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Written Answers

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 7 August 1980

Employment

Medway Area

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in view of the fact that the rate of young employed in the Medway area is 15 per cent. as compared with the average figure for the South-East area of 8 per cent., he will ensure the Manpower Services Commission increases the provision for youth opportunities in the Medway area above the 40 per cent. he has announced.

The Government asked the Manpower Services Commission to plan the youth opportunities programme in 1980–81 in such a way as to meet the needs of young people eligible for a place in the programme. In particular the Government reaffirmed their commitment to the two undertakings to young people; that is, to provide all school leavers who cannot find a permanent job with a place in the programme by next Easter and to provide those young people who become unemployed for 12 months with a place in the programme within three months.I have asked the MSC to keep enough places available in the programme to ensure that these undertakings will be met. I am now discussing with the MSC what more can be done to help the young unemployed, and those discussions will naturally take account of the needs of those districts where youth unemployment is a particular problem.

Permaflex, Stoke-On-Trent (Fire)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment on which date the report of the inquiry by the Health and Safety Executive into the fire at Permaflex, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, will be published.

Work on the report is at an advanced stage and it is expected that it will be made available in the autumn.

Divers (Fatalities And Injuries)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list fatalities and serious injuries incurred by divers operating in inshore areas, on North Sea oil and gas projects, for each year since 1964.

No separate figures are available relating to divers operating in inshore areas on North Sea oil and gas projects.

Merseyside

asked the Secretary of State for Employment why some private agencies which have received cash assistance to help train young people in skills in Merseyside are now being refused that aid and what opportunities he is providing for youth employment.

[pursuant to his reply, 30 July 1980, c. 675]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that this year it plans to provide 27,350 opportunities for young people in Merseyside under the youth opportunities programme. This compares with a total of 23,550 young people in Merseyside who were helped by the Programme last year. Those school leavers who do not obtain permanent jobs will be offered a place in the programme by Easter 1981, and young people remaining unemployed for 12 months will be offered a place in the programme within three months. If the hon. Gentleman has in mind a particular agency from which public funds have been withdrawn I would be happy to look into the matter.

Farm Accidents

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of deaths involving tractors in each year since 1945 with breakdowns showing how many were (a) workers, (b) farmers and their families and (c) children under 16 years of age.

[pursuant to his reply, 4 August 1980, c. 17]: The tables below present statistics relating to fatal accidents with tractors from 1 January 1958 to 31 December 1979.The age limit in respect of children during the period 1958–1972 was 15 years. From 1973 onwards this limit was extended to 16 years of age.

Statistical information for tractor accidents prior to 1976 does not permit any

FATAL ACCIDENTS WITH TRACTORS IN GREAT BRITAIN

Year

Adults

Children

Total

195859665
5951556
6045853
6171576
6265873
6346652
6454761
6554458
6656561
6746450
6849554
6941546
70391049
7143447
7226632
7328836
7423629
7528937
7633336
7726430
7817421
7917522

Year

Farmworkers

Farmers and their families

Others

*

Children

Total

197612192336
19778135430
19785111421
1979593522

* Others covers contractors, members of the public etc.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of people killed and injured, separate figures, in farm accidents in Great Britain in each year since the war, with a breakdown giving the number of workers and the number of farmers and their families, with sub-totals showing children under 16 years, also the totals of hired workers and farmers and their families for those years, and the ratio of deaths against total farm work force

breakdown between agricultural workers and others.

and the ratio reported injuries against total farm work force for each year.

[pursuant to his reply, 4 August 1980, c. 17]: The table attached lists the available statistical information relating to agricultural accidents in Great Britain for the years 1971 to 1979 inclusive.It is not possible to provide information for years prior to 1971 because the statistics of employment relating to agricultural workers are not comparable with subsequent years.

WORKFORCE AND ACCIDENTS IN AGRICULTURE: GREAT BRITAIN 1971–79

Workforce

*

Fatal accidents§

Of which

Farmers and family workers

Employees

Total

Total

Children

Employees

All reported accidents to employees

Fatal accidents per 100,000 workforce Columns 3 and 4

Reported accidents to employees per 100 at risk Columns 2 and 7

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

thousand

number

thousand

197130831462214130536·722·72·1
197230831061810020456·816·22·2
197330431361711827466·219·12·0
197429030359310130335·717·01·9
197528729157810023345·217·31·8
197629529058510621415·318·11·8
197727930058010225324·817·61·6
19782813005817216254·612·41·5
19792632945579424364·116·91·4

* MAFF and DAFS June census.

† Excluding the working spouses of farmers, partners and directors (about 50,000) and farmers in Scotland (there are about 30,000 holdings in Scotland).
‡ Including salaried managers and casual workers.
§ Including accidents to members of the public arising from work activities.
║ Under 16; under 15 before 1973.

Birmingham

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth on 26 June about employment in Birmingham, if he will update the figures given to the latest convenient date.

[pursuant to his reply, 6 August 1980, c. 126]: At 10 July 1980 there were 32,610 males and 11,412 females aged 20 years and over, and 18,531 young people under 20 years of age registered as unemployed in the Birmingham travel-to-work area. The corresponding figures for July 1979 were 24,605. 8,029 and 14,065, respectively. The July 1980 figures are not strictly comparable those for July 1979 because of the introduction of fortnightly attendance anti payment of benefit. Estimates of this effect by age or for local areas are not available, but for the country as a whole the monthly figures for all unemployed from October 1979 are about 20,000, or 1½ per cent. higher than they would have under weekly attendance.

Derv

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Northampton. North, Official Report, 22 July, if derv increases in price by 10 per cent. now this affects industrial costs; and to what extent this is passed on to the consumer and hence to the retail price index.

[pursuant to his reply, 6 August 1980, c. 126]: The extent to which an increase in the price of derv affects industrial costs will vary from industry to industry. Moreover whether a rise in derv prices and hence industrial costs will be passed on to consumers will also depend on other economic factors including the level of demand and competitiveness. It is therefore not possible to determine any mechanical link between an increase in derv prices, industrial costs and movements in the retail prices index.

Civil Service

Treasury Paye System

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will consider consortium as well as single-supplier provision for the Treasury PAYE system.

The method of procurement of the computers for the PAYE project is still under consideration.

Trade

Hearing Aids (Doorstep Sales)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will take steps to protect the elderly hard of hearing who complete coupons contained in newspaper advertisements from receiving calls from doorstep salesmen of hearing aids unless such a call is positively requested.

The Hearing Aid Council has proposed further changes to its code of practice. As a result I am considering whether, and if so under what conditions, such home calls should continue to be permitted.

White Goods (Imports)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has any plans to curb the import of white goods such as fridges, freezers, and washing machines into the United Kingdom.

Albania

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proposals he has for improving trade between Albania and the United Kingdom.

In the absence of diplomatic relations the scope for activity is necessarily limited. However, within these limits my Department is always ready to help British companies trading or wishing to trade with Albania.

Taiwan (Anti-Dumping Measures)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress is being made, through the EEC. in preparing a case for antidumping action against Taiwan over the import of manufactured doors.

The British Woodworking Federation and its European counterpart FEMIB have submitted to the European Commission within the last few days a formal complaint about the dumping of wooden doors from Taiwan.

British Overseas Trade Board

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report the number of overseas exhibitions with which the British Overseas Trade Board has been involved for each year since 1970 to date.

The following table shows the number of exhibitions in each calendar year since 1970, supported by the Department of Trade under its joint venture, pavilion and all-British trade fairs arrangements and at the British Export Marketing Centre, Tokyo.

