Written Answers To Questions
Monday 17 March 1980
Bookshops (Government Assistance)
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proportion of public support for the arts goes to bookshops.
The Arts Council has allocated £40,000 in 1979–80 under its scheme to assist bookshops in England.
asked the Minister of Transport what his policy is on financial objectives for British Railways freight and Inter City services; and if he will make a statement.
The various commercial businesses of the British Railways Board need clear financial objectives and financial targets must be established for them. Work is proceeding to this end. I can now make a statement about the railway freight and Inter-City businesses.These businesses have to operate commercially in competition with other transport modes. The objective for each is that as soon as possible they should be able to support the renewal of their assets by earning a current cost operating profit sufficient to achieve the required rate of return on investment, after covering all their proper costs including a proper share of the railway indirect costs. I am discussing with the board how quickly these objectives can be reached.I have, meanwhile, endorsed the decision of the British Railways Board as a first step to set interim financial targets for the management of these businesses, so that progress can be shown towards the objectives I have described and so that continuing investment in them can be decided in the light of improving business performance. The board and I agree that these interim targets should be challenging ones, but that the businesses should aim to achieve them sooner if market circumstances allow.To achieve them will demand significant changes and developments in the businesses. The freight business in particular will have to secure major improvements in productivity. The businesses will continue to be free to set their prices in the markets where they compete. These markets are themselves significantly exposed to movements in the national economy, from which the rail business could not be insulated.The interim targets now settled are as follows:
The form of the target for the Inter-City passenger business relates to its contribution to the total indirect costs of the railway, after charging all direct costs of train services and terminals, provision for full current cost depreciation and amortisation of the assets, interest, and the net cost of train catering on Inter-City services. In 1978 the contribution made by Inter-City on this basis was £94 million—equivalent to £105 million in 1979 prices. The target now settled is that the 1982 contribution is to increase to £133 million—in 1979 prices.
The freight business in 1978, after meeting its direct expenses of operating trains and terminals and its agreed contribution to indirect expenses of tracks, signalling and administration was able to cover 30 per cent. of its total depreciation and amortisation charges on a current cost basis. This is before interest. The target that is now settled is that the business should in 1982 aim to cover two-thirds of its current cost depreciation and amortisation, on the same basis, with further progress thereafter.
The board will each year in its annual report set out the achievement in the forms described above—with appropriate revaluation for the Inter-City figures—and comment on progress towards the targets.
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is satisfied that the present constraints on road maintenanc e are not adversely affecting road safety standards.
Yes. I am broadly satisfied that the condition of most roads is not seriously deteriorating, that the frequency of all accidents is not increasing, and that road safety will continue to be a major factor in the way local highway authorities determine priorities within their transport budget.
asked the Minister of Transport what study his Department has made of the finding in the 22nd annual report of the Road Operators' Safety Council that accidents in Devon, caused by skidding on poor road surfaces, have increased; and whether his Department or the Transport and Road Research Laboratory has any evidence of increases in such accidents nationally because of declining standards of road maintenance.
I have read the section of the report to which the hon. Member refers. Since it was published in 1977, the number of personal injury accidents in Devon caused by skidding has, in fact, fallen. The Department studies closely the reports which are submitted by the police on all accidents which involve personal injury. I can find no evidence to show that there has been any increase in the number of accidents caused by skidding.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to the "Report on Non-Departmental Public Bodies," he will list the five advisory bodies sponsored by his Department which are to be wound up.
The five advisory bodies which according to the "Report on Non-Departmental Public Bodies" were to be wound up are:
Of these the Advisory Committee on Motorcycle Rider Training and the Motor Rallies Advisory Committee have already been abolished.Advisory Committee on Motorcycle Rider Training.
- Freight Integration Council.
- London Rail Advisory Committee.
- Motor Rallies Advisory Committee.
- Railways and Coastal Shipping Committee.
London Rail Advisory Committee
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what work it is anticipated the London Rail Advisory Committee will do after completing its final report.
Road Construction Units
asked the Minister of Transport what was the administrative cost of the road construction units during each of the last five financial years; and what was the total cost of the motorway and trunk road proposals for which they were responsible during the same period.
The administrative cost of the RCUs during each of the last five financial years was as follows:
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East on 5 February, if he has yet completed his consideration of the submission of the Centre for Information and Advice on Educational Disadvantage; what further representations he has had, and from whom, since then concerning the future of the centre; what evidence he has that the advice of the centre has not been used by local education authorities; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. and learned Friend has been giving careful consideration to the document prepared by the centre and intends to make a statement about this shortly. There is no information either in the Department or in the centre's documents to show that the centre has been widely used by local authorities or has had a substantial impact on them. Since 5 February my right hon. and learned Friend has received seven letters about the centre from interested organisations.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of the £9 million he has announced is to be provided for a programme on education in microelectronics at school will be spent on teacher training, curriculum development and other aspects.
Priority will be given to curriculum development, the development of material for teacher training courses and arrangements to make more and better software available; but other projects designed to increase the understanding and use of microelectronics will also be considered. The apportionment of the available resources between these fields of activity cannot be determined at this stage.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what in-service and training courses are currently available for teachers on education in microelectronics at school; and what further developments are already planned.
Many initial and in-service training courses for teachers at universities, polytechnics and colleges of higher education now deal with aspects of microelectronics. This applies particularly to science courses and, increasingly, to courses in mathematics, craft, design and technology and business studies. A number of in-service courses are being provided in the programme of national short courses organised by Her Majesty's Inspectors and in the programmes arranged regionally with support from my Department; more are planned. The development of material for teacher training courses will be a priority objective in the microelectronics development programme for schools and colleges announced by my hon. Friend on 4 March.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he intends to monitor the use by local education authorities of the funds allocated for education in microelectronics in schools.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when tronics development programme, whether projects are undertaken by LEAs or other organisations.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many traffic wardens operate in (a) the Greater London area, and (b) the United Kingdom as a whole.
On 31 January there were 4,238 traffic wardens in England and Wales, of whom 1,081 were employed in the Metropolitan Police district—which extends somewhat beyond the Greater London area—and 44 in the City of London.
Police Advisory Committee On Sexual Offences
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Police Advisory Committee on Sexual Offences will be abolished; and what work it was envisaged it would do after the completion of the work of the Criminal Law Revision Committee.
The Policy Advisory Committee on Sexual Offences will lapse when the Criminal Law Revision Committe's review of sexual offences has been completed.
Tuc Mass Meeting (Police Operations)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to the number of police officers who were used to keep order during the Trades Union Congress mass meeting in London on Sunday 9 March; and what was the cost to public funds of the police operation during this meeting.
I understand from the Commissioner that a total of 1,814 police officers were on duty. The cost of the policing arrangements has been estimated as at least £144,000.
Road Traffic Law
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the review of certain aspects of road traffic law, which has been set up by an interdepartmental working group with the Department for Transport, to complete its work.
In the course of this year.
Special Patrol Group
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to increase the strength of the Special Patrol Group to cope with any sudden increase in civil disturbances or internal subversion.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the costs of Operation Countryman will be met by the Metropolitan Police or shared between forces; and if the lattter, on what basis.
