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Written Answers

Volume 981: debated on Monday 24 March 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 24th March 1980

Employment

Information Officers

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff working in support of information officers, were employed in his Department in each of the last five years.

In the DE group the number of permanent staff directly supporting information officer group staff was as follows:

Department of Employment
197522
197624
197720
197822
197919
198016
Manpower Services Commission
19755
19769
197714
197813
197916
198015
Health and Safety Commission/Executive
19756
19768
197710
197813
197914
198015
Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service
19752
19762
19772
19783
19793
19804

Skillcentres (Darlington)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will state the percentage of trainees who have completed a course at Darlington skillcentres and subsequently secured employment within a short period; whether this figure is arrived at by writing to each individual who has completed a course; and, if so, what percentage of the former trainees failed to reply to his letter.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the placing and retention in employment of skillcentre trainees is monitored by means of questionnaires issued three months after completion of the courses. Until recently this was done on the basis of a sample of 1 in 6 trainees completing courses, but follow-up of all skillcentre trainees started on April 1 1979. In the six month period ending 30 September, 59 trainees completed training at Darlington skillcentre. Of these 18–30·5 per cent.—failed to return their questionnaire at the three month follow-up stage. Approximately 63 per cent. of the trainees who did respond were in employment using what they had learnt. In the most recent quarter (June-September 1979) 76 per cent. of trainees followed up responded, and of these 42 per cent. were still in employment using what they had learnt.

Professional Executive Register Office (North Staffordshire)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the closure of the North Staffordshire Professional and Executive Register Office is under consideration; and whether he will make a statement.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that as part of the staff cuts required of the Commission, reductions are to be made in the number of staff employed in Professional and Executive Recruitment (PER).To help achieve this it may be necessary to reduce the present number of offices and an examination of the PER network, with particular reference to the smaller offices, is now being made.The North Staffordshire office will be included in the review, but no decision as to its future has yet been taken.

Employment Of Immigrants (Linguistic Skill)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many small businesses and larger firms were prosecuted under the Race Relations Act for allegedly discriminating against an immigrant from the Indian Subcontinent by refusing him or her a job because he or she could not speak English to a satisfactory degree; how many of these cases were successful; how many were brought by the Commission for Racial Equality; and what compensation was awarded in each case.

Information about applications to industrial tribunals under the employment provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976 is obtained from statistical returns rendered when action on each case is complete. Articles based on analyses of these returns for the periods 13 June 1977 to 30 June 1978 and 1 July 1978 to 30 June 1979 have been published in the Employment Gazettes for October 1978 (page 1185) and December 1979 (page 1238), which are available in the Library. These summarise the information which is available about applicants, respondents and the nature and outcome of each case.The returns, however, do not identify cases where jobs were allegedly refused because the applicant could not speak English satisfactorily or classify applicants by ethnic or national origin. I regret, therefore, that the information requested is not available.

Audley, Staffordshire

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will discuss with the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission the consequences of the proposal to withdraw the employment services in Audley, Staffordshire; whether he will discuss the suggestion that lists of suitable jobs displayed in job centres be circulated to those living over three miles from a jobcentre; and whether he will make a statement.

I have no plans to discuss the closure of the part-time employment office in Audley, Staffordshire, with the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission.I am informed by the MSC that in the past year this office had an average of about 10 callers a week and found jobs for only five people. The MSC considers that an adequate service can be provided for Audley by the jobcentres at Newcastle under Lyme and Kidsgrove and that the majority of job seekers in Audley already use these offices.Jobcentres and employment offices normally match incoming vacancies with the requirements of job seekers and those who are most suitable are told about them. The MSC considers that to supplement this by circulating lists of vacancies on a regular basis would add significantly to employment service costs without providing corresponding benefits.

Rehabilitation Centre (North Staffordshire)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what would be the reduction in occupancy of the North Staffordshire rehabilitation centre if the experiment with alternative approaches to employment rehabilitation is introduced.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that the average occupancy level at its North Staffordshire employment rehabilitation centre over the last year has been 48. On the basis of the experimental proposals currently being considered it is likely that North Staffordshire ERC would have the equivalent of an occupancy level of 45.

Pneumoconiosis

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the latest figures for the total number of applicants for compensation under the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979; how many of these have now been paid; how many have been notified of their rejection; how many remain to be decided; and when he anticipates reaching a decision on on those cases still outstanding.

3,445 applications have been received. 612 payments have been authorised. 575 applicants have been informed that they appear not to satisfy one or more of the entitlement conditions. 2,258 claims are outstanding. I hope that many of the applicants whose claims are long-outstanding will be informed within the next few weeks whether they are entitled to a payment. Applications are still being received at the rate of about 250 a month.

Occupational Cancer

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has received a copy of the ASTMS policy document entitled "The Prevention of Occupational Cancer"; if he will hold discussions with the Health and Safety Commission and other interested bodies as a matter of urgency on the recommendations contained in the document; and if he will make a statement.

I have not received a copy of the ASTMS policy document, but I understand the Health and Safety Executive has received copies, which it is studying.I welcome the initiative this union has taken in preparing the document, which I understand states that its primary function is to provide safety representatives and union officers with information. I propose to await advice from the chairman of the HSC before deciding whether discussions with the HSC or other interested parties are necessary.

Industrial Tribunals

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will reconsider his decision to cease giving advance notice of industrial tribunals to the Press; if he will indicate what savings this would achieve in the course of the next year; and what percentage this constitutes of his departmental budget.

Herbicide 2,4,5-T

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the Health and Safety Executive has received copies of the reports of Dr. Blank and Dr. Ward provided for Coalite and Chemical Products in their inquiries into the effects of 2,4,5-T.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what regulations there are for the use of 2,4,5-T in the United Kingdom by (a) the Forestry Commission and (b) private users; whether such regulations are mandatory; and, if so, how they are enforced.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1980, c. 300]: I have been asked to reply.There are no regulations dealing specifically with the use of 2,4,5-T.Safe use at work of these and all other pesticides is governed in Great Britain by the general duties provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and in Northern Ireland by the general duties provisions of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978. Compliance with these requirements is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain and in Northern Ireland by the Health and Safety Inspectorate of the Department of Manpower Services of the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether regulations for the use of 2,4,5-T in the United Kingdom have been modified during the last 10 years; if so, when; and in what respect the regulations were modified.

[pursuant to his reply, 20 March 1980, c. 264]: No. There are no regulations dealing specifically with the use of 2,4,5-T in the United Kingdom.

Residential Establishment And Licensed Restaurants Wages Council Order

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what powers he has to enforce paragraph 14 of the licensed residential establishment and licensed restaurants wages council order; and how many times in the last year these powers have been exercised;(2) what powers he has to enforce paragraph 6 of the licensed residential establishment and licensed restaurants wages council order; and how many times in the last year these powers have been exercised.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 March 1980]; Powers given by section 22 of the Wages Councils Act 1979 enable me to appoint officers to enforce the provisions of wages orders. All wages inspectors so appointed enforce the current wages order of the licensed residential establishment and licensed restaurant wages council.In paragraph 6 of the wages order a lower minimum rate is provided for service workers in London whose employers guarantee to "make up" their weekly tips if they fall short of a stipulated amount. This guarantee must be in the form of a written agreement but the Inspectorate cannot enforce the terms of the agreement. Observance of the terms of the agreement is a matter for the parties; if the agreement exists the lower rate is payable.In paragraph 14 special provisions relating to rest days are made where an agreement between employer and worker allows for time off in lieu of time worked on a rest day. The inspectorate cannot insist on observance of the terms of the agreement; if the agreement exists, the special provisions apply.Records are not kept of the number of times enforcement action has been needed in relation to these two paragraphs.

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-bedroomed 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 contribution in the same years.

