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Written Answers

Volume 981: debated on Friday 28 March 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 28th March 1980

Bbc Orchestras (Funding)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what specific approaches he has made to the banks and the oil companies, in view of their high profit levels, to take over the funding of the five orchestras which the BBC intends to disband to save £500,000, in pursuance of his policy of commercial sponsorship for the arts.

I am in contact with various companies, including banks, as part of my efforts to encourage business sponsorship of the arts generally, but the matter of the BBC orchestras is of course one for the corporation.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Tristan Da Cunha

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the situation in Tristan da Cunha; and whether Her Majesty's Government have any proposals for its future development.

Tristan da Cunha continues to prosper mainly due to the revenue from its successful fishing industry and the sale of stamps. Although there are no current plans for its future development, the Governor of St. Helena and this Department are, as always, ready to study any representations from the Island Council.

Defence

Service Personnel (House Purchase)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Peterborough, Official Report, 20 March, if, in disposing of any properties at RAF Wittering, or other service stations, he will offer the houses for sale to service families on the same preferential basis as is proposed for council tenants in the Housing Bill.

I have nothing to add to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Lewis) on 11 March 1980.—[Vol. 980, c. 1140–42.]

Hms "Ark Royal"

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the disposal of HMS "Ark Royal".

On 21 November 1978 my predecessor announced that "Ark Royal" would pay off at the end of that year, and that arrangements would then be made for her to be scrapped.—[Vol. 958, c. 533.] Since then, however, a number of serious proposals to preserve the ship have been submitted to us. We have thoroughly examined these, but after very careful consideration have concluded that none of the proposals put to us is in all respects satisfactory and that the most fitting end for the ship would therefore be her disposal for scrap. We intend to arrange for her early sale by tender for this purpose.

Overseas Development

University Of Juba, Sudan

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the shortfall in the European development fund contribution to the capital cost of the Bilinyang campus of the University of Juba, Sudan.

It would be premature to speak of a shortfall. Detailed arrangements are still being worked out.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many lecturers at the University of Juba, Sudan, receive the British expatriate salary supplementation from the overseas aid budget.

Eight staff at the University of Juba are currently receiving salary supplementation under the British expatriates supplementation scheme. These consist of:

  • 1 Lecturer
  • 2 Senior lecturers
  • 4 Associate professors
  • 1 Librarian

Overseas Visits (Cost)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what has been the cost to public funds of visits abroad by the Minister of State responsible for the Overseas Development Administration since May 1979.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what has been the cost to public funds of visits abroad by officials accompanying the Minister of State responsible for the Overseas Development Administration since May 1979.

Employment

Closed Shop

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many representations his Department has received in each month since May 1979 asking him to include a clause in the Employment Bill to outlaw the closed shop; and how many of these representations came from small businesses, large firms, trades unionists and private individuals.

I informed my hon. Friend on 20 December 1979 that, in all, several hundred representations had been received asking for the abolition of the closed shop.—[Vol. 976, c. 299.] Some further representations to that effect have been received since then, but that description of the overall position continues to apply. I regret that it is not possible—without involving disproportionate costs—to sub-divide these representations into the categories requested, or assign them to their month of receipt. The vast majority of these representations seem to have come from private individuals.

Coal Mining And Nuclear Power Industries

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, in respect of each of the last five years, how many deaths, serious injuries and non-serious injuries have occurred in the course of employment in the coal mining and nuclear power industries, respectively; and, in respect of the same period and the same industries, how many deaths have occurred from industry-related diseases such as silicosis.

The information requested is given in the following tables.There are no statistics of deaths from industrial diseases in the nuclear power industries, but I am assured that there have been no deaths which can be attributed with certainty to the effects of radiation at work.Deaths in coal mining from pneumoconiosis reflect conditions many years ago.

REPORTED ACCIDENTS 1975–79*
FatalSeriousOther
Coal mining
19756458653,421
19765053550,203
19774050148,774
19786349446,279
19794747341,444
FatalOther
Nuclear power industry
19751509
19761623
19771599
19781652
1979651
* Accidents resulting in more than three days' absence from work.
† Accidents to operators' employees at sites operated by the Central Electricity Board, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. and establishments of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy concerned with nuclear research and development.
‡ Separate figures are not available for serious injuries.
DEATHS FROM INDUSTRIAL DISEASES ATTRACTING AWARDS OF DEATH BENEFIT 1975–78
Pneumoconiosis (Industrial Injuries and other schemes)Other diseases (Industrial Injuries scheme only)
19756401
19765973
19775353
1978*4982
* Incomplete figures including cases where death benefit had been approved by mid-1979.

Rubber Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he intends to take regarding the report recently published by the Health and Safety Executive about the risks being run by workers in the rubber industry.

The report referred to, which is entitled "Mortality in the British Rubber Industries 1967–76", itself states the action which the Health and Safety Executive and the industry is taking.The rubber industry, with its earlier history of using antioxidants which were subsequently proved to be carcinogenic, has been the subject of considerable scrutiny by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate—HMFI. With the establishment of the Health and Safety Executive and the reorganisation of HMFI, a national industry group—NIG—for the rubber and cable-making industry was established. This NIG has developed a rolling five-year programme of action, in collaboration with the Health and Safety Advisory Committee of the British Rubber Manufacturers' Association and the trade unions, to achieve improvements in hygiene control in the industry.Within this programme a major effort is to be devoted to fundamental matters, such as the application of sound engineering methods for the control by ventilation of dust and fume from certain processes, as well as general cleanliness and good housekeeping. A survey of dust and fume control has been carried out by HMFI in the manufacturing sections of a selected group of factories, so as to provide reliable data on worker exposure and to show ways of reducing such exposure to the lowest reasonably practicable level.

Household Incomes

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the average weekly household income for England and Wales in each year between 1970 and 1979.

The following table contains the information requested for the years 1970–78. Data for 1979 are not yet available.

Average weekly gross household income England and Wales
£
197035·60
197139·00
197243·30
197349·90
197458·60
197573·60
197682·70
197793·00
1978106·00

Social Services

Supplementary Benefit (Heating Additions)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the present cost of the heating additions paid with supplementary benefit; and what is the estimated cost of uprating these additions in November in line with the fuel component of the retail price index.

The present cost of these additions in a full year is £120 million. No forecast of the fuel component of the retail price index in November 1980 is available. The most recent figure showed a year on year increase, February 1979 to February 1980, of 18·7 per cent. Up-rating heating additions by this percentage would increase their cost by £22·4 million.

False Social Security Claims

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will seek powers to require all people who have been found guilty of making false social security claims to give a pint of blood every six months.

No. The nation's needs for blood are met by voluntary donations and I believe that it would be wrong to depart from this principle.

United Kingdom Pensioners (Canada)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total number of United Kingdom retired pensioners now resident in Canada.

There are approximately 27,000 United Kingdom retirement pensions in payment to persons resident in Canada.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost of maintaining annual retirement pension increases to retired United Kingdom pensioners now living in Canada.

It is estimated that bringing United Kingdom retirement pensions paid in Canada up to the rates currently payable in the United Kingdom would raise the cost of those pensions from about £10 million a year to £24 million a year. The cost of paying future increases to pensioners in Canada would depend on the amounts by which pension rates are raised each year.

Local Authorities (Residential Places)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what information is now available regarding the actual and projected number of residential places provided by local authorities for the elderly, for mentally-handicapped adults and for children in care; and if he will publish this information in tabular form

Metropolitan district authorityNumber of LA supported residents aged 65 and over 31 March 1979 (provisional)Number of residential places for the mentally handicapped adults available to LA 31 March 1979Places for children in care 31 March 1979*
Gateshead58729122
Newcastle upon Tyne93474369
North Tyneside49221115
South Tyneside45016102
Sunderland71444358
Barnsley5423483
Doncaster68798149
Rotherham49837173
Sheffield1,532152480
Bradford1,37089553
Calderdale62754178
Kirklees1,17984323
Leeds1,849214806
Wakefield70074186
Bolton71675196
Bury4966691
Manchester1,891162861
Oldham61298127
Rochdale54170145
Salford741128197
Stockport62486176
Tameside4458364
Trafford4624677
Wigan673114183
Knowsley2475578
Liverpool1,719272478
Sefton73811286
St. Helens3227061
Wirral1,246102166
Birmingham2,8322141,587
Coventry60683272
Dudley4115086
Sandwell80028155
Solihull3017287
Walsall55454105
Wolverhampton74574178
Total29,8833,1349,463
Notes:
* Figures are provisional and relate to places in local authority controlled and maintained children's residential accommodation. Places in assisted and voluntary homes have been excluded.
A report on local authorities projections as provided to the Department in 1978 is available in the Library of the House of Commons. No other projections are available.

for the English metropolitan district authorities, showing the actual and projected numbers at 31 March 1979, together with the most recently revised figures of each category for each local authority.

