Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 987: debated on Thursday 3 July 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 3 July 1980

Employment

Industrial Accidents

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many accidents were reported which involved the bursting of a revolving vessel, wheel, grindstone or grinding wheel moved by mechanical power in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980 to the most recent practicable date.

The table below shows both the number of incidents reported as dangerous occurrences and the number of injuries resulting from them reported as accidents in the years 1975 to 1979; none of the injuries was fatal. No figures are yet available for 1980.

DANGEROUS OCCURRENCES REPORTED: BURSTING OF REVOLVING VESSEL, WHEEL, GRINDSTONE OR GRINDING WHEEL
IncidentsInjuries
1975381114
197642386
197741863
197827636
197945729

Keighley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) school leavers, (b) people unemployed for more than 12 months, (c) more than six months and (d) more than three months are on the unemployment register for the Keighley travel-to-work area.

Citizens Band Radio

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make an estimate of the number of jobs that would be created for British industry by the introduction of citizens band or open channel radio on a frequency not covered by current imported sets.

I regret that it is not possible to give any realistic estimate of the number of jobs which might be created.

North-West England

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many job losses in the last 12 months there have been in the North-West, Merseyside, Kirkby and Ormskirk;(2) how many closures were notified in the 12 months since May 1979 in the North-West, Merseyside, Kirkby and Ormskirk;(3) how many redundancies are pending and how many workers are involved in the North-West, Merseyside, Kirkby and Ormskirk;(4) how many (

a) men, ( b) women, ( c) young people and ( d) school leavers are currently unemployed in the North-West, Merseyside, Kirkby and Ormskirk; and how many vacancies there are for each group in each area;

(5) how many adults and young people have been unemployed ( a) for one year and ( b) for two years in (i) the North-West, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) Kirkby and (iv) Ormskirk;

(6) what is his analysis of the prospects for those leaving school in the current year in Merseyside, Kirkby and Ormskirk have for finding jobs; and what action he proposes to take to improve their prospects.

St Helens

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details of the numbers of men, women, and school leavers who are signing the register for unemployment benefit as short-time workers employed for one, two, three or four days a week, respectively, in the St. Helens employment departmental area; and if he will make a statement.

Trade

Hides (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what was the percentage increase in the quantity of hides imported into the United Kingdom from the Irish Republic between the first quarter of 1979 and the corresponding quarter of 1980;(2) what was the actual quantity of hides imported into the United Kingdom from the Irish Republic during the first quarter of 1980;(3) what countries, apart from the Irish Republic, are the principal exporters of hides to the United Kingdom; and approximately what share percentage of United Kingdom hide imports is attributable to each of them.

In 1979 the principal countries, other than the Irish Republic, from which our imports of calf skins and other bovine and equine hides came and their percentages by weight of total imports were as follows:

Calf skins (SITC/R2 Sub-group 211.2): France (50 per cent.), USA (2 per cent.), Canada (2 per cent.) Australia (1 per cent).
Other bovine and equine hides (SITC/R2 Sub-group 211.1): Denmark (11 per cent.), Federal Republic of Germany (7 per cent), Sweden (7 per cent.), Norway (4 per cent.), USA (3 per cent.), Thailand (2 per cent.), USSR (2 per cent.), Netherlands (2 per cent).
The quantity of these hides imported from the Irish Republic in the period January-March 1980 and the percentage increase which this represented compared with the same months of 1979 are shown below:

Calf skins: 353 tonnes (increase 36 per cent.);
Other bovine and equine hides: 4,922 tonnes (increase 79 per cent).

Imports recorded under the heading of bovine and equine hides consist almost entirely of bovine hides. Figures for the early months of 1979 may have been distorted by the effects of industrial disputes: the percentage changes should therefore be interpreted with caution.

Petrol Pumps (Inspections)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list from the weights and measures annual reports the 10 local authorities which have the lowest rate of inspections of petrol pumps; and what their annual levels of inspections were.

Annual reports by local authorities to my right hon. Friend are not made in such detail that this information could be provided.

Severn-Trent Water Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Trade why, having decided to refer the Severn-Trent water authority to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, he is not doing so before the autumn.

The commission is fully occupied at the moment. My right hon. Friend proposes to refer the Severn-Trent water authority as soon as the current inquiry into British Rail's London and South-East commuter services has been completed.

Brazil

asked the Secretary for Trade if he will make a statement on the progress of discussions on the generalised system of tariff preferences for exports of products from Brazil to European Economic Community countries.

Discussions in the Community on the future of the generalised scheme of preferences have so far been of a general nature and have not touched on the treatment of particular countries. There is general agreement that the benefits of the scheme should be concentrated more on the poorer developing countries, and we believe that the treatment of Community exports by the beneficiary countries should, at least as regards the industrially stronger countries such as Brazil, be one of the factors to determine the benefits they receive.

Paper And Board Products

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will ensure that paper and board products are placed on a list of sensitive or semi-sensitive products during discussions of the generalised system of tariff preferences for Brazilian exports to the European Economic Community.

Marine Safety

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he intends to attend the December conference on marine safety proposed by the French Government.

