September 1978, the most recent date for which information is available, the percentages of 3-year-olds and 4-year-old attending nursery schools and classes were as follows:had not completed their two-year probationary period required for full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland in each of the past three years; and what are the corresponding figures for each regional and island authority.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the policy of the General Teaching Council for Scotland towards the award of a promoted post in either subject or guidance in secondary schools to those who have not, at the time of appointment, completed their two-year probationary period required for full registration with the General Teaching Council.

The responsibility for the appointment of teachers to promoted posts lies with education

Regional Islands/AuthorityNumber of meals-on-wheels served in year ended 31 March 1979Number of meals served per 1,000 persons of pensionable age
Borders63,5383,000
Central92,3652,300
Dumfries and Galloway72,8332,900
Fife247,4364,500
Grampian152,6331,900
Highland60,8752,000
Lothian313,3292,500
Strathclyde570,7431,500
Tayside127,6421,700
Orkney
Shetland48,94213,600
Western Isles3,300500
Scotland1,753,6362,100
The population figures used are those for persons of pensionable age, that is men aged 65 or over and women aged 60 or over.In Orkney the meals-on-wheels service was withdrawn, and home helps now assist with the preparation of meals for the elderly.

Short-Time Working

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in Dundee and Scotland are currently working short-time; and what percentage of those employed in each case they represent.

An estimate of the number of operatives in manufacturing industries in Scotland who were on short-time working in the week ended 4 August 1979—the latest date for which information is available—and the proportion of all operatives in these industries which this represented was published in the October edition of the Department of Employment Gazette. Estimates of short-time

authorities. I understand that the General Teaching Council is opposed to the promotion of teachers who have still to secure final registration.

Meals-On-Wheels

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many meals were provided by the meals-on-wheels service by each region and island authority and in Scotland overall in the past year; and what is the value of each of these figures, expressed per thousand of the retired population.

The information requested is as follows:time working in local office areas and among other groups of employees are not available.

School Records

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what right of access parents have to their children's confidential school records.

The Schools General (Scotland) Regulations 1975 prescribe that education authorities shall cause a pupil's progress record to be kept for every pupil in attendance at a school under their management; that the information contained in a pupil's progress record shall be used only for the purpose of supervising that pupil's educational development and of giving adequate advice and assistance to, or in relation to, that pupil; and that the contents of the record or any part thereof shall only be disclosed to persons authorised in that behalf by the Secretary of State or the education authority.

Fluoridation

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will name the local authorities in Scotland which have decided to add fluoride to their drinking water supply and those which have decided against.

All 15 health boards in Scotland have recommended fluoridation of water supplies by water authorities. Strathclyde regional council has decided to commence fluoridation. Dumfries and Galloway regional council has continued two existing schemes.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a summary of the most recent research which compares the level of dental health in areas of Scotland with fluoridated drinking water and those without.

EXPENDITURE IN SCOTLAND WITHIN THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY
£ million at 1979 survey price
1974–75 outturn1975–76 outturn1976–77 outturn1977–78 outturn1978–79 provisional outturn1979–80 expected outturn1980–81 plans
Agriculture, fisheries, food and forestry18111813410595122112
Trade, industry, energy and employment63371118796112113
Roads and transport304320299307325313308
Housing752742710671652697627
Other environmental services399459387354389396384
Law, order and protective services198212210199210217221
Education, libraries, science and arts933979964936941945904
Health and personal social services9469769901,0001,0381,0411,069
Other public services32424242414446
Common services111111
TOTAL3,8093,8863,8483,7023,7873,8883,785

Teachers (Promoted Posts)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of those holding a promoted post in Scottish secondary schools in (a) subject and (b) guidance were (i) holders of an honours degree, (ii) holders of an ordinary degree and (iii) not in possession of a university degree or its equivalent.

At September 1978 41 per cent. of teachers holding promoted posts—subject—were honours graduates, 24 per cent, were ordinary

The definitive Scottish study is still that on which a report was published in 1969. It compared the dental health of children in Kilmarnock and Ayr. The dental health of children in Kilmarnock showed a marked improvement during the period of fluoridation there and a progressive deterioration after fluoridation ceased in 1962.

Public Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide details of public expenditure within his responsibility equivalent to the figures in table 2 of the White Paper "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81", Cmnd. 7746.

The information requested is given in the following table. The figures for the years preceding 198081 reflect the latest information on out-turn.graduates and 35 per cent. were holders of other equivalent qualifications. The equivalent proportions of teachers holding promoted posts—guidance—were 20, 43 and 37 per cent. respectively.

Deer

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in the light of the intensive farming of deer which is now being undertaken in Scotland, he will take steps to prevent antlers being sawn off the wild animal in order to obtain the velvet for sale.

The farming of deer is attracting increasing interest in both Scotland and England, but the word "intensive" is misleading in this context. Deer on the farm will tend to have a higher stocking rate than on the hill, but there is no evidence that "factory farming" of deer is being undertaken in Scotland.The question of antler velvet raises particular issues. By-products from deer killed for venison are already exported, but I have no evidence of antler velvet being taken from live deer in Scotland. The practice is common in other countries, and in anticipation of continuing interest in deer farming in Britain my right hon. Friends and I have asked that information about the physiological and other possible effects of harvesting deer velvet be collected as quickly as possible with a view to the question being referred to the Farm Animal Welfare Council for its advice.

Environment

Chemical Effluent Discharge (Monitoring)

51.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied that discharges of chemical effluent within British territorial waters are being adequately monitored.

I am satisfied about the system for monitoring the quality of coastal waters generally, but full monitoring of all the relevant discharges will have to await implementation of part II of the Control of Pollution Act.

