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Written Answers

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 25 February 1980

Home Department

Anarchist Trial (Jurors)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the fact that one of the jurors in the recent anarchist trial was arrested by the police, held, then released without charge, it remains the case that no record exists of the names of the jurors in that trial.

As the police have no record of the names of the jurors it is not possible, without further details, to establish the circumstances of the alleeed arrest.

Telephone Tapping

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to be able to make his statement on the issues raised in the case of Malone v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

I have at present nothing to add to the answer I gave on 31 January to a question by the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook). [Vol. 977, c. 1540–3.]

Custody

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were (a) awaiting trial and (b) awaiting sentence on the most recent date for which figures are available; how many of these prisoners had been in custody for (i) three to six months, (ii) six to 12 months and (iii) over 12 months; and what was the longest period for which any untried or unconvicted prisoner had been held in custody on that date.

On 31 December 1979 there were 3,799 untried prisoners and 1,873 convicted unsentenced prisoners in prison department establishments in England and Wales. The other information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the national average waiting time in custody between committal and trial in 1978 and 1979.

I have been asked to reply.The average waiting time in England and Wales between committal and trial for defendants held in custody was 9.6 weeks in 1978 and 10·9 weeks in the first nine months of 1979. But the national average conceals differences between individual circuits so wide as to render it quite unreliable as a statistic.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average waiting time in custody between committal and trial in London in 1978 and 1979.

I have been asked to reply.The average waiting time in London between committal and trial for defendants held in custody was 16·7 weeks in 1978 and 18·8 weeks in the first nine months of 1979.

Parole

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of notices of successful parole applications give less than a month's warning of release; and what proportion give less than six weeks.

The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Unless there are special factors, prisoners are released as soon as possible after a decision has been taken to grant parole and the necessary arrangements for residence and for supervision in the community have been made.

Charities

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will amend the law to control the proportion of expenses claimed by organisations which run fund-raising events for charities; and if he will make a statement.

We have no plans to amend the law. The management of the fund-raising activities of a charity is a matter for the charity's trustees, and the terms of agreements between charities and organisations running fund-raising events on their behalf are for the parties concerned to determine.

Metropolitan Police (Suspensions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for the last 12-month period for which figures are available, and for the Metropolitan police only (a) what has been the average period of suspension of policemen pending inquiries (b) what has been the average period between the notification of dismissal or requirement to resign and the Commissioner's decision on appeal and (c) what has been the average period between the Commissioner's rejection of appeals and the final determination of subsequent appeals to him.

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that information about the average period of suspension pending inquiries is not readily available. In 1979, the average period between notification of the decision and determination by the Commissioner of an appeal to him was about four months. In that year, one appeal to the Secretary of State was determined: the relevant period was 18 months.

Data Protection (Lindop Committee Report)

Short asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is yet in a position to announce his conclusions on the Lindop committee's report on data protection; what discussions he has had, and with whom, on the committee's recommendations; and if he will make a further statement.

The issues raised by the committee's report are complex and wide ranging; I am considering them in the light of the outcome of the extensive consultations throughout the public and private sectors that were initiated by my predecessor.

Local Government Grants (Ethnic Groups) Bill

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will re-introduce within the life of the present Parliament the Local Government Grants (Ethnic Groups) Bill (1979); and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to re-introduce this Bill. The operation of section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966, which that Bill sought to replace, is currently under review.

Television Licence Fee

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will abolish the television licence fee for retired persons aged 70 years and over who are living on their own; and if he will make a statement.

Uranium Plant, Capenhurst

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contingency plans each of the local authorities between Springfield and Capenhurst has to deal with (a) an accident and (b) an attack on vessels carrying uranium hexofluoride and enriched uranium hexafluoride; and if he will make a statement.

It is the responsibility of local authorities to prepare adequate contingency plans to deal with the effects of an incident whether caused by accident or attack. The police have plans for responding to an attack.

Traffic Wardens (London)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will meet representatives of the Civil Service Union to discuss the acute problems of the traffic warden service in London.

Yes. I shall be writing to its general secretary shortly expressing willingness to have a meeting.

Brixton Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any immediate plans to relieve overcrowding at Brixton prison.

I am arranging for further accommodation for prisoners awaiting trial to be made available at Pentonville prison in order to give some relief to Brixton. This will be achieved by transferring those detained under the Immigration Act 1971 from Pentonville to Ashford remand centre. A phased transfer of those already in custody at Pentonville will begin on 3 March and courts are being informed that with effect from 24 March fresh committals should be to Ashford.

Detained Persons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) black and (b) white persons were, respectively, stopped and searched and later detained under (i) the drugs laws and (ii) the laws relating to being a suspected person, and so on, in each of the last five years.

[pursuant to his reply, 15 February 1980, c. 852]: Information con-

PERSONS ARRESTED* FOR BEING SUSPECTED OF FREQUENTING A PUBLIC PLACE WITH INTENT TO COMMIT AN ARRESTABLE OFFENCE BY ETHNIC APPEARANCE METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT
Number of offences
YearWhite-skinned EuropeanDark-skinned EuropeanBlack-skinned (including West Indian/African)Indian/PakistaniChinese/JapaneseArabian EgyptianNot KnowTotal
19751,258669473942712,342
19761,098608873742422,112
19771,197481,0424552722,366
19781,199731,0163021102,331
19791,018637673031031,894
* Persons proceeded against by means of a charge, referral to a juvenile bureau, a caution or in some other way; arrests not followed by any action are not included.

Gin Traps

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will take steps to prohibit the manufacture in Great Britain for export of gin traps the use of which is prohibited in the United Kingdom.

I have been asked to reply.No. There are no powers to prohibit manufacture. As to export, successive Administrations have taken the view that in the fields of health, safety and welfare other countries should have the right to decide for themselves what controls, if any, to impose in the light of local conditions. I agree with that view.

Bail Applications

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applications for bail were made to cerning the ethnic appearance of persons who are stopped and searched is not collected centrally.The information available on those stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 refers to all such persons, and I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to a question by him on 18 February.—[Vol. 979, c.

19–20.]

Regarding offences under section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824, there is no power to stop and search persons before arresting them; the information readily available on their ethnic appearance relates only to persons arrested under the laws related to being a suspected person, etc., in the Metropolitan Police district and is given in the following table:

a judge in chambers through the Crown Office in 1978 and 1979; and what percentage of these applications was successful;

(2) how many applications were made for bail to a judge in chambers through the Official Solicitor in 1978 and 1979; and what percentage of these applications was successful.

I have been asked to reply.The figures are:

Crown Office
1978505(32·1%)
1979454(30·6%)
Official Solicitor
19785,517(10·3%)
19796,473(6·1%)
Percentage of successful applications in parenthesis.These figures involve some duplication, as both categories include a number of repeated unsuccessful applications.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Rhodesia

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list the categories of persons and the numbers in each category who have been sent by Her Majesty's Government to assist in the Rhodesian elections; how many of these have been sent to Rhodesia as part of their normal duties; and how many have been seconded from Government service in the United Kingdom.