Unctad (Common Fund)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what was the outcome of the recent UNCTAD conference on the common fund.

The final round of the UNCTAD negotiations on the common fund took place from 5 to 28 June. I am glad to say that agreement was reached on the text of the treaty to bring the fund into operation. A copy of the treaty will be placed in the Library as soon as the full text is available.

Civil Service

Recruitment Policy

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will change the recruitment criteria for entry to the executive class to allow computer programmers trained under Manpower Services Commission schemes to join his Department even though they lack two A-levels.

No. I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South-West (Mr. Butcher) on 24 April 1980.—[Vol. 983, c. 220.] Executive officers are recruited for a range of posts, not simply to work as computer programmers.

Government Departments (Postage)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement about the adoption by Government Departments of commercial methods of postage.

The Government have decided that the official paid system for post will be phased out over the next two or three years and be replaced by the normal methods used by commercial firms and by the public. These methods will provide a greater spur to economy in the use of postage by Government Departments.

Wales

Dyfed Area Health Authority

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is the total number of letters that he has received from district councils, community health councils, town councils, and community councils, objecting to Dyfed area health authority's plans to enlarge its central administration and remove the local district management and proposing some form of smaller health authorities for Dyfed;(2) how many letters he has received for and against Dyfed area health authority's plans to enlarge its central administration and remove the local district management, broken down as between each of the former counties of Carmarthen, Cardigan and Pembroke;(3) what is the number of letters in total that he has received from district councils, community health councils, town councils and community councils, supporting Dyfed area health authority's plans to enlarge its central administration and remove the local district management.

A number of the representations received in response to "Patients First" have commented on possible changes in the management arrangements within Dyfed area health authority. They reflect a wide range of opinion and do not readily fit into the categories suggested by the hon. Member. To try to set out numbers of letters in these categories would therefore be misleading. My right hon. Friend proposes to make a statement when his consideration of all the representations received is complete.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in full in the Official Report the result of the inquiry by independent accountants called in to investigate an irregularity in the accounts of the Dyfed area health authority.

Dyfed AHA has recently commissioned a firm of commercial accountants to examine the financial information and control systems of the authority with particular reference to the overspending which occurred in the financial year 1979–80, and to make recommendations for improvements which would serve to avoid such an occurrence in future. It is for the AHA to decide whether the report it receives should be published.

Area Health Authorities (Accounts)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales, for each year since 1974, if he will list, by authority, the occasions on which independent accountants have been called in to investigate the accounts of area health authorities in Wales.

No area health authority in Wales has since 1974 called in accountants to investigate its accounts. All AHA accounts are subject to statutory annual audit which is carried out by the NHS auditor for Wales.

Welsh Language

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he has taken to ensure that the statement he recently made about the Government's policy for the Welsh language is given the widest circulation.

I have arranged for the speech to be printed. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House and will be distributed to a wide variety of public bodies and other organisations in Wales. I hope that the general availability of the policy statement will stimulate continued discussion of the Government's commitment to support for the Welsh language.

House Of Commons

Select Committees

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in view of the matter of public importance raised by the circumstances surrounding the death of Blair Peach, what are the reasons why he will not move to set up a Select Committee of the House to inquire into the matter and to report.

Because I do not think that, having regard to the considerations set out in the Home Secretary's written reply of 4 June to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Short)—[Vol. 985, c. 722]—it would serve any useful purpose.

Members' Salaries

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how the salary paid to hon. Members compares in real terms with the salary paid in 1964.

The salary paid to hon. Members with effect from 16 October 1964 was £3,250. The equivalent value in May 1980 real terms, as measured by the movement in the General Index of Retail Prices, is £15,193. This compares with a current rate of £10,725.

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q28.

asked the Prime Minister if she will state her public engagements for 3 July.

Q29.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q33.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q38.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q39.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q40.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q41.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q42.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q43.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q44.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q45.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q46.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q47.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

Q48.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q49.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

Q50.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 3 July.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

asked the Prime Minister if she will state her official engagements for Thursday 3 July.

I refer my hon. Friends and the hon. Members to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Temple-Morris).

Tuc

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister whether she plans to discuss with leaders of the Trades Union Congress the need for wages in the next 12 months to rise more slowly than prices in order to create employment.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to emphasise the effect the rate of pay increases will have on the number of jobs in this country. We have made the same point to trade union leaders in the NEDC and elsewhere, and we shall continue to do so.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister when she expects next to meet the Trades Union Congress.

Q37.

asked the Prime Minister when next she will meet the leaders of Trades Union Congress.

I meet representatives of the TUC at NEDC and on other occasions. Further meetings will be arranged as necessary.

Tobacco Products (Advertising)

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied with progress being made to reduce still further the advertising of tobacco products on television.

The advertising of cigarettes and cigarette tobacco on independent television, and on local radio, is already banned by a direction made under the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973.

The whole range of tobacco advertising and promotional activities is among the issues under discussion in the current negotiations between the Government and the tobacco industry on what should follow the existing voluntary agreement.

Venice Summit

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on her meeting in Venice with other Heads of Government of major Powers.

