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Written Answers

Volume 13: debated on Thursday 19 November 1981

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 19 November 1981

Attorney-General

Dr Leonard Arthur (Trial Costs)

asked the Attorney-General what were the acutal or estimated costs to public funds for the trial of Dr. Leonard Arthur.

No figures are available until these costs have been ascertained by the appropriate taxing authority.

Court Cases (Legal Costs)

asked the Attorney-General whether he will publish in the Official Report a detailed list giving, for the longest and most convenient stated period of time, the numbers of court cases where legal costs and damages have been awarded where public funds are concerned, the days which these cases were before the courts in each instance and what action he has taken or intends taking to reduce legal costs in the courts.

The information requested can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The Lord Chancellor takes steps to reduce the cost of legal proceedings whenever he is able to do so without detriment to the administration of justice. Recent steps include the raising of the limit of the small claims procedure in county courts in April and the increase in county court jurisdiction in October.

Civil Service

Recycled Paper

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress is being made in finding ways to increase the use of recycled paper within the Palace of Westminister.

I understand that Her Majesty's Stationery Office will be making proposals to the appropriate House authorities within the next few weeks.

Overseas Development

Zimbabwe

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on aid to be given to Zimbabwe in the near future.

The £75 million of British development aid announced at the time of Zimbabwe's independence is for commitment over a three-year period. Further aid for Zimbabwe totalling £15 million was committed at the Zimbabwe conference on reconstruction and development.In addition, Britain is providing some £8 million towards the cost of railway electrification and some £14 million to enable Zimbabwe students being financed by Britain at the time of independence to complete their existing courses.Aid to be provided to Zimbabwe in the near future will be drawn from these pledges. Substantial commitments against the pledges have been made and implementation is well under way.

Aid Guidelines (Development Council)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give details of the conclusions reached on the guidelines for aiding non-associated developing countries in 1982 at the recent Development Council of the European Economic Community.

As I said on 10 November to my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Mr. Neubert)—[Vol. 12, c. 47–48]—the Council confirmed that the aid programme for non-associated countries should be directed towards assisting the poorest countries and the most needy sections of the population. It also confirmed that priority should continue to be given to projects for agricultural and rural development, in particular those designed to improve the food situation, with a view to helping to combat hunger in the world. The opinion of the European Parliament is awaited before the guidelines are finally adopted. A copy of the draft guidelines is available at the Vote Office.

Home Department

Private Property (Occupation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received since January asking him to introduce legislation to make the occupation of private property while the owners are away and the refusal to leave illegal.

Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 already makes it an offence for a person who has entered premises as a trespasser to fail to leave when requested to do so by a displaced residential occupier or bya protected intending occupier as defined in section 7(2) of the Act.Entry on and refusal to leave other private property is at present a matter for the civil law. We have received seven letters since January suggesting that such behaviour should be subject to criminal sanctions.

Advisory Bodies (Race Relations And Refugees)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last carried out an overall review of the need for retaining the Advisory Council on Race Relations and the Joint Committee for Refugees from Vietnam; whether he considered alternative ad hoc sources of advice; and what conclusions he reached.

My right hon. Friend is considering the role of the Advisory Council on Race Relations in the light of the comments made by the Home Affairs Committee in its report on racial disadvantage. The continuing need for the Joint Committee for Refugees from Vietnam is kept under review. It is essentially a practical co-ordinating body dealing with the reception and resettlement of Vietnamese refugees from Hong Kong; no ad hoc alternative is considered suitable.

Boundary Commission (Merseyside)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to receive the proposals from the Boundary Commission for Merseyside constituencies.

I understand that the Boundary Commission for England is likely to have completed its current review by the end of 1982, and my right hon. Friend hopes to receive all its proposals for new constituencies, including those in Merseyside, as soon as possible thereafter.

Prison Chaplaincy Service

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total cost of running the prison chaplaincy service at the latest convenient date; and how this compares with the figures for each of the previous three years at current prices.

I regret that detailed information on the specific costs of the prison chaplaincy is not available. The largest single element is the cost of chaplaincy salaries, which is currently about £1 million per annum.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison chaplains at each grade were employed in the prison chaplaincy service at the latest convenient date; and what were the figures for each of the last three years.

The numbers and grades of chaplains currently employed are as follows. Corresponding figures for 1980 are shown in brackets:—

Church of England
Chaplains
Chaplain General1 (1)
Assistant Chaplain General1 (1)
Regional Chaplains3 (4)
Chaplain I18 (17)
Chaplain II44 (41)
Assistant Chaplains6 (7)
Part-time Chaplain63 (42)
Roman Catholic
Chaplains
Senior RC Chaplain1 (1)
Assistant Senior Chaplain1 (1)
RC Chaplain I3 (3)
RC Chaplain II8 (7)
Part-time RC Chaplain93 (83)
A new grading structure for chaplains was introduced on 1 January 1980 and numbers and grades prior to that were as follows:—

Church of England
19791978
Chaplain General11
Assistant Chaplain General11
Regional Chaplains44
Full-time Chaplains6160
Part-time Chaplains4851

Roman Catholic

1979

1978

Senior RC Chaplain11
Full-time RC Chaplains1011
Part-time RC Chaplains7681

Disabled Persons (Television Licence Concession)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce amending legislation to give the same concession to disabled people living in disabled people's homes as that already given to old people in old people's homes, whereby only one television licence is required for the home, covering the use of television sets in individual bedrooms.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to extend the concessions available to pensioners under the old person's home broadcast receiving licence arrangements for those who live in such a home to younger disabled people living in similar circumstances.