The total number of persons sent by Her Majesty's Government to assist in supervising the Rhodesian elections is 681. This number is broken down into the following categories:

  • Election Commissioner
  • 1 Non-Government officer.
  • Deputy Election Commissioner
  • 1 Non-Government officer.
  • Assistant Election Commissioner
  • 2–1 Non-Government officer; 1 Serving Diplomatic Service Officer.
  • Election Supervisors
  • 90—5 Seconded from Government Service; 84 Non-Government officers; 1 Serving DS officer.
  • Administration Officer
  • 1—1 Serving DS officer.
  • Assistant Administration Officer
  • 1—1 Serving DS officer.
  • Secretary
  • 1—1 Serving DS officer.
  • Polling Booth Supervisors
  • 584—All serving United Kingdom Police officers seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for temporary duty in Rhodesia.
In addition, Her Majesty's Government have invited 20 independent observers to visit Rhodesia on a voluntary basis and to assist, without remuneration, the Election Commissioner.

Sentencing

44.

asked the Attorney-General when the Lord Chancellor last organised a sentencing conference.

46.

asked the Attorney-General if he will introduce a training programme for judges on the effectiveness of different sentences of the courts.

An important programme of conferences and seminars already exists, and judges are normally appointed to act as deputies or recorders before receiving full-time appointments. Consideration is already being given to widening the scope of the present arrangements, particularly for newly-appointed judges.

Director Of Public Prosecutions

45.

asked the Attorney-General if he will set up an inquiry into the working practices of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

No. I maintain a constant review of the Director of Public Prosecution's department as part of my statutory duties of general superintendence over it.

asked the Attorney-General on how many occasions the Director of Public Prosecutions has issued circulars to chief officers of police.

The Director has authority to issue circulars to chief officers of police only in respect of the offences which he requires to be reported to him and the form such reporting should take. Four such circulars have been issued by the present Director. He has no authority to issue instructions to chief officers of police in respect of any other matters.

Welsh Language

asked the Attorney-General in what ways his Department gives recognition to the Welsh language; and if he will list the statutory forms used by his Department which are either bilingual or have Welsh versions.

My Department has little occasion to recognise the Welsh language, but when I am called on to nominate council in a case which I have reason to believe may be partially or wholly conducted in Welsh, I nominate one who is Welsh speaking. My Department uses no statutory forms. All formal documents, such as consents to prosecutions, are in English.

asked the Attorney-General whether he is satisfied with the operation of the Welsh Language Act 1967 in the courts of Wales; and if he will make a statement on the provision of simultaneous translation facilities in courtrooms in Wales.

Yes, but if the hon. Member is aware of any ground for complaint, no doubt he will let the Lord Chancellor know. Simultaneous translation facilities are available in courtrooms at Cardiff, Carmarthen and Mold and are due to come into use at Caernarvon in March. A panel of interpreters is available at all courts for which the Lord Chancellor is responsible in Wales.

Crown Court Centres

asked the Attorney-General how many Crown Court centres there are in England and Wales.

The Courts Act 1971 provided for Crown Court business to be conducted at any place in England and Wales. The business of the court is conducted at 65 administrative centres and the court sits at 118 separate locations.

House Of Commons

Employment Costs (Ministers And Members)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what are the costs of each grade of Minister and of hon. Members, respectively.

The information is given in the following table:

SALARY AND EMPLOYER'S NATIONAL INSURANCE
AverageTotal
££
Cabinet Ministers20,560452,000
Law Officers17,57070,300
Ministers of State13,590394,100
Parliamentary Secretaries10,230317,100
Whips9,020180,400
Members of Parliament9,5606,072,800

Trade

Man-Made Fibres

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proportion of the United Kingdom market for synthetic fibres is supplied by the United States of America.

It is estimated that 8 per cent. by weight of the United Kingdom market for synthetic man-made fibres was supplied by the United States of America in 1979.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will pubish in the Official Report a table showing the quantity and average value of imports of non-textured yarn of continuous polyester fibres from the Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland and the United States of America in 1979, together with the amount of duty payable in each case; and if he is satisfied that there is not a European Economic Community manmade fibres cartel and that the prices of imports from the Federal Republic of Germany are not higher than would be justified in a competitive market.

Certain EEC producers of synthetic fibres have put proposals to the Commission for rationalisation of capacity and market shares, but there is no evidence that these proposals have affected prices. The synthetic textiles market is highly competitive. The other information requested is as follows:

Non-textured yarn of continuous polyester fibres (SITC(R2) 651.45 and 46) Imports {January-December 1979)
TonnesAverage vale per tonne (£'s cif)
Federal Republic of Germany13,5831,803
Switzerland6,9561,309
United States of America6,494962
A duty of 9 per cent is charged on imports from the United States. No duty is charged on imports from Switzerland or the Federal Republic of Germany.

Tufted Carpets

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the quantity and average value of imports of 659·51 tufted carpets of man-made fibre materials from the European Economic Community, Belgium and the United States of America in 1979 and the estimated amount of duty payable in each case, the quantity and average value of exports of such carpets to other European Economic Community countries, France and Australia; and what evidence he has of restrictive trading practices in the European Economic Community carpet industry.

TUFTED CARPETS, RUGS, MATS AND MATTING OF MAN-MADE TEXTILE MATERIALS (SITC(R2) 659.51)
IMPORTS (JANUARY-DECEMBER 1979)
TonnesThousand square metresAverage value per tonne (£'s cif)Average value per thousand square metres (£'s cif)
EEC21,53310,5571,3962,848
United States of America10,3234,7051,2972,846
Belgium-Luxembourg6,3423,4931,2502,269
EXPORTS (JANUARY-DECEMBER 1979)
TonnesThousand square metresAverage value per tonne (£'s fob)Average value per thousand square metres (£'s fob)
EEC25,59813,5951,1962,252
France2,9271,4581,0532,115
Australia1,5547521,0752,220
A duty of 23 per cent. is charged on imports from the United States.No duty is charged on imports from member States of the EEC.

Tanzania

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what Export Credits Guarantee Department cover is available for exports to Tanzania.

Cover is generally available for exports of United Kingdom goods and services where the credit terms do not exceed 180 days and payment is secured by an irrevocable letter of credit. Cover for such exports on longer credit is considered case by case under section 2 of the Export Guarantees and Overseas Investment Act 1978.

Libraries Of Copyright And Deposit

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will seek to amend the copyright Acts so as to provide that the library of Trinity College, Dublin, shall cease to be a library of copyright and deposit and that the library of Queen's University, Belfast, shall become one.

All aspects of copyright law are under review following the Whitford committee's report. No decisions have yet been made but a green paper will be published later this year.

Gelatine Imports

I have no evidence of restrictive practices in the case of the European carpet industry.The following is the information requested:tions into the possible dumping into the United Kingdom of gelatine manufactured by the French State-owned company Rousselot.

Under the Treaty of Rome, the concept of dumping does not apply between member States of the Community. My Department has already been in discussion with the Federation of Gelatine and Glue Manufacturers on this matter, and has indicated that if the industry has evidence of trade practices by the industries of other member States incompatible with the Treaty, we are ready to help with an approach to the Commission.

Merchant Shipping Fleet

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what the size of the British merchant shipping fleet was on 1 January 1979; and what it was on 1 January 1980.

The size of the United Kingdom registered merchant shipping fleet—covering trading vessels of 500 gross registered tons and over—at 31 December 1978 and at 31 December 1979 was 46·3 and 41·2 million deadweight tons respectively.

Lead Acid Batteries

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list in the OfficialReport the quantity and total value of the import and export of sealed lead acid batteries for the latest available year.

Furness Withy

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will refer the proposed takeover of Furness Withy by Orient Overseas Containers (Holdings) to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

I will announce my decision as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Employment

Male Employees (Productivity)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current male employee activity rate in England, Scotland and Wales, respectively; and what it was in each of the last five years on the most convenient date.