[pursuant to his reply, 17 March 1980, c. 23]: Average weekly earnings of full-time manual men in the industries covered by Department of Employment surveys (October each year) were as follows:

£
19507·52
195511·15
196014·53
196519·59
197028·05
197559·58
197996·94
The available information on house prices relates to average prices of new dwellings of all kinds. It is not readily available on a comparable basis before 1970. Figures since 1970, based on a 5 per cent. sample of building society mortgages, are as follows:

London
19707,694
197518,676
197927,913
West Midlands
19704,624
197511,533
197920,724

A married man with two children under 11 years of age, with the national average income and an 80 per cent. first year mortgage on a new house of average price, would have paid the following percentage of his income in tax and national insurance contributions.

Tax

1970–17·5
1975–610·8
1979–808·2

National Insurance

1970–15·3
1975–65·4
1979–806·1

Home Department

Shotgun Licences And Firearm Certificates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider issuing shotgun licences and firearm certificates on a five-yearly basis.

An increase in the period of validity of certificates would require legislation. As I said in reply to a question by my hon. Friend on 6 March, I have no plans to introduce legislation on firearms.—[Vol. 980, c. 293.]

Television Licences (Sale)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, further to the statement by the Under-Secretary of State, Official Report, 28 February, col. 1543, that it is the Government's desire to have as many outlets as possible for the sale of television licences, he intends to expand sales to additional outlets; whether sub-postmasters will lose business to other outlets; and what effect he estimates this change will have on their incomes.

We have no plans to extend the issue of television licences to other outlets.

"Croham Directive"

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many documents and reports his Department has published under the "Croham directive" since May 1979; and if he will list them.

It is not possible to distinguish documents published as a result of the Croham directive from those which would have been published in any event. The following is a list of publications, other than regular publications and those of a routine nature, issued by my Department since May 1979:

Committee of Inquiry on the Police. Report III. The structure and role of Police Staff Associations.
Non-Home Department Police Forces. Report of the Committee into pay and Conditions.
Committee of Inquiry into the United Kingdom Prison Services. Report.
Inquiry into the United Kingdom Prison Services. Government evidence.
Life imprisonment: an explanatory memorandum.
Two studies concerning the B.B.C: (a) the B.B.C's forward planning (b) Methods of payment of the television licence fee.
Home Office Local Radio Working Party: second report.
Funding register for ethnic minority self-help groups.
Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976: regulations under the act: consultative document.
United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation.
Report on the LD50 test.
Report on the role of the helicopter and light aeroplane in the Fire Service.
A guide to the qualifying examination for promotion to the rank of leading fireman.
Note of an operational study of fire in farming.
The police of England and Wales: a bibliography.
Crime prevention and the police.
Hostels for offenders.
Juvenile offenders and juveniles in need of care or control.
Previous convictions, sentence and reconviction: a statistical study of a sample of 5,000 offenders convicted in January 1971.
Life-sentence prisoners.
Sentencing practice in magistrates' courts.
Crime and comparative research.
Sexual offences, consent and sentencing.
Race, crime and arrests.
Alcohol abuse and the treatment of young offenders: a progress report.
Young offenders remanded in custody: can the numbers safely be reduced?

New Hall And Send Detention Centres

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what activities and courses he is proposing to finish at New Hall and Send detention centres; and why.

I shall announce full details of the regimes at the two centres, including changes, before the pilot project commences.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in the light of staff apprehension that the relationship between staff and trainees will become more impersonal, with consequent extra tension, in the event of tougher regimes being established at New Hall and Send detention centres, if he will take action to alter the proposed regimes.

No; guidance to staff will emphasise the importance of retaining close relationships between staff and inmates.

Nitroglycerine (Detection)

asked the Secretary of of State for the Home Department (1) in how many cases the thin layer chromatography method of detecting nitroglycerine has been used as the main method to detect nitroglycerine on a person;(2) if thin layer chromatography is still used as a method to detect nitroglycerine on suspected terrorists.

This and other techniques for detecting and identifying nitroglycerine are kept under review. Home Office forensic scientists regard thin layer chromatography as a useful technique; but it is normally used in conjunction with other methods. Figures of the use of this technique are not available.

Mr Alain-Franck Rosenberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Mr. Alain-Franck Rosenberg was refused entry into the United Kingdom on Wednesday 19 March at Gatwick airport in view of the fact that he is a French citizen carrying a valid French passport; and under what statutory authority he may refuse entry into the United Kingdom of passport holders of other member countries of the European Economic Community.

Mr. Rosenberg was refused leave to enter on the grounds that his exclusion was conducive to the public good, in accordance with the policy on scientologists. Nationals of other EEC member States are not exempt from the provisions of the Immigration Act 1971.

Exclusion Orders (Police Questioning)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what statutory authority the police have to question a person awaiting the serving of an exclusion order in a police station later than seven days after the time of his arrest.

When an exclusion order is made, detention for 24 hours is allowed in order to make arrangements for removal. There will usually be no need for that period to be used for further questioning.

West Midlands County Review

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when orders will be made bringing into operation the Local Government Boundary Commission final proposals for the boundary revisions of the metropolitan districts of Birmingham and Dudley so that the West Midlands county review can proceed.

Metropolitan Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why appendix B of the Assistant Chief Commissioner's consolidated instructions includes the names of persons who are without criminal records; how many such names have been listed in this appendix each year since 1974; and if he will state all the purposes for which the appendix is used.

This document gives operational guidance to officers of the Metropolitan Police; its contents are a matter for the Commissioner.

Dangerous Drugs

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, of those persons stopped and searched under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1967 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, what was the number for each year since 1972 found unlawfully to possess controlled drugs in (i) England and Wales as a whole, and (ii) the Metropolitan Police district; and in each case what percentage these figures represent of the total arrested under these Acts for each of these years in both these areas.

[pursuant to his reply, 12 March 1980, c. 636]: The information available is given in the following tables; the information available for the Metropolitan police district is on a different basis from that for the rest of England and Wales and figures for the whole of England and Wales are not available on either basis.

TABLE 1
PERSONS FOUND IN ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED DRUGS FOLLOWING STOP AND SEARCH* AND PERSONS DEALT WITH† FOR DRUGS ACT‡ OFFENCES
England and Wales (excluding the Metropolitan Police District)
Number of persons
YearFound in illegal possession of controlled drugs following a stop-search*Dealt with† for Drugs Act‡ offencesPercentage (1) of (2)
(1)(2)
19725,095ֵֵ
19735,17010,27250
19744,1158,76747
19753,4137,94143
19763,5038,17543
19774,0268,14449
19784,0518,42648
* Under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1967 or the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
† Comprises proceeded against in the courts, cautioned, informal warning, no action taken against suspect, suspect handed over to military authorities (courts martial), suspect referred to local authority or other body, care proceedings.
‡ Offences under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1964, Dangerous Drugs Act 1965 or the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
ֵ Not available.
TABLE 2
PERSONS ARRESTED FOLLOWING STOP AND SEARCH* AND PERSONS ARRESTED FOR DRUGS ACT† OFFENCES
Metropolitan Police
Number of persons
YearStopped and searched* and subsequently arrested‡Arrested for Drugs Act†offencesPercentage (1) of (2)
(1)(2)
19722,893ֵֵ
19732,918ֵֵ
19742,345ֵֵ
19752,1973,78758
19762,3854,43354
19772,0014,04949
19782,4834,86551
* Under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1967 or the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
† Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
‡ Not necessarily for drugs offences.
ֵ Not available.

Detained Persons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unconvicted prisoners in custody in England and Wales on 31 December 1979 had been in custody for over 110 days.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 March 1980, c. 650–51]: Information in the form requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, it is estimated that on 31 December 1979 there were nearly 900 persons held on remand to await trial in prison department establishments in England and Wales whose date of initial remand into custody was more than 110 days earlier. However, this takes no account of time spent on bail during that period.