The costs are shared between the Metropolitan Police and the City of London police, on a basis which reflects the relative extent to which the two forces are concerned with the inquiry.
Criminal Law Revision Committee (Report)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the eleventh report (1972) of the Criminal Law Revision Committee; and if he will bring forward the draft Criminal Evidence Bill proposed therein.
Before considering any alteration of the law of evidence in criminal proceedings I propose to await the report of the Royal Commission on criminal procedure.
Private Property (Occupation)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received asking him to introduce legislation to make the occupation of private property while the owners are away and the refusal to leave, illegal; and how many representations have come from private individuals and how many from the ranks of the police force, from senior police officers, and from chief constables.
We have received no representations on this matter.
Parish Council Elections (Voting)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation to allow postal and proxy voting in parish council elections.
We are considering this matter as part of our general review of electoral law and procedures.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the present criminal law gives the police enough powers to stop glue sniffing by children.
In general I think it would be a mistake to look to the criminal law to provide the means of preventing this dangerous practice. Persuasion and education are the core of the practical approach and I am sure that the police will play their full part along with other local services. In so far as the criminal law may be relevant in a particular case, I am not aware that the police require further powers.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Bedfordshire on the National Union of School Students' demonstration in Luton on Friday 7 March.
I understand from the chief constable that about 25 children were involved. There was no disorder, and there were no arrests.
Broadcasting (Terrorist Organisations)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that existing legislation provides adequate protection to prevent terrorist organisations being assisted by actions of the broadcasting media.
I do not believe that additional legislation should be necessary.
Drugs (Advisory Council)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the members and terms of reference of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; what are the aims and objectives of the council; what is the council's programme of work; and if he will make a statement.
The duties of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs are set out in section 1, subsections (2) and (3), of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and its constitution in schedule 1.The present members are:
- Sir Robert Bradlaw, C.B.E.—Chairman—Former President of the British Dental Association
- Miss F. Adamson, B.A.—Lecturer in Social Work
- Dr. T. H. Bewley, M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P.I., F.R.C. Psych—Consultant Psychiatrist
- Mr. J. C. Bloomfield, O.B.E., F.P.S., F.B.O.A., J.P.—Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain Mr. A. Bristow—Member of the Health Education Council
- Mr. H. E. Carter, M.R.C.V.S.—Veterinary Surgeon
- Mr. D. Cox—Tower Hamlets Youth and Community Project
- Miss A. H. Dixon—Social Worker
- Professor R. Duckworth, M.D., B.D.S., F.D.S., F.R.C. Path—Professor of Oral Medicine
- Professor J. Griffith Edwards, M.A., D.M., D.P.M., F.R.C.P.—Consultant Psychiatrist
- Dr. W. W. Fulton, O.B.E., F.R.C.G.P.—General Practitioner
- Mr. A. Gorst—Director of Social Services
- Professor J. D. P. Graham, MD., D.Ss. F.R.C.P. (Edin)., F.R.F.P.S., F.R.S.E.—Professor of Pharmacology
- Mrs. A. Jones—Head Teacher
- Professor W. I. N. Kessel, M.D., F.R.C.P., (Edin).—Professor of Psychiatry
- Dr D. J. King, M.D., M.R.C., Psych—Senior Lecturer in Neuropharmacology.
- Rev. E. Lewis, S.R.N., R.M.N., D.M.S.—Area Nurse Specialist.
- Dr. B. B. Lloyd, M.A., D.Sc.—Member of Health Education Council.
- Professor G. P. McNicol, M.D., Ph. D., F.R.C.P. (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow)—Professor of Medicine
- Dr. G. C. Mathers, M.B., B.S., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., D.Obst., R.C.O.G.—General Practitioner.
- Mr. P. A. Myers, O.B.E., Q.P.M.—Chief Constable.
- Detective Superintendent R. Owen—Commander of Police
- Mr. M. J. Power—Senior Research Fellow.
- Miss G. M. Rickus, B.A.—Director of Education.
- Mr. W. E. C. Robins—Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate.
- Mrs. R. Runiman, B.A.—Citizens Advice Bureau.
- Dr. B. C. Saunders, C.B.E., M.A., Ph. D., D.Sc., F.R.I.C.—Magdalene College, Cambridge.
- Mrs. M. Sharpe, S.R.N., J.P.,—State Registered Nurse.
- Mr. J. A. Smith, F.P.S.—Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
- Mr. G. T. Steele, M.A.—Head Teacher.
- Mr. D. Turner—Standing Conference on Drug Abuse.
- Dr. D. Wild. M.B., Ch.B., D.Obst., R.C.O.G., D.P.H., M.R.C.M., D.M.A.—Area Medical Officer.
For the purpose of fulfilling its remit the advisory council has established a technical sub-committee to consider and make recommendations to the council about the control under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 of any substance which is being or appears likely to be misused and of which the misuse is having or appears to the sub-committee capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem. Also, working groups of the council have been established as necessary to deal with various items; the present working groups are as follows:
In addition, in order to assist its consideration of the implications for future official policy, the council has called together a working group, consisting of council members and others, to assess the current scientific evidence on the effects of the use of cannabis and cannabis resin.
Holloway Prison (Remanded Prisoners)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the longest period that a prisoner currently in Holloway has been on remand; and with what is she charged.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Commission For Racial Equality (Cost)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost to public funds in the last financial year of the work of the Commission for Racial Equality.
The grant-in-aid paid to the Commission for Racial Equality in 1978–79 totalled £.4·9 million.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Convention)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will publish the text of the Southern Oceans Convention, with a view to seeking views from hon. Members before the meeting in Canberra.
I have been asked to replyThere is as yet no agreed single text of a Southern Oceans Convention. It is hoped that the meeting in Canberra in May will lead to agreement on a convention for the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources. The text will then be made available to the House in the usual way before ratification.
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing his latest estimates of the percentages by which Soviet, Warsaw Pact, United States of America, European Economic Community and United Kingdom expenditures on official development assistance have increased or decreased each year for the five years to the latest convenient date.