Adoption

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if she will institute an inquiry into the operation and effects of the laws and practices relating to adoption.

Between 1969 and 1972 the Houghton Committee undertook a thorough consideration of the law, policy and procedure on the adoption of children in Great Britain. The committee's report (Cmnd. 5107) recommended a number of substantial changes in adoption law, and these were incorporated in the Children Act 1975. Unfortunately, resource constraints have meant that a number of important changes have not yet been brought into effect. It is much too soon to consider a further inquiry into adoption law and practice in Great Britain.In Northern Ireland adoption legislation and procedure are currently under review and proposals for revising legislation will be submitted later this year.

Fortree

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if she will make an official visit to Fortree in East Aberdeenshire.

"Education, Training And Industrial Performance" (Report)

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the Central Policy Review Staff report "Education, Training and Industrial Performance"; and what action she intends to take to co-ordinate the response to this report and its proposals since it involves several Government Departments.

The Government regard this report as a helpful contribution to public debate and hope that its analysis and proposals will receive wide consideration. We shall not be issuing a detailed commentary, but Government Departments collectively will pursue the issues involved. We shall continue to bring forward policies to increase the responsiveness of education and training to the needs of the economy.

Ferranti Limited

asked the Prime Minister what representations she has received from employees of Ferranti Limited on the future of the National Enterprise Board's holding in the firm; what reply she has sent; what action she is taking; and if she will make a statement.

I have received about 250 letters from Ferranti employees. Most have already received replies sent on my behalf. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry made a statement in the House on 1 July on the action the Government have taken.

Legal Aid

48.

asked the Attorney-General if he will take steps to prevent contributions from those granted legal aid being required prior to the case concerned being heard; and if he will limit contributions to orders made after the court hearing.

Ministerial responsibility for criminal legal aid was transferred to the Lord Chancellor on 1 July. He intends to review all aspects of criminal legal aid, including contributions, but there can be no question of postponing payment until after the hearing.

49.

asked the Attorney-General if he will review the arrangements by which the Law Society recoups legal aid payments in matrimonial cases.

I assume the hon. Member is referring to the charge on property recovered or preserved in proceedings. The operation of this charge is being considered by the Legal Aid Advisory Committee.

Home Department

European Assembly Elections Act 1978

15.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the European Assembly Elections Act 1978 so as to provide for election by the same method throughout the United Kingdom.

19.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the European Assembly Elections Act 1978, in order to ensure the avoidance of undue delay in implementing the recommendations of the Boundaries Commission in respect of boundaries for constituencies of the United Kingdom Parliament.

We are considering whether to do so. Such an amendment would be consistent with the Government's view that the present serious disparities in the electorates of parliamentary constituencies should be corrected as soon as possible.

Parole

16.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the operation of the parole system, particularly as regards the position of prisoners who are having applications considered by the parole board.

A review of the parole system is in progress, but, subject to its outcome, we are broadly satisfied with the way the system is working.

Law And Order

17.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the progress he has made so far to implement his policy of improving law and order.

There is no room for complacency, but I believe that substantial progress has been made. The priority which we are giving to the law and order services should enable that progress to be maintained.

Nationality

20.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he now intends to introduce legislation on British nationality; and if he will make a statement.

I cannot yet say when it would be possible to introduce a Bill. The next step will be to publish a White Paper, and as I have already told the House I hope to do this before the Summer Recess.

Boundary Commission (Report)

21.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he expects the Boundary Commission to have completed its reviews and to have reported in time for boundary changes to be made before the next general election.

I understand that the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England expects to have completed its task of reviewing the parliamentary constituencies in England by early 1982. The Welsh Commission has not yet begun its general review but we expect it to do so shortly.

David Cooper And Michael Mcmahon

23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in the light of recent evidence supplied to him, he will exercise his power to secure the release from prison of David Cooper and Michael McMahon.

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to a recently published book, of which I was sent an advance copy. This is being studied to see whether it discloses any new facts or considerations not already considered by the courts or my predecessors.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last considered instituting a further inquiry into the case of Michael McMahon and David Cooper; and if, in the light of recent events, he will do so again.

Bail Act 1976

24.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the working of the Bail Act 1976.

I have noted the concern that has been expressed about the working of the Bail Act 1976. I am awaiting an analysis of bail decisions made in the first year after the Act came into force, and I shall consider the operation of the Act in the light of that analysis.

Drunken Offenders (Overnight Facilities)

25.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress being made on establishing extra overnight facilities for habitual drunks.

30.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which areas of the country voluntary organisations have so far agreed to establish wet shelters for habitual drunken offenders.

41.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which areas he proposes to establish overnight facilities for habitual drunken offenders.

46.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further consideration has been given to helping voluntary organisations financially so that suitable overnight shelter can be provided for persons who would otherwise be charged with drunkenness offences.

I refer the hon. Members and my hon. Friends to the reply I gave today to similar questions by my hon. Friends the Members for Romford (Mr. Neubert), Cheltenham (Mr. Irving) and the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Lewis).

Firearms (Fees)

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received opposing the Firearms (Variation of Fees) Order 1980.

