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Written Answers

Volume 983: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 30 April 1980

Social Services

Restricted Patients

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the Tower hospital, Trent, Warley hospital, North-East Thames, Thatchbury Mount and Knowle hospitals, Wessex, Borocourt hospital, Oxford, and Greaves Hall hospital, Mersey, are still refusing to accept patients transferred from the special hospitals; if so, for what reason; and if he will take appropriate action.

All of the hospitals named are currently prepared to consider the transfer of patients from the special hospitals.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those regional health authorities and hospitals that have refused to accept the 135 men and 48 women awaiting transfer from the special hospitals on 31 January, with the reasons for the refusal.

No. The information is not readily available and an attempt to provide it would be unjustified in terms of time and cost, and would not in any event produce a clear-cut result because of the difficulty of defining refusal to admit patients from the special hospitals.

Invalidity Insurance Schemes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what study he has made of the comparison of invalidity insurance schemes in member countries of the Council of Europe prepared by La Federation Internationale des Mutiles et Invalides du Travail et des Invalides Civils a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.

Maternity Allowance

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the amount and the proportion of the money to be saved by abating maternity allowance which will come to those women whose income does not exceed their personal tax allowances in (a) 1980–81 and (b) 1981–82.

About 15 per cent. each year amounting to about £¼ million in 1980–81 and £1 million in 1981–82.

General Practitioners (Complaints)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many complaints are known to have been made against general practitioners during the previous 12 months; and if he is satisfied with the method of inquiries made with these.

750 complaints were investigated under the statutory procedure in 1979. This figure does not include any complaints which were withdrawn or resolved informally; records of such cases are not kept centrally. I am not at present convinced that changes in the method of inquiries are necessary.

Foster Children (Boarding-Out Allowances)

36.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the levels of boarding-out allowances for foster children and publish in the Official Report the most recent information he has about boarding-out allowances paid by each local authority in England and Wales, for children of varying ages.

The local authority associations issued guidance to local social services authorities in 1978 designed at achieving greater uniformity in boarding out scales by encouraging authorities to work towards common age bands and age relativities. They followed this up with a survey last year of the boarding out scales paid by each authority in England and Wales. The results are as follows:

TABLE 1—PART ONE
ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY COUNCILS

Rate paid for age under

County Name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Comment.

Avon282932353846(1)
Bedfordshire12·7614·8816·3117·7219·1422·68
Berkshire11·6914·2816·2417·5020·86
Buckinghamshire11·9713·5815·6117·4319·67
Cambridgeshire8·739·5410·3410·9911·9312·8514·6517·0217·9518·91(2)
Cheshire10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·50(3)
Cleveland13·5817·0119·25
Clwyd12·4613·7915·8217·2919·67(4)
Cornwall10·5012·8114·5616·6618·45
Cumbria10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56
Derbyshire11·8013·3014·3215·4317·4818·7920·1621·65
Devon9·3112·1815·3319·04
Dorset11·6213·7215·5418·2719·88
Durham16·0319·4621·70(5)
Dyfed13·3714·7016·7318·2020·58(7)
East Sussex11·5513·5114·8416·0317·3620·58(6)
Essex12·1814·1415·5416·8018·2018·5521·6322·19
Gloucestershire10·3612·0412·3912·8114·0015·5416·1716·5917·2917·50(8)
Gwent12·5113·7815·8317·3219·69(9)
Gwynedd
Hampshire10·9912·8114·0015·2617·0820·16
Hereford and Worcester11·4812·8114·1416·1717·7118·8319·8821·00
Hertfortshire10·4711·9112·9114·4215·9618·06
Humberside9·6010·9014·5016·9019·60
Isle of Wight10·1510·3611·6911·9012·6013·8614·5615·8216·4517·0117·99
Kent13·0014·0015·5017·5019·0020·0022·5023·50
Lancashire10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56(11)
Leicester10·9012·7013·9515·1917·1519·40

ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY COUNCILS (Continued)

Rate paid for age under

County Name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Comment.

Lincolnshire13·1413·4115·5016·3319·1019·5223·7125·51
Mid Glamorgan13·3714·7016·7318·2020·58(12)
Norfolk11·8313·7815·1116·4117·0617·7218·3720·99(13)
Northamptonshire12·7614·8816·3117·7219·1422·68
Northumberland16·0319·4621·70
North Yorkshire9·5510·9012·7514·8517·25(14)
Nottinghamshire11·5013·9016·2018·9021·30
Oxfordshire11·2013·2014·5515·9017·2520·55(15)
Powys13·3714·7016·7318·2020·58(16)
Salop10·0812·3214·0015·1217·92(17)
Somerset12·7614·8816·3117·7219·1422·68(18)
South Glamorgan13·3714·7016·7318·2020·58(19)
Staffordshire10·7813·1614·9816·8019·18(20)
Suffolk11·0813·7116·2818·0121·48
Surrey12·1515·3017·3018·7022·20
Warwickshire12·7615·6017·7219·1422·68
West Glamorgan13·3714·7016·7318·2020·58
West Sussex12·4614·4915·8917·1518·6222·05
Wiltshire10·9012·7513·9515·1516·4019·60

Comments

(1) Fortnightly payments.
(2) Basic rate excludes clothing allowance.
(3) Following recommendation of CRPC (November)-phased.
(4) Follows recommendation of CRCP (Wales).
(5) Agebands and relatives under review in CRO.
(6) Policy to work towards NFCA rates and relativity.
(7) NFCA rates.
(8) Policy to work towards ACC relativities.
(9) Follows recommendation of CRCP (Wales).
(11) Policy move to ACC relativities over 3 years.
(12) Follows recommendations CRPC (Wales) move to ACC relativities 1980–81.
(13) Rates and relativities based on local survey.
(14) Wef 12.11.79 new rates 11.10/12.70/14.85 17.35/20.20.
(15) Special adolescents scheme.
(16) Follows recommendations of CRPC (Wales).
(17) Rates are at 1978 levels.
(18) Rates supplied are for 1980.
(19) Follows recommendations of CRPC (Wales).
(20) ACC relativities within financial limits.

TABLE 1—PART TWO
ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY COUNCILS

County name

Additional payments made in respect of

ACC agebands

ACC relativities

Additional elements included in allowances

Frequency of review

Last review

456789
Avon1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6Annually23 October 1979
Bedfordshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, retaining fees, extraneous expensesAnnually1 April 1979
Berkshire3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11a, bSix monthly1 October 1979
Buckinghamshire1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, travellingAnnually1 April 1979
Cambridgeshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, retaining feesSix monthly1 October 1979
Cheshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, day care fostering, family placementAnnually29 March 1979
Cleveland3, 5, 6a, b, c, dAnnually1 April 1979
Clwyd1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9Six monthly7 October 1979
Cornwall1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Six monthly11 October 1979
Cumbria3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, tools and protective clothing, gift on discharge.a, bAnnually26 March 1979
Derbyshire1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, special experimental scheme for boardingSix monthly28 September 1979
Devon1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ssecial placementsSix monthly23 September 1979
Dorset1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, special fostering projectSix monthly1 October 1979
Durham6a, b, c, dAnnually1 April 1979
Dyfed3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11√ from 1980–81a, bSix monthly1 October 1979
East Sussex1, 2, 4, 6, 10, secure placements, retaining feesAnnually1 April 1979
Essex1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, London fringe allowance, initial placement.Annually27 September 1979
Gloucestershire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, old age pensioners and widowsSix monthly8 April 1979
Gwent1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9Six monthly1 October 1979
Gwynedd
Hampshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11Annually1 April 1979
Hereford and Worcester1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, exceptional circumstancesAnnually1 April 1979
Hertfordshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11AnnuallyOctober 1978
Humberside1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, promotion of independenceAnnually1 April 1979
Isle of Wight1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, special circumstancesAnnually4 October 1979
Kent1, 2, 3, 4, 6Annually1 October 1979
Lancashire3, 4, 6, 7, specialised fosteringa, bAnnually1 April 1979
Leicestershire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Six monthly1 April 1979
Lincolnshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11Six monthly7 October 1979
Mid Glamorgan3, 4, 5, 6, 9, special fostering√ from 1980–81a, b, holiday allowancesSix monthly1 October 1979
Norfolk1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11Annually14 January 1979
Northamptonshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, exceptional circumstancesAnnually1 April 1979