Scotland

Blood Transfusion Service

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will bring forward new proposals to settle the current dispute in the Blood Transfusion Service in Scotland; and when he intends to invite the union concerned to meet him to discuss the matter.

The national dispute over emergency duty payments to medical laboratory scientific officers is a matter for the management and staff sides of the relevant committee of the Whitley Council to settle through negotiation, and is on the agenda for the next joint meeting of the committee on Wednesday 26 March. Although my right hon. Friend and I deeply deplore the tactics adopted in some parts of Scotland of delaying or disrupting services to patients, ministerial intervention in recognised negotiating procedures is not desirable.

Assisted Places Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will need to introduce legislation to implement any scheme of assisted places in Scottish schools.

asked The scheme could be brought: into operation under regulations, but my right hon. Friend intends to provide a basis for it in primary legislation at the earliest convenient opportunity.

Student Unions

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will need to introduce legislation to change the method of financing of student unions.

Future Energy Demands

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his Department makes its own projections of future energy demands in Scotland.

The forecasting of energy demand is a specialised task which is undertaken for the United Kingdom as a whole by the Department of Energy. My Department analyses the implications for Scotland of the United Kingdom forecasts, and, in particular, examines closely the forecasts of electricity demand which underlie the Scottish electricity board's plans for new generating capacity.

Education (Parental Choice)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what response, if any, he has received from Lothian region to the request, in the recently published consultative paper on parental choice in education, that education committees should voluntarily at the moment relax their transfer schemes to allow children to attend schools of their parents' choice where places are available.

None. My Department has also written to Lothian regional council to ask that it should have regard to the principles underlying the consultative paper and should adopt a less restrictive policy in relation to parental choice of school; but no substantive reply has yet been received.

Civil Defence

asked the Prime Minister if she will create a Government committee at ministerial level to give central direction to home defence; and if she will make a statement.

There is already adequate provision for ministerial direction of home defence.

Zimbabwe

asked the Prime Minister whether it is proposed that gifts should be presented to the Government and to the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe to mark the attainment of independence.

The House will, I feel sure, wish to send congratulations to Zimbabwe on its attainment of independence, along with best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the people of that country. Her Majesty's Government will propose that this House should offer a gift of a parliamentary character to the House of Assembly. Her Majesty's Government for their part will also offer a suitable gift to the Government of Zimbabwe to mark the occasion.

Official Information ("Croham Directive")

asked the Prime Minister how many documents and reports her Department has published under the "Croham directive" since May 1979; and if she will list them.

As my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Civil Service Department, indicated on 20 June 1979, it is not possible to distinguish between material published under the Croham directive and material that would have been published in any case. Since May 1979 the Cabinet Office has published, in addition to material produced regulargly, the following five items:

Technological Change—;Threats and Opportunities for the United Kingdom— (Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development, December 1979).
Computer Aided Design and Manufacture— (Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development, January 1980).
Joining and Assembly—The Impact of Robots and Automation— (Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development, October 1979).
R & D for Public Purchasing— (Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development, February 1980).
Climatic Change—its Potential Effects on the United Kingdom and the Implications for Research— (Report of an Interdepartmental Group, January 1980).

Arts Patronage

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will encourage private and industrial patronage for the arts to types of art activities, such as community arts, which do not receive either private or commercial patronage.

I shall continue to encourage patronage and sponsorship of all branches of the arts, including community arts. Some sponsorship is already taking place in this area, but there is certainly scope for more, particularly in the regions.

Parliamentarians (Pay And Allowances)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will arrange now to update the information available to him on the pay and allowances of parliamentarians in the European Economic Community, North America and the Commonwealth and publish the result in the Official Report.

I am having the information assembled and will arrange for its publication in due course.

Glasgow University Art Collection

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will undertake not to issue any export licences for any part of Glasgow university's art collection after it has been sold.

Any application which may come in will be sent to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and I shall take my decision having considered its advice.

Trade

Comecon Countries (Manufactured Clothing Merchandise)

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when next he will be meeting EEC Trade Ministers; and if he will raise with them the question of the dumping of cheap manufactured clothing merchandise in the United Kingdom from the Comecon group of countries.

I normally attend meetings of the EEC Council of Foreign Ministers when trade matters are discussed. I am aware of allegations made by the industry concerning the dumping of cheap manufactured clothing merchandise from the Comecon group of countries. I have had a number of meetings with representatives of the industry, and my Department stands ready to assist the industry when evidence of dumping is produced.

Man-Made Fibres And Carpets

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will circulate in the Official Report a summary of the cartel arrangements for man-made fibres which were declared illegal by the European Economic Community Commission; whether these arrangements were registerable and registered under the Restrictive Trade Practices Acts; whether they had the express or implicit approval of Her Majesty's Government at official or ministerial level; and what steps he has taken to ensure that there is no collusion between producers of any description to regulate trade in man-made fibres.

Certain major European producers of synthetic fibres entered into an agreement in 1978 to reduce surplus production capacity. Following objections by the European Commission to certain aspects of the agreement—notably provisions for production and sales quotas—revised agreements have been submitted to the Commission. The Government are concerned to see a solution to the serious problem of over-capacity in synthetic fibres in Europe, but any such proposal must comply with the relevant competition legislation. The registration of agreements under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976 is the responsibility of the Director General of Fair Trading.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether the United Kingdom producers of man-made fibres and carpets belong to an European Economic Community or European study group or other organisation concerned wholly or mainly with their products; if so, what are the purposes of these organisations; and whether he is satisfied that they have not led to a restriction of competition within the United Kingdom in terms which would be registerable under United Kingdom legislation.

As far as I am aware, British producers of man-made fibres and carpets do not belong directly to any European organisation concerned wholly or mainly with their products, but most belong to their national trade associations. These in turn belong to their European counterparts, the Comité International de la Rayonne et des Fibres Synthetiques and the Confederation Internationale des Fabricants de Tapis et des Tissus d'Emeublement. Both European organisations also belong to Comitextil, a European textile confederation. The purpose of these organisations is the examination and discussion of subjects of general interest to European manufacturers.Responsibility for the enforcement of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976 lies with the Director General of Fair Trading.

Textile Imports (Labelling)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has considered the report by the West Yorkshire county council prepared by that council's consumer protection department, a copy of which has been sent to him, regarding the incorrect labelling of fibre content on textile goods and what action he is proposing to take with the European Commission to stop the import of incorrectly labelled goods from other EEC member States.

Enforcement of the Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) Regulations 1973, as amended, is of course a matter for local authorities, whose co-ordinating body on Trading Standards—LACOTS—recently considered the West Yorkshire county council's report. I am considering what further action may be necessary, and shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Tufted Carpets

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether the figures for imports from the United States of America given in his reply dated 25 February concerning trade in tufted carpets included duty; whether value-added tax is payable on the duty-paid price; what was the additional impost on each ton of imports from the United States of America; and why the Government requested the European Commission to limit imports from the United States of America.

The import figures given in my reply of 25 February do not include duty. VAT is payable on the duty paid price. Information necessary to calculate the additional impost is not readily available. As regards the last part of the question, I draw the hon. Member's attention to the statement made to the House on 18 February 1980 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade.—[Vol. 979, c. 30.]

Multi-Fibre Arrangement

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what are his primary objectives for the renegotiation of the multifibre arrangement.

Our objective will be to secure a continuation of effective restraints on the import into the United Kingdom of clothing and textiles from low-cost sources.

Imports (Counterfeit Goods)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what study he has made of the counterfeiting of British goods by Taiwanese and other foreign manufacturers and of the potential damage to British industry and British consumers; what further steps he is taking to reduce this counterfeiting; and if he will make a statement.

Airports Policy

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what consideration he is giving in his policy towards the siting of airports in the South-East of the socioeconomic groups likely to be employed there; what studies he has made of the socioeconomic groups employed at present in airports in the South-East region; and if he will publish those figures which he has.

