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Written Answers

Volume 19: debated on Monday 1 March 1982

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 1 March 1982

House Of Commons

Select Committees

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list the reports published by each of the Select

CommitteeSessionReportDate of PublicationGovernment Observations
Agriculture1979–80First24.7.8014.11.80 and 24.7 81
1980–81First2.7.8122.10.81 and 17.12.81
1980–81Second2.7.8122.10.81
Defence1979–80First5.6.8020.8.80
1979–80SecondX3.6.8013.11.80
1979–80Third28.10.807.1.81
1980–81First2.4.8110.6.81
1980–81Second15.5.8114.8.81
1980–81Third23.6.8116.11.81
1980–81Fourth25.6.81
Education Science and Arts1979–80First20.5.807.8.80
1979–80Second10.6.80No reply required
1979–80Third18.8.80No Government response
1979–80Fourth14.10.8028.4.81
1979–80Fifth28.10.8022.1.81 and 27.7.81
1980–81First13.4.81No Government response
1980–81Second29.4.8126.11.81
1980–81Third18.5.81
Employment1979–80First11.9.80 X6.8.8021.11.80
1979–80Second12.11.80 X4.11.805.12.80
1980–81First10.3.81 X29.1.8121.5.81
1980–81Second11.1.82 X22.7.8115.2.82
1980–81Third5.8.81 X22.7.81
Energy1979–80NIL
1980–81First18.2.8127.7.81
1980–81Second28.7.8115.2.82
1980–81Third28.10.81
Environment1979–80First27.8.80 X29.7.8015.12.80
1980–81First18.12.80No reply required
1980–81Second14.7.808.10.81
1980–81Third28.8.81 X31.7.8127.11.81
European Legislation1979–8046It is not the practice for the Government to reply to the Committee's reports.
1980–8134
Foreign Affairs1979–80First3.7.8014.6.80
1979–80Second28.5.80No reply required
1979–80Third29.7.807.8.80
1979–80Fourth16.9.8020.1.81
1979–80Fifth11.9.8022.10.80
1980–81First30.1.8111.12.81
1980–81Second24.4.8111.12.81
1980–81Third4.8.8114.10.81
1980–81Fourth22.7.8118.9.81
1980–81Fifth23.7.8123.9.81
1980–81Sixth30.9.811.12.81
1980–81Seventh28.8.81
Home Affairs1979–80First5.3.8010.3.80
1979–80Second20.5.805.6.80 and 14.7.80
1979–80Third10.7.8011.11.80
1979–80Fourth6.8.80Law changed by repeal of 'Sus' Law.
1979–80Fifth5.9.80
1980–81First10.12.8031.3.81
1980–81Second2.4.81No reply required
1980–81Third21.5.8121.7.81
1980–81Fourth23.7.818.12.81
1980–81Fifth6.8.8126.1.82
Services1979–80First20.11.79No reply required

Committees in the last two Sessions of Parliament, the date of publication and the date of publication of the Government's observations.

Committee

Session

Report

Date of Publication

Government Observations

1979–80Second20.2.80No reply required
1979–80Third30.7.80No reply required
1979–80Fourth30.7.80No reply required
1980–81First15.7.81No reply required
1980–81Second15.7.81No reply required
Industry and Trade1979–80First25.3.80No reply required
1979–80Second17.7.805.12.80
1979–80Third22.8.8018.12.80
1979–80Fourth22.8.80No reply required
1980–81First12.2.8121.5.81
1980–81Second14.4.8115.7.81
1980–81Third8.5.81No reply required
1980–81Fourth10.6.814.8.81
1980–81Fifth30.7.816.11.81
PCA1979–80First20.3.8020.3.81
1979–80Second25.6.80
1979–80Third31.7.8015.4.81
1979–80Fourth5.12.80June 1981
1980–81First31.7.8125.1.82
1980–81Second3.12.8127.1.82
Privileges1979–80None
1980–81First7.4.81No reply required
Procedure1979–80None
1980–81First23.9.8115.2.82
Public Accounts1979–80First12.9.7912.12.79
1979–80Second12.9.7912.12.79
1979–80Third13.12.7912.2.80
1979–80Fourth13.2.8016.4.80
1979–80Fifth2.4.8031.7.80
1979–80Sixth23.4.805.6.80/20.6.80
1979–80Seventh23.4.8015.7.80
1979–80Eighth21.5.8021.10.80
1979–80Ninth21.5.8021.10.80
1979–80Tenth28.2.8021.10.80
1979–80Eleventh4.6.8021.10.80
1979–80Twelth25.6.8021.10.80
1979–80Thirteenth4.6.8021.10.80
1979–80Fourteenth2.7.8021.10.80
1979–80Fifteenth16.7.808.1.81
1979–80Sixteenth3.7.808.1.81
1979–80Seventeenth11.9.808.1.81
1979–80Eighteenth19.9.808.1.81
1979–80Nineteenth23.10.808.1.81
1979–80Twentieth11.9.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-First11.9.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Second12.11.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Third5.11.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Fourth29.10.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Fifth5.11.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Sixth5.11.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Seventh29.10.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Eighth23.10.808.1.81
1979–80Twenty-Ninth29.10.808.1.81
1979–80Thirtieth12.11.808.1.81
1979–80Thirty-First23.10.808.1.81
1979–80Thirty-Second12.11.808.1.81
1979–80Thirty-Third19.9.808.1.81
1979–80Thirty-Fourth5.11.808.1.81
1979–80Thirty-Fifth2.12.808.1.81
1980–81First Special4.3.81
1980–81First3.3.8117.11.81
1980–81Second3.3.8121.10.81
1980–81Third24.6.8117.11.81
1980–81Fourth24.6.8117.11.81
1980–81Fifth3.6.8117.11.81
1980–81Sixth3.6.8117.11.81
1980–81Seventh24.6.8121.10.81
1980–81Eighth1.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Ninth1.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Tenth8.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Eleventh22.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Twelth22.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Thirteenth21.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Fourteenth22.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Fifteenth30.7.8117.11.81
1980–81Sixteenth24.9.8117.11.81
1980–81Seventeenth24.9.8117.11.81

Committee

Session

Report

Date of Publication

Government Observations

Scottish Affairs1979–80First21.3.80 X15.2.8020.2.80
1979–80Second28.8.8017.3.80
1980–81First8.1.8126.6.81
1980–81Second2.4.816.5.81
Social Services1979–80First4.6.809.12.80
1979–80Second16.7.803.12.80
1979–80Third5.8.802.12.80
1980–81First27.1.8126.2.81
1980–81Second26.2.8123.2.82
1980–81Third22.7.8123.12.81
1980–81Fourth6.10.812.2.82
Statutory Instruments Joint1979–8043 reportsThe Government do not usually reply to the Committee's reports
Committee1980–8132 reports
Statutory Instruments Select1979–8040 reportsThe Government do not usually reply to the Committee's reports
Committee1980–8126 reports
Sound BroadcastingNo reports made in either session.
Transport1979–80First12.6.809.12.80
1979–80Second3.7.809.12.80
1980–81First17.12.8018.5.81
1980–81Second6.3.81
1980–81Third2.6.8111.2.82
1980–81Fourth31.7.8111.2.82
1980–81Fifth31.7.8111.2.82
Treasury and Civil Service1979–80First6.2.8016.4.80
1979–80Second8.7.80 X2.5.80see debate in House, 7 May 1981 c. 289
1979–80Third5.8.80Reply not required
1979–80Fourth5.8.80Reply not required
1979–80Fifth14.8.8018.11.80
1980–81First22.1.8112.2.81
1980–81Second18.12.80Reply not required
1980–81Third4.3.81Reply not required
1980–81Fourth2.4.8120.10.81
1980–81FifthX8.4.81 6.5.81Reply not required
1980–81Sixth24.7.8112.11.81
1980–81Seventh30.7.81Reply not required
1980–81Eighth12.8.8112.11.81
Welsh Affairs1979–80First31.7.801.12.80
1980–81First18.12.805.2.81
1980–81SecondX24.7.81 20.8.8121.1.82
X=Xerox

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will list the number of witnesses from Government Departments who have appeared before each of the new Select Committees since their appointment; what is the number of times they have given evidence; and if he will list their departmental grade.