County name

Additional payments made in respect of

ACC agebands

ACC relativities

Additional elements included in allowances

Frequency of review

Last review

456789
Northumberland3, 4, 5, 6, pocket money working childa, bAnnually1 April 1979
North Yorkshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10Annually13 November 1978
Nottinghamshire1, 2, 3, 4, 6Annually1 April 1979
Oxfordshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, retaining feesAnnually1 April 1979
Powys3, 4, 5, 6, 8a, bSix monthly1 October 1979
Salop1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10Six monthly1 October 1978
Somerset1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7Annually1 January 1980
South Glamorgan3, 4, 6, 7, 11, special equipmenta, bSix monthly1 October 1979
Staffordshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11Annually1 April 1979
Suffolk1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11Annually1 April 1979
Surrey1, 2, 3, 4, 5, exceptional costs, limited enhanced payments scheme.Annually1 April 1979
Warwickshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, changing school allowanceAnnually1 April 1979
West Glamorgan3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, speci a foster parents schemea, b, annual holidaySix monthly1 October 1979
West Sussex1, 2, 6 –Six monthly1 July 1979
Wiltshire1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, day fostering schemeSix monthly1 October 1979

Notes:

All payments are weekly unless otherwise specified.
The rates are those paid on 1 October 1979 although some counties have supplied rates for a different date.

Column 4:

1. Christmas allowance.
2. Birthday allowance.
3. School uniform.
4. Initial clothing.
5. Starting work allowance.
6. Special difficulty allowances of various types.
7. Holiday allowance.
8. Multiple placements allowance.
9. Short term placements allowance.
10. Professional fostering allowances.
11. Allowances for child's special interest, aptitude or tuition.

Column 7:

a. Christmas allowance.
b. Birthday allowance.
c. School uniform.
d. Initial clothing.
The allowances referred to in columns 4 and 7 are not intended to provide an exhaustive list of what counties pay by way of additional allowances, but only to give a general indication. Its accuracy should not therefore be relied upon.

TABLE 2
ASSOCIATION OF METROPOLITAN AUTHORITIES
BOARDING OUT—WEEKLY PAYMENTS

Type "A" Authorities

1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8 9 10

Age [in years] 11 12

13 14 15

16 17

Relativities

Other additional payments

LA code number

£££££
Barking14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O1
Barnet14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O2
Barnsley9·6010·9014·5016·9019·60NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O3
Bexley14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W S, O4
Bradford9·6010·9014·5016·9019·60NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O7
Brent14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O8
Bromley14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O9
Calderdale9·5910·9212·7414·8417·29NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O11
Camden16·3019·9022·6024·4029·20YesX, B, C, U, S, O12
Croydon14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O14
Doncaster9·6010·9014·5016·9019·60NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O15
Ealing14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S17
Enfield14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S18
Greenwich14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U, S, O20
Hackney14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O21
Hammersmith14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S22
Haringey14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O23
Harrow11·2013·6515·2016·0019·10NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O24
Havering14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S25
Hillingdon14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O26
Hounslow14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O27
Islington14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S28
Kensington and Chelsea16·8719·4622·1224·6427·86NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O29
Kingston-upon-Thames14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O30
Kirklees10·8012·3514·5016·9019·60NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O31
Lambeth14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S33
Leeds11·7514·2516·2517·5020·75YesX, B, C, U, O34
Lewisham14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O35
City of London14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O37
Merton14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O39

Type "A" Authorities

1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8 9 10

Age [in years] 11 12

13 14 (15)

16 (17)

Relativities

Other additional payments

LA code number

£££££
Newham14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O41
Redbridge14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O44
Richmond-on-Thames14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O45
Rotherham11·30/11·5013·25/14·1016·05/16·5518·85/19·9523·50NoX, B, C, U/W, S47
Sandwell11·0813·4415·2616·5219·51YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O50
Southwark14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O55
Sutton14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, U/W, S, O58
Tower Hamlets14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O60
Wakefield11·6513·3015·5017·9520·90NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O62
Waltham Forest14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O64
(24·70)(27·50)
Wandsworth14·7018·0020·4022·0026·10YesX, B, C, U/W, S O65

Age [in years]

Type" B" Authorities

1 2 3 4

5 6 7

8 9 10

11 12

13 14 (15)

16 17

Relativities

Other additional payments

LA code number

££££££
Birmingham12·7614·8816·3117·7219·1422·68YesX, B, C, U, S, O5
Bolton10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56NoC, U/W, S, O6
Bury10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56NoC, U/W, S, O10
Coventry12·7614·8816·3117·7219·1422·68YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O13
Dudley11·6213·5114·8416·1017·3620·51YesX, B, C, U/W, S16
(19·11)
Knowsley10·7812·6012·9515·4618·2021·56NoC, U/W, S, O32
Liverpool10·8012·6012·9515·4718·2021·56NoC, U/W, S, O36
Manchester10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56YesC, U/W, S, O38
Oldham11·3613·2513·6616·2519·1322·69YesC, U/W, S, O43
Rochdale11·3613·2513·6616·2519·1322·69NoC, U/W, S46
St. Helens10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·50NoC, U/W, S48
Salford10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56NoC, U/W, S, O49
Sefton10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56NoC, U/W, S, O51
Sheffield12·7614·8816·3117·7219·1422·68YesX, B, C, U/W, S, O52
Stockport10·7512·6012·9815·4718·2021·58NoC, U/W, S, O56
Trafford11·3613·2513·6616·2519·1322·69NoC, U. S, O61
Walsall12·7414·8416·3117·7119·1822·68YesX, B, C, U/W, S63
Wigan10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56NoB, C, U/W, S67
Wirral10·7812·6012·9515·4718·2021·56YesC, U/W, S, O68
Wolverhampton9·389·669·8710·3610·8513·65NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O69
(13·09)

Type "C" Authorities

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Age [in years] 11 12 13 14 15

16 17

Relativities

Other additional payments

LA code number

£££
Gateshead16·0319·4621·70NoC, U/W, S19
Newcastle16·0319·4621·70NoC, U/W, S40
North Tyneside16·0319·4621·70NoC42
South Tyneside16·0319·4621·70NoC, U/W, S, O54
Sunderland16·0319·4621·70NoC, U/W, S

Age [in years]

Type "D" Authorities

1 2 3 (4)

(5) 6 7

8 9 10

(11) 12 (13)

14 15

16 17

Relativities

Other additional payments

LA code number

££££££
Solihull11·4113·0215·1917·2919·5321·70NoX, B, C, U/W, S5
Tameside(12·60)12·9515·4718·2021·56NoB C, U/W, S, O5
Westminster(21·50)(27·00)32·50NoX, B, C, U/W, S, O6

Key:

X=Christmas.
B=Birthday.
C=Initial Clothing.
U/W=School Uniform/Starting Work.
S=Special Difficulty.
O=Other (including holiday payments).
A=Additional payments included.

Note: The table does not take into account the numbers or proportion of their children in care which local authorities board out.

BOARDING OUT ALLOWANCES FOR CHILDREN IN THE CARE OF FOSTER PARENTS—SURVEY
On 9 August 1979 the Association of Metropolitan Authorities sent a questionnaire seeking information on foster parent payments to all (69) social services authorities in metropolitan areas. There was 100 per cent. response rate.
(i)Age Bands
The attached analysis shows that there is a much closer similarity in age bands now being used than was the case in previous years. For example, information collected by DHSS in 1978 showed that there were then some 60 differing age bands in use. Now, according to the AMA survey there are only 11 age bands and some authorities are still reviewing their rates. Indeed, authorities can broadly be defined in four types, as follows:—

Type A Authorities

41 authorities (59 per cent. of metropolitan social services authorities) are using the age bands recommended by AMA and subsequently by LBA i.e. 0–4; 5–10; 11–12; 13–15; 16–17. These five age bands have been taken up by post London Boroughs.

Type B Authorities

A further 20 authorities (30 per cent.) have used the same age bands as recommended by AMA/LBA, but make the further split in the 5–10 age band at 7 as recommended by the National Foster Care Association (NFCA). These authorities thus have two further age bands 5–7 and 8–10. Most of these authorities have arrangements for foster parent payments agreed within their respective Children's Regional Planning Committee.

