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Written Answers

Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 18 December 1979

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 18 December 1979

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister what are her official engagements for 18 December.

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official duties for 18 December.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q28.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her engagements for 18 December.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q33.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister if she will state her official engagements for 18 December.

Q37.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q38.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q39.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

Q40.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q41.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 18 December.

Q42.

asked the Prime Minister if she will state her official engagements for 18 December.

Q43.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 18 December.

I have been asked to reply.I refer my hon. Friends and the hon. Members to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Mr. Neubert).

East Suffolk

Q12.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

European Community Budget

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister what progress has been made in preparation for the next EEC Council meeting with regard to the United Kingdom net budget contribution.

I have been asked to reply.At its last meeting, the European Council asked the Commission to explore the scope for developing supplementary Community measures which would lead to more Community expenditure in the United Kingdom. The Commission is working on this remit and will put its proposals to the Council of Ministers as soon as they are ready.

Budget Strategy

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied that the general objectives of the Government's budgetary strategy are being achieved.

I have been asked to reply.As my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made clear, there is no quick or easy way of rejuvenating the economy, but the steps which the Government have taken are those necessary to conquer inflation, restore incentives and provide a framework for sustained economic growth.

Norway

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if she will seek to pay an official visit to Norway.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Nato

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on the United Kingdom contribution to collective Western defence through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

I have been asked to reply.We believe that the defence of the West can best be ensured through the collective security provided by the North Atlantic Alliance. We therefore make a major contribution to NATO, concentrating on those areas where our forces can be of greatest benefit; that is, the Central region of Europe, the Eastern Atlantic and Channel the defence of the United Kingdom base and our nuclear forces. In the face of the growing Soviet threat, we are taking positive steps to improve the United Kingdom's contributions to the Alliance. Details of some of the improvements were given to my hon. Friend on 6 November 1979. Since that date the Government have published defence spending figures for this year and next which exceed NATO's 3 per cent. real growth aim.

Moscow

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister if she will seek to pay an official visit to Moscow.

I have been asked to reply.I refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend's answer to the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. Stoddart) on 15 November.

Security

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make inquiries into the security aspects of a statement about a politician named by Mrs. Khashoggi in a recent court case at the Central Criminal Court; and what action she intends to take in this matter.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Wellbeloved) on 17 December.

National Heritage Fund

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much of the Government's grant of£15 million to the National Heritage Fund will be provided from a public expenditure programme administered by the Treasury and how much will be provided from an addition to total public expenditure.

Ten million pounds will be an addition to total public expenditure in 1980–81 and the balance, about£5½million, is being transferred from the relevant Treasury programme. Upwards of£12 million of the total sum is to be paid into the National Heritage Fund.

Museums And The Arts

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is his estimate of how much finance has been spent by local authorities on the arts and museums during the years 1976–77, 1977–78 and 1979–80.

Local authority expenditure on museums in 1976–77 and 1977–78 was£29·4 million and£29·0 million respectively. The estimated expenditure in 1978–79 and 1979–80 is£29·0 million and£29·5 million respectively. All these figures are at 1979 survey prices.

Comparable figures for the arts are not available, but local authority expenditure was probably between£20 million and£30 million in each of these years.

House Of Commons

Photocopying Machines

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster why the photostating machines in Norman Shaw North are switched off during sittings of the House; and if he will take steps to have this practice changed.

The copying machine on the ground floor in Norman Shaw North is left on until the rising of the House, but the remainder are turned off when the attendants hand over to the night watchman at 9 pm. Similar arrangements are in force in Norman Shaw South.The times of operation of all copying machines are approved by the Services Committee.

Bolton (Magistrates)

asked the Chancellor of tie Duchy of Lancaster what steps he is taking to ensure that the bench in Bolton metropolitan borough is representative of the whole community; and if he will make a detailed statement.

With the help of my advisory committee, I try to ensure that all significant parts of the community of the metropolitan borough of Bolton are realistically reflected in the make-up of the bench.Problems such as changes in the population and the availability of suitable persons to serve make the task difficult. Progress is, however, being made, and further suggestions of likely persons who are worthy of consideration for appointment will be welcomed by me; these will be considered as and when vacancies become available.

Energy

Gas Supplies

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he plans to change the British Gas Corporation's statutory obligations to supply gas.

I intend to introduce legislation in the New Year which among other things will limit all statutory entitlements to gas supply to 25,000 therms a year and will make provision for the corporation to enter into contractual arrangements for any supplies above that level.

Departmental Staff (Private Telephone Calls)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much money was recovered during the past 12 months from civil servants who reimbursed his Department following private use of the telephone, in accordance with the Civil Service code of conduct.

United KingdomGermanyFranceBelgiumIreland
1. Total capital expenditure on coal production committee at the beginning of 1978 for that year (£ million)3612013116Not available
2. Miners employed underground on average, April-September 1978 (000s)188·5121·035·517·60·4
3. Capital expenditure committed per miner underground (£s)1,9171,665879887Not available

Sources: Commission report to the Council on measures to promote the

consumption of coal in the Community, COM(79)322, and Eurostat, monthly bulletin of the Statistical

Office of the European Communities.

Trade

Tariff Barriers (Asean States)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what tariff barriers exist in trading between the United Kingdom and each of the five ASEAN States; and what steps are being taken by the United Kingdom alone or in partnership with the EEC to reduce tariff barriers as a means of promoting trade.

Current tariffs: The imports of ASEAN countries from the United Kingdom receive the same tariff treatment as imports from other Western industrialised countries. Singapore permits a wide range of products to enter free of duty. Tariffs are, however, levied on certain goods—for example, sugar confectionery, wines and spirits, tobacco, some chemicals and machinery. The levels of Singapore's tariffs are generally low, ranging in the main from 1 per cent. to 15 per cent.

During the period 1 December 1978 and 30 November 1979 the sum of£135 was recovered from staff working in my Department's London headquarters.

Coal Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list in the Official Report the present level of capital investment per miner in the coal industry compared with other EEC countries.

The latest estimates on a comparable basis provided by the Commission and the statistical office of the European Communities are as follows:Indonesian tariffs on imports from the United Kingdom range from 5 per cent. to over 100 per cent. for some consumer goods. Basic raw materials and goods, including machinery, for industry attract low tariffs of around 5 per cent. to 15 per cent.The Philippines imposes tariffs ranging for the most part from 10 per cent. up to 100 per cent. and more. Machinery, raw materials and essential goods generally attract tariff towards the lower end of this range, while consumer goods and those classified as luxuries attract tariffs towards the upper end.Thailand's tariffs range from 5 per cent. to as high as 150 per cent, for some consumer items. Imports needed by Thai industry generally carry the lower tariffs, whilst non-essential imports including consumer items attract high duties.Malaysia's tariffs range from under 10 per cent. for some basic commodities and food items to 30 per cent. to 50 per cent. for most types of capital goods and some other manufactured goods, to over 100 per cent. for other manufactured goods, in particular consumer goods.As a member of the European Economic Community, the United Kingdom applies the common external tariff to imports from ASEAN countries.For some types of industrial product, all imports from ASEAN and other developing countries enter duty-free under the Community's generalised scheme of preferences (GSP). For other types of product, imports enter duty-free up to specified limits, and imports in excess of these limits attract duty. Preferential tariff rates are also accorded to a range of agricultural products.

Reductions in tariffs: The Community's concessions for 1980 under the GSP honour its commitment to improve the scheme each year up to 1980; and the Community has given a commitment to continue the scheme for a further decade from 1981.