Estimates of male activity rates in England, Scotland and Wales for 1971, 1975 and 1977, the most recent date for which information is available, are shown below:

MALE ACTIVITY RATE—PER CENT·*
197119751977
England81·479·778·6
Scotland81·379·579·0
Wales78·878·775·6
* The percentage of the male population aged 16 and over which is in the civilian labour force. The 1971 figures are based on the census of population and those for 1975 and 1977 on the biennial EEC labour force survey. The latter is a sample survey whose results are subject to sampling errors; small differences in the results, therefore, may not be significant.
† Provisional.

Industrial Processes (Cadmium)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will ask the Health and Safety Commission to conduct an inquiry into the use of cadmium in industrial processes.

I am informed by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that a considerable amount of information is already available on the use of cadmium in industry, that all places of work where cadmium is produced and used are subject to regular inspection by the Health and Safety Executive, and that in recent years special attention has been paid to ensuring that cadmium fume and dusts are being adequately controlled. The executive has published guidance on the precautions needed to safeguard people from occupational exposure to cadmium and a revision of this guidance is currently being prepared. I have no plans at present to request a special inquiry.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many firms in (a) the Walsall area, (b) the West Midlands county council area and (c) the United Kingdom meet the 3 per cent. quota of disabled persons in employment; and what percentage of those eligible this represents.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commision (MSC) that on 1 June 1979, the latest date for which information is available, the number and percentage of employers who were subject to quota, and employed at least 3 per cent. registered disabled people as follows:

Area (1)Number of employers who satisfied quota (2)Percentage of total employers subject to quota represented by figures in column (2)
Walsall10843·9
West Midlands County Council1,26135·9
Great Britain*17,04535·3
* Responsibility for the administration of the quota scheme in Northern Ireland rests with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland·

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many local authorities meet the 3 per cent. quota of disabled persons in employment; and if he will name them.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that on 1 June 1979, the latest date for which information is available, 83 local authorities in Great Britain satisfied the 3 per cent. quota. Tables showing the levels of quota compliance of individual local authorities, and other public sector employers, were published in the November 1979 issue of the Department of Employment Gazette, a copy of which is in the Library.

Weekly Earnings

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the mean and median incomes of each of the metropolitan districts of Greater

GROSS WEEKLY EARNINGS (£) OF FULL-TIME MALE EMPLOYEES AGED 21 AND OVER· WHOSE PAY WAS NOT AFFECTED BY ABSENCE
April 1975April 1976April 1977April 1978April 1979
Greater Manchester Metropolitan County area
Mean58·569·875·886·098·8
Standard deviation24·230·330·035·539·8
Median54·163·870·079·591·8
South East
Mean65·377·084·195·3108·5
Standard deviation32·237·437·343·246·9
Median59·169·476·086·298·9
East Anglia
Mean56·266·472·682·695·9
Standard deviation23·427·028·833·240·2
Median51·460·167·075·888·2
South West
Mean56·267·273·482·592·4
Standard deviation22·326·629·837·534·0
Median51·961·567·175·986·5
West Midlands
Mean58·468·976·385·798·1
Standard deviation21·123·625·929·833·9
Median55·565·072·381·492·7
East Midlands
Mean58·667·374·585·497·1
Standard deviation28·523·626·735·635·4
Median53·962·769·979·491·3
Yorkshire and Humberside
Mean58·468·975·486·199·1
Standard deviation22·325·827·134·637·0
Median54·464·170·480·093·2
North West (including Greater Manchester)
Mean59·170·376·887·199·2
Standard deviation24·328·429·534·039·0
Median54·664·771·281·092·9
North
Mean60·571·477·588·499·7
Standard deviation21·825·327·031·236·5
Median56·666·872·583·693·4
Wales
Mean59·069·876·586·197·6
Standard deviation20·626·127·145·035·2
Median55·465·471·780·792·6
Scotland
Mean60·371·678·388·5101·2
Standard deviation24·530·132·337·542·3
Median56·265·871·881·593·3
Northern Ireland
Mean54·768·672·181·593·4
Standard deviation24·231·532·734·940·1
Median49·961·565·074·484·3
United Kingdom
Mean60·771·778·588·9101·2
Standard deviation26·630·631·838·440·8
Median55·865·772·381·993·8

Source: New Earnings Survey.

Manchester and their standard deviations and of the regions of the United Kingdom as a whole for the past five years.

Figures in respect of individual metropolitan districts within Greater Manchester are not readily available. Figures for the last five years, however, are available in respect of average earnings for Greater Manchester as a whole and for the standard regions of the United Kingdom as follows:

Figures on incomes, as distinct from earnings, by region, and so on, are not available later than in respect of the fiscal year 1977–78. These are published in "Regional Statistics 15", table 13.4.

Differences in average earnings between areas will reflect differences in industrial and occupational structure, and so on, and do not necessarily indicate differences in earnings for comparable jobs.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the average gross weekly earnings for full-time adult employees, male and female, in all the regions of Great Britain.

The figures in respect of April 1979 are as follows:

AVERAGE GROSS WEEKLY EARNINGS OF FULL·TIME ADULT EMPLOYEES WHOSE EARNINGS WERE NOT AFFECTED BY ABSENCE
RegionMen aged 21 and overWomen aged 18 and over
££
South East108·568·4
East Anglia95·960·2
South West92·460·0
West Midlands98·161·4
East Midlands97·159·7
Yorkshire and Humberside99·159·4
North West99·260·5
North99·760·6
Wales97·661·4
Scotland101·260·4

Source: New Earnings Survey.

Differences in average earnings between areas will reflect differences in industrial and occupational structure, and so on, and do not necessarily indicate differences in earnings for comparable jobs.

Closed Shop Agreements

asked the Secretary of State for Employment which European Economic Community member States operate closed shop agreements.

I understand that, apart from the United Kingdom, closed shops operate in some areas of industry in Belgium, France, the Republic of Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands, although they are unlawful in most Community member countries with the exception in certain circumstances of the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report those countries in which a closed shop is legal.

My Department does not collect comprehensive information on industrial relations law in other countries, and little information is readily available in respect of countries outside the European Economic Community. Closed shop arrangements are unlawful in most Community member countries, with the exception in certain circumstances of the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

Industrial Tribunals

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many appeals were made to industrial tribunals in each of the metropolitan districts of Greater Manchester and the United Kingdom as a whole in each of the last five years; what were the causes of complaint; and in how many the appeals were upheld.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara) on 11th February 1980.—[Vol. 978, c. 450–52.]

Redundancies

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many redundancies in the Bury and Radcliffe area have been notified to his Department since 3 May 1979.

From the beginning of May 1979 to 21 February 1980, 1,173 proposed redundancies involving 34 firms in the Bury and Radcliffe area were notified to the Department under the redundancy handling provisions of the Employment Protection Act 1975.During the same period 556 redundancies at 11 firms were formally withdrawn.