The latest information on the number of places provided by local authorities for the elderly, for mentally handicapped adults and for children in care for metropolitan district authorities in England is shown in the following table:

United Kingdom Pensioners (Spain)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the annual cost of maintaining retirement pensions increases to United Kingdom pensioners now living in Spain.

The present cost of United Kingdom retirement pensions paid in Spain is about £4 million a year. It is not known how much of this is attributable to pension increases that have become payable in Spain. The cost of paying future increases to pensioners in Spain will depend on the amounts by which pension rates are raised each year.

Industrial Disputes (Benefits)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he proposes to have consultations with the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry before announcing his plans to reduce the amount of public funding to strikers and their dependants.

Our proposals were announced by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 26 March.—[Vol. 981, c. 1462–63.]

Supplementary Benefit Recipients (Home Helps)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in order to give effect to his policy stated in the reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 24 March, he will now introduce legislation to amend section 29(5) of the National Assistance Act 1948 to render illegal any charge for a home help to somebody living at the supplementary benefit level.

Local authorities have discretionary powers under paragraph 3(2) of schedule 8 to the National Health Service Act 1977 to recover such charges, if any, as they consider reasonable having regard to the means of the recipients of home help services. My right hon. Friend has no plans to introduce legislation to curtail those powers.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is his estimate of the number of people living at the supplementary benefit level who currently receive assistance from a home help provided by a local authority;(2) how many local authorities are currently making a charge for the home help service for people living at the supplementary benefit level; and what is the average charge to them.

Detailed information about the charging policies of individual local authorities and numbers of people living at the supplementary benefit level receiving assistant from home helps could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, pursuant to the reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 24 March, he will detail the reasons given to him by the Supplementary Benefits Commission for reversing its long-standing policy on payment of home help charges made to beneficiaries; and if he will make a further statement.

The Supplementary Benefits Commission has made clear its view that local authorities should exercise their discretionary powers to make charges in such a way as to waive charges for people living at supplementary benefit level, or at least so that any charges levied do not impose hardship on such clients. The commission believes it would not be fair to the taxpayer to allow central funds to be used through the supplementary benefits scheme to finance local authority savings. Nor would it be fair to condone charging those living on low incomes but outside the scope of the supplementary benefits scheme whom the commission could not help. If it were accepted that local authority charges for home helps should be met by central government, the commission maintains that it would be more sensible and considerably cheaper to make the money available through the rate support grant rather than the complex and administratively expensive supplementary benefits scheme.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the Minister of State's reply to the hon. Member for St. Helens on 25 March, with regard to the disproportionate cost of estimating the costing of recent improvements for disabled people, what the cost of making this estimate would be.

The improvements to which I referred have all been welcomed by disabled people. I am satisfied that to cost them would require disproportionate staff time and expense. For example, it would be necessary to ask Motability Finance Ltd. to scrutinise individual receipts for cars issued and, from those, calculate the amount of VAT which would have been paid but for the exemption.

Prisoners (Visits By Families)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the Under-Secretary's reply to the hon. Member for Ince, Official Report, 21 March, what estimate he has made of the additional staff that would be required to administer a scheme for financial assistance to enable wives and families living in Great Britain to visit prisoners in Northern Ireland.

The estimate is very small, but the extra work has to be weighed against much more pressing priorities for the Department at a time when Civil Service manpower is being stringently controlled.

Trade

Speke Airport

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will permit transatlantic traffic at Speke airport.

The granting of air transport licences for British airlines is a matter for the CAA. My Department is responsible for the issue of operating permits for foreign airlines. Since no application for transatlantic services from Speke has been made to the CAA or to my Department the question of the grant of permission does not arise.

Radio Ship "Caroline"

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what inquiries he has made into the sinking of the radio ship "Caroline" off Southend; and if he will make a statement.

The vessel "Mi Amigo", which was used as a radio station known as Radio Caroline, was not owned or registered as a ship in the United Kingdom. The vessel broke adrift during heavy weather on 19 March and eventually sank outside United Kingdom territorial waters about 22 miles from Shoe- buryness. All those on board were rescued by lifeboat. The position of the "Mi Amigo" has been marked and the vessel is not a hazard to shipping.It is not my Department's normal practice to conduct marine casualty investigations into incidents occurring outside territorial waters involving non-United Kingdom ships. There are no exceptional marine safety or other grounds to justify an investigation into the sinking of the "Mi Amigo".

Estate Agents (Clients' Accounts)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress he is making in his consultations with interested parties about draft regulations under the Estate Agents Act 1979 relating to the keeping of accounts of clients' moneys; if he will estimate when they are likely to be brought into operation; and whether they are ready to preclude the taking of several non-returnable deposits on the same property.

Comments, now received from the main interests, will in this complex area take time to consider and I am unable to say when the regulations are likely to come into operation. The regulations will not control the taking of deposits but will form part of the system for safeguarding deposits once taken.

Feedstock Equalisation Tariff

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what consideration he is giving, in the light of representations he has received from the British chemical industry, to a Common Market feedstock equalisation tariff, particularly in relation to styrene and vinyl acetate, in the light of United States two-tier gas pricing system; and if he will make a statement.

European Commission (Anti-Dumping Investigations)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many anti-dumping cases on behalf of the United Kingdom are currently before the European Commission; how long they have been under consideration; and what is the time taken in dealing with such cases by the Commission.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1980]: An analysis of 16 cases completed during 1978 and 1979 shows that under normal circumstances the Commission takes about four months to conclude a case from the date of its formal opening for full investigation. In addition, 1979 saw the conclusion of four unusually complicated cases, each of which took over a year to complete. The following is a table of uncompleted cases in which United Kingdom producers have an interest and the dates on which they were formally opened for investigation. The table does not include cases which have been both opened and closed during the period, and is not therefore representative of the time normally taken by the Commission to deal with cases.

Commodity, country of origin and date the case was formally opened for investigation.

  • 1. G/S light bulbs—Hungary, Poland, GDR, Czechoslovakia—5.9.78.
  • 2. Fibre building board—USSR, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden—30.11.78.
  • 3. Motor car tyres—Czechoslovakia, GDR, Romania, Yugoslavia—28.4.79.
  • 4. Acrylic fibre—USA, Japan—12.6.79, Provisional anti-dumping duty against imports from the USA in force.
  • 5. Cotton yarn—Turkey—3.8.79.
  • 6. Saccharin—Japan, China, USA—17.8.79.
  • 7. Mechanical alarm clocks—GDR, USSR, China, Czechoslovakia, Hong Kong—24.8.79.
  • 8. Ball bearings—Japan, USSR, Poland, Romania—18.9.79.
  • 9. Seamless steel tubes—Spain—19.10.79.
  • 10. Anchor chains—Sweden, Spain—14.12.79.
  • 11. Stainless steel bar—Brazil—18.12.79.
  • Crude Oil Prices

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the difference between the United States of America and the United Kingdom price of crude oil in £ sterling per tonne after taking into account the price of United States imports and the fall in the real exchange rate between the £ sterling and the United States dollar since the fourth quarter of 1976.

    I have been asked to reply.The information attached is the average price of crude oil, to the refiner, in the United Kingdom and the United States quoted in £ per tonne. For both countries the price is a weighted average of imported and domestically produced oil.

    United States
    December 1976£44·5
    November 1979£75·7
    United Kingdom
    December 1976£55·6
    November 1979£79·3

    Northern Ireland

    Civil Service (Investigation)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the Fair Employment Agency's investigation of the senior ranks of the Civil Service in Northern Ireland, specifying the reasons for the inquiry and for its limitation to senior ranks; and what will be done with the results of the investigation.