Type C Authorities

Five authorities (7 per cent.) in one region have used two broad age bands to cover children up to the age of 15—these are 0–10 and 10–15. In this region (Regional Planning Committee No. 1) review is under way, and the AMA guidance is subject to consideration.

Type D Authorities

A further three authorities (4 per cent.) have sdditional age bands with variations on the Type B group of authorities—these include an age band for 0–7 year olds in the one case; and 15–17 age band in a second case, and one with similar to (but not the same as) NFCA.
Authorities seem to be moving towards more uniform age bands. Taking either AMA age bands or NFCA, which has slightly more detail, a majority (61 authorities) use one or the other scale (i.e. just under 90 per cent.). Payments obviously vary, although in the exercise of producing more uniform scales, rates do seem to have increased across the country.
(ii)Relativities
The relativities which were suggested were similar to those recommended by the National Foster Care Association (excluding the 5–7 and 7–10 split). They were as follows:—

0–4

5–10

11–12

13–15

16–17

1822252732

40 authorities (58 per cent.) say that they use (or are shortly to adopt) these relativities either as part of the National Foster Care Association recommendation or as an AMA/LBA recommendation. Of those saying " no ", those with very dissimilar age bands could not be included.
(iii)Other Additional Payments
The survey shows that all authorities make some or all of the following additional special payments:
Christmas allowance;
Birthdays;
Initial clothing allowances;
School uniform and/or starting work allowance;
Special difficulty allowance;
Other enhanced rate(s) (including holiday payments).
(iv)Further Review
Some authorities are still reviewing methods of payment and have indicated that they are likely to be adopting a method of payment uniform with other parts of the country.

Hospitals (Complaints)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many complaints are known to have been made against hospital staff during the previous 12 months; and if he is satisfied with the independence of the inquiry made into these allegations;

(2) if he will bring forward proposals to establish an independent hospital complaints board.

The latest available figures are for 1978, when health authorities in England received 14,725 complaints about hospital services, representing 2.7 complaints per 1,000 patients. The number of complaints concerned with staff is not recorded centrally.

I am not wholly satisfied with the present arrangements for investigating complaints, but a prerequisite for any revision is to establish the principles for dealing with those which involve clinical judgment. The Joint Consultants Committee recently put proposals to me on this matter. I have suggested to the chairman of the committee that these proposals should be discussed between members of the committee and officials of the Department, and have emphasised to him my wish that we should press ahead quickly towards a full and satisfactory solution to the problem. Meanwhile, I do not intend to make any changes in existing arrangements.

Mental Health (Legislation)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects legislation reviewing the Mental Health Act 1959 to be brought forward.

My right hon. Friend cannot introduce legislation during this parliamentary Session. He is now considering how best to proceed in the light of comments on the last Administration's White Paper and of resource and other constraints.

War Disabled Pensioners

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give an assurance that the value of the pensions and the standards of care and treatment of war disabled pensioners will be fully maintained during the period of office of the present Administration.

The Government are committed to an annual review of the principal war pensions and allowances and, as a minimum, to maintaining their purchasing power. We have affirmed our intention of maintaining the traditional preferences afforded to the war disabled.

National Insurance Benefits

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the savings if all national insurance, excluding means-tested benefits, were increased by 11 per cent. next November; and if he will publish figures tabulating those savings according to main benefit categories and also by comparison with the savings proposed in the Social Security (No. 2) Bill.

Column 1 of the table below gives the savings to the national insurance fund in a full year if the current rates of the benefits listed were to be increased by 11 per cent. instead of 16½ per cent. The net reduction in public expenditure would depend on the amount by which means-tested benefits were increased. Column 2 gives the savings to the fund in a full year from uprating the current rates of the benefits specified in clause 1 of the Social Security (No. 2) Bill 1980 by 11½ per cent., instead of 16½ per cent., under the powers contained in that clause.

Column 1 Full year difference between 11 and 16½ per cent. increase in current ratesColumn 2 Full year savings to National Insurance Fund under clause 1 of the Social Security (No. 2) Bill 1980; difference between 11½ per cent. and 16½ per cent. increase
£million£million
Retirement pension545
Widows benefit32
Invalidity benefit6255

Anti-Smoking Campaigns

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to announce his plans for the funding of campaigns against smoking for 1980–81.

I refer the hon. and learned Gentleman to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) on 25 April—[Vol. 984, c. 307–8.]

National Insurance Beneficiaries (Child Support Uprating)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much money will be saved in 1980–81 as a result of the decision to uprate only the £1.70 national insurance component of child support for national insurance beneficiaries in line with inflation instead of the whole £5.70 as was done in the previous year.

The extra cost of short-term dependency benefit increases of national insurance benefit, if calculated on the basis of increasing £5·70 in line with inflation, would be £7 million in the financial year 1980–81.The extra cost in a full year of increasing the £5.70 short-term child support and the £11.10 long-term child support by 16.5 per cent. would be about £37 million.

National Insurance Fund

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has happened to the surplus in the national insurance fund at the end of each financial year since 1969–70.

The surplus at the end of one year becomes part of the opening balances for the following year. The balance in the fund above day-to-day requirements is invested and the interest earned forms part of the income of the fund.

Communicable Diseases Report

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply of 28 February to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East, if he is now ready to make a statement on the feasibility of making the communicable diseases report more widely available.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 April 1980, c. 50]: As I indicated in my answer to the hon. Member on 6 December last—[Vol. 975, c. 311]—we have been considering, in consultation with the Public Health Laboratory Service, the feasibility of making the communicable disease report, or some of the information contained in it, available on a wider basis. As a result of this consultation I have reached the conclusion that any change in the present form of the report would reduce its usefulness to those for whose operational use it is prepared, that is those who have a professional involvement in the diagnosis and prevention of communicable disease. In its present form it is a technical bulletin based on information which may be preliminary and subject to confirmation, and is supplied in professional confidence. Those concerned could not be expected to make such information, which is invaluable for operational purposes, available for a document intended for general publication. Publication might therefore diminish the operational value of the CDR.

I have considered the possibility of the introduction of a separate document for wider circulation. This might serve a useful purpose, but its production would make demands on resources which cannot be met in present circumstances.

A great deal of information about outbreaks of infectious diseases is already published weekly in an official publication, the OPGS Monitor. The possibility of including more extensive information in this publication will be considered as occasion arises for any changes, but there is no immediate prospect of this. Retrospective accounts and analyses of outbreaks appear in appropriate medical journals.

Information of immediate general concern about outbreaks of infectious diseases is disseminated by medical officers for environmental health. In appropriate cases the chief medical officer writes direct to all practitioners; and in some circumstances the Department issues press notices. The possible need for such publicity is borne in mind by all concerned in dealing with reports of outbreaks.

Debendox

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) pursuant to his reply of 15 April to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, if the studies of Debendox by the Committee on Safety of Medicines were on a sufficient scale to have provided a reliable indication of whether or not Debendox could be a teratogenic agent carrying the following degrees of danger to the foetus (a) one in five (b) one in 10 and (c) one in 50;(2) pursuant to his reply of 15 April to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, which of the studies considered by the Committee on Safety of Medicines contained the largest number of women who had taken Debendox; and to what level of risk of danger to the foetus he estimates that a sample of this size would be statistically meaningful.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 April 1980, c. 119–20]: I can add little to my earlier replies to the right hon. Member's questions on this subject. The studies containing the largest number of women who had been prescribed Debendox were those by Smithells and Sheppard and Shapiro et al. Taken together the studies contained sufficient patients to reveal any clinically significant increase in malformations in the children born to mothers who had been prescribed Debendox over the background incidence of such events.

Drugs (Safety In Use)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services up to what level of degree of risk of danger to the foetus the Committee on Safety of Medicines requires a drug to be exonerated before it gives approval; and if the committee considers that the acceptable level of risk should vary according to the extent of the use of the drug.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 April 1980, c. 119–20]. It is not possible to consider the acceptable level of risk to the mother and the foetus associated with any drug separately from its benefits. A very large number of factors have to be weighed in assessing the risk/ benefit ratio and each drug therefore has to be assessed individually.