Nuclear Installation Inspectorate

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is the establishment in each of the main grades in the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate;(2) if he will list in the

Official Report the principal grades of officers in the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the salary range applicable to each grade;

(3) what was the shortfall of staff, by number and by percentage, in each of the main grades of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate at the end of January;

(4) if he will list all the main sites, installations and laboratories which are subject to surveillance by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate;

(5) how many full-time qualified ( a) physicists and ( b) engineers employed by the Nuclear Inspectorate;

(6) what are the principal base locations of the staff of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the numbers involved at each main location;

(7) what is the level of salary which a career officer in the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate might expect to attain by the age of 40 years;

(8) if he will list the type of qualified staff, such as engineers, physicists, chemists or metallurgists, most difficult to recruit into the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

Unemployed Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will esti-

GroupDate of reference
Professions Supplementary to Medicine27 April 1979
Ambulance Officers1 May 1979
University Technicians1 May 1979
Municipal Airport Manuals2 May 1979
British Waterways Board Salaried Staff12 June 1979
Primary and Secondary Teachers (England and Wales)26 July 1979
Further Education Teachers (England and Wales)26 July 1979
Scottish School and Further Education Teachers26 July 1979
Scottish Academic Staff in Central Institutions26 July 1979
Scottish Lecturers in Colleges of Education26 July 1979
University Teachers7 January 1980
Local Authority Craftsmen (Scotland):
Electricians22 August 1979
Building and Civil Engineering Employees19 October 1979
Plumbers6 December 1979
Local Authority Craftsmen (England and Wales):
Electricians9 October 1979
Building Trade Operatives9 October 1979
Scottish Local Authority Chief Officials18 September 1979
Justices' Clerks' Assistants (outside Inner London)4 October 1979
New Towns Staff12 October 1979

Unfair Dismissals

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how large a sample of unfair dismissal cases was taken in 1978, from which his Department has estimated that applicants were mate the numbers who will be unemployed in February 1981; what percentage increase this represents; what discussions he has had with the Manpower Services Commission concerning the numbers who will be unemployed in February 1981; and if he will make a statement.

Present indications suggest that unemployment is likely to be on a rising trend in the months immediately ahead. But it would be unprofitable to speculate on the likely level in February 1981. I have had a number of meetings with the Manpower Services Commission on a range of matters, including the unemployment prospect generally and the development of its programmes. One of these is the youth opportunities programme, which, as already announced, will be expanded by 25 per cent. to provide more opportunities for unemployed young people.

Clegg Commission

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the date of each outstanding reference to the Clegg Commission.

The dates on which the outstanding references to the Standing Commission on pay comparability were made are set out below:successful in approximately 35 per cent. of cases in which they had legal representation and 20 per cent. of cases in which they they were represented by their trade union; by whom such sample was taken and what other information is available as a result of that investigation.

The sample to which I referred was a 10 per cent. sample of unfair dismissal cases taken by my

UNFAIR DISMISSAL CASES—1978 10 PER CENT, SAMPLE APPLICANTS' REPRESENTATION AT TRIBUNAL HEARING BY OUTCOME
Type of representationTotal all tribunal hearingsCases dismissedCases upheld
Self represented483346(71·6%)137(28·4%)
By Trade Union187147(78·6%)40(21·4%)
By Lawyer295185(62·7%)110(37·3%)
Other8054(67·5%)26(32·5%)
Representative not present1514(93·3%)1(6·7%)
Not known6950(72·5%)19(27·5%)
Sample Total1,129796(70·5%)333(29·5%)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how large a sample of unfair dismissal cases was taken in 1978 suggesting that respondents with legal representation were successful in 73 per cent. of cases; and how many and in what overall percentage of cases respondents were successful during that year.

The sample taken was 10 per cent. of unfair dismissal cases in 1978. Of all unfair dismissal cases heard by industrial tribunals in 1978, the respondents were successful in 8,551—72 per cent.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will take a sample of unfair dismissal cases in 1979, to ascertain what percentage of applicants were successful when they had legal representation and what percentage when they were represented by their trade union; and what percentage of respondents were successful when represented and when not represented.

My Department has taken such a sample but the data have not yet been processed, and accordingly I regret that the information is not yet available.

Lomé Convention

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement about the effect of the non-discrimination provisions between European Economic Community and ACP workers in the new Lomé convention.

The non-discrimination provisions of the new Lomé convention between the European Community

Department. The full information available about representation of applicants from that sample is as follows:

and ACP States which relates to workers are guaranteed here by the Race Relations Act 1976 and by existing social security legislation.

Employed Persons (Purchasing Power)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how long a person earning the average wage would have to work to purchase 10 gallons of petrol in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and West Germany, respectively.

Following is the latest available information based on average industrial gross hourly earnings.Caution is required in making comparisons based on these figures, which are before tax, because of differences in national systems of remuneration and taxation and in the definitions and methods for compiling the statistics.Minutes of work required to earn (

a) (before tax) the price of 10 gallons of "four star" or equivalent grade petrol in October 1978.

United Kingdom259
France419
Italy (b)565
Germany (FR)213

Notes:

  • (a) manual workers on average gross hourly earnings in manufacturing, mining, quarrying and construction industries;
  • (b) October 1977.
  • Sources:

    Department of Energy.

    Eurostat: Wages and incomes rapid information sheet 3–1979.

    Labour Force (Lancashire)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report the numbers of males and females unemployed, and the percentages, in the North-East Lancashire sub region, in each of the years 1970 to 1979.

    NumbersPercentage rates
    MalesFemalesMalesFemales
    June 19702,6207322·20·9
    June 19715,3621,1454·31·4
    June 19724,9951,1974·01·5
    June 19732,7025792·20·7
    June 19742,4305092·00·6
    June 19755,6461,3874·51·6
    June 19768,7552,9446·93·4
    June 19778,1443,4426·54·0
    June 19788,1343,8216·44·4
    June 19796,5583,5385·24·1

    Health And Safety (Agriculture Industry)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many accidents there were in agriculture in 1978 and 1979, county by county; and how many health and safety prosecutions and convictions there were county by county in 1979 or up to the most recent date in 1979 for which figures are available.

    [pursuant to his reply, 22 February 1980, c. 296–7]: The num

    Fatal accidentsNon-fatal accidentsProsecutions and convictions in 1979
    County19781979*19781979†Prosecutions†Convictions†
    SCOTLAND
    Border1110044
    Central149
    Dumfries and Galloway1413438
    Fife18134
    Grampian312876
    Highland11462622
    Lothian225528
    Orkney Isles141
    Shetland Isles
    Strathclyde21114312
    Tayside21015713
    Western Isles
    ENGLAND
    Avon15035311
    Bedfordshire12322
    Berkshire301611
    Buckinghamshire12015
    Cambridgeshire11310549
    Cheshire146673922
    Cleveland11711
    Cornwall32815511
    Cumbria12897922
    Derbyshire14020
    Devon5716611536
    Dorset797212
    Durham3473111
    East Sussex3223
    Essex111477611
    Gloucestershire119363
    Greater London13
    Greater Manchester3112812
    Hampshire944925
    Herefordshire and Worcestershire42101103510

    [pursuant to his reply, 21 February 1980, c. 201–2]: Following is the information at June in each of the years specified:bers of fatal accidents in agriculture and of non-fatal accidents to farmworkers in Great Britain in 1978 and 1979 are detailed by county in the attached list. Also listed are the numbers of prosecutions undertaken and convictions secured by Her Majesty's Agricultural Inspectorate in 1979.As will be seen from the footnotes to the table the information for 1979 is not yet complete.