Since 6 March, approximately 700 letters have been received from the public and hon. Members about the fees charged under the Firearms Act 1968.

Southall (Disturbances)

27.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, now that the inquest into the death of Blair Peach is concluded, he will order a public judicial inquiry under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act into the events at Southall on 22 and 23 April 1979.

28.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will institute an inquiry under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act into the death of Blair Peach and associated matters.

44.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests he has received for a public inquiry or full investigation into the events in Southall leading to the death of Blair Peach.

Representations have been received from some 305 organisations and individuals.

Interception Of Communications

29.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the criteria which he applied in selecting Lord Diplock to review the interception of communications.

I have nothing to add to my statement on 1 April, when I explained that the Government had decided to invite a senior member of the judiciary to carry out this task.

Fire Precautions Act 1971

31.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further representations he has received about the operation of the Fire Precautions Act 1971.

Recent representations about the operation of the Act have concerned its possible application to hostels and private boarding schools; extensions of time in which to complete work required for the purposes of fire certification ; and consultation requirements in connection with the making of regulations under the Act.

Civil Defence

32.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he has any plans further to increase expenditure on civil defence ;(2) what progress he has made in reviewing the new arrangements he proposes to make for civil defence.

I expect to make a statement on these matters before the Summer Recess.

Attendance Centres (Nottinghamshire)

33.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number and the location of attendance centres so far established for younger offenders in Nottinghamshire; and what is the cost to the public of each of them.

At present there are two attendance centres in Nottinghamshire; one in Mansfield which is available for boys aged 10–16 and one in Nottingham for boys and girls aged 10–16. During the last financial year expenditure on the Mansfield centre, which opens every fortnight, was £3,324. Expenditure on the Nottingham centre, which opens weekly and has a higher average number of juveniles attending, was £9,160.

Immigration

34.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis the immigration figures are prepared and published.

The control of immigration statistics, for which the Home Office is responsible, are published quarterly, in summary form, in Home Office statistical bulletins, and, in more detail, annually in the Command Paper "Control of Immigration Statistics." Copies of these publications are available in the Library of the House: the most recent statistical bulletin is issue 8/80 and the most recent Command Paper, for 1979, is Cmnd. 7875. Information about the basis on which the statistics are compiled can be found in the notes to these publications.

Demonstrations (Policing Costs)

36.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total cost to public funds of policing demonstrations by the Metropolitan Police for the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Commissioner has estimated the cost of policing all demonstrations, marches and meetings in 1979 which required the presence of 100 or more police officers as some £5·75 million.

Prisoners (Transfer)

37.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what he would consider to be exceptional circumstances which would warrant the transfer of an Irish prisoner from England to Northern Ireland.

Each request by a prisoner in England and Wales to serve his sentence in Northern Ireland is examined in relation to his personal connection with Northern Ireland, the availability of accommodation, the prisoner's acceptability to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the security considerations. It is, therefore, not possible to specify exceptional circumstances which may warrant a transfer.

Minister Of State (Speech)

38.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the public speech by the Minister of State, Home Office on the Vagrancy Act 1827 on Friday 13 June was made with his authority.

Illegal Immigration And Overstaying

39.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what new measures have been taken in the last year to prevent illegal immigration and illegal overstaying.

The new Immigration Rules which came into operation on 1 March were designed to strengthen the control and among other things to restrict the opportunities for overstaying: they provide for the refusal of entry and of extensions of stay in a wider variety of circumstances than previously. The Immigration Service and the police continue to be vigilant against those who seek to evade the control or to enter by employing deception. A closer working relationship between the police and the Immigration Service is being developed, and is resulting in more effective measures to detect illegal entrants and over-stayers. The action being taken by the Government to deal firmly with those found to have offended against the immigration laws is a deterrent to potential offenders.

Prisoners (Home Leave)

40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are in force to ensure that prisoners on home leave in England from Northern Ireland are prevented from having that home leave by arrest and detention without any charges being preferred.

There are no such arrangements. When it is known that a prisoner in Northern Ireland intends to travel to England on his release from prison, or on home leave, the chief constable of the area he wishes to visit will be told. It will be for the chief constable to take any action that he considers appropriate.

Prison System

42.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take further measures to reduce the pressure on the prison system.

Sexual Crimes

43.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the numbers of sexual crimes committed on juveniles under 18 years of age which resulted in death of the person in England and Wales for each of the years 1977 to 1979 and for the first quarter of 1980.

Civil Defence

45.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the level of awareness of the public of his publication "Protect and Survive".

Members' Correspondence

47.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it took him until 26 June to reply to the letter dated 24 April from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West concerning the dockland settlement; what, other than a re-paraphrasing of the hon. Member's own letter this reply contained which could not have been sent within days; and whether he will request the police to expedite their replies to him to enable hon. Members to receive a reply in reasonable time.

The reply to the hon. Member's letter was based on information obtained from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and was sent soon after its receipt. We are satisfied that, taking into account his many other responsibilities, the Commissioner deals as quickly as he can with inquiries made on behalf of hon. Members.