The figures, based on reports by the chairman of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD
|TOTAL NET OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: SELECTED DONORS (1974–78)|
|Item and Donor‡||1974||1975||1976||1977||1978|
|(1) Net official development assistance ($ m.) from:|
|of which USSR||600||325||300||325||300*|
|United States of America||3,439||4,007||4,334||4,159||4,831|
|European Community† countries||4,857||6,014||5,864||6,282||8,028|
|of which United Kingdom||717||863||835||914||1,212|
|(2) Net oda as percentage of GNP:|
|of which USSR||0·08||0·04||0·03||0·03||0·03|
|United States of America||0·24||0·26||0·25||0·22||0·23|
|European Community† countries||0·42||0·45||0·43||0·40||0·41|
|of which United Kingdom||0·37||0·37||0·38||0·37||0·39|
|(3) Percentage change on previous year (in current prices):|
|of which USSR||-7·7||-45·8||-7·7||+8·3||7·7|
|United States of America||+15·9||+16·5||+8·2||-4·0||+16·2|
|European Community† countries||+20·0||+23·8||-2·5||+7·1||+27·8|
|of which United Kingdom||+18·9||+20·4||-3·2||+9·5||+32·6|
|* If aid to Vietnam is excluded the net USSR programme in 1978 was estimated to be negative i·e· return flows from developing countries (repayments of loans etc·) were estimated to be greater than the gross aid programme of the USSR·|
|† Excludes aid given by the Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg as these countries are not members of the DAC·|
|‡ In the figures for United States of America and European Community countries capital subscriptions to multilateral organisations have been included on the basis of the date of encashment·|
asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list the manpower savings for each Government Department which he expects to have been achieved by the end of the current year.
|PERMANENT STAFF IN POST|
|Department||1 April 1979||1 January 1980||Difference (+ or -)|
|Customs and Excise||28,771||27,429||-1,342|
|Department for National Savings||10,808||10,313||-495|
|Department of Employment Group||53,605||51,380||-2,225|
|DOE (excluding PSA)||12,358||11,753||-605|
|PSA (including Supplies Division)||40,095||37,444||-2,651|
|FCO (including ODA)||12,078||11,646||-432|
|Transport (including DVLD)||13,908||13,600||-308|
|Ministry of Defence||224,697||220,213||-4,484|
Note: Part-time staff have been counted as half units.
and from OECD papers on the aid programmes of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact countries, are as follows:
The table below shows the number of permanent staff in post in central Government Departments at 1 April 1979 and 1 January 1980, the latest date for which figures are available, and the changes during that period. Some small further reduction in numbers is possible in the remainder of the current financial year.
Official Report (General Index)
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the date of publication of, and period covered by, the last volume to be issued of the general index of the Official Report; what is the expected timetable for future publications; and what steps, if any, are being taken for the acceleration of the issue of these indexes.
The last Sessional Index of the Official Report to be published was Volume 956 on 5 February 1980. It covered the period November 1977 to October 1978. Volume 966 is currently in production and covers the Session November 1978 to April 1979. It is expected that galley proofs will be placed in the Library during May with publication expected during October 1980.The shortage of staff at the St. Stephen's Parliamentary Press continues to be the governing factor; additionally, the high level of parliamentary work precludes a faster timetable for the production of indexes. Discussions are currently being held between the Editor of Hansard and representatives of HMSO to review the whole position.
Supplementary Benefits And Family Income Supplements (Publication)
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the present price of the publication entitled "The Law Relating to Supplementary Benefits and Family Income Supplements", including any supplements required to bring its contents up to date.
European Community (Consumer Prices)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will publish in the Official Report the corrections referred to in his reply dated 20 December 1979 concerning table III of the "Basic Statistics of the Community".
Preparation of the corrected figures involves a substantial volume of work and I regret that the figures are not yet available.
Rubber Tyre Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made in the provision of local exhaust ventilation at rubber tyre curing processes since the news release of the Health and Safety Executive in 1976 on cancer in the rubber industry; and what interim practicable measures have been considered and taken to protect the process workers against inhalation of the dust and fumes which are believed to cause cancer.
The Factory Inspectorate in 1978 initiated a five-year programme of environmental inspection and investigation throughout the rubber industry, which, of course, includes the tyre manufacturers. The purpose of the programme is to obtain an improvement in the overall environmental working conditions and to obtain information about practical measures for dust and fume control. The programme is co-ordinated by the area director who has national responsibility within the Factory Inspectorate for health and safety matters in the rubber industry. Gradual progress is being made in the provision where practicable, of local exhaust ventilation systems. In the interim, all other factors—for example, materials handling, housekeeping, plant maintenance, general ventilation and welfare facilities—influencing the working environment are being examined for improvement.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many prosecutions have been brought by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate under the Factories Acts where the likelihood of causation of cancer by dust and fumes in the rubber tyre industry has been specified.
It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Factories to specify in informations of complaints leading to prosecution the exact nature of any injury to health foreseen as a result of exposure to allegedly harmful dust OT fumes. For the period for which sufficiently detailed records are available, that is since 1975, it can, however, be inferred that carcinogenesis was at least part of the risk at issue in 31 prosecutions. Of these only one concerned a rubber factory, and this was not a tyre factory.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment on what dates knowledge of the likelihood of causation of cancer of (a) the bladder, (b) the lungs and (c) the stomach, by exposure to dust and fumes in the rubber tyre industry first came to the notice of Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate; and what were the respective dates when Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate published that knowledge in a form available to the public.
The Association of British Chemical Manufacturers formed a scientific committee to guide research into the problem of bladder cancer in 1947. The report—to which the then Chief Inspector of Factories drew attention in his 1958 annual report on industrial health—was published in 1954. It showed that there was an increased risk of bladder cancer amongst workers employed at that time in the rubber cable industry. As outlined in the 1965 annual report on industrial health, the Factory Inspectorate carried out a limited survey of the rubber and cable making industries in 1961 and a full survey in 1965. Draft carcinogenic substances regulations—later the Carcinogenic Substances Regulations 1967—were circulated for comment in 1964.In 1965 the advisory panel of the Senior Medical Inspector of Factories—now the Medical Advisory Committee of the Health and Safety Commission—set up a mortality study of its workers in the rubber and cable making industries. The results of the analysis of this study showed that there was an association between lung and stomach cancer and work in the rubber tyre sector. As this information became available in 1974 and 1976 respectively so it was published.
British Steel Corporation
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he has had with the European Economic Community Commissioner, Mr. Henk Vredeling, regarding the 52,000 job losses by the British Steel Corporation and consequential job losses in the British coal industry; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend met Mr. Vredeling on 7 March. Among the subjects discussed were the proposed redundancies at the British Steel Corporation. The possibility of Community assistance through the social fund to alleviate the consequences of these redundancies is the responsibility of my Department, and was mentioned in my right hon. Friend's talk with Mr. Vredeling. But general questions relating to the BSC redundancy programme, and the main measures to alleviate the impact on those concerned, are a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Industry. My right hon. Friend did not discuss with Mr. Vredeling the question of whatever job losses might arise in the coal industry.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish figures for 1955, 1965, 1975 and 1979 showing the number of skilled workers in the economy as a percentage of the total work force.
The following is the information available:
|Percentage of those in employment in Great Britain who are skilled manual workers|
|Note: The 1961, 1966 and 1971 estimates are from the population census for these years. The 1977 estimate is from the general household survey—an annual inquiry in which about 12,000 households a year are interviewed.|
"The Careers Service 1974 To 1979"
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will draw the attention of the Leicestershire county council to the conclusions of his Department's careers service branch publication, "The Careers Service 1974 to 1979".
Copies of this report were distributed to all chief education officers—or their equivalents—in England on 30 January with the suggestion that it might be drawn to the attention of chairmen of education committees. I understand that this has been done in the case of Leicestershire.