To the extent to which their exports do not attract preferential rates under the GSP, the ASEAN countries will benefit from the reductions in the common customs tariff to which the Community has agreed in the Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations. The Community is to implement staged tariff reductions over the years 1980–87 on products accounting for 67 per cent. of her dutiable industrial imports from Singapore; 76 per cent. of her dutiable industrial imports from Malaysia; 98 per cent. of her dutiable industrial imports from Thailand; 87 per cent. of her dutiable industrial imports from the Philippines; and 92 per cent. of her dutiable industrial imports from Indonesia. The Community's concessions include cuts greater than those called for by the standard tariff cutting formula on a number of products of particular interest to ASEAN countries. In the agricultural sector, ASEAN countries have benefited from the Community's concessions on tropical products implemented on 1 January 1977, and they stand to benefit from certain other relatively limited reductions in agricultural tariffs which the Community is to implement between 1980 and 1987.

In the declaration which inaugurated the Tokyo round of trade negotiations, developed countries agreed to seek concessions from developing countries only to the extent that these were consistent with their individual development, trade, and financial needs. Some commitments about future tariff levels have been offered by Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, though most of these commitments do not involve a reduction in tariffs from current levels. Thailand is at present applying for provisional membership of the GATT and would be expected to offer commitments on her tariff levels when becoming a full member. As GATT members or provisional members, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia subscribe to the principle agreed in the Tokyo Round that developing countries expect that their capacity to make contributions or negotiated concessions or take other mutually agreed action under the provisions and procedures of the general agreement of tariffs and trade would improve with the progressive development of their economies and improvement in their trade situations.

Home Safety

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) which authorities now exercise powers conferred upon them by the Home Safety Act 1961; when each such authority commenced exercising such powers; and in what manner;(2) whether he will issue a circular encouraging local authorities to exercise powers conferred upon them by the Home Safety Act 1961.

I regret that my Department does not have this information. However, it is understood from the Association of District Councils that home safety is promoted to some degree by the majority of district councils under the powers provided by the Home Safety Act 1961. In the circumstances, and as it is in any case for each local authority to decide whether and to what extent it uses these powers, I do not propose to issue a circular of the kind suggested by the hon. and learned Member.

Suits (Imports)

132.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether his Department has received information that three piece suits from Italy are currently being offered in the United Kingdom for under£20, that these suits were made in Romania and exported to Italy at a landed price of£8, and that the Italians re-export them to the United Kingdom taking advantage of the European Economic Community regulation permitting free circulation; and what action he intends to take seeing that these suits do not count against Romania's quota for the United Kingdom.

The Government applied to the EEC Commission on 15 November 1979 for authority under article 115 of the Treaty of Rome to withhold import licences from Romanian suits in free circulation in the Community. The Commission has rejected this application, pointing out that at the time of the application the quota for Romanian suits imported into the United Kingdom direct from Romania was not fully used. The United Kingdom is now consulting the Commission on the price of these goods in the context of the price clause in the bilateral EEC/Romania textiles agreement concluded under the multi-fibre arrangement.

133.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade, in the light of the fact that a considerable quantity of suits imported into the United Kingdom from West Germany are in fact manufactured in East Germany under the outward processing system, what action he intends to take.

If evidence is provided that suits of East German origin are entering the United Kingdom on the basis of false declarations of West German origin, I will have the matter investigated as a matter of urgency.

Uranium Hexafluoride

asked the Secretary State for the Home Department, in banned list the export of uranium hexafluoride, pressure gauges and other equipment used in the manufacture of ultra-centrifuge plants in November; and if this was a consequence of the failure of the Dutch partners in URENCO to inform the British Government of Dr. Abel Qader Khan's activities until the summer of the current year, over three years after he had left Holland.

[pursuant to his reply, 14 December 1979]: In answering on 14 December the question from the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Allaun) about the reasons for recent additions to the schedule of prohibited exports, assumed that the hon. Member was referring to the changes made by the Export of Goods (Control) (Amendment No. 4) Order 1979 (SI 1979 No. 1437). On that assumption the answer needs clarification. Uranium hexafluoride has been under control for some years; the recent addition, as the order makes clear, was plant for the purification of uranium hexafluoride.

Building Societies

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will include clarification of the law in regard to building societies legislation in his discussions with the Director General of Fair Trading about testing consumer law;(2) what discussions he has had with the Director General of Fair Trading about testing consumer law regarding building societies; what conclusions were reached; and if he will make a statement.

I have had no discussions with the Director General about testing consumer law regarding building societies and I have no plans for such discussions.

Home Department

Iran

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why General Hussein was admitted to the United Kingdom and for what purpose; and, as the authorities in Iran have publicly stated that Iranian terrorists are entering the United Kingdom to take retributive action against Iranians who served the Shah's regime, if he will take action to stop such terrorists from entering.

I am not able to identify the individual concerned from the details given by the hon. Member.

Overseas Visitors (Overstaying)

asked the Secretary of of State for the Home Department, in each month of the current year, how many cases of overstayers have been raised; how many overstayers have been apprehended; how many have been allowed to remain subsequent to apprehension; and how many have been deported.

Information is not available in the form requested. The following table gives available information for 1979 about the number of inquiries initiated by the special overstayers tracing units in the Home Office to trace possible over-

Inquiries initiated by the special overstayers tracing units in the Home Office
1979Number of inquiries initiatedNumber of overstayers traced*Total deportation Orders made
JanuaryNot available8098
February2,082142103
March3,213152164
April1,8029990
May2,28110194
June1,911112135
July1,74816495
August1,973174120
September1,676199132
October1,38817974
TOTAL18,0741,4021,105
*The inquiries about overstayers traced in a particular month may have been initiated in a previous month.
Total deportation orders made in the month including those made against people who were not overstayers. A deportation order may relate to an overstayer traced in a previous month.

Leicester Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the building works which necessitated the vacating of the special security wing at Leicester prison were completed.

Structural alterations to the special security wing at Leicester prison were completed early this year and work on the emergency control room was concluded in mid-October. The installation of cameras is still in process.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the nature of the industrial dispute between his Department and the Prison Officers' Association which prevents the reopening of the special security wing at Leicester prison.

The dispute at Leicester prison, which arose over staffing requirements for the special security wing, has been settled.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much longer he expects prisoners norm- stayers, and about the number of overstayers traced in that way. Information about the action taken on those traced is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. For illustrative purposes, however, the table shows also the total number of deportation orders made for all reasons during the months in question, many of which would relate to overstayers.ally confined in the special security unit at Leicester prison to have to remain in solitary confinement conditions outside the unit;(2) what essential differences there are between the conditions of imprisonment of prisoners normally located in Leicester special security wing and their present conditions of imprisonment.

It is expected that the prisoners normally held in the special security wing at Leicester prison will be returned there in the next two or three months.In a special security wing it is possible to allow fairly free association between prisoners for most of the day. Those prisoners from the Leicester special security wing who are now in local prisons are segregated under prison rule 43 so that, except for exercise, they are normally confined to their cells.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the administrative and security objections to locating the Leicester special security wing inmates in the Parkhurst special security wing.

One of the former occupants of the Leicester special security wing is now in Parkhurst special security wing. It would not be appropriate to elaborate on the security reasons for locating other former occupants of the Leicester wing elsewhere.