(Detention And Maintenance Costs) Delinquent Children

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the total costs per annum to public funds of keeping delinquent children in residential homes and other detention centres; and if he is satisfied with the present system.

I have been asked to reply.In the year ending 31 March 1979 the cost to local authorities in England of maintaining juveniles aged 16 and under in community homes was £166.9 million, exclusive of administrative and field social work costs. It is not known what proportion of juveniles so accommodated had committed criminal offences. The cost of youth treatment centres was £0.77 million over the same period, but the cost of maintaining juveniles in prison department establishments cannot be separately identified. It is not satisfactory that so many juveniles should be sent to residential institutions of one kind or another and the Government strongly support the development of intermediate treatment, special fostering and other community-based alternatives.

Immigration

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why a man with a bigamous wife was allowed to bring her and her children, his legal wife and their children to settle in Great Britain, details concerning which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West.

The man is registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and his legal wife and their children were entitled to join him. Prior to their arrival in this country, he contracted a marriage with a woman who had entered the United Kingdom as a visitor, and it appears that that marriage has now been pronounced null and void.

Highpoint Prison, Suffolk

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received a report from the governor of Highpoint prison, Suffolk, on the subject of the alleged import of liquor and the consequential misbehaviour of prisoners in their cells.

The acting governor of Highpoint prison has reported a recent, unsuccessful, attempt by one prisoner to introduce alcoholic drink into the establishment and the discovery of a device which could have been used to bring in illicit articles, but without evidence that it was so used. He has further reported that no inmate has been found in possession of liquor, either within the establishment or on return from an outside working party, when every inmate is searched; and that there has been no indiscipline involving the consumption of liquor within the dormitories.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy that prisoners convicted of violent crimes should be confined at High-point prison in Suffolk.

Highpoint prison receives prisoners up to security category C. Prisoners with sentences of more than six months for past or current offences involving sex or violence may be sent there with the authority of the regional director.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any of the prisoners allowed out of High-point prison on working parties are serving sentences for the unlawful use of firearms, assault on police officers or sexual attacks on children.

No prisoner may work outside the prison if he has been convicted of a sexual offence (other than incest). For other prisoners a careful judgment is made of the likelihood that they might become a danger to the public or attempt to abscond; and the nature and circumstances of the prisoner's offence are among the considerations taken into account.

Custodial Establishments (Running Costs)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the estimated annual running costs per place in each of (a) remand centres, (b) detention centres, (c) young offender establishments and (d) prisons in security categories A, B, C and D; and what are the projected figures for 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85.

Estimates of the annual running cost per place are not available. The only available information on running costs is as follows.

Average annual cost of keeping a person in custody 1978–79
Establishments for males£
Six Category A/B dispersal prisons12,085
Other closed training prisons5,768
Local prisons and remand centres5,403
Open prisons4,146
Borstals and YP centres6,206
Detention Centres5,638
All female establishments7,301

Prison Accommodation (Sanitation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many refurbished prison places will have integral sanitation; where they are to be; and whether the number of cells will be reduced as a result.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many new prison places will have integral sanitation; and where they are to be.

All new prisons providing cellular accommodation have integral sanitation. Other new prisons give access to night sanitary facilities.

Risley Remand Centre

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a change of clothes is available to defendants remanded in custody at Risley remand centre before they appear in court.

In accordance with the prison rules, defendants remanded in custody at Risley remand centre are taken to court in their own clothing or, if necessary, in clothing provided by the remand centre. In most cases they are able to change their clothes just before they appear in court but where this is not possible arrangements can be made for fresh clothing to be brought into the remand centre from outside. If the hon. Member is concerned about a specific case and will send me the details, I should be happy to look into it.

M25 Public Inquiry (Police Costs)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Surrey on the total cost of policing incurred during the M25 (Leatherhead interchange) public inquiry held between May 1978 and May 1979 in Great Bookham and Leatherhead; whether he is satisfied that such duties are a proper use of limited police resources; and if he will make a statement.

I understand from the chief constable of Surrey that his officers attended this inquiry on 94 occasions between 26 September 1978 and 6 June 1979, at an estimated cost of £9,374.The presence of the police at planning enquiries is a matter for the chief officer of police for the force concerned, in the light of his general responsibility to prevent or deal with breaches of the peace.

Shoplifting

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will hold an inquiry into ways of ensuring that fewer innocent people are charged with shoplifting offences.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the overall acquittal rate of nearly 50 per cent. of those charged of shoplifting offences, he will now introduce legislation to equate the law and practice on shoplifting in England and Wales with that in Scotland whereby all prosecutions in this type of offence will be brought by or on behalf of the police and the public and not by retailers or other private citizens.

The subject of private prosecutions is within the terms of reference of the Royal Commission on criminal procedure, which is expected to report later this year, and we shall consider what action, if any is called for, in the light of the report.

Chief Officers Of Police (Consultation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how soon he expects to be in a position to report to the House on progress being made to implement Lord Edmund-Davies's recommendations about closer consultations between chief officers and local representatives of police staff associations; and if he will confine those areas of policy which chief officers may exclude from such consultations, for example on grounds of confidentiality, strictly to matters that are demonstrably operational;(2) what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations made one year ago in part III of Lord Edmund-Davies's report on the police service; and, in particular, what proposals he has formulated to enable the police staff associations to be consulted in advance about legislation that affects them.