    Fatal accidents

    Non-fatal accidents

    Prosecutions and convictions in 1979

    County

    1978

    1979*

    1978

    1979†

    Prosecutions†

    Convictions†

    Hertfordshire25335
    Humberside61167511
    Isle of Wight137
    Kent33195136613
    Lancashire216831
    Leicestershire1384022
    Lincolnshire334121113
    Merseyside121158
    Norfolk232749711
    North Yorkshire44180146719
    Northamptonshire291426
    Northumberland11918412
    Nottinghamshire22845413
    Oxfordshire2663514
    Shropshire219857621
    Somersetshire177285
    South Yorkshire12613
    Staffordshire22574213
    Suffolk31167114
    Surrey143832
    Tyne and Wear181523
    Warwickshire331514
    West Midlands107
    West Sussex27945
    West Yorkshire3704324
    Wiltshire17645
    WALES
    Clwyd11302422
    Dyfed43855834
    Gwent171122
    Gwynedd12301626
    Mid Glamorgan1511
    Powys34493313
    South Glamorgan31
    West Glamorgan1813
    Totals73924,6062,97589195
    * Inquest verdicts are still awaited on two other deaths in 1979 in Cleveland and Lincolnshire. The possibility of further fatal accident reports for 1979 cannot yet be discounted.
    † The non-fatal accident and the prosecution and conviction figures for 1979 relate only 10 the period 1 January to 30 September.

    Disabled Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many Government Departments meet the 3 per cent. quota for disabled persons in employment; and if he is satisfied with the figures.

    I have been asked to reply.The latest available figures show that 1 major Department and 7 minor Departments—that is those with less than 1,000 staff—are employing 3 per cent. or more registered disabled persons. These figures relate to those disabled people who are known to be registered. There are many disabled people who choose not to register or who have registered and have chosen not to disclose the fact to their employer.

    I am satisfied that Departments are making every effort to ensure that opportunities to employ registered disabled persons are not overlooked. All Departments are regularly reminded of their individual responsibilities in this field and the need not to relax their efforts. In order to maintain impetus, my Department:

  • (a) has issued a code of practice to all Departments;
  • (b) has asked Departments to appoint departmental disabled persons officers with full responsibility for the recruitment and career development of registered disabled persons;
  • (c) issues to all Departments an annual newsletter on the disabled;
  • (d) holds meetings of groups of departmental disabled persons officers with general responsibility for the recruitment and employment of the disabled.
  • The Civil Service does, in fact, employ more registered disabled persons than any other single employer—over 12,500 at the last count. In the recruiting field the Civil Service specifically encourages applications for employment from registered disabled people. Where necessary, special arrangements are made for registered disabled candidates to attend tests and interviews, for example, in wheelchairs; and those competing for clerical vacancies are generally allowed to take "short-answer" tests if they lack the necessary qualifications.

    Scotland

    Housing Standards

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the type, age and tenure of the dwellings in Scotland below the tolerable standard, and an estimate of the number of dwellings in Scotland below the tolerable standard that are (a) vacant (b) suitable for improvement and (c) suitable for demolition.

    The information available is shown in the table below. It is extracted from returns submitted by local authorities and relates to the situation at March 1979.

    Housing below the tolerable standard at March 1979
    Number of Dwellings below the tolerable standard
    Total Number120,315
    Dwelling type
    Houses24.090
    Flats74,115
    Maisonettes480
    Not known21,630
    Age of dwelling
    Before 191983,026
    1919–19453,972
    1946 or later225
    Not known33,092
    Tenure
    a. Public sector
    Local authority3,185
    New town26
    SSHA37
    Housing association890
    Other public sector701
    b. Private sector
    Owner occupied33,031
    Private rented25,573
    Not known56,872
    It is estimated that some 92,000 are suitable for improvement and some 10,000 appropriate for demolition but information under these heads is not complete. Nor is information available on the number of dwellings which are vacant.

    Tutorial Nursing Staff (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he is taking to improve pay and conditions for tutorial nursing staff.

    The negotiation of pay and conditions of service is a matter for the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council.

    Kirkcaldy District Council (Rate Support Grant)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the amount of rate support grant to be paid to Kirkcaldy district council in the current financial year and the amount of grant that would be payable in the year 1980–81 assuming that the district council fixed a rate of 10, 12, 14 or 16p.

    It would be premature for me to estimate grant payable to an individual authority for 1980–81 before all authorities have fixed their rate poundages.

    Microelectronics Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what efforts he is making to attract the microelectronics industry to Dundee.

    My Department and the Scottish Development Agency are making every effort to attract new investment in the microelectronics industry in Scotland. In suggesting locations to potential investors, the advantages of special development areas, including Dundee, are always highlighted.

    Textile Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what have been the number of people in the textile industry in Dundee in each of the past five years; how many have been made redundant in the same period; and how many are currently employed on short-time.

    Information is not available in the precise form requested. The following table gives the numbers employed in the textile industry in Dundee—available only to 1977—and the number of textile workers involved in redundancies of 10 or more notified to the Manpower Services Commission as having taken place in Dundee. Information on short-time working in local office areas is not available.

    YearNumbers employedNumbers involved in redundancies
    19757,800483
    19767,400171
    19776,800*985
    1978Not available618
    1979Not available249
    * This figure is provisional.

    Social Work Services (Tayside)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the level of provision of social work services by Tayside region; and what is his estimate of the annual cost to Tayside health board in terms of the care of the elderly resulting from the level of services being provided by Tayside region.

    The level of provision of the services for which they are responsible is a matter for local authorities themselves to determine in the light of local needs and conditions. Expenditure by health boards, which must also decide their own priorities, is governed by annual cash-limited allocations from my Department. Identifiable expenditure on health services for the elderly by the Tayside health board amounted to some £7 million in 1977–78, the latest year for which figures on this basis are readily available, but it is not possible to estimate the financial effect on Tayside health board of the level of services for the elderly provided by Tayside regional council.

    Training Opportunities Programme And Community Industry Service

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what will be the effect in Dundee in terms of cash budget and number of places created by Government cut-backs in the training opportunities programme and the community industry service.

    There will be no reduction in the number of places provided in the Dundee area under either the training opportunities scheme or Community Industry in 1980–81. Provision is in fact being made for 1,330 entrants to the training opportunities scheme compared with 1,240 in 1979–80.

    Dundee Crematorium

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if the Government will give financial assistance to Dundee district council should it take over the running of Dundee crematorium from Dundonian Ltd.; and, if so, how much assistance will be given.

    Dundee district council has not approached me with any plans to take over the running of Dundee crematorium. There is no provision for Government assistance to local authorities specifically for crematoria. Any capital expenditure would have to be found within the council's block allocation for general services. Current expenditure would be relevant expenditure for the purposes of rate support grant.

    Local Authorities (Expenditure)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in view of his contemplation of action against Lothian region, which intends spending above Government guideline figures, he intends taking action against councils which have decided to spend below Government guideline figures.

    Educational Institutions

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of students in each Scottish educational institution, excluding the universities in further and higher education.

    Plant Breeding Station

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, prior to a final decision confirming the removal of the Scottish plant breeding station from the Pentlandfield site to the proposed amalgamated body at Mylnefield, Dundee, he will give an assurance that a full and up-dated breakdown of the cost of removal will be provided.

    My decision to arrange for the amalgamation of the Scottish plant breeding station and the Scottish horticultural research institute is not subject to confirmation. The preparation of the related programme of capital investment is primarily a matter for the governing body to be appointed for the amalgamated institutes. Consultations between the directors of the two institutes and their staffs are in progress.

    Defence

    Uranium Plant, Capenhurst

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if any of the enriched uranium produced at Capenhurst will be used for nuclear weapons.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Critchley) on 15 January 1980.—[Vol. 976, c. 712–13.]

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what statutory procedures exist for public objections to the new developments at Capenhurst; how long the new development will take to build; and who will own and be responsible for the new plant.