    I understand that the purpose of the investigation is to enable the agency to ascertain whether there is equality of opportunity in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and, if not, what action—if any—for promoting equality of opportunity ought to be taken. The investigation extends to all non-industrial civil servants and is not restricted to senior ranks.I also understand that any report of the investigation may be pubished at the discretion of the agency.

    Short-Time Working

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many employees in Northern Ireland are currently on short-time working.

    Separate figures of short-time working in Northern Ireland are not collected. An indication of the extent of short-time working is, however, given by the fact that employers are currently receiving payments in respect of some 10,700 workers under the temporary short-time working compensation scheme.

    Personal Disposable Income

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the real personal disposable income per head of population in Northern Ireland for the last five years.

    Details of personal disposable income per head of population in Northern Ireland are available only at current prices. The information for the years 1972 to 1976 may be found on page 33 of "Social and Economic Trends in Northern Ireland" No. 5. Personal disposable income for 1977 is estimated to have been £1,419.

    Hours Of Work

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average number of hours worked, per week, by male and female workers in Northern Ireland.

    The average number of hours worked—including overtime—by full-time adults in 1979, the latest period for which information is available, is as follows:

    MaleFemale
    Manual45·940·1
    Non-manual42·238·3
    All44·539·0

    Scotland

    School Transport (Charges)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his inclusion of powers to charge for school transport in the Education (No. 2) Bill was based on a request from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

    Building Control

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many building control officers are currently employed in Scotland by (a) central Government, (b) regional authorities, (c) district councils, and (d) the National House Building Council, respectively.

    There are 17 officers in the Scottish Office who administer the building regulations. Information on the number of building control officers employed by local authorities is not available centrally. My right hon. Friend has no responsibility for the National House Building Council.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the actual cost of providing building control services in Scotland for the years 1977, 1978 and 1979; and what percentage of this figure is attributable to local authorities as distinct from central Government.

    The net expenditure on building control services in Scotland was £3·2 million in 1977–78, £3·6 million in 1978–79 and £3·5 million—estimated—in 1979–80. The percentages attributable to local authorities are 91·3 per cent., 90·1 per cent. and 87·6 per cent.—estimated—respectively.

    Planning Applications (Building Fees)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will have the fullest discussions with the Scottish Federation of Building Trades Employers before any legislation is proposed to charge building fees for planning or building applications.

    Fees for building warrants have been charged by local authorities in Scotland since 1964. The prescribed scale of fees is adjusted periodically in consultation with the main bodies concerned, including the Scottish National Federation of Building Trades Employers.It has been decided in principle that applicants for planning permission should pay a fee to the planning authority so that the cost of deciding an application will be shared between the community and the applicant. A power to charge fees is among the provisions of the Local Government, Planning and Land (No. 2) Bill presently before the House. The scale of fees will be prescribed in regulations. My Department intends to consult widely on our proposals and will publish details shortly.

    Roads And Transport Policy

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report, in the same format as in the latest expenditure White Paper, a table showing those items of the roads and transport budget for which he has responsibility.

    ROADS AND TRANSPORT—ANALYSIS OF EXPENDITURE IN SCOTLAND WITHIN THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY*

    £ million at 1979 survey prices

    1974–75

    1975–76

    1976–77

    1977–78

    1978–79

    1979–80

    1980–81

    1981–82

    1982–83

    1983–84

    Motorways and trunk roads
    New construction and inprovement54575467605855
    Maintenance11121414141312
    Total64696881757167706060
    Local transport
    Capital:
    Roads—new construction and improvement95766454525982807070
    Car parks43222
    Public transport investment101825243829
    Current:
    Roads—maintenance84827885897883140140140
    Car parks
    Road safety etc.1114111
    Local authority administration13121310151313
    Passenger transport subsidies:
    British Rail512911121430
    Bus and ferry81610111317
    Concessionary fares11181616191916
    Total230238219216242232226220210210
    Central government support to transport industries
    Scottish Transport Group1645434
    Other1112
    Total2655456101010
    Ports and shipping
    Ports6563131
    Civil aviation
    Other civil aviation services1
    Other transport services
    Roads and transport administration2222222
    Total304320299307325313303300280280

    * All the figures have been rounded (1974–75 to 1980–81 to the nearest £1 million; remaining years to the nearest £10 million) and do not necessarily sum to the totals.

    Electricity Disconnections

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will publish in the Official Report the numbers of disconnections in (a) the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board area and (b) the South of Scotland Electricity Board area for each quarter since March 1979; what these represent as a percentage of domestic credit consumers; and how many consumers remained disconnected after five days, one month, six months and one year, respectively;(2) if he will pubish in the

    Official Report the figures for the percentage of consumers disconnected in ( a) the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board area and ( b) the South of Scotland Electricity Board area for debts of (i) under £40, (ii) £40 to £100 and (iii) more than £100; and what these figures represent as a percentage of all disconnections in each year since 1976.

    The information requested relates to matters within the statutory responsibilities of the electricity boards. I am, therefore, asking the chairmen of the boards to write to the hon. Member.

    Home Department

    Wales (Proscription Of Organisations)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will take steps to introduce legislation to make the Movement for the Defence of Wales and the Free Wales Army proscribed organisations.

    Airguns

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the statutory provisions regarding the possession of an airgun.

    Sections 1, 11, 19, 22 and 23 of the Firearms Act 1968, and the Firearms (Dangerous Air Weapons) Rules 1969.

    Borstal

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list each borstal establishment in England and Wales; how many inmates each contains at present; how many staff are employed at each borstal; and what is the cost to public funds of employing security staff at each of these institutions.

    All members of staff share a measure of responsibility for security and it is not practicable to isolate the costs of this particular activity. The other information requested is given in the following table which shows the position at 29 February 1980.

    EstablishmentPopulationStaff
    Bullwood Hall106119
    Deerbolt300118
    Dover184153
    East Sutton Park4936
    Everthorpe368148
    Feltham (including Finnamore Wood)294217
    Gaynes Hall13184
    Glen Parva300166
    Guys Marsh13098
    Hatfield (including Gringley)270124
    Hewell Grange12170
    Hindley324134
    Hollesley Bay263210*
    Huntercombe16588
    Lowdham Grange165119
    Portland404227
    Rochester328178
    Stoke Heath428177
    Usk (Prescoed)79105*
    Wellingborough344155
    Wetherby221108
    * Including detention centre staff

    Pre-Release Employment Schemes

    asked the Secretary of State for Home Department whether he will publish the research on pre-release employment schemes; and if so, when.

    The study will take several months and the report may not be available this year. I shall consider the question of publication when I have the report.

    Remand Prisoners

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of (a) the total of prisoners remanded in custody and (b) juveniles under 17 years had been remanded in custody in excess of (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) nine months and (iv) one year, respectively.

    A breakdown in the form requested for all prisoners could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The information available about unsentenced juveniles is given in the following table:

    Unsentenced juveniles aged 14 to 16 in prison department establishments in England and Wales on 31 January 1980: by length of time since first remand
    Length of time since first remand*Number of persons
    Up to and including three months274
    Over three months up to and including six months12
    Over six months up to and including nine months1
    Over nine months up to and including one year
    Over one year
    Total287
    * including any time which may have been spent on bail.

    Children And Young Persons Act

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to introduce legislation to remove from the statute book those sections of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 which have not been brought into force.

    We are considering this in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.

    Magistrates' Courts Service

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons employed by local and central Government in the magistrates' courts service in England and Wales are above executive officer level and how many are below clerical officer level.

    Magistrates' courts in England and Wales are a locally run service which is administered by magistrates' courts committees and, in inner London, by the Committee of Magistrates. Justices' clerks are appointed and their assistants employed by those committees. The staff are, therefore, neither civil servants nor local government officers and they are not generally organised in grades that are equivalent to those in the Civil Service. I am advised, however, that after the first stage of the Civil Service pay settlement of 1 April 1979 and of the magistrates' courts pay settlements of 1 July 1979 there were about 2,100 full-time and 25 part-time justices' clerks and assistants with salaries above the then maximum for Civil Service executive officer grade—£5,043—and about 250 full-time and three part-time justices' clerks' assistants aged 18 and over with salaries below the then minimum for a Civil Service clerical officer aged 18£2,420.