It is my intention to send a circular to police authorities and chief constables shortly about the report of the Edmund-Davies committee on the structure and role of police staff associations, many of whose recommendations fall to be implemented at local level. The Police Advisory Board considered the report at its meeting on 25 June and remitted detailed consideration of the recommendations to a small group of its members. At the meeting on 25 June I assured the board that I would seek to ensure that, as envisaged by the Edmund-Davies committee, police interests would be borne in mind throughout the formative stage of legislation according to benefits on employees.

Chilean Citizens (Entry Visas)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made following representations by the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire about the case of Jorge Carrasco Espinoza and Rosa Mosca Lira, citizens of Chile, who were refused permission to enter the United Kingdom to visit their relatives.

Firearms

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the criteria for the issue of licences to sell firearms; and what checks are made on applicants before the issue of such licences.

Section 34 of the Firearms Act 1968 requires a chief officer of police to satisfy himself that an applicant for registration as a firearms dealer can be permitted to carry on that business without danger to the public safety or to the peace. Similar criteria apply to each place of business from which an applicant wishes to trade.

Unlawful Residents

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the sources of information he uses to estimate the number of persons resident unlawfully in the United Kingdom.

There is no information at present available to me which would permit a reliable estimate to be made.

Citizens Band Radio

the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many letters or signatures on petition he has received advocating the legislation of citizens band or open channel radio and how many in opposition.

We have received over 7,800 pieces of correspondence and 40 petitions containing some thousands of signatures. The great majority of these have been in support of the introduction of some form of new facility.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the estimated cost of operating a legal open channel radio service;(2) how many civil servants he now estimates will be required to administer the operation of open channel radio.

The resources required to regulate open channel would largely depend upon the size of the demand. A few additional civil servants would be necessary, and large numbers of applications could be dealt with only with the aid of data processing. Our intention would be to ensure that the costs were met by those who use the facility.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present cost of enforcing the Wireless Telegraphy Acts and other legislation against the illegal possession, installation, importation or operation of 27mHz citizens band radio equipment.

The annual cost of the Post Office's investigations into complaints of interference to non-broadcasting services and into all forms of illicit installation or use of radio equipment is approximately £1 million. The costs in- curred in dealing with illicit use of 27mHz equipment are not recorded separately. No figures are available for the cost of controlling the importation of specific categories of prohibited goods.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought and how many are pending against the use of illegal citizens band radio equipment so far in the current year; and what were the figures for the comparable period in 1979 and 1978, respectively.

From 1 January to 30 April this year (the latest period for which figures are readily available) 94 persons were prosecuted in connection with the unlicensed installation or use of citizens band radios in the 27mHz band, while a further 135 cases were pendingFigures for comparable periods in preceding years are not available, but the numbers of persons convicted of these offences during 1978 and 1979 were 3 and 91 respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make an estimate of the amount of fuel that can be saved, based on experience in the United States of America, by the legalisation of citizens band or open channel radio.

Prisoners (Deaths)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners died in prisons in England and Wales in 1979 and so far in the current year; and how many of these were black.

In answer to the first part of the question I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Soley) on 17 April.—[Vol. 982, c. 703–06.] The number of deaths of inmates in prison department establishments reported so far this year is 20. Information on the racial origin of the prisoners who have died is not collected centrally, but I will write to the hon. Member.

Metropolitan Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many policemen in the Metropolitan area have been dismissed or forced to resign from the police force as a result of corruption or similar charges made against them in each of the last seven years.

The numbers of Metropolitan Police officers dismissed or required to resign following a criminal conviction for corruption or a similar offence were as follows:

19733
19742
19756
19763
19771
19781
19794

Ashford Remand Centre

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners died in Ashford remand centre in each of the last 10 years and so far this year; and how many of them were black.

The information requested is as follows:

1970Nil
1971Nil
1972Nil
19732
1974Nil
1975Nil
1976Nil
1977Nil
1978Nil
1979Nil
1980 (to date)1
All three inmates who died were of West Indian origin.

405-Line Television

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sum would be saved by the British Broadcasting Corporation if the present 405-line television transmitters were discontinued at the end of the current year and 1981, respectively.

In my reply to a question from my hon. Friend on 20 May I announced a timetable for the closure of the 405-line television services of the BBC and the IBA, beginning in 1982 and phased over a period of about four years. This timetable has been dictated by the need to minimise any inconvenience to the remaining 405-line viewers and depends on the completion of the current phase II engineering programme to extend the 625-line television services of the two broadcasting authorities. This phase II programme should be complete by about 1984.I understand from the BBC that currently the marginal cost of maintaining its 405-line television network is about £300,000 per annum, and that this figure is likely to reduce, towards the end of the closure period though to an extent which it is difficult at this stage to predict.

Charities (Definition)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, pursuant to the discussion on the Committee stage of the Finance Bill 1980, he will seek to introduce legislation to reform the law relating to, and definition of, a charity.