YearTotal Number of Exhibitions
1970285
1971269
1972283
1973322
1974318
1975250
NUMBERS EMPLOYED IN EXPORT SERVICES AS AT
DateOpen StructureAdminis-tration GroupScience Professional and TechnicalOther ProfessionalSupportTotal
1 April 19723900592471,047
1 July 1973288387411,013
1 July 1974390388441,038
1 July 1975288899451,034
1 July 1976287897461,023
1 July 197728399248982
1 July 1978279449043933
1 July 1979278849849941
1 July 1980173739449884

Air Crash (Exeter)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what investigation has taken place into the circumstances in which the Alidair Scotland Viscount airliner crash-landed on a flight from Santander to Exeter; if he is satisfied that the aircraft received the amount of fuel it requested in Spain; whether the aircraft's fuel guages were working properly; and if he will make a statement.

The Chief Inspector of Accidents ordered an inspector's investigation to be conducted into the accident to the Alidair Viscount which crashed near Exeter on 17 July 1980 and the Secretary of State will receive a full report in due course. Inspectors from the accidents investigation branch visited Santander between 22 and 24 July and were assisted by the Spanish aircraft accident investigation authorities. The question

1976352
1977303
1978319
1979337
1980 (to end July)177

The Department's overseas trade fair programmes have been subject to the direction of the British Overseas Trade Board since its inception in 1972.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the establishment, by discipline, of the British Overseas Trade Board in each year since 1970.

The following were the numbers of civil servants engaged in export services work—in the Department of Trade—under the direction of the British Overseas Trade Board on behalf of the Secretary of State, in each year since the board was set up:whether the aircraft received the fuel that was requested in Spain is still the subject of investigation. The port fuel gauge was defective and the starboard gauge was not wholly reliable. An AIB bulletin concerning this accident was published on 25 July 1980 and I do not believe it would be helpful to the further progress of the investigation to make any further statement at present.

Coal

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if, from information available to him, he will tabulate his assessment of the value, tonnage, and in consequence cost per ton of each export source of coal, and coal products, imported into each EEC country and in total per annum at present.

[pursuant to the reply, 4 August 1980, c. 5]: The information, in respect of 1979, is as follows:

TABLE 1
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY—IMPORTS OF COAL AND COAL PRODUCTS* 1979
FromToEuropean CommunityBelgium/LuxembourgDenmarkFederal Republic of GermanyFranceIrelandItalyNetherlandsUnited Kingdom
£ million
France55·212·15·326·00·15·82·23·7
Belgium/Luxembourg27·30·19·514·80·10·31·21·3
Netherlands41·018·40·114·76·50·60·7
Federal Republic of Germany837·7321·23·0301·00·4102·493·615·9
Italy1·31·3
United Kingdom68·84·70·419·022·513·01·57·7
Ireland9·69·6
Denmark0·30·2
Norway1·50·11·20·2
Sweden1·61·00·10·20·2
Finland1·90·10·20·90·7
Austria0·20·2
Spain0·40·30·1
Yugoslavia1·31·3
Turkey0·40·4
USSR77·87·90·16·330·80·129·30·43·0
German Democratic Republic0·70·50·20·1
Poland305·316·51·056·4100·422·072·717·019·3
Czechoslovakia22·41·816·64·0
Morocco3·10·60·71·7
Egypt0·10·1
Gabon0·90·9
Zaire0·30·3
South Africa250·731·420·1145·20·539·512·61·4
USA448·974·944·4102·08·6133·248·936·9
Canada19·94·010·62·03·20·1
Mexico0·80·50·2
Brazil0·20·2
Argentina0·90·70·2
Vietnam0·70·50·1
China7·02·91·50·40·61·5
Japan0·90·9
Australia193·77·213·453·30·430·129·459·9
Secret126·4126·4
Unspecified by country0·90·20·20·20·10·1
World2,510·0502·0138·1243·0783·345·8421·6219·0156·8
* SITC (Rev 2) Division 32.
— Nil or less than half of the final digit shown.
Source: Eurostat.
TABLE 2
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY—IMPORTS OF COAL AND COAL PRODUCTS* 1979
FromToEuropean CommunityBelgium LuxembourgDenmarkFederal Republic of GermanyFranceIrelandItalyNatherlandsUnited Kingdom
Thousands of tonnes
France1,142263835981914065
Belgium/Luxembourg6331250316243524
Netherlands1,364736344314712122
Federal Republic of Germany20,9176,825509,02671,9622,764284
Italy2424
United Kingdom2,453144678784636934266
Ireland195195
Denmark87
Norway615507
Sweden29177311
Finland181296
Austria1111
Spain161212
Yugoslavia5757
Turkey1414
USSR2,589371626477911,0781278
German Democratic Republic2421553
Poland12,744690492,4834,4666583,033706658
Czechoslovakia1,928641,7282134
Morocco61141234
Egypt22
Gabon2929
Zaire1818
South Africa14,1671,9141,0588,117132,32570238
USA14,6132,5911,5333,3452144,2051,6391,085
Canada910153548731324
Mexico272051
Brazil88
Argentina38308
Vietnam13113
China31213271232858
Japan2828
Australia7,8892756402,26581,1691,3662,165
Secret7,4987,498
Unspecified by country225561311
World89,85914,0997,72910,58729,5301,28814,1587,7274,741
* SITC (Rev 2) Division 32.
— Nil or less than half of the final digit shown.
Source: Eurostat.
TABLE 3
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY—IMPORTS OF COAL AND COAL PRODUCTS* 1979
FromToEuropean CommunityBelgium/LuxembourgDenmarkFederal Republic of GermanyFranceIrelandItalyNetherlandsUnited Kingdom
£/tonne
France48·446·264·243·577·063·055·556·4
Belgium/Luxembourg43·163·538·046·760·071·833·555·5
Netherlands30·125·132·633·144·051·260·831·5
Federal Republic of Germany40·047·161·133·357·652·233·955·9
Italy52·952·9
United Kingdom28·132·961·324·226·635·244·028·9
Ireland49·449·3
Denmark33·128·085·255·890·6
Norway25·025·225·025·5
Sweden53·762·118·947·095·2135·9
Finland101·971·4134·691·1116·4
Austria15·815·8
Spain28·923·447·749·2
Yugoslavia22·822·9
Turkey27·327·3
USSR30·121·323·523·739·660·727·230·338·0
German Democratic Republic30·617·832·334·722·4
Poland24·023·920·622·722·533·424·024·129·4
Czechoslovakia11·628·59·622·929·5
Morocco50·848·044·056·651·6
Egypt50·450·4
Gabon29·729·7
Zaire15·015·0
South Africa17·716·419·017·937·817·017·937·9
USA30·728·928·930·540·331·729·834·0
Canada21·926·419·326·824·320·6
Mexico28·426·833·037·2
Brazil26·726·7
Argentina24·625·022·8
Vietnam50·551·547·0
China22·322·220·819·621·425·9
Japan31·731·7
Australia24·526·221·023·542·125·821·527·7
Secret16·916·9
World27·935·617·923·026·535·629·828·333·1
Notes:
Variations in the figures reflect variations in the product mix as well as the source of supply.
* SITC (Rev 2) Division 32.
— Basic figures nil or too small for reliable £/tonne figures to be calculated.

Commonwealth Countries

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what share of the markets for cars, pottery, clothing and electrical goods is now enjoyed by the United Kingdom in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria, India and Kenya; and how this compares with 1972;(2) what tariff is imposed against imports of United Kingdom manufactures in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria, India and Kenya, respectively; and how these tariffs compare with those in force in 1972.

Commonwealth Preference

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what Customs duties, import levies and other restrictions are now imposed on the United Kingdom imports from the Commonwealth of butter, cheese, lamb, beef, sugar, wheat, fruit and vegetables; and how these compare with 1972.