Special Temporary Employment Programme (Wales)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what areas in Wales will qualify for inclusion in the special temporary employment programme; and what areas will be excluded as a direct result of the restriction on designated areas.
From 1 August 1980, when changes in special development area and development area status take effect, all areas in Wales, except for the following local office areas of the Manpower Services Commission—Employment Service Division—will be eligible for support under the special temporary employment programme—(STEP):
|Burry Port||Morriston (3)|
Unemployment And Unfilled Vacancies
asked the Secretary of State for Employment, further to his reply dated 12 February concerning unemployment and unfilled vacancies, how much has been spent each year since 1970 in improving the employment offices; and to what extent this has increased the official share of the number of vacancies in the United Kingdom as a whole.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission, which is responsible for the public employment service, that information on expenditure is available only for part of this period. The following table shows, for each finan- cial year since 1975–76 the cost of improving employment service premises expressed in terms of capital expenditure —including professional fees—on adaptations and furnishings.
|Financial Year||Cost of Improvements|
|1979–80 (latest estimate)||…||…||5·8|
Retail Trades (Wages Councils)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment when it was first proposed that nine wages councils for the retail trade be amalgamated to form the Retail Food and Allied Trades Wages Council and the Retail Trades Wages Council (Non-Food).
The proposal was mentioned in report No. 89 of the Commission on Industrial Relations dated 27 August 1974. After consultation, a statutory notice of intention to amalgamate the councils was published on 11 December 1975.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration he has given to the representations of the Institute of Careers Officers enclosing the resolution of the institute's council passed on 1 March calling on the Government formally to request local authorities to exclude the careers service from cuts in staffing; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has given careful consideration to the representations which he has received from the Institute of Careers Officers, including this resolution. It is the Government's policy not to exempt any services, except those of law and order, from their call for a reduction in public expenditure and my right hon. Friend is replying to the institute accordingly.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the review of the district advisory committees on the employment of disabled people has yet been completed; and if he will make a statement.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the National Advisory Council on Employment for Disabled People has completed its review of the role of disablement advisory committees—DACs.The report is currently under consideration by MSC officials following which it will be submitted to the commission.
Advisory Committee On Asbestos
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what work he anticipated would be carried out by the Advisory Committee on Asbestos after October 1979.
The Advisory Committee on Asbestos completed its work and ceased to exist with the publication of its final report by the Health and Safety Commission on 24 October 1979. Comments on its contents were invited and these are now being collated so that the commission and Ministers can decide on appropriate future action.
Agricultural Engineering (Nomenclature)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the word "fitter" is applied by his Department to both men and women; and whether his Department uses it in connection with agricultural engineering.
The word "fitter" is applied to both sexes including its use in connection with agricultural engineering.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what the number of trainee careers officers with local education authorities was at 1 February of the current year, compared with 1 February 1979; and whether he will make a statement.
On 1 April and 1 September 1979, the latest dates for which information has been provided by local education authorities, there were, respectively, 100 and 109 supernumerary trainees on the establishment of the careers services of local education authorities in England. Figures for the current year will be requested from authorities in respect of the staffing position on the same dates.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many apprenticeships will be funded from Government funds in 1980–81, as compared with each of the previous five years; whether he estimates that the level of normal recruitment of apprentices by employers is likely to be maintained; and whether he will make a statement.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission—MSC—that details of support from Exchequer funds in 1980–81 for young people to obtain apprenticeships and other longterm training have not yet been finalised for all industries. I will write to the hon. Member when the figures are available. The MSC believes that the pattern of unassisted recruitment by employers in 1980–81 is likely to vary between industries, depending on their economic circumstances and it is keeping the position under review. The Government are continuing to support the MSC's "training for skills" programme.
Health And Safety Executive (Chemical Safety)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied that the Health and Safety Executive has adequate powers to obtain relevant information from employers and companies in connection with its inquiries into the safety of chemicals; and what plans he has to increase these powers.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Private Manufacturing Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the average current cost to the Exchequer, allowing for the loss of income tax and national insurance payments, and the obligation to pay unemployment and social security benefits, together with the effects on value added tax severance of reduced spending capacity, of having 322 persons unemployed compared to there being a productive employment in private manufacturing industry.
This information is not available. In order to attempt to quantify the cost it would be necessary not only to know about the personal circumstances but the likely duration of unemployment for each of the individuals concerned.
Family Income And Expenditure
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the average industrial wage in 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975 and 1979. respectively; what was the average price of a new three-bedroom semi-detached house in (a) London and (b) the West Midlands in the same years; and what proportion of his income a married man with two children under 16 years and an 80 per cent. mortgage paid in tax and national insurance contributions in the same years.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report the numbers of factories in Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Kirkby and Ormskirk which have notified redundancies in the past 12 months of over 50 people, together with the numbers involved in respect of each factory.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
European Community (Redundancy Schemes)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will set out in the Official Report the basis of redundancy schemes operated by member States of the EEC, showing how the United Kingdom scheme compared.
[pursuant to his reply, 29 February 1980, c. 760]: Comparative information is not at present available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.There is no EEC directive covering redundancy payments. We understand that redundancy payments schemes of the member States have evolved according to the individual circumstances in each State and vary so widely as to rule out any useful comparison with the United Kingdom scheme.There is an EEC directive on redundancy handling procedures—EEC Directive 75/129. The European Commission has recently written to member States asking for information to enable it to complete a report on the application of this directive. This report, when available, will be deposited in the House.
Assisted Areas (Inmos)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the Manpower Services Commission has given, or been asked to give, any advice to Inmos about the availability of suitable labour and of adequate training facilities in the assisted areas generally, or in South Wales in particular.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 March 1980, c. 494]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the commission itself at national level has not been asked for such advice. However, the commission's regional offices have provided statistical and other relevant information to local authorities and other development bodies who were either answering a questionnaire from consultants employed by Inmos or otherwise making a case to the consultants or NEB for location in their area.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in his study of the effects of 2,4,5-T, he will analyse the report provided for Coalite and Chemical Products, Bolsover by Dr Martin; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 14 March 1980]: The report referred to relates to an explosion at the Coalite and Chemical Products plant at Bolsover in 1968 which resulted in workers being exposed to large quantities of dioxin. Since the herbicide 2,4,5-T as used in this country is allowed to contain no more than minute quantities of dioxin, the report is unlikely to have implications for consideration of the safety of 2,4,5-T. However, any relevant information—from this or any other source—that becomes available on the safety of 2,4,5-T will he passed to the Advisory Committee on Pesticides for consideration alongside other evidence.A report by Dr. Martin on a study of eight Coalite workers was published in the
Lancet on 24 February 1979. I understand that an earlier report by Dr. Martin was made to the company but this is not at present publicly available.
Sir Derek Rayner (Inquiry)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has received the report of Sir Derek Rayner into the demand for, and resources devoted to, economic and statistical advice and services; and if he will publish it.
This exercise is being carried out by officials appointed by me and in consultation with Sir Derek Rayner. It forms in part a contribution to a Government-wide review of statistical services to be concluded later this year, the results of which will, I expect, be made known as soon after its conclusion as possible.