Details of the number of witnesses—excluding Ministers of the Crown—from Government Departments; the number of times they have given evidence; and their departmental grades are given in the following tables.

Department and Departmental GradesNumber of witnessesNumber of appearances
AGRICULTURE4148
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Senior Principal,
Principal,
Chief Scientist, Agriculture and Horticulture,
Director General, ADAS,
Deputy Director General, ADAS,
Senior Officer, ADAS,
Regional Surveyor, ADAS,
Liverstock Husbandry Adviser,
Assistant Chief Veterinary Officer,
Senior Economic Adviser,
Assistant Economic Advisor,
Senior Dairy Husbandry Advisory Officer,
Poultry Husbandry Specialist,
Pig Husbandry Adviser,
Deputy Regional Veterinary Officer,
Senior Medical Officer,
Scientific Adviser,
Forestry Commissioner for Administration and Finance,
Director of Private Forestry.
DEFENCE101155
Permanent Under Secretary of State,
Chief of Defence Procurement,
Scientific Adviser,
Deputy Under Secretary of State,
Assistant Under Secretary of State,
Assistant Secretary,
Director,
Deputy Director,
Vice Admiral,
Rear Admiral,
Captain, RN,
General,
Major General,
Brigadier,
Colonel,
Air Chief Marshal,
Air Vice Marshal,
Air Commodore,
Group Captain.
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND ARTS87147
Department and Departmental GradesNumber of witnessesNumber of appearances
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Senior Executive Officer,
Senior Chief Inapector,
Chief Inspector,
Divisional Inspector,
Staff Inspector,
Her Majesty's Inspector,
Chief Engineer and Scientist,
Chief Executive (MSC),
Acting Director of Treasury (MSC),
Department of Industry Chief Executive.
EMPLOYMENT1414
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Senior Executive Officer,
Chief Statistician,
Departmental Solicitor,
Chief Wages Inspector,
Principal Research Officer.
ENERGY3569
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Senior Economic Adviser.
ENVIRONMENT912
Deputy Secretary (Housing),
Principal Finance Officer,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Senior Economic Adviser.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS67131
Permanent Secretary/Permanent Under-Secretary,
Deputy Secretary/Deputy Under Secretary,
Under Secretary/Assistant Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Senior Principal,
Principal,
Legal Counsellor,
Second Legal Adviser.
OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT SUB-COMMITTEE4580
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary/Deputy Under Secretary,
Under Secretary/Assistant Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Senior Principal,
Principal,
Deputy Chief Scientific Officer,
Senior Economic Adviser,
Economic Adviser,
Statistics Adviser.
HOME AFFAIRS3442
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Chief Inspector of Constabulary,
Assistant Legal Adviser.
RACE RELATIONS AND IMMIGRATION SUB-COMMITTEE6376
Department and Departmental GradesNumber of witnessesNumber of appearances
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Chief Medical Officer,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
Chief Inspector of Schools,
Staff Inspector of Schools,
Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools,
Assistant Legal Adviser,
Senior Legal Assistant.
INDUSTRY AND TRADE3755
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Rear Admiral,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Deputy Chief Scientific Officer,
Engineer Surveyor-in-Chief,
Principal Surveyor,
Senior Principal Scientific Officer,
Economic Adviser,
Chief Executive Officer,
Assistant Solicitor.
SCOTTISH AFFAIRS3953
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Senior Principal,
Principal,
Economic Advisers.
SOCIAL SERVICES2944
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
Deputy Chief Nursing Officer,
Chief Scientist,
Senior Principal Medical Officer,
Principal.
TRANSPORT2644
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Principal,
Senior Economic Adviser.
TREASURY AND CIVIL SERVICE38103
Government Adviser,
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary.
TREASURY AND CIVIL SERVICE SUB-COMMITTEE4250
Government Adviser,
Permanent Secretary,
Head of the Government Accountancy Service,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Major-General,
Higher Executive Officer,
Executive Officer.
WELSH AFFAIRS3457
Department and Departmental GradesNumber of witnessesNumber of appearances
Permanent Secretary,
Deputy Secretary,
Under Secretary,
Assistant Secretary,
Senior ADAS Officer (Wales),
Senior Principal,
Principal,
Economic Adviser,
Superintending Engineer,
HMI Inspector.

Trade

Textiles And Clothing

12.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what maximum additional imports of textiles and clothing products will result from outward processing during the period of the third phase of the multi-fibre arrangement.

None. The United Kingdom is opening no quotas for outward processed products except for any which may be negotiated with the dominant suppliers in compensation for cut backs in normal imports. In no circumstances will these quotas exceed the level of the cut backs.

Airline Licences

16.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade under what statutory powers he or the Civil Aviation Authority may investigate the accounts and financial operations of British airlines granted licences to operate by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Under section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1971, the Civil Aviation Authority may require the holder of an air transport licence to furnish it with information which relates to his past, present or future activities and which the authority considers it requires for the purpose of reviewing the licence.

Fuel Costs

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will refer the subject of the consumer's ability to meet fuel costs to the National Consumers Council.

I see no need to do so. The appropriate nationalised industry consumer councils, as well as the NCC, are already active in this area.

Civil Aviation (Pilots)

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps he is taking to ensure that there will be a sufficiency of properly trained and qualified civil pilots to meet the needs of British civil aviation through the 1980s.

I have no reason to think that in the foreseeable future the demand for qualified civil pilots by British civil aviation will exceed the supply available from the commercial flying training schools and other sources, but I will keep the position under review.

Departmental Responsibilities

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the division of responsibility between Ministers in his Department.

While I, of course, have overall responsibility for matters affecting my Department, my hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Trade deals with commercial relations; my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, the Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Eyre) deals with consumer and competition matters; companies, insolvency, insurance, printing and publishing; and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) deals with civil aviation, marine and shipping, tourism, films, distribution and service trade industries, and statistical matters.

Times Newspapers Ltd

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what representations he has received concerning the transfer of ownership of the titles to The Times and The Sunday Times.

I received letters from the right hon. Member for Lanarkshire, North (Mr. Smith), from Sir William Rees-Mogg, and from the father of the National Union of Journalists' chapel at The Times.

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether his consent was necessary for the transfer of the titles of The Times and The Sunday Times from Times Newspapers Ltd. to News International Ltd.

No. But the validity of such a transfer without the consent of a majority of the independent national directors may well be open to doubt.

Comecon

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the balance of trade with countries of the Eastern bloc, COMECON group, over the last year; and what is the anticipated balance of trade with those countries over the coming year.

In 1980 there was a surplus of £235 million in our crude balance of trade with the COMECON countries. I prefer not to venture an estimate for 1981 or 1982.

Multi-Fibre Arrangement

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when the European Economic Community Council of Ministers last considered the multi-fibre arrangement protocol.

A special Council of Ministers met on Thursday 25 February to discuss textile matters. The Council then agreed that the Community should sign the protocol of extension to the multi-fibre arrangement.

British Airports Authority

27.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will introduce proposals to alter the remit of the British Airports Authority; and if he will make a statement.

I have no plans to bring forward the legislative proposals which would be necessary to change the present statutory duties of the BAA.

European Community (Balance Of Trade)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage of British exports go to the rest of the European Economic Community according to the latest available figures.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the balance of trade in inorganic chemicals between the United Kingdom and the other member States of the European Community in each year since 1970; if he will express this in both money terms and by giving the export to import ratios; and by how much British inorganic chemicals exports to the Community have grown in real and notional terms in this period.

