Written Answers To Questions
Wednesday 2nd April 1980
Combined Heat And Power (Marshall Report)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action he proposes to take following the Marshall report on combined heat and power.
The report on combined heat and power (CHP) by a group chaired by Dr. Walter Marshall was published on 26 July 1979. On the same day the Under-Secretary of State for Energy announced—[Vol. 971, c. 356–7]—that the report raised wide issues of Government policy which would need further detailed examination. It has long been recognised that CHP can save energy whether linked with district heating schemes (CHP/DH) or with industrial processes. But the realisation that energy scarcity and consequent increasing prices are with us for the foreseeable future strengthens the economic case for CHP. In Scandinavia, Germany and France in particular numerous CHP/DH systems have existed for some years in a context in which natural gas has not been an important competitor and where freedom of choice for the consumer has been limited; moreover energy supply on the continent is often controlled locally and this favours community-based CHP/DH. The Continental experience is therefore not directly analogous to this country. The scope for further development of CHP in the United Kingdom has to be considered in the light of our own circumstances.The Government welcome the report, which has made an important contribution towards answering the questions whether CHP saves energy economically and whether there are technological, institutional, planning, legal or other obstacles to its economic development in this country. The report—energy paper number 35—concluded that CHP/DH could be a viable economic option for heating buildings in areas of high density heating loads, particularly in the longer term, and recommended that in order to establish a timely option for its development in the future one or more lead city schemes should be started as soon as practicable. The majority of the members of the group recommended the setting up of a national heat board to oversee this work. In addition, support was called for in the area of industrial CHP.At the upper end of the scale of energy savings given in the report, those from CHP/DH would be about 30 million tonnes of coal equivalent—mtce—per annum, that is to say, between 5 per cent. and 10 per cent. of probable United Kingdom primary energy demand beyond the year 2000, or equal to the savings considered technically possible for the whole of United Kingdom industry. Whether this could be achieved in practice would depend greatly on the level of market penetration, on rational use of heat by consumers and on future improvement in other heating and conservation technologies.The Government have carefully studied the issues raised in the report. We have taken into account in particular our energy policy objectives—to ensure adequate and secure supplies, to use energy efficiently and to maintain as much flexibility as possible about other energy options. We have also taken evidence from other sources and are particularly grateful to the District Heating Association for its advice.On several counts CHP/DH schemes could fit well with our energy policy criteria. They would improve markedly the overall efficiency of producing energy locally, effectively increase energy supplies and offer further flexibility in adopting other options. But the crucial test is whether they could do so economically and without causing undue disturbance to daily life.We have noted that the report's analysis of CHP/DH is subject to considerable uncertainty and that it was confined to generic studies. It is not yet possible to give an adequate estimate of the costs involved for a specific location nor to judge the extent of problems that might arise such as disturbance to people, dwellings and traffic, while conversion proceeded over an extended period. It is also necessary to determine whether financial assistance might be necessary to enable CHP to penetrate the market in competition with other fuels in the shorter term. We believe that the acceptability and viability of CHP can be decided only by detailed examination of particular locations. The Government consider that on the grounds of energy policy CHP/DH is an option that must be kept open and that, as recommended by Dr. Marshall's group, the next step is to test the feasibility of CHP/DH in specific locations. As the report indicates. CHP/ DH schemes should be developed gradually, enabling those involved to learn by experience as they proceed. Inevitably, therefore, long lead times will be involved.We therefore propose immediately to set in hand a programme of work on the feasibility of CHP/DH in particular locations. The first stage will comprise the identification of possible locations for CHP/DH. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Scotland will be consulting local authority associations about areas where CHP/DH might be an economic proposition and where local authorities wish to examine the prospects. The co-operation of the electricity supply industry in all such areas is equally important. The second stage will comprise a full examination of one or two of these locations, with a view to using them for lead city schemes. Only this information will enable judgments to be made on the desirability of providing funds and on the scale of involvement by central and local government and other bodies. The Government will meet the costs of the employment of consultants for this work, but would not cover other costs of establishing feasibility incurred by local authorities, the electricity supply industry or other bodies. All such costs would need to be found from within existing public expenditure limits, and at each stage the programme will be subject to review.After the completion of the second stage, a crucial decision will be necessary on whether to proceed to detailed design work for the construction of a major scheme. There are no easy or cheap options. For instance, even the refurbishing of old power stations in city locations, which is occasionally mooted as an appropriate basis for a CHP/DH scheme, will not necessarily be the optimum solution for that area, and in any case is unlikely ever to be cheap.
The Government have carefully considered the majority proposal in the report that a national heat board be established to co-ordinate CHP/DH development in the United Kingdom. However, we consider that such a board is unnecessary, at least at present, since in the early stages of any development programme the work will fall mainly on consultants, local government and local interests. A clearer view on the form of organisation that might eventually be necessary will emerge from our envisaged work programme.
In the industrial field where CHP is already established we accept the report's recommendation that the Government should encourage the development of worthwhile CHP schemes. We believe that the main impetus will come from industry for the implementation of economically attractive schemes. We are, however, encouraging the fuel supply industries to give sympathetic consideration to worthwhile schemes. The electricity supply industry has assured the Government that it will do all it can to encourage the development of worthwhile CHP schemes. We have accepted the report's recommendation to make further advice available to industrialists and have already announced the expansion of the extended energy survey scheme whereby a grant can be given towards the costs of employing a consultant to provide a full assessment of the possibility of installing CHP.
Offshore Supplies Office (Payments Of Grants)
Ross 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.
[pursuant to his reply, 28 March 1980, c. 733]: I assume the hon. Member is referring to continuing payments of grant which were entered into by the OSO outside the guidelines of the offshore supplies interest relief grant scheme since its inception. The following indicates the position last autumn:
|Total Oil Marine Limited||0·71|
|Elf Oil Exploration and Production UK Ltd.||0·88|
|Aquitaine Oil (UK)||0·47|
|Shell (UK) Ltd.||1·2|
|BP Oil Development Ltd.||2·0|
|Allied Chemical (North Sea) Ltd.||0·15|
|Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd.||0·51|
|Esso Exploration and Production UK||5·2|
|Thomson North Sea Ltd.||0·48|
|Total Marine Norsk A/S||0·23|
|Elf Norge A/S||0·35|
|Aquitaine Norge A/S||0·11|
|Norsk Hydro Produksjon A/S||0·47|
|ICI Petroleum Ltd.||0·47|
|Murphy Petroleum Ltd.||0·54|
|Mobil North Sea Ltd.||0·012|
|Amoco (UK) Exploration Company||0·13|
|Gas Council (Exploration) Ltd.||0·13|
|Ocean Exploration Co Ltd.||0·37|
|Gulf Oil Corporation—UK E & P Division||0·1|
|Ranger Oil (UK) Ltd.||0·49|
|North Sea Inc.||0·27|
|Tenneco (UK) Inc.||0·32|
|LASMO: London & Scottish Marine Oil Company Ltd.||0·45|
|Burmah Oil Exploration Ltd.||0·082|
|Det Norske Oljeselskap A/S||0·0015|
|The Charterhouse Group Ltd.||0·077|
|Unionoil Co of Great Britain||0·0076|
|St. Joe Petroleum (UK) Corporation||0·0016|
|Candel Oil Ltd—United Kingdom Branch||0·0047|
To provide figure for a current date would involve disproportinate cost.
English Language Book Scheme
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is now in a position to give details of the future of the English language book scheme.
Financial provision of £0·97 million for 1980–81 has been taken in the main Supply Estimates.
Census Of Employment
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) when he expects to publish the census of employment;(2) if he will arrange to update more frequently essential employment information supplied by the statistical division of this Department, in view of the problems that arise when using data which is three and a half years out of date.