Immigration

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proposals he has to increase staff at the immigration appeals office in Birmingham, in view of the fact that appeals are now being listed for hearing in June 1980;

  • (2) in view of long delays in deciding to grant or refuse British citizenship applications, what proposals he has to increase the staff of his nationality division;
  • (3) what proposals he has to increase the staff of his nationality division in order to reduce the delays in granting or refusing naturalisation applications.
  • I am arranging some increase in the staff of the nationality division, in view of the delays in dealing with applications for naturalisation and registration. But the need to contain public expenditure limits what can be done, and I am unable at present to increase the resources at the immigration appeals office in Birmingham.

    Operation Countryman

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will take steps to have the Countryman investigation extended to include allegations, some of which were made in connection with the murder of the Luton sub-postmaster in 1969, that between 1969 and 1972 certain officers in the Flying Squad were involved in staging robberies and other crimes; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will publish in the

    Official Report the terms of reference of the Countryman investigation into the police.

    As I stated in my reply to a question by the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) on 13 December—[Vol. 975, c. 715.]—in accordance with the provisions of section 49 of the Police Act 1964 allegations against members of the City of London and Metropolitan Police forces are currently under investigation by a senior officer from another force, and his report will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for his independent consideration of the possible need for criminal proceedings. It would not be appropriate to provide detailed information about the investigation. To do so would be prejudicial both to its success and to individuals involved. It is for the Commissioners of the two forces concerned to consider whether the investigating officer should be asked to investigate other allegations against members of their forces.

    Scientologists

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the lifting of the ban or otherwise on foreign Scientologists who wish to visit the United Kingdom.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to a question by the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. Stoddart) on 13 December.

    Police Officers (Arms)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list all the circumstances under which regulations now permit the police to be armed.

    The issue of firearms to police officers is a matter within the discretion of the chief officer of police concerned, and it is not covered by regulations.The general policy is that firearms are issued only when there is reason to suppose that a police officer may have to face an armed man or, on a limited scale, for protection purposes.

    Mr Jonathan Pollitzer And Kay Douglas-Smith

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any resignation of Mr. Jonathan Pollitzer and on behalf of prison officers calling for the resignation of Mr. Jonathan Pollizer and Kay Douglas-Smith as voluntary workers at Wormwood Scrubs; and, if so, what was the nature and content of the representations.

    Select Committee On Nationalised Industries (Tenth Report)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the response of the Government and the Independent Broadcasting Authority to the tenth report from the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries, 1977–78 Session.

    The response of the Government and the Independent Broadcasting Authority to the Select Committee's report is being published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office.The Committee recommended amongst other things that the Government should be empowered to extend the life of the IBA for a period of 15 years and that the prescriptive right for newspapers to take shares in the equity of ILR companies should be abolished. The Government propose to take the necessary powers in the forthcoming Broadcasting Bill. The Select Committee's recommendation that the IBA should be allowed to proceed with its plans for the expansion of independent local radio has already been implemented.The Government recognise the importance of close co-operation between those Departments which have responsibility for all the various aspects of telecommunications policy, including broadcasting, but consider that the degree of co-operation achieved under existing arrangements is satisfactory and that there is no present need for bringing these functions together within a single Department.

    Defence

    Victor Tanker Aircraft

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the average age of the RAF's Victor tanker aircraft; and when he expects that they will need replacement.

    The average age of the RAF's Victor tanker aircraft is 18 years. There are no plans for their early replacement.

    Building Societies

    asked the Attorney-General whether he will ask the Law Commission to review the operation of the taw in relation to building societies.

    I refer the right hon. Member to the reply which my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury gave to the hon. Member for Thurrock (Dr. McDonald) on 15 November.—[Vol. 973, c. 765.] I have to add that the Law Commission does not regard itself as the appropriate body to conduct a review of this nature, and the Lord Chancellor endorses its view.

    Operation Countryman

    asked the Attorney-General if he is now ready to proceed with prosecutions on the basis of the reports so far received as a result of the Countryman investigations.

    I do not expect to be in a position to make a decision on proceedings for some time yet.

    Wales

    Accident And Emergency Departments (Children)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales if, in view of the high attendance figures for children at accident and emergency departments in Welsh hospitals, he will make it his policy that, within such departments, separate waiting areas for children should be provided, thus keeping the mapart from the very ill or very violent adults, commonly being treated in such departments.

    Area health authorities have guidance on the need to provide, wherever possible, separate or screened waiting areas for children in accident and emergency departments.

    Industry

    Mechanical Engineering

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will bring up to date the information published in the Official Report on 9 March 1978, volume 945, columns 758–59 in reply to the questions concerning new export orders in the mechanical engineering industry.

    The volume of exports of manufactures by the main manufacturing countries is not available on a basis consistent with the figures given in the reply published in the Official Report on 9 March 1978 and subsequently updated in a reply given in the Official Report on 19 June 1979. The latest available figures for quarterly changes in the volume of new export orders for mechanical engineering and relative export prices for manufactures are given in the following table:

    Percentage changes on previous quarter
    Relative export prices of manufactures*Volume of mechanical engineering new export orders
    1975:
    First quarter+4-8
    Second quarter-5 R
    Third quarter-6 R
    Fourth quarter-0-1 R
    1976:
    First quarter+2+13 R
    Second quarter-5½+1 R
    Third quarter+1½+14 R
    Fourth quarter-4+23 R
    1977:
    First quarter+5-12 R
    Second quarter+3½+1 R
    Third quarter+l½-8 R
    Fourth quarter+3½+4 R
    1978:
    First quarter+3-9 R
    Second quarter-5½-8 R
    Third quarter+3½R+18 R
    Fourth quarter+1½P-12 R
    1979:
    First quarterN.A.+5 P
    Second quarterN.A.+6 P
    Third quarterN.A.-12 P
    * The ratio of United Kingdom export unit value to a weighted average of competitors' export unit values, both expressed in a common currency. Published in table B23 of the Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics.
    New orders, net of cancellations, received by United Kingdom companies, at constant 1975 prices, seasonally adjusted. Source: Monthly Digest of Statistics(issue for December 1979 to be publish 16 January 1980).
    P=Provisional
    R=Revised
    N.A=Not available

    Dereliction (Travel-To-Work Areas)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects the completion of the study of the problems of dereliction in those travel-to-work areas which are due to become non-assisted areas after 1 August 1982.

    It is as yet too early to forecast when the study will be completed.

    Motor Cars (Imports)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry to what factors he attributes the current level of penetration of the domestic market for new cars; how the present level of penetration compares with the position in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

    Import penetration in the United Kingdom car market since 1969 has been as follows:

    Per-cent.
    196910
    197014
    197119
    197224
    197327
    197428
    197533
    197638
    197745
    197849
    197956
    (11 months)
    Many factors have contributed to this trend, including, at times, inability on the part of British manufacturers to meet demand adequately in terms both of volumes and model ranges available. It is clear enough, however, that our car industry has not met the challenge of the EEC market to the same extent that European car manufacturers have seized their opportunity in ours. A significant feature also reflected in the import penetration figures is the way in which the major car manufacturers increasingly regard Europe as a single market: some two-thirds of our car imports are from the rest of the EEC, but of these about 40 per cent. are imported by companies which also manufacture in the United Kingdom. Such cars contain a good deal of exported British components.The Government are most concerned about the level of car imports, but as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has recently made clear, import controls are no answer for a trading nation. The remedy must lie with the management and workers in the domestic industry, and also with domestic consumers.

    Strategic Metals

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry, at current rates of consumption, what is the anticipated life of current reserves of chrome, cobalt, nickel, manganese, tin and copper (a) in the world and (b) in the free world.