In 1972 no import duty was charged in the United Kingdom on butter and wheat and the duty on lamb from all sources—except the Irish Republic—was £0·9335 per cwt. Under the Commonwealth preference arrangements, cheese, beef, fruit and vegetables were free of import duty. Certain types of sugar were charged a preferential rate of £1·0665 per ton whilst other types were free of duty. Imports of butter, sugar and potatoes required an individual import licence when imported from any source, and apples and pears from Canada and Nauru needed to be individually licensed when imported into the United Kingdom. Cheese, lamb, beef and wheat could be imported without restriction under the provision of the open general import licence of 30 June 1971.Today imports of butter, cheese, wheat and sugar are subject to variable levies reflecting the differences between world prices and European Community prices, though in the case of sugar imports from Commonwealth countries covered by the Lomé convention and related agreements benefit from levy free access. Beef is subject to a Customs duty of 20 per cent. and a variable levy, though the majority of Commonwealth imports benefit from special arrangements for reduced rates under the Lomé convention or preferential access under concessions granted in the GATT multilateral trade negotiations and other trade arrangements.Examples of current rates of levy are as follows:

per tonne
Butter£1,373·9
Cheese£1,151·4
Beef£1,185
Wheat.£48·6
SugarNil
Imports of lamb are subject to a Customs duty of 20 per cent. whilst imports of fruit and vegetables are subject to various rates of duty as set out in Her Majesty's Customs and Excise tariff, a copy of which is in the Library of the House—the relevant tariff headings are 07·01 and 08·01 to 08·09 inclusive. The Commonwealth countries covered by the Lomé convention benefit from preferential access to the European Community for a range of fruits and vegetables—details are impart 10E to the Customs tariff.In addition, under arrangements currently existing, New Zealand benefits from access to the United Kingdom market for 115,000 tonnes of butter at a reduced rate of levy, whilst New Zealand and certain other Commonwealth countries enjoy preferential access to the European Community for cheese.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the calculated impact on United Kingdom exports of manufactures of the loss of Commonwealth preference and the imposition of tariffs against imports of United Kingdom manufactures by Commonwealth countries since 1972.

We do not have any estimates of the impact on United Kingdom exports of manufactures of the loss or Commonwealth preference and the imposition of tariffs against imports of United Kingdom manufactures by Commonwealth countries since 1972.

Ss "Southern Cross"

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement about the engine failure of the SS "Southern Cross" off the Isles of Scilly on 1 August.

At 0850 BST on Friday 1 August, the Greek Tanker SS "Southern Cross" reported that she had stopped with engine failure some 6½ miles south of the Scilly Isles. She was bound for Limerick carrying 44,000 tons of fuel oil.The vessel was being carried away from the Scilly Isles by the tide and work was put in hand by the crew to repair the fault. Meanwhile five salvage tugs were making for the vessel and the first would have arrived at 1330 BST. However, at 1230 BST the repairs had been completed and she resumed her voyage.The coastguards and the marine pollution control unit in my Department monitored the situation and were in frequent touch with the vessel, the owner's

Original European Community
("The Six")Commonwealth
1972197919721979
Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.
Total United Kingdom imports25371911
Total United Kingdom exports23331812
Imports of food12253626
Exports of manufactures22311914
Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics (Food: SITC/R1 and R2 section 0; Manufactures: SITC/R1 and R2 sections 5–8 inclusive).
Notes:
(i)Figures for the Commonwealth in 1972 ignore trade with Bangladesh.
(ii)Figures for exports of manufactures are in accordance with the first revision of the standard international trade classification for 1972 and the second revision for 1979.
(iii)The effect of these inconsistencies is considered negligible.

Scotland

Police (Use Of Firearms)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide a breakdown by police force area of the 699 occasions when firearms were issued to police officers in Scotland in 1979.

The information is as follows:

Central10
Dumfries & Galloway15
Fife5
Grampian12
Northern65
Lothian and Borders19
Strathclyde562
Tayside11

Non-University Tertiary Education (Dundee)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has yet received the report of the working party on the provision of non-university tertiary education in the Dundee area; and if he will make a statement.

agents in London, and the Greek Embassy.

Imports And Exports

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proportion of United Kingdom exports of manufactures, United Kingdom imports of food and United Kingdom total trade, respectively, now goes to or comes from France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and the Commonwealth; and how these figures compare with 1972.

I have now received the working party's report and I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library. I propose to have consultations about its conclusions with Tayside regional council and the governing bodies of the various institutions concerned.

Milk Pasteurising Equipment (Grant Assistance)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the scheme for grant assistance for milk pasteurising equipment installed by producer retailers in Scotland will begin.

The scheme will come into operation on 1 September 1980. Grant will be 22½ per cent. of eligible expenditure. A Supplementary Estimate will he presented in due course, but authority for grant will initially rest on the Estimate and the confirming Appropriation Act. The necessary enabling legislation will be brought forward as soon as possible.

Scottish Development Agency (Factory Guidelines)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will make available the revised factory guidelines for the Scottish Development Agency.

Nursing, Midwifery And Health Visiting Board

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is able to make a statement about the membership of the Scottish Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.

I am happy to announce that Miss M. E. Scholes, chief area nursing officer in Tayside health board, has accepted an invitation to serve as the first chairman of the Scottish board. An announcement of the membership of the board will be made very soon.

Overseas Development

St Lucia

asked the Lord Privy Seal what relief is being provided by Her Majesty's Government to the island of St. Lucia; and what help is being sent to repair the serious damage, including the failure of the electricity and water supply, caused by the hurricane.

The Royal Navy destroyer HMS "Glasgow" has been sent to the island, where it has provided medical assistance and helped restore essential public services, including the electricity supply at Castries and Vieux Fort. In addition, the High Commissioner in Barbados has been authorised to spend up to £10,000 on the local purchase of immediate relief supplies. We are ready to consider further immediate help in the light of up-to-date reports on needs.

Wales

Factories

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) which Welsh Development Authority factory units are available in Wales for lease or sale;(2) what is the total acreage available at the Bridgend trading estate; and what premises are already available for leasing;

(3) if he well consider large-scale development of advance factory units at Pwllyngwent site at Ogmore Valley and Forge site at Maesteg.

I have asked the Welsh Development Agency to write to the hon. Member.

Employment (Bridgend)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Ogmore, Official Report, 28 July, c. 1029, whether he expects that the 4,500 unemployed persons in Bridgend will have to wait for at least two years until the factories to which he referred are built before jobs are available for them.

No. Some 500 of these are students who are expected to return to full-time education in the autumn, and as I said on 28 July—[Vol. 989, c. 1029]—there are already 2,400 manufacturing jobs in the pipeline in the Port Talbot travel-to-work area. In addition, many of the factories that the WDA has planned for the area will be completed in much less than two years.

Nursing, Midwifery And Health Visiting Board

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is now in a position to make an announcement about the membership of the Welsh Board for Nursing. Midwifery and Health Visiting.

I am happy to be able to announce that Mr. David Jones, area nursing officer, Gwynedd health authority, has accepted my invitation to serve as the first chairman of the Welsh Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. An announcement about the members of the Welsh board will be made in the near future.

Prime Minister (Engagements)

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister what are her official engagements for 7 August.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 7 August.

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official duties for 7 August.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

Q29.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 7 August.

I refer my hon. Friends and the hon. Members to the reply which I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Montgomery).

Clegg Commission

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister whether she proposes to announce the abolition of the Clegg Commission.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Nantwich (Sir N. Bonsor) on 4 August.

Tuc (Annual Congress)

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if she will seek to attend this year's annual meeting of the Trades Union Congress.

Budgetary Procedure

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will examine the proposals made for a reorganisation of budgetary procedure made by the Committee on Budgetary Reform, chaired by the late Lord Armstrong of Sanderstead.

The Government have noted with interest the recent report of the Committee on Budgetary Reform, chaired by the late Lord Armstrong. This year we published the public expenditure White Paper with the Budget.

Horns Cross, Swanscombe And Galley Hill

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she has any plans to visit Horns Cross, Swanscombe and Galley Hill.

British Broadcasting Corporation

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if she will review the manner and method by which the British Broadcasting Corporation receives its revenue.