The results of the June 1977 census of employment for Great Britain were published in Department of Employment Gazette for February 1980. For the standard regions and the United Kingdom, detailed analyses will be published in the March issue. Compilation of June 1978 results is proceeding and it is hoped that those for Great Britain will be published by the end of this year.The delay of two and a half years in publishing the results for 1977 is regretted. It was a consequence of a decision in 1976 to computerise the census operation in order to make a large staff saving but without provision for sufficient preparation and testing. Intensive efforts have been and are being made to overcome the problems. For the census proposed for next year it is planned to produce results within a year.The provision of employment information and its frequency is within the scope of Sir Derek Rayner's review of the Government Statistical Service.
Adult Training Courses
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give details of the yearly budget of the Manpower Services Commission towards adult training courses for each of the years 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the information is not available on a calendar year basis.The amount provided in the published annual Estimates for training courses under the training opportunities scheme for the financial year in question is as follows:
|Year||Estimate at estimate prices (as above)||Estimate at 1979–80 prices||Expenditure at 1979–80 prices|
|£ million||£ million||£ million|
Public And Private Sector Employees
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will give a percentage breakdown for both public and private sectors of those employed in (a) manufacturing industry and (b) non-manufacturing industry;(2) what percentage of the United Kingdom work force is employed in (
a) the public sector and ( b) the private sector.
The latest available figures relate to mid-year 1978 and were given in the article "Employment in the public and private sectors 1961–1978" in the November 1979 issue of Economic Trends. The information requested is as follows:
|United Kingdom employed labour force*: percentages in the public and private sectors|
|All industries and services||30|
|All industries and services||70|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the number of redundancies in Wales notified to his Department for each month since 1 May 1979.
The number of proposed redundancies in Wales, which have been notified to my Department under the Was met and 1979–80 must, of necessity, be subject to some broad assumptions, but I hope my hon. Friend may none the less find them of interest:redundancy handling provisions of the Employment Protection Act 1975, for each month since 1 May 1979 was as follows:
Killingworth Training Centre
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many trainees at the Killingworth training centre come from the Berwick, Alnwick and Castle Morpeth local authority areas; and what alternative facilities would be available to them if the centre closed.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the following number of trainees attend Killingworth skillcentre from the areas mentioned:
Disabled Persons (Rehabilitation)
Morris asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people with physical disabilities and psychiatric disorders, respectively, are currently waiting for places at employment rehabilitation centres; and what is the average waiting time for each group.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that at 3 March 1980 1,890 people were awaiting admission to an ERC, of whom 185 were regarded as having a psychiatric disability. Of the other 1,705 persons, it is estimated that 1,480 had physical disabilities. The average waiting periods for all categories of ERC clients are five and a half weeks for those able to attend an ERC on a daily basis and six and a half weeks for those needing to go into lodgings for the period of their attendance. In the case of psychiatrically disabled clients the waiting times are seven and a half weeks and just over six weeks respectively. Separate figures are not available for the average waiting periods for clients with physical disabilities.
Lost Working Days
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many working days have been lost through industrial disputes since 3 May 1979; and how this figure compares with the previous 12 months.
The number of working days lost in industrial disputes from 1 May 1979 to 29 February 1980 was 27·7 million—monthly average 2·8 million. The total for the previous 12 months was 14·4 million—monthly average 1·2 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many toxicologists there were in his Department on 1 April in each of the years 1970 to 1980.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
Employment Rates (Manchester)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, pursuant to the Under-Secretary of State's reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 27 March, concerning the proposed study of local employment rates in Manchester, he will publish in the Official Report his letter to Manchester city council on this matter.
Professions Supplementary To Medicine (Clegg Report)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will place in the Library a copy of the findings of Hay Management Consultants which were used by Professor Hugh Clegg in preparing his report on pay comparability for the professions supplementary to medicine.
Work undertaken by consultants for the Standing Commission on pay comparability is confidential to the commission. Copies of the commission's report on the professions supplementary to medicine were placed in the Library of the House on 10 March 1980.
Permaflex Limited (Fire)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will ask the Health and Safety Commission to hold a public inquiry into the fire and explosions at the warehouse of Permaflex Ltd., Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, in view of the widespread public concern and dissatisfaction which continues to be expressed.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 March 1980]: No. Both the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission and I have been in correspondence with Stoke-on-Trent city council on this matter recently. An investigation into the incident is being carried out by the local factory inspectorate in conjunction with its specialist experts. This is nearing completion and the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission has asked the factory inspectorate to make its report findings and recommendations available to all interested parties. These recommendations will also be taken into account when considering the updated regulations referred to in the reply given to the hon. Member on 12 March.—[Vol. 980, c. 619–20.]
Health And Safety
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take steps to prevent a decline in health and safety standards at work following cutbacks in financial support for the Health and Safety Executive; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1980]: Although the Health and Safety Executive was asked to make economies in line with the rest of the public sector; these were less than in other areas of expenditure. My right hon. Friend has excluded the executive from the further reduction in manpower costs recently announced by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Civil Service Department in view of his concern to maintain health and safety standards at work.—[Vol. 980, c. 748–49.]
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he has taken to ensure that the Factory Inspectorate's emphasis on inspecting larger companies will not lead to neglect of the safety requirements in smaller companies; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1980]: My right hon. Friend has taken no such steps. It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure that safety requirements are not neglected, whatever the size of their company. Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate selects workplaces for inspection on their merits, without regard to the size of the company that owns them. However, the selection system used is slightly weighted towards the larger workplaces in that, first, these may be divided for inspection purposes into convenient blocks of work, each of which is treated as a separate workplace, and in that inspectors have general instructions to visit the larger workplaces first, thereby covering the greater numbers of employees. Experience has shown that in some larger companies, particularly those with many subsidiaries, there are problems of organisation which may adversely affect health and safety standards, so that the intentions of the senior management may not be translated into action on the shop floor. It has been found that a co-ordinated national approach to larger companies may help to overcome these difficulties, and a small unit was set up some years ago to take the lead in this work among other duties. I am assured by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that neither the slight weighting towards the larger workplaces, nor the small allocation of resources to the special unit lead to any significant reduction of inspectorate activity among the smaller companies. If any neglect of safety requirements is discovered at the workplaces of any company, large or small, this is taken into account in determining when the workplace should next be visited.
May Bank Holiday
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether, in order to dissociate the United Kingdom from May Day celebrations, and to strengthen national unity, he will ensure that the bank holiday on the Monday immediately following 1 May is designated in official documents as United Kingdom Day.
[pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1980]: The name of the holiday is not established in law. The Royal Proclamation by which the day is declared a bank holiday customarily refers to "the first Monday in May". I have no plans to allocate a name to the holiday.
Training Opportunities Programme
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish the planned reduction in the number of preparatory training opportunity programmes training places in each region of the United Kingdom and the total.
[pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1980]: The following table shows for each region of the training services division of the Manpower Services Commission the estimated number of trainees
|PREPARATORY COURSE STARTS|
|Region||1979–80 (Estimated)||1980–81 (Expected)||Change|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what has been the total cost of redundancy payments in each of the last five years; what it is for current year; and what are the estimates for 1980–81, 1981–82;(2) what was the average amount paid to individuals in respect of redundancy payments in each of the last five years; and what it will be in the current year;(3) whether the statistics kept concerning redundancy payments show what proportion of such payments is made to people, who, havirg left their jobs, go immediately into retirement.
[pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1980]: The total cost of statutory redundancy payments and the average individual payments made during the past five financial years were as follows:
|(1st three quarters)|
|(1st three quarters)|
starting courses in 1979–80, and the corresponding provision which it is proposed in present plans will be made for 1980–81.
no entitlement to a redundancy payment where an employee becomes redundant at or after the statutory retirement age.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is his policy in respect of obtaining the services of outside consultants for operations within the Civil Service; and where lists of such appointments are published.
Where it is thought that expertise not available in the Civil Service would be of value, the use of outside consultants is considered. The procedure to be followed by Departments for employing management consultants is laid down in CD's code of practice which is published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Lists of management consultancy assignments commissioned by Departments are published from time to time in Management Services in Government.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service, for the latest and most convenient stated date, what has been the reduction in the number of civil servants that has occurred since May 1979; and what has been the weekly, monthly or annual savings of the cost of the Civil Service since May 1979.