No. The special licence for residents in old persons' homes was introduced to correct an anomaly in the licensing of homes for retirement pensioners and was not intended as a welfare concession.

National Finance

Departmental Press Inquiries

6.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what instructions he has given to information officers in his Department for the handling of press inquiries about expenditure decisions which have not at the time been announced to Parliament.

Until Cabinet decisions on public expenditure are announced to Parliament, information officers in the Treasury have been instructed to treat press reports about those decisions as speculation which can neither be confirmed or denied.

House Purchase (Bridging Finance)

13.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the difficulties being experienced by the building industry, he will take steps to allow tax relief on up to 12 months' bridging finance for a principal private dwelling house.

Relief is already available in normal circumstances for interest of such bridging loans.

Economic Progress

14.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied with the progress of the economy.

Preliminary estimates suggest a rise of ¼ per cent. in total output (GDP) in the third quarter. Inflation has been reduced to 11·7 per cent. Pay settlements are now lower and productivity rising. Competitiveness has improved by some 10 per cent. this year. Continued progress depends on the maintenance of a responsible attitude to the reduction of unit labour costs.

21.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied with the progress of his economic policies.

Tax And Price Index

15.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest monthly increase in the tax and price index.

The tax and price index has increased by 1 per cent. between September and October.

36.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for inflation based on the tax and price index.

Over the 12 months to October the tax and price index increased by 15·2 per cent.

Revenue And Expenditure

19.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the latest estimates for total Government revenue and total public expenditure for 1981–82.

I must ask my hon. Friend to await the announcements which fall to be made as usual at this time of year.

Retail Price Index And Tax And Price Index

22.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest estimates of the levels of the retail price index and the tax and price index compared with May 1979.

Between May 1979 and October 1981 the retail prices index increased by 40·7 per cent. Over the same period the tax and price index increased by 41·8 per cent.

Inflation

23.

s asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest figure available for the annual rate of inflation; what was the corresponding figure for April 1979; and if he will make a statement.

The increase in the RPI for the 12 months to April 1979 was 10·1 per cent. The latest figures available are for the 12 months to October 1981 when the increase was 11·7 per cent.

North Sea Tax Regime

24.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he received from the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association its proposals to change the present North Sea tax regime; and by what date he intends fully to reply.

UKOOA's proposals for the long-term structure of the North Sea tax regime were received on 15 October, and we shall be discussing them with the association in a meeting later this afternoon. My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer expects to announce firm decisions on the future of the regime in his Budget next year.

Family Taxation

25.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he estimates that the burden of taxation on the average family has increased or decreased over the past two years; and to what extent.

I refer the hon. Member to the note on the effects of the last three Budgets which was prepared by the Treasury for the Select Committee on the Treasury and Civil Service and published as appendix 6 to the fifth report of that Committee on 6 April 1981.

Economic Prospects

26.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his current assessment of the prospects for the British economy.

Voluntary Charitable Disablement Organisations

27.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to relieve voluntary charitable disablement organisations of the financial burdens they face by (a) removing their value added tax liabilities and (b) granting tax relief for single donations.

No. We have carefully considered both these possible forms of tax relief in the past, but have felt compelled to reject them. As regards VAT, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. McQuarrie) on 29 October—[Vol. 10, c. 404].

Tax Evasion (Staffing)

28.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he intends to increase the number of Inland Revenue staff with special responsibility for preventing and detecting tax evasion; if so, by how many; and at what cost.

Yes. As announced in the Treasury Minute responding to the Twelfth Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Cmnd 8413, in the period up to 1984 the Inland Revenue will be deploying some 400 staff in this way. The ultimate salary cost will be about £3 million per annum.

Economic Improvement

29.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he now expects to see a substantial improvement in the economy.

Preliminary estimates suggest a rise of ¼ per cent. in total output—GDP—in the third quarter. Manufacturing output has risen by some 1½ per cent. over recent months. Progress will largely depend on the extent to which we continue to improve competitiveness through more effective control of domestic costs.

Capital Outflow

30.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the total outflow of capital from the United Kingdom since exchange controls were removed.

Between the fourth quarter of 1979 and the second quarter of 1981, identified investment and other capital transactions resulted on balance in a net outflow of £6·3 billion. This net outflow reflects the current account surplus earned over the period. Details of the United Kingdom balance of payments capital account are available in Economic Trends, September 1981.

Economic Policy

31.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the benefits achieved by the Government's economic policies.

The foundations for sustainable recovery, of lasting benefit to the economy, are being established.

Economic Measures

32.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied that his economic measures are working according to the plans of Her Majesty's Government.

The foundations for sustainable recovery are being established. Progress depends very much on the extent to which domestic costs are contained.

Age Allowance

33.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to extend the age allowance to women aged between 60 and 65 years.

Financial Targets (Definition)

34.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ascertain whether financial targets expressed in terms of money gross domestic product would be more widely understood in the country than money supply targets.

Money gross domestic product would be difficult to use as an operational target, but it helps to explain the implications of the Government's anti-inflation strategy. For example, the need to restrain the total flow of money spending in the economy highlights the way that moderate pay settlements can improve the prospects for the output and, hence, jobs.

Interest Rates

35.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the current level of interest rates; and what prospects he sees of changes in these.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today to my hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) and the hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. Hoyle).

Company Residence, Tax Havens And The Corporate Sector

37.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what responses he has had to the consultative documents on company residence and tax havens and the the corporate sector; and if he will make a statement.

There was a substantial response to these documents from representative bodies and from individual firms. In the light of that response, draft legislation will be published shortly as a basis for further consultation.

