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Written Answers

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 7 February 1980

Warrant Sales

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many warrant sales have taken place in Dundee in each of the last 10 years of sums involving more than £10.

The number of warrant sales reported as being held in Dundee for the period 1970–1979 was as undernoted. So far as can be ascertained, all these sales involved sums of more than £10.

19707
197118
19726
19738
197414
19757
19768
19773
19785
197910

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if she will state her official engagements for 7 February.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister what her official engagements are for Thursday 7 February.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q29.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7th February.

Q33.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 February.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 February.

I refer hon. Members and my hon. Friends to the reply which I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Wilson).

Legislative Programme

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the progress of the policies outlined in the Gracious Speech.

Reasonable progress is being made in implementing the proposals outlined in the Gracious Speech. Nearly all the necessary legislation has been introduced. The House will continue to be kept regularly informed of the conduct of the Government's policies at home and abroad.

Engineering Industry (Finniston Report)

8.

asked the Prime Minister if she will meet Sir Montague Finniston and other members of the committee of inquiry into the engineering profession.

I have at present no plans to do so. The Finniston report, which was published last month, is currently under active consideration by the Government. We are consulting with the many interests concerned before forming our conclusions.

Afghanistan

15.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on the response by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to pressure by the Western Powers, including the United Kingdom, to end its military occupation of Afghanistan.

Soviet statements have referred to the possibility of withdrawal. Yet the Soviet Union, far from heeding world demands for withdrawal, has increased the number of its troops in Afghanistan since the invasion.

Child Benefit

16.

asked the Prime Minister when she expects the next increase in child benefit to be announced.

European Council

25.

asked the Prime Minister what subjects are likely to be raised at the next meeting of the European Council.

European Councils have no fixed agenda. But we normally discuss the economic and social situation in the Community and other topics of major interest. It is too early to say what these will be, but among them will certainly be the problem of our excessive net contribution to the Community budget.

Nuclear Hardware

Q28.

asked the Prime Minister if she will discuss with President Carter the policy of the London Group of Countries towards exports of key nuclear manufacturing hardware material to Pakistan, with a view to slowing down nuclear proliferation in Asia.

As the hon. Member will know from my answer to his question on 22 January, the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group are designed to avoid nuclear exports contributing to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, whether in Asia or elsewhere. Our own nuclear export policy is largely based on those guidelines. I have at present no plans to discuss them with President Carter

National Service

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister if she will set up an appropriate investigation into the need for, and objectives of, a system of national service, including defence service, for young people.

As I have already explained to my hon. Friend, the Government prefer to encourage voluntary participation by young people in defence and in other fields and I do not believe such an investigation would be useful. Rather we should continue to operate and develop the programmes already in existence

Northern Ireland

Gosford Castle, County Armagh

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the sale of Gosford Castle, Co. Armagh by the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture.

During the 21 years that the Department of Agriculture has owned Gosford Castle numerous attempts have been made through various public bodies to find a use for the castle which would be compatible with its position inside Gosford Forest Park and which would justify expenditure on its restoration. None of these attempts was successful. In particular, discussions have been held with Armagh district council but the council has never suggested making an offer for the castle.More recently, the Department tried to sell the castle on the open market through an estate agent, also without success. The main difficulty is that because of its situation the uses to which the castle could be put are limited and because of its poor condition the cost of restoring and maintaining it would be high. At present the Department is at an advanced stage of negotiation on the basis of a full repairing lease of the castle for use as a hotel.

Admissibility Of Evidence

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has any plans to make changes in the law relating to the admissibility of evidence in Northern Ireland.

I keep under close and continuous review all aspects of the law relating to terrorism, including the rules of evidence. If and when I am satisfied that changes would be of real help to the security forces without unacceptable derogation from the necessary standards of legal procedure, I shall bring proposals before this House.

Fishing Fleet

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give details of his plan to expand the Northern Ireland fishing fleet.

I have no plan to expand the Northern Ireland fishing fleet. My primary concern is to help to maintain a modern up-to-date fleet in Northern Ireland, with the aim of maximising employment in the fishing industry.

Health And Social Service Boards

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is satisfied with the general level of service provided by the health and social service boards in Northern Ireland.

The general level of service provided compares broadly with the level of service provided elsewhere in the United Kingdom.During the current financial year the effect of cash limits has been to slow the planned development of services, but these have not been cut and, despite adverse economic pressures, have not even stood still. Site works for the new area hospital at Antrim have recently begun, a major extension of Altnagelvin hospital at Londonderry is in hand, and work on the new Belfast city hospital, which is at an advanced stage of construction, is continuing. In the community field, the current financial year should see the completion of no fewer than seven old people's homes, two day centres, three children's homes, three health centres and a programme of planned development of services for the mentally handicapped is progressing. The ever-growing needs of an ageing population and of the mentally ill and the handicapped is generating increasing demands for services, but, as the Royal Commission on the National Health Service recognised, there is a limit to the resources the Government can devote to the public sector, including the health and personal social services. Until there is an upturn in the economy, growth of public services must be held in check. For this reason I wel-

Travel to work areaEmployment service office areaTotal unemployed as at 10 January 1980Percentage unemployed
ArmaghArmagh1,53712·1
BallymenaAntrim1,74011· 3
Ballymena1,784
Magherafelt1,830
BelfastBangor1,4449·3
Belfast21,771
Carrickfergus1,273
Larne1,050
Lisburn1,679
Newtownards1,313
ColeraineBallymoney1,46913·9
Coleraine2,112
CookstownCookstown1,44323·7
CraigavonBanbridge86510·0
Lurgan1,972
Portadown1,371
DownpatrickBallynahinch42412·2
Downpatrick702
Kilkeel486
Newcastle551
DungannonDungannon2,33521·5
EnniskillenEnniskillen2,49815·4
LondonderryLimavady1,30815·7
Londonderry5,267
NewryNewry3,98821·3
OmaghOmagh1,79013·9
StrabaneStrabane2,18023·6
Northern Ireland Totals66,18211·5
The Government remain committed to an industrial development policy aimed at encouraging the creation of new employment opportunities in Northern Ireland and offer a wide range of investment incentives supported by a comprehensive training programme. Some notable successes were achieved in attracting new investment in the past year.

Fair Employment Agency

25.

come initiatives, such as that recently launched at the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast, to attract private sources of finance to supplement public funds.