As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has made clear, the Government are satisfied that the television licence fee is the best method of financing the BBC. He has, however, asked the working party on the administration of the broadcast receiving licence system, on which the Home Office, the Post Office and the BBC are represented, to consider again methods of payment of the licence fee and whether the base of the licensing system might be expanded.

Rhodesia (Commonwealth Monitoring Force)

asked the Prime Minister whether it has yet been decided to institute a special medal to mark the services of the Commonwealth Monitoring Force and those others who took part in the process of bringing Rhodesia to independence.

The Government have decided that it would be right to recognise the services of those who were sent to Southern Rhodesia for the period of direct British rule which led to the granting of independence to that country. I have therefore recommended to the Queen that a medal should be instituted to mark these services, and the Queen has approved it. It will be known as the Rhodesia medal. The terms and conditions of the new medal are set out in a Command Paper—Cmnd. 7997—which was laid before the House yesterday.

Home Department

Taxi Fares

20.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, following recent fare increases, what is now the average cost per mile for the hire of taxi cabs in the London area and elsewhere outside London, respectively; what index he has for comparisons on a year-to-year basis; and how these costs and indices compare with 1 April of the current year, 1 April 1979 and 1 April 1978.

For typical 2 to 3-mile journeys in London the present fare ranges from 58p to 82p per mile. The equivalent range was from 43p to 60p per mile on 1 April of this year and from 37p to 47p per mile on both 1 April 1979 and 1 April 1978.Outside London, fare scales vary from district to district, but in a typical area journeys of a similar length would now cost from 58p to 91p per mile. On each of the other dates the range of the average fare was slightly higher than in London.

Vietnamese Refugees

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report the number of refugees from Vietnam settled in the following parliamentary constituencies: Finchley, Cardiff South-East, Roxurgh, Selkirk and Peebles, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury, Surrey East, Leeds, North-East, Cambridgeshire, Lowestoft, Chesham and Amersham, Stratford-on-Avon, St. Ives, Oswestry, Cleveland and Whitby, Worcester, Henley, Ayrshire and Bute. Pembroke, Spelthorne, Wanstead and Woodford, Chelmsford, Guildford and Runcorn.

I understand from the joint committee for refugees from Vietnam that the information is not readily available in the form requested, but that on 1 August the numbers of

ConstituencyHousing authority areaNumber refugees
Barnet, FinchleyBarnet10
Cardiff South EastCardiff50
Roxburgh, Selkirk and PeeblesEtterick and Lauderdale, Roxburgh and Tweeddale
Buckinghamshire, AylesburyAylesbury Vale and Wycombe13
East SurreyTandridge
Leeds North EastLeeds59
CambridgeshireSouth Cambridgeshire and East Cambridgeshire59
LowestoftWaveney23
Chesham and AmershamChiltern
Stratford on AvonStratford on Avon2
St. IvesPenwith and Kerrier
OswestryOswestry and North Shropshire
Cleveland and WhitbyLangbaurgh and Scarborough12
WorcesterWychavon and Worcester19
HenleySouth Oxfordshire
AyrKyle and Carrick
PembrokeSouth Pembrokeshire and Preseli2
SpelthorneSpelthorne
Wanstead and WoodfordRedbridge
ChelmsfordChelmsford and Brentwood18
Surrey, GuildfordGuildford and Waverley10
RuncornWarrington, Vale Royal and Halton123

Police Officers (Firearms)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a breakdown by police force area of the 8,374 occasions on which firearms were issued to police officers in 1979.

The total number of occasions in 1979 on which firearms were issued to police officers for particular incidents involving criminals or others known or believed to be armed was 8,394, not 8,374 as stated in my reply to a question by the hon. Member on 28 July.—[Vol. 989, c. 150.] I regret this error. The breakdown requested is as follows:

ForceNumber of occasions
Avon and Somerset22
Bedfordshire32
Cambridgeshire7
Cheshire31
Cleveland14
City of London182
Cumbria10
Derbyshire8
Devon and Cornwall114
Dorset19
Durham7
Essex51
Gloucestershire21
Greater Manchester75
Hampshire96
Hertfordshire62
Humberside15

refugees resettled in local housing authority areas most nearly corresponding to the named parliamentary constituencies were as follows:

Kent69
Lancashire23
Leicestershire21
Lincolnshire2
Merseyside74
Metropolitan6,647
Norfolk17
Northamptonshire20
Northumbria17
North Yorkshire13
Nottinghamshire40
South Yorkshire20
Staffordshire21
Suffolk23
Surrey18
Sussex41
Thames Valley29
Warwickshire19
West Mercia39
West Midlands271
West Yorkshire77
Wiltshire34
Dyfed Powys4
Gwent2
North Wales15
South Wales72

Local Government Boundaries

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for which local government districts in England he has, since 27 March, received reports from the Local Government Boundary Commission with regard to new electoral arrangements; and for which districts he has made orders under schedule 9 to the Local Government Act 1972.

Since 27 March we have received reports from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England proposing new electoral arrangements for the districts of Balby, East Cambridgeshire, Knowsley, South Oxfordshire and Wimborne. We have made orders for Arun, Birmingham, Caradon, Charnwood, Gateshead, Mid Sussex, Newcastle upon Tyne, North West Leicestershire, Bother, Suffolk Coastal, Sunderland, Tewkesbury, Waveney, West Dorset, Wimborne, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wycombe.

Prisoners (Medication)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish in the Official Report the number of prisoners in each establishment who were given medicines under each of the prescription only medicines categories as published in the "Report on the Work of the Prison Department 1979", Cmnd. 7965;(2) how many prisoners were given (

a) Largactil, ( b) Depixol and ( c) Stematil, at each prison department establishment listed in the "Report on the Work of the Prison Department 1979", Cmnd. 7965.

This information is not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

Police Residential Accommodation

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of residential accommodation owned or controlled by police authorities in England and Wales has been unoccupied for more than 12 months;(2) what proportion of residential accommodation owned or controlled by police authorities in England and Wales is occupied by persons other than serving police officers or their families;(3) what is the total number of units of residential accommodation owned or controlled by police authorities in England and Wales.

On such information as is available the total number of dwellings owned or rented by police authorities would appear to be of the order of 28,300. There are no central records held to show if any of the properties have been unoccupied for more than 12 months or if any are occupied by persons other than serving police officers or their families.

Metropolitian Police District (Arrested Persons)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) within the Metropolitan Police district within the last three years, how many stops have been made followed, respectively, by no further action, by arrest and no further action, by arrest, and charge, by arrest and referral to a juvenile bureau, by arrest and caution, by arrest and some other process, by arrest and some other formal police action and by arrest and some other informal police action, which are recorded as relating to subjects whose ethnic appearance may be described as brown, black or negroid;(2) whether the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis or any of his officers has within the last three years prepared any summary of stops followed by no further action or followed by arrest and, respectively, no further action, charge, referral to a juvenile bureau, caution, some other process, some other formal police action, or some other informal police action, which are recorded as relating to subjects whose ethnic appearance may be described as brown, black or negroid.

The information requested is not readily available, and I shall write to the hon. Member.

Metropolitan Police (Complaints)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many official complaints were made against police officers in each Metropolitan Police division in 1978, 1979 and to date in 1980, classified by the type of complaint used in the report of the Police Complaints Board.