Value Added Tax (Charities)

38.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has carried out a review of the impact of value added tax on charities.

No. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 2 July—[Vol. 7 c. 480].

North Sea Oil Fund

39.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set up a North Sea oil fund consisting of revenues derived from oil which could be earmarked for particular purposes.

I am not convinced it would be helpful to allocate North Sea oil revenues to specific purposes.

West Cumbria

40.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will commission a study of the effects of a high interest rates policy on areas such as West Cumbria.

No. While I appreciate the difficulties that high interest rates create, it is extremely difficult to differentiate on a regional basis between their effects and those of inflation, high wage increases and poor productivity.

Nationalised Industries (Borrowing)

41.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to enable nationalised industries such as British Telecom to borrow long-term moneys for capital investment projects outside the public sector borrowing requirement.

All borrowing by public sector bodies such as nationalised industries falls within the public sector borrowing requirement. On the British Telecom bond proposal currently under consideration, I have nothing to add to the statement by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the debate on the Address—[Vol. 12, c. 560].

Unemployment Costs

42.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give the estimated cost to public funds of an unemployment figure of three million.

Prime Minister

Engagements

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q8.

Spicer asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

Q28.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 19 November.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 19 November.

This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. Later, in addition to my duties in the House, I shall be presenting the Harding Award on behalf of Action Research for the Crippled Child and having further meetings.

Economic Growth

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied with the Government's progress towards achieving economic growth.

We have made substantial progress in fostering the conditions necessary for sustainable growth. Productivity is rising and industry is better placed for recovery.

Carlingford Lough

asked the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government's position is the same on Carlingford Lough as on Lough Foyle; and what communication on the subject has been had with the Government of the Republic of Ireland.

The history of Lough Carlingford is not the same as that of Lough Foyle and Her Majesty's Government must take account of this. The possibility of an agreed delimitation was raised by officials in the context of the Anglo-Irish joint studies.

Liverpool-Belfast Ferry

asked the Prime Minister what further representations she has received concerning the closure of the P and O Liverpool to Belfast ferry; and what replies she has sent.

Since I answered a question from the hon. Member on 12 November I have received several letters concerning the closure of the P and O Liverpool to Belfast ferry. The Government's position was made clear by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in his statement on 11 November.

Wales

National Health Service (Dispensing)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the gross profit paid to pharmacy contractors in Wales for National Health Service dispensing in each of the past five years.

If gross profit is defined as the difference between total payments and the costs of drugs, appliances, containers, oxygen and oxygen equipment rental, the figures are as follows:—

£ million
19768·6
19779·4
197810·7
197911·3
198015·2

Government Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total amount of Government expenditure in Wales for the 10 most recent financial years.

Detailed figures of identifiable public expenditure in Wales are published annually in the "Digest of Welsh Statistics". Changes in definition mean that the totals are not comparable over a period of 10 years. Comparable revised data for the period since 1976–77 is as follows:

Total Identifiable Public Expenditure in Wales*
Financial year£ million (outturn prices)
1976–772,398
1977–782,674
1978–792,941
1979–803,551
1980–81n.a.
* This table uses the definitions and classifications of the public expenditure White Paper, in which the Government presents its expenditure plans for the coming year. The figures are from the records of the Public Expenditure Survey. In the 1977 White Paper "The Government's Expenditure Plans" Cmnd. 6721, a new presentation of public expenditure was used. Under the new presentation, the public expenditure totals include the amount of Government net lending (including issues of Public Dividend Capital) and a capital grant to the nationalised industries in place of capital expenditure by those bodies. Further information is available in the 1981 White Paper "The Government's expenditure Plans 1981–82 to 1983–84" Cmnd. 8175.
Not available—figures will be published shortly.

Pembroke Dock (Offshore Construction Yard)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from foreign companies regarding the opening of an offshore construction yard in the Pembroke dock area; and if he has any plans to finance this with public funds.

Discussions with companies about selective financial assistance under Section 7 of the Industry Act are held on a strictly confidential basis. Any application for financial support towards a project of this kind would be dealt with in accordance with the established criteria.

Lime Subsidy

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has any plans to reintroduce the subsidy on lime; and if he will make a statement.

I have no plans at present to do so.Assistance towards the cost of liming is already available under the capital grant schemes when it is a capital improvement and is not a normal husbandry application.

Roads (Ceredigion)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is satisfied with the progress made to date with the road improvements in Llanon, Ceredigion; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. The improvement work currently under way in the centre of Llanon is expected to be completed by the end of March 1982. This includes provision of a continuous footpath on the eastern side of the road. A further improvement scheme to provide a continuous footpath on the western side, as recommended by the inspector following a public inquiry into the Department's scheme, is being prepared.

Employment (Upper Afan Valley)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has for bringing new employment opportunities to the Upper Afan Valley.

The highest range of incentives is available for new industrial development in the Port Talbot travel-to-work area, which includes the Upper Afan Valley. This, together with the provision of industrial sites and factories, means that the area is well placed to attract new employment.

Quangos

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he last carried out overall reviews to determine the need for retaining unchanged the Ancient Monuments Board for Wales and the Historic Buildings Council for Wales; whether he considered alternative privately funded sources of advice; and what conclusions he reached.

A detailed review of these bodies was carried out last year. This included an examination of the possible scope for changes. It concluded that these bodies should be retained but that there should be further periodic reviews.

Rate Support Grant

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will revise the amount of rate support grants in Wales in 1981–82 to take account of the additional costs of the pay increase awarded to the police in September 1981.

Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the cash limit on rate support grants in Wales in 1981–82—Class XVIII, Vote 2—is being increased by £536,000 from £744,500,000 to £745,036,000. This will be reflected in the first rate support grant supplementary report for this year which I will be shortly laying before this House.