    At current rates of consumption the expected life of known reserves in the world and the world excluding COMECON countries is as follows:

    World yearsWorld excluding COMECON countries years
    Chrome280370
    Cobalt6060
    Nickel8090
    Manganese240210
    Tin5050
    Copper5060
    These estimates are constantly changing due to the discovery of new resources, developments in mining and mineral processing techniques, and to short and long-term variations in consumption.
    IMPORTS AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DELIVERIES TO UNITED KINGDOM MARKET
    1976197719781979 January-September
    Rods and bars for reinforcement21151610
    Wire rods and other rods and bars in coil11141114
    Other light rolled sections and hot rolled bars11182221
    Heavy rails and accessories001311
    Other heavy rolled products89913
    Plates29302827
    Sheets (coated and uncoated)39364135
    Hot rolled strip7878
    Cold rolled strip9111315
    Tinplate and buckplate13111214
    Tubes and pipes28281924
    TOTAL FINISHED STEEL PRODUCTS21202121

    Source: ISSB. Imports exclude material for conversion.

    Civil Service

    House Of Commons (Official Report)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service why insufficient copies of the Official Report of 4 December were printed; and if he will take steps to avoid such shortages in future.

    The number of copies printed of the Official Report for 4 December was slightly above normal. I hope that the hon. Member was not inconvenienced.

    Private Offices (Staffing)

    Steel (Import Penetration)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what degree of import penetration has taken place in the individual markets for the British Steel Corporation's products, in view of the importance of imports of steel; if the degree of penetration has increased in markets where cartel arrangements exist; and whether this represents the British Steel Corporation's inability to supply the demands of these markets rather than a lack of competitiveness.

    The following table shows import penetration of finished steel products in total and by sector since 1976. The degree of import penetration, which is the result of many factors, has overall remained quite steady during the last few years.publish in the

    Official Report as much detailed information as is available showing to what extent the staffs in the offices of the various Ministers have been reduced during the past seven months and the weekly, monthly or annual savings due, to reduction in the salary and expenses of these civil servants.

    No. Information on the staffing of Ministers' private offices is not available centrally.

    Members Of Parliament (Salaries And Pensions)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will publish, for the longest and most convenient stated dates since 1945, the salaries of hon. Members; when they changed and to what extent; whether he will give similar details on pension contributions and benefits at the same dates; how these compare with a civil servant who was in 1945 or at the date stated on a salary scale near to or the same as an hon. Member; and how these have changed during the same course of time, so far as

    Year of increase of MP's salaryMP's salarySalary at the mid-point of Civil Service principal grade scale
    1946£1,000£1,056
    1954£1,250(Including Sessional Allowance)£1,450
    1957£1,750£1,705
    1964£3,250£2,500
    1972£4,500£4,093
    1975£5,750£6,565
    1976£6,062£6,877
    1977£6,270£7,085
    1978£6,897£7,760
    1979£9,450£8,846
    Civil servants were pensionable under successive Superannuation Acts until the introduction of the principal Civil Service pension scheme in 1972. Male civil servants have paid contributions to widows' benefits since 1949, and under the pay research system deductions are made from salary levels in respect of other pension benefits. These contributions and deductions are at present equivalent to an average contribution of about 7 per cent. of salary.When the parliamentary pension scheme was first introduced in 1965, contributions were paid at a flat rate of£150 a year. The present parliamentary contributory pension scheme was introduced in 1972 and amended in 1976 and 1978. Contributions were intially 5 per cent. of salary and were increased to 6 per cent. in 1978. Pension benefits for hon. Members are broadly in line with those available in other public service pension schemes.

    National Finance

    Government Borrowing (International Comparisons)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing the percentage of gross national product or gross domestic product taken by general Government net borrowing for each year since 1970 in the case of salaries, pension contributions and benefits are concerned.

    The table below sets out hon. Members' ordinary salary rates since 1945 and, for comparison, the rate payable to an individual at the mid-point of the salary scale of the principal grade in the Civil Service at the same dates.the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, Italy and Japan.

    As I indicated to the hon. Member in my answer to him of 6 December—[Vol. 975, c. 332]—the aggregate most similar to the general Government borrowing requirement for which data are available for a variety of countries is the general Government financial deficit. For 1974 to 1978, this aggregate as a percentage of GDP for the countries in question is given in OECD Economic Outlooknumber 25 July 1979, table 68 on page 143. Comparable figures for the earlier years may be derived from data given in "National Accounts of OECD Countries" 1960–1977 volume 2.

    Statistics

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing for each quarter since 1 January 1973 the percentage increase in the money supply, domestic credit expansion, wholesale prices, retain prices, gross domestic product and the real money supply.

    The figures for the money supply (£M3) were included in my answer to the hon. Member on 14 November.—[Vol. 973, c. 623–4.] As I explained in my answer to the hon. Member on 11 December—[Vol. 975, c. 567–8]—there are no stock figures for domestic credit expansion from which percentage increases can be calculated. Quarterly percentage increases in wholesale and retail prices—since the first quarter of 1975—in gross domestic product—since the first quarter of 1974—may be calculated from data given in Economic Trends, the latest issue of which was for November 1979. Percentage increases for earlier quarters may be calculated from data given in Economic Trends,annual supplement 1979. Percentage increases in the real money supply—interpreted as£M3 deflated by the implied deflator for total domestic expenditure—are shown below.

    PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN REAL MONEY SUPPLY* (not seasonally adjusted)
    1973
    11·5
    23·4
    32·8
    43·4
    1974
    1-4·3
    2-3·7
    3-3·4
    4-0·1
    1975
    1-7·1
    2-2·4
    3-1·4
    4-1·3
    1976
    1-3·7
    20·7
    30·7
    4-1·5
    1977
    1-5·8
    21·3
    30·7
    43·4
    1978
    1-0·1
    21·8
    30·6
    42·9
    1979
    1-3·9
    0·6
    *£M3 deflated by the implied deflator for total domestic expenditure (mid-1975=100)

    Currency Reserves

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what adjustment should be made to the figures which he circulated in the Official Report on 13 November, concerning the change in the gold and foreign currency reserves, to allow for (a) receipts from and payments to the International Monetary Fund and (b) the funding of the old sterling balances.

    The able below sets out the effects on the official reserves of receipts from and payments to the International Monetary Fund between January 1976 and November 1979. As regards part (b) of the question I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the offer of foreign currency bonds made to the official holders of sterling in April 1977. This has so far had no effect on the reserves. The official holders subscribed for the bonds in sterling; none of the bonds has yet matured.

    Receipts from (+) and payments to the IMF (-)
    Date$ million
    January 1976+1166
    May 1976+806
    January 1977+1139
    May 1977+360
    August 1977+374
    November 1977-54
    April 1979-943
    May 1978-75
    July 1978-31
    October 1978-980
    November 1978-47
    January 1979+367
    February 1979-36
    April 1979-1085
    May 1979-68
    July 1979-82
    October 1979-83

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the figures which he circulated in the Official Report on 13 November concerning the change in the gold and foreign currency reserves were affected by a revaluation of the existing stock of gold; and, if so, whether he will circulate a table in the Official Reportshowing the adjustment which should be made to the original figures on that account.

    The changes to the reserves given in the Official Reporton 13 November excluded the revaluation of gold and non-dollar currencies in the reserves, which took place on 31 March 1979 and will take place annually at the end of March in future. The effect of the revaluation was to increase the book value of the gold held in the reserves by $3,116 million, SDRs by $63 million and non-dollar currencies by $1.315 million.