Complaints against the police cannot be categorised until action on them has been completed. The information available in relation to complaints completed is shown in the following table. Some of the complaints completed in each of the periods concerned will have been received in earlier periods.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE: BY DIVISION AND CATEGORY—METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT

Division

Incivility

Assault

Irregularity in procedure

Traffic irregularity

Neglect of duty

Corruption

Mishandling of property

Irregularity in relation to evidence

Oppressive conduct or harassment

Other

Total

1978

A4445338123851418190
B568063749321194940387
C6275679361018284655406
D6463611333120103341339
E6872571841515174246381
F68102446282794444372
G5685301126320284025324
H367034639115133024268
J55804283116136121327
K78110812160223167044505
L6614581145730248341541
M4386401138429113945346
N426845113331453830289
P547449103961865241349
Q7293471550124104842402
R33513812292872521226
S415444923593526246
T424936121539112827232
V56383313405783216248
W38572883611363820245
X476846143821324528303
Y7764472434411134029343
Z4858591525412114418294
Airport5216277151553119178
Other*241175155831192071681661431,241
TOTAL1,5391,8781,287365946844523541,1739048,982

* Police officers not allocated to a specific district.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE: BY DIVISION AND CATEGORY—METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT

Division

Incivility

Assault

Irregularity in procedure

Traffic irregularity

Neglect of duty

Corruption

Mishandling of property

Irregularity in relation to evidence

Oppressive conduct or harassment

Other

Total

1979

A53533312241063132254
B6369521037322225838374
C8185501047628233733400
D5164481332418202644320
E605350173241693338312
F5476305241894527288
G51104391324617115026341
H4373451339325174417319
J5975591041521153834357
K81151811957347157167592
L67111521655324175131427
M68102641945430164844440
N3256184272101320182
P7498421647234145638421
Q7294511142224133931379
R3861431331113155127293
S40492791917122518207
T3244349172693713203
V2932175311514158157
W6154466329203222282
X505541123832175025302
Y69104622157520156035448
Z3948421820113114821261
Airport2415276171853516154
Other*232113144651152367511581051,073
TOTAL1,5231,8391,197352950855133661,1518108,786

* Police officers not allocated to a specific district.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE: BY DIVISION AND CATEGORY—METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT

Division

Incivility

Assault

Irregularity in procedure

Traffic irregularity

Neglect of duty

Corruption

Mishandling of property

Irregularity in relation to evidence

Oppressive conduct or harassment

Other

Total

1 January to 30 June 1980

A191773851161389
B30402362311431923182
C34221541721291626157
D132315219951223121
E3022211251061017142
F22271051021041717124
G23472772419102115184
H183220819661313135
J3036276224691624180
K295529327217112227222
L354123101817123522213
M34361661961491820178
N152617185112994
P34541982721253115207
Q293625921115102822196
R3537222171153314176
S231810811431521113
T282823419432416149
V191584135418793
W283523218721310138
X3331278161812018163
Y344028113641332622217
Z2124137101271215112
Airport278123133262225121
Other*160726844688424210564673
TOTAL803822528172508382591775744984,379

* Police officers not allocated to a specific district.

Immigrants (Gynaecological Examinations)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to publish the report of Sir Henry Yellowlees into the incidence of virginity testing and X-ray examinations of would-be immigrants to the United Kingdom.

Sir Henry Yellowlees' review is of the nature and conduct of medical examinations for immigration purposes in general. As the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Short) was told on 11 July—[Vol. 988, c. 328]—we are considering the matter.

Prisoners (Forcible Feeding)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will, for each of the last 10 years, list the penal institutions where forcible feeding has taken place, giving the number of prisoners involved and the length of time for which each prisoner was fed in this way.

Departmental records show that in the period 1 January 1977 to 30 June 1980 two prisoners have been artificially fed, both of them this year. One was artificially fed for five days at Ashford remand centre, the other for one day at Her Majesty's prison, Parkhurst. Information in respect of earlier years is not available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the circumstances under which forcible feeding may take place in a penal institution in England and Wales.

Artificial feeding is considered when it comes to notice that a prisoner is failing to take nourishment to an extent which could endanger his health. The decision on whether or not to resort to artificial feeding in any particular case is a matter for the clinical judgment of the medical officer. Prison standing orders provide that if a prisoner is reported as persistently refusing to accept any form of food, the medical officer should at an early stage examine him, explain the effect of self-starvation upon health, and consider the advisability of admitting him to the prison hospital for observation. If the medical officer is of the opinion that the prisoner's capacity for rational judgment is unimpaired by illness, mental or physical, he should seek confirmation of his opinion from an outside consultant; and if the consultant confirms that opinion, the medical officer should make it clear to the prisoner that he will continue to receive medical supervision and advice and that food will be made available to him but that there is no rule of practice which requires any medical officer to resort to artificial feeding and that the consequent and inevitable deterioration in his health may be allowed to continue without medical intervention unless he specifically requests it.

Prisons (Sanitation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many prisons without internal sanitation in the cells there are plans to instal it, and how many cells are involved in each case.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question by the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk) on 3 July 1980.—[Vol. 987, c. 657–58.]

Prisons (Accommodation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are sleeping four to a cell; and in which prisons.

The only accommodation defined as cells in which up to four prisoners may be located is at Her Majesty's prison Birmingham. On 5 August 1980 there were four prisoners accommodated in each of two of the three large cells at that prison which have been certified under section 14(2) of the prison Act, 1952 and rule 23 of the prison rules, 1964, as suitable to hold a maximum of four prisoners. The third cell is at present closed for refurbishing.

Local Radio

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Home Office local radio working party intends to produce a supplementary report to its second report.

Yes. In its second report, published in July 1979, the Home Office local radio working party left open the possibility of a supplementary report. I have now received a supplementary report from the working party, which recommends a modification to the BBC Plymouth station which I approved last year. Copies of the supplementary report are being placed in the Library of the House.Following my decision on the licence fees last November the BBC has revised its plans for local radio and has decided, for financial reasons, to reduce the total number, though not the total coverage, of local radio services it wishes to develop. In England it is now aiming for a pattern of local radio whereby some 35 local radio services, each of approximately county coverage, would provide local radio to approximately 90 per cent. of the population, with the possibility of adding further services at a later date. These plans will be discussed more fully in the working party's third report.Consistently with its revised local radio policy, the BBC proposes to develop a single local radio service for Devon, BBC Radio Devon, with a studio presence in both Exeter and Plymouth and the option to add a studio facility at Barnstable at a later date. This service would replace the regional service, now broadcast from transmitters in Plymouth, Exeter, Barnstaple and Torquay. The BBC is anxious to proceed with this Devon service as part of the transition from regional to local radio in South-West England. Since this proposal for a Devon service with a basis in both Exeter and Plymouth is essentially a modification to the Plymouth radio service, for which the corporation has approval, and arises from financial considerations, I have accepted the working party's recommendation that the proposal as modified should be approved.The working party intends to submit a third report later this year which will include a further discussion of the plans for local and localised radio of both authorities in the United Kingdom as a whole. I intend to make that report available for public comment.

Energy

Commercial Heating Systems

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he is taking to encourage companies to convert their heating systems to coal from other fuels.

Present price relativities provide strong incentives for firms to examine their patterns of fuel use and, in particular, the merits of substituting coal for fuel oil in industrial bulk heating. Government pricing policy is designed to ensure that consumers receive accurate signals about the costs of supplying the individual fuels on a continuing basis. The Government are also supporting a programme of demonstration projects which includes improvement in coal combustion.

North Sea Oil (Exports)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of exports of indigenous North Sea crude oil production is implied in the maintenance of United Kingdom self-sufficiency of oil.

North Sea oil is not capable of producing all the products we require and is not on its own the cheapest source of all those products which can be made from it. We will therefore continue to import certain types of crude oil while exporting some of our indigenous production. As I informed my hon. Friend on 25 January, the amounts of United Kingdom, continental shelf oil used at home and overseas depend upon a variety of factors and cannot be estimated reliably.

British Gas Corporation (North Sea Oil Assets)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he proposes to recommend the sale of North Sea oil assets of the British Gas Corporation to the British National Oil Company at market price or, following the precedent established in section 13 of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-Lines Act 1975 in the case of the National Coal Board's North Sea assets, to the market in order further to reduce the public sector borrowing requirement.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether there is anything in current agreements made by or with the British Gas Corporation that would preclude the sale of British Gas Corporation's North Sea oil assets to third parties.