Energy

British National Oil Corporation

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, further to his reply to the hon. Member for West Lothian on 16 November on his proposed legislation on the British National Oil Corporation, how long he proposes to allow for detailed discussion with the parties affected.

There will be the usual opportunities for detailed discussion following the introduction of legislation.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many concessions held by the British National Oil Corporation have been surrendered; and how many have been acquired by private companies since May 1979.

The British National Oil Corporation has surrendered acreage in 14 licences covering a total of 33 blocks or part blocks. These figures include territory relinquished by BNOC and its various partners in accordance with the mandatory surrender requirements incorporated in licences. Of the above total, seven blocks or part blocks have subsequently been relicensed: four to groups including BNOC and private sector companies, two to private sector companies only, and one to a BGC subsidiary.

Home Insulation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many voluntary home insulation projects are known to his Department; and what is his estimate of the number of homes being insulated for elderly or disabled people through such agencies.

I am aware of the following voluntary home insulation projects being assisted in various ways through Government agencies:

No. of ProjectsEstimated No. of dwellings to be insulated a Year
Department of Energy
"Seedcorn" grant applications185,500
Project grant applications (if additional)1300
Manpower Service Commission
Community Enterprise Programme—schemes underway or approved but yet to start*4953,000
Department of the Environment
Urban Programme5N/A
* In addition under the Youth Opportunities Programme a small number of schemes have included home insulation work, mainly involving draught proofing, as one of a number of activities. A number of the schemes assisted by the Department of Energy are also likely to be assisted by the MSC but cannot be separately identified at this stage.
Four of these projects are also funded by the Manpower Services Commission and are included in their figures.
I am aware of a further four projects being undertaken by voluntary groups without Government assistance. The main purpose of all these schemes is to give help to the elderly, the disabled and other disadvantaged.

Nuclear Irradiation (Steel Embrittlement)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy to what extent irradiation causes embrittlement of steel; and how the problem is dealt with in nuclear power plant construction.

I am advised that irradiation can cause embrittlement of steel when impurities such as copper, phosphorus and sulphur are present above certain levels.The nuclear industry world-wide is aware of this problem and preventative measures have now been adopted including stricter controls of the level of impurities and improved welding procedures.

Electricity Production (Wales)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the total amount of electricity produced in Wales and the contribution of each source to the total electricity produced for the year 1980–81.

Information on the amount of electricity generated by type of plant for 1980, the latest period for which figures are available, is given in thr following table:

Electricity Generated by public supply power stations—Wales
GWhper cent
Nuclear8,59037
Conventional steam14,23361
Gas turbines2
Water power*5562
Total23,381100
* Includes units generated at pumped storage station.

Disconnections

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many domestic consumers were disconnected for debt by each of the area electricity and regional gas boards during the quarter ended 30 September 1981.

The figures are as follows:

Area Electricity Board
Number
London5,488
South Eastern1,217
Southern1,233
South Western793
Eastern2,815
East Midlands3,578
Midlands4,728
South Wales1,039
Merseyside and North Wales2,765
Yorkshire4,555
North Eastern1,791
North Western2,358
32,360
Gas Region
Number
Scottish446
Northern719
North Western1,677
North Eastern477

Number

East Midlands827
West Midlands1,036
Wales120
Eastern494
North Thames1,742
South Eastern813
Southern337
South Western94
8,782

North Sea Oil

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of the acreage covered by licences granted in each of the licensing rounds were granted to, and what percentages of current oil production is controlled by (a) each of the British oil majors, (b) American oil companies, (c) members of the British Independent Exploration Companies Association, (d) French and German oil companies and (e) others.

Information in the precise form requested is not readily available and the question could be answered fully only at disproportionate cost. The current approximate percentages of acreage held under seaward production licences are as follows:

per cent.
(1) British majors—BP7·5
Shell (40 per cent. UK share)3
(2) BNOC15
(3) BGC7·5
(4) Members of the British Independent Exploration Companies Association3
(5) Other UK companies8·5
(6) US oil companies40
(7) French and German oil companies5
(8) Others10·5
Some information on equity shares in producing fields is given in the report to Parliament by the Secretary of State—"Development of the Oil and Gas Reserves of the United Kingdom" 1981. The major part of production is subject to the Secretary of State's right to royalty and to BNOC's participation rights.

Offshore Development

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of steel or equipment made from steel required for offshore activity was met from British industry during the first six months of the current year and in 1980.

Details are not available of the total proportion of United Kingdom steel or of the United Kingdom steel content of equipment supplied for developments on the United Kingdom continental shelf. Steel supplied by the British Steel Corporation over the periods mentioned is estimated at:

Percentage of total UKCS market
1980first half of 1981
Tubular steel for casings (but not line pipe)80–8580–85
Plate* (from Offshore Division)2064
* The wide disparity between 1980 and 1981 reflects cyclical changes in the size of this market and does not necessarily indicate significant changes in the volume of BSC's sales.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of offshore material requirement was met from British industry during the first six months of 1981 and during 1980.

Figures for 1981 are not yet available but will be published in the Secretary of State's Report to Parliament on the "Development of Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom" 1982. The total value of orders placed in the United Kingdom during 1980 for goods and services for developments on the United Kingdom continental shelf was £2,380 million, of which the United Kingdom share was £1,679 million—71 per cent.

Coal Subsidy

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the Government subsidy per tonne of coal produced in each of the European Economic Community countries, including the United Kingdom.