Estimates of employment requirements and their implications were produced by the study group on South-East airports, and were taken into account by the Government in reaching the conclusion announced by my right hon. Friend on 17 December 1979. More detailed studies relating to Heathrow and Gatwick have been submitted by the BAA and the local authorities concerned at the public inquiries into proposed developments at these airports. I would expect the same to apply in the case of Stansted.

Ussr

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list in the Official Report all the economic measures which have been taken by Her Majesty's Government, unilaterally or in conjunction with other Governments, against the Soviet Union in consequence of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The economic measures which are being taken against the Soviet Union in consequence of the invasion of Afghanistan are as follows:

  • (a) the British-Soviet credit agreement which granted preferential rates to the Soviet Union has not been renewed. Export credit is now considered on a case-by-case basis and will not be provided at rates more favourable than those set by the international consensus on credit;
  • (b) the Government are studying with other countries the tighter application of the COCOM rules for controlling the export of sensitive technology, and will not submit any new applications for approval while the review is in progress;
  • (c) the European Community has taken restrictive measures in respect of subsidised exports of wheat, barley, flour and bulk butter. Old arrangements have been reviewed or new arrangements introduced to allow improved monitoring of exports by destination in respect of cereals, butter, butter oil, skimmed milk powder, beef and poultry meat. The Government remain totally opposed to subsidised food exports to Russia.
  • Nigeria (British Footwear)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what restrictions are imposed on the import of British footwear into Nigeria; what recent changes there have been in these restrictions; and what has been the effect of representations by the United Kingdom or the European Economic Community.

    Since April 1978 there has been a general prohibition on the import of footwear into Nigeria. In April 1979 an exception was made for soles and heels imported by Nigerian manfacturers approved for that purpose by the Federal Minister of Finance. There has been no change in these regulations since then. No formal representations have been made to the Nigerian Government by Her Majesty's Government or the European Community.

    Manchester Airport (European Community Aid)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will take action to expedite representations to the European Economic Community European regional development fund for grant aid allocation to be made in respect of the strengthening and improvement of the runway at Manchester airport.

    An application for European regional development fund aid for this project was made by the Government in August 1979. The power to decide on assistance from the fund rests with the Commission. No time limit is set, but nevertheless an explanation is being sought of the delay in reaching a decision on this case.

    Insurance Companies

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he remains satisfied that the efforts of insurance companies to control the activities of their agents is such that no need for legislation on the matter exists; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he is satisfied that the consumers' interest is protected in dealings with those insurance intermediaries not covered by the Insurance Brokers Registration Act.

    The great majority of policyholders are satisfied with the service they get both from insurance companies and from insurance intermediaries and agents. But, while I am doubtful whether there is a need for legislation, my Department is in continuing touch with the insurance industry about the conditions under which all forms of intermediary perform their services, and the protection afforded to the insurance consumer.

    National Strategy For Quality

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress has been made in the development of a national strategy for quality following the publication of the consultative document "A National Strategy for Quality" published in 1978; and if he will make a statement.

    The response to the consultative document "A National Strategy for Quality" was widespread and diverse. My Department is examining the results of further informal inquiries that it has made, together with a study of the role of non-price factors in the industrial performance of the United Kingdom. I hope in due course to make a statement about the Government's conclusions.

    Less-Developed Countries

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report a table of the less-developed countries with which the United Kingdom enjoys a balance of trade surplus, showing the annual surpluses for each year over the last five years to the latest convenient date.

    I regret that it would entail undue cost to do so, in view of the large number of countries concerned. The information can be obtained from table I of the annual editions of the Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom for 1976 and 1977 and the December issues for 1978 and 1979.

    Boats And Marine Engines (European Community Import Duty)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will raise with the European Economic Community Trade Council the matter of the 12 per cent. to 16 per cent. European Economic Community import duty on marine engine equipment and materials, compared with only 3 per cent. duty on imported complete boats, which is preventing the sale of British-built boats against foreign constructed boats; and if he will make a statement.

    [pursuant to his reply, 17 March 1980, c. 91]: I am aware of concern in the boat building industry that certain imported marine engines attract a higher rate of customs duty than complete boats. The present rate of duty on sports boats is 2·9 per cent. while the duty on engines of the type used in sports boats is 11·4 per cent. This disparity will be gradually reduced as a result of the GATT multilateral trade negotiations, in which the European Community agreed to reduce the duties to 2·5 per cent. and 6·9 per cent. respectively. Meanwhile, firms needing to import engines for incorporation in boats for export to countries outside the European Community benefit from duty relief; and it would also be open to the industry to apply for a temporary suspension of duty, provided that it could be clearly established that engines available from Com-

    DateCommoditySourceResult
    18 December 1975Men's leather footwearBrazilProvisional countervailing duty imposed April 1976: made definitive in July 1976.
    13 April 1976Men's leather sandals(a) Czechoslovakia(a) No dumping found.
    (b) Poland(b) Price undertaking accepted March 1977.
    21 July 1976Men's leather sandalsCzechoslovakiaPrice undertaking accepted March 1977.
    There have been no applications from the British footwear manufacturing industry to the European Commission since responsibility for antidumping action passed to the Commission in July 1977.

    Road Hauliers (Eire-United Kingdom)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if licences are required by Her Majesty's Government for Irish road hauliers to operate in the United Kingdom on the same basis as licences are required for British road hauliers operating in Eire; if such licences are in breach of European Economic Community obligations; and if he will make a statement.

    I have been asked to reply.Hauliers from the Republic of Ireland wishing to send vehicles into or through Great Britain or Northern Ireland must obtain licences from the metropolitan licensing authority or the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) as appropriate. British hauliers wishing to send vehicles into Eire have to apply to the Irish authorities. This is not consistent with the requirements of EEC Directive 65/269, which requires licences for journeys between member States of munity manufacturers could not meet their needs.

    Footwear Manufacturing Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish dates of application made by the British footwear manufacturing industry for antidumping duties, and the results of each application.

    [pursuant to his reply, 20 March 1980, c. 272]: Since 1975, following applications for anti-dumping or countervailing action from the British footwear manufacturing industry three investigations—two anti-dumping and one countervailing—have been opened. Details of these are set out below:the Community to be issued by the authorities of the country in which the vehicle is registered. Compliance with the directive would require a bilateral agreement, and the United Kingdom has for some years been endeavouring to conclude such an agreement with the Republic of Ireland. I am glad to say that negotiations are now complete and I hope that the agreement will be signed within the very near future, and be brought into force on 1 July. When it is in force, United Kingdom hauliers will obtain the necessary permits from the Department's international Road Freight Office in Newcastle-upon-Tyne or from the Department of the Environment (NI) as appropriate.

    International Airports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the minimum interval between aircraft movements required at international airports for aircraft designed to carry (a) up to 200 passengers (b) up to 300 passengers and (c) up to 400 passengers.

    [pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1980, c. 356]: The minimum separations between arriving and departing aircraft are determined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. There is a minimum two-minute interval between aircraft of all weights taking off from the same point. Landing intervals depend on the weight and sequence of the aircraft, owing to vortex effects. Light and medium aircraft carry up to 200 passengers and heavy aircraft 200 or more. The minimum landing interval is one and a half minutes, except in the following cases:

    Heavy following heavy2 minutes
    Medium following heavy3 minutes
    Light following heavy3 minutes
    Light following medium3 minutes

    European Free Trade Association (Balance Of Trade)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the United Kingdom balance of trade in manufactured goods and overall with the former European Free Trade Association countries for each of the last 10 years; and what, in each case, has been the index of imports divided by exports.