At 1 January 1980 there were 707,800 staff in post in central Government Departments with a pay cost for that month estimated at £330 million.At 1 April 1979 the corresponding staff figure was 732,000 and the pay cost for that month was £288 million. Information on staff numbers is collected quarterly at 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October; details are not held centrally for other months of the year.The Main Estimates for 1979–80 presented by the previous Administration provided for total staff in post of 740,000 at the beginning of the financial year rising to 748,000 at the end. This implied 746,000 staff in post at 1 January 1980. Against that level of staffing there is a saving of about £18 million in what would have been the pay costs for that month.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will review the indexing of civil servants' pensions to ensure that no retired civil servant would be enabled to have an income on retirement in excess of that when employed or paid to the person who took over his former employment.
The annual pension awarded to a civil servant on retirement cannot exceed half his pensionable pay. Indexing preserves but does not increase the real value of the pension. It would be unreasonable, particularly at a time of high inflation, to restrict the pension in money terms to a retirement salary which may have been earned many years previously. I know of no case in which a Civil Service pension exceeds the present pay for the post to which the pension relates: such a situation could come about only in the most exceptional circumstances.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is yet able to announce details of the new regimes at Send and Newhall detention centres.
The pilot project will commence on 21 April at New Hall and Send detention centres. The regime, which will come into full effect two weeks after the commencement date, will be based on physically demanding work, primarily farming, market gardening and the servicing and maintenance of the centres, education and physical education, drill sessions, parades and inspections. Privileges and recreation will be limited. Staff will be expected to be firm but fair, to require high standards of work and behaviour from inmates but also to continue to take a close personal interest in their wellbeing. A copy of the Department's guidance to staff is being placed in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it took him until 26 March to reply to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West's letter of 26 February; what was contained in this reply which could not have been sent within days of receipt; and, as the letter sent by the hon. Member dealt with the question of the ban on Scientologists which has been in operation for 10 years or more, why so long is needed to consider this matter.
I am satisfied that the hon. Member's note was given the appropriate priority having regard to pressure of work in my Department.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for the last three years, the number of juveniles (a) boys and (b) girls, who have been apprehended by the police and taken to a police station, but after inquiries, no criminal charges have been made and the juvenile has been released.
The only information available relates to the use of police cautioning as an alternative to court proceedings. The number of persons aged 10 and under 17 who received a formal police caution is published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" —table 35(b) of the volume for 1978, Cmnd. 7670.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list for each of the last three years the number of juveniles (a) boys and (b) girls who have been charged with criminal offences and appeared in juvenile courts.
The number of males and females aged 10 and under 14 and aged 14 and under 17 proceeded against in juvenile courts—or a magistrates' court if a juvenile is charged jointly with an adult—is published annually in the "Criminal Statistics, England Wales" table 1(a) and 1(c) of the volume for 1978, Cmnd. 7670.
Magistrates' Courts (Costs)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the actual central Government and local authority costs in respect of: administrative costs, prosecution costs, defence costs, criminal legal aid, and accommodation costs, as these relate to the magistrates' courts service in England and Wales for 1979–80.
Details of expenditure on magistrates' courts in England and Wales for 1979–80 are not yet available. But expenditure on administration—including salaries—and accommodation is expected to be about £80 million. This expenditure is initially borne by local authorities but attracts a central Government grant of 80 per cent. In the published Supply Estimates for 1979–80 provision was made for prosecution and defence costs awarded out of central funds in indictable cases amounting to £6.5 million and for expenditure on criminal legal aid, which also falls on central Government funds, of £29·7 million. The costs incurred by the Home Office on its functions in respect of magistrates' courts are met from the provision made for Home Office administration in the Central and Miscellaneous Services (Home Office) Vote and are not readily distinguishable.
Prisoners (Psychotropic Drugs)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the inmates of Wandsworth prison are currently being given psycho-tropic drugs; how many were given such drugs during 1979; how many of these prisoners have become dependent on or addicted to the drugs; and how many of these prisoners are suicide or attempted suicide cases after being on the drugs.
We have no reason to suppose that any prisoners have become dependent on or addicted to psychotropic drugs as a result of treatment received in prison, but if the hon. Gentleman has a particular case in mind and will let us have the details we shall look into the matter. Information to answer the other parts of the question is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Sex Offenders (Drug Treatment)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners at Springhill convicted of sex offences have received sex drugs or hormone treatment during the last year; how many prisoners have received sex change operations over the last five years: and how many of these were convicted of sex offences.
Prison Medical Officers
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why prison medical officers are under the aegis of his Department and bound by the Official Secrets Act rather than under the aegis of the British Medical Authority in a similar way to other doctors.
Anyone with access to official information is subject to the Official Secrets Acts. Prison medical officers are bound by the same ethical standards in relation to their professional duties as other doctors practising in the United Kingdom.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the standards of the prison medical officers are monitored to ensure that they adhere to the codes of practice of a doctor.
I have no reason to believe that prison medical officers depart from the ethical standards of the medical profession in this country or that there are grounds for special monitoring of their adherence to these standards.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average daily number of convicted prisoners serving sentences of 18 months or less in England and Wales during (a) 1978 and (b) 1979.
In 1978 the average daily population of persons serving sentences of imprisonment of 18 months or less in prison department establishments in England and Wales was 12,679. The provisional figure for 1979 is 12,730. Information on the average daily population of prison Department establishments in England and Wales in 1979 by type of prisoner will be published later this year in "Prison Statistics England and Wales" —table 1.2 of the volume for 1978, Cmnd. 7626.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons nationally have been convicted of further offences while on bail in each of the last three years.
The information requested is not available. However, the Home Office has in hand a national analysis of the incidence of re-offending while on bail based on bail decisions made at magistrates' courts during the first year of operation of the Bail Act 1976, that is April 1978-April 1979.
Metropolitan Police (Recruits)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was, for the longest and most convenient stated period, the annual intake of recruits to the Metropolitan Police from the various ethnic groups; and how this compares with those recruited from British-born applicants.
The available figures are:
|Year||Recruits from ethnic minorities||Other recruits*|
Citizens Of Irish Republic (House Of Commons Membership)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances citizens of the Republic of Ireland are eligible for membership of the House.
Under the same conditions as apply to British subjects.
Citizens Band Radio
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he hopes to make a statement on citizens band radio.
I have nothing to add at this stage to the reply I gave to questions by the hon. Member and to my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove and Redditch (Mr. Miller) on 28 February.—[Vol. 979, c. 677–78.]
Prisoners (Police Cell Detentions)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have been held in police cells so far in the current year; what was the average length of time spent there; what types of prisoner were held; and for what reasons they were detained.
Figures are not kept of prisoners on remand or just sentenced who are kept overnight in police cells for normal operational reasons such as the distance of the court from a prison or remand centre. Otherwise, up to 27 March 1980, 130 sentenced prisoners had been held in police cells on average between 24 and 48 hours: 125 male young prisoners because of the likelihood of industrial action at Wormwood Scrubs prison and five male adult prisoners because of lack of accommodation there. In addition, one sentenced male adult prisoner had been held in police cells since the beginning of 1980 in the interest of justice.
Pentonville Prison (Remanded Prisoners)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the longest period of time that a prisoner currently in Pentonville has been on remand; and what is the offence with which 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 Pentonville prison on 31 January 1980 had been so held was 483 days. He had been charged with drugs offences.
New Town Assets
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his policy regarding future ownership of public assets in new towns.
The Government are committed to supporting the role of the existing new towns in Scotland in creating jobs and securing our industrial future. The development corporations will therefore continue until their job is completed but we believe they should actively encourage the private ownership of housing and industrial and commercial property.
Central Region (Rate Support Grant)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland by what amount he has reduced the rate support grant to Central regional council for 1980–81 as a result of his decision on school transport.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland by what amount he has reduced the rate support grant to Borders regional council and Lothian regional council for 198081 as a result of his decision on school transport.