Power Station Ordering Programme
asked the Secretary of State for Energy, in the light of a slowing down of the new power station ordering programme by the Central Electricity Generating Board, what increase in investment he plans to finance a refurbishing programme of existing sets.
Repair, maintenance and refurbishment of existing generating plant are matters for the CEGB; the implications for capital investment of the lower demand forecasts are being carefully considered.
Liquid Nuclear Waste
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the value of highly active liquid waste now stored at Windscale and Dounreay, respectively.
This material is not regarded as having any financial value.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Rhodesia (Travel Restrictions)
asked the Lord Privy Seal what work it is anticipated the Advisory Committee on Rhodesian Travel Restrictions will do after the return to legality in Rhodesia.
None. As anticipated in my reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Carlton (Mr. Holland) on 31 October, the Advisory Committee on Rhodesian Travel Restrictions completed its task when sanctions were lifted on 12 December and travel restrictions ceased to be applied.
Hong Kong (Immigration)
asked the Lord Privy Seal how many legal and estimated illegal immigrants have entered Hong Kong from mainland China in each week since 21 January.
The information requested is as follows:
|Legal immigrants||Estimated illegal immigrants|
|29 January-4 February||1,039||980|
|26 February-3 March||1,064||780|
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will outline the views put forward on behalf of the United Kingdom at the biological weapons convention review conference at Geneva.
The review conference is conducting a thorough examination of the operation of the convention. United Kingdom views are contained in the opening statement by the leader of the British delegation on 5 March, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Rhodesia (United African National Council)
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he proposes to make any further provision to safeguard Bishop Muzorewa's party, the United African National Council, following the result of the recent election and the decision of Mr. Mugabe to exclude them from his Government.
As a result of the elections, the United African National Council will be represented in the House of Assembly by three members. The right to form and belong to a political party is safeguarded by the declaration of rights in the Constitution, which can be amended only by unanimous vote of all the members of the House of Assembly.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what progress has been made to implement the UNESCO resolution on the use of Esperanto.
The resolution passed in 1954 authorised the Director General of UNESCO to follow current developments in the use of Esperanto in education, science and culture and, to this end, to co-operate with the Universal Esperanto Association in matters concerning both organisations. I am not aware that any significant progress has been made.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what advice he has given to British subjects employed in Iran during the past year; and what representations have been made to the Iranian Government about the position of British subjects working there.
Throughout 1979 the situation in Iran was constantly changing. Our general advice was that British subjects should not visit Iran unless they had a pressing reason, though the decision was for them to take.The Government at present do not discourage British visitors on security grounds, providing they have good reasons for travelling to Iran. But the security and political situation in Iran continues to be unpredictable and it is important for British subjects to take adequate precautions while they are there. The British Embassy has made representations to the Iranian authorities and other Iranian employers on numerous occasions on behalf of British subjects who have worked or are working in Iran.
North Sea Oil And Gas Installations
asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied with the administrative co-ordination relating to the inspection of the safety of offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea between the Department of Energy, the Department of Trade and the Health and Safety Executive; and whether she will conside transferring all administrative ressponsibilities to a single composite authority within the Department of Energy.
The Burgoyne report, which deals with safety on offshore oil and gas installations, was published on 6 March as Cmnd. 7866. It is being studied by the Government.
House Of Lords Reform
asked the Prime Minister whether she intends to bring forward proposals for reforming the House of Lords.
I am aware that many Members in both Houses support reform of the House of Lords, but there is a wide divergence of view about the kind of reform that is desirable. We have no plans to bring forward proposals at present.
Senior Civil Service Appointments
asked the Prime Minister how many candidates for appointment to permanent secretary and deputy secretary posts in the Civil Service she has rejected; and for what reasons.
The information sought has not been disclosed in the past and I see no reason to depart from previous practice.
Secretary Of State For Wales (Nuclear Power Responsibilities)
asked the Prime Minister if she will list the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Wales in relation to nuclear power in Wales, including the transport, storage and disposal of radioactive waste.
The Secretary of State for Wales is responsible for authorising the disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear power stations in Wales and, together with the Secretaries of State for the Environment and Scotland, is responsible for policy on the management of civil nuclear waste. These are his only responsibilities in relation to nuclear power in Wales, apart from any planning matters which he may be called upon to determine.
Royal Commission On Legal Services
asked the Prime Minister whether she has reached a decision about the recommendations of the Royal Commission on legal services relating to ministerial responsibility for legal aid.
Yes. An order will be laid before the House transferring to the Lord Chancellor responsibility for legal aid in criminal proceedings in England and Wales. Provision will similarly be made for the Lord Chancellor to assume responsibility for costs in criminal cases.It is intended that the Lord Chancellor will also assume responsibility for both civil and criminal legal aid in Northern Ireland when this is administratively possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his reply dated 20 December 1979 concerning the effect of inflation on employment, whether he will publish in the Official Report the evidence on which the Government base their view that a reduction in the rate of inflation will lead to a reduction in unemployment in the absence of an accomodating increase in the money supply.
No. The Official Report is not an economics textbook.
Petroleum Revenue Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the yield to the revenue of a 60 per cent. petroleum revenue tax; and what would be the yield at 65 per cent., 70 per cent. and 75 per cent. on an annual basis.
It is not the practice to publish estimates of petroleum revenue tax receipts for future years whether at the 60 per cent. rate or notional rates. For 1979–80, receipts will be published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report on 26 March; it would involve disproportionate cost to provide figures of receipts at notional PRT rates.
Money Supply M3
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the anticipated rate of increase in the money supply M3 for the financial year 1980–81.
I ask my hon. Friend to await my right hon. and learned Friend's Budget Statement.
Board Of Referees
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he intends to introduce legislation to wind up the Board of Referees.
As soon as reasonably practicable.
Value Added Tax Tribunals
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he intends to merge the value added tax tribunals with the Special Commissioner of Income Tax.
This is under active consideration.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the fact that many of the poorer paid workers are having to pay as much as 20 per cent. to 25 per cent. of their weekly earnings on the cost of their fares to and from work, whether he will in his forthcoming Budget give consideration to fares to and from work being a deductible tax expense, or to a fixed allowance being granted for such purposes.
I have noted the hon. Member's suggestion.
Tobacco And Alcohol (Tax Yield)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what yield to the Exchequer has resulted over the latest period of 12 months for which figures are available from the tax on (a) tobacco and (b) alcoholic drink.
It is estimated that receipts in 1979 of excise duty and VAT on tobacco products and alcoholic drinks were £2,850 million and £3,150 million, respectively.
National Savings Bank Investment Account
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is the cost of administering a separate fund under the Post Office Savings Bank Act 1966 for the National Savings Bank investment account;(2) what is the cost of administration of the separate fund administered by the National Debt Commissioners under the National Savings Bank Act 1971.
In the year ending 31 December 1979 the management expenses of the National Savings Bank investment account fund, met from the income of the fund, amounted to £53,200 in respect of the National Debt Office and £4,750,000 in respect of the National Savings Bank. These figures are provisional.