That is a matter for the corporation. I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

British Gas Corporation (Profitability)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the return on turnover set by the Government for the British Gas Corporation and the rate attained in the past year; and what implications the increased profitability has for (a) the revenue and (b) gas consumers.

The last Government set the British Gas Corporation a one-year financial target for the year ended 31 March 1980 of a return on turnover after interest but before tax of 6·5 per cent. The return actually achieved was 12·1 per cent., the same level as that attained in the previous year. The achievement of a higher level of profit than originally planned moves forward the corporation's liability to corporation tax but will not affect the financial target already announced.

Energy Strategy

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether the reports of his Department's working group on energy strategy under the chairmanship of Mr. D. le B. Jones will be published.

An account of the group's functions and work was published in 1977 as Energy Commission Paper No. 2. I shall keep under review the case for publishing further items of work.

District Heating

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what progress has been made on the programme of work announced by the Government on 2 April to test the feasibility of combined heat and power district heating in particular locations;

(2) what progress has been made on the programme of work announced by the Government on 2 April to test the feasibility of combined heat and power district heating in particular locations.

The first stage of the programme of work has been prepared and I intend to appoint W. S. Atkins and Partners to act as lead consultant for this stage. The work in the first stage will comprise a pre-feasibility examination of individual locations to identify a short list of locations giving the highest expectations of early and economic development, where there is also a high degree of interest by the local authority and the electricity supply industry. So far 18 local authorities—listed below—have expressed the wish to participate in the first stage of the programme. It will, however, be necessary to close this list shortly as the consultants will soon be commencing their detailed analysis of these areas.

  • Greater London Council
  • London Borough of Southwark
  • London Borough of Croydon
  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • City of Westminster
  • City of Belfast
  • City of Liverpool
  • City of Manchester
  • City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • City of Sheffield
  • City of Southampton
  • Glasgow District and Strathclyde Regional Council (Glasgow)
  • Lothian Regional Council (Edinburgh)
  • South Glamorgan County Council (Cardiff)
  • Tyne and Wear County Council
  • Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
  • Milton Keynes Development Corporation
  • Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale

Licensing Policy (Landward Areas)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he proposes to make any change to the Government's licensing policy for landward areas.

I have considered the arrangements for landward petroleum licensing and have decided that production licences for such areas should continue to be granted broadly in accordance with the arrangements published in the Official Gazettes on 2 June 1978.However, in line with policies already announced in the context of offshore licensing, the Secretary of State's reserved right to require applicants to extend to the British National Oil Corporation, or one of its subsidiaries, an option to join in applications as a 51 per cent. equity partner will be replaced by an arrangement under which BNOC will, if the Secretary of State so requires, have an option to take at market price, up to 51 per cent. of the petroleum produced under all new licences. This change in the licensing arrangements will not affect BNOC's right to apply for licences on the same basis as private sector companies.I have also decided that the consideration payable for landward production and exploration licences granted in pursuance of applications made on and after 6 August should be increased.Applicants for future production licences will continue to be judged against specified criteria including technical and financial competence, past performance, and future plans on a range of matters.The Government take very seriously the need to ensure that the impact of landward petroleum exploration on the environment is kept to an absolute minimum. The grant of licences does not absolve licensees from the need to consult all parties who may be affected by their operations and to obtain the prior consent of the owners and occupiers of land they may need to enter. In addition licence operations are subject to the requirements of planning legislation, and the planning authorities have power to attach to any planning permission which may be given, such conditions as they consider necessary to protect the environment.I have today placed in the House Libraries copies of the text of a Gazette Notice which incorporates details of the above changes to the licensing arrangements which are designed primarily to keep the Government's onshore licensing policies in step with those offshore. Although small by comparison with its offshore counterpart, onshore oil production nevertheless makes a valuable contribution to the national economy; and it is in the national interest that the recent increase in the search for petroleum onshore should continue.

Camborne School Of Mines (Research)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether further funding will be provided for the next stage of the research work of the Camborne school of mines geothermal energy project.

My Department intends, subject to negotiation, to allocate £6 million to the Camborne School of Mines to continue its project on improving ways of extracting heat from underground rock.The next stage will study methods of fracturing granite at depths of 6,000 ft. If the project is successful it will be a major step towards the widespread exploitation of geothermal energy in the United Kingdom. The technology could be utilised in those areas where the rock temperatures are high enough to produce steam from which electricity could be generated.Geothermal energy technology is still in its early stages, and the economics of exploiting this resource remain to be proved. However, there is a very large amount of energy involved—the granite deposits in the South West contain the equivalent of 6,000 million tonnes of coal—and it would clearly be worth while to exploit even a fraction of such a resource.

North Sea Oil Policies

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the position on the inquiries made by the European Corn-mission into aspects of United Kingdom North Sea oil policies.

My discussions with the Commission on the three aspects of our North Sea oil policies on which it has raised queries—the full and fair opportunity policy, the landing requirement, and the central management and control provision in our petroleum licences—have now been concluded. The Commission has confirmed that in present circumstances it is satisfied with the explanations I gave it of our policies and procedures on these issues.

Energy Conservation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his response to the third report of the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation (energy paper No. 40).

I have welcomed the report as a comprehensive and balanced review of energy conservation policies since 1973, and a stimulating contribution to the development of future policy. I have written to the present chairman of the council, Professor Sir Hermann Bondi, with the Government's views on all the report's specific recommendations, most of which are in line with Government thinking. I hope these comments will prove a useful contribution for the work of the reconstituted advisory council. I have placed a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Tehran (Visas)

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many applications for visas to travel to the United Kingdom are awaiting processing in the United Kingdom Embassy in Tehran.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the waiting period between a visa being applied for in Tehran and being processed by the embassy staff.

A completed visa application is processed on the same day that it is received.Some 15,000 people, mainly private visitors, are awaiting interview. The embassy can interview about 100 applicants each day and appointments are now being given for May 1981. This is a substantial delay. But in present circumstances for obvious reasons we do not propose to increase the number fo visa officers at Her Majesty's Embassy in Tehran.A small proportion of applications, of an urgent or compassionate nature, can be handled more quickly. These include Iranian spouses of United Kingdom citizens normally resident here; business visitors with close connections with British firms; persons requiring urgent private medical treatment not available in Iran; students returning to their studies and other returning residents.

Albania

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) if he has any proposals to make to Albania for an improvement in the relations between Albania and the United Kingdom;(2) if he has any proposals to lead to an improvement in cultural relations between the United Kingdom and Albania.

In his reply of 19 May to my hon. Friend the Member for Epping Forest (Mr. Biggs-Davison)—[Vol. 985, c. 80]—my hon. Friend described the position our wish to re-establish diplomatic relations with Albania. In the absence of such relations, the Government cannot actively promote cultural relations though they would have no objection to private initiatives to this end.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if, in view of recent evidence that the finding of the International Court of Justice in the Corfu Channel case in 1949 was based on errors of fact, he will waive the United Kingdom's claim against Albania under that judgment.

We know of no convincing evidence that the International Court of Justice verdict in the Corfu Channel case was based on errors of fact.

Hong Kong

asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations the Hong Kong Government have received from trade unions in the Civil Service to set up an independent arbitration body to deal with grading disputes.

The Hong Kong Government have received one letter from a staff union proposing the setting up of an independent arbitration board to deal with disputes between the Government and its employees. In addition, the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service, a non-governmental body, has received three submissions on the subject.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many disputes have taken place in the Hong Kong Civil Service during the past five years; and how many persons were dismissed or suspended during such disputes.

During the past five years, 17 staff unions in the Hong Kong Civil Service have been involved in 21 disputes leading to some form of industrial action. On two occasions, 26 and 314 officers respectively were suspended from duty without pay. No officer has been dismissed as a result of taking part in such action.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what system of arbitration exists for dealing with disputes in Hong Kong in (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector.