Deletion of clause 25 from the Education (No. 2) Bill will not result in any reduction in rate support grant.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider increasing the block grant to the Strathclyde regional council for education; and if he will make a statement.
There is no block grant to Strathclyde regional council for education. If the hon. Gentleman has in mind rate support grant, this is paid in aid of local revenues generally. If he has in mind capital expenditure, the council is not given grants but annual consents to incur liability to meet capital expenses. Its representations about the amounts for 1980–81 have been taken into account in determining its final consents for that year.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received on the balance of the rate support grant settlement between urban and rural authorities in Scotland.
I have had no representations in these terms since announcing the rate support grant settlement for 1980–81 but I am aware that some individual authorities have reservations about the distribution of grant.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the latest situation in the fishing industry.
The Government acknowledge that the fishing industry faces great difficulties. To alleviate these, we are, as my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food told the House on 13 March, making available £3 million by way of temporary aid. For the longer-term prosperity of the industry, we must look to a satisfactory settlement of the common fisheries policy.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which blocks of expenditure within his Department have breached their cash limits in the current financial year, and why.
SDD1 and SHHD2.The reasons for the Scottish Development Department overspend are that the cost of trunk road improvement schemes in progress increased faster than the allowance for inflation in road construction costs, and some major schemes made faster progress than expected because of the mild winter.The Scottish Home and Health Department overspend is due to unexpectedly high staff costs on the prison service, caused by increased overtime, attributable to a higher number of more dangerous prisoners requiring special security measures, the aftermath of the serious incident at Peterhead prison, and increases in sick leave and in the numbers of court escorts required.
Area Health Boards
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when next he expects to meet the chairmen of the area health boards in Scotland.
I met the chairmen of the health boards on 13 November 1979 to discuss a number of general questions affecting all boards. I have no immediate plans for a further meeting, but my current programme of visits to all area health boards in Scotland is providing me with an opportunity to discuss national and local issues with individual chairmen and health board members.
Scottish Development Agency
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet the chairman of the Scottish Development Agency.
My right hon. Friend and I will continue to meet Mr. Duthie regularly.
Convention Of Scottish Local Authorities (Education Committee)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when next he proposes to meet the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities' education committee.
I have invited the convention to meet me to discuss the Munn and Dunning development programme, but a date for this meeting has not yet been arranged.
Ferry Services (Road Tariff Equivalent)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the replies received on his road tariff equivalent proposals for ferry services.
It is too early yet to expect comments on the consultative paper on "Sea Transport to the Scottish Islands" issued on 17 March.
Teacher Training Colleges
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he proposes to take on the recommendation which he received in the letter, dated 7 March from the Registrar of the General Teaching Council, that there should be a reduction in the number of colleges engaged in training teachers and if he will make a statement.
I am considering this recommendation, but am not yet able to make a statement.
Scottish Cbi And Scottish Tuc
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he plans to meet representatives of the Scottish Confederation of British Industry and the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when next he will meet members of the Scottish Confederation of British Industry.
My right hon. Friend and I have met representatives cf both bodies several times since taking office and have made it clear that we are prepared to meet them at any time they wish.
Convention Of Scottish Local Authorities
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when next he intends to meet the chairman of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
On 18 April.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in the light of the considerable financial loss to both offshore and onshore sectors of the fishing industry, he will take steps to reduce the dumping and imports of particular species of fish into Scotland; and whether this dumping and increased imports at cheap prices is a contravention of the Treaty of Rome.
I appreciate the difficulties facing the fishing industry. I am always willing to have allegations of dumping investigated but I have received no evidence of any contravention of the Treaty of Rome on which action could be taken.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his assessment of the effect on the employment situation in the Levenmouth area, following the withdrawal of special development area status in the autumn of 1980.
It is not possible to isolate the effect of regional policy changes on employment prospects in relatively small areas where employment can be heavily influenced by individual industrial developments.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has taken a decision on the number of students to be admitted to courses of teacher training in the Scottish colleges of education in session 1980–81; and if he will make a statement.
A consultative paper setting out my provisional views on the arrangements for intake to teacher training courses in session 1980–81 was issued in February to the General Teaching Council, the Convention of Scottish Local
|quota||Proposed quota||quota||Proposed quota||quota||Proposed quota|
pro rata basis.
In order to ensure that the selection of students for admission to courses of secondary training should have regard to education authorities' likely future needs for teachers of individual subjects I am Authorities and the Joint Committee of Colleges of Education as a basis for discussion. After carefully considering the views expressed by these bodies on all the factors involved, and in the light of estimates by education authorities of their future secondary school staffing requirements, I have decided that the total intake to pre-service courses of teacher training in session 1980–81 should not exceed 545 students for the primary diploma course, 145 for the primary postgraduate course and 1,600 for secondary courses—including BEd courses.
I am required to consult the governing body of each college before issuing directions regarding the number of students of different categories to be admitted to the college; and I am proposing to the colleges that for session 1980–81 the allocation of the total intake to pre-service courses of teacher training should be as in the following table, which also shows the quotas for session 1979–80 for comparison:
asking the colleges, in allocating places, to give highest priority to applicants seeking admission to courses leading to a teaching qualification (secondary education) in business studies, mathematics, music, physics, chemistry, religious education and technical education and lowest priority to applicants for training in English, geography, history and modern studies. On the basis of the latest information available to me, I am advising the colleges that nationally about 45 per cent. of the total intake to courses of secondary training should be students in the subjects of highest priority, but that, in the event of that percentage being exceeded, I shall be prepared to increase the overall level of intake accordingly. In order to guard against the admission of an unduly large proportion of students in the subjects of lowest priority I am asking the colleges to restrict admissions in these subjects to no more than 12 per cent. of the total secondary intake. I am also emphasising to the colleges that they should consult the education authorities in their areas with a view to ascertaining whether any departures from this general advice might be necessary in the light of local school staffing needs.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland has recommended that I should give serious consideration to a reduction in the number of colleges engaged in training teachers; and, in view of the continuing decline in the school population, I am currently examining the structure of the college system. I hope to make a further statement on this subject in due course. I do not, however, envisage, any changes in the 1980–81 session.
Schools (Strathclyde Region)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many schools there are in the Strathclyde region which are over 100 years old.
This information is not available centrally.
Inverclyde Royal Hospital
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will visit the Inverclyde Royal hospital.
I discussed the situation at Inverclyde Royal hospital with the right hon. Gentleman and a local deputation yesterday, and I have no plans to visit the hospital.
North Of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board (Pricing Policy)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give a direction to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board not to proceed with its surcharge on islands until an inquiry has been held into its pricing policy.
The electricity consultative council for the North of Scotland district has submitted formal representations to me, under the provisions of schedule 7 to the Electricity (Scotland) Act 1979, asking that I should give a direction to the board on this matter. I have these representations under consideration.
Feedingstuffs (Assistance Scheme)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the total amount paid to farmers and crofters in Orkney and in Shetland, respectively, under the special scheme of assistance over feeding stuffs set up earlier in the current year.
Producers in Orkney have received £123,000 and those in Shetland £41,000.
Scottish Council Of Social Services
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money his Department gives to the Scottish Council of Social Services.
For the year ended 31 March 1980 grant amounting to £293,790 has been offered to the council, but the amount has not yet been finally determined.
Scottish Community Education Centre
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money his Department gives to the Scottish Community Education Centre.
Grant for the year ended 31 March 1980 amounted to £133,000.
Public Expenditure (Housing)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table for public expenditure on housing based on Cmnd. 7841 of 26 March in the same form as the answer given to the right hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) on 2 April, 1979, Official Report, columns 456 to 460.
The information requested, set out in the table below, has been prepared in a form consistent with Cmnd. 7841 which, for the reasons explained in paragraph 6 of the White Paper, contains only broad totals for the years after 1980–81.