    [pursuant to his reply, 19 March 1980, c. 232]: The information for EFTA as currently defined is as follows:

    Total tradeTrade in manufactures
    Crude balance* (£ million)Index number†Crude balance* (£ million)Index number†
    SITC (R1)
    1970-651·06+ 1300·86
    1971-1071·9+850·91
    1972-2541·19-481·04
    1973-5891·33-3121·21
    1974-7251·31-3871·21
    1975-4151·16-2881·14
    1976-5271·16-2551·09
    1977-2341·05-591·02
    SITC (R2)
    1977-2421·06-611·02
    1978-1,5671·34-1,1421·29
    1979-1,3151·23-9721·22
    * Exports valued fob minus imports cif.
    † Imports (cif) divided by exports (fob).

    Trial On Indictment

    46.

    asked the Attorney-General what was the average waiting time between the end of commital proceedings and the start of trial on indictment for cases tried in England and Wales at the latest date for which information is available.

    In 1979, 17·4 weeks, but I am arranging for a table showing a more detailed breakdown of this figure and comparable figures for recent years to be circulated in the Official Report. For those in custody it is 11·1 weeks.Following are the figures:

    WAITING TIMES IN RECENT YEARS (IN WEEKS) ENGLAND AND WALES
    (a)(b)(c)
    All defendantsDefendants on bailDefendants in custody
    197211·212·18·3
    197310·912·07·3
    197410·311·27·1
    19759·910·57·5
    197611·011·67·3
    197712·713·58·9
    197814·916·19·8
    197917·419·011·1

    Jury Vetting

    47.

    asked the Attorney-General if he is now in a position to make a statement on jury vetting.

    No. I have only recently received the judgment of the Court of Appeal for which I was waiting and have not yet been able to conclude my consultations. I am most anxious to give the House art answer on this matter, and shall do so as soon as possible.

    asked the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on progress in preparing proposals to regulate the vetting of juries; and if he will publish them in the form of a White or Green Paper for discussion by the House before reaching a final conclusion on changes in the rules.

    I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave in the House today to the hon. Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Dubs) on the stage which I have reached in my consideration of this matter. I shall, in due course, make a statement to the House about my instructions for the Director of Public Prosecutions on it. It is not otherwise in my power to deal with it. It is not intended to publish either a White Paper or a Green Paper on the subject.

    asked the Attorney-General how many cases of jury vetting there have been in each year since 1948, or the latest year for which figures are available, including the area covered by the Northamptonshire police.

    No records exist of the cases in which jury checks have been carried out prior to September 1975. Since then the Director of Public Prosecutions has kept records of cases in which such checks have been made on his or my authority. I append the annual figures below.

    YearNo. of Checks
    1975 (Sept. to Dec.)4
    197610
    19776
    19788
    19794
    1980 (Jan. to 24 Mar.)0

    asked the Attorney-General how many cases of jury vetting there have been in the area covered by the Northamptonshire police since 10 December 1979; and on how many he has been personally consulted.The Attorney-General: I have no information about the number of checks made by the Northamptonshire police on their own initiative before their practice of making such checks was terminated. No checks have been carried out at any time in the area of that force on the Director's or my authority.

    Administration Of Justice

    48.

    asked the Attorney-General what proposals he has for introducing legislation setting up a committee along the lines of the Law Commission to consider the need for changes in the administration of justice as and when they arise.

    There are already numerous well-established systems for keeping the law and the procedure of the courts under continuous review. It would be difficult to justify a further body of this kind.

    Defence

    Armed Forces (Applicants For Commissions)

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of applicants for commissions in each of the Armed Services came from State schools.

    In 1979, 83 per cent. of applicants for commissions in the Royal Air Force came from State schools. Similar information is not held centrally for the Royal Navy and the Army as it is not required for management purposes. It could not be obtained without disproportionate effort.

    Quality Assurance Directorate, Woolwich

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what review his Department has recently undertaken of the operation of the quality assurance directorate at Woolwich; what conclusions were reached; and when the findings will be published.

    [pursuant to his reply, 17 January 1980, c. 821]: Copies of a consultative document based on the result of the study of quality assurance arrangements in the Ministry of Defence have now been placed in the Library.

    Gulf Region

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement about British and Allied support for the defence of the Gulf region.

    [pursuant to his reply, 11 March 1980, c. 486]: The question to which I referred was withdrawn on the day on which it was to be answered, and I apologise to my hon. Friend for the confusion.We keep under constant review, in consultation with our Allies, our collective response to the Soviet threat. We also have under review our Forces' capability for operations outside the NATO area. We shall continue to contribute to the security and stability of the Indian Ocean and Gulf areas through the provision of military training assistance and advice, and defence equipment. From time to time we deploy units from all three Services for visits to friendly countries and undertake exercises with their forces.

    Industry

    West Midlands

    1.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what assessment he has made of the effects of the Government's industrial policy on the prosperity of the West Midlands; and if he will take action to reverse the present trend of factory closures and rising unemployment in Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.

    asked Unemployment in the West Midlands is below the national average and well below that average in the Dudley and Sandwell travel-to-work area.

    Steel Industry

    5.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his current assessment of the effects of the steel strike.

    28.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his estimate of the effects to date of the strike in British Steel upon the British economy with special reference to the customers of British Steel's products.

    Industrial production is being maintained at about 95 per cent. of what it would have been in the absence of a dispute. This includes production lost at BSC itself. All the indications are that steel users continue to show great resourcefulness and are minimising the disruption to their business.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what discussions he has had with the Commission of the EEC about the size of the British steel industry compared with that of other EEC countries, and about the level of EEC funds available to assist in nationalisation.

    asked Following earlier contacts with the Commission, I met Commissioners Davignon, Vredeling and Giolitti on 4 March to discuss the steel industry. These talks were mainly concerned with the ways in which Community funds could be used to ease the problems which accompany closures and large scale redundancies at major steelworks.

    26.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his latest estimate of the effect of the steel strike on orders for the British Steel Corporation's products.

    The level of orders for the British Steel Corporation's products is a matter for the Corporation. But, as it has said, the strike is likely to have a significantly adverse effect on its sales prospects after the strike.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will estimate the cost to public funds already attributable to the dispute in the steel industry.

    BSC estimates that the dispute is costing it £10 million a week.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry when next he proposes to visit a steelworks; and how many such visits he has made since 8 May 1979.

    My right hon. Friend has made no visits to steelworks since the election, and has no present plans to do so. My hon. Friend the Minister of State and I have visited several steelworks since 8 May.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry on how many occasions during the last three months he has met Sir Charles Villiers and Mr. William Sirs; on what dates these meetings occurred; and what was the duration of each meeting.

    My right hon. Friend had meetings with Sir Charles Villiers in the last three months, on 21 January, 5 February and 21 February. He has had two meetings with Mr. William Sirs, on 19 January and 21 January. Records are not kept of the durations of meetings.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has reached any decisions upon the future of the British Steel Corporation.

    My right hon. Friend sees to it that Parliament is informed of all decisions he takes which directly and significantly affect the future of the British Steel Corporation.

    Microelectronics

    7.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will increase the amount spent on projects and schemes to promote and extend the microelectronics industry.

    There are no plans at present to increase the provision for support for the manufacture and application of microelectronics.

    British Leyland

    9.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much British Leyland received from public funds between 1974 and 1979.

    In the period in question, and since the restructuring of BLMC in 1975, the total amount of public funds received by BL, excluding small amounts of public funds committed under various schemes of assistance available to industry generally, is £950 million. BL has also benefited financially from the setting up of wholesale vehicle finance of which the National Enterprise Board is the major shareholder and to which a maximum of £25 million of public funds has been committed. On 20 December 1979 my right hon. Friend announced the Government's commitment to the provision of up to £300 million of additional funds to BL in 1980–81.

    30.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on BL Ltd.

    I have nothing to add to the statement which my right hon. Friend made in the House on 20 December 1979.

    32.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry when next he plans to meet the chairman of BL.

    My right hon. Friend meets the chairman of BL as and when the need arises.