National Debt Commissioners
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the cost of administration of the National Debt Commissioners and their staff.
The functions of the National Debt Commissioners, who receive no fees, are exercised by the National Debt Office. The cost of staffing and operating this office for the year ending 31 April 1980 is estimated to be £289,000, the whole of which is expected to be recovered from statutory charges.
Nationalised Industries (Assistance)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the sums of public expenditure, as defined in Cmnd. 7439, to be paid to each nationalised industry in the current financial year.
The latest estimates of public expenditure on each industry will be available in the Financial Statement and Budget Report to be published on Budget day.
Private Industries (Assistance)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the total of public expenditure, as defined in Cmnd. 7439, to be paid to all industries, other than nationalised industries, in the current financial year.
I ask my hon. Friend to await Class IV of Supply Estimates 1980–81, table 4 of which will detail the total provision taken in 1979–80 Estimates for assistance to private industry and so on in the United Kingdom, and the White Paper on the Government's expenditure plans to be published on Budget day.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what loss of revenue would be involved if the mobility allowance were tax-exempt.
Information on which to base a precise estimate is not available. The cost for the financial year 1979–80 would probably be of the order of £15 million.
Earned And Unearned Income
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the estimated loss to the revenue in the year 1980–81 if the highest rate of tax on (a) earned and (b) unearned income were 50 per cent. and 70 per cent., respectively.
Capital Transfer Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total yield of capital transfer tax on gifts, inter vivos, during 1978–79.
The tax paid in 1978- 79 on lifetime transfers by individuals was £5·3 million.
Value Added Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the estimated yield from value added tax on the sale of (a) antiques and works of art, (b) repairs to historic buildings and (c) the work of living artists during 1978–79.
I am afraid that separate information about antiques, works of art and the work of living artists is not available. Net receipts of VAT paid by antique dealers, secondhand furniture shops, picture framers and coin and stamp dealers, who are classified together for VAT were about £9·2 million. Payments by artists, sculptors, designers, writers, freelance journalists and composers were about £8 million.Information is not available from which to make art estimate of the yield from VAT on repairs to historic buildings because there is no way of distinguishing the VAT charged for repairs to such buildings from that of other building work.
|1 February 1980||1 February 1979|
|Complement||Vacancies to be filled||Complement||Vacancies to be filled|
|(a) Tax Offices:|
|Inspectors of Taxes||5,833||104||5,833||145|
|(b) Collection and Accounts Offices:|
|(c) Valuation Offices:|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many vacancies of Inland Revenue staff are currently unfilled; how many jobs will be lost by natural wastage in the current year; and whether there are any redundancies planned.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 March 1980]: At 1 February 1980 the Inland Revenue had 1,172 staff fewer than its complement. Natural wastage is currently running at an annual rate of over 9,000; there are no plans for redundancy at the present time.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases there have been in which value added tax appeals tribunals have awarded costs in each of the last five financial years ended 5 April 1979; what percentage such awards represent of the costs of the total appeals held by these tribunals in each of those years; and how much the average award of costs has been in each of these financial years.
Inland Revenue Staff
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the staff establishments of tax inspectors, tax collectors, and other Inland Revenue staff; how many vacancies there are in each category; and how all of these figures compare with the same date in 1979.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 March 1980]: The latest date for which information is available is 1 February 1980. The information requested is as follows:
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the loss to the revenue if all widows in receipt of State benefits were allowed to earn (a) £3,000 and (b) £3,500 before their pensions were taken into account for tax purposes.
If my hon. Friend has in mind a scheme where income, whether earned or unearned, can be received up to the quoted levels, before State benefits become taxable, the cost would be of the order of £150 million at 1979–80 income levels. This assumes that the full pension would become liable to tax immediately the limit was passed. The difference in the cost between levels of £3,000 and £3,500 would be some £10 million. Information on which to base a more precise estimate is not available.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to publish the consultative paper on monetary control.
The consultation paper will be published as a Green Paper, on Thursday 20 March.
Imported Goods And Services
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the value of imported goods and services as a proportion of the United Kingdom's gross national product for each year between 1950 and the latest year for which figures are available.
[pursuant to his reply, 14 March 1980]: The information is as follows:
|Imported goods and services as a proportion of gross national product*|
|* at factor cost.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the standards of National Health Service specialist staff and of the facilities available for their training.
I have full confidence in the ability of the statutory and other professional bodies concerned to set and maintain due compliance with proper standards of professional training and to ensure the adequacy of the facilities required.
Health Authorities (Budgets)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what effect his reduction of £125 million in health authorities' budgets by 31 March is having on the services for patients.
Health authority cash limits have not been reduced.This Government have increased cash limits by some £360 million to meet pay awards for which no provision had been made by the previous Administration. It has been for health authorities to decide how to cope with the 2½–3 per cent. squeeze on spending which is the combined effect of the decision of our predecessors not to fund the first £23 million of the excess cost of pay awards, the Budget decision on VAT, and the generally higher level of inflation due to energy costs and other factors.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services to what extent the curb on National Health Service expenditure will mean less investment in new buildings; and how the total amount will relate to what was spent in real terms in each year since 1968.
Capital resources available to the hospital and community health services for 1980–81 are at the level set by the previous Administration. Comparative figures at 1979–80 prices are:—
|*net of joint finance|
Health Improvement Programmes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will bring forward new measures to promote preventive medicine, health education and public health programmes in order to improve the general level of health.
In the foreword to my recent consultative document, "Patients First", which was concerned primarily with the Government's views and those of the Royal Commission on the NHS, about structure and management of the Service, I said that the Government would consider and reach judgment in due course on the many other proposals made by the Royal Commission. Those proposals included recommendations with regard to prevention and health education and allied matters. Action is already being taken in some of these respects and I am considering what further steps are desirable, given the paramount need to contain public expenditure.
Health (Regional And Social Disparities)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to alter the wide disparities that exist between the health of people in different classes and in different parts of the United Kingdom.
My right hon. Friend is responsible for the health services in England. Resource allocations to regional health authorities are based on an assessment, under the resource allocation working party formula, of relative health care need. The allocations for 1980–81 continue the process of redistribution begun by the previous Administration in favour of the most needy regions.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, what action is he taking to increase community care for the elderly, mentally ill and handicapped people.
We are increasing the amount of joint finance in 1980–81 by 16 per cent. at comparable price levels over 1979–80, in accordance with previous plans; and we are constantly emphasising the potential benefits of voluntary provision and community self-help. Both these policies should help authorities to maintain the trend towards community rather than institutional care for elderly, to help with reorganisational planning, mentally ill and mentally handicapped people.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if any provision is being made to increase the number of health centres; and what schemes already announced will not be proceeded with.
We believe that the balance between heath centre building and other desirable projects needs to be redressed a little and have already told health authorities that they need no longer achieve a minimum spend on health centres from their capital allocations, as required by the previous Administration. We shall be issuing new policy guidance shortly and authorities will be asked to review their health centre programmes in the light of that guidance. It will be for local decision whether particular health centre schemes should proceed. There is no point in proceeding with any particular health centre project unless there is full commitment by the professions for whom it is intended.