Unemployment Statistics

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the most up-to-date unemployment figures and percentages for the employment office areas of Strabane, Newry, Cookstown and Dungannon; if he will publish in the Official Reporta complete list covering all employment office areas; and if he will make a statement.

The information is as follows:poses to continue the Fair Employment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Royal Ulster Constabulary (Special Service Award)

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made concerning the request by the Police Federation of Northern Ireland supported by the Chief Constable to recommend the creation of a special service award to members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve who have served in Northern Ireland during the current troubles.

Ireland (Reunification)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had about the reunification of Ireland.

Security

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in Ulster.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave earlier to a question from the hon. Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Robinson).

Overseas Development

Mozambique

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the total amount of loan funded to Mozambique since 1976; and how much is contracted for and remains outstanding.

Four aid loans amounting to £22·5 million have been made available to the Government of Mozambique since 1976; the last loan agreement was signed in June 1978. £11·6 million has already been spent. £8·8 million of the remainder is fully committed and will be used up over the next few years; and £2·1 million remains unallocated.

Afghanistan

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the 1977 commitment of £6,000,000 of aid for development projects to Afghanistan as shown in appendix I, of class II, vote 7, of the Appropriation Accounts 1978–79 has been terminated.

I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made to the House on 14 January by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, the Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd)—[Vol. 976, c. 1222]—that we have ended our aid programme in Afghanistan except that those Arghan students already in this country will be allowed to complete their courses.

Zambia

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give details of the United Kingdom-Zambia copper agreement which resulted in expenditure of £20,000,000 referred to in appendix I, class II, vote 7, of volme I, of the Appropriation Accounts 1978–79.

As announced to the House on 2 November 1978 by the then Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary [Vol. 957, c. 186–87], the United Kingdom agreed to help meet Zambia's urgent need for foreign exchange by making an advance payment of £20 million in respect of purchases of copper for British industry. It is planned that the copper will be shipped during 1980, and arrangements for repayment of the £20 million advance against shipments have been agreed with the Zambian Government.

Nigeria

asked the Lord Privy Seal what part of the £13,000,000 loan and £5,000,000 grant to Nigeria from the overseas aid programme as published in appendix I, class II, vote 7, of volume I of the Appropriation Accounts 1978–79 remains outstanding.

£5,775,000 of the loan has not been issued. Of the capital issued, £1,083,000 has been repaid. £683.331 of the grant has not been issued.

Land Registration

asked the Attorney-General whether he can give a date when the new form 1A in connection with first registration of land will be made available and on sale to the public.

It is hoped that a new edition of form 1A and of the relevant explanatory leaflet will be published within two months.

Home Department

John Victor Subrenski

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why, in view of the possible danger to young girls, he did not accept the recommendation of the probation officer concerned with John Victor Subrenski to recall him to serve the remainder of the life sentence imposed on him for molesting children.

Mr. Subrenski was convicted in 1957 of indecently assaulting a girl aged 8 and of raping another aged 9 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. In April 1976 the Parole Board recommended that he should be released, and this recommendation was accepted. Mr. Subrenski was released on 29 April 1977, having been detained for a little over 20 years.A life sentence prisoner is released on a licence, which remains in force for the whole of the remainder of his life. Mr Subrenski's licence required him to be under the supervision of a psychiatrist as well as that of a probation officer.If a licensee's behaviour gives cause for concern his licence can be revoked and he is then recalled to prison to continue serving his life sentence. The procedure for this was laid down by Parliament in section 62 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967. Except in cases of emergency, the case is referred to the Parole Board, and if it so recommends the Home Secretary may revoke the licence and recall the licensee to prison.In May 1979 Mr. Subrenski's supervising officer reported that his attitude to supervision had been unsatisfactory and suggested that his licence should be revoked, if only for a limited period, to impress on him the need to comply fully with his obligations under the supervision conditions of his licence. There was no suggestion of immediate danger to other persons requiring emergency action. The case was therefore referred to the Parole Board and was considered by a panel of the board on 22 June 1979. The panel decided that it was not satisfied that recall was justified but that Mr. Subrenski should be warned that if he continued to behave in the same way he could expect his licence to be revoked. The Home Secretary was, under the 1967 Act, bound by that decision.On 7 September the Home Office was informed that Mr. Subrenski had been charged with abducting two small girls and had been remanded in custody until the following day. His licence was then immediately revoked so that, irrespective of the outcome of the court proceedings, he would be recalled to prison.Mr. Subrenski will continue to be detained under his life sentence for as long as is judged to be necessary. This will be until the Home Secretary of the day is as satisfied as it is reasonably possible to be that he no longer presents a risk to children.

Bicycles (Lighting Offences)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions for riding a bicycle without proper and adequate lighting there have been in each of the last three years.

The available information is given in the following table; information for 1979 is not yet available.Persons proceeded against for riding a pedal cycle during the hours of darkness without proper and adequate lighting*

England and Wales
YearNumber of persons proceeded against
19762,535
19772,600
19782,677
* Road Traffic Act 1972, section 74.

Young Offenders

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the computer system implemented on 1 January by the statistics branch of the Metropolitan Police to store data concerning young offenders, including details of their homes, families and histories of truancy.

I understand from the Commissioner that statistics of juveniles arrested or reported for criminal offences, which are now kept manually, are being transferred to a computer, and that this work should be completed by 1 March. These statistics—which do not identify named individuals—enable the Commissioner to monitor the work of the juvenile bureaux, and they contribute to research and to consideration of force policy on juvenile offenders.

Departmental Newspapers

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what newspapers are produced by his Department; what is their function; how many people they employ; to whom they are distributed; and what is the total cost to public funds per annum.

Prisons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many new units of accommodation for prison officers have been built in each of the last five years, and in what prison establishments.

Comprehensive information on the number of new units of accommodation for prison officers which have been built in each of the last five years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost; but if the hon. Member wishes to have information in respect of any particular establishment I should be glad to obtain it.

Traffic Wardens (Metropolis)

asked the Secretaryof State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to halt the decline in the number of traffic wardens in the Metropolitan Police district.

The Commissioner is, with our support, pursuing a vigorous advertising campaign in an effort toimprove recruitment, and open days have been held at traffic warden centres. New rates of pay, effective from 1 July 1979, were introduced in October, and a further review is due shortly.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many traffic wardens are currently in post in the Metropolitan Police district; and how this compares with the authorised complement.