Energy

Colliery Waste (Vale Of Belvoir)

asked the Secretary of state for Energy what would be the estimated cost per ton of coal involved in delivering all colliery waste from the projected sites in the Vale of Belvoir to the brickfields in Bedforshire.

This is a matter for the National Coal Board and I am asking the chairman to write to my hon. Friend.

National Coal Board

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, of the total provision provided by section 1 of the Coal Industry Act 1977, what is the amount borrowed by the National Coal Board to date.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what sums have been paid to the National Coal Board for regional grants during the past decade.

The following sums have been paid to the NCB as regional grant under section 9 of the Coal Industry Act 1973 and section 8 of the Coal Industry Act 1977:

£million
1973–7475.0
1974–7537.8
1978–7950.0

National Oil Account

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, in view of the statement on page 38 of the 1979 report and accounts of the British National Oil Corporation relating to the change in operation of the national oil account, whether he has abandoned until after the repayment of the Britoil loan any attempt to terminate the corporation's obligation to pay receipts into the national oil account and obtain access to the account for funds.

My right, hon. Friend announced on 25 March that the Government will intoduce legislation as soon as possible after the current Session to implement their policies for the future of BNOC. While we will bear in mind the Britoil arrangements in preparing the legislation, their future is a matter for negotiation between the parties concerned.

Coal Industry Working Party

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he is in a position to add to his answer of 10 March concerning the programme of work of the reconvened coal industry tripartite research and development working party and the possibility that it will publish a report of its findings.

The working party has now met twice under my chairmanship, and we plan to meet about once a month until the end of the year. These meetings will consider a wide range of coal R & D topics, including oil-from-coal, gasification for synthesis gas and for low Btu gas, pyrolysis, fluidised bed combustion and unconventional methods of extracting coal or coal energy, and we shall also be taking into account environmental aspects. Where appropriate, other interested organisations, such as the CEGB, will be invited to participate in the meetings. I also hope it will be possible for the working party to visit installations where coal conversion or utilisation R & D is being carried out.The working party expects to publish a report on its findings and I hope that this will be available early next year.

Quangos

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when last he received written advice from the Severn Barrage Committee; and what action he has taken since as a result.

As I stated in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave) on March 5, I received an interim progress report from the Severn Barrage Committee earlier this year. I will consider what action is appropriate when I receive a further report which the committee expects to prepare later this year.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when last he received written advice from the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee; and what action he has taken since as a result.

The Offshore Industry Liaison Committee is not an advisory committee. The Minister of State for Energy is chairman and the members are the leaders of oil company and contractors associations and trade unions involved in the offshore supplies industry. The committee normally meets twice a year to review the progress of the industry and identify problems being encountered. It last met in November 1978, but is due to meet in June this year.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when last he received written advice from the Offshore Energy Technology Board; and what action he has taken since as a result.

My predecessor received a detailed paper setting out the Offshore Energy Technology Board's advice on the strategy to be pursued in supporting research and development in the field of offshore oil and gas technology. This was accepted as Government policy and the document was published as Energy Paper No. 8 in 1976. Since then the chief scientist, who chairs the board, has defined the Department's programme in line with this strategy and with the continuing advice of the board.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when last he received written advice from the Advisory Council on Research and Development for Fuel and Power; and what action he has taken since as a result.

I last received written advice from the Advisory Council on Research and Development for Fuel and Power (ACORD) in July 1979, in respect of my Department's annual review of the Electricity Council's R & D programme. The action I took on receiving ACORD's advice was to write to the chairman of the Electricity Council, on aspects of its proposed programme.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when last he received written advice from the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation; and what action he has taken since as a result.

The third report of the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation was published on 2 October 1979 as Energy Paper No. 40. This wide-ranging review provided useful guidance and its many recommendations are being carefully considered by the Department responsible for implementing energy conservation policy. I intend to reply formally to the report in due course.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when last he received written advice from the Advisory Committee on Fixed Offshore Installations; and what action he has taken since as a result.

The Advisory Committee on Fixed Offshore Installations last met in April 1979. Following this meeting I received two written communications on the constitution of the Burgoyne committee. The chairman of the committee resigned during June 1979, since when there has been no further activity. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Thornaby (Mr. Wrigglesworth) on 21 March regarding the future of this committee.—[Vol. 981, c. 341.]

Employment

Wales (Redundancies)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many redundancies in Wales were notified to his Department in March; how many have been notified in the 12 months 31 March 1979 to 31 March in the current year; and how this compares with the figures for the years 1976–77, 1977–78 and 1978–79.

The number of proposed redundancies in Wales, which have been notified to my Department under the redundancy handling provisions of the Employment Protection Act 1975, for the periods requested is as follows:

EmployeesEstablishments
March 19806,948102
During March 2,660 redundancies at 39 establishments were formally withdrawn.
EmployeesEstablishments
1 April 1979 to 31
March 198060,601723
During the period 9,374 redundancies at 169 were formally withdrawn.
EmployeesEstablishments
1 April 1976 to 31
March 197736,838668
During the period 11,398 redundancies at 191 establishments were formally withdrawn.
EmployeesEstablishments
1 April 1977 to 31
March 197838,135756
During the period 14,407 redundancies at 266 establishments were formally withdrawn.
EmployeesEstablishments
1 April 1978 to 31
March 197928,606548
During the period 9,528 redundancies at 193 establishments were formally withdrawn.I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the number of redundancies notified to it as likely to have occurred for the periods requested is as follows:
Employees
March 19801,502*
1 April 1979 to 31 March 198012,667*
1 April 1976 to 31 March 19779,561
1 April 1977 to 31 March 197810,687
1 April 1978 to 31 March 197919, 870
* Figures are provisional to take account of late notification.

Homeworking

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the terms of reference, and the method to be used, of the inquiry into homeworking to be undertaken by his Department.

The aims of the research on homeworking are to obtain more solid information on the number, characteristics and employment of home-workers than has so far been available. The research being carried out consists of a number of separate but linked studies, some of which will analyse information already collected through standard surveys. The terms of reference and methods used thus differ between studies. One relied on qualitative research to assess the factors which affect homeworkers' response to surveys. Another consists of statistical analyses of information on homeworkers' earnings in certain industries.

Construction Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total unemployed in the construction industry on Merseyside to the latest available date; what is the percentage of unemployed; and how these figures compare with other special development areas.

At 14 February, the latest date for which an industrial analysis of the unemployed is available, the number of people registered as unemployed in the Merseyside special development area who last worked in the construction industry was 12,129, an unemployment rate of 26·3 per cent. The corresponding figures for the special development areas excluding Merseyside were 42,248 and 21·1 per cent.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to help reduce unemployment in the construction industry on Merseyside, in view of the recently announced figures.

The prosperity of the building industry is largely dependent upon the strength of the country's economy as a whole and I am confident that the measures which we are taking to regenerate the economy will provide the sound base which the construction industry needs if it is to expand.In the meantime, the construction industry on Merseyside should continue to benefit from the measures we are taking to help inner city areas, and should be further assisted by plans to establish an Urban Development Corporation in the disused land of the Merseyside docks.

Merseyside

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the recent unemployment figures on Merseyside.

On 10 April there were 92,464 people registered as unemployed in the Merseyside special development area—an unemployment rate of 12·2 per cent.I am naturally concerned about the upward trend in the level of unemployment on Merseyside. We have always recognised, however, that our efforts to conquer inflation, and create the economic conditions in which firms can expand, involved some risk of increasing unemployment in the short term. Ultimately, the prospects for reducing unemployment on Merseyside and elsewhere depend on industry and commerce responding to our initiatives and working together to improve their competitiveness—by bargaining responsibly over pay and conditions and by improvements in productivity, quality and reliability.