(a) In the public sector, an agreement between the Government and the three main Civil Service staff associations in 1968 provides for the referral of disputes over such matters as pay, allowances, hours of work etc. to a committee of inquiry appointed by the Governor.(

b) The Labour Relations Ordinance provides the legal framework for dealing with disputes in the private sector. This empowers the Commissioner for Labour to appoint conciliation officers to initiate or undertake conciliation. If no settlement of the dispute is reached, the commissioner may recommend that the Government in Council refer the matter to arbitration or to a board of inquiry.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the Government machinery for dealing with disputes affecting Government employees in Hong Kong.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the use of Civil Service regulation 611 and the letters patent in dealing with disputes of Hong Kong civil servants.

The question of the applicability of these instruments for this purpose is at present before the Court of Appeal. It would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment.

British Broadcasting Corporation (World Service)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will ensure that audibility of the British Broadcasting Corporation world service to United Kingdom listeners will not be reduced by any changes in the transmitters; and whether he will make a statement about the improvement of reception of the British Broadcasting Corporation world service to the rest of the United Kingdom.

The BBC world service is intended for overseas listeners. The fact that parts of the United Kingdom have been able to receive it is an accidental by-product of the transmission. I am advised that the BBC's plans to install new transmitters to improve audibility overseas may reduce reception in the United Kingdom, but that the precise effects cannot be evaluated at this stage.

Zimbabwe (Cecil Rhodes Statue)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will seek to acquire from the Zambabwean Government the bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes in order that this may be sited in Salisbury, England.

No. We understand that the statue is to be placed in the museum housing the Zimbabwe national archives.

European Community

Council Of Ministers

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

No meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for August, and at present 10 meetings of the Council are scheduled for September and October. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 4 August.The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 15 September to discuss the negotiation of a co-operation agreement with the countries of the Andean Pact; a formal review of the working of the Community's 1975 co-operation agreement with Israel; a negotiating mandate for Zimbabwe's accession to the Lomé convention; the Community's position in international discussions on commodities such as cocoa and tin; progress in the accession negotiation with Portugal and Spain; pre-accession aid for Portugal; the draft right of establishment directive for architects; and export quotas for ferrous scrap. The Council is also expected to discuss further the implementation of the agreement of 30 May on the United Kingdom's budget contribution and to approve the draft regulation on the non-quota section of the European regional development fund. The Council is expected to meet again on 7 October, when discussion is likely to include the Community's steel anti-crisis measures.The Finance Council is expected to meet on 22 September to consider a Commission paper on the effect of recent oil price rises. Ministers are also likely to exchange views on the forthcoming annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, to be held in Washington at the beginning of October. The Council is also expected to meet on 20 October to discuss the economic situation in the Community in preparation for the Commission's third quarterly review.The Budget Council is expected to meet on 23 September in order to establish the 1981 draft Community budget.The Fisheries Council is expected to meet on 29 September and possibly again in October to discuss all aspects of the common fisheries policy. This will include access arrangements, national quota allocations and control arrangements.The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 29–30 September and again on 20–21 October. It will give further consideration to arrangements for post-1980 access to the market for New Zealand butter. Ministers are also expected to discuss agreements with third country suppliers of mutton and lamb and the implementation of the new market arrangements; proposals concerning agricultural structures, and the common organisation of the market in ethyl alcohol.The Fiscal Questions Council is expected to meet on 27 October to resume discussion about the basis for harmonising the structure of excise duties on alcoholic drinks. Ministers will also consider a request by Belgium for derogation under article 27 of the sixth VAT directive, proposals on tax reliefs for temporarily imported means of transport and permanent imports of personal property, and tax reliefs for intra-Community travellers.

Court Of Justice

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's attitude to the request by the Court of Justice of the European Communities to have an additional advocate-general appointed to the court.

This House resolved on 22 January that it considered that any enlargement of the court should take place only if a genuine need for it is clearly established. Her Majesty's Government were not then satisfied that there was such a need, but they are now persuaded by the trend of the court's workload and the rate of the disposal of cases that a little strengthening of its membership is called for. On the figures now available, the number of effective cases pending before the court has risen from 113 in June 1977 to 146 in June 1978, 189 in June 1979, and in June 1980 stands at 242. The Government are therefore satisfied that the volume of work could now in principle justify the creation of a fifth advocate-general post.

Works Of Art (Capital Transfer Tax)

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, further to his written answer to the hon. Member for Warley, East, Official Report, 28 July, column 480, he will publish in the Official Report in answer to this question his promised statement on the interpretation of pre-eminence of works of art and museum objects accepted in satisfaction of capital transfer tax.

Following consultations with the national museums and galleries and the relevant advisory bodies, I have decided that the present system of obtaining expert advice on the preeminence of objects offered in satisfaction of tax should be revised and detailed guidelines issued on the interpretation of pre-eminence. I shall continue to rely on the directors of the national museums and galleries as my principal source of advice but shall expect them usually to consult widely, particularly where an object has local significance or could be of especial interest within a local context, before formulating their advice. In cases of doubt they will be expected to consult the Standing Commission on museums and galleries or the Royal Commission on historical manuscripts which will then, if necessary, convene an informal panel of independent advisers which may include a representative of the relevant Historic Buildings Council. The new procedure will be kept under review. I am sending to the hon. Member a copy of the guidelines on the interpretation of pre-eminence and shall arrange for a copy also to be placed in the Library of the House.

Victorian Letter Boxes

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will hold consultations with the Post Office with a view to ensuring the preservation of Victorian letter boxes, in view of their contribution to the national heritage.

I understand the National Postal Museum already has a representative collection of letter boxes, including those from the Victoria era, and a number are in the collections of different museums around the country.

Operative dateParliamentary salaryPercentage increase over preceding figureEquivalent in June 1980 real terms*
££
1 April 19461,0009,040
24 May 19541,25025·07,800
(including sessional allowance)
1 July 19571,75040·09,790
16 October 19643,25085·715,340
1 January 19724,500†38·514,420
13 June 19755,75027·811,140
13 June 19766,0625·410,320
13 June 19776,2703·49,070
13 June 19786,89710·09,290
13 June 19799,450‡37·011,430
13 June 198010,725‡13·5
13 June 198011,750§9·6
* As measured by the movement in the Consumer's expenditure deflator for the period 1946 to 1962 and the General Index of Retail Prices from 1962 to 1980.
† Members' remuneration prior to 1972 contained an unquantifiable eelment to cover thei rexpenses. Separate allowances for these expenses have been payable since 1972.
‡ First and second stage salaries following Government proposals on the recommendations in Top Salaries Review Body Report No. 12, approved by the House on 11 July 1979.
§ Updated second stage salary following Government proposal on TSRB 15, approved by the House on 21 July 1980.

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will estimate the total pay forgone from June 1979 to June 1981 in gross income to an hon. Member which followed from the incomplete implementation of the Boyle committee's recommendations in 1979 and 1980.

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he is now in a position to make the statement he has promised on parliamentary pay, pensions and allowances.

The question of preserving post boxes in situ would be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry in the first instance.

House Of Commons

Members' Pay

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will state the increases in remuneration for hon. Members since 1946 and the level of pay at the time of the increase, giving the equivalent real terms for 1980.

Government Of Scotland

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the report on the inter-party talks on the Government of Scotland will be made available; and if he will make a statement.

Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses today. The report is concerned with ways of improving the handling of Scottish parliamentary business. Its principal recommendations are that the maximum of eight Estimates and Matter Day debates which may at present be taken in Scottish Grand Committee should be increased to 12; that there should be a guaranteed minimum number of such debates; and that the appointment of added Members to the Scottish Grand Committee should be discontinued. The report also refers to suggestions on which it was agreed not to put forward recommendations for change; and to the possibility of the Scottish Grand and Standing Committees meeting in Edinburgh on which it was recognised that the House should have the opportunity to consider and decide.The Government welcome the report and will be tabling motions recommending support for its proposals.