Capital Investment Programme
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will undertake a major programme of capital investment to replace and modernise old hospitals and expand the number of health centres.
Health authorities in England are already engaged in an active programme of capital investment. At 31 March 1979 there were 54 hospital building schemes each costing £2 million or more in progress, and 20 were planned to start during 1979–80. A substantial number of minor building schemes, many involving modernisation of old hospitals, were in progress or due to start in 1979–80. Building work was expected to start on 72 new health centres.
Health Authority Personnel (Secondment)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many officers from area health authorities in London have been seconded for a three year period to the regional health authorities
I understand that one officer has been seconded from Brent and Harrow area health authority to the North-West Thames regional health authority.
Family Planning Association
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the present level of support to the Family Planning Association; and what are the corresponding figures for the previous five years.
For the three years up to 31 December 1979, the Department funded about half the net expenditure of the eight English regional centres of the Family Planning Association. This grant was in support of the general aims
|Family Planning Information Service||160,000||160,014||107,000||23,750*|
|* Grants commenced 1 January 1977.|
Children In Care
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the numbers of children who have been in care for over 12 weeks, the percentage of the total which returns home for at least two nights a week and the number of instances where the child benefit is no longer paid to the mother because the child has been taken into care.
Information is not available in the form requested and could not be obtained without disproportionate expenditure of time and resources. Of the 100·7 thousand children in care on 31 March 1978, 94·8 thousand had been in care for eight weeks or more. It is not possible to identify separately children in care who are not living at home full time but who return home for at least two nights a week since, for statistical purposes, such children are recorded as living in the accommodation provided by the local authority. However, during 1979, there were about 4,500 awards of child benefit in respect of children in care who were of the centres, which are to promote and publicise local family planning services. The level of grant to the association for 1980 is under consideration.The Health Education Council, which receives the major part of its funds from the Department, allocates part of its budget for the family planning information service, which is managed jointly by the council and the FPA. The amount which will be allocated for the family planning information service for 1980–81 has not yet been decided.In addition, the Department funds courses organised by the education unit of the FPA for health and social work professionals.Details of financial support in the past four years is shown below:not living at home full time but who were ordinarily at home for two nights each week.
Payments To Strikers (International Comparisons)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report those countries in which he is aware that payment for strikers and their families is (a) paid and administered by central Government and (b) paid out of central Government funds but administered by local authority.
So far as I am aware, it is only in the United Kingdom that social assistance to strikers and their families is both financed and administered by central Government. In the Irish Republic such assistance is, I understand financed out of central Government funds but administered by local authorities. In Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States of America assistance for strikers or their families is administered by local authorities and financed in part at least out of central Government funds.
District Health Authorities (Medical Representation)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to ensure that medical representation on the new district health authorities to be created in England under the present Health Services Bill will not be confined to one doctors' organisation, that smaller organisations are not ignored, and that all sections of the profession, irrespective of status and seniority, are given full recognition.
The provisions of paragraph 2 of schedule 5 to the National Health Service Act 1977, in respect of appointments to area health authorities, will apply equally to district health authorities, if established. The Act requires consultations with, among others, representatives of medical practitioners; in practice, the appointing authorities—regional health authorities—consult the royal colleges and faculties representing the medical profession, together with the British Medical Association and the Overseas Doctors Association. The views of local organisations, such as medical advisory committees and the local medical committees, may also be sought.Medical members are appointed in this way for the personal knowledge and expertise they can bring to the health authority's deliberations and not as representatives of medical staff. As we said in our consultation paper "Patients First", the Government do not believe that it would be appropriate to have formally elected staff representatives on district health authorities. I am satisfied that the existing consultation arrangements work well and enable regional health authorities to appoint members drawn from a wide range of medical interests.
House Furnishing (Assistance)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of single persons who received grants and furnishings in Scotland for the years 1977, 1978 and 1979, on application for aid from the Department of Health and Social Services on the grounds of poverty or inability to furnish a dwelling house
I regret that the detailed information requested is not available. However, the total number of exceptional needs payments made to all claimants in Scotland over the last three calendar years was as follows:
Medicines (Review Committee)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the members and terms of reference of the committee on the review of medicines; what are the aims and objectives of the committee; what is the committee's programme of work; and if he will make a statement.
The present membership of the committee is as follows:
- Professor O. L. Wade, MD, FRCP, FRCPI, (Chairman)—Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Birmingham University.
- Dr. Barbara M. Ansell, MD, FRCP—Consultant Physician (Rheumatology) MRC Rheumatism Research Unit, Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital, Taplow, Bucks.
- Dr. T. B. Binns, FRCP, DCH—Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, London Hospital Medical College.
- Prof. G. Born, FRS, MA, MB, ChB—Department of Pharmacology, University of London, Kings College, Strand.
- Prof. J. E. Carless, BPharm, MSc, PhD, FPS—Professor of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, London.
- Prof. P. Curzen, BSc, MD, FRCOG—Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Westminster Medical School, University of London.
- Dr. D. G. Davey, OBE, MSc, PhD, F Inst Biol—Research Director in Pharmaceutical Industry (retired).
- Dr. Jose Day, MB, BS, MRCGP—General Practitioner.
- Dr. F. Fletcher Hyde, BSc, FNIMH—Director Research, National Institute Medical Herbalists; Chairman, British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
- Prof. M. R. P. Hall, MB, BCh, FRCP, FRCP (Ed.)—Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Southampton University
- Dr. F. Dudley Hart, MD, FRCP—Consultant Physician, Westminster Hospital, London
- Mr. C. R. Hitchings, BPharm, MSc, MPS—Area Pharmaceutical Officer, Camden and Islington.Area Health Authority (Teaching)
- Mr. W. G. Hollis, FPS—Former Director, Proprietary Association of Great Britain
- Dr. R. C. Humphreys, MB, CHB, MD,.FRCGP, DOBST—General Practitioner
- Prof. M. H. Lader, BSc, PhD, MD, DPm, FRCP, Psych—Professor in Clinical Psycho-pharmacology, University of London
- Prof. M. J. S. Langman, BSc, MD, FRCP—Professor of Therapeutics, Nottingham University Medical School
- Prof. D. H Lawson, MD, FRCP (Ed)—Consultant Physician, Glasgow Royal Infirmary
- Prof. W. Linford Rees, CBE, DSc, PRCPsych, MD, FRCP, DPM, FACP (Hon)—Professor of Psychiatry, University of London and St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London
- Prof. F. W. O'Grady, TD, MD, MSc, FRC, Path—Professor of Microbiology, University of Nottingham
- Mr L. Priest, MSc, B.Pharm, FPS—General Practice Pharmacist
- Dr. A. Richens, BSc, PhD, MB, BS, MRCP—Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist, Royal Hospital for Nervous Diseases, London
- Dr. B. A. Sellick, MB. BS, FFARCS—Consultant Anaesthetist, Middlesex Hospital and Royal Masonic Hospital, London
- Prof. W. Walker, MA, MB, FRCP, FRCP (Ed)—Regius Professor of Materia Medica, Department of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Aberdeen
- Dr. G. Watkinson, MD, BS, FRCP, FRCP (Glas)—Consultant Physician and Gastro-Enterologist, Western Infirmary, Gartnavel General Hospital and Southern General Hospital, Glasgow.