Health And Safety

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has considered the twenty-third report of the Select Committee on statutory instruments, which states that articles in certain statutory instruments appear to be ultra vires the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; what instructions he has issued to the Commission regarding the warrants to inspectors; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 28 April 1980, c. 322]: I have considered the report on my right hon. Friend's behalf.I am advised, and am satisfied, that instruments appointing inspectors are drawn in such a manner as to confer upon them power under the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to grant exemptions pursuant to the relevant articles. My right hon. Friend has not issued any instructions to the Health and Safety Commission on this matter.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what alternative employment schemes to the special temporary employment programme are now available to assist disabled people; how many registered disabled people have found employment through these schemes and how many disabled school leavers have found employment through these schemes.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 April 1980, c. 422]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that in addition to the special temporary employment programme and the youth opportunities programmes in which unemployed disabled people may participate, the Commission operates the job introduction scheme, which is specifically designed to assist disabled people to obtain permanent employment; 3,271 disabled people were placed in employment under this scheme between July 1977 and March 1980.Statistical information about the number of disabled school leavers included in this figure is not available.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many registered disabled people have found employment through the Professional and Executive Recruitment Service.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 April 1980, c. 422]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that separate statistics are not maintained on the number of registered disabled people who have found work through PER.The number, however, is likely to be small as the total number of registered disabled people enrolled with PER comprises less than 0.5 per cent. of the total register.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, in view of the disappointing take-up by employers of grants for adaptations and aids for disabled workers, what incentives he will give to encourage employers to install electronic aids, as happens in the United States of America, so that disabled workers can benefit from advances in technology through more jobs and greater opportunities for promotion.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 April 1980, c. 422]: I share my hon. Friend's disappointment that employers have not made more use of the adaptations to premises and equipment scheme. However, I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the number of aids loaned free of charge to disabled people under its special aids to employment scheme has increased significantly in recent years. Last year 830 aids, including electronic aids, were loaned to disabled people to assist them in their employment. It is intended to continue the development of this scheme, and the Manpower Services Commission is always ready to learn from the experience of other countries and will be studying the USA pattern.

Unemployed Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons had been unemployed for three months or less at the latest available date.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 April 1980, c. 424]: There are at present no later figures available than those given to the hon. Member in my reply to his question on 25 April 1980.—[Vol. 984, c. 292]. Figures for April 1980 will become available next month and I will send them to the hon. Member.

Northern Ireland

Microelectronics

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment has been made of the effect on employment of the microchip, particularly with regard to potential job loss, working conditions and flexible working hours.

There have been numerous studies at national level on the employment effect of microelectronics. They contain a wide range of predictions, and there are similar uncertainties attached to any such exercise at the regional level. A study has been made of the impact of microelectronics and computerisation in the Province's clothing industry, which suggested that microelectronics would not have a major effect on employment in this sector in Northern Ireland. The study formed part of a wider investigation by the Department of Employment into the manpower implications of microelectronics technology, a report of which has been placed in the Library.

A working group of officials has been set up to monitor all aspects of microelectronics in Northern Ireland.

Electricity Service

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the expenditure of the Northern Ireland Electricity Service is subject to examination by the Exchequer and Audit Department; and if the service's estimates are approved by any Government Department.

The accounts of the Northern Ireland Electricity Service are not subject to examination by the Exchequer and Audit Department but are examined by auditors appointed by the service, subject to the approval of the Department of Commerce, under article 24 of the Electricity Supply (NI) Order 1972.The principal statutory controls on the finances of the electricity service are found in article 7 of the 1972 order, which requires the approval of the Department of Commerce to be given to the service's programme of major capital works, article 18, which requires the service to obtain the consent of the Department of Commerce and the approval of the Department of Finance before undertaking any borrowings, and article 26, which requires the service to consult the Department of Commerce and the Department of Finance before fixing its tariffs. In addition to these statutory controls, the service regularly discusses its financial forecasts with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Finance.

Economic Council

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why the Northern Ireland Economic Council is being continued; and to what extent its functions in Northern Ireland are comparable to those of the former regional economic planning councils in Great Britain.

In the context of the general review of non-departmental public bodies carried out by Sir Leo Pliatzky, I considered the Northern Ireland Economic Council and was fully satisfied that it had a continuing role in giving advice on the development of economic policy and in monitoring economic performance in Northern Ireland.The council has independent status and can decide which aspects of the Northern Ireland economy to study and on which to offer me advice. Because of this freedom of operation, the Northern Ireland Economic Council is not directly comparable to the former regional economic planning councils in Great Britain.

Child Minders

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many child minders are currently registered in Northern Ireland in each area board.

The number of registered child minders in each health and social services board area at 30 June 1979 (the latest figures available) was as follows:

Year (ended 31 March)Improvement (including conversion)IntermediateRepairsTotal
1977–785,6952133,3759,283
1978–7912,9792692,61415,862
1979–8020,0954473,68424,226
3 year totals38,7699299,67349,371
I have no plans at present to increase the current levels of grants.

Medical Scanners

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the number and type of scanners now used in hospitals, the diseases for which they are used to assist diagnosis and the hospitals in which they are located.

There are three different types of scanners used in hospitals in Northern Ireland. Ultrasound scanners, which are used for maternity patients and now increasingly for other patients, are in fairly general use in the main hospitals. Radioisotope scanners which are used for a whole range of diagnostic functions, are provided in the following hospitals:

Royal Victoria hospital, Belfast
Belfast City hospital
Belvoir Park hospital, Belfast
Altnagelvin hospital, Londonderry
Waveney hospital, Ballymena
Craigavon area hospital
There is only one whole-body scanner, which utilises X-rays, and this is located in the Royal Victoria hospital, Belfast. It is used particularly in the case of head

Northern board453
Southern board202
Eastern board302
Western board112

Housing Executive (Grants)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will ascertain from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive the total amount of money paid out for each of the following in the past three years: repair grants, intermediate grants and improvement grants; and whether or not he intends to increase the present level of grant in the categories.

The payment of grants by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has been as follows (All amounts in £,000):injuries, diseases of the brain, and in the diagnosis and control of treatment in malignant disease.It is also possible, using the scanner, to obtain information about a number of internal organs which were previously difficult to examine with conventional X-ray equipment. The RVH scanner provides a regional service and is available to consultants from all parts of Northern Ireland.

Mr Frederick Victor Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement regarding the shooting of Frederick Victor Wilson of I Lothian Avenue, Belfast; and if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary as to the progress it has made in detecting his killers.

At approximately 0840 hours on Friday 11 April, Mr. Frederick Wilson, a part-time member of the RUC Reserve, was standing outside his place of employment in Franklin Street, Belfast, talking to two men, when a motorcycle stopped behind them. The pillion passenger alighted from the motorcycle and shot Mr. Wilson in the head, fatally injuring him.After abandoning the motorcycle on which they had initially made their escape, the killers fled on foot.The police are continuing their inquiries and it would not be appropriate for me to call for a progress report.

Housing Action Areas

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will obtain from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive a full list of each housing action area in each region.

The following housing action areas have been formally declared by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Belfast region
Iveagh
Major Street
Lord Street
St. Matthews
Connswater
Dundela
Cavendish Street I
New Lodge I
Upper Duncairn
Grove Area
Lawn Brook I
Tudor Place I
Rosebank Street/Ohio Street
Glenbank
Edinburgh Street
Lower Ormeau
Cherryville
Ravenhill Triangle
Ethel Street/Meadowbank
South region
Stream Street, Newry

Vehicle Taxation

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vehicles are now registered in each category; how many in each category are now taxed up to date; what is his estimate of the loss of revenue per year on untaxed vehicles; what steps are being taken to reduce this loss of revenue; and how many prosecutions there have been in each of the past five years.

It is estimated that on 31 December 1979 there were 358,010 private cars, 14,860 cycles, 2,110 hackneys, 41,680 goods vehicles and 11,170 tractors registered and licensed in Northern Ireland. There were also 11,119 other vehicles which although registered are exempt from excise duty. Information on the current number of licensed vehicles is not available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.A survey conducted in Great Britain in 1977–78 revealed that between 7 per cent. and 9 per cent. of private cars were evading vehicle excise duty. This would indicate an annual revenue loss in Northern Ireland of between £1·25 and £1·75 million from private motorists. No reliable estimate is available for other categories of vehicles.Vehicle excise offenders are normally offered the opportunity to pay a mitigated penalty but, failing the payment of this, the following number of prosecutions were initiated in each of the past five years:

19752,773
19762,962
19774,202
19783,743
19793,316
Measures to reduce vehicle excise evasion are being considered in consultation with the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Doctors

97.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many doctors are on the medical lists of each of the four boards in Northern Ireland; and what is the doctor to patient ratio in each area.