    Drugs (Control)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if, in view of the increase in drug taking by young people, as evidenced by the considerable rise in breaking and entering of chemists' shops in the Dudley area for the purpose of obtaining controlled drugs, and the increased demand on police time caused by this problem, he will bring forward proposals for more effective security measures for premises in which controlled drugs are kept;(2) if he will consider financial aid for retail chemists' shops for the provision of controlled drugs cabinets;(3) if he is satisfied with the security specification of controlled drugs cabinets used in retail chemists' shops.

    The security of controlled drugs kept in retail pharmacies and elsewhere is due to be considered by the advisory council on the misuse of drugs at its meeting next month and our intention is then, subject to the council's views, to consult the various professional bodies concerned on proposals to improve standards of security.The question of financial aid for retail pharmacists installing controlled drugs cabinets in their shops is for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security but I understand that such costs are already taken into account in determining their NHS remuneration.

    Overstaying

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he anticipates that the computer will be in operation to control overstayings; and how the system will operate.

    The existing manual arrangements for pairing landing and embarkation cards completed by passengers subject to immigration control will be replaced by a computer system from the end of July, with preliminary running commencing on 1 May.Landing and embarkation cards for the computer system will be numbered so that pairing can be by number rather than by name. The system should provide more accurate and timely information as to whether a passenger has overstayed so that police and Home Office manpower for follow-up inquiries can be used to the best effect.

    Political Organisations (Foreign Funding)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation prohibiting foreign Governments from funding political organisations in the United Kingdom.

    Financial contributions to terrorism are an offence under section 10 of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976. I know of no need for further legislation.

    Taxi Fares

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will enable district councils which fix taxi fares by byelaw to increase fares by resolution to take account of the rise in the rates of road fuel and vehicle excise duty.

    Yes. I am making an order under the Finance Act 1974 enabling those councils to grant a surcharge of up to 3p per jounrey. It will take effect from 21 April.

    Animal Experiments

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will announce the membership of the reconstituted Advisory Committee on Animal Experiments.

    In addition to Mrs. Mary Warnock, whose appointment as chairman was announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 25 July 1979—[Vol. 971, c. 297]—the following have agreed to serve:

    • Lord Adrian, MD FRS
    • Professor D. E. Blackman, BA PhD FBPsS
    • Mr. J. Brice, MB BS FRCS
    • Dr. C. R. Coid, BSc FlBiol MRCVS
    • Professor the Rev. Canon Gordon R. Dunstan
    • Mr. T. G. Field-Fisher, TD MA QC
    • Dr. S. M. Jennett. PhD MD MB CLB MRCS
    • Lady Lloyd
    • Sir William D. M. Paton, CBE MA DM FRCP FFARCS FRS
    • Mr. N. Snodgrass BSc MRCVS
    • Dr. B. W. Straughan BSc PhD MB BS LRCP MRCS
    One further member is to be appointed as soon as possible.The chairman has been appointed for five years and members for three years in their individual, and not representative, capacities.

    Brixton Prison (Remanded Prisoners)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the longest period of time that a prisoner currently in Brixton prison has been on remand; and with what he is charged.

    [pursuant to his reply, 13 March 1980, c. 651]: The longest period for which any person held on remand in custody in Brixton prison on 31 January 1980 had been so held was 566 days. The man concerned had been charged with conspiracy to rob and unlawful possession of an offensive weapon.

    Environment

    Liverpool Inner City Partnership Committee

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in his capacity as chairman of the Liverpool inner city partnership committee, he will ensure that equal priority is given to social and educational projects as to projects to improve the physical environment when allocating partnership funds.

    All the partnership authorities agree that economic regeneration and environmental improvements are the first priorities in Liverpool's inner area.

    Building Control Applications (Fees)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will have the fullest discussions with the Federation of Master Builders before he applies any new scale of fees for building control applications.

    The Federation of Master Builders was fully consulted about the scale of fees to be introduced on 1 April. It would, of course, be consulted again were any changes to be proposed.

    Planning Applications (Fees)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will undertake to consult the organisations representing small businesses before making regulations, under section 63 of the Local Government, Planning and Land (No. 2) Bill, when enacted, for the payment of fees for planning applications made to a local planning authority in England and Wales.

    Urban Aid

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the future of urban aid.

    "The Right To Buy"

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the research material publicised by his Department in connection with the consultation paper "The Right to Buy", which was described as showing that studies of sales under the Greater London Council and Leeds showed that a fair spread of properties was sold.

    I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook) on 22 November 1979.—[Vol. 974, c. 340.]

    Palace Of Westminster

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes he intends to make in the arrangements for works and other accommodation services at the Palace of Westminster; and what will be the effect of the changes in the cash limits relating to Class XIV, Vote 1 and Class VIII, Vote 6.

    Responsibility for works and other accommodation services will be transferred from the Directorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings to the Property Services Agency with effect from 1 April 1980. In its ninth report the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) drew attention to a division of responsibility between DAMHB which handles financial and policy questions and PSA which carries out the services. Under the new arrangements, full responsibility will rest with the PSA which will, however, continue to have access to the specialist architectural and conservational expertise available in the DAMHB. Consequently, the cash limit for Class XIV Vote 1 will be increased by £7 million to £413·5 million and the cash limit for Class VIII Vote 6 will be reduced by the same amount to £45 million. Revised estimates incorporating these changes will be presented shortly, but in the interim expenditure on Vote XIV 1 will be covered by an advance from the Contingencies Fund.

    Docklands Land Board

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take about the Docklands Land Board, in view of the proposal to repeal the Community Land Act.

    With the agreement of the Greater London Council and all the London boroughs concerned, my right hon. Friend has made an order dissolving the Docklands Land Board with effect from 1 April 1980. The board's responsibilities, assets and liabilities are being transferred to constituent authorities.

    Wales

    Roads And Transport Policy

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in the Official Report, in the same format as in the latest expenditure White Paper, a table showing those items of the roads and transport budget for which he has responsibility.

    TABLE 2.6
    ROADS AND TRANSPORT (WALES)
    £ million at 1979 survey prices

    1974–75

    1975–76

    1976–77

    1977–78

    1978–79

    1979–80

    1980–81

    1981–82

    1982–83

    1983–84

    Motorways and trunk roads
    New construction and improvement31667451515860707070
    Maintenance81010912109
    Total39768460636869707070
    Local transport
    Capital:
    Roads—new construction and improvement39353127303731808080
    Car parks411111
    Public transport investment111
    Current:
    Roads—maintenance47424042443838
    Car parks
    Road safety etc.1111111
    Local authority administration13121212121211
    Passenger transport subsidies:
    British Rail
    Bus, underground and terry services2586676
    Concessionary fares3444454
    Total10910097949910291808080
    Note: The figures for 1981–82 onwards are rounded to the nearest £10 million.

    The figures for the years after 1980–81 are grouped and rounded in accordance with paragraph 6 of part 1 of the White Paper—[Cmnd. 7841]. Because of roundings, no meaningful breakdown can be given for local transport capital and current expenditure.

    National Finance

    Mortgage Interest And Life Assurance Premiums (Tax Relief)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update the information on mortgage tax relief given to the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) Official Report, 7 August 1975, c. 333–5.

    The estimated information is as follows:

    Cost of relief to
    Cost £ millionBasic rate taxpayer £ millionHigher rate taxpayer* £ million
    1975–76865630235
    1976–771,090740350
    1977–781,040755285
    1978–791,110900210
    1979–801,4501,200250
    * Includes the element of relief at the basic rate to a higher rate taxpayer.

    Low-Income Families

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update the information on tax allowances given to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North (Mr. Howell) Official Report, 28 February 1978, columns 181–2.

    No precise information is available. Results from the family expenditure survey for 1977—the latest analysis available—indicate that in that year about 20,000 single parents in full-time employment and about 50,000 married couples with children where either the husband or wife was in full-time employment had earnings below the tax threshold.

    Parliamentary Questions

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of written questions to his Department was answered by referring the hon. Member to material in the House of Commons Library in the first two months of 1980 as compared with the first two months of 1979.

    For the first two months of 1980 and 1979, 9 per cent. and 17 per cent. respectively of the answers given referred hon. Members to published material.

    Banking Sector (Profitability)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the level of profitability in the banking sector in each of the last 10 financial years; and to what extent it has been influenced by cyclical economic factors and inflation.