The strength of the Metropolitan Police traffic warden service on 31 December was 1,114, compared with a current ceiling of 1,800.

Welsh Language (Broadcasting)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provisional Government finance is now envisaged to facilitate the increase in Welsh language programmes on one of the British Broadcasting Corporation's channels in Wales.

None. The cost of the increase in Welsh language programmes transmitted by the BBC will be met from the net revenue accruing to the BBC from the television licence fees.

Horserace Totalisator Board

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in the light of the findings of Mr. Aglionby's investigation into the Horserace Totalisator Board, he will seek the removal from office of the chairman and members of the board as soon as their respective instruments of appointment permit.

Hazardous Materials

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans exist for the evacuation of people living in the vicinity of a potential explosion;(2) whether his Department offers advice to local authorities concerning disaster plans in the event of explosions at the factories of firms manufacturing, processing or storing hazardous materials in their areas; and what advice is given.

Local authorities and the emergency services are responsible for preparing such plans. Advice is contained in Home Office circular No. ES 7/1975, which deals with major accidents and natural disasters; a copy is in the Library of the House.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether officers of the Metropolitan Police regularly inspect factory premises storing hazardous materials; and to whom they report their findings.

No. The police are not responsible for regular inspections of this kind.

Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what will be the cost to public funds of the emergency operations mounted by the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, the Metropolitan Police and the fire service as a result of the explosions at the premises of Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd.; and what proportion of this will be borne from central and local government funds, respectively.

Details of costs are not available. The usual grant-in-aid arrangements will apply to expenditure by local authorities and by the Metropolitan Police.

Patrick Joseph Conan

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Her Majesty's Government will pay the cost of transporting Patrick Joseph Conan's body from Great Britain to his place of normal residence, Northern Ireland.

Suspected Persons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been stopped each year since 1970 under the laws relating to being a suspected person loitering with intent; and of these, each year, how many were (a) detained for questioning (b) charged and (c) later convicted.

Drugs Acts

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been stopped and searched each year since 1970 under the drugs Acts; and of these, each year, how many were subsequently detained, and of these howmany were later charged, and of these how many were later convicted.

Education And Science

Assisted Places Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will give details of his proposals for the remission of fees in relation to income in respect of the assisted places scheme.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he intends that the parental limit for financial help under the assisted places scheme shall be the same as that applied in other clauses of the Education (No. 2) Bill to free school meals and free school transport; and, if not, if he will provide details of the limits which will be fixed.

Following discussions between representatives of the Independent Schools Joint Council and my Department, I shall shortly be inviting comments from interested bodies on the following proposals for an income scale to determine the contributions from parents in respect of the fees payable for assisted places. To illustrate the effect of the proposals, a family with an only child who holds an assisted place and whose family income is £4,100 would pay nothing; at £6,000, £354, and at £7,800, £894.

  • 1. The parental contribution to fees is based on family income before tax including earned and unearned income, but excluding child benefit and certain disability allowances. Contributions will be assessed by the schools in relation to income in the financial year preceding the school year to which the assessment relates. Parents will contribute their share of the fees as indicated by the scale and the balance of the fees will be paid to the school by the Department.
  • 2. The income scale proposed incorporates an allowance of £300 in respect of each dependent child and each dependent adult excluding the parents. Where more than one child holds an assisted place it is proposed that the parental contribution in respect of the first child should be allowed against income in assessing the contribution in respect of the second, and of the first and second in respect of the third and so on.
  • 3. No contribution to fees will be required from families with one child where family income does not exceed £4,000, the threshold for larger families increasing by £300 a child because of the dependent child allowance. In practice, however, parental contributions of less than £15 a year will be waived.
  • 4. The scale of parental contribution increases in progressively steeper bands of 9 per cent., 12 per cent., 15 per cent., and 30 per cent. of income above the threshold. A one child family ceases to be entitled to fee remission with a family income of £7,800; this threshold increases by £300 for each additional dependent child.
  • 5. The table following is a compressed summary of the full scale, which would be set out in £3 multiples of parental contribution. Other examples of the effect of the proposal are:
    • a one child family with a family income of £4,400 would contribute £36 a year, as would a four child family with a family
    Bands of contribution from incomeIncome by family size*
    One childTwo childrenThree childrenFour childrenParental contribution
    £££££ per annum
    9 per cent. of income above £4,0004,0004,3004,6004,900Nil
    4,1674,4674,7675,06715 and then in £3multiples to include
    4,4004,7005,0005,30036
    12 per cent,4,6004,9005,2005,50060
    4,8005,1005,4005,70084
    15 per cent.5,0005,3005,6005,900114
    5,2005,5005,8006,100144
    5,4005,7006,0006,300174
    30 per cent.5,5005,8006,1006,400204
    6,0006,3006,6006,900354
    6,5006,8007,1007,400504
    7,0007,3007,6007,900654
    7,5007,8008,1008,400804
    7,8008,1008,4008,700894
    * See paragraph 1 above.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children were receiving free school meals in 1979; and what was the estimated take-up rate.

    On a day in October 1979, the number of pupils receiving a free meal in maintained schools in England was 898,768. No estimate is available of the take-up at that time.

    School Curriculum (Geological Sciences)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in view of the finite nature of most of the earth's resources of energy, metalliferous ores and other industrial minerals, and the need to develop sound policies for the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, if he will take steps to include aspects of the geological sciences in the school curriculum.

    No. The detailed content of the school curriculum is essentially a matter for the local education authorities and schools. Some aspects of geology are often included in combined science courses and in environmental studies.

    income of £5,300 in respect of the first child to hold an assisted place;

    a one child family with a family income of £7,500 would contribute £804 but a four child family on the same income £534 in respect of the first child to hold an assisted place;

    the minimum parental contribution means that the effective threshold for any contribution would be £4,167 for a one child family.

    6. All details are at November 1979 prices and are subject to re-pricing.

    Youth Service

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in view of the plans of the Cumbria education authority to abolish the Youth Service; whether he will consider using default powers to ensure that this service is maintained.

    I understand that the authority intends to continue to provide the Youth Service, although at a reduced level.