As my right hon. Friend said in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Drake (Miss Fookes) on 24 January. The Government do not consider that there is at present a need for changes in the law on charitable status.

Paul Shane O'doherty

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reconsider his decision not to allow Mr. Paul Shane O'Doherty, a prisoner in Wormwood Scrubs, to use a typewriter in order to learn to type.

Mr. O'Doherty is in the highest security category. We are not persuaded that there are any grounds for making an exception in his case to the normal rules which endeavour to treat prisoners on an equal basis.

Vietnamese Refugees

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a list of all local authorities which have accepted Vietnamese refugees for permanent rehousing, stating in each case how many families have been accepted.

[pursuant to his reply,13 June 1980, c. 327): The following information, which relates to the position on 31 May, was provided by the Joint Committee for Refugees from Vietnam:

ENGLAND
Units occupiedUnits offered not yet occupied
London
GLC160240
Camden210
Merton6
Bromley75
Redbridge2
Southwark5
Tower Hamlets6
Waltham Forest2
Hammersmith and Fulham1
Barnet8
Bexley7
Metropolitan counties
GREATER MANCHESTER
Wigan10
Bury4
Manchester119
Oldham3
Trafford5
Stockport141
MERSEYSIDE
Liverpool416
St. Helens37
Knowsley10
Wirral10
SOUTH YORKSHIRE
Sheffield16
Rotherham8
TYNE AND WEAR
Newcastle upon Tyne37
North Tyneside6
Gateshead6
South Tyneside2
WEST MIDLANDS
Walsall82
Dudley102
Sandwell2
Birmingham25
Solihull2
WEST YORKSHIRE
Bradford5
Calderdale8
Non-metropolitan counties
AVON
Northavon2
Bristol73
Kingswood4
Woodspring3
Wansdyke2
Bath21

Units occupied

Units offered not yet occupied

BEDFORDSHIRE
Mid Bedfordshire4
South Bedfordshire2
Luton4
ROYAL COUNTY OF BERKSHIRE
Newbury10
Reading24
Wokingham22
Windsor and Maidenhead15
Bracknell5
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
Aylesbury Vale22
CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Peterborough22
Huntingdon105
East Cambridgeshire1
South Cambridgeshire6
Cambridge42
CHESHIRE
Halton42
Ellesmere Port and Neston55
Vale Royal6
Macclesfield3
Chester33
Crewe and Nantwich2
Congleton2
CLEVELAND
Hartlepool4
Middlesbrough64
Langbaurgh44
CORNWALL
North Cornwall21
CUMBRIA
Carlisle6
Allerdale3
Barrow-in-Furness3
DERBYSHIRE
High Peak2
North East Derbyshire33
Bolsover2
Derby7
Erewash32
South Derbyshire2
DEVON
North Devon2
Mid Devon2
South Hams41
COUNTY DURHAM
Derwentside2
Chester-le-Street2
Durham12
Easington3
Sedgefield4
Darlington10
EAST SUSSEX
Wealden2
Lewes2
Hastings2

Units occupied

Units offered not yet occupied

Essex
Uttlesford2
Braintree52
Colchester3
Tendring2
Harlow4
Chelmsford31
Maldon1
Basildon103
Thurrock5
Southend-on-Sea32
GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Tewkesbury2
Gloucester3
Cheltenham22
Stroud2
HAMPSHIRE
Basingstoke and Deane22
Rushmoor3
Test Valley3
Winchester41
East Hampshire5
New Forest3
Southampton7
Eastleigh4
Gosport31
Portsmouth53
HEREFORD AND WORCESTER
Wyre Forest3
Bromsgrove3
Redditch1
Malvern Hills46
Worcester24
Wychavon5
HERTFORDSHIRE
North Hertfordshire4
Welwyn Hatfield4
Hertsmere2
HUMBERSIDE
Boothferry2
Kingston upon Hull6
Scunthorpe48
Cleethorpes3
Great Grimsby3
ISLE OF WIGHT
South Wight1
KENT
Dartford11
Gravesham3
Medway2
Gillingham11
Swale2
Thanet31
Maidstone3
Ashford5
LANCASHIRE
Lancaster22
Ribble Valley4
South Ribble2
West Lancashire2
Blackburn33
Hyndburn4
Burnley5
Pendle31
Rossendale21

Units occupied

Units offered not yet occupied

LEICESTERSHIRE
North West Leicestershire3
Charnwood1
Hinckley and Bosworth12
Leicester5
Blaby2
Harborough2
LINCOLNSHIRE
West Lindsey2
East Lindsey21
Lincoln13
South Kesteven33
South Holland2
NORFOLK
West Norfolk6
Breckland4
Norwich1
South Norfolk2
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
Corby5
Kettering85
Daventry6
Wellington5
South Northamptonshire22
NORTHUMBERLAND
Wansbeck2
Blyth Valley6
NORTH YORKSHIRE
Richmondshire2
Scarborough2
Craven3
Harrogate5
York2
Selby6
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
Bassetlaw1
Mansfield2
Newark421
Ashfield11
Broxtowe12
Nottingham2
Gedling6
Rushcliffe11
OXFORDSHIRE
Cherwell2
Vale of White Horse2
Oxford4
SALOP
The Wrekin42
Bridgnorth2
SOMERSET
Sedgemoor4
Mendip22
Taunton Deane2
STAFFORDSHIRE
Stoke-on-Trent28
Stafford2
East Staffordshire6
South Staffordshire2
Lichfield1
Tamworth22