    Information on the level of profitability in the banking sector by financial year is not available. The table below shows the pre-tax profits of the big four clearing banks for the last 10 calendar years on a historical cost basis.

    £ million
    1970214
    1971278
    1972380
    1973580
    1974449
    1975424
    1976700
    1977854
    895
    19781094
    19791564
    There is a break in the series in 1977 as a result of changes in accounting practice—notably the treatment of deferred taxation. The clearing banks' profits will have undoubtedly been influenced by both cyclical economic factors—there is a tendency for bank profits to be high when times are bad for others—and inflation; it is impossible, however, to quantify the precise extent of these influences.

    Credit Cards

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any proposals to curb the number of credit cards in circulation in the United Kingdom.

    European Community (Capital Expenditure Grants)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums of money have been received from European Economic Community agencies by public bodies in the United Kingdom in grants towards capital expenditure; and what tax revenue has been collected on these sums by the Inland Revenue, in each of the years since the United Kingdom's accession, to the European Economic Community:

    Most payments made to the United Kingdom by the European Community are either made in support of current expenditure or are passed on to private sector bodies. Grants paid to public bodies in respect of, capital expenditure amount to:

    £ million
    19751·6
    197619·5
    197729·6
    197828·1
    197943
    These grants are not normally liable to corporation tax but since capital allowances are, in general, due only on the part of the capital expenditure borne by the taxpayer, the receipt of the grant may reduce the allowances. This does not affect the majority of cases where the public bodies are local authorities or regional water authorities, which are exempt from corporation tax. I regret that insufficient information is available centrally to make an estimate of the tax involved.

    Speke Airport

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why there is no duty-free shop at Speke airport.

    The number of international passengers using Liverpool (Speke) airport has not yet reached the level at which the provision of duty-free shopping facilities would be justified.

    Estate Duty (Property In Lieu)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, following his written answer to the hon. Member for Warley, East on 11 March, Official Report, column 550, he will specify the means by which, when the acquiring body of tax-exempted objects is the Board of Inland Revenue, the financial benefit of the exemption of such objects from estate duty or capital transfer tax accrues or has accrued, since 1956–57, not to the Commissioners of Inland. Revenue but to the National Land Fund, bearing in mind not only that no credit in this regard has ever figured in the accounts of the National Land Fund, but also that the sums debited to that tuna in those accounts for the credit of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue in respect of the acceptance by them of objects in satisfaction of tax are necessarily higher as a consequence of, and in relation to, the extent to which the administrative practice of the Commissioners has withheld since 1956, without stautory authority for doing so, the full benefit due to the relevant tax debtors of the tax exemption of the objects thus accepted.

    [pursuant to his reply 21 March 1980, c. 370–71]: The tax exemption referred to goes to reduce the price paid for the object, which means that the amount the National Land Fund pays out in respect of the object is lower. The resources available for Land Fund expenditure in any year therefore go further and the heritage benefits.

    Personal Credit

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his answers to the hon. Member for Chichester on 24 January, why the published figures on the sources of funds of the personal sector and the consumer credit tables include bank credit card lending in the initial-free period, but exclude travel and entertainment credit card lending.

    [pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1980, c. 515]: As explained in the introductory article Economic Trends, September 1979—the published consumer credit figures are largely an aggregation of certain existing statistics used for the quarterly financial accounts, rather than the result of a special survey with uniformly applied definitions of consumer credit. One might wish to exclude bank credit card lending in the initial interest-free period, as well as the travel and entertainment card lending and other very short term credit such as monthly shop accounts, which are excluded. However this element is not distinguished in the statistical returns from the banks to the Bank of England.Ideally, one should include travel and entertainment card lending and other missing forms of very short-term credit in total personal sector sources of funds. However, quarterly variations in the amounts outstanding are thought to be relatively small and their omission from the financial accounts is probably not a serious matter.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total of personal credit outstanding at the latest date for which figures are available; and, of this total, how much was in respect of loans, hire purchase, credit cards, mail order, retail store accounts and bank overdrafts.

    [pursuant to his repy, 25 March 1980, c. 515]. Provisional data relating to end-1979, to be published in the April 1980 issue of Financial Statistics on 1 May, are as follows:

    Consumer credit outstanding granted by
    £ million
    Banking sector5,783
    Trustee savings bank166
    Finance houses and other consumer credit grantors2,718
    Insurance companies260
    Retailers1,657
    Total10,584
    A complete analysis by type of credit in the manner requested is not available—in some cases because of commercial confidentiality and in others because the data are not collected. However, an analysis of about half of the total is available, relating to credit granted by finance houses and other consumer credit grantors—including those finance houses which are in the banking sector—and retailers. Details are as follows:

    £ million
    Loans and hire purchase (credit sales and other fixed sum lending)4,258
    Mail order724
    Credit cards, retail store accounts and bank overdrafts386
    Total5,368
    Information on total personal sector liabilities outstanding is presented as part of the balance sheet of the personal sector. The latest information on this was published as supplementary table C on page 153 of the February issue of

    Financial Statistics, and relates to end-1978. Complete information for end-1979 is not yet available.

    Employee's National Insurance Contributions

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the standard rate of tax would need to be raised to cover the abolition of the employee's national insurance contributions.

    [pursuant to his reply 25 March 1980, c. 516]: To about 39 per cent. at 1979–80 levels.

    Transport

    Roads And Transport Policy

    asked the Minister of Transport if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for 1980–81 the taxation revenue and public road cost figures in the same format as on page 112 of the transport policy consultation document; if he will present a table showing the revenue, cost and revenue to cost ratios for the principal categories of goods vehicles; if he will break down the road cost figures into constituent components; and if he will present revised revenue to cost ratios for cars including the value added tax paid on fuel and car sales.

    The information is given below:

    Taxation revenue and public road costs 1980–81 (United Kingdom) (see attached table 1).
    Taxation revenue, attributed costs and revenue to cost ratios of the principal categories of goods vehicles (see attached table 2).
    The average expenditure on highway provision, maintenance and administration, and on traffic policing in the three years ending 1980–81 at mid-1980–81 prices is estimated to be:

    £ million
    New construction1,085
    Maintenance1,040
    Administration250
    Traffic policing185
    2,560
    The difference between the £2,560 million estimated expenditure shown above and the £2,360 million shown in table 1 as "Costs attributed" arises from £200 million of expenditure attributed to pedestrians and motor cyclists.The revenue to cost ratios for cars in 1980–81 including VAT on petrol and on car sales—and car tax—is estimated to be:

    Non-business4·1:1
    Business3·6:1

    TABLE 1
    TAXATION REVENUE AND PUBLIC ROAD COSTS 1980–81—UNITED KINGDOM

    Estimated taxation revenue

    Revenue to cost ratios

    Vehicle category

    Vehicle numbers (thousands)

    VED £m.

    Fuel tax £m.

    Total £m.

    Car tax £ m.

    Total including car tax £m.

    Costs attributed £m.

    Excluding car tax

    Including car tax

    Cars and taxis—
    non-business15,3356701,7352,4054202,8251,0202·4:12·8:1
    business2506458951551,0503802·4:12·8:1
    Buses and coaches774110*114114751·5:11·5:1
    Light vans (under 30 cwt. unladen)1,25390215305305903·4:13·4:1
    Goods vehicles (over 30 cwt. unladen)—not over 3·5 tonnes GVW631010202072·9:12·9:1
    over 3·5 tonnes GVW5162855358208207901·0:11·0:1
    All vehicles17,2441,3093,2504,5595755,1342,3601·9:12·2:1
    * Fuel tax rebate on stage services (£80m.) not deducted.

