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Written Answers

Volume 19: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1982

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Written Answers Toquestions

Tuesday 2 March 1982

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Civil Defence

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give a detailed breakdown of the £8,429,000 being spent by his Department, in the current year on civil defence.

The expenditure referred to is for the maintenance of food stocks held for emergency purposes.

Greenland Fisheries

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the disposal of fisheries in the territorial waters of Greenland were discussed in the negotiations about a revised common fisheries policy; and what consequences the withdrawal of Greenland from the EEC would have on the negotiations.

The utilisation of the fisheries within that part of Danish fishery limits generated by Greenland has been considered in the discussions for a revised common fisheries policy. The possible withdrawal of Greenland from the Community is unlikely to have a major impact on the negotiations.

Denmark (Herring Catches)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if Her Majesty's Government will be seeking compensation from Denmark following the action of that country in extracting 11,000 tons of herring from the North Sea under the terms of an agreement which permitted Denmark to extract 1,000 tons.

The herring quotas proposed by the European Commission for the Southern North Sea for 1981–82 were not agreed by the Council of Ministers and in the view of Her Majesty's Government therefore have no legal force. The question of compensation, consequently, does not arise. However, we deplore the unsatisfactory behaviour by Denmark in this fishery and have made our views known.

Table 1: European Community Intervention by Public Storage End of Year Stock Volumes
'000 Tonnes
197319741975197619771978197919801981
Butter
European Community11753711761172312711289
United Kingdom12006103948200
Skimmed milk powder
European Community1663651,1121,135965674227230286
United Kingdom282928981602330
Wheat
European Communitynana1,7991,3779811,0531,8214,9142,978

European Community (Exports To Russia)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, pursuant to his reply of 19 February in which he stated that the intervention board for agriculture produce had paid £7,671,555·59p in export rebates for food sent to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the United Kingdom in 1981, he will seek to obtain the equivalent information for other member States in the European Economic Community.

The information provided in my reply of 19 February was produced by the United Kingdom intervention board after a special interrogation of its computers. Neither MAFF nor the board held equivalent data for other member States. I am asking the Commission if it can provide the information.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will propose to the Council of Ministers that no further increase in European Economic Community guaranteed prices be agreed until the European Economic Community suspends the subsidising of food and wine exports to the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.

No. Since the restrictions on European Community sales of food and wine to the USSR were lifted in April 1981, apart from butter where export restitutions remain suspended, the USSR has been treated in the same way as any other third country for the purpose of European Community sales. Thus, where Community prices exceed those prevailing on the world market, export restitutions are generally available to Community exporters to bridge the gap and to enable them to compete with other suppliers. Apart from the application of export restitutions, which are a normal part of the Community's commercial practice under the common agricultural policy, there has been no subsidisation of such sales.

European Community (Intervention Stores)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total amount of foodstuffs held in European Economic Community intervention stores, expressed in tons, at the most recent date for which comprehensive figures are available; and what were the comparable totals for each of the previous 10 years.

The following table gives the information required, in tonnes, for foodstuffs held in European Community public intervention stores at the end of each year since 1973. I regret that information for 1971 and 1972 is not readily available.

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

United Kingdom00000008779
Barley
European Communitynana52321064177691,086740
United Kingdom00000210533363
Rye
European Communitynana264161422597549513321
United Kingdom000000000
Durum
European Communitynana67365212141143157307
United Kingdom000000000
Beef
European Community22253252262323208275302181
United Kingdom00171315112611
Olive Oil
European Communitynanananana996367132
United Kingdom000000000
Oilseeds
European Communitynanana81019219
United Kingdom000000170

Food Prices

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what would be the effect on the price of foodstuffs purchased retail, such as bread, butter, beef and sugar, if the current proposals of the European Economic Community Commission were accepted in their entirety, with no change in the green pound level.

As I have explained on a number of occasions, retail food prices are affected by many factors, of which common agricultural policy support prices is only one. It is possible therefore to provide only a general indication of the effect and it should be noted that any price increases which would result would, of course, take place over a period of time.For bread, cereal raw material costs account for only one quarter of the retail price, which inevitably will be much more affected by the costs relating to the remaining three quarters than by the price fixing for wheat. The effect of proposed rise in the support prices of between 5·3 per cent. and 7·05 per cent., if fully reflected in market prices, would be less than ¾p on a standard loaf.For butter, there is a proposal to increase the intervention price by 8·58 per cent. But in practice the market price depends upon market circumstances, including changes in commercial stocks, opportunities for export, the price levels of competing products such as margarine, and, of course, the figure that is agreed upon for the future level of the consumer butter subsidy. Therefore, whilst a straight increase of 8·58 per cent. could represent 7½p per pound on butter, there are many other factors that will determine the price in the shops. We currently enjoy a consumer subsidy of 13p per pound paid for by the Community.There are no direct support prices for cheese, and it is likely that any increase in the manufacturing price paid for milk would result in a somewhat smaller increase than the equivalent price effect for butter.For sugar, the Commission has proposed an increase of 9 per cent. in the minimum price of beet. If reflected in the first hand selling price of refined sugar, this would be about 3p per kilogram. But it must be recalled that such are the violent fluctuations of world sugar prices that, as we saw in 1980, the Community price can protect Community consumers from the effect of world price fluctuations.

On present marketing conditions it is unlikely that the Commission's proposals for beef and lamb will have any impact upon the market price. There is therefore no immediate retail price effect that can be identified.