    Manufacturing Investment

    24.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the level per head of manufacturing investment in the United Kingdom compared with the Federal Republic of Germany, France and the United States of America.

    The following information is given on the basis of exchange rates and purchasing power parities (implied for GDP) prepared by the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Exchange rates do not provide a satisfactory basis for converting manufacturing investment in other national currencies to £ sterling since they do not necessarily reflect the relative purchasing power of national currencies in terms of goods and services available in the countries being compared. It is generally recognised that a more realistic assessment of relative levels of investment can be made through the use of purchasing power parities. Estimates for the latest year for which data for all countries is available on at least one of the bases are given in the table, although the French figures axe not strictly comparable because they cover a wider definition of industry.

    GROSS FIXED CAPITAL FORMATION PER HEAD (£) IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY, 1976
    Based on exchange ratesBased on purchasing power parities
    United Kingdom537537
    Federal Republic of Germany1,075740
    France*1,6891,233
    United States of America1,755n.a.
    n.a. = Not available.
    * Also includes mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water.

    Source: National Accounts of OECD countries, 1960–1977, vol. II; Eurostat National Accounts ESA Aggregates 1960–1977; Labour Force Statistics 1966–1977, OECD.

    New Technology

    20.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what means the Government are adopting to encourage the development and application of new technology in British industry.

    The Government aim to encourage the development and application of new technology in British industry by a tax system which rewards success, by abating inflation, maintaining competition and leaving unclaimed by Government spending plenty of resources at low rates of interest. During the transition financial assistance from the taxpayer is available through schemes such as the microprocessor application project (MAP), the microelectronics industry support scheme (MISC) and the product and process development scheme (PPDS).

    Sub-Post Offices (County Durham)

    25.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many sub-post offices in the county of Durham are used for making social security payments.

    West Yorkshire

    18.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what measures he is taking in order to stimulate industrial development in West Yorkshire.

    The Government's economic policies are desgned over a period to encourage industrial expansion and new jobs throughout the country including West Yorkshire.

    Public Purchasing Policies

    22.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what scope there is for better directed public purchasing policies in order to aid British industry.

    Public bodies are important customers of United Kingdom industry and I see considerable scope for them to use their relationship with United Kingdom suppliers to improve industrial performance to the advantage of both parties.

    Robots

    27.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will set up a working party to consider the availability of robots in British manufacturing industry, with a view to funding their production within the United Kingdom.

    The Advisory Committee on Research and Development has recently reported to the Government on joining and assembly techniques including the use of robots. The Government are already funding a number of projects relating to the use and production of robots in the United Kingdom. In view of this, I consider a further study unnecessary and that the emphasis should now be on practical application.

    Industrial Performance

    29.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with the effect of Government policies on Great Britain's industrial performance.

    asked Our policy, which is one of encouraging self-reliance, responsibility and realism in industry, cannot be expected to work miracles overnight, but by abolishing controls such as those on prices and dividends and by improving personal incentives we have made a good beginning.

    Steel Production

    31.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what volume of steel production he expects to be achieved within the United Kingdom in the financial year 1980–81.

    It will take the BSC some time to recover full production when the strike is over. The strike will also have an adverse effect on the Corporation's sales prospects, which cannot be quantified at present. Given the predominance of the BSC in United Kingdom crude steel production, it is therefore not possible to estimate United Kingdom steel production for 1980–81 at this stage.

    Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd

    33.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether, in view of the latest accounts from Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd., he is satisfied with that company's progress towards the achievement of a 10 per cent. return on capital employed by 1981; whether this target remains Government policy; and if he will make a statement.

    The accounts of Rolls-Royce Ltd. for 1979 are not yet available, but it remains my right hon. Friend's intention to ensure that the company seeks a satisfactory return on capital as soon as possible.

    Inter City Areas

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what consultations he has had recently to encourage light industry and small businesses back into the inner city areas.

    I have consultations regularly with representatives of small businesses and others concerned with the welfare of small firms on a wide range of issues. We are pursuing a number of policies designed to assist small firms wherever they may be located. The Department keeps in close touch with the inner urban programme.

    Job Creation

    35.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry which sectors of British industry are most likely to prove to be sources of new jobs.

    The fastest growing sectors of manufacturing industry in terms of employment in recent years have been plastics and electronics. Whether these and other sectors can continue to provide new jobs will depend on international competitiveness based on good management and work force co-operation.

    Non-Oil Industrial Investment

    36.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his estimate of the decline in non-oil industrial investment in 1980 compared with 1979 and 1978.

    asked No estimate is available for the index of production industries excluding petroleum and natural gas.The Department's investment intentions survey covers manufacturers' investment which accounts for some 70 per cent. of investment by the index of production industries, excluding petroleum and natural gas. The survey published in January shows a likely 6 per cent to 10 per cent. fall in the volume of manufacturers' capital expenditure in 1980 compared with the level in 1979, which was much the same as in 1978.

    St Helens

    37.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps his Department has taken to encourage industrialists to set up in St. Helens; what success has been achieved; whether he has any further proposals for attracting new jobs to St. Helens; and if he will make a statement.

    The St. Helens travel-to-work area continues to be an assisted area. It is not practical to estimate the impact of assisted area status on levels of employment in individual travel-to-work areas.

    Man-Made Fibres

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proportion of the European Economic Community market for man-made fibres is held by the United States of America.

    The information is not readily available in value terms, but it is estimated that about 3 per cent. by weight of the apparent consumption of man-made fibres in the European Community in 1978 was supplied by the United States of America. This estimate is based on figures published by CIRFS (International Rayon and Synthetic Fibres Committee).

    Knitwear

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proportion of United States consumption of high-quality knitwear is accounted for by imports from the United Kingdom.

    Carlisle And Barrow

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will give an assurance that Carlisle and Barrow will remain assisted areas until 31 July 1982; and if he will give special financial assistance to the area until that date to compensate for the cessation of the special temporary employment programme on 31 March.

    The Carlisle and Furness travel-to-work areas (TTWAs) become intermediate areas on 1 August this year and (subject to review) non-assisted areas on 1 August 1982. The special temporary employment programme will continue to be available in both these TTWAs until 1 August 1980 and the Manpower Services Commission will honour its commitments to programmes approved before that date. As unemployment in these two TTWAs is lower than in parts of the non-assisted areas no further assistance is justified.

    English Industrial Estates Corporation

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will ensure that the activities of the English Industrial Estates Corporation are based on employment considerations and are not distorted by the investment criteria of the financial institutions.

    It is, and will remain, the Corporation's duty to further the Government's regional and industrial policies, particularly by having regard to the objective of reducing unemployment in the assisted areas of England.

    British Steel Corporation Executives (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the 40 per cent. pay offer proposed for British Steel Corporation steel executives is compatible with current Government monetary allocations to the British Steel Corporation.

    There is no 40 per cent. pay offer proposed for BSC executives.The pay of BSC board members, as for those of other nationalised industries, is a matter for the Government, in the light of the recommendations of the Top Salaries Review Body. After many years of being held down below market rates these salaries are being increased in stages to the levels recommended by the Review Body; the final stage of the recommendations for April 1979 will be payable from 1 April 1980. In the case of BSC this will give increases of 16 per cent. for the chairman and from 3 per cent. to 11 per cent. for the other full time members of the board. There will be a further report from the Review Body in due course recommending 1980 levels of salary, but what these recommendations will be is a matter for the Review Body itself in the light of all the evidence. The BSC has given evidence to the Review Body but has not suggested what levels of increases might be appropriate.The pay of senior executives below board level is a matter for the BSC. I understand, however, that the Corporation is not proposing to consider a general increase in the pay of their senior executives, who last had an increase on 1 January 1979, until the outcome of the present dispute is known.