The European Commission's estimates of state operating subsidies to Community coal industries in 1980 are as follows:

(£/tonne)
Belgium28·4
France15·6
Federal Republic of Germany7·2
United Kingdom*1·4
* Financial year 1980–81.

Note: Member States also provide social aids for their coal industries. Social security systems differ so much between countries that no simple comparison of these aids is possible.

Employment

Seamen (Unemployment Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what plans Her Majesty's Government have to reduce unemployment amongst seamen in England and Wales and on Merseyside.

Employment prospects for seamen who are unemployed on Merseyside and in the country as a whole depend above all on both sides of the shipping industry working together to keep the United Kingdom fleet competitive in world markets.Her Majesty's Government believe they can best contribute by continuing to pursue policies which are designed to reduce inflation and get the economy on to a sound footing.The employment and training services of the Manpower Services Commission are, of course, always available to those who seek employment opportunities on shore.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total of unemployed seamen at the latest date (a) in England and Wales and (b) on Merseyside; and what percentages of total unemployment these figures represent in each case.

Unemployed Persons (Wolverhampton)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the percentage of male and female unemployment, respectively, in (a) the Wolverhampton area and (b) the West Midlands in October 1974, October 1979, October 1980 and October 1981.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1981]: The following is the available information for the Wolverhampton travel-to-work area and the West Midlands region. Because of industrial action in some employment offices in October 1974 figures are not available for that date.

Wolverhampton travel-to-work areaWest Midlands Region
MaleFemaleMaleFemale
October 19797·66·26·24·6
October 198012·49·310·87·7
October 198119·912·317·811·0

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give a breakdown of the number out of work in (a) the Wolverhampton area and (b) the West Midlands at the latest convenient date by percentage (i) unemployed for up to one year, (ii) unemployed for more than one year but less than two, (iii) unemployed for over two years but less than three and (iv) unemployed for over three years.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1981]: The following is the information at 8 October for the Wolverhampton employment office area and the West Midlands region.

Percentage of total unemployed
Duration in weeksWolverhampton employment office areaWest Midlands Region
Up to 52 weeks70·271·6
Over 52 and up to 104 weeks20·119·9
Over 104 and up to 156 weeks4·74·1
Over 156 weeks4·94·5

Liquefied Energy Gases (Experiments)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects the Health and Safety Executive to report to him the findings of the experiments with liquefied energy gases carried out on the Maplin Sands in 1980; and if he will arrange for such findings to be made available to the hon. Member for Essex, South-East, the Essex fire authority and Castle Point district council.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1981]: The Health and Safety Executive is not able to give me its comments on the Maplin Sands experiments because it has not yet received full details from Shell Research Limited who carried out the experiments. HSE is maintaining contact with Shell, but it is not possible to say when its appraisal will be completed. It is, however, likely that preliminary comments based on a partial summary of the data will be available before the end of the year.Both the Health and Safety Executive's preliminary comments and thir later observations and conclusions will be made available to the hon. Member for Essex, South-East (Sir B. Braine), the Essex fire authority and the Castle Point district council.

House Of Commons

Place Of Speaking

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will move for the appointment of a Select Committee on Procedure to consider the matter of the parts of the Chamber from which hon. Members may speak; and if he will make a statement.

Lord President Of The Council

European Community (Members Of Parliament)

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will obtain details of the various schemes which member States of the EEC have to cover their Members of Parliament for retirement, defeat at elections or retirement on medical grounds; and if he will publish this information in the Official Report.

As regards pensions on retirement, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) on 2 December 1980.—[Vol. 995, c. 145–47.] I regret that information about benefits on defeat at an election or premature retirement on medical graounds is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Northern Ireland

Plastic Bullets

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the monthly figures for the numbers of plastic bullets fired in Northern Ireland from January 1977 to November 1981.

The monthly figures for the number of plastic baton rounds fired operationally in Northern Ireland between January 1977 and 11 November 1981 are as follows:

l977l978l97919801981
January251065968
February15317348
March3946070320
April3941491,959
May1478108216,656
June30148234606
July3716561136,182
August1,0981,2088327803,755
September15111351440
October3929712324
November6nil27nil*7
Decembernil64134
Army only.
* To 11 November.
The police acquired plastic baton rounds in October 1978, but it would involve disproportionate cost to identify figures for operational firings before 1981.

Housing Executive (Report)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's annual report for 1980–81 to be published.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive's annual report for 1980–81 was published on 18 November and a copy placed in the Library.

Unemployment

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans Her Majesty's Government have to reduce unemployment in the Province.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many young persons aged 18 years or under are unemployed in the Province; and how many there were in April 1979.

20,741 young persons aged 18 and under including a seasonally high proportion of school leavers were registered as unemployed in October 1981. The comparable figure for April 1979 was 6,357.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the level of unemployment in the Province at the latest date; and what it was in April 1979.

112,224 people—19·5 per cent.—were registered as unemployed on 8 October 1981, the latest date for which the information is available. The figure for April 1979 was 60,787—13·0 per cent.

Liverpool-Belfast Ferry

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the anticipated loss of jobs in the Province following the closure of the Liverpool-Belfast ferry.

The Department of Manpower Services has so far been notified of the anticipated loss of 93 jobs in Northern Ireland as a direct result of the closure of the Liverpool-Belfast ferry. All are employees of the ferry company. This figure excludes crew members, a number of whom may live in the Province.

Family Income Supplement

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the estimated take-up rate of family income

1 Jan 771 Jan 781 Jan 791 Jan 801 Jan 81
Number of staff5953545451
Total cost (£'000)386372412518649
The information officer group, in addition to press and public relations officers, includes information specialists in exhibitions, publications and paid publicity.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Kampuchea

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards a reconstructed Government for Kampuchea which would include Pol Pot representatives.