National Heritage Act 1980

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether any further items have been accepted in lieu of estate duty or capital transfer tax under the National Heritage Act 1980.

Yes. The following five paintings have been accepted in lieu of capital transfer tax:

  • Landscape by Cézanne
  • Fruit by Cézanne
  • Basket with Fruit by Manet
  • Déjeuner sur L'Herbe by Manet
  • La Meuse by Monet
They have been allocated to the Ashmolean museum, Oxford.The net cost, representing the amount of tax forgone, was £131,000 which was borne equally on the Votes of my Department and the Department of the Environment.

Social Services

Cancer

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many area health authorities throughout Great Britain have public education programmes which promote the early detection and prevention of cancer.

I regret that the information sought about local campaigns is not available centrally. At the national level the Health Education Council is the body chiefly concerned and several of its programmes are of importance for the prevention of cancer.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Department has studied the review of various causes of cancer made for the Chemical Industries Association; and what conclusions they have drawn.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 July 1980, c. 611]: The paper is seen as a useful review of some of the available studies of morbidity and mortality attributed to cancer. It draws attention also to the many difficulties in analysing the complex causes of cancer. These include the problems of extrapolating from studies in which animals are given high exposure over short periods, to the effects on man of low exposure over a long term, and of taking into account personal factors, for example dietary and social habits. It would be unwise to draw unequivocal conclusions from a single review of this nature, which was prepared with the stated intention of countering previous assertions on the causes of cancer, and which is of a length within which an adequate examination of all the relevant factors is not possible. The paper's conclusions are, however, in broad agreement with the assessment, accepted by the majority of scientific observers, that current knowledge suggests occupational factors account for between 1 and 5 per cent. of all cancers.

Drugs (Generic Prescribing)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that when the Open University embarks upon medical education, funded by his Department in order to update doctors' knowledge of drug therapeutics, no opportunity is lost to promote the cause of generic prescribing.

The course on drug therapy to which the hon. Member refers is to be produced jointly by the Open University and the Council for Postgraduate Medical Education in England and Wales with financial support from this Department. The content of the course is to be determined by a course team set up by both bodies.

Health Education Council (Director General)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in the light of the recent advertisement for a director general-designate of the Health Education Council at a salary of £ 20,000, who will be appointed for the last 18 months of the tenure of the present director general, resulting in a total expenditure on the concurrent posts of £ 60,000 over 18 months, he will cease further funding to this body, as a contribution to the reduction of public expenditure.

No. The Health Education Council makes an important contribution to the Government's policy of prevention of disease and promotion of good health. My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the staffing arrangement my hon. Friend mentions will be well justified by the work in this field to be carried out by the present director general, in his office as president of the International Union for Health Education, for the period to 1982, and by his designated successor, whose immediate task will be to develop strategies to give effect to the conclusions reached in my review of the council's work, which is nearing completion.

Unemployment Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what would be the net cost at 1980– 81 benefit rates of (a) increasing flat rate unemployment benefit to the level of invalidity pension

£ million
Unemployment benefit payable at the equivalent rate ofPayable after 6 months unemploymentPayable for a further yearPayable as long as unemployment lasts
flat rate unemployment benefit50100
invalidity pension65140240
basic retirement pension75150250
It is not possible to give a reliable estimate of the number of claimants who would cease to qualify for supplementary benefit if unemployment benefit was paid at a higher rate or for longer periods. It is likely, however, that less than 100,000 persons would cease to qualify if unemployment benefit was paid as long as unemployment lasts.

Supplementary Benefit (Home Help Charges)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will instruct his local offices to take into account, when

after six months unemployment and (b) of paying unemployment benefit at this rate for (i) a further year after the present time limit and (ii) as long as unemployment lasts; and if he will provide an estimate of the impact these measures would have on the number of unemployed claiming supplementary benefit;

(2) what would be the net cost at 1980– 81 benefit rates of paying flat rate unemployment benefit (a) for an extra year and (b) so long as unemployment lasts; and what would be the impact of these measures on the number of unemployed claiming supplementary benefit;

(3) what would be the net cost at 1980– 81 benefit rates of (a) increasing flat rate unemployment benefit to the level of retirement pension after six months' unemployment and (b) of paying unemployment benefit at this rate for (i) a further year after the present time limit and (ii) so long as unemployment lasts; and what he estimates the impact these measures would have on the number of unemployed claiming supplementary benefit.

I regret that it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the net costs. However, by making broad assumptions on the circumstances of claimants and duration of periods of unemployment, it is considered that the various net costs at average 1980–81 benefit rates might be of the following order:assessing the needs element for payment of supplementary benefit, any charge to be imposed by local authorities for the provision of home helps.

No. From 24 November, the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements) Regulations (schedule 3 part II paragraph 14(c)), which the House approved last week, specifically preclude the payment of additional supplementary benefit for local authority home helps. Until then the responsibility lies with the Supplementary Benefits Commission, whose view, with which I fully agree, is that local authorities' discretionary powers to charge for home helps should not be exercised in respect of people living at supplementary benefit level.

Child Psychiatry (Northern Region)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the range of facilities available for disturbed adolescents in the Northern region; and whether he will support the proposal that the child psychiatry unit planned for Newcastle general hospital should be open to a wider catchment area than Newcastle itself.

These are matters for the Northern regional health authority and I suggest the hon. Member may like to contact the regional health authority direct.

Full-Time Students (Unemployment And Supplementary Benefit)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will amend the condition of qualification for unemployment and supplementary benefit to enable full-time students to qualify even if for considerable parts of the year they are not able to satisfy the availability for work criteria; and if he will make a statement.

No. It is a long-standing and fundamental condition for receipt of unemployment benefit and supplementary benefit that an unemployed person must be capable of and available for work. Full-time students cannot normally satisfy this condition during term-time because of their educational commitments.

Mentally Disturbed Prisoners

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list each occasion in the last 10 years when a person detained in a penal institution was refused admission to a hospital under section 60 or section 73 of the Mental Health Act 1959.

Huntington's Chorea

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether his Department has taken any action to ensure that general practitioners are informed when it is known that one of their patients is at risk of developing the disease Huntington's chorea; and what efforts are being made to ensure early diagnosis whenever practicable;(2) whether there has been any specific attempt to ensure a follow-up by social workers and general practitioners of those suffering from Huntington's chorea and those at risk of developing the disease;(3) whether there are any special units or consultants with a particular interest in Huntington's chorea;(4) whether any special efforts are made to ensure that patients suffering from Huntington's chorea are enabled to stay at home for as long as possible prior to permanent hospitalisation; and if there is any provision for day, weekend or holiday relief for families of sufferers;(5) if he will ensure that in-patient admissions for those suffering from Huntington's chorea should be available when it is necessary that the number of emergency situations is reduced;(6) how many patients suffering from or carrying the disease of Huntington's chorea have received genetic counselling; and if any steps have been taken to encourage doctor-initiated genetic counselling;(7) if he will list the centres where research which might be relevant to the early diagnosis or treatment of Hunting-ton's chorea is being carried out; and if he will give the nature of the research, the cost, the source of funding and the date the research is expected to be completed;(8) if he will take steps to identify those who are at risk of being carriers of the gene of Huntington's chorea, whilst at the same time ensuring confidentiality; and if he is unable to accede to this request, if he will give the reasons for not doing so, distinguishing between those arising from cost and those based on other factors;(9) what advice his Department has given to general practitioners on the nature, management and implications of Huntington's chorea; and what advice general practitioners are receiving from other sources.

As these are complex and detailed matters, I shall write to the right hon. Gentleman.

Earnings Rule

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will now estimate the cost of abolition of the earnings rule for retirement pensioners;(2) if he can now estimate the cost of abolition of the earnings rule for retirement pensioners.