The available information which can be provided within acceptable limits of cost is as follows:

United Kingdom trade with the rest of the European Community in inorganic chemicals.
Crude balance

£ million
Export-import

ratio

per cent
Exports

£ million fob
1975-138366
1976-794104
1977-2387157
1978+11104275
1979+60121343
1980+50120303

Notes:

  • (a) Information at constant prices is not available for trade with particular countries or groups of countries.
  • (b) The European Community is defined throughout on the basis of current membership.
  • (c) The crude balance of trade is the difference between exports valued fob and imports valued cif.
  • (d) Figures correspond to Division 52 of the Standard International Trade Classification (Revision 2). Information for 1970–74 on a comparable basis could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
  • Overseas Airports (Safety)

    30.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether his Department gives advice to airlines using airports in countries or zones where there is civil commotion.

    My Department gives advice to airlines which inquire about the risk of operating to particular destinations abroad, after consulting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and any other Department which may be concerned.

    Japan

    31.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade by what means his Department is monitoring trade with Japan after the agreement between the European Economic Community and Japan; and if he will make a statement.

    36.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether conclusions can yet be drawn from the surveillance of the five sensitive items of trade between the European Economic Community and Japan.

    Complete figures are not yet available, but Japanese official statistics suggest that imports into the 10 EC member States from Japan of passenger cars and colour TVs probably dropped slightly in volume terms in the first 11 months of 1981, by comparison with the same period of 1980. Imports of TV tubes rose by about 9 per cent. Though imports of numerically controlled (nc) lathes fell by almost 32 per cent., the volume of nc machining centres increased around 26 per cent.With the help of our embassy in Tokyo, we shall monitor carefully the effects of the new Japanese measures to stimulate imports, in particular the effectiveness of the office of Ombudsman. Neither on imports nor on exports has the Japanese Government reached any agreement with the Community.

    Competition Act (Prices)

    32.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make an assessment of the effect of the Competition Act on prices.

    So far, the Competition Act, in a manner similar to the Price Commission which it abolished, has had little direct effect on the general level of prices. However, the containment of costs is a most important factor which affects the ultimate level of price increases. Investigation of nationalised industries' costs and efficiency under section 11 of the Act are helping the industries concerned to contain their costs. This in turn is likely to have a moderating effect upon their price increases.

    Investor Protection

    33.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he proposes to take any immediate action in response to the recommendations of the Gower review of investor protection that brokers' registration councils and self-regulatory agencies be established for the commodities and London financial futures markets.

    Professor Gower has not yet reported to the Government. The document he published on 26 January set out certain preliminary views and invited views and

    Active seafarers on the National Register
    OfficersCadetsRatings (inc. Petty Officers)Miscellaneous and Seasonal personnelTotalAdjustmentTotal*
    1971–4not available on the same basis
    197535,8157,09433,5241,07577,50729,000107,000
    197635,1236,97031,64493774,67426,000101,000
    197734,1446,70829,85696471,67222,00094,000
    197833,1476,70429,21993870,00817,00087,000
    197931,4346,31828,94298467,67813,00081,000
    (p)198029,5215,91928,6661,02365,12913,00078,000
    * Employment in the United Kingdom Merchant Navy
    (p) provisional

    Source:

    General Council of British Shipping (GCBS), National Register of Seafarers and Department of Trade.

    The National Register of Seafarers is maintained by The General Council of British Shipping (GCBS) and covers all seafarers on National Maritime Board (NMB) agreements with GCBS Members. Ex-seafarers can remain on the register for up to 18 months after leaving the

    comments, on the basis of which he will frame recommendations. I have no present powers to impose institutional change, and I shall consider any case for further legislation in the light of Professor Gower's final report.

    Airlines (Finance)

    34.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade when last he met the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the financial viability of British airlines.

    35.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade on how many occasions since 1972 the Civil Aviation Authority has examined the finances of an airline operating a licence granted by that body, with a view to considering whether or not such airline was adequately or soundly financed.

    The monitoring of the finances of air transport licence holders by the Civil Aviation Authority is a continuous process and is part of its statutory duties.

    37.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will introduce legislation to require carriers by air to have a minimum ratio of paid up capital to loan capital.

    In carrying out its duties under the Civil Aviation Act 1971, the Civil Aviation Authority closely monitors the financial position and performance of British airlines. I do not consider that detailed legislation on financial gearing is necessary.

    Merchant Navy (Statistics)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report the number of officers, petty officers and ratings serving in the Merchant Navy for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.

    The available information is shown in the following table:sea but have been excluded retrospectively from the figures. Petty officers cannot readily be distinguished from other ratings.The "adjustment" adds to national register non-United Kingdom-domiciled seafarers on non-NMB crew agreements and seafarers in the non-federated sector (ie not covered by the GCBS), who are serving on United Kingdom registered vessels; it deducts seafarers on the register who are employed or serving on foreign flag ships registered with the GCBS for manning purposes. These adjustments cannot be analysed by rank.Employment in the United Kingdom Merchant Navy is the best Department of Trade estimate of seafarers, whether United Kingdom or foreign domiciled, earning their living from serving on United Kingdom registered ships. The number at sea at any time will be much lower.

    Trade Disputes

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will give particulars of the six most significant trade disputes between the United Kingdom and individual countries of the European Economic Community since May 1974 that have been referred to the European Commission, setting out (a) the dispute, (b) the date it arose, (c) the date of referral, (d) the solution and (e) the date of resolution.

    The average duration of proceedings before the European Court has recently been approximately 12 months. Judgment of the relative significance of particular cases will have varied since 1974 with the point of view of the observer and with contemporary circumstances.

    Estate Agents Act 1979

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth, on 11 July 1980, Official Report, c. 327, what progress has been made towards bringing into operation sections 16, 17, 19 and 22 of the Estate Agents Act 1979; and when it is likely orders will be made under section 3 (1) (a) (iii) or (d) or regulations laid under section 18 of the same Act.

    I will consider the question of further implementation of the Act in the light of experience of the working of the provisions coming into force on 3 May. It is important that estate agents, enforcement authorities and others should gain familiarity with these provisions before any new requirements are imported.

    Mergers

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he proposes to support the recommendation of the EEC Commission that all future mergers involving the creation of companies or bodies with a combined turnover of £580 millions within the EEC should be referred to the Commission for approval or rejection; what consultations he has had with British industrial organisations on the matter; and if he will make a statement.

    The Commission recently put forward an amended proposal for a Council regulation on the control of mergers. This modifies an earlier proposal discussed in the Council from 1973 to 1977 but on which agreement could not be reached. Further negotiations will be needed before the Government can decide whether it supports the amended proposal.The proposed regulation would introduce a system of control over large-scale European mergers. Where the combined turnover of the firms concerned was at least 1,000 million units of account (about £560 million) the merger would have to be pre-notified to the Commission. It would not be allowed to proceed if the firms as a result acquired the power to hinder effective competition in a substantial part of the common market, to the extent that this would affect trade between member States. A merger would be presumed to be compatible with the common market where the merged firms would have a market share of less than 20 per cent. in the Common Market as a whole. Exemption would be possible for a merger fulfilling specific Community objectives. The proposal is intended to apply to mergers of a scale that transcends the national context and produces effects at Community level.My Department consulted interested bodies in the United Kingdom about the earlier proposal and these consultations will be renewed. I recognise that the House may want to debate the measure before it is considered by the Council.

    Origin Marking

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will reconsider Her Majesty's Government's policy on including catalogues within the Trade Descriptions (Origin Marking) (Miscellaneous Goods) Order 1981.

    It remains our view that the practical problems involved in requiring the provision of origin information in catalogues would be out of all proportion to the consumer benefit achieved.

    Imports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage of British consumption of manufactured products is provided by imports from Japan and Germany, respectively.

    In 1980, the latest year for which complete information is available, it is estimated that imports from West Germany and Japan accounted for about four per cent. and just over one per cent. of United Kingdom consumption of manufactured products respectively.

    European Development Fund

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage of the actual construction contracts placed last year under the European development fund contract for construction work was with British contractors.

    In 1981 United Kingdom contractors obtained 2·24 per cent. by value of the construction contracts deriving from the European development fund. When those contracts placed locally with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and third countries are excluded our share was 4·08 per cent. by value.

    Prime Minister

    Londonderry Harbour (Pilots)

    asked the Prime Minister if she will now take steps to have the pilots for Londonderry harbour based at Magilligan in county Londonderry where, due to the presence of United Kingdom security forces, the Irish Republican Army would find it difficult to operate.