    Teachers (Class Contact)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the total number of qualified teachers employed in the education service in England and Wales who no longer have any class contact.

    Information is not available for the education service as a whole. In 1977, the latest date for which information is available, some 3,700 of the 254,000 teachers in maintained secondary schools did no formal classrooms teaching. These include some head teachers and other teachers involved in informal careers guidance and pastoral care.

    Health Education

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will seek to amend the Education Act 1944 to make it mandatory for all schools to provide health education programmes having regard to recommendations on this matter by the Select Committee on Expenditure, the Court report, the Mikes report and the Royal Commission on the National Health Service.

    No. The details of school curricula are matters for individual local education authorities and schools.

    Schools (Microelectronics)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if, in view of the decision of the French Government to instal microcomputers in each school, he will take steps to ensure that similar facilities are provided in British schools so as to maintain the competitive position of the future workforce in Great Britain;(2) if he has yet made a decision regarding the proposed budget for the microprocessor awareness project in schools.

    As I told the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on 5 February, my right hon. and learned Friend expects within the next few weeks to announce firm plans for a microelectronics development programme for schools and colleges. The extent to which microcomputers may be provided for work done in connection with the programme will depend on the resources which can be made available, but it is likely that the programme's main thrust will lie not in the provision of hardware but in curriculum development, arrangements for teacher training and the development and standardisation of software.

    Overseas Students

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what level of fees he intends will be applicable to students from the European Economic Community in British universities in the academic year 1980–81.

    Apart from the children of migrant workers who, if they are resident in this country, are treated as home students under article 12 of EEC regulation 1612/68, students from the European Economic Community will under the present arrangements be treated as overseas students in 1980–81. However, as I said in answer to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) on 5 February, my right hon. and learned Friend is currently considering whether policy on overseas students can be modified in the case of students from EEC countries.

    Secondary Education

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in considering applications to change comprehensive schools into grammar schools, such as that made in respect of Sutton girls' school, Sutton Cold field, he will have regard to the need to ensure continuity, minimise disruption and respect the views of parents and teachers in the area.

    My right hon. and learned Friend takes these and other factors into account when considering such a proposal.

    Careers Advice

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied with the emphasis given to the tourist industry by careers advisers in schools.

    I have been asked to reply.Yes. Careers officers who give this advice are employed by local education authorities and they are trained, under the auspices of the London Government Training Board, in the study of industrial and professional occupations, including those which serve the tourist industry. My careers service inspectors are continually monitoring the adequacy of local arrangements for careers officers to keep themselves well informed of the changing needs of industry and the professions and to ensure that due emphasis is given to current opportunities.The director of studies of the Institute of Travel and Tourism also organises visits and talks and attends careers conventions at schools and colleges.

    Defence

    Chevaline Project

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the sum expended on the Chevaline project in, respectively, 1977, 1978 and 1979.

    I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Member on 31 January.—[Vol. 977, c. 766–77].

    Industry

    Steel Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing how financial support to the steel industry for purposes other than capital investment or the financing of past investment compares with financial support given to agriculture, directly from the Exchequer and indirectly from the common agricultural policy.

    In the chairman's statement of 29 November BSC estimated its losses for 1979–80 as something over £300 million, of which £180 million is interest. These losses are effectively covered through our financing of BSC. Support for agriculture is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, who has referred me to the replies he gave on 7 December 1979 to my hon. Friend the Member for Holland with Boston (Mr. Body) and the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Neale).

    Departmental Newspapers

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what newspapers are produced by his Department; what is their function; how many people they employ; to whom they are distributed; and what is the total cost to public funds per annum.

    This Department, in conjunction with the Department of Trade, publishes three periodicals, "British business". "Ti-line" and "Coastguard"."British business" is the weekly news magazine of the two Departments. It includes news, industrial, technological, trade and export information and statis- tics, and has a readership in excess of 50,000 among senior businessmen both at home and overseas. It employs 15 staff. The total annual cost is £470,800, but this is generally offset by revenue from subscription and advertisement sales."Ti-line" is the monthly staff newspaper of the Departments of Industry, Trade and Energy. It employs three staff It is distributed to all 21,000 staff of the three Departments and the annual cost is £32,000."Coastguard" is the quarterly journal of Her Majesty's Coastguard Service, and circulates widely among coastguards, auxiliary coastguards, and both official and voluntary search and rescue organisations in Britain and overseas. There is one member of staff and the annual cost is £20,000.

    Man-Made Fibres

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will take action to assist the man-made fibre industry in view of the loss of jobs in the industry, including over 3,500 textile jobs in North-East Wales since 1972.

    There has been considerable excess capacity in man-made production, not only in the United Kingdom, and contraction has been inevitable as demand failed to develop as expected by the industry. Financial assistance from the Government to maintain unwanted capacity would provide no solution to the industry's problems.However, the Government have recognised the particular problems of the Wrexham and Shotton travel-to-work areas, both of which are special development areas and attract the maximum regional aids.

    Fixed Capital Formation

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish a table in the Official Report showing for 1978, and an estimate for 1979, a breakdown of gross domestic fixed capital formation, particularly for manufacturing, in terms of 1975 prices as shown in table 14: 19 of the 1979 edition of the Annual Abstract of Statistics.

    I have been asked to reply. The information required for 1978 has been published by the Central Statistical Office in table 14.19 of the 1980 edition of the Annual Abstract of Statistics. Seasonally adjusted estimates for gross domestic fixed capital formation (GDFCF) in the first three quarters of 1979, at 1975 prices, are shown below in similar detail. Comparable figures for the fourth quarter, and separate data for GDFCF in buses and coaches and in the social services, are not yet available.