    British Steel Corporation (Subsidiary Companies)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if any grants or loans to the British Steel Corporation are outstanding in connection with Redpath Dorman Long; under what statutory powers these were granted; what conditions were placed upon the grants particularly in connection with equipment; and whether there will be any variation in conditions if Redpath Dorman Long is disposed of.

    [pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1980, c. 347]: Redpath Dorman Long Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Steel Corporation. The financing of the activities of the Corporation, including its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is by way of advancement of moneys under section 18 of the Iron and Steel Act and by short-term borrowings (overdraft, money market, and so on); prior to March 1978 the Corporation received NLF loans and also foreign currency loans (from ECSC, EIB etc.). The Corporation has funded RDL out of its total borrowings. The annual accounts of RDL at 31 March 1979 show that they have capital, reserves and an advance account from the British Steel Corporation, totalling £22·5 million, representing fixed assets of £13·9 million and net current assets of £8·6 million.To date Redpath Dorman Long Ltd. have received regional development grants amounting to £1,448,421 payable under the Industry Act 1972 and no claims for grants are outstanding. The grants on plant and machinery are made subject to conditions requiring the grantee to notify the Department if the asset ceases to be used on qualifying premises in a Development Area. The conditions operate for a period of four years and are closely monitored, including visits to the premises by the Department's inspectors. If assets cease to be used or notice is not given as required by the conditions, the grant becomes repayable in whole or in part and recovery of grants is rigorously pursued. If the person to whom an asset is transferrerd continues to use it on qualifying premises in a development area, and formally undertakes to abide by the conditions, the grant is not normally repayable. It is not intended to vary these conditions.

    Aircraft And Shipbuilding Industries

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Surrey, North-West on 17 March, whether the satisfaction of compensation issued under schedule 5 to the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977 was calculated on the basis of compensation due under schedule 4 to the Act; and whether the value of the stock now issued in payment has been calculated on a basis of simple or compound interest from the date of the offer.

    [pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1980, c. 347–48]: No compensation became payable under section 29 of schedule 4 to the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977. Consequently no rate of interest fell to be determined under paragraph 5 of schedule 4.Compensation for vested securities is paid under section 35 and schedule 5. I am advised that under paragraph 5 of schedule 5 the interest payable on this compensation is simple interest.

    Tobacco Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what investment grants are available to the tobacco industry; and if he will seek to end such grants.

    [pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1980, c. 347]: The tobacco industry, in common with other manufacturing industries, may be eligible for grants in the assisted areas under the Industry Act 1972, subject to the normal criteria which apply. We have no plans to amend the Act to discriminate against any one particular industry.

    Civil Service

    Official Information (Croham Directive)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many documents and reports his Department has published under the "Croham directive" since May 1979; and if he will list them.

    As I told the House on 20 June 1979—[Vol. 968, c. 1315]— it is no longer possible to distinguish between material published under the Croham directive and material that would have been published in any case. Since May 1979 my Department has published the 36 items listed below in addition to material published on a regular basis. All CSD publications and other CSD items available to the general public are listed in the quarterly publication "Management Services in Government".

    Civil Service Pay Research. The 1979 Review of the Adjustment for Differences in Superannuation Benefits: Report by the Government Actuary.
    Report of the Civil Service Pay Research Unit Board and the Civil Service Pay Research Unit (1979).
    Committee of Inquiry into Pay and Conditions of Non-Home Department Police Forces: CSD (1979).
    Guide to the Provisions for Increasing Public Service Pensions: CSD (1979).
    The Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme 1974: Rules: CSD (1979).
    Guide for New Managers: CSD (1979).
    Guide to Flexible Working Hours: CSD (1979).
    Individual Assessment and Performance Evaluation of the United Kingdom Civil Servants: CSD paper (1979).
    Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practices: CSD Report (1979).
    Staff Welfare in the Civil Service: a short CSD guide (1979).
    Review of the Framework for Government Research and Development: CSD (1979).
    Typing Services: CSD Management Services Handbook (1979).
    Industrial Relations in the Civil Service: a CSD training document (1980).
    The Crises in Affirmative Action in the USA: Civil Service College (1979).
    Proposition 13 in California: the Background and Effects: Civil Service College (1979).
    Positive Discrimination in Health: Civil Service College (1979).
    The Professional Ethic of the Administrator: Civil Service College (1979).
    Parliament and Defence Affairs: a Critique of the Major Decisions Approach: Civil Service College (1979).
    Inner City Partnerships: Civil Service College (1979).
    The Reports and Accounts of Nationalised Industries: Civil Service College (1979).
    The Application of Operational Research in Government: Civil Service College (1979).
    Evaluating the Staff Management and Organisation Course: an interim report by the Civil Service College (1979).
    Departmental Planning Units—Summary of the proceedings of a workshop held in February 1979: Civil Service College.
    Micro-Electronics: a Non-Technical Briefing for Under-Secretaries—Summary of proceedings of a seminar held in June 1979: Civil Service College.
    Guidance on the use of Microcomputers for Administrative Tasks: Report by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (1979).
    Hardware Cataloguing Conventions for ICL 2900 series: Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (1979).
    Microcomputer Operating Systems: Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (1979).
    Departmental Survey of Microcomputers in Administration: Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (1979).
    Interchange of staff between the Home Civil Service and Industry: CSD Report for 1978.
    Senior Professional Administrative Training Scheme: Survey of successful candidates: CSD (1979).
    Administration Trainee Statistics (printed in the Civil Service Commission Annual Report for 1978).
    Follow-up of the Administration Trainee Entry: Reports by the Recruitment Research Unit (1979).
    Report of the Committee on the Selection Procedure for the Recruitment of Administration Trainees: CSD (1979).
    Short-term follow-up of Direct Entry Principal Recruitment (1973–74): Recruitment Research Unit Report (1979).
    An Experimental Comparison of Board and Sequential Interviewing—a preliminary report: Recruitment Research Unit Report (1979).
    Selection Interviewing: Some Perspectives and Proposals for Research: Recruitment Research Unit Report (1979).

    Departmental Staff (Transfers)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many staff were transferred to and from the Exchequer and Audit Department and Government Departments in each of the past 10 years.

    Following is the information:

    Transfer to E & AD from Government DepartmentsTransfer from E& AD to Government Departments
    TransferLoanTransferLoan
    19703061
    19714081
    197221111
    19736072
    19746160
    19753470
    19763231
    197733100
    197833130
    197916660

    Pensions

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service for how many years ahead he estimates the cost of Civil Service pensions; what factors he takes into account in making those estimates; and what rate of inflation he is assuming for each of the years for which he makes an estimate.

    Estimates of expenditure on Civil Service pensions are made in the annual public expenditure surveys which are carried out in constant price terms, such estimates to 1983–84 will be included in the Government's forthcoming public expenditure White Paper. These take account of forecast retirements in each year as well as the assumed mortality rate of pensioners. The actuarial cost of Civil Service pensions is assessed by the Government Actuary in his review of the adjustment in pay research for differences in superannuation benefits. The assumptions about future price and salary inflation used in the 1979 review are set out in his 1979 report, a copy of which is in the Library.

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he intends to stop the indexation of pensions for the higher grades of the Civil Service.

    I refer the right hon. Member to the supplementary reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) on 20 February.—[Vol. 979, c. 440]

    Energy

    Fast Reactors

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy, of the current stockpile of plutonium in the United Kingdom, what he estimates to be its equivalent in terms of oil or coal if utilised in a fast reactor.

    The present United Kingdom stockpile of plutonium—of around 10 tonnes—together with the depleted uranium with which the plant would be fed, would fuel some 2000MW(E) of fast reactor plant which, over its lifetime, would generate electricity equivalent to 125 million tonnes of power station coal or 475 million barrels of oil. Part of the depleted uranium would be transmuted to plutonium in the fission process and some of this could be used to fuel further fast reactor plant. The bred plutonium would in time represent a much greater coal equivalent. For example, additional fast reactor plant could be installed such that the total electricity generated over a 50-year period could be equivalent to some 600 million tonnes of power station coal or 2,300 million barrels of oil.