The information for 1 January 1980 is as follows:

BoardNumber of General PractitionersRatio Doctor: Patients
Eastern3321:2,072
Northern1711:2,133
Southern1351:2,132
Western1241:2,104

Planning Appeals

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many planning appeals were considered by the Planning Appeals Commission during 1979; and how many were successful.

The Planning Appeals Commission decided 280 planning appeals during 1979, of which 77 were allowed.

Mentally Disordered Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his estimate of the number of persons in Northern Ireland being treated for mental disorder; how many were compulsorily admitted in the past recent 12-month period; and how many were discharged.

This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the following figures are available for 1978:

Number of admissions and re-admissions to psychiatric hospitals and units10,598
Number of attendances at psychiatric out-patient clinics44,039
Number of attendances at psychiatric day hospitals23,911
Compulsory admissions to hospital1,653
Discharges of compulsorily detained patients1,684

Housing Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total expenditure in Northern Ireland on housing for each of the past five years, expressing the figures as a percentage of total Northern Ireland expenditure, and in each case in 1980 values.

Figures for public expenditure on housing over the last five years in Northern Ireland are only available at 1979 survey prices and are contained in table 2.15 of the Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81 to 1983–84 (Cmnd. 7841).Expressed in percentage terms, the proportion of housing expenditure to total public expenditure is as follows:

per cent.
1975–767·93
1976–7710·47
1977–789·30
1978–798·46
1979–809·32

Housing Stock (Belfast)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of the housing stock in (a) East Belfast, comprising Belfast district 2 and (b) Castlereagh, is publicly owned; and if he will give the figure for West Belfast, South Belfast and North Belfast.

I regret that this information is not readily available in the form requested. However, the Belfast household survey undertaken by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 1978 indi- cated that the percentage of publicly owned dwellings in Belfast was as follows:

East Belfast15 per cent.
West Belfast50 " "
South Belfast19 " "
North Belfast29 " "
Information relating to Castlereagh district council area is not at present available, but will be shortly when the results of the Executive's 1979 house condition survey are published.

Matthew Stopline (Castlereagh Borough)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is considering modifying the Matthew Stopline as it affects Castlereagh borough council; and, if so, to what extent.

There are at present no proposals to amend the Matthew Stopline as it affects the Castlereagh borough council area.

Property Valuations (Appeals)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many appeals against property net annual values were received by the Commissioner for Valuation in 1979; and how many were successful in achieving a reduction in valuation.

In 1979, first appeals for revision were made in 1,632 cases. In the same period 633 appeals resulted in reductions of rateable value.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many appeals against property net annual valuations were heard by the Lands Tribunal for Northern Ireland in 1979; and how many were successful in achieving a reduction of valuation.

Social Security Benefits

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce a combined application form for a number of related social security benefits to enable applicants to be assessed for a number of benefits at the one time.

A comprehensive pilot scheme was recently carried out over a period of one year in the Down district council area to test the effectiveness of providing a single claim form for a wide range of means-tested benefits administered by various Government Departments and agencies in Northern Ireland. The results of the experiment are at present being evaluated and a report will be prepared in due course.

Industrial Undertakings (Outside Companies)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many firms from outside Northern Ireland have indicated their intention to take over factories in Northern Ireland in the years 1980, 1981 and 1982; and how many jobs are expected in the undertakings.

Between 1 January 1979 and 31 March 1980, 13 firms from outside Northern Ireland concluded agreements with the Department of Commerce for the setting up of industrial projects in the Province. These are all expected to be in operation by 1982 and should together provide some 4,200 jobs at full production.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new industrial firms from outside Northern Ireland have established factories in Northern Ireland in the years 1975 to the present time; and how many jobs have been created thereby.

Between 1 January 1975 and 31 March 1980, 26 industrial firms from outside Northern Ireland concluded agreements with the Department of Commerce for the setting up of new industrial projects in the Province. Four of these firms have since ceased trading. It is expected that at full production the remaining 22, not all of which have yet established factories, will provide some 8,400 jobs.

Prisoners (Special Category Status)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the response of the prisoners protesting against the refusal of special category status to the further humanitarian measures which he announced on 26 March.

The prisoners taking part in the "dirty" protest at Maze prison have refused to accept the addi- tional visits or letters, or to take exercise in PT gear. The few prisoners who are protesting only by refusing to wear prison uniform or to work are taking the additional visits and letters, but so far have not taken exercise.I believe that some of the parents of the prisoners concerned have been misled by some of the reports which have appeared in the press about the new arrangements. My hon. Friend the Minister of State is accordingly writing to the next-of-kin of all the prisoners explaining the additional humanitarian measures.

Government Policies

asked the Prime Minister if she has received the letter commenting on Government policies from Mrs. Chaplin, a constituent of the right hon. Member for Deptford; and if she will make a statement.

The right hon. Gentleman's letter was received at 10 Downing Street on 26 April. I have asked the Department of Health and Social Security to look into the particular circumstances of the right hon. Gentleman's constituent and will reply to him when I have that information, but the general reasons for the changes proposed in benefit arrangements were set out by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services in his statement on 27 March.

Option Mortgage Scheme (Elderly Persons)

asked the Prime Minister which Department is responsible for policy on the extension of option mortgage schemes to elderly home-owners on low incomes who wish to purchase home income plan life annuities.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has the lead responsibility for the option mortgage scheme, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services is responsible for social security policy; but any question of extending the option mortgage scheme in the way my hon. Friend suggests would involve the interests of a number of different Departments and would be for consideration jointly by the Ministers concerned.

Environment

Water And Sewerage Charges

9.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will undertake a study of possible new systems of charging for water supply and sewerage.

I have already asked the National Water Council to set up a study group with the water authorities to examine the problems of optional metering for domestic supplies.

Council House Sales

15.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many inquiries he has received from council tenants wanting to buy their own homes whose councils are refusing to sell.

Since last May the Department has received approaching 1,000 letters from council tenants who wish to buy but who are being prevented from doing so by their local councils.

Olympic Games

19.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has had any recent discussions with the British Olympic Association concerning British participation in the Moscow Olympics.

I last met Sir Denis Follows, chairman of the British Olympic Association, with my right hon. and noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary on 21 March.

27.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his call to the British Olympic Committee to withdraw from the Moscow Olympics, in the light of the decision of the American athletics organisations to boycott the Games.

Following its decision on 25 March the British Olympic Association announced that it would,

" re-examine the situation if circumstances changed ".
I believe these are changing daily. Other national Olympic committees, apart from the Americans, have decided—or are likely to decide, to boycott Moscow, and I am confident that some major sporting nations will be amongst them. Their absence is bound to diminish the quality of the Summer games. I therefore hope that this changing scene will convince the British Olympic Association that it should re-consider its commitment to Moscow.

Enterprise Zones

23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps his Department is taking in connection with the setting up of enterprise zones.

Local authorities within which are located possible areas for enterprise zones have been invited to give their reactions to the proposals by the end of May. Other organisations concerned have also been asked for their views.

Local Government Manpower

25.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the totals of local government employees, excluding teachers, in March 1976, March 1979 and March 1980, estimated in England and Wales.

The joint manpower watch surveys for England and Wales show that the full-time equivalent total of employees, excluding teachers and also lecturers, was 1,528,331 in March 1976, and 1,523,769 in March 1979. I am unable to estimate the March 1980 figures, which are only now being compiled for the return due to be published in June.

New Towns (Sales Of Assets)

28.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with new town authorities regarding the selling of assets.

I met the chairmen of the new town development corporations and the Commission for the New Towns on 16 July 1979. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State met representatives of the Association of District Councils on 17 December 1979. For the rest, discussions have taken place within the framework of the Department's normal contacts with the new towns.

Effluent Disposal

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the machinery for granting permits for disposal of effluent.

Yes, in general, though we are currently considering the costs involved were we to extend and improve controls over discharges to water by implementing part II of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.

Local Authority Associations

29.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to meet leaders of the local authority associations.

The next formal meeting is on 3 June, when I chair the next meeting of the Consultative Council on Local Government Finance.

Building Societies Association

30.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects next to meet the chairman of the Building Societies Association.

I have no immediate plans to meet the chairman of the Building Societies Association. We last met on 18 January, and will meet again as appropriate. My Department has close and frequent contacts with BSA representatives.

Rent And Rate Rebates

34.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the current value of rent and rate rebates.