Committee On Safety Of Medicines
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the members and terms of reference of the Committee on Safety of Medicines; what are the aims and objectives of the committee; what is the committee's programme of work; and if he will make a statement.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Drugs And Medicines
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations his Department received from community health councils regarding the adverse effects of drugs and medicines; and if he will make a statement.
I understand that in the last 12 months the Committee on Safety of Medicines has received one inquiry from a community health council regarding the adverse effects of a drug. This concerned the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera.
Health Care Exports
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to receive the report of Sir Derek Rayner into his Department's activities in support of health care exports; and if he will publish it.
This scrutiny is being conducted by an official in my Department in consultation with Sir Rerek Rayner. It is nearing completion and I expect to receive the report in the near future. I shall consider publication when I have the report.
National Insurance Contribution Records
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to receive the report of Sir Derek Rayner into his Department's validation of national insurance contribution records; and if he will publish it.
This scrutiny is being conducted by an official in my Department in consultation with Sir Derek Rayner. It will start later this year and will take about three to four months to complete. I shall consider publication when I have the report.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children have been admitted to hospital as a result of glue sniffing incidents over each of the past five years.
The information requested is not centrally available. Diagnostic information collected centrally on discharges and deaths from NHS hospitals is based on the international classification of diseases. This classification does not enable cases of glue sniffing to be separately identified.
United Kingdom (Population)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the total population of the United Kingdom as at 1 January; what percentage of the population is over 18 years of age and citizens of the United Kingdom;(2) how many British citizens over the age of 18 years were resident in the United Kingdom on 1 January.
The latest available estimate for the total population of the United Kingdom was 55·9 million at 30 June 1978; of this population, 40·8 million or 73 per cent. were aged 18 years and over.Results obtained from the 1977 labour force survey suggested that about 97 per cent. of the population aged 18 years and over were of United Kingdom nationality, a proportion which is not thought to have changed significantly between 1977 and 1979.
"Industrial Injuries Compensation"
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many copies of the discussion document "Industrial Injuries Compensation" and the summary have been produced and distributed; at what total cost; and if any organisations have been refused copies or extra copies.
Six hundred main documents and 1,700 summaries have been produced at a total cost of about £1,000. All copies of the main document and more than 1,600 summaries have been issued. It has not been possible to meet requests for more than one copy of the main document from 12 organisations to whom copies were not sent in the initial distribution. Each was sent one copy. In some 50 cases, requests for unspecified documents have been met by the issue of the summary. The heavy demand for the main document meant that extra copies were not available for three of the organisations which had been covered by the initial distribution.The printing of additional copies of both documents is being arranged, but I am afraid that it will be necessary to cover printing costs by a charge.
Community Health Councils
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the total overall costs of running the community health councils; and when he expects to be able to announce his plans for their future.
In 1978–79 the direct administrative costs of community health councils in England was £3·5 million: the corresponding cost in 198081 is expected to be over £4 million. There are also unquantifiable indirect costs. Following the present consultation. I hope to announce my plans for the future of community health councils this summer.
Disabled Persons (Co-Option To Committees)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the cost of collecting information from local authorities on the co-option of disabled people to their committees as recommended by section 15 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.
Is it not possible to make such an estimate as there is no way of measuring the cost to the individual authority. As the information is not held centrally and authorities are not required to provide it, they would have to assemble it ad hoc at a time when the Government are particularly anxious that they should not have to undertake additional work.
Fazakerley And Walton Hospitals
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what date Fazakerley and Walton hospitals received authorisation to detain patients under the Mental Health Act 1959; how many patients were detained at each hospital prior to authorisation; and if he will explain how this occurred.
There is no statutory provision for the designation of NHS hospitals for the purpose of admitting patients under the compulsory powers of part IV of the Mental Health Act 1959. Any NHS hospital may accept patients who are detained under part IV of the Act. Following the provision of new psychiatric facilities, Fazakerley and Walton hospitals have been accepting, since 1 January 1979 and 1 April 1979 respectively, all compulsorily detained patients referred there. Prior to those dates, patients were accepted as a matter of special urgency only.
Assistance To Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) what was the total Government assistance to industry, per head of population, in all the regions
|Region/Area||Expenditure Per Head of Population (£)|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||3·3||5·1||7·7||7·3||9·9|
|London and South-East||—||—||neg||0·1||0·3|
|(1) This includes expenditure on regional development grants, selective financial assistance under sections 7 and 8 of the Industry Act 1972, and on land and factories. Since 1 July 1975 regional selective assistance under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 to firms in Scotland and Wales has been administered by the Scottish Office and Welsh Office respectively. Responsibility for the construction of factories in Scotland and Wales passed to Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies on 15 December 1975 and 1 January 1976 respectively. Expenditure under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 excludes payments made to individual firms and payments under the offshore supplies interest relief scheme, as it is not always possible to allocate payments made in these cases to specific regions or areas. Expenditure under section 7 of the Act excludes payments of £4·3 million in 1977–78 and £52·0 million in 1978–79 to the Ford Motor Company which were shared between the North-Western region of England and Wales, but which cannot be allocated specifically.|
|(2) All figures are at outturn prices. They are gross and include payments of RDG's and selective financial assistance to the nationalised industries.|
|(3) Aside from expenditure on land and factories, there is no predetermined allocation of regional preferential expenditure between separate areas or regions. Expenditure under such schemes depends, therefore, on the level of applications from eligible firms within the areas or regions concerned.|
|* The 1974–75 figures for the English regions exclude expenditure on land and factories. They are not therefore, comparable either with the corresponding figures for Scotland and Wales for the year or to figures for the later years.|
Steel Industry (Industrial Dispute)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what assessment he has made of the effects of the steel dispute upon industries dependent upon steel.
of England for each of the past five years;
(2) what was the total Government assistance to industry, per head of the population, in Wales for each of the past five years;
(3) what was the total Government assistance to industry, per head of the population, in Scotland for each of the past five years.
I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. Much of the assistance given to industry by the Government cannot be sub-divided between individual regions or areas without disproportionate staff time and cost. Total expenditure in the years specified on the main forms of regional preferential assistance to industry and on national schemes of assistance under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 is estimated as follows:
In February, production in the engineering and allied industries the main steel-using sector, was 2 per cent. below normal levels as a result of the steel dispute. This followed a loss of one half of one per cent. in January. The exports of these industries were virtually unaffected in January and were 1 per cent. below normal in February.
British Steel Corporation
asked the Secretary of State for Industry when last he met the chairman of the British Steel Corporation.
My right hon. Friend had a meeting with the chairman of the British Steel Corporation on 21 February.
British Shipbuilders (Engineers And Fabricators Yard, Burntisland)