Our policy towards a reconstructed Cambodian Government would be decide supplement in Northern Ireland; what steps he proposes to take to increase the take-up rate; and if he will make a statement.

Precise figures on current take-up of family income supplement in Northern Ireland are not available, but it is estimated that the overall rate of take-up in 1980 was around 50 per cent. In an effort to improve this situation an advertising campaign was mounted on local radio and television and in the press during the two weeks beginning 26 October 1981. It is too early to assess the results which have been achieved.

Police Complaints Board

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he intends to lay before Parliament and publish the annual report of the Police Complaints Board for Northern Ireland; and if he will place in the Library and publish the triennial report of the same body.

The annual report of the Police Complaints Board for Northern Ireland has been laid before the House today and has been published. I have also taken this opportunity to place the triennial report in the Library and publish it.The two reports show the meticulous work the Police Complaints Board (NI) carries out and are evidence that the board has a valuable role to play in the complaints system. The triennial report covers the first three years of the board's existence and gives a fair picture of the initial problems encountered. I am glad to note that the report ends on an optimistic note.

Industry

Information Officers

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many information officers are currently employed by his Department; at what cost and if he will give these figures in respect of each of the last four years.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1981]: The number of information officers employed by the Department of Industry and the total cost of salary plus employer's national insurance contribution is as follows:in the light of all relevant circumstances, including its composition and its acceptability to the Cambodian people, as indicated by their freely expressed views.

Iran (British Subjects)

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the safety of British subjects, of whatever religion, in Iran.

Two British subjects, Mr. Pyke and Mr. Skinner, are detained by the Iranians. Neither has been accused of any offences connected with religious beliefs. Although conditions in Iran are unsettled, we have no reason to believe that British subjects either resident in or visiting that country are in any special danger.

Namibia

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether any Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister plans to visit Namibia within the next 12 months and if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom relationship with the internal Government of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance.

There are no plans at present for a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister to visit Namibia. With our partners in the Five we maintain contact with leaders of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance and the other internal parties, but the Five do not recognise the "Council of Ministers" as a Government.

Welsh Language (Passports)

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the principle of equal validity for the Welsh language will be extended to passports; and upon what date he will introduce a fully bilingual passport form for people living in Wales.

No. The extension of the principle would not he in accordance with international practice on passports and, because of the extremely small demand, the production of bilingual versions of the 21 different passport forms and leaflets in use would involve a disproportionate expenditure of public funds.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many official forms are produced by the Passport Office; and how many of them are available in bilingual form in Wales.

The pasport Office produces 21 different application forms and leaflets relating to United Kingdom passports; none is available in bilingual form.

Minority Languages And Culture

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the Government's attitude to the recently published European Commission report on minority languages and culture within the European Economic Community.

We are not aware that the European Commission has published such a report. The European Parliament's Committee on Youth, Culture, Education, Information and Sport has produced a report on a Community charter of regional languages and cultures and a charter of rights of ethnic minorities. This report contains a resolution which has recently been endorsed by the European Parliament as a whole. I understand that the resolution has been forwarded to the Governments and regional authorities of the member States and the Council of Europe. The Government will study the resolution with interest.

Chile (Ministerial Visit)

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether any Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister plans to visit Chile in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

There are no present plans for any Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister to visit Chile.

Sri Lanka (Official Visits)

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many visits have taken place (a) of officials of his Department to Sri Lanka and (b) of officials of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom so far in the current year.

Since 1 January: (a) Ten officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have visited Sri Lanka. This figure excludes visits by members of the Diplomatic Service stationed abroad, visits by Queen's Messengers and visits by those members of specialist units of the Overseas Development Administration who are not normally considered officials; (b) Seven Sri Lankan officials have visited Britain with sponsorship by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Korea (Peaceful Reunification)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the peaceful reunification of Korea; and if he will make a statement.

Her Majesty's Government have consistently supported efforts to achieve the peaceful reunification of Korea. The establishment of the necessary confidence and understanding requires direct contacts between the two sides. We welcomed the initiative to this end set out in President Chun Doo Hwan's New Year message and re-iterated in his inaugural speech on 3 March and again on 5 June.

Trade

Industrial Counterfeiting

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will seek to introduce measures making more serious categories of industrial counterfeiting a criminal offence.

The Government do not consider that existing provisions related to counterfeiting need to be supplemented by the creation of new criminal offences.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has received representations from industry pressing for the making of more serious categories of industrial counterfeiting a criminal offence.

Quangos

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he last carried out an overall review of the need for retaining the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites; whether he considered alternative privately funded sources of advice; and what conclusions he reached.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he last carried out an overall review of the need to retain unchanged the Standing Advisory Committee on Patents and the Standing Advisory Committee on Trade Marks; whether he considered alternative ad hoc or privately funded sources of advice; and what conclusions he reached.

The standing advisory committees on patents and trade marks are reviewed annually, the last review having been completed in March of this year. The standing advisory committees provide established points of contact with the interested organisations and therefore offer a quick and effective means of obtaining a balanced view from users and practitioners. Ad hoc consultation would not be more economic as the members of the standing advisory committees receive no remuneration for their services. I am satisfied with the present arrangements.