The rent and rate rebate schemes offer substantial assistance to about 1 million council tenants. The needs allowance used in calculating the rebates is up-rated annually. Its value has been effectively restored to its 1972 level, from which it had fallen through inadequate uprating, by the £5 earnings disregard introduced last November. I announced on 18 March—[Vol. 981, c. 161]—that the maximum limits for rent rebates and rent allowances were to be increased to £25 in London and to £23 elsewhere and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Environmental Services announced on 23 April—[Vol. 984, c. 185–6]—new maximum rate rebates of £6·75 and £4·80 respectively.

House Building

31.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action is proposed to increase the building of houses in the public, private and co-operative sectors, respectively.

Housing capital allocations totalling £2,775 million have been made available for 1980–81 to local authorities, new towns, and the Housing Corporation.In addition, the Government have been taking a series of steps in the private sector to speed up land release and planning decisions, and in the public sector to encourage starter homes schemes, improvement for sale and shared ownership.

Development Commission (Review Group Report)

32.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to complete his consideration of the report of the review group on the Development Commission and its associated organisation, the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas.

National Ice Skating Centre

33.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to be able to announce what Government resources will be made available for funding the building of the National Ice Skating Centre in Manchester.

It is unlikely that the city council could be informed before this autumn of its approved capital expenditure allocations for 1981–82 under the provisions of the Local Government, Planning and Land (No. 2) Bill. We are also unlikely to be able to tell the council before then what, if any, specific allocation could be made for the National Ice Skating Centre. The Sports Council has offered a £3·5 million contribution towards the scheme.

Town And Country Planning Act 1971 (Compensation Claims)

35.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has had about claims for compensation under section 169 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.

Two councils and the Association of District Councils have made representations about amending the provision.

Central Berkshire Structure Plan

36.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement on the list of modifications he has made to the structure plan for Central Berkshire.

No. I cannot add to the statement my right hon. Friend made in the notice of approval constituting his decision on the plan, a copy of which I have sent to my hon Friend. I have also placed a copy in the Library of the House.

Inner Urban Areas (Assistance To Voluntary Bodies)

37.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give assistance to voluntary bodies which are undertaking schemes to clean up inner urban areas.

Assistance is already available under the urban programme for these schemes.

Departmental Manpower

38.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will provide a breakdown by grade of the posts which have ceased to exist in his Department since May 1979.

The Department's staff fell by 3,842 between 1 May 1979 and 1 April this year, or by 7·4 per cent., consisting of 1,496 non-industrial staff and 2,346 industrial staff. The overall balance between the Civil Service grades and departmental posts which remain vacant or which cease to exist and those which are created or filled is, however, constantly changing. A full breakdown of the situation at present would therefore be disproportionately expensive to provide and would rapidly become outdated, although I do not expect the net saving achieved so far to be eroded in any way.

Water Charges

39.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the capital cost, and the ongoing current cost, of changing the method of charging domestic consumers of water from that based on the rating system to one based on direct metering.

In 1976, the National Water Council estimated that it would cost between £650 million and £950 million at 1975 prices depending upon where the meters were installed. My Department's very approximate estimate is that it would now cost in the region of £1,000 million. Regarding the ongoing current cost, this will clearly be crucially affected by the method adopted for meter reading, on which the potential of new technologies is being actively considered.

Sheltered Housing

40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities charge for the services of wardens in sheltered housing units.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply earlier today to the hon. Member for South Ayrshire.

National Finance

International Monetary Fund (Loan)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the sum outstanding on the International Monetary Fund loan.

Of the SDR 1,640 million drawn by the previous Government under the January 1977 standby arrangement with the IMF. SDR 300 million remains outstanding.

Value Added Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of value added tax was raised by the 12½ per cent. rate of value added tax and by the 8 per cent. rate of value added tax prior to the standardisation of value added tax at 15 per cent. in the 1979 Budget.

It is estimated that about 13 per cent. of VAT revenue was raised at the 12½ per cent. rate and 87 per cent. at the 8 per cent. rate.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer before the rise to 15 per cent., what percentage of revenue was raised by 8 per cent. and what was raised by 12½ per cent. value added tax.

It is estimated that in the financial year 1978–79, about 7½ per cent. of Government revenue was raised by the 8 per cent. rate of VAT and a little over 1 per cent. at the 12½ per cent. rate.

Benefits (Taxation Treatment)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if it is his intention, when he brings the maternity allowance within the tax system, to treat it as earned income in respect of a married woman's earned income allowance; and if he will make a statement;(2) if it is his intention, when he brings the sickness benefit within the tax system, to treat it as earned income in respect of a married woman's earned income

£million
31 March 197931 March 1980
Sterling national debt82,59791,245*
Interest paid in 1979–807,981†
External currencies national debt4,2884,173*
Interest paid in 1979–80309†
* Provisional.
† The forecast of interest on the national debt in 1980–81 published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report (HC 500 of 26 March 1980) is £9,885 million.

Objects In Lieu Of Estate Duty

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, pursuant to his written answer, Official Report, 3 April 1980, c. 325, any further objects were accepted in satisfaction of estate duty or capital tax before the national land fund was abolished.

Yes. The following objects have been accepted in lieu of capital transfer tax or estate duty on four separate estates:1. A collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century silver, silver-gilt and gold plate;2. Seven illuminated manuscripts of the eleventh to fifteenth centuries;

allowance; and if he will make a statement;

(3) if it is his intention, when he brings the unemployment benefit within the tax system, to treat it as earned income in respect of a married woman's earned income allowance; and if he will make a statement;

(4) if it is his intention, when he brings the invalidity benefit within the tax system, to treat it as earned income in respect of a married woman's earned income allowance; and if he will make a statement.

National Debt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the size of the United Kingdom's (a) internal and (b) external debt on 3 May 1979; what annual interest each attracted, respectively; and what are the equivalent figures at the latest available date.

[pursuant to his reply29 April 1980, c. 454]: Details of the size of the national debt on 3 May 1979 were not compiled. The most convenient date to take is 31 March. At that date, following is the information:3. A drawing by Luca Signorelli entitled " Study of a Young Man ";4. A collection of Hebrew manuscripts and other objects of the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries.The net cost borne by the national land fund was £133,430 for the plate, £248.680 for the illuminated manuscripts, £52,250 for the drawing and £331,597 for the Hebrew manuscripts.Announcements about the allocation of these objects will be made in due course by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister with special responsibility for the arts, after taking advice from the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries or the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts as appropriate.In accordance with the provisions of section 15 of the National Heritage Act 1980 the national land fund has now been abolished.

Trade

Air Traffic Control Systems

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the proposed replacement programme of the Civil Aviation Authority for its long range air traffic control surveillance radars in the United Kingdom; and what is its cost.

The Civil Aviation Authority is planning to replace some of the radar equipment used for air traffic services in the area covering London, South-East and North-East England. The total cost is likely to be about £27 million, including a proportion attributable to the Ministry of Defence.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he last met the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority; if he then discussed the purchase of the new air traffic control system; and if he will make a statement.

On 14 April 1980. The purchase of the radar replacement equipment was discussed then. The selection of the equipment is a matter for the CAA as the body responsible for operating the system.

Purchasing Policy

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to buy British as far as technical equipment is concerned; and if he will make a statement.

" Best value for money " is the principle applied in all public purchasing. With many types of technical equipment this includes the need to strengthen and promote the competitiveness of British industry. Technical equipment, however, is of such a variety that it would not be reasonable to expect British industry to supply every item competitively, in respect of price, performance and delivery.

Export Services

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the Government export services.

I have considered a report on the Department of Trade's services to exporters prepared under the guidance of Sir Derek Rayner. Changes will be introduced which are intended to maintain the thrust of the Government's support for exporters and which will make significant savings in expenditure and staff. These changes, which have been made on the advice of the British Overseas Trade Board after consultation with industry, are outlined in an " Action Document " on Sir Derek Rayner's report, a copy of which I have placed in the Library of the House. The report also raised the question of the organisation of the export promotion work of the Department. I am giving further consideration to this question.

Overseas Development

Fisheries Projects

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list the fisheries projects, and amounts given to them, as direct overseas aid, in each of the last five years.