    Privatisation (Professional Advice)

    asked the Prime Minister whether, following the extent of over-subscription for shares in Amersham International, she is satisfied with the standard of professional advice available to the Government in respect of the disposal of publicly owned assets; and whether she will ensure that assessments made by merchant banks in such circumstances take greater account of market forces.

    A wide range of professional advice is available to Governments. Each individual case involves difficult judgments about market factors.

    Overseas Development

    Nicaragua

    39.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he has received any request for assistance from Nicaragua for the supply of mining equipment under the British aid programme .

    As I told the House on 1 February, we have had no request from Nicaragua for the supply of mining equipment.

    Ophthalmologists

    43.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Fife, Central on 11 February, Official Report, c. 1202, he will list the countries to which the United Kingdom provides ophthalmologists and equipment under the technical co-operation programme; and what is the estimated annual cost of such assistance.

    Including the provision of experts, equipment and training, we are currently helping in the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, St. Helena and Costa Rica, and have recently done so in Honduras, Jamaica and India. The total value of our aid to combat blindness is of the order of £475,000 a year.

    European Development Fund

    46.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the European Court of Auditors report on the working of the European development fund.

    The Government welcome the Court of Auditors report. The United Kingdom has long recognised weaknesses in European development fund programmes and has worked actively to improve them. However, these criticisms should not obscure the fact that the court has expressed satisfaction with many EDF projects. Formally, it is for the Commission to respond to the observations of the court but a number of specific points are already being pursued with the Commission.

    African Development Bank

    47.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has had recent talks with the African Development Bank.

    No. As I advised the House on 2 June 1981, non-regional countries await confirmation that the required numbers of regional members have ratified amendments to the agreement establishing the bank to enable non-regional countries to join it.—[Vol. 5, c. 301.]

    Unicef

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what contribution Her Majesty's Government will be making to UNICEF for 1982; how this compares in cash terms with 1981; whether in real terms this represents an increase or a decrease; and what is the percentage change.

    Her Majesty's Government will, subject to Parliamentary approval, contribute £5·9 million to UNICEF's regular programme in 1982, the same in cash terms as the contribution for 1981. To the extent that prices of goods and services purchased by UNICEF increase between the two years, this will represent a fall in real terms but it is not possible to forecast the likely percentage change.

    Home Department

    Police Interviews (Tape Recording)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what lessons he has learnt from the Scottish experiment on tape recording police interviews with suspected criminals; and whether he proposes to take any action for England and Wales in the matter.

    I am writing to my hon. and learned Friend about the Scottish experiment. My right hon. Friend indicated in the debate on 20 November on the report of the Royal Commission on criminal procedure that the Government accepted the principle of the tape recording of interviews with suspects in police custody, and he will explain how we propose to carry this matter forward when he announces the Government's conclusions on the report as a whole.

    Civil Defence

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on civil defence measures in the United Kingdom by the Government for the years 1980–81 and 1981–82.

    The information is as follows:

    • 1980–81 £23·4 million
    • 1981–82 £40·4 million (Supply Estimate provision)
    The figures relate to expenditure by the central Government only.

    Newham (Crime Statistics)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will seek from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis a detailed list of serious offences recorded by the police during the week ended 19 February in the London borough of Newham, together with a report of measures taken to deal with the increased incidence of crime in the area.

    No. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 17 February.

    Bill Of Rights

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he is giving to the introduction of a Bill of Rights.

    The Government have given some preliminary consideration to the question of a Bill of Rights, but they believe that such an important proposal for constitutional change should proceed as far as possible by agreement between the political parties. We shall seek an opportunity to pursue this further when time permits.

    Kerb Crawling

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to deal with the problem of kerb crawling.

    As I indicated in my reply to a question by the hon. Member on 11 June 1981, we shall await the outcome of the review by the Criminal Law Revision Committee and the Policy Advisory Committee on Sexual Offences before reaching conclusions on the need for legislation in this area. I understand that the Criminal Law Revision Committee hopes to publish a working paper within the first half of this year inviting comment on its provisional proposals on the law on prostitution, including kerb crawling.—[Vol. 6, c. 179.]

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning introducing legislation to deal with the problem of kerb crawling; and if he will make a statement.

    Since my reply to a question by the hon. Member on 1 July 1981, representations have been received from three hon. Members and one member of the public.—[Vol. 7, c. 391.]

    Palestine Liberation Organisation

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he adopts when deciding whether to permit entry into the United Kingdom for visits or speaking engagements by prominent spokesmen of the various Palistinian guerrilla organisations joined under the collective banner of the Palestine Liberation Organisation; how many such spokesman have been refused entry over the last two years on the grounds that their presence would not be conducive to the public good; and how many have been admitted.

    I take account of all the relevant circumstances including whether the persons concerned qualify for entry as visitors under the general provisions of the immigration rules, and the security considerations.One official of a group within the Palestine Liberation Organisation has been refused a visa within the last two years on the grounds that his exclusion was conducive to the public good. We do not keep particulars of persons admitted to this country in a way that would provide the information requested in the last part of the question.

    Commission For Racial Equality

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the present appointments of the part-time members of the board of the Commission for Racial Equality expire; and if he will make a statement.

    The appointments of 10 part-time members of the commission expire on 30 April 1982 and of three others on 30 April 1983. We hope shortly to be in a position to make a statement about the future membership of the commission.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the present daily attendance fees for part-time members of the Commission for Racial Equality; what was the daily figure for each of the last four years; if he will give the percentage increases; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will list in the

    Official Report the present salaries and fringe benefits of the chairman and deputy chairman and chairman designate of the Commission for Racial Equality; what these salaries were in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981; if he will give the percentage increases; and if he will make a statement;

    (3) if the salary increases of the chairman, deputy chairman and employees of the Commission for Racial Equality are in line with the Government's 4 per cent. pay guidelines; and if he will make a statement;

    (4) if he authorised the increase in the salary of the deputy chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality and the increase in attendance allowances for the board's part-time members; and, if so, what criteria for the increases were applied.

    My right hon. Friend authorises the salaries of the chairman and deputy chairman of the commission, and the fees payable to the part-time commissioners, with the agreement of the Minister for the Civil Service. As with other public bodies, the level of increase in such salaries is determined following a review of the pay of the higher civil service, in accordance with the arrangement set out in paragraph 52 of "Non-Departmental Public Bodies: a Guide for Departments". Increases in the rate of fees are also determined by reference to analogous increased in the pay of the Civil Service.Details of the salaries and fees payable over the past four years are:

    Salaries (percentage increase in brackets)
    Chairman

    £
    Deputy chairman

    £
    1 January 197813,4309,375
    1 January 197916,035 (19·4%)12,640 (34·8%)
    1 April 198023,105 (44·1%)16,535 (30·8%)
    1 April 198124,720 (7%)17,690 (7%)
    In addition, the deputy chairman's salary attracts an inner London weighting allowance. The rates applicable on 1 April in the years 1978–1981 were £524, £780, £1,016, and £1,087 respectively. The chairman and deputy chairman are members of a non-contributing pension scheme analogous to the principal Civil Service pension scheme.
    Fees (percentage increase in brackets)
    £
    1 July 197819·50
    1 January 198040 (105·1%)
    7 May 198050 (25%)
    1 April 198152 (4%)
    The level of any increase in the salaries of the chairman, deputy chairman or staff of the commission in 1982 has yet to be determined. The 4 per cent. pay cash factor for 1982ߝ83 is not a pay guideline and does not imply that all public service pay increases will or should be 4 per cent.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the present cost of the salaries, fringe benefits and daily attendance allowances of the board of the Commission for Racial Equality; and what the figures were in each of the last four years.

    :The total cost in the current financial year of salaries and fees to members of the commission (including the fees of additional commissioners appointed for the purpose of formal investigations) is expected to be about £78,000. Expenditure in previous years was:

    1978–79£30,360
    1979–80£38,426
    1980–81£65,768

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in his future appointments to the board of the Commission for Racial Equality, he will appoint persons with a close knowledge and experience of the ethnic majority as well as those with a close knowledge and experience of the ethnic minorities.