    Electricity

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether, in view of the statement by the chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board that there are further price increases due to take place over a period of years due in part to the public responding to the Government's call for restraints in the use of energy, he will take action to protect the public from continuing price rises due to their implementing the Government's policy of reducing their demands for energy; and whether he will make a statement.

    asked As I pointed out in my statement of 16 January the need to move to economic pricing was the main consideration in setting the industry's three-year financial target. Detailed tariff changes are a matter for the industry, but the Government do not accept that these should automatically pass on all cost increases to the consumer.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of United Kingdom electricity production is used for domestic heating; and if he is satisfied that this represents the best use of this form of energy.

    It is estimated that 17 per cent. of electricity sales by the United Kingdom public supply industry were for domestic space and water heating in 1978, the latest year for which information is available. It is for individual consumers to decide which forms of energy best meet their needs after taking account of prices, convenience and other factors.

    Pressurised Water Reactors

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has invited the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to give its advice on the Westinghouse and Kraft Werke Union version of the pressurised water reactor and its opinion over choice.

    The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has already reviewed the generic safety issues of the pressurised water reactor (PWR) and has said that there is no fundamental reason for regarding safety as an obstacle to the selection of the PWR concept for use as a source of electrical power in the United Kingdom. It is now the responsibility of the Central Electricity Generating Board to submit a safety case for a specific PWR design for evaluation by the NII. No PWR will be built in the United Kingdom unless it has been licensed by the HSE.

    Trawsfynydd And Wylfa Power Stations

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the load factors and total energy production of Trawsfynydd and Wylfa power stations for each year that the stations have been in operation.

    This is a matter for the Central Electricity Generating Board and I am asking the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

    Official Information (Croham Directive)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy, how many documents and reports his Department has published under the "Croham Directive" since May 1979; and if he will list them.

    The following documents and reports have been published by my Department since May 1979:

    Catalogue of Geothermal Data.
    Development of the oil and gas resources of the United Kingdom 1979.
    Energy Paper No. 34: Heat loads in British Cities.
    Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics.
    Energy Paper No. 35: Combined heat and electrical power generation in the United Kingdom.
    Energy Paper No. 36: Advisory Council on Energy Conservation.
    Energy Paper No. 9: Civil aviation energy considerations.
    Electricity: Report of the Secretary of State for Energy.
    Heating Generators: Setting and Enforcement of Performance Standard: A Consultative Document.
    Energy Paper No. 37: Advisory Council on Energy Conservation.
    Energy Paper No. 10: Report of the Publicity and Education Working Group.
    Energy Paper No. 38: Report on Research and Development 1977–78.
    Energy Paper No. 39: Energy technologies for the United Kingdom Vol. 1.
    Energy Paper No. 39: Energy technologies for the United Kingdom Vol. 2.
    Energy Paper No. 40: Advisory Council on Energy Conservation Report to the Secretary of State for Energy.
    Energy Audit Series No. 8: The Brewing Industry.
    Energy Paper No. 41: National Energy Policy.
    Energy Paper No. 42: Wave Energy.
    Energy Audit Series No. 9: The Coke-making Industry.
    Continental Shelf Act Annual Report.
    Environmental Impact of Renewable Energy Sources.
    Offshore Safety.
    Energy Consumption Labelling of Household Appliances: A Consultative Document.
    Energy Paper No. 43: Multi-national arrangements for the nuclear fuel cycle.
    Energy Projections 1979.
    Nuclear energy and the Nuclear industry.
    Vale of Belvoir Inquiry: Assessment of energy requirements.
    Development of large wind turbine generators.
    Interim report of the Working Group on fuel consumption targets.
    Combined power and space heating in industry.
    The Exploitation of Britain's Offshore Oil Resources.
    Risk Analysis of diving operations from dynamically positioned vessels.
    PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN THE PRICE OF GAS, ELECTRICITY AND OIL OVER THE YEARS 1975 TO 1979
    Oil
    GasElectricityDomestic
    YearDomesticIndustrialDomesticIndustrialHeating OilsMotor spiritIndustrial Heavy fuel Oil
    1975–762245251628614
    1976–771737141524727
    1977–7832410101—5—6
    1978–79311*89*273217*
    1975–7952175†7055†1054293†
    * Based upon information up to the first three quarters of both years.
    † Based upon information related to the third quarter of 1979.

    Petroleum Production (Competition)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he is satisfied that there are no agreements or other arrangements, expressed or implied, between petroleum producers and refiners which could have the effect directly or indirectly of limiting competition in the United Kingdom and which have not been included in the public register.

    I have been asked to reply.This is a matter for the Director-General of Fair Trading, who has responsibility for enforcing the restrictive trade practices legislation and monitoring undertakings given following monopoly

    It is the practice of this Department to make available as much information as possible relating to policy development and decisions. It is not therefore possible to attribute to the Croham directive any particular publication.

    Fuel Prices

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what has been the percentage rise in total, and for each of the years individually, in the price of oil since 1975;(2) what has been the percentage rise in total, and for each of the years individually, in the price of gas since 1975;(3) what has been the percentage rise in total, and for each of the years individually, in the price of electricity since 1975.

    The per cent. increase in the prices of gas, electricity and oil for both the domestic and industrial sectors for each year since 1975 are shown in the following table:investigations by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

    Pig Iron Production

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what tonnage of coking coal will be required to sustain an annual United Kingdom pig iron production of 15 million tons and 20 million tons.

    I have been asked to reply.To sustain United Kingdom pig iron production at 15 million tonnes a year would require some 14 million tonnes of coking coal. There is insufficient capacity at blast furnaces in the United Kingdom to sustain pig iron production at a level of 20 million tonnes a year.

    Ethylene And Propylene

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what he estimates to be the potential in the United Kingdom for the use of methyl alcohol as a feedstock for the production of ethylene and propylene via zeolite catalysts.

    I have been asked to reply.Such information as I have suggests that while special zeolites can be used to convert methyl alcohol to a spectrum of hydrocarbons including the lower olefins, even at 100 per cent. yield the conversion of methyl alcohol to ethylene and propylene would be uneconomic for the foreseeable future compared with the established technology based on steam cracking of hydrocarbon fractions. If my hon. Friend has other information, I should be glad to consider it.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    British Citizens (Attacks)

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations have been made to the Soviet authorities concerning the attack made on two British citizens of the Jewish faith who were beaten up in Leningrad on 12 March; and what warnings are being given to British citizens who travel to Leningrad.

    We have not yet received a full account of the incident from the British nationals concerned. When this has been received, we shall consider it carefully with a view to seeking an explanation from the Soviet authorities.In present circumstances we are reminding anyone who seeks our advice before travelling to the Soviet Union of the need to act with due caution while there.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he has received a report from British consular officials in the Soviet Union concerning the grievous assault on two British citizens in Leningrad on Wednesday 12 March at 2300 hours; and if he will make a statement.

    We have received a report from the British Embassy in Moscow and are currently awaiting further information from one of the persons involved. When this has been received we shall consider what action is necessary.

    Mr James Moss (Zambia)

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what assistance his Department has been able to give in respect of Mr. James Moss, a British citizen, presently detained in Mongu prison, Zambia.

    Our High Commission in Lusaka has been able to provide appropriate consular advice and assistance, within the constraints of the restrictions on travel outside Lusaka. Officers of the High Commission last visited Mr. Moss in Mongu, some 600 km. from Lusaka, on 11 March. We have kept relatives in this country informed of developments in the case.

    Olympic Games

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the Geneva meeting to discuss a proposed boycott of the Moscow Olympics; and what plans he has to carry forward the decisions made, or options discussed, at that meeting.

    I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on 19 March—[Vol. 981, c. 4151—and the summary of the meeting prepared by the co-chairman, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.