£ million at 1979 survey prices*
|Central Government subsidies to local authority housing||195||188||203||166||177||211||213|
|Rate fund contributions to local authority housing||78||60||49||55||57||48|
|Subsidies to New Towns and Scottish Special Housing Association||34||42||51||58||61||62||53|
|Housing Association revenue deficit grants||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Total general subsidies||307||290||304||280||295||322||267|
|Rate fund contributions||6||8||5||9||3||4|
|Total income related subsidies||32||36||26||43||38||46||51|
|Option Mortgage Scheme||1||1||2||2||2||2||4|
|Total current expenditure||346||332||335||328||338||372||326|
|Capital expenditure Local authority gross expenditure:|
|Gross lending to private persons for house purchase and improvement||28||22||16||20||23||20|
|Loans and grants to the Housing Associations||3||5||7||10||6||5|
|Total local authority gross expenditure||351||317||278||265||246||248||215|
£ million at 1979 survey prices
|New Towns and Scottish Special Housing Association gross investment:|
|Total New Towns and Scottish Special Housing Association gross investment:||70||101||93||76||64||63||57|
|Sales and repayments (land and dwellings):|
|New Towns and Scottish Special Housing Association||-4||-4||-4||-4||-6||-12|
|Associated lending (gross)||6||3||2||2||3||14|
|Repayments of loans to private persons for house purchase and improvements||-10||-12||-9||-11||-14||-14|
|Repayments of loans to housing associations||-2||-2||-2||-2||-1||-1|
|Total sales and repayments||-22||-22||-20||-22||-26||-25||-41|
|Housing Corporation Schemes:|
|Loans and grand to housing associations:|
|Total Housing Corporation||6||14||24||23||31||45||46|
|Other capital expenditure:|
|Savings bonus and loans scheme for first time purchase (net)||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Other lending (net)||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Total capital expenditure||406||410||375||343||314||330||278|
|* 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.|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what the latest available percentage figures are for the exports of goods to Japan from Great Britain;(2) what is the latest available percentage figure for the import of goods from Japan to Great Britain.
In 1979 Japan accounted for 1.4 per cent., by value, of the United Kingdom's total exports and 31 per cent. of total imports.
"Monthly Review Of External Trade Statistics"
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will congratulate his officials on the presentation and content of the Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics in the latest issue; and whether he will take steps to draw this publication to the attention of the press and other users through Her Majesty's Stationery Office, the monthly press notice on the trade figures, and by other means.
My officials and I are grateful for the appreciative remarks and suggestions from the hon. Member. The review, although prepared mainly as an internal working document, is made available to the public through the British Overseas Trade Board publications sales unit, and there has been certain limited publicity over the years. Now that the presentation and content have been changed, and with the introduction of an annual supplement probably around the end of this month, some further publicity is planned, including through the medium of the monthly press notice.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what estimate he has made of the likely effect of the construction of a Channel tunnel on the import and export of manufactures.
As was made clear to the House on 19 March by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, no decision has been taken to establish a fixed Channel link. An assessment of the effect of such a link on our trade in manufactures will be one of the many factors that would be considered by my right hon. Friend on any firm proposals that may be put to him. But as no detailed proposals have been received, any attempt to estimate the effect on our international trade would be premature.
Industrial And Commercial Profits
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing in historic and replacement cost terms, the level of profitability in industrial and commercial companies, both gross and net of depreciation and stock appreciation, for each of the year since 1959 as a percentage of (a) capital employed and (b) turnover;(2) if he will publish in the
Official Report a table showing the level of profitability in manufacturing industry measured in historic costs and replacement cost terms for the years since 1959 as a percentage of ( a) capital employed and ( b) turnover, both gross and net of depreciation and stock appreciation;
(3) whether he will circulate a table in the Official Report showing for the years since 1959 the gross trading profits of ( a) manufacturing companies and ( b) industrial and commercial companies, together with profits after depreciation and stock appreciation, as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Estimates of profits in historic cost and replacement cost terms as a percentage of capital employed were published in the article "Companies' rates of return on capital employed" in the 28 September 1979 issue of Trade and Industry. The national accounts estimates of company profits which form the basis of table 1 are in the process of being revised and should be published by the end of April; a full run of revised estimates of profits as a percentage of gross domestic product will then become available.Tables 2–4 of the article referred to are based on the Department of Industry's analysis of company accounts, and this is the only basis available for estimating profits as a percentage of turnover. Figures for gross trading profits—before deducting depreciation and stock appreciation—as a percentage of turnover for 1969–77 were published in tables 9 and
10 of the Business Monitor MA3 "Company finance", tenth issue. Replacement cost profits for large listed manufacturing companies as a percentage of turnover are as follows:
|Large Listed Companies:|
Industrial And Commercial Profits
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will publish a table in the Official Report comparing the profits of British industry with those of the United Kingdom's principal competitors in 1958, 1968 and the latest available year in historic and replacement cost terms.
Tables giving the available international comparisons were published in the 17 August 1979 issue of Trade and Industry, pp. 332–4. The estimates were largely based on the 1979 OECD publication "Profits and Rates of Return" by Professor T. P. Hill. Updated and revised estimates will be published by OECD by about the middle of 1980. No estimates are available in historic cost terms.
Home-Based Industry (Quotas)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will support a global quota, to be set by the European Economic Community, which assures home-based Community industry its fair share of the market.
I assume my hon. Friend's question refers to trade in textiles. It would not be practicable, and would be contrary to the Community's international obligations, to seek to renegotiate the present bilateral agreements under the multi-fibre arrangement.
Airports (Handicapped Persons)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what help he intends to give to the British Airports Authority to implement the recommendations of the International Civil Airports Association on the handicapped and the airport; and if he will make a statement.
The British Airports Authority, which is not a member of the association, already has a comprehensive policy at its airports designed to help the disabled traveller. My right hon. Friend, the Minister for Social Security is currently discussing the needs of handicapped air travellers with their representatives and I am sure he will take full account of any points on airports which they draw to his attention.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will introduce a system whereby licences for all yarn imports into the United Kingdom will be agreed and monitored by the spinning industry; and if he will make a statement.
No. Import licensing is a function of government, and in my view it should remain so.
Chemical Industry (Protection)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will take steps to ensure that the domestic chemical industry is protected from any unfair competition from France and other countries as a result of the availability to foreign competitors of cheap hydroelectric power.
No. Use of hydroelectric power does not constitute unfair competition. Restrictions on imports from France would be contrary to the Treaty of Rome.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list the powers he has to enable him to prevent dumping in the United Kingdom where such a practice is causing materal injury, not to a particular industry throughout the European Community but solely to the United Kingdom section of that industry.
As I explained to my hon. Friend in my reply of 21 March 1980—[Vol. 981, c. 355]—action against dumped imports which are causing material injury to a European industry is the responsibility of the European Commission and the United Kingdom has in general no power to take unilateral action, except in the case of certain bulk iron and steel products covered by the Treaty of Paris. However, the provisions of the GATT anti-dumping code and the Community's implementing legislation are sufficently flexible to allow the Commission to take action on behalf of United Kingdom producers when such producers constitute a major part of the Community industry or where it is necessary to act in defence of the industry in a region of the Community.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what level of import penetration would normally be regarded as evidence of serious injury to a domestic industry.
The level of import penetration is only one of the factors to be taken into account. Others include the rate of increase in imports, the state of the domestic market, the level of exports, and trends in employment and profitability of the industry affected.
£ Sterling (Exchange Rates)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will publish in the Official Report a table comparing the weights used in table F2 of the February issue of the Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics, with the weights used in computing the effective exchange rate of sterling; and whether he is satisfied that the latter is still a satisfactory measure of changes in the effective rate.
I have been asked to reply.The weights used in calculating the weighted average of the United Kingdom's competitors' export prices are published in table F2 of the
Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics. The weights used in calculating the effective index for sterling were published in the Treasury's Economic Progress Report for March 1977 and in the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin for March 1977. The weights in the effective index are based on those derived from the IMF's multilateral exchange rate model—MERM. This has recently been updated and new
weights for calculating effective indices will be available in due course.
asked the Prime Minister what is the membership and terms of reference of the Diamond committee.