    My right hon. Friend will continue to seek to appoint members of the Commission for Racial Equality with knowledge and experience in many walks of life which are relevant to the commission's work. The present members come from both the majority and the minority communities.

    Surveillance Methods (Guidelines)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of recent comment purporting to describe the contents of guidelines on surveillance methods issued by him, he will now publish the guidelines on surveillance that have been issued. by his Department to chief constables.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 25 February.—[Vol. 18, c. 452.]

    Haldon Prison Camp

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any lack of information from or action by the district valuer is holding up the disposal of the disused Haldon prison camp.

    No. The district valuer provided the information needed on 8 February 1982.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much public money was disbursed in guarding the disused Haldon prison camp between 25 January 1981 and Monday 1 March 1981.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the disused buildings at Haldon prison camp will be released for removal and reuse at nominal cost by local authorities and youth organisations.

    We are considering my hon. Friend's suggestion, but there is a number of practical difficulties which would have to be resolved, particularly if plans to dispose of the site at the earliest opportunity are not to be prejudiced.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made since 25 January in disposing of the disused Haldon prison camp; and by what date he expects to have completed its sale.

    No progress could be made until advice on the value of the site was received from the district valuer on 8 February. The necessary action is now being taken to dispose of the Haldon camp site in accordance with the rules governing Crown-owned land, and urgent consideration is being given to the terms of the offer of sale which will be made as soon as possible. It is not possible to give an expected date for completion.

    Foreign Visitors

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, further to the reply given by the Minister of State on 18 February, Official Report, c. 392, on the overall number of visitors refused entry to the United Kingdom (a) how many arrived from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, respectively, in 1981; (b) how many such visitors in each category were refused entry arid (c) if, in each category, he will express the number of refusals as a percentage of the total number.

    Dartford Tunnel (Surveillance Camera)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, further to his answer of 25 February, he will publish in the Official Report the paragraph or the reference in the 1980 report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary in which the Dartford tunnel surveillance camera experiment was reported to Parliament.

    The relevant paragraph in the report for 1980 of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary is 6.17.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out in detail the proper safeguards, especially those involving individual privacy, on the use of the experimental surveillance cameras at the Dartford tunnel.

    The main safeguards are first that the experimental system reads no information other than the registration number of vehicles passing the surveillance point; and secondly that no record of such a number is created or maintained unless it is that of a vehicle which has been reported as stolen.

    Scotland

    Acid Rain

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any evidence that acid rain falling upon Forestry Commission woodlands and subsequently concentrated by being trapped upon the needles of the conifer trees, may cause the acidification of some Scottish streams and lakes resulting in the deaths of fish; and if he will make a statement.

    It is known that salmonid fish are very vulnerable to high concentrations of acidity and aluminium, particularly at the hatching and fry stages. Waters which frequently, or continually, have high acid levels are unlikely to support self-generating fish populations.Scotland, like most countries in the northern hemisphere, is now subjected to acid precipitation resulting primarily from industrial emissions. The longterm solution to this phenomenon, however, can only be provided by world-wide action.Whilst coniferous afforestation can itself give rise to some acidity in surface waters, my Department is—in consultation with the Forestry Commission—examining the extent to which major coniferous afforestation may adversely affect freshwater fisheries with particular reference to the question of augmentation of the effect of acid rain. Further work is in hand, but based on the results already available the Forestry Commission has adopted revised forest management practices and has issued guidelines to the private sector.

    Northern Ireland

    Punishment Shootings

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many punishment shootings there have been in each of the last 18 months in Northern Ireland; and of these how many are believed to have been the work of the Irish Republican Army.

    The number of woundings recorded by the police as punishment shootings in the period 1 August 1980 to 31 January 1982 is as follows:

    198019811982
    January310
    February2
    March7
    April1
    May4
    June11
    July3
    August418
    September73
    BenefitNumber of recipientsDate of latest

    information
    Projected amount to

    be paid out in

    current financial year

    £ million
    Contributory benefits
    Child's special allowance8February 19820·004
    Death grant†14,5000·4
    Invalidity benefit32,561February 198266·2
    Maternity allowance5,241February 19826·8
    Maternity grant‡25,700February 1982
    Retirement pension194,384February 1982258·9
    Sickness benefit19,216February 198225·4
    Unemployment benefit║50,000May 198164·0
    Widow's benefit*15,242February 198225·3
    Non-contributory benefits Means tested
    Family income supplement11,295January 19827·0
    Supplementary benefit149,977December 1981186·0
    Not means tested
    Attendance allowance16,176January 198216·0
    Child benefit¶216,122February 1982126·0
    Guardians allowance247February 19820·1
    Industrial injury benefit806February 19821·0

    1980

    1981

    1982

    October95
    November513
    December212
    (Total 119)

    It is not possible to be certain how many of these shootings were the responsibility of the Irish Republican Army but it is believed that 90 were carried out by Republican terrorists and the rest by "Loyalist" terrorists.

    Salmon Licensing

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many salmon dealers' licences were issued in the area covered by the Foyle Fisheries Commission in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and what was the total number of licences issued by the Commission in each of those years.

    This is a matter for the Foyle Fisheries Commission. I understand that the figures for 1981 are not yet available. The details for the previous five years are as follows:

    Licences issued
    In Northern IrelandTotal
    19761124
    19771731
    19781529
    19791326
    19801224

    Benefits

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons are now in receipt of each contributory and non-contributory benefit in Northern Ireland; and what is the projected amount to be paid out in respect of each benefit in the current financial year.

    Benefit

    Number of recipients

    Date of latest information

    Projected amount to
    be paid out in
    current financial year
    £ million

    Industrial disablement pensionFebruary 19828·9
    Industrial disablement gratuity ⋆8,1315,242
    Industrial death benefit907February 19821·3
    Invalid care allowance680November 19810·7
    Mobility allowance6,053December 19813·9
    Non-contributory invalidity pension•10,225February 19827·7
    Old persons pension3,954February 19823·1
    Pensioners lump sum payment□270,000December 19812·7

    Notes

    * Includes widow's allowance, widowed mother's allowance and widow's pension.

    † Estimated number of awards in year ended 31 December 1981.
    ‡ Estimated number of recipients in year ended 31 March 1981.
    ║ Estimated.
    ¶ Includes 13,507 in receipt of one-parent benefit.
    ⋆ Includes three in receipt of workmen's compensation supplementation and four in receipt of extra-statutory benefit in respect of pneumoconiosis/ byssinosis contracted in employment prior to July 1948.
    # Number of awards in year ended 31 December 1981.
    ● Includes 2,417 in receipt of housewives non-contributory invalidity pension.
    □ Estimated number of Christmas bonus payments in 1981.

    Agivey Bridge

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the repairs to the Agivey bridge cost; and why the repairs were necessary.

    It is estimated that the repairs to the Agivey Bann bridge will cost £150,000. In addition, it is planned to spend £90,000 on protective works to prevent further damage. The repairs were necessary to replace the protection for the masonry pier of the bridge which was damaged by exceptional river flows in 1980 and 1981.

    Industry

    Satellite Broadcasts

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with progress to date on the allocation of funds for the development of the L-SAT satellite transmission system.

    Yes. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Information Technology announced on 2 November 1981, the United Kingdom has taken a one-third share in the European Space Agency's £230 million programme to develop a large communications satellite, L-SAT; British Aerospace will be prime contractors. I am pleased to report that work has since commenced as planned following equivalent declarations by our ESA partners in this programme.

    Polish Shipping Order

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total cost of the Polish shipping order placed in 1976; how much of this money has now been received; and if he will make a statement.

    The total cost to the taxpayer as currently estimated by British Shipbuilders is £72·5 million, of which £28 million was intervention fund assistance and £39 million losses incured during construction, with financing costs accounting for the remainder. The ships in question are owned by Anglo-Polish Shipping Venture, a company registered in Poland in which BS and the Polish Steamship Company (PZM), each have a 50 per cent stake. All the vessels are on long-term charter to PZM and the proceeds of the charter go towards repaying the credit made available for the deal. The arrangements for repayments are a commercial matter for BS, APSV and PZM.