The information requested will take a little time to assemble and I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Education And Science

Educational Responsibilities (London)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has received, other than from Wandsworth, about the transfer of educational responsibility from the Inner London Education Authority to the London boroughs; who made these representations; and how many have been for and against the proposal.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1980]: The Greater London area Conservative education committee should be omitted from the list of bodies or organisations that had by 12 March represented to me in favour of the transfer of educational responsibilities from the Inner London Education Authority to London boroughs. The total of representations received and of those in favour of change should correspondingly be reduced to 23 and 8 respectively.

School Meals

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report a list of the prices currently being charged for school meals by each local education authority.

My Department does not have comprehensive and up-to-date information about the prices authorities are charging for school meals. The desirability of obtaining the information later this year is under consideration.

Scotland

Royal Commission On Legal Services

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects the Royal Commission on legal services in Scotland to report.

The Commission has completed its report, and it will be published within the next two weeks.

Tertiary Education (Dundee)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to receive the report on the future of the tertiary (non-university) sector in education in Dundee.

I understand that the working party is in process of completing its report and I hope to receive it in the near future.

Local Authorities (Decisions Of Sub-Committees)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will seek to take powers to require local authorities in Scotland to reverse any actions taken by their employees as a result of decisions taken by sub-committees of the full council in circumstances where such decisions should have received approval from the full council before having effect, but did not do so.

No. Under part V of the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1973 it is for each local authority to regulate its own internal procedure on matters such as this and I have no evidence that further powers are necessary.

Cardiac Surgery Units (Funding)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what recent discussions his Department had with Grampian area health board before transferring or allocating £300,000 to Glasgow and Edinburgh cardiac surgery units as Grampian area health board's share of funding these units;(2) what criteria was used by his Department in transferring £300,000 from Grampian area health board to Glasgow and Edinburgh for cardiac surgery; and when this was done;(3) if the decision to allocate £300,000 as Grampian area health board's contribution to Edinburgh and Glasgow towards the cost of cardiac surgery is irrevocable or if he will receive representations from Grampian area health board.

Following the recommendations of the cardiac surgery programme planning group in 1977 the previous Government decided that the development of cardiac surgery should be treated as a national speciality and funded centrally. The working party on revenue resource allocation advised that a national service provided in only one or two centres should be financed outwith the main distribution system; and £5 million has therefore been set aside in 1980–81 to support the development of cardiac surgery in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The amount available for general distribution to health boards under the Scottish health authorities revenue equalisation formula has been reduced accordingly. Had there not been such a reduction, Grampian health board's share would have been about £300,000 greater in the current financial year. Health boards were notified about their current allocations on 31 March. The implications of the decision to develop cardiac surgery as a national speciality have been the subject of consultations over several years with the Grampian health board. There is no prospect that this decision will be reversed.

Open-Heart Surgery

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the statement of the Under Secretary of State in the Adjournment debate on Forrester-hill hospital on 15 February that the debate on open-heart surgery was concerned with the medical question, whether, if Grampian area health board concludes that it is clinically possible to re-start open-heart surgery at Forrester-hill hospital, he will make available the required finance.

On the basis of expert medical advice received in 1977, the Government's view is that the highest possible standards of open-heart surgery can best be developed and maintained in Scotland if this specialised surgical work is concentrated at centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Recently published medical evidence has confirmed that the death rate from open-heart surgery decreases markedly with increasing number of operations performed, and that the average death rates in hospitals carrying out only a small number of such operations annually are significantly higher than the rate which would be expected having regard to the type of case being treated. In view of this clear medical evidence, the Government would regret any decision which would enable a small number of open-heart operations to be undertaken in Forresterhill hospital, and would not encourage it by the special allocation of funds.

Island Fanners

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total amount paid to island farmers under the EEC special assistance to islands which was given owing to the severe seasons of 1978 and 1979.

Children's Hearings System

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement about the children's hearings system.

A consultative document on the powers and procedures of the children's hearings has today been issued to interested bodies and individuals; copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

Housing Co-Operatives

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made in the development of housing co-operatives by local authorities and housing associations in Scotland since ) June 1979.

I understand that Glasgow district council has set up a steering committee to consider the establishment of six new co-operatives and hopes to have agency agreements ready by the end of this year. The Scottish Special Housing Association has set up the Fairbridge tenants' management co-operative in the East End of Glasgow, and are consdering setting up another one in the area.

Divorce Procedure

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects the committee chaired by Lord Cowie looking into divorce procedure in Scotland to report; and whether he will enter into discussions with the Lord President of the Court of Session to ensure the report is published and that there is time for public consultation with interested bodies before any action is taken.

I have been asked to reply.I understand that Lord Cowie's working party hopes shortly to submit its report to the Lord President. I will draw to the Lord President's attention the hon. Member's comments regarding publication of the report and public consultation.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Gibraltar

61.

asked the the Lord Privy Seal what further progress has been made in the discussions with the Spanish Foreign Minister on the lifting of the restrictions which have been imposed on the territory of Gibraltar for the last 11 years.

As envisaged in my statement to the House on 14 April—[Vol. 982, c. 800–807.]—about the agreement reached between my right hon. and noble Friend and the Spanish Foreign Minister, practical preparations have been put in hand and contacts are continuing between officials. Technical discussions will be held in Madrid next week.

Jonas Savimbi (Meetings)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if, during the last 12 months, Ministers or officials of his Department have had meetings with UNITA guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi; if he will publish in the Official Report the dates of any such meetings; what subjects were discussed; and which Ministers or officials were present.

During the last 12 months Dr. Savimbi paid only one visit to Britain, from 15 to 19 February. The visit was private and he was not seen by Ministers or officials.

Saudi Arabia (British Subjects)

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement regarding the arrest of British subjects in Saudi Arabia, especially the arrest of Mr. William Sims, a constitutent of the hon. Member for Bothwell.

There are 31 British subjects in detention in Saudi Arabia, 15 for alcohol offences. Mr. Sims was arrested on 16 April along with a companion after a party in Al-Khobar.At a hearing on 28 April he was sentenced to 80 strokes of the cane for an offence against the law on alcohol. He is expected to return to this country in a few days. He and other detainees have been receiving normal consular assistance.

Defence

Exercise " Elder Forest 80 "

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he will be receiving a report on the recent NATO exercise " Elder Forest 80 ";(2) what types of aircraft were used by the United Kingdom in the recent " Elder Forest 80 " exercise;(3) how many aircraft were used by the United Kingdom in the recent NATO " Elder Forest 80 " exercise.

The RAF aircraft participating in Exercise Elder Forest were primarily the air defence forces, comprising the interceptor, airborne early warning and tanker squadrons listed in annex C of volume I of the " Statement on the Defence Estimates 1980 " (Cmnd 7826–1), supplemented by Hunter and Hawk aircraft in the local air defence role. In addition some RAF Jaguars, Canberras and Vulcans were included in the attacking forces. The results of the exercise are still being evaluated and I expect to receive a report as soon as this has been done. I shall then consider how much information it would be in the public interest to release.

Ulster Defence Regiment

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the present membership level of the Ulster Defence Regiment, both full-time and part-time; what it was at the corresponding date in each of the past 10 years; and if he will state what change of role the Ulster Defence Regiment has had over the past decade and any changes envisaged over the next 12 months.

The numbers of part-time members of the UDR on 31 March for each year since 1970 are as follows:

Part-timeFull-timeTotal
1970*2,243492,292
19713,8182264,044
19727,8815958,476
19737,5778668,443
19746,9518647,815
19756,2861,4067,692
19766,1171,5287,645
19775,9991,6697,668
19785,7022,1927,894
19795,1402,4697,609
19804,8162,5547,370
* The figure for 1970 is taken at 30 April; the UDR was formed on 1 April 1970.
The role of the UDR, which is to supplement the regular forces in Northern Ireland in supporting the RUC in the fight against terrorism, has not changed over the past 10 years; nor are any changes in this role envisaged over the next 12 months.

Air Traffic Control Radar Systems

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the LW08 air traffic control radar system currently being considered by the Civil Aviation Authority, is already successfully in use with the Royal Navy.

The Dutch LW08 radar transmitter and receiver forms part of the Royal Navy's Type 1022/AZV surveillance radar system which, assembled by Marconi Radar Systems Limited, is at present being b