    Mortgage Interest (Tax Relief)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the extra tax expenditure cost of mortgage interest tax relief if mortgage interest rates go up to 15 per cent.

    If all allowable interest on mortgage were at the rate of 15 per cent. rather than 11¾ per cent. for a full year, it is estimated, on the basis of the information currently available, that the extra cost of mortgage interest relief would be of the order of£375 million, at 1979–80 income levels and tax rates.

    Taxation

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will circulate in the Official Reporta table showing for each band in the taxation

    Estimated number of tax units liable to tax
    Range of total income in 1979–80Total '000Proportion claiming mortgage interest relief Per cent.Average per mortgagor of mortgage interest qualifying for relief (£)Average per mortgagor of additional qualifying interest, net of tax relief, for 1 per cent. increase in interest rates (£)
    Under 2,0001,600146035
    2,000–10,00018,0002473040
    10,000–12,000800601,05055
    12,000–16,000600621,25065
    16,000–20,000200581,58070
    Over 20,000200492,25080
    All ranges21,4002583045
    The average amount of mortgage to which the mortgage interest shown relates is not known precisely.The interest rates recommended by the council of the Building Societies Association tend to be among the lowest rates charged on new mortgages. When the Government came into office the recommended rate was 11¾per cent. and the prospective rate from January 1980 is 15 per cent. In January 1976 the recommended rate was 11 per cent., and subsequent changes in the rate are given below together with the dates thereof.
    per cent.
    April 197610½
    October 197612¼
    April 197711¼
    June 197710½
    September 1977
    January 1978 8
    June 1978
    November 197811¾
    January 198015

    European Monetary System

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish such scale (a) the estimated number of taxpayers in the current financial year, (b) the estimated number claiming relief in respect of mortgage interest and the average amount of mortgage qualifying for relief, (c) the lowest rate of interest charged by building societies generally since 1976, the rate charged when the Government came to office, and the prospective rate and (d) the average additional cost to each group net of tax of a 1 per cent. increase in interest rates.

    Information is not readily available by bands of taxable income and the following table gives information by bands of total income, counting married couples as one:analysis as has been undertaken on the expected impact of the European monetary system on the United Kingdom if the United Kingdom were to join, including the economic effects on employment, inflation, balance of payments, investment and growth in the United Kingdom.

    Building Societies

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many building societies are currently registered with the Registry of Friendly Societies; and how many directors hold offices in these societies.

    The number of building societies currently registered with the Registry of Friendly Societies under the Building Societies Act 1962 is 290. The total number of the directors of these societies is, on the basis of the figures contained in the latest annual returns submitted by the societies to the registry, 2,021. Figures are not available to show the total number of these directors who also hold some other office in their societies, but the number of directors who are also chief executives or secretaries of their societies is 157.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will now set up an inquiry into the influence of consumers on the operation of building societies; and if he will make a statement;(2) what steps he proposes to take to strengthen the position of the consumer in building society affairs.

    I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 November 1979 to the hon. Member for Thurrock (Dr. McDonald).—[Vol. 973, c. 765.] I have no plans to set u pan inquiry.

    Public Expenditure (White Paper)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the next public expenditure White Paper to be published.

    As I told the House on 5 December, we intend to publish a White Paper as early as possible in the new year. The Government are continuing to examine some of the policy issues relating to public expenditure, and I expect that publication will be in March.

    Registry Of Friendly Societies

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes are being made to the cash limit on the Registry of Friendly Societies in the light of the inspection of the Grays Building Society.

    Subject to parliamentary approval, the cash limit will be increased by£51,000 to£739,000 to cover the additional costs of the inspection and the subsequent strengthening of the registry's investigations branch.

    Mortgage Interest (Tax Relief)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for a married man with two children, what is the increase in mortgage interest tax relief he receives with the rise in interest rate to 15 per cent. if his gross salary is£3,000,£5,000,£8,000.£12,000 and£20,000, assuming in each case a mortgage loan of three times the gross salary, and assuming in the case of the£20,000 salary man firstly that he is subject to the investment income surcharge of 15 per cent., and secondly that he is not.

    [pursuant to his reply. 13 December 1979]: On the assumptions stated by the hon. Member and assuming that the additional interest payable is a new mortgage for a full year, the value of the consequential increase in the mortgage interest relief, in terms of tax, is as follows:

    Value of additional relief in a full year
    Income££
    3,00032
    5,000146
    8,000234
    12,000244
    20,000 (Earned)378
    20,000 (Investment)463
    The figures are based on a new mortgage and the tax relief is limited where appropriate to the interest on£25,000 of the mortgage. When the mortgage is near the end of its term the value of the additional relief is much smaller.

    Inflation

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to the reply given to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill, Official Report, 18 June, column 393, what is his forecast for the rate of inflation on 3 May 1980 and 3 May 1981.

    [pursuant to his reply, 13 December 1979]: The Industry Act forecast published last month indicated that retail prices might rise by about 14 per cent. in the year to the fourth quarter of 1980. I do not intend to publish a forecast path for inflation in the intervening period, nor for subsequent quarters.

    Public Expenditure Cuts

    asked the Chancellor of Exchequer what proportion of public expenditure cuts for the years 1979–80 and 1980–81 will result from (a) increased efficiency, (b) reduced provision of goods or services and (c) increased charges to the public, respectively.

    [pursuant to his reply, 17 December 1979]: In his Budget Statement my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced specific cuts of£1,468 million in programmed expenditure in 1979–80. Of this total about£600 million was attributable to reduced procurement of goods and services and£27 million to increased prescription and dental charges. The remainder was attributed to reduced transfer payments and net lending. In addition, he referred to the estimated receipts of£1,000 million from sales of public assets and to the effects of the cash limit policy, expected to reduce the volume of planned programmes by a further£1,000 million in 1979–80. The squeeze on cash limits is resulting in a further reduction in the take-up of goods and services. Spending authorities are under pressure to make best use of the reduced resources available to them; but quantified estimates of such extra increases in efficiency are not available.Cmnd. 7746 announced the intention to stabilise public expenditure in 1980–81 at the level projected for 1979–80. Within this total, however, savings of some£240 million are expected to be made on school meals, milk and transport, but local authorities will decide the nature of and charges for these services. Net expenditure on the National Health Service will be reduced by a further£40 million by increasing prescription and dental charges from April 1980 and by increased recovery under the Road Traffic Act 1972 of the cost of treating the victims of road accidents.

    Public Sector Pensions

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what will be the cost to the Exchequer of inflation-proofed pensions in the public sector for each of the years 1979–80 to 1984–85, assuming an inflation rate of 10 per cent., 15 per cent. and 20 per cent. respectively.

    [pursuant to his reply, 17 December 1979]: I regret that, in view

    Accidental deaths in fishing and other industries
    FishingCoal MiningManufacturing*Seafaring
    NumberIncidence Per 100,000 at riskNumberIncidence per 100,000 at riskNumberIncidence per 100,000 at riskNumberIncidence per 100,000 at risk
    197630140502017535890
    197725140401617935290
    1978 provisional452506325160384140
    *In Factories Act premises only
    Figures for 1976, and 1977, given in reply to a similar question last year, have been revised.

    of the diversity of ways in which pension schemes in the public sector are operated and financed, this information could be provided only at disproportionate expenditure of time and money.

    Employment

    Special Temporary Employment Programme

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is now prepared to restore any or all of the reductions in public expenditure announced by him in respect of the special temporary employment programme.