Trade Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what percentage of United Kingdom total trade, trade in manufactures and trade in foodstuffs is now done with the European Economic Community, the European Economic Community Six and the Commonwealth; how the Commonwealth is defined for this purpose; and how these percentages compare with the position in 1972;(2) what percentage of United Kingdom total imports and exports, of imports and exports of manufactures, and of imports and exports of foodstuffs now arise in trade with the European Economic Community, the European Economic Community Six and the Commonwealth; and how these figures compare with the figures in 1972;(3) what tariffs are now imposed on United Kingdom exports of manufactures to Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, India and the West Indies; and whether other countries now enjoy the same or more favourable access to these markets;(4) what percentages of United Kingdom imports and exports arose in trade with

(a) the Commonwealth, defined in each case, (b) the European Economic Community Six, (c) other Western European countries, (d) the United States of America, (e) oil-exporting countries and (f) others, in 1980; and how these figures compare with 1948 and 1970.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what proportion of the market for manufactured goods the United Kingdom now enjoys in Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, India and the West Indies; and how these figures compare with 1970.

The available information is as follows:

United Kingdom share of the value of imports of manufactured goods*
1970Per cent Year as indicated
Australia2411 (1980)
New Zealand3317 (1980)
Nigeria3324 (1978)
India1114 (1977)
West Indies2622 (1977)

Notes:

* SITC 5to 8.

Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica and Bahamas. Data in respect of other countries of the British West Indies are not readily available.

Sources:

UN Commodity Trade Statistics OECD Trade Series B and National Sources.

Cheese

the Secretary of State for Trade how much New Zealand cheese was imported into the United Kingdom in 1980; and how this compares with 1970.

Figures for cheese and curd consigned from New Zealand to the United Kingdom are given under SITC group 024 in table II of volume 1 of the "Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom" for 1970, and in table III of the December 1980 issue of the Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom.

Roofing Tiles

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the supply of concrete roofing tiles in the United Kingdom is to be published; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend received the report on 10 September. It was published yesterday.The commission's findings are as follows:

  • "(a) A monopoly situation under sections 6(1)(a) and (b) of the Fair Trading Act 1973 exists in relation to the supply of concrete roofing tiles in favour of The Marley Tile Company Ltd. and Redland Ltd.
  • (b) As a consequence of the monopoly position in favour of Marley and Redland, the price of concrete roofing tiles has been higher than it would have been if there had been a greater degree of competition. In these circumstances we consider that in the past prices have been at levels that have operated against the public interest. We consider it is likely that when the construction industry recovers unless the structure of the concrete roofing tile market changes and the competitive environment is improved prices charged to consumers and consequently profits may be expected to rise again to levels that will operate against the public interest.
  • (c)The monopoly situation has operated and may be expected to operate against the public interest as:
  • (i) the operation of the scale monopolies has acted to restrict competition in some areas of Great Britain;
  • (ii) it has resulted in higher prices for concrete roofing tiles than would have been the case over the long term if more competitive conditions had prevailed."
  • The Government accept the commission's findings.

    In the light of those conclusions, the commission made the following recommendations:

  • "(a) To avoid reduction of competition from the absorption of smaller manufacturers, Marley or Redland should be required to inform the Director General of Fair Trading of proposals to acquire any other concrete roofing tile producers. Such proposals should only in exceptional circumstances be allowed to proceed without reference to this Commission.
  • (b) The preferable solution to the adverse effects of this monopoly is to encourage increased competition from small manufacturers, new entry and the greater use of buying power by public authorities. We recommend that:
  • (i) Local authorities and other public bodies should, as an aid to greater competition and to minimise cost, include the widest possible specification for roofing tiles in their documentation.
  • (ii) Local authorities and other public bodies should also reconsider their buying procedures. If, perhaps by co-ordinating their individual concrete roofing tile requirements on a regional basis, they could, while still employing small roofing contractors, make better use of their buying power this would also reduce prices and benefit competition.
  • (iii) To avoid new entrants or existing companies suffering from excessive discounting by the monopolists, the Director General of Fair Trading should monitor details of projects for which the highest levels of discount have been granted or offered in all regions of Great Britain together with results of the regional units of Marley Contract Services (MCS). If the monitoring of discounts and MCS, or complaints that may be received, suggests that excessive discounting or low pricing by MCS is being used as a barrier to entry or to prevent existing companies expanding the matter should be investigated under the 1980 Competition Act.
  • (iv) Redland should make its roof tile fittings freely available to builders' merchants.
  • (c) We accept that these measures cannot guarantee increased competition, and therefore also recommend that the Director General of Fair Trading should monitor the industry including its cost and profits. If there is no change in the structure of the market from new entry nor substantial and sustained competition from alternative products, and the pricing policies of Marley and Redland result in high profits, or the information on regional discounts gives rise to concern that competition between them is still limited, the use of other powers of the Secretary of State should be considered or another reference should be made to this Commission."
  • The commission also expressed the hope that such of its recommendations as might be adopted should be applied to Northern Ireland.

    I accept this important report by the commission and its findings. Given the adverse effects of the scale monopolies specified in the reports, the order making powers provided in section 56 of the Fair Trading Act 1973 are available to remedy or prevent those effects.

    Taking the commission's recommendations in turn, I shall certainly bear their report in mind in considering future mergers involving Marley or Redland and any other producer in the industry.

    As for the specification and buying procedures of local authorities and other bodies, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will be considering these recommendations, in consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

    With regard to the commission's other recommendations, I shall be giving careful consideration to the appropriate action to be taken on the report. I am asking the Director General of Fair Trading to open discussions with the parties concerned in relation to the commission's findings and recommendations.

    Mr B E Calvert

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether, in view of the further information sent to him by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe about the activities of Mr. B. E. Calvert, of Sheffield, in the case of A. Devery & Company Ltd., he will now use his powers to investigate Chancery Lane Registrars (Northern) Ltd.; and if he will make a statement.