Union Place Resource Centre, Lambeth

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what funds have been paid to the Union Place resource centre, Lambeth, under the inner city partnership scheme; what funds have been promised to it in the future; for what purpose this money is made available; and what checks will be made to ensure that the money is spent according to the objectives of the scheme.

Several projects in the Lambeth inner city partnership programme are based on the Union Place resource centre. They include staff to operate the printing and other facilities, an outreach worker, and a photography project. The total allocations to schemes run from the centre agreed by the previous Government were £10,000 for 1978–79 and £50,000 for 1979–80.Not all the expenditure under these allocations is necessarily related to the centre. The Lambeth partnership programme for 1980–81 and future years has not yet been settled; but any proposed projects based on the centre will be closely scrutinised.

Urban Aid (Greenwich)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the projects in the London borough of Greenwich which are or have been funded by urban aid grants, indicating in each case the total capital cost, the annual revenue cost, the starting date and the date on which existing funding is due to expire.

Over 100 urban aid projects have been approved for the London borough of Greenwich since the urban programme started, including those in the Docklands partnership area. The detailed information requested could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

Local Authority Accounting

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will bring forward legislation to provide for new local government accounting standards, so as to enable clear distinctions to be drawn in local authority accounts between income from ratepayers, income from taxpayers, income from fees and charges and total income, respectively.

The way in which local authorities' total income should be presented is relevant to the Government's proposals on the disclosure by local authorities of financial and other information about the services they provide. These proposals are set out in a recently published consultation document, a copy of which is in the Library.I will ensure that my hon. Friend's suggestion is taken into account in the discussions that my officials will be having with the local authority associations, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and other interested parties about these issues.

South Tyneside (Council Housing)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council houses have been built in South Tyneside in each year since reorganisation; and what is the present waiting list.

Following is the available information:

Local authority dwellings completed in South Tyneside April 1974-September 1979
Number
1974 (April to December)230
1975192
1976659
1977697
1978601
1979 (January to September)361
Details of council house waiting lists are not available centrally.

Rate Support Grant

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give an assurance that those authorities, like Kirklees, which could be adversely affected by changes in the rate support grant distribution formula will have the benefit, as in the past, of damping and safety net arrangements without which ratepayers in those areas could suffer increases in their rate bills.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Shelton) on 16 November.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the rise in the minimum lending rate announced on 15 November, he proposes to pay two tranches of the rate

TOTAL PUBLIC SECTOR INVESTMENT BY AGENCY—TOTAL £'000S
1978–791979–801980–811981–82TotalPercentage
GLC7,59912,597·020,725·036,708·077,629·033
Greenwich1,3523,016·92,996·95,964·213,330·06
Lewisham1,8081,491·0871·6612·94,783·52
Newham9,30510,245·511,899·314,884·146,333·919
Southwark7,5565,554·07,271·04,709·025,090·011
Tower Hamlets7,06310,944·013,633·010,435·042,075·018
ILEA1,5501,785·02,190·02,359·07,884·03
Area health authorities530220·0865·41,026·92,642·31
Thames water authority2,5852,771·01,620·01,820·08,796·03
Housing associations3,240·05,200·0673·09,113·04
Total39,34851,864·467,272·279,192·1237,676·7
Percentage17222833100

support grant to local authorities in December 1979 to January 1980 of offset the unbudgeted charges at a time of heavy outturn.

The arrangements for payment of rate support grant are made on a timetable which has been agreed with the Treasury and the local authority associations, and there are no proposals to change those arrangements.

Caravan Encampments

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to bring forward legislation to strengthen the powers of local authorities to deal with illegal roadside caravan encampments.

Docklands

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the total resources of public capital invested in those parts of each of the five London boroughs within the Docklands development area made in accordance with the present Docklands strategic plan.

Statistics of local and public authority capital expenditure are not related to parts only of districts and it would be a major task to collect and present them in that form.The London Docklands operational programme 1978–82, produced by the Docklands joint committee, forecast public sector investment during the programme period as in the table attached—(at end 1977 prices). That programme is in accord with the London Docklands strategic plan and is ongoing.

Capital Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has now received to his consultation document on local government capital expenditure controls, to which comments were invited by 17 November.

It is too soon to report on the response as not all the local authority associations have yet replied.

Home Insulation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why, out of the £23 million made available by way of Government grants for home insulation in the year 1978–79, only £8 million has been paid out in the first six months; whether he expects the total sum allocated to be paid out; and, if not, what steps he proposes to take to increase the public awareness of the grant availability.

There is no single answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, but difficulties with the supply of materials during last winter's industrial disputes undoubtedly contributed. More than 400,000 applications for grant were accepted by local authorities between the start of the scheme in September 1978 and the end of the financial year; only about half of these grants were actually paid in that period.A national press campaign to publicise changes in the scheme and to encourage grant take-up in the present financial year was launched on 1 November; free leaflets and posters have been sent to all local authorities for use in their areas.

Defence

North Sea Oil Installations

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is satisfied that the United Kingdom's North Sea oil installations can be defended in the event of the outbreak of hostilities; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. In the event of the outbreak of hostilities, protection of our North Sea gas and oil installations would be covered by war plans for the defence of the area. It is not the practice to discuss details of these plans.

Defence Installations (Industrial Disruption)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration he has given to the effects of industrial disruption or strikes on the part of civilian employees in defence installations.

My right hon. Friend is studying the lessons learnt from the series of industrial disputes which have affected defence establishments during the last 16 months, and is considering how best to avoid a recurrence of such troubles and to limit the impact of any industrial action in the future.

Armed Forces (Overseas Service)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom have been stationed overseas since 1945; and what numbers were involved and for what periods of time.