The advisory committee on business appointments advises the Prime Minister on individual cases referred to it in accordance with the rules governing the acceptance of outside business appointments by Crown servants. A copy of the rules is available in the Library. The composition of the committee is as follows:
- The Right Honourable The Lord Diamond (Chairman)
- The Right Honourable The Lord Trend, GCB, CVO
- The Right Honourable The Lord Campbell of Croy, MC
- Dame Mildred Riddelsdell, DCB, CBE
- Sir Melvyn Rosser
- Field Marshall Lord Carver, GCB, CBE, DSO, MC
asked the Prime Minister what action has been taken to implement the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, made in March 1979, that Government Departments should carry out experimental work to provide a reliable method for the determination of dioxin content in formulations of 2,4,5-T so as to enable a workable standard to be set; and what results, if any, have been obtained.
The Laboratory of the Government Chemist has continued to study procedures for the estimation of the TCDD content of 2,4,5-T and its formulations. It is now possible to achieve limits of determination of less than 0·1 milligrams of TCDD per kilogram of sample for technical 2,4,5-T and for some of its commercial formulations. Those formulations which contain low proportions of 2,4,5-T and certain types and grades of oil still present analytical difficulties and further work on these is in progress.
asked the Prime Minister if she will publish in the Official Report her reply to the president of Manchester chamber of commerce following his letter to her regarding Inmos; and if she will make a statement.
No. I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) on 25 March.
Civil Servants (Transfers To Private Sector)
asked the Prime Minister how many transfers of civil servants to the private sector have been approved by the Diamond committee, and how many have been rejected, since its inception.
Since its inception in 1975, the advisory committee on business appointments, which is chaired by Lord Diamond, has considered applications in respect of 34 appointments from 15 home civil servants. The Prime Minister of the day decides cases in the light of the committee's advice. All these applications have been approved, subject to appropriate safeguards.
asked the Prime Minister if, in the light of the decision by the British Olympic Committee to participate in the Moscow Games, she will instruct Ministers not to impose impediments on the team.
The decision of the British Olympic Association does not alter the Government's view in favour of a boycott of the Summer Games as long as the troops of the Soviet Union remain in Afghanistan as invaders. We shall continue to press our views on sporting bodies and athletes, and will not assist intending British participants to go to the Games. But we shall not prevent those who decide to do so.
Value Added Tax (Bloodstock And Racing)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he has taken vis-à-vis the EEC Commission in order to secure an end to the value added tax treatment of bloodstock and racing in France and the Republic of Ireland which operates to the detriment of United Kingdom interests; whether the Government intend to allow any further extension of the period during which racehorses can be imported for training and racing into the United Kingdom without payment of value added tax; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to Commissioner Burke on 7 March. He told him that he was disturbed that no action appeared to have been taken under article 169 of the Treaty of Rome to open proceedings against the French and Irish Governments. I followed up this complaint at a meeting which I had with Commissioner Burke on 14 March. Commissioner Burke informed me that the Commission had instituted fact-finding inquiries with regard to training services in France, Ireland and the United Kingdom and that he expected the Commission to be in a position to take a final decision on whether to authorise proceedings at a meeting around the end of April.Although the Government will continue to press the Commission to take action to end the practices which are not in conformity with the sixth Council directive on value added tax, it would be unrealistic to count on a very early end to those practices. The Government have therefore been considering what action they themselves can take which would be consistent with the provisions of the directive but which would lessen the damage done to the United Kingdom bloodstock interests.I have today authorised the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to extend by one year the temporary importation facility for racehorses owned by overseas residents. The effect of this concession will be that overseas owners will be able to have their horses trained and raced in the United Kingdom for two full racing seasons without incurring any liability for value added tax at importation provided that the horses remain in the same ownership and are re-exported at the end of the two-year period. For the purposes of the conditions for the export zero rating relief, there will be a similar extension in the period of racing use of a horse purchased in the United Kingdom by an overseas resident prior to exportation. The Commissioners of Customs and Excise will be in touch with the Jockey Club and the Horseracing Advisory Council about the detailed application of the concessions.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what increase in the money supply would be required during its current year to reflect (a) growth in the gross national product and (b) the rate of price inflation; and how this compares with the target increase.
The Government's forecasts are for (a) a decline in GDP of 2½ per cent. in 1980 compared with 1979; and (b) an increase in the RPI of 16½ per cent. over the 12 months to the fourth quarter of 1980, reducing to one of 13½ per cent. over the 12 months to the second quarter of 1981.Monetary growth in the centre of the 7 to 11 per cent. target range would be wholly consistent with these forecasts.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will revert to expressing the monetary targets in terms of domestic credit expansion.
No. I refer the hon. Member to the Green Paper on monetary control (Cmnd. 7858), paragraphs 8 to 11.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has done any simulations since 3 May 1979 on the Treasury macroeconomic model to forecast the effect of any movement in the exchange rate or change in the value of the green pound; and, if so, whether he will publish in the Official Report information showing what effect the movement or change had on the level of prices after one year, two years and five years, respectively.
For the effects of a green pound devaluation on retail prices, the rough rule of thumb given in my right hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member's question of 11 February—[Vol. 978, c. 504–5]—remains broadly correct. It is not customary to provide details of computer simulations performed in the Treasury as part of the process of forming policy advice for Ministers.
National Land Fund
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what were the sums paid to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue from the National Land Fund during the year ended 31 March, comprising the total for that financial year and a detailed breakdown in respect of the individual transactions concerned;(2) what was the total market value of the assets of the National Land Fund on 31 March.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what are the reasons for the 30 per cent. increase in the annuity payable to Princess Anne;(2) if he will now apply strict cash limits to all expenditure incurred, directly or indirectly via Government departmental Votes, on financial support for the Royal Family;(3) on whose authority the home of Princess Anne was classified as an official residence; and when;(4) what are the reasons for the increase from £102,700 to £135,000 in the annuity of Prince Philip;(5) how much of the £19,600 increase in the annuity to be paid to Princess Anne is attributable to the upkeep of Gatcombe Park;(6) if he will make a statement on the reasons for the increase in the annuity payable to Princess Margaret to £82,000 for 1980–81.
(7) what have been the payments made from the Duchy of Lancaster to the Keeper of the Privy Purse, for Her Majesty's use, in 1977–78 and in 1978–79; and how much of the increase comes from the Duchy's rent income.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Official Reserves (Valuation)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about revaluation of the official reserves on 31 March.
The then Chancellor of the Exchequer informed the House on 8 February 1979 that the official reserves would be revalued annually on 31 March on a market-related basis.—[Vol. 962, c. 267.] The formula, which was used last year, was that special drawing rights and foreign currencies other than dollars would be valued in dollars at the average of the exchange rates recorded by the Bank of England over the three months preceding each 31 March and that gold would be valued in dollars at the average of the London fixing prices over the three months before each 31 March, discounted by 25 per cent.I consider, however, that prudent valuation of the reserves requires the valuation formula to take account also of actual market prices on 31 March each year. I have therefore decided that for the valuation on 31 March 1980 and for future valuations gold should be valued at 75 per cent. of the average of London fixing prices over the three months before 31 March, or 75 per cent. of the final fixing price on 31 March, whichever is the less. Similarly, special drawing rights and foreign currencies will be valued at average exchange rates over the preceding three months, or the actual rates on 31 March, whichever is less.
National Insurance Contributions
asked the Chanceller of the Exchequer, pursuant to the reply to the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne on Monday 24 March, what recent changes he has observed in the promptness of payments of pay-as-you-earn, national insurance contributions, and value added tax.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 March 1980, c. 84]: Apart from an increase in the amounts outstanding towards the end of December 1979, due mainly to the effects of the holiday, including postal delays, I have observed no marked changes recently in the promptness of payments of pay-as-you-earn and national insurance contributions. Over the past four months there has been some increase in the amounts of value added tax paid by the due date and within one month.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on £ sterling through the issue of commerical bills outside the banking system.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 March 1980, c. 84]: It is not possible to make a precise estimate of this sort. There has been a substantial increase in the take-up of sterling commercial bills outside the banking system in the last two years, but the effect of such a development on £M3 will have depended on a variety of factors. For example, some of the acceptances are currently held by overseas residents and some residents who have purchased the acceptances would otherwise have held gilts or other public sector debt and not necessarily bank deposits.