    I have no plans at present to alter the scope or nature of the programme although I have made certain technical modifications to ensure an orderly rundown of the programme outside the new STEP areas and my Department's cash limits have been adjusted to take account of commitments already incurred when the programme was restricted which were greater than estimated at that time. The programme of special measures for 1980–81 is being reviewed and I shall be announcing our proposals for STEP and the other measures during 1980–81 before the end of the present financial year.

    Safety At Sea

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what comparisons have been made between accidental deaths for British fishermen and those in mining, manufacturing, industrial and seafaring sectors, expressed as a percentage of the labour employed in each of those industries.

    The chairman of the Health and Safety Commission has provided the following table. It is customary for accident incidence rates to be shown per 100,000 employees at risk.

    Manufacturing Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing for each year since 1970 and for the latest quarter (a) employers' national insurance contributions as a percentage of manufacturing labour costs, (b) average weekly earnings in manufacturing as a percentage of their level in 1970 and (c) unit labour costs in manufacturing as a percentage of their level in 1970.

    The following table gives indices of average earnings and unit labour costs in all manufacturing industries with the year 1970 = 100.

    MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES
    Index of average earnings—all employees—Great Britain—seasonally adjustedIndex of labour costs per unit of output—United Kingdom*
    1971111·2†109·9
    1972125·5‡115·0
    1973141·6121·6
    1974165·9151·1
    1975209·2197·8
    1976243·7226·3
    1977268·8253·8
    1978308·1288·0
    1979:
    First quarter334·0Not available
    Second quarter352·6
    Third quarter356·1§
    * Based on census of production.
    †As industrial activity was severely disrupted by restricted electricity supplies, the monthly survey on which these figures are based was not carried out in February 1972. This figure is an average of the 11 months excluding February.
    ‡This figure reflects temporary reductions in earnings while three-day working and other restrictions were in operation in January and February.
    §The figures reflect abnormally low earnings due to the effects of the national dispute in the engineering industries.
    Estimates of employers' national insurance contributions as a percentage of manufacturing labour costs are available from the 1973 and 1975 surveys of labour costs. These indicate that employers' statutory national insurance contributions made up about 5 per cent. of total labour costs in manufacturing industries in Great Britain in 1973 and about 6½per cent. in 1975. Taking account of the national insurance surcharges made in 1977 and 1978, the current figure is probably just over 10 per cent.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing (a) unit labour costs in manufacturing in the principal industrial countries in terms of dollars and as a percentage of their level in 1970 and (b) earnings in manufacturing in dollar terms as a percentage of their level in 1970.

    A general measure of the absolute level of unit labour costs is not available. However, trends in unit labour costs can be measured by use of index numbers. The available figures for principal industrial countries are given in the following table both in terms of national currencies and adjusted for relative movements in exchange rates against the dollar.

    WAGES AND SALARIES PER UNIT OF OUTPUT IN MANUFACTURING SECOND QUARTER 1979* AS A PERCENTAGE OF 1970 LEVEL BASED ON:
    (i)(ii)
    National currenciesUS dollars
    United Kingdom297248
    Germany (FR)†149296
    Japan‡193377
    United States155155
    * Seasonally adjusted
    †Including mining
    ‡Whole economy

    Source: OECD—Main Economic Indicators.

    The figure requested in part ( b) was 295 in the second quarter of 1979. This estimate for Great Britain, is derived from the monthly index of average earnings (older series) for manual and non-manual employees in manufacturing industries, adjusted for the change in the exchange rate against the dollar.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for the United Kingdom for each year since 1967 and for the latest quarter (a) weekly earnings in manufacturing and the whole economy as a percentage of their levels in 1967 and the increase on the preceding year and (b) unit labour costs in manufacturing and the whole economy as a percentage of their levels in 1967 and the increase on the preceding year.

    Labour costs per unit of output—United

    Kingdom

    Average earnings—Great Britainf

    Manufacturing

    *

    Whole economy

    ManufacturingAll industries and services covered

    Index 1967=100

    Percentage increase on a year earlier

    Index 1967=100

    Percentage increase on a year earlier

    Index 1967=100

    Percentage increase on a year earlier

    Index 1967=100

    Percentage increase on a year earlier

    1968100·00·0102·42·4108·28·2107·87·8
    1969106·76·7106·43·9117·08·1116·37·8
    1970120·512·9116·99·9131·912·7130·412·1
    1971132·49·9127·49·0146·611·2145·111·3
    1972138·54·6138·78·9165·5§12·8163·8§12·9
    1973146·55·7148·57·1186·812·9185·913·5
    1974182·124·3183·223·4218·817·2218·917·8
    1975238·330·9237·429·6275·926·1276·926·5
    1976272·614·4262·910·7321·416·5320·015·6
    1977305·812·2288·79·8354·510·3352·610·2
    1978346·913·4322·111·6406·314·6403·614·4
    1979 Q1not available348·9‡11·9‡440·414·7435·714·7
    Q2359·8‡13·4‡465·015·4459·514·7
    Q3not yet available469·6¶13·9¶471·2¶14·8¶

    *Based on census of production.

    †From the monthly index of average earnings. Until 1976 the industries and services covered by the earnings inquiry were all manufacturing industries, agriculture, mining and quarrying, construction, gas, electricity and water, transport (except sea transport) and some miscellaneous services and these are the industries to which the figures in the table relate. In 1976 the inquiry was extended to cover the whole economy. Indices (1976=100) and percentage increases for the whole economy (not seasonally adjusted) have been as follows:

    Index

    Percentage increase on a year earlier

    1977109·19·1
    1978123·213·0
    1979 Q1132·213·9
    Q2139·013·4
    Q3145·4¶15·7¶
    ‡Seasonally adjusted.
    §As industrial activity was severely disrupted by restricted electricity supplies, the monthly survey was not carried out in February 1972. This figure is an average of the 11 months excluding February.
    || These figures and the increases based on them reflect the effects of temporary reductions in earnings while three-day working and other restrictions were in operation in January and February.
    ¶The figures reflect abnormally low earnings due to the effects of the national dispute in the engineering industries.

    Farms (Safety Measures)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many safety spot checks were carried out on agricultural machinery in 1978.

    Her Majesty's Agricultural Inspectorate carried out 32,441 inspections during 1978. It is not possible to say what proportion of this total involved spot checks carried out on agricultural machinery.

    Redundancy Payments

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether there is any formula common to all industries in the United Kingdom for the assessment of redundancy payments following plant closures or whether an ad hoc approach is adopted.

    The redundancy provisions of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 apply equally to all redundant employees entitled to benefit irrespective of the industry in which they are employed. There is no other common formula.Private sector redundancy payments over and above the statutory scheme are a matter for employers individually and will vary according to circumstances.

    Young Persons (Grants)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table showing the various grants available, per week, classified by the age of the recipient, for young people receiving unemployment benefit, grants under the youth opportunities scheme, grants under the training opportunities scheme, and any other grants payable by his Department, classified as to whether the recipient lives at home, within two miles from his place of work, and away from home, respectively; and how this compares with the national rate of pay in the engineering industry.

    Employment And Training Activities

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will specify the employment and training activities which are to be reduced as a consequence of the Civil Service review.

    My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Civil Service Department announced on 6 December that the Manpower Services Commission would save approximately 3,400 staff from reductions in employment and training services, leading to a reduction in staff costs of£20·2 million. I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it will be meeting today to consider how this reduction should be apportioned among its various operational programmes.