    Financial Assistance

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) what has been the total number and the total value of offers of regional assistance made to companies in (a) Merseyside and (b) the Birkenhead travel-to-work area for each year since 1979;(2) how many new firms and new jobs have been created as a result of offers of financial assistance received under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 in

    (a) Merseyside and (b) the Birkenhead travel-to-work area for each yea' since 1979.

    It is not possible to provide the information precisely in the form requested without undue cost, and therefore details of regional development grants are excluded. But selective Financial Assistance has been offered under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 as follows:

    Number of offers made

    Value of offers made £'000s

    Number of new projects involved

    Estimated employment arising from new projects

    Merseyside SDA

    197910522,1725129
    19804613,3546333
    1981217,47271,109

    Birkenhead TTWA

    1979162,826186
    1980103,553277
    198145,7841465

    Manufacturing Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish the level of productivity in manufacturing industry for each year since 1974 and give the percentage change year by year.

    The information requested is given in the following table in terms of output per person hour.

    Index of Output per person Hour 1975=100)
    Annual averagePer cent. change on previous year
    1974101·8
    1975100·0-2
    1976105·1+5
    1977105·9+1
    1978107·1+1
    1979108·9+1½
    1980107·3-1½
    1981*112·7+5
    * preliminary estimate.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish the level of investment in manufacturing industry in constant prices for each year since 1974 and give the percentage change year by year.

    Statistics of investment in manufacturing industry are published in the current issue (26 February) of British Business on page 427.

    Industrial Development

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) how many applications for information of an industrial or service development nature his Department has received in the North-West region during the last month; and how many of these his Department has referred to the Cumbria county council's industrial development unit;(2) how many steering location inquiries have been received in the North-West region of his Department; and, of these, how many have been referred to the Cumbria county council industrial development unit during the last month for which statistics are available.

    In January 1982, 636 inquiries of an industrial or commercial development nature were received by the North-West regional office, of which 532 related to selective financial assistance and 17 to creation of new enterprises. None of these enquiries was specifically referred to the Cumbria county council's industrial development unit but it is normal practice to ensure that whenever appropriate inquirers are aware of the services provided by the Cumbria county council's industrial development unit.

    The small firms service in the North-West region received some 2,520 inquiries in January 1981, many of which would have been concerned with information of an industrial or service development nature: Information on whether any of the inquirers were referred to the Cumbria county council industrial development unit is not recorded.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total area of industrial floor space allocated for industrial or service trade occupancy by the English Industrial Estates Corporation in each of the travel-to-work areas in (a) Cumbria, (b) the Northern region and (c) the North-West region for the last month for which statistics are available.

    During the month of January, 1982, the English Industrial Estates Corporation allocated the following floor space, subject to contract:

    Sq. metres
    Cumbria
    Workington135 (2 units)
    North-East region
    Berwick1,452 (1 unit)
    North Tyne258 (1 unit)
    South Tyne530 (2 units)
    Wearside149 (1 unit)
    Teeside4,430 (5 units)
    Hartlepool6,140 (6 units)
    North-west Durham200 (2 units)
    South-east Durham297 (2 units)
    Central Durham255 (1 unit)
    Total North-East region13,711 (21 units)
    North-West region, excluding Cumbria
    Widnes92 (2 units)
    Ashton-under-Lyne912 (1 unit)
    Nelson460 (2 units)
    Liverpool682 (3 units)
    Birkenhead1,318 (5 units)
    Total North-West region, excluding Cumbria3,464 (13 units)

    Regional Assistance

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total number and value of offers of regional assistance made to companies in West Cumbria travel-to-work areas, in Cumbria as a whole, and in the North-West region, for the last month for which statistics are available.

    I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 8 February. [c. 254–55.] Figures for January 1982 are not yet available.

    Attorney-General

    Members' Correspondence

    asked the Attorney-General how many letters have been written to, and received from, hon. Members by (a) himself or the Solicitor-General and (b) the Lord Chancellor, in January.

    During January my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General and I wrote 48 letters to right hon. and hon. Members, and received 72 letters. In the same period, my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor wrote 116 letters to right hon. and hon. Members, and received 167 letters. The latter number includes 21 letters concerning matters within the responsibility of other Ministers, to whom those letters were therefore transferred, and an unknown number initially addressed to other Ministers and transferred to the Lord Chancellor for the same reason.

    Representation Of The People Act 1969

    asked the Attorney-General how many infringements of the Representation of the People Act 1969 have been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions during each of the last 10 years.

    I regret that the information is not available in the form requested.The numbers of cases referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions during each of the last 10 years under the Representation of the People Acts 1949–1969 are as follows:

    YearNumber
    197224
    197362
    197488
    197564
    197668
    197768
    197844
    1979133
    198031
    198151

    Abortion

    asked the Attorney-General whether he will make a statement on his recent decision not to prosecute doctors in circumstances where abortions were carried out for social reasons.

    I have not made any such decision and I will not be making any statement on this matter. In my letter of 22 February 1982 to the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) I explained that specific cases which had been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions had been investigated by the police and that those investigations had not disclosed any evidence to show that these abortions had been performed for social reasons. In each case the doctors claimed that there were medical grounds for terminating the pregnancies.

    Civil Service

    Committees And Tribunals (Lord Mccarthy)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service if she will give details of the fees, payments, expenses and costs of the various officially constituted committees or tribunals under the chairmanship of Lord McCarthy, together with the payments made to the chairman and members of such bodies.

    I have been asked to reply.No complete central record is kept of the individuals serving on Government committees or tribunals. However, I am not aware of any such body currently chaired by Lord McCarthy. The Railway Staff National Tribunal, which is chaired by Lord McCarthy, is not a Government body. Its costs and any payments to its members are a matter for British Rail and the various railway unions.

    Wales

    Council Of Ministers

    38.

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many times over the last 12 months Ministers in his Department attended meetings of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community.

    None. My most recent visit to Brussels in January this year was for discussion with Commissioners on issues of particular relevance to Wales.

    Chiropodists

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many chiropodists are used by the local health authorities in Wales; how many vacancies there are in each health authority; and how many chiropodists working for each health authority were trained within Wales.

    The numbers of salaried employees in post at 30 September 1981 and the service they provide in terms of the equivalent of whole-time employees are given as follows:

    Number of

    Chiropodists in Post

    at 30 September 1981
    Whole-time

    Equivalent

    (of Table 1)
    Clwyd1312·8
    Dyfed1110·6
    Gwent2221·0
    Gwynedd97·8
    Mid Glamorgan3230·9
    Powys98·3
    South Glamorgan2321·5
    West Glamorgan2523·2
    Additional services are provided by other chiropodists on a sessional basis, a fee for treatment basis or an agency basis. Neither information about such services nor that about vacancies and training is held centrally.

    Water Losses

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the percentage of water lost through leakage in the Welsh water authority area for the last available year; and if he will give a regional breakdown of that figure.

    The estimated percentage of unaccounted for potable water at October 1981 in the Welsh water authority area was 35 per cent. The breakdown by division is given in the table.

    Dee and Clwyd36
    Gower30
    Gwynedd45
    Taff30
    Usk45
    West Wales34
    Wye34

    Water Charges

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales in which district councils in Wales (a) water charges are collected on behalf of the Welsh water authority by including a sum paid by council house tenants as part of their weekly rent payment and (b) the Welsh or other water authority sends bills direct to council house tenants; and whether there are any district council areas remaining in Wales where the council collects money for water as part of its own rate rather than as an agent of the water authority by specific agreement.

    All district councils in Wales, except Merthyr, Rhondda and Cynon Valley, collect water charges with council house tenants' weekly rent payments. Brecknock district council will join the exceptions from 1 April 1982. There are no district councils in Wales collecting money for water charges as part of their own rates.