    Steel Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the level

    AVERAGE GROSS HOURLY WAGES (MANUAL WORKERS) IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY* AND PERCENTAGE INCREASES ON A YEAR EARLIER—(NATIONAL CURRENCY)—OCTOBER
    Germany (Federal Republic)FranceItalyUnited Kingdom
    OctoberDMPercentage increase on a year earlierF.Fr.Percentage increase on a year earlierLirePercentage increase on a year earlier£Percentage increase on a year earlier
    19738·8399·72161,335220·98..
    197410·121512·58291,586191·1719
    197510·66514·55161,933221·5633
    197611·54816·62142,371231·7613
    197712·20618·32102,811191·897
    197812·76520·34113,169132·1614
    CONSUMER PRICES—PERCENTAGE INCREASES IN OCTOBER ON A YEAR EARLIER
    Per cent.
    OctoberGermany (Federal Republic)FranceItalyUnited Kingdom
    1973781110
    19747152417
    19756101226
    19764102015
    19774101614
    197829128
    Sources:
    Eurostat—Social Aspects in the Iron and Steel Industry, Rapid Information Sheet 1—1979.
    Eurostat—Quarterly Iron and Steel Statistical Bulletin 1—1977.
    OECD—Main Economic Indicators.
    Notes:
    .. Not available on the same basis.
    * Iron and steel industry as defined under the ECSC treaty.
    Because of differences in national definitions and methods of compilation, the figures shown are not fully comparable. Moreover, caution is required in interpreting earnings comparisons of this type because they do not take account of differences in taxation and social benefits, and differences in the internal purchasing power of currencies in each country.Similar information for the United States of America and Japan is not available.

    of earnings of the main grades of steelworkers each year since 1970, both at current prices and at 1980 prices; what has been the percentage increase during each of these years in each of these years in each of these two series; and what information he has on the comparable figures in ( a) West Germany, ( b) France, ( c) Italy, ( d) the United States of America and ( e) Japan.

    [pursuant to his reply, 1 February 1980, c. 754–5]; The latest available information is given in the following tables.

    Trade

    Man-Made Fibres

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement about the imports of United States of America synthetic textiles.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps he proposes to take to limit the unfair competition from increasing imports of subsidised man-made fibres from the United States of America in view of their adverse effect on the United Kingdom manmade fibre industry in general and Deeside Mill, Flint, in particular.

    The United Kingdom Government are today applying to the European Commission under the relevant Community instruments for restriction by quota of imports into the United Kingdom of polyester filament yarn, nylon carpet yarn and tufted carpets of man-made fibres. These restrictions will not apply to countries with which the Community has preferential trading agreements, or bilateral agreements under the multi-fibre arrangement. The Commission is required by the terms of the Community instruments referred to to give a decision on this application within five working days.I had hoped that the GATT article XXIII discussions, which the Foreign Affairs Council on 5 February agreed should be pursued vigorously, would by now have produced a satisfactory solution to the problem as a whole. But, as this has not proved possible, I have no alternative but to take this course.

    Departmental Newspapers

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what newspapers are produced by his Department; what is their function; how many people they employ; to whom they are distributed; and what is the total cost to the public funds per annum.

    My Department, in conjunction with the Department of Industry, publishes three periodicals, "British business", "Ti-Line" and "Coastguard"."British business" is the weekly news magazine of the two Departments. It includes news, industrial, technological, trade and export information and statistics, and has a readership in excess of 50,000 among senior businessmen both at home and overseas. It employs 15 staff. The total annual cost is £470,000, but this is generally offset by revenue from subscription and advertisement sales."Ti-Line" is the monthly staff newspaper of the Departments of Industry, Trade and Energy. It employs three staff. It is distributed to all 21,000 staff of the three Departments and the annual cost is £32,000.

    "Coastguard" is the quarterly journal of Her Majesty's Coastguard Service, and circulates widely among coastguards, auxiliary coastguards, and both official and voluntary search and rescue organisations in Britain and overseas. There is one member of staff and the annual cost is £20,000.

    Tariffs

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he has any proposals to impose tariffs on French cars similar to those imposed on British lamb by the French Government.

    "Aeolian Sky"

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what chemicals still remain to be accounted for from the wreck of the "Aeolian Sky"; what cargo is still contained within her hold; when it will be removed; and if he will make a statement.

    Conditions prevailing during the winter months make it extremely difficult and dangerous for divers to determine precisely what remains in the ship and what has been lost.The best indications are, however, that all the chemical cargoes known to be stowed on deck have broken free but that the majority of the other chemical cargoes remain in the holds. This has been confirmed by two short duration dives which have been carried out to establish how the wreck lies on the bottom and to check the reported presence of foreign currency within the superstructure. Attempts to identify and locate cargo more precisely and to recover it from the ship would be a protracted operation and could not safely be undertaken until late spring.The situation will be kept under close review and meanwhile my Department will maintain its present liaison with the local authorities affected.

    Metals And Metal Ores

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade which of the following metals or metal ores were imported from the Soviet Union in 1978 and 1979 and in approximately what quantities: titanium, zinc, nickel, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, chromium, platinum, antimony, copper, cobalt and uranium.

    Decca Ltd

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he intends to refer the proposed acquisition of Decca Ltd. by General Electric Co. Ltd. and Racal Electronics Ltd. to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

    Glue Sniffing (Research)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what research there has been into the addiction of glue sniffing; and how many deaths from this habit occur annually.

    A considerable volume of research has been carried out both here and in other countries. The results of many of these projects and studies are setout in the various reports and papers listed in the "Bibliography on Solvent Use" obtainable from the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence, Kingsbury House, 3 Blackburn Road, London NW6 IXA. Exact figures of deaths from deliberate inhalation of solvent vapours and other substances are not available, but my Department is aware of the following deaths resulting directly from the practice: 1971—2, 1972—6, 1973—4, 1974—4, 1975—9, 1976—7, 1977—5, 1978—6, 1979—5.

    Airport (Security Services)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will now provide representatives of the airline industry with comprehensive cost data on the administration and operation of security services at British airports.

    Detailed information about the overall cost of anti-terrorist security measures at United Kingdom airports has been made available since the setting up of the aviation security fund. In addition, data about labour costs and manpower levels at particular airports—the seven airports managed by the British Airports Authority, and Manchester, Luton and Birmingham—have recently been made available to a study group consisting of representatives of airports and airlines.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will give a general directive to the British Airport Authority that it should examine, in conjunction with affected airlines, arrangements which will offer incentives to the authorities responsible for airport security to operate in the most cost-effective manner.

    I have no power to direct the British Airports Authority to make such an examination. The consultation arrangements between the British Airports Authority and airlines are a matter for the authority. The Department of Trade is at present examining with representatives of the industry, including airlines and the British Airports Authority, whether the present arrangements for financing anti-terrorist security measures offer adequate incentives for containing expenditure.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will now authorise airlines to negotiate directly with the providers of security services on the costs of such services.