    Health And Safety Executive

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will specify the activities of the Health and Safety Executive which are to be reduced as a result of the Civil Service review;(2) if he will specify the categories, posts and grades of the 260 civil servants employed in the Health and Safety Executive whose jobs will disappear as a result of the review of the Civil Service.

    Advisory, Conciliation And Arbitration Service

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will specify the categories, grades and posts of the 100 civil servants employed by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service whose jobs will disappear as a result of the Civil Service review.

    It is expected that the reduction in staffing levels in ACAS will be achieved mainly from savings on individual conciliation work as a result of lower levels of complaints of unfair dismissal to industrial tribunals. However, the details of the reductions which are to be made have still to be considered by the ACAS council.

    Engineering Apprenticeships

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons entered into engineering apprenticeship in each of the last 10 years; how many of these did so with the aid of Government grants and awards; and what numbers he expects to be taking up apprenticeships this year and next year.

    I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that reliable information can be given only in respect of craft and technician apprentices recruited by firms in scope to the Engineering Industry Training Board and who follow courses of off-the-job first-year training as approved by that board. The figures are as follows:

    TotalAdditional recruitment assisted by Government grants and awards (included in total)
    1969–7026,552
    1970–7126,589
    1971–7221,9422,489
    1972–7316,7881,528
    1973–7416,920
    1974–7523,496
    1975–7625,2433,436
    1976–7724,2493,619
    1977–7824,6433,030
    1978–7924,248 (estimated)1,595 (estimated)
    The intake for the current year, 1979–80, is not yet complete but it is expected to be of the order of 24,000, of which some 1,800 will have been recruited with the aid of Government financed premium grants and training awards.A decision on the desirable intake in 1980–81 will not be taken by the engineering industry training board until the spring of 1980.

    Training Opportunities Scheme

    aked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people took training opportuntties scheme courses in each of the last 10 years; and how many he expects to be taking such courses in the current year and in each of the next five years having regard to the training cuts announced in the Civil Service review.

    Health And Safety Executive (Inspectors)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many inspectors have been appointed by the Health and Safety Executive for the pur- pose of receiving the written notice of building operations or works of engineering construction required under section 127(6) of the Factories Act 1961; in what form the appointments were made; and how many employers have been made aware of the inspector appointed for their area.

    [pursuant to his reply,17 December 1979]; There have been no inspectors appointed by the Health and Safety Executive specifically for receiving written notice of building operations and works of engineering construction required under section 127(6) of the Factories Act 1961. All inspectors appointed by the Health and Safety Executive under section 19 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 who hold full warrants have the authority to receive such written notice. The appointments are made under section 19(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act by instrument in writing.Employers in the construction industry were informed about the reorganisation of the Factory Inspectorate and about changes in the addresses of inspectors both through local publicity and through normal contact at visits to sites and also by subsequent letters and visits to employers' head offices. Administrative arrangements have been made within the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that any written notice received is referred to the appropriate inspector in the particular area to which the notice refers.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many inspectors have been appointed by the Health and Safety Executive for the purpose of receiving the written notice of accidents which factory occupiers are required by section 80 of the Factories Act 1961 to report; in what form the appointments were made; and how many individual factory occupiers have been made aware of the name and address of the inspector appointed for their factory.

    [pursuant to his reply,17 December 1979]: There have been no inspectors appointed by the Health and Safety Executive specifically for receiving the written notice of accidents which factory occupiers are required by section 80 of the Factories Act 1961 to report. All inspectors appointed by the Health and Safety Executive under section 19 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 who hold full warrants have the authority to receive such written notice. The appointments are made under section 19(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act by instrument in writing.Factory occupiers were informed about the reorganisation of the Factory Inspectorate and about changes in the addresses of inspectors both through local publicity and through normal contact at visits to factories and also by subsequent letters. Administrative arrangements have been made within the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that any written notice received is referred to the appropriate inspector in the particular area to which the notice refers.

    Meccano Limited, Liverpool

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is prepared to operate the short term working scheme at Meccano Ltd., Liverpool.

    [pursuant to his reply,17 December 1979]: Yes. The temporary short time working compensation scheme is open for applications until 31 March 1980. The scheme of course can be operated only with the agreement of the employer and work force.

    Maternity Leave

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many women at present exercise their right to return to work after maternity leave; and how he estimates the provisions in the Employment Bill will affect this number;(2) how many women exercising their right to return to work after maternity leave work for firms employing fewer than six people; and how he estimates the provisions in the Employment Bill will affect this number.

    [pursuant to his reply,13 December 1979]: My Department does have figures for the numbers of women who have received maternity pay and in respect of whom rebate has been paid to the employer by my Department. The qualification period of two years for maternity pay is the same as for the right to return, and the figures may be used as a guide to the number of women who are entitled to exercise their right to return. The figures are as follows:

    April 1977 to March 197967,366
    April 1978 to March 1979107,953
    April 1979 to September 197955,139
    No figures are available of the number of women who do exercise their right to return to work after maternity leave, although we believe that it is a small proportion of those who are entitled to.The maternity provisions in the Employment Bill are intended to reduce the uncertainty felt by the employer as to whether or not the employee will return, and to give him room for manoeuvre in being able to offer her suitable alternative employment; employers with fewer than six employees are to be exempted from the obligation to reinstate, where it is not reasonably practicable for them to offer either the original job or a suitable alternative. This should encourage employers to employ more women.

    County Durham

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what major closures and redundancies have occurred during 1979 in county Durham by month and location.

    [pursuant to his reply, 17 December 1979]: The information is not available in the precise form requested. However, I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it received three separate notifications of anticipated redundancies in the county Durham area during 1979 involving 100 or more workers. These related to closures of establishments in Bishop-Auckland, Crook and Spennymoor. The total number of redundancies notified to MSC offices in county Durham as due to occur in each month during 1979 including those at the three establishments mentioned are as follows:

    January1
    February5
    March7
    April174
    May395
    June1,107
    July464
    August211
    September125
    October96*
    November64*
    * Provisional figures.

    Social Services

    Geriatric Hospitals (North-West)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the fire regulations and precautions in the North-West hospitals for geriatric patients.

    In North-Western region, as elsewhere, health authorities are carrying out, with the co-operation of local fire authorities, a programme of upgrading fire precautions in existing hospitals. I understand that, notwithstanding the resource constraints within which they are working, they are making progress.

    Place of occurrence of accidents
    HomeRoadWork
    Death*InjuryDeath*InjuryDeathSerious injury
    19646,230133,9407,307102,8301,034N.A.
    19656,163108,6207,523109,890977
    19666,370108,7407,476103,0801,006
    19675,839104,9107,24797,410870
    19685,90488,1206,43289,010N.A.
    19695,853104,6306,70091,920N.A.63,974
    19705,59097,6306,86889,19083057,862
    19715,51899,3707,07292,18077550,735
    19725,35999,6407,00286,21068048,128
    19735,04989,8707,03580,13069246,095
    19745,118100,0306,43978,56069245,404
    19755,081102,4305,90378,92060441,610
    19765,056100,7206,11581,55061841,226
    N.A.=Not available.
    * These figures include deaths in hospital which are thus duplicated in the injury figures (see below).
    †The figures for injuries arising from road traffic and home accidents are taken from the hospital inpatient inquiry (HIPE) and are in fact the estimated total discharges and deaths of injury cases from NHS hospitals in England and Wales. Information is only available from 1964 onwards.
    ‡These figures are the sum totals of serious injuries on Factories Act premises, in mines and quarries and to railway staff as defined by the Factories Act, the railway inspectorate and the mines inspectorate.