    TABLE 2
    TAXATION REVENUE, ATTRIBUTED COSTS AND REVENUE TO COST RATIOS OF THE PRINCIPAL CATEGORIES OF GOODS VEHICLES

    GVW (tonnes)

    Over

    Not over

    Taxation revenue £

    Attributed costs £

    Revenue to costs ratio

    Rigid vehicles
    2 axles3·553701402·6:1
    12139205601·6:1
    16171,4001,4401·0:1
    3 axles16179305001·9:1
    24252,2802,3801·0:1
    4 axles24252,0801,5201·4:1
    30313,5603,9700·9:1
    Articulated vehicles
    3 axles12131,0003502·9:1
    16171,2206002·0:1
    24252,1702,1401·0:1
    4 axles25262,3501,5401·5:1
    32333,7004,4900·8:1
    5 axles32333,6702,7601·3:1

    asked the Minister of Transport if he will publish in the Official Report, in the same format as in the latest expenditure White Paper, a table

    TABLE 2.6
    6. ROADS AND TRANSPORT (DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT)
    £ million at 1979 survey prices
    1974–751975–761976–771977–781978–791979–801980–811981–821982–831983–84
    Motorways and trunk roads
    New construction and improvement536517420279280287302
    Maintenance67798378899391
    Total603596503357369380393390390390
    Local transport
    Capital:
    Roads—new construction and improvement432447426265236275%441420410410
    Car parks422520121112
    Public transport investment218226214217201195
    Current:
    Roads—maintenance543531491472518482479870830840
    Car parks2—4—6—11—10—15
    Road safety etc.14877987
    Local authority administration174184161158159159152
    Passenger transport subsidies:
    British Rail242322292934190
    Bus, underground and ferry services188244222172168176
    Concessionary fares71979792969795
    Total1,7081,7851,6561,4181,4161,4281,3491,2901,2401,250

    showing those items of the reads and transport budget for which he has responsibility.

    Central government subsidies to transport industries British Rail
    Passenger subsidies657432395381342391393
    Level crossing grant151213111213
    Replacement allowance14525454
    Pensions861471401228810836
    Other subsidies4213041631
    National Freight Corporation12393414107
    New bus grants to nationalised industries and private operators26302626282825
    Other central government support112388
    Total811767654598541612536520510500
    Ports and shipping Ports38586566646960505050
    Other transport services
    Roads and transport administration18181916161616
    Transport research and other services33301075914
    Total51482923212530303030
    Total roads and transport3,2113,2542,9072,4622,4112,5142,3682,2802,2202,220

    Liverpool Inner Ring Road

    asked the Minister of Transport what is the current cost of the Liverpool inner ring road scheme, including debt charges; and what element of this is met by the Exchequer and what element by the ratepayer.

    The Liverpool inner ring road is a local road and questions about its cost and the debt charges arising are for Merseyside county council as highway authority. The Exchequer pays transport supplementary grant to county councils to help them meet their local transport needs, but this is a block grant, not specific to any particular item of transport expenditure.

    M25 (A12 To A13 Section)

    asked the Minister of Transport why there is the delay in asking for bids to construct the outstanding section of the A12 to A13 section of the M25.

    Bids were invited and received last summer but the award of the contract has been delayed by a legal challenge to certain statutory orders.

    Energy

    Offshore Supplies Office (Payment Of Grants)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish a list of the companies which have received overpayments of grants from the Offshore Supplies Office; and what were the overpayments in each case.

    North Sea Oil (Outer Hebrides)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans to include blocks off the West Coast of the Outer Hebrides in the seventh licensing round.

    I have not finally decided on the territory to be put on offer in the seventh round, but I have no plans to include the area mentioned by the right hon. Member; the intention is to select blocks from the areas referred to in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend, the Mem- ber for New Forest (Mr. McNair-Wilson) on 5 December 1979 about my proposals for the seventh round.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Agricultural Training Board

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now make a statement about the future size and composition of the Agricultural Training Board.

    Following consultations with employer and employee organisations and with the Education Ministers concerned, my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales and I have re-appointed Mr. J. S. Barber MRCA, Mr. H. P. F. Crawford MBE, Mr. A. G. Harris NDA MIAgrE, Miss E. A. Hock BA Hons. Msc. Mr. S. K. Neale, Mr. A. E. H. Phillips Bsc. Hons. Msc. and Mr M. Rees FRAgS. JP to the Agricultural Training Board for a three-year period starting on 1 April 1980, and for the same period we have appointed Mr. M. R. Burnett, who farms in Sutherland and who previously served on the board from 1974 to 1976.We have invited the Chairman-designate of the board—Mr. C. E. Vavasour—to advise us on the future size and composition of the board. He has been asked to have regard to its likely commitments and problems in the 1980s, including constraints on public expenditure, and to Government conclusions on the Manpower Services Commission's current review of industrial training boards generally. I understand that Mr. Vavasour proposes to seek the assistance of board members in his review and, in the interests of continuity, to ask members of the board's committees to remain in office for the time being.

    Food Import (Costs)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the annual national and per capita cost of buying that part of the United Kingdom's food which is imported into the United Kingdom at European Economic Community rather than world prices; and what the total figure would be if this figure were added to the cost of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the European Economic Community for 1980–81.

    The United Kingdom's estimated net budgetary contribution to the European Community in 1980–81 is given in"The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81 to 1983–84 ", Cmnd. 7841. An estimate for the additional non-budgetary cost to the United Kingdom of importing food at Community rather than world prices is not available for 1980–81 but is estimated to have been £210 million—or £3.76 per head—in 1979.

    House Of Commons

    Select Committees

    asked the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bottomley), as representing the House of Commons Commission, what has been the cost to public funds of visits abroad by Select Committees since May 1979.

    The cost to public funds of visits abroad by Select Committees since May 1979 amounts to £5,712.

    RATIO OF PUPILS PER QUALIFIED TEACHER IN MAINTAINED NURSERY, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS
    January of each year
    19741975197619771978
    GREATER LONDON
    Barking:
    Nursery
    Primary24·524·823·223·022·7
    Secondary18·518·716·316·015·6
    Barnet:
    Nursery24·437·025·825·723·1
    Primary24·623·823·322·822·2
    Secondary16·316·316·015·915·7
    Bexley:
    Nursery20·020·020·020·020·0
    Primary25·725·025·526·125·8
    Secondary17·617·917·817·617·1
    Brent:
    Nursery19·219·716·216·716·6
    Primary23·521·922·321·620·4
    Secondary16·115·315·515·314·7
    Bromley:
    Nursery
    Primary26·826·526·826·726·0
    Secondary17·917·017·017·216·8
    Croydon:
    Nursery20·219·719·819·820·8
    Primary23·923·124·023·523·7
    Secondary17·216·917·217·016·9
    Ealing:
    Nursery14·414·512·815·615·0
    Primary24·721·221·521·421·4
    Secondary17·315·616·516·416·0

    asked the center hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bottomley), as representing the House of Commons Commission, what has been the cost to public funds of visits abroad by the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs since May 1979.

    The Foreign Affairs Committee has incurred no such costs since its membership was appointed on 26 November 1979.

    Education And Science

    Pupil-Teacher Ratios

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what was the pupil to teacher ratio in maintained (a) primary and (b) secondary schools for each local education authority for each of the years 1974 to 1979;(2) what was the pupil to teacher ratio in maintained nursery schools for each local education authority for each of the years 1974 to 1979.

    [pursuant to his reply, 18 March 1980, c. 162]: The information is as follows:

    January of each year

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    Enfield:
    Nursery
    Primary26·726·627·026·725·8
    Secondary17·917·817·517·617·3
    Haringey:
    Nursery23·021·118·819·216·3
    Primary24·924·523·423·322·5
    Secondary16·716·616·216·416·3
    Harrow:
    Nursery19·419·322·517·916·8
    Primary24·323·723·823·723·3
    Secondary16·415·015·015·014·8
    Havering:
    Nursery
    Primary26·025·325·625·725·2
    Secondary18·017·817·517·417·3
    Hillingdon:
    Nursery18·016·316·316·114·3
    Primary23·823·023·823·623·2
    Secondary17·216·916·916·716·3
    Hounslow:
    Nursery10·7
    Primary23·222·322·522·722·4
    Secondary16·416·216·416·115·7
    Kingston upon Thames:
    Nursery16·515·214·815·517·0
    Primary23·622·822·622·622·3
    Secondary16·115·916·015·916·4
    Merton:
    Nursery20·220·819·720·920·8
    Primary24·823·723·423·122·5
    Secondary19·118·718·518·417·9
    Newham:
    Nursery25·525·620·319·718·3
    Primary26·326·825·623·422·6
    Secondary18·618·717·516·916·6
    Redbridge:
    Nursery
    Primary25·925·925·625·624·7
    Secondary17·217·517·117·617·4
    Richmond upon Thames:
    Nursery17·914·014·712·312·1
    Primary24·524·124·623·323·4
    Secondary15·716·116·816·718·2
    Sutton:
    Nursery20·014·917·017·117·4
    Primary26·825·526·326·325·5
    Secondary17·617·117·317·317·2
    Waltham Forest:
    Nursery21·618·417·518·114·8
    Primary25·625·324·423·722·8
    Secondary15·915·115·115·014·8
    Inner London:
    Nursery20·218·819·719·919·5
    Primary21·720·419·919·619·2
    Secondary15·915·815·615·415·1
    METROPOLITAN DISTRICTS
    WEST MIDLANDS
    Birmingham:
    Nursery21·022·121·420·220·9
    Primary25·725·324·624·424·2
    Secondary17·316·916·616·516·6
    Coventry:
    Nursery23·826·325·125·426·2
    Primary25·524·724·824·524·2
    Secondary18·017·216·516·416·2
    Dudley:
    Nursery31·934·038·232·730·1
    Primary27·026·427·227·026·9
    Secondary17·717·517·317·418·0
    Sand well:
    Nurseryn.a.23·523·620·620·6
    Primary27·227·226·725·925·4
    Secondary18·117·416·916·516·3