    No. The Department reimburses to the providers of security services—whether airports or airlines—reasonable costs incurred.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what was the total cost of security services provided at British airports in the most recent year for which information is available;(2) what he expects to be the total cost of security services provided at British airports in the forthcoming year.

    Total expenditure on anti-terrorist security measures at United Kingdom airports in the financial year 1978–79 amounted to £21,040,000. Estimated expenditure in 1979–80 is £31,879,000, and in 1980–81, £38,307,000. Further details are given in a background paper entitled "Aviation Security Fund (Second Amendment) Regulations 1980" placed in the House of Commons library on 15 January 1980.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what information he has on current levels of security service costs per passenger handled at British, European and North American airports.

    The cost of anti-terrorist security measures at United Kingdom airports—including passenger searching, airport security and policing, and the purchase of detection equipment—is expected to come to about £1·16 per arriving passenger in 1979–80. European and North American airports work on different systems and I do not have comparable figures.

    Wales

    Steel And Coal Industries

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimates he has received from the National Coal Board in Wales of the effect upon (a) the number of jobs (b) the number of pits, and (c) coal production in Wales as a result of (i) the proposed rundown of steel plants in Wales and (ii) the import of coking coal into South Wales; and whether he accepts these estimates.

    My Department has received from the National Coal Board in Wales a number of estimates of possible closures in the South Wales coalfield. These have included references to possible closure of high cost pits as part of closures arising from the British Steel Corporation's proposed rundown of steel plants and changes of level of coking coal imports. These estimates vary greatly in detail and in their assumptions. No proposals for a programme of closures have been made by the National Coal Board and I am unable to discuss firm figures.

    Employment

    Noxious And Dangerous Materials (Storage)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what instructions he has given to the Health and Safety Commission, following the Barking explosions, regarding the inspection of factories which store or manufacture noxious and other dangerous materials in heavily populated areas; how many of these types of factories exist in the Bury and Radcliffe constituency; when they were last inspected; if the commission is satisfied that all safety precautions have been implemented within these factories to its complete satisfaction; and if he will make a statement.

    No instructions have been given to the Health and Safety Commission. As I announced in my statement of 22 January 1980, an investigation is being carried out into the accident at Barking by the Health and Safety Executive, and when this is completed the findings and any recommendations will be made public.Within the Bury and Radcliffe constituency there are about 650 premises registered under the Factories Act 1961 at the Health and Safety Executive Greater Manchester area office. Of these only one factory comes within the scope of the Fire Certificates (Special Premises) Regulations 1976. It was noted on a visit to this factory in June 1979 that recommendations made an a previous inspection had been substantially dealt with.The other factories are inspected to a programme based on the known standards, the potential hazard to employees and the public—including those deriving from the store or manufacture of noxious and other dangerous materials in heavily populated areas—and the standards of management control.Where serious deficiencies are found, follow-up visits are made and in all cases representatives of the workplace as well as management are informed of the action which the inspector proposes.I am conscious of general concern arising from the Barking incident and if the investigation reveals a need for specific action by the HSE this will be taken.

    Job Release Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will extend the job release scheme to unemployed disabled people within five years of retirement age who have been registered with his Department for at least five years; what is his estimate of what the net cost of this proposal would be; what is his estimate of the net cost if it were extended to cover those within 10 years of retirement age; and if he will make a statement.

    No. Such an extension would not further the main purpose of the scheme, which is to release jobs for the unemployed. I regret that information is not available to enable a reliable estimate to be made of the cost of the hon. Member's proposal. However, on the basis of the numbers registered as unemployed for over three years, it is estimated that the net cost of including disabled people within five years and 10 years of retirement age would be £4 million to £5 million a year and £8 million to £9 million a year, respectively.

    Unemployed Persons (Liverpool)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of unemployment in Liverpool.

    At 10 January the number of people registered as unemployed in Liverpool was 41,335. Liverpool has been taken as the area covered by the Liverpool, Allerton, Belle Vale, Old Swan, Walton and Garston employment offices.

    Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) whether Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd., Barking, has ever approached the Health and Safety Executive for advice on its operations;(2) how often the premises of Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd., Barking have been inspected by the Health and Safety Executive since the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act came into force; when the last inspection was carried out; and whether a check was made to ensure that any recommendations were complied with;(3) whether he has yet received the report of the Factory Inspectorate into the explosion which occurred at Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd., Barking, Wormesley on the night of 21 January;(4) whether he will discuss with the Chemical Industries Association the procedure for notifying the Health and Safety Executive of the storage of hazardous materials;(5) whether he will investigate the need for tighter precautions against explosions on the site of firms manufacturing, processing or storing hazardous materials, in the interests of public safety;

    (6) whether, in view of the explosions on 21 January at the depot of Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd. which caused the evacuation of thousands of residents in Barking, he is satisfied that the required notifications to the Health and Safety Executive of materials stored are rigidly carried out;

    (7) whether the Health and Safety Executive had up-to-date information about the content of materials stored at Wormesley Boome Chemicals Ltd., River Road, Barking, prior to explosions which took place there on 21 January; and to whom it had transmitted the information;

    (8) whether the Health and Safety Executive has up-to-date and detailed knowledge of the contents of industrial premises storing hazardous materials; and whether they pass this information to the fire service and to local authorities.

    Hazardous Materials

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will consider extending the "Hazchem" scheme now applied to vehicles carrying dangerous substances to industrial premises.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances (ACDS) has under consideration proposals for regulations to provide for the sign marking of buildings or places containing materials or substances which would be dangerous to firemen in the event of a fire. In connection with these proposals the Central Fire Brigade Advisory Councils' joint committee on fire brigade operations agreed that selected fire brigades, in co-operation with industry and the Health and Safety Executive, should conduct pilot studies to determine the feasibility of using "Hazchem" codes for the purpose of the regulations. The pilot studies are nearing completion and the results, together with the recommendations of the JCFBO, will be taken into account by the ACDS in any proposals it may make for regulations.

    Jobcentres

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the annual cost in rent and rates of the jobcentre in Piccadilly, W1; what is the average cost of a jobcentre in the United Kingdom; what is the cost per person placed in a job at the Piccadilly Centre; and what is the average number of callers per day.