    The proposal for a new defence plant at Capenhurst, like all such proposals by Government Departments, is the subject of non-statutory consultation with the local planning authority to whom objections can be put forward. The new plant is expected to come into service in the mid-1980s. It will be owned by the Ministry of Defence and operated by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total cost of building the next extension at Capenhurst; and if this cost will form part of the Government's estimated budget of £4,000 million to £5,000 million allocated to maintaining the nuclear forces.

    It is not normal practice to reveal the cost of constructing individual defence plants.

    Western Europe (Nuclear Warheads)

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the United States of America offer to withdraw 1,000 nuclear warheads from Western Europe was made; what conditions were attached to this offer; and what reply has been received from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

    At the joint meeting of NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers on 12 December Alliance Ministers supported a United States offer to negotiate with the Soviet Union on the limitation of United States and Soviet land-based long-range theatre nuclear forces. This offer was formally made by the United States shortly thereafter, but was rejected by the Soviet Union on 3 January. The Ministers concerned also endorsed an un conditional decision by the United States to withdraw 1,000 nuclear warheads from its stockpile in Europe. Despite the Russian rejection of the arms control offer this withdrawal will still be implemented.

    Wales

    Welsh Development Agency

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he will take to strengthen his control over the commitment of public funds by the Welsh Development Agency, in the light of its experience with its investment of £2 million in P. Leiner and son, made one month after the accounts of that company had been qualified by its auditors; and, in particular, whether he will ensure that the audited accounts of companies are made available to his Department before the Welsh Development Agency proceeds with commitments of £1 million or more.

    Action is already being taken in the Industry Bill and in the new draft investment guidelines which gives me adequate control over the commitment of public funds by the agency. As I informed the House on 18 February, I have also asked the agency to concentrate its reduced investment budget on the small business sector.—[Vol. 979, c. 4.]

    Health Services

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects the review of health services in Wales to be completed.

    After considering comments received in response to the consultative paper "Patients First", we hope to reach firm conclusions on the structure and management arrangements of the Health Service in Wales with no undue delay.

    Llanelli Skilcentre

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales, in view of the importance of the Llanelli skillcentre to the whole economy of Dyfed, when he will be in a position to announce a definite decision as to its future.

    The Manpower Services Commission has announced that local interests are being consulted before any decision is taken.

    Unemployment

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the latest unemployment rate of the Caernarfon, Pwllheli and Portmadog employment exchanges, respectively.

    Unemployment rates are available only for travelto-work areas. On 10 January 1980, the rates for the Caernarfon travel-to-work area and the Pwllheli/Portmadog travel-to-work area were 8·8 per cent. and 12·1 per cent. respectively.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many people have become unemployed in Wales since 3 May 1979; and if he will make a statement.

    Between May 1979 and January 1980, the level of unemployment in Wales, seasonally adjusted and excluding school leavers, rose by 500 from 81,400 to 81,900.

    Employment (Caernarvon)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number of new jobs which have been created and the number of redundancies which have occured in the manufacturing sector for the Caernarfon employment exchange area over the past 12 months.

    Information is not available in the form requested. However, as regards redundancies, I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that, on the basis of notifications involving 10 or more workers, the number of redundancies recorded as due to occur between February 1979 and January 1980 was 19.In the same period an advance factory allocation and offers of selective financial assistance were made for projects which were expected eventually to employ 282 people.

    Local Government (Expenditure)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of local government expenditure on staff wages and salaries in Wales in 1978–79, 1979–80 and 1980–81, respectively.

    The provisional estimate of local government expenditure on employee costs in Wales in 1978–79 is £584 million. Estimates for 1979–80 and 1980–81 are not yet available.

    Job Vacancies

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many job vacancies there are in Wales at the present time; what were the corresponding figures last year; and if he will make a statement.

    At 4 January 1980, there were 7,323 notified vacancies remaining unfilled at employment offices and 391 at careers offices. The corresponding figures for January 1979 were 7,344 and 434 respectively.

    Employment (Deeside Area)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what level of additional unemployment he expects in the Deeside travel-to-work area consequent upon the closure of steelmaking at British Steel Corporation, Shotton, by the end of the current year.

    I refer the hon. Member to my answer to his question of 26 November 1979.—[Vol. 974, c. 457–8.]

    Reclamation Scheme (Greenfield Valley)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the starting and completion date of the Holywell, Greenfield Valley, reclamation scheme; what is its current estimated cost; and if he will make a statement.

    Lead Acid Batteries

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what financial support is being given by the Welsh Development Agency for the development of the manufacture of sealed lead acid battery containers by Japanese firms.

    None.

    GradeAverage Annual Salary Cost at1.1.80Total overall Annual Salary Cost as at1.1.80
    ££
    Principal14,61267,288,300
    Senior Principal18,37013,373,400
    Assistant Secretary21,04824,857,700
    Lower Executive Directing Band21,896394,100
    Middle Executive Directing Band21,9621,142,000
    Under Secretary21,54013,096,300
    Deputy Secretary25,2663,992,000
    Permanent Secretary31,9781,119,200
    Average salary cost comprises salaries, London weighting, employers' national insurance contributions and superannuation benefits under the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.

    Energy

    Nuclear Waste

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether radioactive wastes, now being reprocessed in the United Kingdom for Japan and other foreign countries at Windscale, will be returned to their countries of origin for long-term disposal; and what happens to the plutonium and uranium recovered.

    The only irradiated fuel of foreign origin now being reprocessed in the United Kingdom is that arising from the Tokai Mura—Japan— and Latina—Italy—contracts. These were concluded before 1976, that is, before BNFL was required to ensure that new reprocessing contracts with overseas utilities contained clauses enabling BNFL to return to the customer the radioactive wast remaining after reprocessing. Under these two contracts the waste is retained in the United Kingdom, whilst uranium and plutonium are made available to the customer in accordance with the contractual terms and under appropriate international safeguards. The volume of waste which will remain in the United Kingdom

    Civil Service

    Senior Staff (Employment Costs)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what are the average and total overall employment costs of civil servants in each of the grades from principal to permanent under-secretary of state.

    The information is set out in the following table:will be small in comparison to that arising from the United Kingdom civil nuclear programme.

    Welsh Language

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy in what ways his Department gives recognition to the Welsh language; and if he will list the statutory forms used by his Department which are either bilingual or have Welsh versions.

    Facilities are provided as necessary for Welsh speakers at, for example, inquiries into wayleaves for electricity lines in Wales. My Department issues only a limited number of statutory forms. None of them is printed in Welsh.

    Nuclear Power (Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total inclusive fuel costs for advance gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations on the same basis as is provided for magnox power stations in table 11 of the Central Electricity Generating Board Year Book.

    I am advised that the CEGB is proposing to publish information on AGR generating costs, analagous to that published for magnox stations, in its annual report for 1979–80. In the interim I have asked the chairman of the CEGB to write to the hon. Member in the subject.

    Electricity Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the total amount of electricity generated in Wales in 1979; how much was generated by nuclear, coal and hydroelectric plants, respectively; what was the total consumed in Wales in 1979; and how these figures compare with those for 1967.

    The total amount of electricity generated in Wales in 1979 compared with 1967 was as follows:

    GWh
    19671979
    Total electricity generated14,71629,770
    Of which:
    Coal fired plant*11,25810,885
    Nuclear2,6129,461
    Hydro232232
    Pumped storage408322
    * On a heat apportioned basis for mixed-fired stations.
    Total sales to consumers in Wales in 1967 were 10,788 million KWh. The comparable figure for 1979 is not yet available. In 1978 total generation was 26,494 GWh with total sales to consumers in Wales, of 13,229 million GWh.