    [pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1981]: The further information provided by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe in his letter of 11 November 1981 is under consideration by officials of my Department and it is intended to carry out confidential enquiries under section 109 of the Companies Act 1967 into Chancery Lane Registrars (Northern) Ltd.

    Corporate Management Planning Ltd

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade, pursuant to his reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 10 November, when he expects to know the outcome of the inquiries by officials of his Department into the books and papers of Corporate Management Planning Ltd.

    [pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1981]: As a result of preliminary inquiries made by my officials into Corporate Management Planning Ltd., my right hon. Friend appointed inspectors pursuant to section 165 of the Companies Act 1948 on 11 November 1981.

    Scotland

    Rural Areas (Research)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has any plans to grant research contracts to research organisations to carry out studies on the problems of rural areas in Scotland similar to those planned for England and Wales under the new scheme promoted by the European Commission.

    No. The scheme promoted by the European Commission closed on 15 September 1980.

    Quangos

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when last he carried out an overall review of the need to retain unchanged the Scottish Agricultural Consultative Panel, the Scottish Agricultural Development Council, the Scottish Agricultural Statistics Consultative Committee and the Hill Farming Advisory Committee for Scotland; and what were his conclusions in each case.

    I have reviewed all four bodies this year and decided to retain them. Their members give freely of their time and experience in service to the farming industry in Scotland at no cost in fees or salaries or in civil service manpower. I am glad to take this opportunity of recording my appreciation of their work.

    Regional Road (East Fife)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if in view of the omission of any reference to the East Fife regional road in the document "Roads in Scotland—Report for 1980" issued by the Scottish Development Department, he will ensure that this scheme will be included in the road investment programme up to and including 1983–84.

    Subject to the availability of funds, the first section of the East Fife regional road is already in the trunk road programme for a works start in 1983–84, with each of the other three sections expected to follow at intervals of one to two years.

    Nurses' Home (Kirkcaldy)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the fire at a nurses' home in Kirkcaldy on 13 November; if he is satisfied that all fire precautions had been taken; if he will institute a public inquiry into the accident; and what provisions there are for compensation for those injured or killed.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what inquiries have taken place or are to be undertaken to establish the causes of the fire in the nurses' home at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy; why the fire led to the death of Morag Goodall and the injury of 17 other nurses and two firemen; and if the evidence established in, and the conclusions of, these inquiries will be made public.

    An alarm call from within the nurses' home at the Victoria hospital, Kirkcaldy, was received by Fife fire brigade headquarters at three minutes to 1 am on 13 November. The fire brigade arrived at the scene at one minute to 1 am and further appliances were summoned at once.There were 57 occupants in the building at the time of the fire, of whom 37 escaped unaided. Others were assisted to escape by the fire brigade or dropped to the ground from windows. One nurse died, and another is very seriously ill in hospital and still in a critical condition. Three other nurses were seriously injured but their condition is fairly comfortable. 22 other nurses and two firemen were also treated for less serious injuries. I am sure the House will wish to join me in expressing sympathy to the relatives of the nurse who died and to all those who received injuries in this tragic accident.Until the full facts have been established it is clearly not possible to say that all fire precautions had been taken; but these are matters to which the health board and its officers have given careful attention; and the home's fire precautions installations at the time of the fire consisted of the recommended provision of fire escapes, stairways, fire and smoke stop doors, fire fighting appliances and manually operated break glass electrical fire warning system. The premises were last inspected by the fire brigade on 17 December 1980, when they were found to be in order. An inspection was scheduled for December this year. The building had been speedily evacuated following a false alarm on the 27 October; and there was a practice fire drill when the building was again evacuated on the 11 November.The procurator fiscal is conducting urgent inquiries and in the light of his report my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate will determine whether a fatal accident inquiry should be set up under the Fatal Accident and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act of 1976. Such an inquiry would be conducted by the sheriff, with full powers to compel witnesses and to take into account all matters which might have a bearing on the cause of death.As regards compensation, consideration will be given to the payment of benefits, as appropriate, to those affected, under the National Health Service (Scotland) (Injury Benefits) Regulations 1974 and the National Health Service (Superannuation) (Scotland) Regulations 1980.

    Doctors, Nurses And Teachers

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons qualified as doctors, nurses and teachers, respectively, were registered as unemployed in Scotland in April of each year since 1977.

    Information is not available in the precise form requested. The following table gives the numbers of people in Scotland registered for employment in the specified occupations in March—the nearest month to April for which information is available—in each year since 1977.

    March of each year

    1977

    1978

    1979

    1980

    1981

    Numbers registered in Scotland for employment as Medical practitioners1928433745
    State-registered and state-enrolled nurses and state-certified midwives617656599657712
    Teachers (primary and secondary)570946106911031518

    Teachers

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of (a) primary teachers and (b) secondary teachers currently unemployed in Tayside and Dundee.

    The following table gives the numbers of people registered for employment as primary and secondary school teachers in Tayside and Dundee in September 1981, the latest date for which information is available.

    Numbers registered for employment as
    primary teacherssecondary teachers
    Tayside region12377
    Dundee (included in above)8340

    Special Schools (Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average weekly cost of keeping a child in (a) a list D and (b) a list G school.

    The average weekly cost, for the year ended 31 March 1981, of keeping a child in a list D school, including provisions to cover loan charges for capital works, was £185; the average weekly cost of keeping a child in a grant-aided residential special school was £160 for the same period.

    Assisted Places Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many assisted places were made available at each participating school; and how many such places at each school are awarded to pupils already attending fee-paying schools.

    Mr. Alexander Fletcher