    National Finance

    Cars (Harmonisation Of Taxes)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any discussions have taken place with the European Economic Community Commission or between Ministers about harmonisation of taxes on cars and exports at a discount, with the aim of reducing price differentials on cars purchased within the European Community, but outside the country of manufacture.

    Banks

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will estimate the money value of the tax benefit to the banks of section 233 of the Taxes Act 1970 in the last financial year;(2) whether he will estimate the money value of the interest benefit for borrowings from the clearing banks and other banks under section 233 of the Taxes Act 1970 in the last financial year.

    Negligible. Borrowing of the kind referred to is a fairly recent development.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will seek to modify the arrangements for reduced interest rate borrowings under section 233 of the Taxes Act 1970 to exclude any financial benefit to the banks and yet safeguard the interest rate relief for commercial borrowers.

    Civil Service Pay

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current spending power of a Civil Service clerical officer on average pay for the grade who has a dependent wife and two children; and if he will show how this compares with each of the past four years.

    A male clerical officer on average pay for his grade, with a dependent wife and two children aged between 11 and 15 years, at present has take home pay of £3,502 per annum after deduction of income tax, national insurance contributions and widows' and dependents' benefit contributions.The equivalent figures of take-home pay at January of each year for the past four years, expressed in the salary scales for those years, but in terms of January 1982 prices (that is after taking account of changes in the Retail Prices Index) are as follows:

    £
    19783,621
    19793,663
    19803,622
    19813,733

    Unemployment Statistics

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report the correlation coefficient between the rate of unemployment and the size of population for the countries of Western Europe at the latest available date.

    Public Expenditure

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the percentage of overall public expenditure allocated to each Department of Government in the current year; and what were the equivalent percentages for the year 1978–79.

    Housing Costs

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what would be the effect on the retail price index at some recent convenient date if housing costs were removed;(2) what proportion of the retail price index is formed by housing costs; and if this has changed over the past two years.

    Unemployment Benefits

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his most recent estimate of the extra revenue that will be raised by the taxation of benefits for the unemployed: (a) in 1982–83 and (b) in a full tax year, assuming that personal tax allowances are raised in line with inflation and that tax rates remain unchanged.

    [pursuant to his reply 22 February 1982, c. 286]: At 1981–82 levels of unemployment, income and benefits and under the income tax assumptions specified, the estimated yield would be (a) of the order of £300 million (assuming that benefits are brought into tax on 5 July 1982) and (b) of the order of £525 million in a full year.These figures are based on recently revised information on these benefits in 1981–82. On the same basis, the figures of £300 million and £475 million given on 25 January to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. Pawsey) would be revised to £325 million and £550 million respectively.—[Vol. 17, c.

    225.]

    Income Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those organisations which have responded to the Green Paper on the taxation of husband and wife; and when he expects to bring forward proposals on this matter.

    [pursuant to his reply, 25 February 1982, c. 476]: Responses to the Green Paper have so far been received from some 500 local organisations and individuals. In addition the following organisations have submitted comments:

  • 1. Women's National Commission
  • 2. Equal Opportunities Commission
  • 3. Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland
  • 4. Conservative Political Centre
  • 5. UK Federation of Business and Professional Women
  • 6. National Federation of Women's Institutes
  • 7. League of Jewish Women
  • 8. Campaign for Justice in Divorce
  • 9. Country Landowner's Association
  • 10. General and Municipal Workers Union
  • 11. AUEW (Technical Administrative and Supervisory Section)
  • 12. Age Concern
  • 13. British Federation of University Women
  • 14. Social Security Advisory Committee
  • 15. Child Poverty Action Group
  • 16. The National Labour Women's Committee
  • 17. One Parent Families
  • 18. National Union of Public Employees
  • 19. Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies
  • 20. Women's Liberal Federation
  • 21. Women's Farm and Garden Association
  • 22. The Fawcett Society
  • 23. Trades Union Congress
  • 24. The Institute of Taxation
  • 25. Gingerbread
  • 26. Scottish Convention of Women
  • 27. Law Society of Scotland
  • 28. National Council for Civil Liberties
  • 29. The National Council of Women of Great Britain
  • 30. Women in Media
  • 31. Conservative Women's National Advisory Committee
  • 32. National and Local Government Officers Association
  • 33. National Farmers Union
  • 34. The National Housewives Association Ltd.
  • 35. National Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • 36. The Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation
  • 37. Rights of Women
  • 38. Banking Insurance and Finance Union
  • 39. The Law Society
  • 40. Family Rights Group
  • 41. Women in the Civil Service
  • 42. National Board of Catholic Women
  • We have been giving full consideration to the wide range of views that have been expressed and a statement will be made when that consideration has been completed.

    North Sea Oil And Gas (Royalties)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he proposes to take royalties on North Sea oil and gas in cash.

    I have been asked to reply.The Government takes royalties from most producing North Sea oil fields in kind and from other fields in cash. No decision has been taken to change this arrangement

    Education And Science

    Voluntary Aided Schools

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he can now make a statement on the outcome of his discussions with the representatives of the voluntary aided schools on the provision of moneys for emergency and other repairs.

    Officials of the Department have not yet completed their discussions with the representatives of the voluntary bodies about expenditure on emergency and other repairs at voluntary aided and special agreement schools. I shall write to the hon. Member about the outcome of these discussions.

    Student Grants

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will estimate the number of parents who cannot or do not pay their contribution towards supporting their son or daughter on a student award.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report the value of student grants in real terms since 1979, using 100 as a base in 1979.

    The information requested is as follows:

    Academic yearOrdinary maintenance grantValue in real terms September 1979=100
    £
    1979–801,245100
    1980–811,43099
    1981–821,53596
    1982–831,595*90
    * Assuming a 10 per cent. increase in the retail price index between September 1981 and September 1982.

    European Community

    Greenland

    asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) what action the Council of Ministers proposes to take following the referendum in Greenland; and if he will make a statement;(2) what action requires to be taken by the EEC Council of Ministers and Commission to enable Greenland to withdraw from the EEC;(3) if the legislative and administrative arrangements which will require to be carried out to enable Greenland to withdraw from the EEC are different from the legislative and adminstrative arrangements required to enable a full member State of the EEC to withdraw; and if he will make a statement;(4) if it is the view of Her Majesty's Government that Geenland should be permitted to withdraw from the EEC following the recent referendum in that country.

    Her Majesty's Government have noted with regret that a majority of those voting in the Greenland referendum have expressed a wish to leave the Community. It is for the Greenlandic and Danish Governments to decide how to respond to that wish. If and when a formal request from the Danish Government is received, the Council will consider it.The legislative and administrative arrangements for the withdrawal of Greenland would be a matter for negotiation. The treaties contain no provision for the withdrawal either of a member State or of a part thereof.

    Directives

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if, in the light of the recent decision of the EEC Court of Justice that EEC directives are legally binding from the time when they should have been implemented by national Governments and not from the time when national Governments actually produced and finalised the necessary consequential legislation, he will publish in the Official Report a list of the directives approved by the EEC which have not yet been formalised in United Kingdom law and a note of the dates when each of these directives fall to be implemented under decisions of the EEC.

    My hon. Friend may have in mind a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice in relation to a particular article of the sixth Council directive on the harmonisation of the laws of the member States relating to turnover taxes, to the effect that a provision in the article in question might in certain circumstances be relied on by an individual even before the directive had been implemented by the member State in question.I am not aware of any general ruling of the Court of the kind referred to.

    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.

    At present, seven meetings of the Council are planned for March. Heads of State and Government will also meet in the European Council in Brussels on 29–30 March. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 25 February.The Research Council is expected to meet on 8 March to discuss the Community's fusion programme. Ministers may also consider a Community framework programme for research and development on raw materials and Community support for information technology.The Finance Council is expected to meet on 15 March to continue discussions on the European monetary system in preparation for the European Council. It will also consider the Commission's first quarterly review of the economic situation in the Community and may consider a Commission paper on indexation and is expected to discuss economic aspects of EC/Japan relations.