    Squatters (Benefit)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to tighten regulations concerning squatters, from both EEC and non-EEC countries, drawing social security benefits; and if he will make a statement.

    We are already looking at the question of the availability of supplementary benefit to foreign nationals. I cannot go further than that at present.

    Scombroid Poisoning

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the increase in cases of scom-

    Accidents In The Home

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (a) fatal accidents, (b) accidents causing serious bodily injury and (c) other reported accidents he estimates to have taken place in the home during each of the last 20 years for which statistics are available; and how such figures compare with accidents on the road and at work, respectively.

    I regret that information is not available in the precise form requested. The following table represents the information which is available as limited by the footnotes.broid fish poisoning, he will take steps to ensure that processors of mackerel are made aware of the need to keep them below chill temperature.

    Recent outbreaks of scombroid poisoning have been associated with the consumption of smoked mackerel. With the support of this Department and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Fishmongers' Company and the White Fish Authority have issued notices to the trade bringing to the attention of processors the need for the hygienic handling of mackerel generally and in particular of keeping the fish in chilled conditions both before and after the smoking process. This guidance has also been brought to the attention of those local authorities in whose areas there are processing plants. I am keeping the matter under review

    Industrial Disputes (Benefits)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the current review of the question of financial support for strikers will be completed.

    I am not yet in a position to say.

    Currently197819771976197519741973197219711970
    Men1,7891,6031,6861,7051,7901,7431,7451,5211,5241,334
    Women51515354374562697577

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people living in reception centres have been rehoused by local authorities in the current year; and how this compares with the figures for each year since 1970.

    This information is not available, but the numbers accommodated by local authorities direct from reception centres in ordinary housing and in part III accommodation were:

    Ordinary housingPart III accommodation
    Current year3969
    19783473
    19771043
    1976*63
    1975*51
    1974*85
    1973*131
    1972*127
    1971*76
    1970*89
    * Not available

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many of those currently living in reception centres he estimates have a legal right to immediate housing from local authorities; and what instructions are given to hostel staff concerning assistance with rehousing;(2) how many men, and how many women, currently living in Government reception centres, he estimates have a legal right to immediate housing from local authorities; and what instructions are given to hostel staff concerning assistance with rehousing.

    At any one time it is estimated that about one-third of the people accommodated in the Supplementary Benefits Commission's reception

    Reception Centres

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many men, and how many women, are currently living in his Department's reception centres; and how this figure compares with each year since 1970.

    The information is as follows:centres might, if discharged, have a legal right to have accommodation secured for them by local authorities. Staff engaged in attempting to resettle men and women in the community are expected to place them, where possible, in suitable accommodation.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the conditions that exist in reception centres; if he has any plans to improve these conditions; if he has any plans to close any reception centres; and if he will make a statement.

    The Supplementary Benefits Commission is always seeking to improve conditions in the reception centres which it administers on behalf of the Department. However, I am satisfied that the staff are, in general, providing a remarkably good standard of care to the homeless and often destitute and handicapped people who look to them for shelter, having regard to the age and unsuitability of some of the buildings. The oldest and least suitable of the buildings, at Camberwell, will be closed by 1985. The future of other centres is under continuous review.In London a working party representing the London boroughs, the Greater London Council, the Thames health authorities, the Department of the Environment, the Supplementary Benefits Commission and this Department has been formed to facilitate the transfer of men and women from reception centres to housing accommodation within the community; the progress made will depend upon the response of individual authorities.

    Retirement Pensions

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state the total cost of retirement pensions in 1949 and in each subsequent year and the proportion of gross national product each figure represents and the total cost of supplementary benefit, or its previous

    UNITED KINGDOM
    YearRetirement pensionsNational assistance, non-contributory old age pension and supplementary benefit to those over pension age
    £ millionPercentage of GNP£ millionPercentage of GNP
    19492492·24500·45
    19502532·16540·46
    19512702·08570·44
    19523122·22710·50
    19533422·26750·50
    19543502·19790·49
    19554162·44720·42
    19564502·43770·42
    19574682·38810·41
    19586052·95770·38
    19596613·07860·40
    19606792·971210·53
    19617693·14990·41
    19628163·191050·41
    19639303·411140·42
    19641,0223·451230·41
    19651,2043·811280·40
    19661,2813·831530·46
    19671,3513·831960·55
    19681,5504·092030·54
    19691,6054·002330·58
    19701,8004·092400·55
    19711,9473·902730·55
    19722,3354·192910·52
    19732,7604·222840·43
    19743,4874·623240·43
    19754,4724·743810·40
    19765,4994·934720·42
    19776,4295·135850·47
    19787,3535·157530·53
    Supplementary benefit and so on payments to those over pension age are estimated, as precise figures for calendar years are not held in this form.

    Farringdon House School

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the gross cost per annum of keeping a girl at the Farringdon House school; how this compares with the national average cost of keeping a girl at a similar girls' reform school, at a comprehensive school and at the most expensive State boarding school; and what are the reasons for this level of expenditure.

    About£12,000 depending on occupancy. Farringdon House CHE—community home with edu- equivalent, for people over retirement age in 1949 and each subsequent year and the proportion of gross national product each figure represents.

    Subject to the provision in the footnote regarding supplementary benefit the figures required are as follows:cation on the premises—caters for girls with particular difficulties and problems requiring higher staffing ratios and more special facilities than are used in normal educational establishments and other types of community home. Figures for average costs of CHEs are not available. The average annual cost for all community homes was£4,800 per child in 1977–78. School costs are for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.

    Health Service Ombudsman

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now take steps to implement the recommendation of the Davies committee and the Select Committee that the Health Service Ombudsman should be empowered to investigate complaints about clinical judgment; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell) on 23 October.—[Vol. 972, c. 158.]

    Education And Science

    Educational Disadvantage

    8.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what considerations he based his decision to close the Centre for Information and Advice on Educational Disadvantage.

    The centre is an independent body relying on Government funds, and in our review of such bodies we looked for clear justification for continuing financial support. In my view, the foundation of the centre raised expectations which, in retrospect, a body with relatively limited resources was unlikely to fulfil.The centre has made only a very modest impact on the education service and I therefore decided that continued grant aid could not be justified.

    21.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when last he visited the Centre for Information and Advice on Educational Disadvantage.

    I have not visited the centre's offices in Manchester. I met representatives of the centre's governing body on 5 December.

    23.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy regarding work to combat educational disadvantage.

    I attach considerable importance to work to combat educational disadvantage. I believe local authorities and other bodies recognise that there is much to be done in this field and, at national level, the Government will continue to be closely involved through the work of Her Majesty's Inspectorate and of the educational disadvantage unit in my Department.

    Expenditure

    16.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will consider new ways in which to raise finance for education by raising charges where appropriate.

    I have already done so. Our expenditure plans for next year and the Education (No. 2) Bill now before Parliament reflect this.

    37.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will issue a circular to local education authorities suggesting priorities for the application of cuts in services.

    49.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will issue a circular to local education authorities suggesting priorities for the application of cuts in services.

    No. The broad framework of educational policies and priorities which underlies the Government's expenditure plans for next year is described in paragraphs 31 to 35 of the White Paper "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81" (Cmnd. 7746), published at the beginning of November.

    43.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from local education authorities regarding expenditure for 1980–81.

    I received a deputation from Somerset county council on 12 November 1979 and I have had correspondence from representatives of 14 local education authorities about the Government's expenditure plans for 1980–81. I have also met members of the local authority associations on a number of occasions.

    Swinton Fitzwilliam Junior School, Rotherham

    17.