Departmental Officials (Appointment)
asked the Prime Minister (1) if she will publish in the Official Report a list showing the rank, Department and responsibilities of the officials whose appointments she has had to approve since May 1979;(2) if she will publish in the
Official Report a list of the permanent secretaries and deputy secretaries who have been appointed since 3 May 1979; and whether any political tests have been imposed on appointees.
Since May 1979 the following Civil Service appointments, already announced, have been approved by me. No political tests were applied.
|Sir R. Armstrong||Permanent Secretary||Cabinet Office||Secretary of the Cabinet|
|Sir B. Cubbon||Permanent Secretary||Home Office||Head of Department|
|K. R. Stowe||Permanent Secretary||Northern Ireland Office||Head of Department|
|Sir M. Oldfield||Permanent Secretary||Northern Ireland Office||Security Co-ordinator|
|Sir K. Clucas||Permanent Secretary||Department of Trade||Head of amalgamated Departments of Trade and Consumer Protection|
|D. Cardwell||Permanent Secretary||Ministry of Defence||Chief of Defence Procurement|
|R.Ibbs||Permanent Secretary||Cabinet Office||Head of the Central Policy Review Staff|
|Sir L. Airey||Permanent Secretary||Inland Revenue||Head of Department|
|G. J. Otton||Second Permanent Secretary||Department of Health and Social Security||Social Security Administration|
|T. Burns||Second Permanent Secretary||Treasury||Head of Government Economic Service and Chief Economic Adviser|
|W. S. Ryrie||Second Permanent Secretary||Treasury||Head of Domestic Economy Sector|
|J. W. Stacpoole||Deputy Secretary||Department of Health and Social Security||Policy on Supplementary Benefits and Family Support|
|D. B. Smith||Deputy Secretary||Department of Employment||Incomes Policy; Industrial Relations; Information|
|J. A. Marshall||Deputy Secretary||Northern Ireland Office||Head of London Office|
|J. F. Barnes||Deputy Secretary||Ministry of Defence||Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser (Projects)|
|R. C. M. Cooper||Deputy Secretary||Departments of Trade and Industry||Principal Establishment Officer and Principal Finance Officer|
|E. J. D. Warne||Deputy Secretary||Office of Fair Trading||Deputy Director General|
|A. G. Manzie||Deputy Secretary||Department of Industry||Head of Industrial Development Unit|
|J. G. Kelsey||Deputy Secretary||Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||Fisheries and Food Policy|
|D. J. S. Hancock||Deputy Secretary||Treasury||Overseas Finance Policy|
|P. E. Middleton||Deputy Secretary||Treasury||Counter Inflation and Public Finance Policy|
|J. Caines||Deputy Secretary||Department of Trade||Policy on Commercial Relations with Individual Countries and Related Groupings|
|G. L. J. Engle||Second Parliamentary Counsel||Parliamentary Counsel||Second Parliamentary Counsel|
|Miss S. P. Burns||Parliamentary Counsel||Office of Parliamentary Counsel||Parliamentary Counsel|
|J. S. Mason||Parliamentary Counsel||Office of Parliamentary Counsel||Parliamentary Counsel|
|*E. J. Morgan||Under Secretary||Civil Service Department||Civil Service Commissioner|
|*N. E. Godfrey||Under Secretary||Customs and Excise||Head of General Customs Directorate|
|*Miss V. Strachan||Under Secretary||Customs and Excise||Commissioner, Revenue Duties Directorate|
|*Mrs. M. E. Sunderland||—||—||Part-time Civil Service Commissioner|
|* These appointments were approved by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.|
As far as special, political or policy advisers are concerned, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Civil Service Department to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) on 5 February 1980.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a detailed statement of the proposals for the census in Northern Ireland in 1981.
A census of population will be held in Northern Ireland on 5 April 1981 in line with those being held in the rest of the United Kingdom on the same day. The census is held under the Census Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 and subordinate legislation will be laid before Parliament before the Summer Recess.There will be 21 questions on the census form and these are, with minor exceptions, common throughout the United Kingdom. The main differences from the Great Britain list are that a voluntary question on religion will be asked, as in all previous Northern Ireland censuses, and there will be five additional subsections to the amentities question on water supply, sewage disposal, central heating, fuel and home insulation. Approximately 3,000 temporary fee-paid field staff will be recruited to carry out the delivery and collection of the census forms.The results of the census take a considerable time to process and it is hoped that all the published reports will be available within three years of the census date, that is, by 1984. A preliminary report will, of course, be published within a few months of census day. The estimated cost of the census is now put at £1·6 million, which represents a saving of almost 16 per cent. on the original estimate.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who bears the cost of the ballistic testing of bullet-firing weapons in Northern Ireland.
The cost is borne by the Police Authority for Northern Ireland.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many toxicologists there were in his Department on 1 April in each of the years 1970 to 1980.
My Department receives toxicological advice mainly from the Department of Health and Social Security's committee on toxicity and from various other specialist committees. As a result, there are few posts in my Department specifically assigned to this discipline. I shall give details of them in a further reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he will announce his proposals to make employers statutorily responsible for sick pay.
The Government have today published a Green Paper "Income During Initial Sickness: A New Strategy" (Cmnd. 7864). The paper sets out for discussion our proposal that in the early weeks of sickness employers should provide sick pay for their employees in place of national insurance sickness benefit.We have thought it right to review the role of the State in providing sickness benefit against the background of the increasing number of employees who are covered by occupational sick pay arrangements and in the belief that the State should, wherever possible, withdraw from activities which firms and individuals can perform perfectly well for themselves.Furthermore, there are two unsatisfactory features of the present system. First, a large number of employees are at present financially better off when sick than when at work because they receive the equivalent of full pay but do not pay tax on that part of it represented by national insurance benefit. This unsatisfactory situation will continue until we are able to bring benefits within tax. Secondly, many thousand civil servants are engaged in the administration of sickness benefit which is often payable for short periods to people who are already receiving sick pay from an employer who has to provide for the administration of his scheme. This duplication of effort can only be regarded as wasteful.The proposals in the Green Paper would help to remedy both these drawbacks to the present arrangements. Tax would be levied on a much greater proportion of payments made during sickness and there would be large savings in Civil Service numbers.The proposals are neither firm nor final. They are set out as the basis for genuine discussion with all interested parties, and the Government will not take final decisions on the scheme until we have carefuly considered all representations received. I appreciate that what is suggested will require close study and
|ESTIMATED EXPENDITURE ON LOCUMS, 1978–79*|
|Region||£ million||percentage of hospital and community health revenue expenditure|
|North West Thames||2·666||0·7|
|North East Thames||2·923||0·7|
|South East Thames||2·603||0·7|
|South West Thames||2·255||0·7|
|Boards of Governors||0·513||0·6|
|*Includes employer's contributions to National insurance and superannuation.|
Unemployed Persons (Casual Work)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will change the regulations affecting an unemployed person who declares occasional earnings from casual work in a way that ensures that although his unemployment benefit will be reduced in line with his earnings, there will be no effect on his national insurance credit unless his casual earnings amount to more than the level appropriate at that time for family income supplement determination.
we are therefore allowing six months for consultation.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much has been spent by region each year on locum tenens; what percentage of the total finances of the region this represents; and what percentage of such locums is engaged through agencies which are known to charge in excess of current rates for particular posts.
The estimated amounts spent in 1978–79 in the hospital and community health services on medical and dental locum tenens employed directly by the health authorities is shown in the table below, together with the percentage this represents of the authorities' revenue expenditure. Information about expenditure on services provided by locum tenens employed by agencies, and in the family practitioner services, is not collected centrally.