    European Ferries (Office Block)

    asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will arrange for an exhibition relating to the European Ferries tower office block by Vauxhall bridge to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

    I have asked the Serjeant at Arms to put this in hand, and

    LocationProjectAmount of grant£EEC Fund
    PlymouthCivic Theatre/Conference Centre1,914,690European Regional Development Fund.
    LancasterMuseum of Childhood13,230European Regional Development Fund.
    Ellesmere PortBoat Museum158,700European Regional Development Fund.
    CardiffConcert Hall/Congress Centre985,968European Regional Development Fund.
    LlandoveryFestival Theatre/Craft Exhibition Centre.26,417European Regional Development Fund.
    PontypoolIndustrial/Historical Museum91,800European Regional Development Fund.
    RuthinCraft Centre90,060European Regional Development Fund.
    PitlochryFestival Theatre475,200European Regional Development Fund.

    Algardi Bust

    asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will convene a meeting of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art to reconsider its advice to him in connection with the application to export Algardi's bust of Monsignor Cerri to the Metropolitan museum, New York.

    I recently met members of the reviewing committee to discuss the case of the Algardi bust. There was a full discussion, and I shall announce my decision on the case in due course.

    asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what are his intentions with regard to the future of the Algardi bust.

    I have considered very carefully and fully the case of the Algardi bust and I have recently dis-

    congratulate the hon. Member on his initiative.

    Arts Projects (European Communty Support)

    asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list in the Official Report the theatre projects and other arts projects receiving financial support from the EEC, indicating the amount and the European fund from which the money was allocated, and describing the project.

    The theatre projects and other arts projects receiving financial support from the EEC are listed below. cussed it at some length with the reviewing committee, but it raises complex issues, not all of which are for me to resolve, and I am not yet able to announce a decision. The issues are likely to take a little time to dispose of.

    European Community

    Foreign Affairs Council

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 5 February.

    My right hon. and noble Friend, accompanied by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade, and my hon. Friend, the Minister of Trade, represented the United Kingdom at this Council.There were further discussion of the Community aspects of East/West relations following Afghanistan. The Commission outlined action taken over subsidised food exports to the Soviet Union in accordance with the decisions of the 15 January Council. It was also agreed that so far as export credit to the Soviet Union was concerned member States would observe without derogation the current OECD consensus.In political co-operation the Foreign Ministers of the Nine agreed to develop a joint position on reactions to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with a view to decisions by Ministers at their meeting in political co-operation in Rome on 19 February.The Commission presented a report on imports of United States synthetic textiles concluding that there is no case at present for Community-wide action but at the same time acknowledging that difficulties exist in certain regions, notably the United Kingdom. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade is providing further information in reply to a written question from my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Trippier).The United Kingdom strongly supported a proposed ad hoccontribution to supplement the ECSC budget for 1980. This would take account of the need for Community financial assistance with the problems of steel closures. We hope this can be agreed at the next Foreign Affairs Council.The Commission reported on the considerable progress made since the January Council in negotiations with Yugoslavia for a new agreement with the Community.There was a meeting of the Association Council with Turkey where both sides welcomed the resumption of contacts at ministerial level and emphasised the major political importance they attached to the Association Agreement.There was a ministerial level meeting in the accession negotiations with Portugal.The Council heard a report on the Community's relations with the Gulf States and will continue to study this.Agreement was reached in principle to co-operate in studying the management and storage of radioactive waste and that it was in the interests of the Community to keep open the option of reprocessing spent fuel and of using fast reactors. The final text of the resolutions will be available shortly.

    No final decision was reached on the funding for the joint research centre and the fusion programme, but it appears that matters are now moving towards a satisfactory conclusion.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Gibraltar

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the present position in respect of discussions with the Government of Spain concerning Gibraltar.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. McQuarrie) on 21 December.—[Vol. 976, c. 416.]

    Hong Kong

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker), has now sent a reply to the delegation of urban councillors which met him to discuss democratic elections to the Hong Kong urban council; and if he will make a statement.

    I wrote to the leader of the delegation on 28 January explaining that I am still considering the question and will comment further in due course.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if the Hong Kong Government have any plans to give more power and authority to the urban council.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list the powers and responsibilities of the Hong Kong urban council.

    These are set out in sections 24 and 25 of the Urban Council Ordinance. Briefly, they cover public health and hygiene and cultural and recreational facilities. I have arranged for copies of these sections to be placed in the Library of the House.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if there are any plans to extend the geographical area for voting purposes for the Hong Kong urban council.

    There is no residential qualification for the franchise, apart from residence in Hong Kong for three years.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what was the number of people qualified to vote in the last election to the Hong Kong urban council; how many voted in the elections; and what percentage of the total eligible these figures represent.

    In 1979 it was estimated that some 440,000 people were eligible to vote. 31,481 registered to do so and 12,426 actually voted. The last figure represents 39·47 per cent. of registered voters and 2·82 per cent. of estimated eligible voters.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations the Hong Kong Government have received from bodies calling for more democratic reform of the urban council.

    The Hong Kong Government have received no formal direct representations from such bodies in the last year.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report the system of appointment to the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

    Appointments are made by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Governor of Hong Kong in accordance with the Royal Instructions to the Governor of Hong Kong (article XIII).

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will request the Hong Kong Government to introduce elections to the Legislative Council, similar to the system which applies in the Portuguese colony of Macau.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report the qualifications required of citizens of Hong Kong in order to allow them to vote in urban council elections.

    The qualifications are set out in part I of the first schedule to the Urban Council Ordinance. I have arranged for a copy of the relevant extract of the Ordinance to be placed in the Library of the House.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will consider seeking to lower the age for voting in elections to the Hong Kong urban council to 18 years.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the latest estimated population of Hong Kong; and how many of these are eligible to vote in elections to the urban council.

    The estimated population of Hong Kong at the end of 1979 was 5,017,000. The number eligible to vote, in elections to the urban council was estimated in 1979 to be about 440,000.

    Chile

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government accept the reply of the United Nations special rapporteur that over the past year the situation of human rights in Chile has deteriorated in certain respects; and, if so, in what ways it is anticipated that the return of an ambassador to Chile will assist in furthering the Chilean Government's realisation of the international concern about this situation.

    We are aware of the view expressed in this report that the rate of improvement in the human rights situation in Chile has slowed considerably during the past year. Our concern was evident from our vote in favour of the recent United Nations General Assembly's resolution. The return of an ambassador to Chile will assist us in making Her Majesty's Government's views known to the Chilean Government at the highest level.