Units occupied

Units offered not yet occupied

SUFFOLK
Waveney2
Mid Suffolk3
Suffolk Coastal6
SURREY
Runnymede4
Surrey Heath3
Woking5
Elmbridge4
Epsom and Ewell22
Mole Valley12
Tandridge3
Waverley21
WARWICKSHIRE
North Warwickshire2
Nuneaton15
Rugby5
Warwick2
WEST SUSSEX
Chichester2
Mid Sussex2
Arun22
Worthing11
WILTSHIRE
North Wiltshire3
Thamesdown173
West Wiltshire5
Kennet2

SCOTLAND
CENTRAL
Clackmannan33
Falkirk33
Stirling24
FIFE
Kirkcaldy4
North-East Fife2
GRAMPIAN
Aberdeen57
HIGHLAND
Badenoch and Strathspey3
Inverness5
Ross and Cromarty12
Skye and Lochalsh3
LOTHIAN
East Lothian4
Edinburgh624
West Lothian3
STRATHCLYDE
Clydebank5
Dumbarton3
Glasgow630
Hamilton2
Inverclyde22
Kilmarnock and Loudoun3
Motherwell42
Renfrew6
Strathkelvin1
TAYSIDE
Perth and Kinross51

WALES

Units occupied

Units offered not yet occupied

CLWYD
Colwyn1
Delyn4
Alyn and Deeside4
Wrexham Maelor53
DYFED
Preseli2
South Pembrokeshire2
Carmarthen2
GWENT
Newport23
Islwyn22
Torfaen22
Monmouth4
GWYNEDD
Yns mon—Isle of Anglesey2
Arfon2
MID GLAMORGAN
Ogwr2
Merthyr Tydfil26
Rhymney Valley4
POWYS
Brecknock2
SOUTH GLAMORGAN
Cardiff6
Vale of Glamorgan3
WEST GLAMORGAN
Swansea44
Afan2

Offers from new town development corporations are not included.

Scotland

National Health Service (Consultants)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that the annual return by whole-time consultants in the National Health Service in Scotland, certifying that their gross income from private practice does not exceed 10 per cent. of their gross salary, constitutes an adequate check on the proper operation of their contracts.

Yes, although in exceptional circumstances health boards may call for detailed accounts.

British Youth Council

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to give funds to the British Youth Council in Scotland; what funds were given by his Department last year; how much he proposes for this year; and if he will make a statement.

Grants totalling £5,473 were paid to the British Youth Council (Scotland) in 1979–80, and the council has accepted an offer of grant not exceeding £13,400 in 1980–81. The payment of grants in future years will depend on various factors including the ability of the council to raise funds from other sources and to achieve the aims set out in its constitution.

YearNumber of firmsEstimated employment at May 1980Potential employment
19777340640
197876751,090
197983601,350
In addition, during the years 1977–79, foreign companies already established in Scotland undertook 51 expansion projects known to the Scottish Office, with potential employment estimated at 8,400.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the expenditure on attracting foreign manufacturing investment to Scotland in 1977, 1978 and 1979.

Details of expenditure on regional selective financial assistance offered by the Scottish economic planning department under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 to foreign companies undertaking manufacturing investment in Scotland are set out below:

£m
19776·1
19787·8
197914·7
In addition to this financial assistance and that provided by other Government Departments and agencies, expenditure is incurred on the promotion of Scotland abroad. Such promotion is often linked with the development of trade and tourism and is undertaken by a number of statutory bodies, including the Scottish Development Agency, new town development corporations, the Highlands and Islands Development Board and local authorities. Scotland also benefits from the wider United Kingdom promotional activities of the Department of Industry's Invest in Britain Bureau and of the consular posts abroad. In these circumstances the total cost of attracting inward investment to Scotland is not readily identifiable.

Foreign Manufacturing Investment

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many foreign manufacturing firms set up in Scotland in 1977, 1978 and 1979; and how many people currently they employ.

The information available to the Scottish Office is set out in the table below:

Hearing Aids

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when high power hearing aids to replace current National Health Service hearing aids were first introduced in Scotland; how many have been supplied in each of the last five years; and what has been the cost.

High power hearing aids were first included in the NHS range about 20 years ago. The latest edition, which replaced several earlier models, is a body-worn type BW61, introduced in August 1978.The total number of high power aids issued since 1975 is not readily ascertainable; but the number of model BW61s issued, and the cost, are given below:

No of Aids*Cost
1978 (August onwards)150£3,537
1979624£17,747
1980 (to 31 May)518£14,732
*excludes the cost of batteries

National Finance

Public Sector Workers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Northampton, North on 23 June, if he will set out any calculations that he makes concerning the per capita cost of a public sector employee.