    The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 15–16 and possibly 17 March and again at the end of the month on dates still to be finalised, to discuss the 1982–83 CAP price proposals and changes in Mediterranean agriculture in the context of the enlargement of the Community.

    The Energy Council is expected to meet on 16 March to discuss progress on energy pricing and transparency, investment in the rational use of energy and Community policy on coal, nuclear energy and natural gas supplies.

    The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 22–23 March. The second day will be devoted to the 30 May mandate. The Council will also discuss preparations for the European Council, trade relations with Japan, Community membership of the sixth International Tin Agreement and possibly also the bringing into force of the International Natural Rubber Agreement. It will consider a new Commission paper of STABEX. There may also need to be a further meeting between the Council and the European Parliament for conciliation on a draft management regulation for the Community's food aid programme. There will be a Ministerial meeting with Spain on the negotiations for Spanish accession to the Community.

    The Fisheries Council is expected to meet on dates to be arranged to discuss the outstanding issues of a revised common fisheries policy.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Russian Trade Delegation (Rent Arrears)

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what approaches he has had from the London borough of Camden to assist it to obtain £½ million arrears of rates owed by the Russian trade delegation in Highgate; and whether he proposes to take any action in this matter.

    The collection of rates is primarily a matter between the rating authority and the occupier. Her Majesty's Government have over the years nevertheless held discussions with Camden council and the Soviet authorities in an effort to assist in resolving this problem. These efforts will continue. We are considering a recent request from Camden council for a certificate under the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 in respect of the premises used by the Soviet trade delegation.

    Mr Yasser Arafat

    asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has any plans to meet the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, during his forthcoming visit to Syria in April; and whether his noble Friend will discuss the possible ramifications of such a meeting when he visits Israel at the end of March.

    My right hon. and noble Friend has no plans to meet Mr. Arafat during his forthcoming visits to the Middle East. The question of discussing such a meeting with the Israeli Government does not therefore arise. We have frequently made clear that British Ministers would only be prepared to meet Mr. Arafat if such a meeting were likely to contribute to the cause of peace.

    Podrabinck Brothers

    asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make representations to the Soviet Government to urge them to release the Podrabinck brothers, in view of their ill health; and if Her Majesty's Government's representative will raise the matter with the Soviet delegation to the European Security Conference in Madrid as a matter of urgency.

    The Government deplore Soviet violations of human rights and noted with concern the re-sentencing of the Podrabinck brothers in 1981 and the further deterioration of their health. The leader of the British delegation to the Madrid review meeting drew these cases to the attention of the head of the Soviet delegation in December. We shall continue to take suitable opportunities to raise their plight.

    Employment

    Northern Region

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many instrument artificers are registered as unemployed in the Northern region.

    At 10 December 1981, the latest date for which the information is available, there were 98 unemployed people registered at employment offices in the Northern region for employment in precision instrument maintaining and repairing occupations, excluding watch and clock repairers.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs in total are supported by the temporary short-time working compensation scheme for (a) each of the travel-to-work areas that comprise the county of Cumbria, (b) the Northern region, and (c) the North-West region, for the last month for which statistics are available.

    The following table shows the figures requested:

    January 1982
    AreaNumber of potentially redundant jobs covered in applications that were current in January 1982
    Furness travel-to-work areaNIL
    Kendal travel-to-work area23
    Whitehaven travel-to-work area107
    Workington travel-to-work area370
    Carlisle employment office area21
    Keswick employment office areaNIL
    Penrith employment office areaNIL
    Northern region1,304
    North-West region23,758

    Steel (Arc Welding)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will consider supporting the work carried out at the University College of South Wales at Cardiff into the effect on health of arc welding stainless steel.

    The Health and Safety Executive has funds for research in occupational health, but has not received any request from the University College of South Wales to support the work referred to. The HSE has joined with industry and the Medical Research Council in membership of the United Kingdom steering group for welding health and safety, and I suggest that, initially, any request should go to this group, which has some call on funds from industry.

    Industrial Training Boards

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the foundry industrial training board have been made redundant; and at approximately what cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November no redundancies have been declared.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the iron and steel industrial training board have been made redundant; and at what approximate cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November, one redundancy had taken effect by 26 February. As one individual is involved it would not be right to disclose the cost.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the air transport and travel industrial training board have been made redundant; and at what approximate cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November no redundancies had taken effect by 26 February.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the chemical and allied products industrial training board have been made redundant; and at what approximate cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November, 87 redundancies had taken effect by 26 February, at an approximate cost of £2,402,608.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the distribution industrial training board have been made redundant; and at what approximate cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November, 31 redundancies had taken effect by 26 February at an approximate cost of £138,000.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the footwear leather and fur skin industrial training board have been made redundant; and at what approximate cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November, eight redundancies had taken effect by 26 February 1982, at an approximate cost of £123,732.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the furniture and timber industrial training board have been made redundant; and at what approximate cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November, 23 redundancies had taken effect by 26 February at an approximate cost of £385,568.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the petroleum industrial training board have been made redundant; and at approximately what cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November no redundancies had taken effect by 26 February.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the shipbuilding industrial training board have been made redundant; and at approximately what cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November no redundancies had taken effect by 26 February.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the printing and publishing industrial training board have been made redundant; and at approximately what cost.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 16 November, 69 redundancies had taken effect by 26 February, at an approximate cost of £1,415,000.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he proposes to bring forward orders to abolish industrial training boards; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. Friend hopes shortly to lay orders before Parliament winding up a number of industrial training boards. The Manpower Services Commission is discussing with employer organisations action to establish effective alternative arrangements for training in sectors that will no longer be covered by statutory boards.

    Numbers of Vacancies Remaining Unfilled at Employment Offices
    Yorkshire and Humberside regionHull travel-to-work area
    June 1979December 1981June 1979December 1981
    Managerial (general management)644
    Professional and related supporting management and administration961012216
    Professional and related in education welfare and health5213473547
    Literary, artistic and sports7239105
    Professional and related in science, engineering, technology and similar fields2101452620
    Managerial (excluding general management)2692763137
    Clerical and related2,1521,098144101
    Selling1,3448997277
    Security and protective service2471021113
    Catering, cleaning, hairdressing and other personal service3,6551,357218153
    Farming, fishing and related22641105
    Materials processing (excluding metal)565101136
    Making and repairing (excluding metal and electrical)1,4073216421
    Processing, making, repairing and related (metal and electrical)3,29238114038
    Painting, repetitive assembling, product inspecting, packaging and related818973511
    Construction, mining and related not elsewhere classified1,2561741107
    Transport operating, materials moving and storing and related1,520167649

    Yorkshire And Humberside

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were registered unemployed for six months or more or for 12 months or more in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) the Yorkshire and Humberside area and (c) the Hull travel-to-work area in May 1979; and what were the comparable figures at the latest available date.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the registered unemployment in the Hull travel-to-work area in May 1979; and what is the figure at the latest available date.

    At May 1979, the number of people registered as unemployed in the Hull travel-to-work area was 14,300. The corresponding figure at February 1982 was 27,639. The figures include school leavers and are not seasonally adjusted.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in the Official Report a breakdown by occupation of the registered vacancies in (a) the Yorkshire and Humberside region, and (b) the Hull travel-to-work area in May 1979 and for the latest available date.

    The information is available in March, June, September and December. The following table gives the numbers of vacancies remaining unfilled at employment offices in the areas specified at June 1979 and December 1981 (not seasonally adjusted). The figures for careers offices are not analysed by occupation. The statistics relate only to vacancies notified to employment offices which are estimated to be about one-third of all vacancies in the economy as a whole. The number of vacancies unfilled at a particular date takes no account of the flow of vacancies being notified, filled or withdrawn which would reflect activity more closely. For example, during the twelve month period to December 1981, 94,260 people were placed in jobs by employment offices in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. It is estimated that the public employment service accounts for about one in four of all placings.

    Yorkshire and Humberside region

    Hull travel-to-work area

    June 1979

    December 1981

    June 1979

    December 1981

    Miscellaneous (including general labourers)1,0611725820
    Total, all occupations18,7175,8221,067586