    New Hebrides

    asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement about events on 28 and 29 January in Santo and Tanna in the New Hebrides; and whether the authority of the Condominium has now been re-established in these islands.of the office of the New Hebrides Government agent in Santo on 28 January by supporters of the Na Griamel movement, the Chief Minister has declared that the resolution of the problem lies in peaceful negotiation. We and the French Government firmly support this policy and remain ready to assist in bringing about early consultations.The situation on Tanna following the release of the assistant Government agent after his brief abduction on 28 January is calm.

    Rhodesia

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give detailed figures of the number of persons still detained in Southern Rhodesia under martial law.

    [pursuant to his reply, 17 January 1980, c. 862]: The number of persons detained under martial law is now less than 2,000.

    National Finance

    School Fees And Health Insurance (Income Tax Relief)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what studies Her Majesty's Treasury has made of the cost of introducing income tax relief on school fees and private health insurance.

    Information on which to base accurate estimates is not available, but it is thought that if income tax relief were introduced for school fees and private health insurance premiums, and the benefit of private health insurance provided by employers for their employees were exempted from tax, the total cost might be about £230 million at 1979–80 levels.

    Money Supply

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will circulate in the Official Reporta table showing for each quarter since the beginning of 1976 the change in the reserves as a percentage of the external and foreign currency finance component of the money supply, and the effect in each quarter of the increase or decrease in foreign investment in public sector securities, foreign investment in United Kingdom bank deposits, and switching by United Kingdom banks into and out of the £ sterling.

    The change in the reserves is often of a different sign from the external and foreign currency finance of the money supply, so it is not meaningful to express one as a percentage of the other. Information on the composition of the external and foreign currency finance of the money supply is published in table 7.3 of Financial Statistics. Information on overseas investment in public sector securities is given in table 1.8.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the growth of the eligible liabilities of the United Kingdom banking system each year since 1970; and what is the ratio between the increase each year and the increase in sterling M3.

    Figures for eligible liabilities of the United Kingdom banking system are compiled at mid-month. Monthly figures since mid-October 1971, when they were first compiled, are given in the Economic Trends Annual Supplement 1980 Edition, page 182, with figures for the most recent months in table 6.16 of Financial Statistics, the latest edition of which is for January 1980.Sterling M3 has been compiled for similar mid-monthly dates from July 1971. Relevant figures for this series to December 1974 are:

    Sterling M3: changes mid-December to mid-December (£ million)
    1971 to 19725,236
    1972 to 19736,417
    1973 to 19742,730
    From mid-January 1974 mid-monthly figures are given in successive issues of the

    Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, table 11.1 in the latest issue, which is for December 1979, with the most recent figures in table 7.1 of Financial Statistics.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will circulate in the Official Reporta table showing for each year since 1970 the estimated value of transactions, by class of transaction, between the United Kingdom and other countries which are not recorded under sterling M3 or domestic credit expansion but which affect the total amount of liquidity or credit in the United Kingdom.

    This information is not compiled in the format requested and to do so would incur disproportionate cost. Recorded financial flows between United Kingdom residents and non-residents are presented in the balance of payments accounts—for example, Financial Statistics table 11.2—and, using different conventions, in the sector financial accounts—for example, Financial Statistics, table 1.8.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table comparing in each of the years 1976 to 1979 (a) the change in the gold and dollar reserves, (b) the type of asset affected by the movement into and out of the United Kingdom and the net change in value of the asset as a result and (c) the net effect on, respectively, Ml, M3, sterling M3, domestic credit expansion and the monetary base.

    Information on the change in the reserves and the compositions of the capital account inflows and outflows is given in the quarterly articles on the balance of payments in Economic Trends. Information up to the third quarter of 1979 was published in the December 1979 issue. There is no satisfactory way of measuring what the net effect of these flows on the various monetary aggregates was; much will depend on how domestic transactions were affected.

    Public Sector Debt

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to broadening the range of marketable public sector debt liabilities which the authorities can sell to the private sector.

    Borrowing Requirement (International Comparisons)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each of the main industrial countries for each year since 1970 the economically most reliable comparison which shows the borrowing requirement as a percentage of the national resources.

    As I explained to the hon. Member in my answer to him of Tuesday 18 December—[Vol. 976, Col. 129–130]—the aggregate for which data are consistently available for the pur- poses of comparisons of different countries' borrowing requirements for the run of years in question is the general Government financial deficit. The sources to which I referred the hon. Member in that answer will provide him with the information he now needs, and are still the most up-to-date available.

    Monetary Base System

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the introduction of a formal monetary base system whereby the banks would be required to hold a minimum proportion of their deposits in the form of reserve assets.

    The forthcoming Treasury-Bank consultative document on monetary control will consider, inter alia, the merits of introducing some variant of monetary base control.

    Grass Domestic Product

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report the gross domestic product per head of population in real terms for each of the last 10 years.

    The latest figures of gross domestic product per head of population at 1975 prices for the years 1970 to 1978 are given on page 14 of the January 1980 issue of Economic Trends. Figures for earlier years are given in the Annual Supplement to Economic Trends 1980 edition, page 43. Details for 1979 are not yet available.

    National Council Of Social Services

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received the report of the National Council of Social Services fiscal working party; what assessment he has made of its conclusions; and if he will make a statement.

    I will let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

    Development Land Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what was the amount of development land tax assessed as payable in 1979; and what was the amount assessed to be liable following deemed disposal;

    (2) how much of the development land tax revenue collected in 1979 following deemed disposal involved residential development;

    (3) what was the average time taken by the Development Land Tax Office to deal with applications for certificates of satisfaction under section 18 of the Development Land Tax Act;

    (4) what is the number of forms prescribed under the schedules within the Development Land Tax Act for use by the development land tax office;

    (5) what are the procedures for resolving a difference of opinion between a district valuer and a builder about market value following a deemed disposal under the Development Land Tax Act; and if he will publish the set of instructions given to district valuers by the Development Land Tax Office for dealing with such cases;

    (6) what procedures are available to the Development Land Tax Office to amend a valuation made by a district valuer following a deemed disposal under the Development Land Tax Act in the event of a district valuer having failed to take into account all the factors that have determined the price of an open market transaction when arrivi