    January of each year

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    Solihull:
    Nursery
    Primary25·925·325·325·324·8
    Secondary17·616·216·216·816·5
    Walsall:
    Nursery33·633·837·535·545·7
    Primary25·925·124·125·024·2
    Secondary17·517·016·415·816·1
    Wolverhampton:
    Nursery23·422·923·423·321·8
    Primary24·824·624·322·922·1
    Secondary17·117·116·416·416·1
    MERSEYSIDE
    Knowsley:
    Nursery
    Primary24·524·224·024·623·9
    Secondary17·617·016·616·916·7
    Liverpool:
    Nursery21·625·425·525·625·9
    Primary23·622·022·122·422·1
    Secondary17·917·116·816·816·6
    St. Helens:
    Nursery20·321·820·020·820·0
    Primary26·225·424·624·524·3
    Secondary17·917·316·816·716·5
    Sefton:
    Nursery19·819·319·119·219·5
    Primary25·325·125·324·825·1
    Secondary18·117·717·917·917·5
    Wirral:
    Nursery18·115·917·717·617·7
    Primary25·725·525·225·224·9
    Secondary17·917·517·717·617·4
    GREATER MANCHESTER
    Bolton:
    Nursery21·621·419·020·421·4
    Primary27·326·325·726·125·7
    Secondary16·916·616·817·016·9
    Bury:
    Nursery20·719·522·122·623·9
    Primary26·125·924·424·124·0
    Secondary17·417·617·217·016·7
    Manchester:
    Nursery44·840·338·735·730·8
    Primary25·024·323·623·723·5
    Secondary16·516·416·115·915·6
    Oldham:
    Nursery29·528·122·920·620·6
    Primary27·425·624·825·626·0
    Secondary18·318·017·017·717·8
    Rochdale:
    Nursery30·924·923·224·223·9
    Primary26·025·124·424·423·7
    Secondary16·616·616·015·915·7
    Salford:
    Nursery28·426·224·824·924·9
    Primary27·326·925·725·424·4
    Secondary17·717·316·716·616·1
    Stockport:
    Nursery31·632·729·526·426·6
    Primary27·527·027·026·926·9
    Secondary17·617·017·117·217·2
    Tameside:
    Nursery18·219·918·719·719·9
    Primary26·325·324·424·224·5
    Secondary18·418·616·916·516·8
    Trafford:
    Nursery20·019·820·020·020·0
    Primary25·925·123·122·022·0
    Secondary17·417·017·016·716·7
    Wigan:
    Nursery19·617·317·517·519·6
    Primary25·525·124·524·223·6
    Secondary17·217·116·616·516·2

    January of each year

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    SOUTH YORKSHIRE
    Barnsiey:
    Nursery40·028·329·929·224·0
    Primary25·424·825·025·124·7
    Secondary17·917·517·117·317·2
    Doncaster:
    Nursery
    Primary24·223·723·022·523·0
    Secondary17·817·617·217·116·9
    Rotherham:
    Nursery18·818·219·719·319·3
    Primary25·324·724·324·524·3
    Secondary17·917·617·517·317·2
    Sheffield:
    Nursery23·820·717·217·417·3
    Primary23·322·722·822·522·3
    Secondary16·917·016·916·716·5
    WEST YORKSHIRE
    Bradford:
    Nursery16·914·916·816·718·3
    Primary22·421·221·921·320·8
    Secondary17·717·417·917·917·6
    Calderdale:
    Nursery33·031·132·031·330·8
    Primary24·024·024·324·624·8
    Secondary17·417·117·617·717·9
    Kirklees:
    Nurseryn.a.26·129·425·720·7
    Primary24·423·623·923·723·8
    Secondary17·917·717·617·917·9
    Leeds:
    Nursery27·323·423·523·423·6
    Primary26·025·925·125·125·0
    Secondary18·918·618·518·318·1
    Wakefield:
    Nursery26·620·221·021·320·5
    Primary25·224·823·823·423·5
    Secondary18·418·117·917·918·0
    TYNE AND WEAR
    Gateshead:
    Nursery19·419·018·518·018·4
    Primary24·323·623·222·421·9
    Secondary18·817·517·016·816·7
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne:
    Nursery15·113·213·814·115·9
    Primary24·421·519·919·418·7
    Secondary18·316·615·815·515·0
    North Tyneside:
    Nursery25·524·022·020·322·1
    Primary24·023·122·623·422·5
    Secondary17·317·416·716·816·6
    South Tyneside:
    Nursery19·820·119·618·318·4
    Primary24·323·222·421·821·2
    Secondary18·217·817·116·916·5
    Sunderland:
    Nursery20·020·020·019·319·4
    Primary26·025·125·325·424·7
    Secondary17·817·117·017·116·8
    NON-METROPOLITAN COUNTIES
    Isles of Scilly:
    Nursery
    Primary16·716·816·515·616·3
    Secondary11·110·811·612·111·5
    Avon:
    Nursery22·122·022·221·921·8
    Primary25·325·024·624·624·6
    Secondary17·216·916·816·817·0
    Bedfordshire:
    Nursery17·217·216·015·216·5
    Primary23·122·221·521·721·9
    Secondary17·417·016·516·516·9

    January of each year

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    Berkshire:
    Nursery28·927·424·420·219·2
    Primary24·823·923·824·224·1
    Secondary16·916·816·816·916·8
    Buckinghamshire:
    Nursery27·528·433·434·035·1
    Primary23·323·324·224·424·6
    Secondary15·916·216·516·616·8
    Cambridgeshire:
    Nursery18·819·118·919·118·9
    Primary24·424·124·224·023·9
    Secondary17·317·016·916·416·8
    Cheshire:
    Nursery18·718·718·118·919·5
    Primary25·324·324·124·124·0
    Secondary18·217·517·517·517·4
    Cleveland:
    Nursery19·920·120·018·817·2
    Primary25·624·624·724·323·8
    Secondary18·017·818·318·117·8
    Cornwall:
    Nursery15·318·121·717·616·6
    Primary26·726·025·425·124·6
    Secondary17·817·417·317·317·1
    Cumbria:
    Nursery17·818·417·818·117·5
    Primary24·123·322·723·223·2
    Secondary16·616·416·216·616·6
    Derbyshire:
    Nursery21·321·417·319·419·7
    Primary25·424·824·524·424·2
    Secondary18·117·717·617·817·6
    Devon:
    Nursery23·515·320·020·821·8
    Primary26·025·525·224·724·7
    Secondary18·317·817·817·918·0
    Dorset:
    Nursery
    Primary25·224·624·124·123·9
    Secondary17·717·317·417·617·7
    Durham:
    Nursery20·920·520·720·721·2
    Primary23·622·722·021·821·7
    Secondary17·917·417·016·916·8
    East Sussex:
    Nursery23·823·823·421·718·0
    Primary24·724·023·924·023·7
    Secondary17·317·217·317·617·3
    Essex:
    Nursery26·927·127·427·327·1
    Primary27·526·926·026·025·8
    Secondary18·318·017·817·917·8
    Gloucestershire:
    Nursery19·019·018·8
    Primary25·024·223·824·023·6
    Secondary18·317·817·617·617·5
    Hampshire:
    Nursery23·620·825·826·921·4
    Primary25·524·825·125·124·9
    Secondary17·217·016·716·816·8
    Hereford and Worcester:
    Nursery20·020·020·020·020·0
    Primary25·425·125·225·124·7
    Secondary17·617·317·617·717·8
    Hertfordshire:
    Nursery26026·825·123·622·3
    Primary23·322·923·123·022·8
    Secondary16·116·016·116·116·2
    Humberside:
    Nursery26·122·721·023·023·3
    Primary24·723·822·822·622·5
    Secondary17·717·317·016·916·9
    Isle of Wight:
    Nursery