    Miners (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what reply he received to his request of 28 January to the chairman of the National Coal Board, asking him to send to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West details of the salary increases awarded to miners.

    Sir Derek Ezra sent me a copy of his letter to the hon. Member giving the details for which he had asked.

    Gas Distribution

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will indicate the amount of gas entering transmission lines and (a) the amount remitted to storage, (b) the amount consumed and (c) the amount lost through leaks in the transmission system or unaccounted for;(2) when the first gas transmission line was laid in the United Kingdom; what proportion of the network is (

    a) over 100 years and ( b) over 50 years old; and what

    is the sum set aside annually for replacement of the existing system;

    (3) what part of the gas network is covered by polyvinylchloride or polypropylene pipes;

    (4) what is the prime cause of loss of gas ( a) the age of the system, ( b) chemicals in the soil, ( c) subsidence or ( d) third party intervention;

    (5) what is the total mileage of gas pipes in the system and the average length of replacement per annum;

    (6) asked whether there is street mapping of gas pipes; and for how long it has been in operation.

    These are matters for the British Gas Corporation and I shall ask the chairman to write to my hon. Friend.

    Uranium

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the countries of origin from which the United Kingdom buys its uranium.

    The United Kingdom currently imports uranium from Canada and Namibia.

    Uranium Plant, Capenhurst

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if Urenco is satisfied with the security arrangements as Capenhurst; and whether non-British nationals have been or are now employed at the plant.

    The UKAEA is designated, under the Treaty of Almelo, as the agency responsible for the implementation of security procedures at the civil uranium enrichment plant at Capenhurst, which is owned by Urenco (UK). I am satisfied, on the basis of advice from the UKAEA, with the security arrangements there.I have been assured that apart from secondments of West German and Dutch nationals employed by the partner enterprises and holding appropriate security clearances, only UK nationals are and have been employed on confidential certrifuge work there.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if the general public around Capenhurst have been told what to do in the event of an emergency; and, if so, if he will publish that advice;(2) if he will describe the safety measures at Capenhurst in the event of a leak; and, in particular, the plans to evacuate the population living in the immediate vicinity; the contingency plans for the workers; if Urenco has reported that it is satisfied with the local relief agencies' plans for such an emergency; if there have been any dummy runs; and, if so, how often are these staged.

    At Capenhurst, as at other major sites licensed under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, plans to deal with any accident or emergency on the site have been drawn up, and approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). These plans are required to be rehearsed by site personnel each year under the observation of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. The nature of the response to any incident depends upon the safety significance of the incident concerned.Operators of licensed nuclear installations are in addition required to ensure that plans to deal with the unlikely event of an Emergency having implications beyond the boundary of the site are also agreed with the appropriate local authorities and emergency services. Descriptions of emergency plans are lodged at public libraries in the areas which might be affected.The licensed site at Capenhurst is operated solely by British Nuclear Fuels Limited. The question of emergency arrangements is one in which the operator has a direct responsibility to the HSE.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will report on the recent leak of gas at Capenhurst; whether there was an inquiry on the accident; what was the nature of the inquiry and by whom it was conducted; whether the inquiry was reported; and, if so, whether he will publish a copy of the report.

    On 6 December 1979 British Nuclear Fuels Limited—BNFL—reported to my right hon. Friend that a release of uranium hexafluoride gas had occurred from a test rig at its Capenhurst plant that morning. The leakage, which resulted from a fractured pipeline, was quickly isolated and air- borne contamination, which was detected in the immediate vicinity of the building concerned, quickly fell to a low level There was no significant radiological or chemical effect to personnel on the site as a result of the release. The general public was not affected.I understand that BNFL has held an internal inquiry into the cause of the release, as a result of which certain recommendations have been made for action to minimise the possibility of a recurrence of the incident.It is not intended to publish the report of this inquiry, but the incident will be reported in the Health and Safety Executive's fourth "Quarterly Statement on Nuclear Incidents" for 1979, which is to be published shortly.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the capacity of the Capenhurst plant; and what is the present output.

    Excluding a small pilot plant, the Capenhurst gas centrifuge enrichment plant currently has an output and capacity of about 200 tonnes separative work per year.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what defence arrangements operate to protect Capenhurst from a possible attack from the ground and from the air.

    Strict security arrangements apply at Capenhurst and these include procedures for responding to an attack on the site. It would not be in the public interest to reveal details of these.

    Uranium Enrichment Plant (Lifespan)

    asked the Secretary of State for energy what is the lifespan of a uranium enrichment plant.

    The lifespan of a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant is expected to be at least 10 years.

    Urenco

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total output of URENCO; if he will list the countries to which supplies are sent; and whether these countries have to fulfil any conditions prior to receiving supplies.

    URENCO'S uranium enrichment capacity now totals about 460 tonnes separative work per year—including the pilot plants. During 1979 total output was about 390 tonnes separative work.So far, URENCO has supplied low enriched uranium to utilities in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, for use in domestic nuclear power programmes. URENCO have also signed a contract with Nuclebras in Brazil for the supply of low enriched uranium. All contract contain appropriate safeguards clauses.The intergovernmental safeguards and non-proliferation conditions relating to the Brazilian contract were agreed between the three Governments of the collaboration—the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands—and Brazil, Cmnd. 7643 sets out the texts of the intergovernmental exchange of notes between the United Kingdom and Brazil concerning the application of safeguards to the exports of enriched uranium, under the contract, from the United Kingdom to Brazil.

    Uranium Carrying Vessels (Safety)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if vessels in which uranium hexofluoride and enriched uranium hexofluoride are carried would be able to withstand sabotage by terrorists using bazooka-type anti-tank weapons.

    Oil Recovery

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what research he is sponsoring to improve capability in North Sea oil projects, such as the use of steam to reduce viscosity of oil; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether he is funding experimental work in the fracturing of rock, with a view to improving the flow potential of oil at great depths.

    The Department has, under the aegis of the Offishore Energy Technology Board, initiated a relatively modest programme of research which is being undertaken by a group based at the Atomic Energy Establishment at Winfrith and at a number of universities. The work at Winfrith has concentrated on defining the most promising areas for research which might suit the conditions likely to be experienced in the North Sea and seeing how this might link in with work already undertaken within the industry industry itself.It is the intention that the programme of work which emerges from these preliminary studies be carried out in close co-operation with the oil industry and include fundamental work appropriate to the universities. The programme is expected to get under way later this year. The use of steam will be one technique studied but this will have a relatively low priority at this stage. It is not the intention to carry out any experimental work in the fracturing of rocks; methods for fracturing are not of general interest for North Sea reservoirs.

    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy how far the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has responsibility for monitoring the execution of obligations entered into by Her Majesty's Government under treaties such as Euratom or the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement.

    Within the Health and Safety Executive, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) is responsible for ensuring compliance with nuclear health and safety standards at United Kingdom institutions. In carrying out this function the NII adheres to the basic health and safety standards laid down under the Euratom Treaty. There are no provisions in the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons which come within the ambit of the NII.

    Cellular Waste (Oil Production)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what investigation his Department has made of Manchester university's project to produce oil from cellular waste; and if he will make a statement.