No. Although a national insurance credit is normally given for a complete week of unemployment, regulations already provide for some relaxation where a small amount of work is done and the earnings are below the figure at which contributions are due. These relaxations are not ungenerous bearing in mind that contributory benefits are paid in return for contributions, and that the awards of credits places a person in a privileged position in relation to those, including recipients of family income supplement, who are contributing.
Home Help Service
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table to show the nature and extent of any payments made by the Supplementary Benefits Commission towards the cost of local authority-imposed charges for a home help service for the last two years; and if he will make a statement.
Following is the information requested:Cases with a reckonable expense for a local authority home help for which an exceptional circumstances addition was in payment
|Amount of average reckonable expense†|
|* Information for November 1979 is not expected to be available for some months yet.|
|† Any long-term beneficiary would be liable to have 50p (or 75p if over 80) offset against the ECA since this is the amount in the long-term scale rate which is available for such special expenses—that is, the figures shown are before this offset is taken into account.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of the effects of the requirement for those living at the supplementary benefit level to meet any charge for home help service; and if he is satisfied that no hardship will result, in the light of the fact that the basic supplementary benefit scale takes no account of the extra expenses caused by handicap.
I refer the right hon. Gentleman to my hon. Friend's reply to the right hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) on 11 February.—[Vol 978, c. 486.] No hardship should result if local authorities exercise their power to remit charges to people living at or below supplementary benefit level.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will express the average weekly gross wage received by nurses in the following grades at Chase Farm hospital, Enfield (a) third-year student nurse, (b) newly qualified staff nurse, (c) sister with 10 years' nursing experience and (d) tutorial staff with 10 years' nursing experience on 1 January for each of the years 1960 to 1980 (i) as a percentage of the average industrial worker's wage (ii) in real terms (taking whichever year is most convenient as the base year), and (iii) in money terms.
Information is not available in the form requested. No information regarding the pay of nursing staff in individual hospitals is held centrally, but the gross weekly pay for the grades concerned in the years 1978—September—and 1979—July—as revealed in pay surveys covering six regional health authorities in England, is set out below. Similar information is not available for earlier years.
|3rd Year Student Nurse||48·05|
|Staff Nurse (first year)||58·94|
|Ward Sister (Scale maximum)||91·89|
|Tutor (Scale maximum)||99·19|
|Senior Tutor (Scale maximum)||107·02|
|3rd Year Student Nurse||56·88|
|Staff Nurse (first year)||69·44|
|Ward Sister (Scale maximum)||106·35|
|Tutor (Scale maximum)||112·86|
|Senior Tutor (Scale maximum)||121·22|
Benefits (Date Of Payment)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether it is the Government's intention to restore the third Monday in November as the normal date for increasing future social security benefits.
As my right hon. Friend announced on 27 March in his statement to the House—[Vol. 981, c. 1658–78.]—it is intended that benefits should be increased this year with effect from the week beginning 24 November, under the provisions of clause 1(3) of the Social Security Bill, currently before Parliament. The date in future years will be for decision in the light of those provisions and of the circumstances at the time.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in how many cases in Scotland in each year since 1973 industrial injuries awards were made to sufferers from mesothelioma.
The number of awards of industrial injuries disablement benefit for mesothelioma made to people in Scotland is as follows:
Handicapped Persons (Local Authority Services)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, pursuant to his reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 24 March, he will now list the representations he has received concerning the abolition of additional payments of supplementary benefit for services provided by local authorities for handicapped people.
The right hon. Gentleman is, I think, referring to the discontinuation of exceptional circumstances additions to supplementary benefit for local authority home helps. We have received written representations from the following:
- The Association of Metropolitan Authorities.
- The Association of County Councils.
- The Association of District Councils.
- London Borough of Redbridge.
- Metropolitan Borough of Bolton.
- Social Services Department, Chester.
- Social Services Department, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make provision to allow benefits to be made payable at two post offices if the claimant so requests.
At present the extra costs and risks of abuse would not justify such a change. The present arrangements enable a beneficiary to cash two orders in a book at a post office other than that nominated and to change the nominated post office by completing a simple transfer form.
Supplementary Benefits Handbook
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that the existence of the "Supplementary Benefits Handbook" is mentioned in the next edition of Form SB1, which is due to be published next November, and that a notice drawing attention to the handbook, and the tribunal's "Guide to Procedure", is printed and displayed in all social security waiting rooms.
I have arranged for the November 1980 edition of leaflet SB1 to mention the supplementary benefits handbook. It is already mentioned in leaflet FB2, "Which Benefit?"I am still considering the appropriate publicity for the handbook and the tribunal's "Guide to Procedure".
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update, in line with changes resulting from the Budget proposals that will take effect before the uprating of social benefits in November, the reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North on 7 November 1979. Official Report column 213.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what proportion of the total number of prescriptions the cost of the drug or medication prescribed is less than £1.
In terms of the net ingredient cost per prescription the proportion is estimated to be about 30 per cent. The total cost of a prescription is of course much higher when the chemists' fees and allowances are added.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what quantities of drugs and other medication were prescribed in the periods immediately before and immediately after each of the last two increases in prescription charges.
There is no common unit of measurement of quantities per prescription, but I give below figures for the number of prescription items dispensed for the two periods requested. The increases operated from 1 April 1971 and 16 July 1979 respectively.
Fuel Discount Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate his Department has made, for the purpose of the fuel discount scheme, of the number of disconnections each quarter since 1973 in the Scottish region of British Gas; and what this represents as a percentage of domestic credit consumers.
|Number of payments||Average payment (£ per week)||Number of payments||Average payment (£ per week)|
|Quarter ending mid-|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the value of child benefit in 1983–84 on the basis of an expenditure of £2·3 billion at 1979 survey prices;(2) what would be the cost in 1983–84 of a child benefit of £4·75 at 1979 survey prices;(3) if he will detail the numbers of children he estimates will be drawing child benefit in 1983–84.(4) what would be the cost of child benefit at the level of £1 in 1981–82, 1982–83 and 1983–84, at 1979 survey prices.
I assume the hon. Member to be referring to heating additions paid with supplemetary benefit, since the last Administration's discount scheme covered only electricity. Disconnection does not affect the payment of these additions.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many claimants in Scotland on direct payments defaulted on such arrangements for each quarter since January 1976; and what this represents as a percentage of all direct payments for (a) gas and (b) electricity.
The fuel direct scheme provides for deduction to be made from a claimant's benefit before he receives it in order to prevent any defaulting on the agreement.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many direct payments for gas and electricity charges in respect of claimants in Scotland were made in each quarter from May 1979; and what was the average payment in each quarter for each fuel.
The information is given below. The figures for average payments include the amount deducted against arrears—currently 95p a week.
On the basis of the social security programme in the White Paper "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81 to 1983–84" (Cmnd. 7841), which assumes that child benefit continues at the November 1980 rate throughout the period, the information requested is as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what records are kept of children when they have left the care of local authorities on attaining 18 years of age; and if he is satisfied that there is adequate support of these children;(2) what advice and help is given to teenagers who leave the care of local authorities on reaching 18 years of age on housing and other problems they may face;
Local authorities are required to retain the case records of a child in their care who is boarded out for at least three years after the child has reached age 18. There are no statutory requirements governing the retention of the records of other children in care, but we understand that these records are generally kept for the same length of time as those of children who have been boarded out.Local authorities have a general responsibility to ensure that children who leave care on reaching age 18 receive advice on problems they are likely to face as adults, including housing. A local authority may contribute towards the cost of accommodation and maintenance of a person aged 17 up to 21 who has been, but no longer is, in the care of a local authority. The authority may also provide accommodation in a community home for a person up to age 21 if the home is near the place where the person works or proposes to work.We do not know the extent to which authorities use these powers, but the National Children's Bureau will shortly be carrying out a project which will include a look at the problems children face on leaving care and what arrangements exist, or are needed, to help them.
1981 Census (Ethnic Origin)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the size and method envisaged for the sample surveys into ethnic origin that will take place in association with the 1981 census.