    January each year

    1974

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    Primary25·424·324·123·724·0
    Secondary18·919·119·519·519·3
    Kent:
    Nursery20·020·318·516·818·4
    Primary26·025·625·525·024·7
    Secondary18·018·218·218·017·9
    Lancashire:
    Nursery22·222·522·021·421·6
    Primary26·025·425·025·224·5
    Secondary17·317·216·916·916·8
    Leicestershire:
    Nursery6·022·522·023·524·0
    Primary25·224·524·424·224·0
    Secondary17·416·917·116·816·6
    Lincolnshire:
    Nursery29·422·321·221·321·9
    Primary24·624·824·925·424·1
    Secondary17·017·117·017·317·1
    Norfolk:
    Nursery21·119·619·320·420·2
    Primary23·522·923·023·022·9
    Secondary18·418·318·218·117·9
    North Yorkshire:
    Nursery27·526·326·623·623·0
    Primary23·924·023·323·022·7
    Secondary17·617·317·016·916·9
    Northamptonshire:
    Nursery23·222·019·320·921·1
    Primary26·025·024·924·724·7
    Secondary17·717·317·217·117·1
    Northumberland:
    Nursery23·017·217·820·5
    Primary24·622·923·023·423·7
    Secondary18·117·617·517·717·9
    Nottinghamshire:
    Nursery19·117·316·615·816·9
    Primary26·025·224·925·225·1
    Secondary17·717·116·817·017·0
    Oxfordshire:
    Nursery24·322·922·322·723·6
    Primary24·724·524·023·524·5
    Secondary17·717·617·117·418·3
    Salop:
    Nursery20·019·619·920·020·0
    Primary24·724·524·424·323·9
    Secondary17·017·016·917·117·0
    Somerset:
    Nursery20·020·320·320·518·5
    Primary25·925·425·125·024·8
    Secondary18·318·718·518·718·6
    Staffordshire:
    Nursery26·226·426·625·925·8
    Primary25·424·924·224·223·8
    Secondary17·517·317·017·116·9
    Suffolk:
    Nursery21·120·520·620·119·4
    Primary24·824·224·224·023·8
    Secondary18·318·018·118·318·1
    Surrey:
    Nursery19·817·813·814·413·8
    Primary22·721·621·522·422·2
    Secondary16·616·115·916·216·2
    Warwickshire:
    Nursery19·118·919·319·319·0
    Primary25·024·324·123·923·7
    Secondary16·916·916·917·117·1

    January of each year

    1914

    1975

    1976

    1977

    1978

    West Sussex:
    Nursery19·219·118·519·120·0
    Primary25·625·325·124·824·7
    Secondary17·717·918·018·118·2
    Wiltshire:
    Nursery
    Primary24·624·424·924·424·1
    Secondary18·017·817·918·017·9
    England:
    Nursery22·521·621·120·820·7
    Primary24·924·224·023·923·6
    Secondary17·517·217·017·016·9

    NOTES:

    1. Primary and secondary schools include middle schools as deemed. Primary schools include immigrant centres. Secondary schools exclude tertiary colleges.

    2. For 1974 ratios shown have been adjusted to take account of the reorganisation of local government in April 1974. Where "na" is shown there is insufficient information available to provide an adjusted ratio.

    3. Ratios for nursery schools are based on qualified teachers, as for primary and secondary schools. Other teaching and nursery staff are excluded here.

    Higher And Further Education (Governmental Contributions)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice is available to him in connection with the governmental contribution to higher educational establishments outside the university system and to further educational establishments comparable with that provided to him by the University Grants Committee in connection with the university sector.

    The great majority of higher and further education establishments outside the university system are administered by local education authorities; and both the financial provision for such establishments and general questions of policy and planning are matters for regular discussion and consultation with the associations of local authorities. In the case of those few institutions which receive grant direct from the Department, discussions are held and budgets are settled directly with the colleges themselves. Advice on educational matters in all institutions outside the universities is available to me from Her Majesty's Inspectors.

    Religious Studies

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his estimate of the present shortage of teachers of religious studies in secondary schools; and what steps he is taking to alleviate the shortage of teachers of religious studies and to improve the teaching of religious studies in all schools, including primary schools.

    The latest available estimates of teacher vacancies in January 1980 indicate that there were about 100 vacancies for full-time teachers of religious education as main teaching subject in maintained secondary schools in England and Wales. Teacher training institutions have been asked, in their planning for the 1980s, to maintain and if possible increase, the proportion of their places devoted to the training of specialist teachers of religious education. My Department's advice to the institutions has also emphasised the importance of giving adequate coverage to the subject in the professional preparation of primary school teachers. The teaching of religious education is one of the matters to which attention has been drawn in my Department's consultative paper "A Framework for the School Curriculum"

    Assessment Of Performance Unit

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the function of the assessment of pertormance unit; how many people it employs; and what is the total cost to public funds per annum.

    The assessment of performance unit promotes the development of methods of assessing and monitoring the achievement of children at school, and seeks to identify the incidence of under-achievement. The unit itself consists of five full-time and five part-time staff. It commissions universities and research bodies to undertake the development of test materials and the administration of surveys on its behalf.The unit is an integral part of my Department, and it would not be possible separately to determine the total cost of its operations without undue expense. The total salary bill of the unit's staff is currently about £60,000 per annum. Expenditure on monitoring surveys varies, but in 1980 surveys in mathematics and English language—both at age 11 and 15—and in science—at age 11, 13 and 15—are expected to cost about £700,000.

    Teacher Training Colleges (Religious Education)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether all teacher training colleges offer religious education in their curriculum; and if he will list any which do not.

    My right hon. and learned Friend does not control the content of initial teacher training courses, which is a matter for the training institutions themselves and their validating bodies. Information is not collected centrally about the provision for professional training in specific areas of the school curriculum. However, such information as is available suggests that the great majority of training institutions providing courses for intending general class teachers in primary and middle schools offer some element of training in religious education and the methods of teaching it. Some two-thirds of non-university teacher training institutions offer a main academic course in religious education which may be appropriate for intending specialist teachers of the subject.

    University Finance

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is satisfied that the prevailing arrangements for the finance of higher education are properly calculated to enable universities to adjust their forward planning without wastage.

    Universities cannot be exempt from the reductions that have to be made in public spending, including education. It will be necessary for them to make adjustments, including some rationalisation of work within and between establishments, and preliminary discussions between universities and the UGC are now in progress. The grants announcement that my right hon. and learned Friend made on 27 March will, I believe, give universities a more secure planning perspective in respect of home students and financial provision for them. I see no reason why there should be unnecessary wastage of resources in making adjustments over the next few years.

    Annual Reports To Parliament

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he has taken to fulfil the obligations laid on him by section 5 of the Education Act 1944.

    Pursuant to section 5 of the Education Act 1944 I shall present an annual report for the year 1979 to Parliament before the Summer Recess.

    Polytechnics (Fees)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will bring forward legislation to provide for the statutory regulation by his Department of fees at polytechnics.

    No. My right hon. and learned Friend will continue, as in the past, to make recommendations periodically about tuition fees in the public and university sectors.

    Special Educational Treatment

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on his intentions with regard to the coming into effect of section 10 of the Education Act 1976.

    No. As my right hon. and learned Friend informed the House on 3 March, section 10 of the Education Act 1976 will need to be re-examined in the context of the Government's proposals for legislation to deal with the recommendations of the Warnock report.—[Vol. 980, c. 50.] The Government propose to lay before Parliament a White Paper on this subject.