    A number of methods for producing liquid fuels from biomass—organic wastes, sorted refuse and crops grown specifically for energy purposes—are being investigated in detail by my Department as part of its biofuels R and D programme. The production of oil from cellular waste is one possible conversion route which the Department's energy technology support unit is considering and the unit's staff have spoken recently to the Manchester university team about their laboratory project.Work on cellular waste conversion is at a very early research stage and an efficient, economic conversion process for the bulk supply of liquid fuels has not yet been identified.

    National Finance

    British Petroleum

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish figures in the Official Report showing to what extent British Petroleum shares have been sold to small investors; and how the figures for each size group of shares sold compares with the previous sale.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what effect the sale of the public stake in British Petroleum has had on the proportion of shares in the company in foreign ownership.

    This information is not available. The hon. Member should be aware that, unlike the 1977 sale, BP shares were not offered for sale on overseas exchanges in the November 1979 sale.

    Nationalised Industries

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums of public expenditure as defined in Cmnd. 7439 were paid between 1974–75 and 1979–80, or the latest year for which figures are available, to each nationalised industry; what sums of capital debt and revenue deficits were written off for these industries between these years (a) in money terms and (b) in 1979 survey prices; and what was, for each nationalised industry, the cost of the above in money terms and at 1979 survey prices per family in the United Kingdom.

    Income Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how muct additional revenue could be raised by abolishing the income tax charge of 25 per cent. on the first £750 of taxable income.

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

    European Community

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will tabulate the figures for the years 1978–79 and 1979–80 and those projected for 1980–81 by European Economic Community country of (a) net contribution to the European Economic Community, (b) gross contribution, (c) gross receipts, (d) receipts through the common agricultural policy, (e) gross receipts less common agricultural policy receipts, (f) common agricultural policy receipts as a percentage of gross contribution, (g) what each country's reduced gross contribution would be, or would have been, if the overall common agricultural policy cost were deducted on a pro rata basis rated against each country's gross national product and (h) what each country's net contribution would be or would have been in similar circumstances if there were no common agricultural policy receipts, monetary compensation amounts to be treated as a payment to the originating country.

    [pursuant to his reply, 5 February 1980, c. 134–5]: The information in the table below is based on figures from Commission sources, which are only available on a calendar year basis. The figures in lines (g) and (h) respectively in the table do not truly represent what gross and net contributions by member States would be if the costs and benefits from the common agricultural policy were excluded from the EEC budget because these contributions depend on the flow of levies and duties which are independent of the components of the EEC budget.

    £million§

    1978

    Belgium/Luxembourg

    Denmark

    Germany

    France

    Ireland

    Italy

    Netherlands

    United Kingdom

    (a) Net budget transfer*†-253-412+281+55-356+500-146+626
    (b) Gross contributions†5241822,4821,537461,1528221,224
    (c) Receipts7775942,2011,482402652968598
    (d) CAP receipts‡4285491,7591,205378517859321
    (e) Other receipts3494544227724135109277
    (f) CAP receipts as a percentage of gross contribution81·7301·670·978·4821·744·9104·526·2
    (g) Gross contribution less GNP share of CAP expenditure218135431019360423287
    (h) Gross contribution less GNP share of CAP expenditure less other receipts-131-32+101-176-15+225+314+10

    £million§

    1979

    Belgium Luxembourg

    Denmark

    Germany

    France

    Ireland

    Italy

    Netherlands

    United Kingdom

    (a) Net budget transfer*†-368-279+737+120-362-265-114+845
    (b) Gross contribution†5832142,6161,708641,0348201,502
    (c) Receipts9514931,8791,5884261,299934657
    (d) CAP receipts†3783201,5641,326210931729340
    (e) Other receipts573173315262216368205317
    (f) CAP receipts as a percentage of gross contribution64·8149·559·877·6328·790·088·922·6
    (g) Gross contribution less GNP share of CAP expenditure2763768021422136422448
    (h) Gross contribution less GNP share of CAP expenditure less other receipts-297-136+365-48-194-232+217+131

    £million§

    1980

    Belgium/Luxembourg

    Denmark

    Germany

    France

    Ireland

    Italy

    Netherlands

    United Kingdom

    (a) Net budget transfer*-542-240+833+96-342-448-250+1,310
    (b) Gross contributions6762643,2832,179981,2569112,233
    (c) Receipts1,2185042,4502,0834401,7041,161923
    (d) CAP receipts‡5084082,0551,7372731,200946439
    (e) Other receipts71096395346167504215484
    (f) CAP receipts as a percentage of gross contribution75·1154·562·679·7278·695·5103·819·7
    (g) Gross contribution less GNP share of CAP expenditure2944185826846162412975
    (h) Gross contribution less GNP share of CAP expenditure less other receipts-416-55+463-78-121-342+197+491
    * + Net contribution; - net receipt·
    † After refunds under Article 131 of the Treaty of Accession.
    ‡ Receipts from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund.
    § Converted from EUA using the following exchange rates: 1978 £1=1·5062 EUA 1979 £1=1·5875 EUA. 1980 £1=1·4813 EUA.

    Stamp Duty

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much the present £15,000 threshold for payment of stamp duty on house purchase would have have to be increased to take account of movement in (a) the general index of retail prices and (b) average house prices since it came into operation on 1 May 1974.

    Bank Lending

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest figure for the proportion of bank advances taken by manufacturing industry less food, drink and tobacco compared with 1970; and what are the implications concerning inflation in the real economy.

    The latest information—relating to mid-November 1979—was given in my answer to the hon. Member of 14 January [Vol. 976, c. 635–8.] The analysis of bank lending by industry is available quarterly; information relating to mid-February will be announced by Bank of England press notice on 31 March.Bank borrowing by companies will reflect a number of influences, including the current rate of inflation. Future inflation will depend in turn on the rate of monetary growth, of which bank lending is one aspect.

    National Insurance Contributions

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the extent to which payments into the Exchequer of pay-as-you-earn national insurance contributions and value added tax are currently in arreas.

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

    Export Promotion

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the savings which could be made in (a) foreign exchange and (b) the £ sterling, if public expenditure on the promotion of exports ceased; what the effect would be in reduced exports; how this compares with the saving to the current account balance of payments from a 1 per cent. reduction in the real exchange rate, and what has been the increase from 1 January 1979 in the real exchange rate as measured by relative export prices, having regard to the rate of inflation in other competing countries.

    Public expenditure on export promotion by the Department of Trade is expected to total £24·8 million in 1979–80. Some of this expenditure relates to payments made overseas, but it is not possible to identify readily the direct foreign exchange savings that could be achieved by withdrawing the export promotion programme.Public expenditure in 1979–80 by the Export Credits Guarantee Department on the support of fixed rate export credit and on the cost escalation scheme is expected to total £98·7 million. Of this, £20·4 million relates to the interest support of credits financed in foreign currency and therefore involves a direct foreign exchange cost. However, even if public expenditure on these facilities were withdrawn, significant expenditure would continue for several years as a result of past commitments. No estimates are available of the immediate savings that would be achieved, but they would be very small in the first couple of years.It is not possible to quantify the effect on exports of ending public expenditure on export promotion.

    Value Added Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated annual loss of revenue resulting from the current exemptions of small turnover from value added tax.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Agricultural Training Board

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has proposed a reduction in the number of members of the Agricultural Training Board; and if he will make a statement.

    Yes; my right hon. Friends are at present considering the views of industry organisations on the future size and composition of the board.

    Common Agricultural Policy

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what were the results of his discussions at the European Council meetings on 18 and 19 February in relation to the common agricultural policy; and if he will make a statement.