There is no price fixing as such for pork, bacon, poultry and eggs and prices fluctuate according to supply and demand circumstances, although it can be argued that any increases in cereal feed costs would have an impact on the input costs of these producers.

As far as the overall impact of the Common Agricultural Policy on food prices is concerned, I would point out that of the 37 per cent. rise in food prices between December 1978 and December 1981, some 24 per cent. was attributable to the rise in labour and other costs and the margins of processors, distributors and retailers. Only 13 per cent. was due to the rise in the cost of the basic products, and only the smaller proportion of this 13 per cent. can be directly attributable to changes in the Common Agricutural Policy prices. The reason is that much of the 13 per cent. was due to increases in the price of foodstuffs not affected by Common Agricultural Policy price fixing; in fact not much more than one quarter of the retail cost of food is directly affected by Common Agricultural Policy support mechanism, and the quarter that is controlled by Common Agricultural Policy price mechanisms have tended to rise less rapidly than other main elements in the retail cost of food.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the average percentage rise in the retail price of bread, butter, beef, lamb and sugar from a date 12 months before the United Kingdom introduced the levy system until the present time.

I refer my hon. Friend to the detailed information on retail prices of food items published in monthly issues of Employment Gazette, previously The Department of Employment Gazette.

Agricultural Land

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will provide a description by categories of the 25·6 thousand acres lost to farmland during the five years to June 1980 and referred to in his previous answer, Official Report, 10 February, c. 405, as other adjustments.

No breakdown of the figure 25,600 acres is available. Information on loss of agricultural land is obtained as a by-product of the agricultural census and is known to be incomplete. This matter is discussed in the paper "Agricultural land losses in the United Kingdom" published in Statistical News No. 55, November 1981, a copy of which I shall send my hon. Friend.

Surplus Food

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the total quantity and

Table 1: European Community Intervention by Public Storage End of Year Stock Volumes
'000 Tonnes
197319741975197619771978197919801981
Butter
European Community11753711761172312711289
United Kingdom12006103948200
Skimmed milk powder
European Community1663651,1121,135965674227230286
United Kingdom282928981602330
Wheat
European Communitynana1,7991,3779811,0531,8214,9142,978
United Kingdom00000008779
Barley
European Communitynana52321064177691,086740
United Kingdom00000210533363
Rye
European Communitynana264161422597549513321
United Kingdom000000000
Durum
European Communitynana67365212141143157307
United Kingdom000000000
Beef
European Community22253252262323208275302181
United Kingdom00171315112611
Olive Oil
European Communitynanananana996367132
United Kingdom000000000
Oilseeds
European Communitynanana81019219
United Kingdom000000170
Table 2
European Community intervention by public storage

End of year stock values End of year stock values
£'000s
197319741975197619771978197819801981
Butter
European Communitynananana148,355351,473430,918164,45011,144
United Kingdom4,504005,17512,01944,30365,72020,1110
Skimmed Milk Powder
European Communitynananana518,405435,927157,195144,262186,823
United Kingdom8,55112,05713,9294,93944,17529,1999691,64920,450
Wheat
European Communitynananana85,340125,415201,716471,813289,179
United Kingdom00000008,9008,004
Barley
European Communitynananana4,74019,5987,392103,77063,702
United Kingdom000001,684051,42332,522
Rye
European Communitynananana33,58274,38366,14453,00333,561
United Kingdom000000000
Oiiseeds
European Communitynananana170028314,6123,107
United Kingdom0000002831,5000
Durum
European Communitynananana28,06617,37817,94716,96536,944
United Kingdom000000000
Beef

value of surplus food and the storage costs thereof (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in the whole European Economic Community for each year since the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community.

[pursuant to his reply, 1 February 1982, c. 170]: The following tables give available details of the stocks, value and the storage costs of foodstuffs held in public intervention stores at the end of each year. It should be recognised that not all of the quantities shown can be regarded as surplus as they include those stocks which may have subsequently been sold for normal use on both Community and world markets.

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1978

1980

1981

European Communitynananana369,852274,054363,047374,919238,231
United Kingdom007666,09415,57217,89814,23538,32016,770
Olive Oil
European Communitynanananana68,82247,51549,660125,898
United Kingdom000000000

Table 3.

European Community Intervention by Public Storage
Full Year Storage Costs

£000s

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

Cereals
European Communitynanana30,59412,19628,56957,652122,137189,308
United Kingdom0000099349843,099
Milk products
European Communitynanana349,367252,353535,659483,616246,273137,107
United Kingdom4682031206589342,1853,8502,516508
Olive Oil
European Communitynanana7,2875,30118,34714,67112,42125,157
United Kingdom000000000
Oilseeds
European Communitynanana701321825,4233,145
United Kingdom00000052316
Beef
European Communitynanana150,109102,768187,489245,346281,879266,667
United Kingdom04246745331,2149221,8441,910

Notes:

(a) na=not available.

(b) Sources: EC figures derived from information produced by European Commission. United Kingdom figures supplied by Intervention borad for Agricultural Produce.

(c) EC stock figures in table 1 are for dates as close as posible to the end of the year, except those for olive oil which are for end October—end of marketing vear.

Trade

Footwear

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will set out the value and quantity of leather shoes manufactured in the United Kingdom and exported to Taiwan for the latest convenient period, and the prevailing rates of import duties paid;(2) if he will set out the value and numbers of non-leather shoes imported into the United Kingdom from Taiwan for the latest most convenient period compared with the previous period, and the rate and amounts of import duty levied.

£ thousand cifThousand pairsRate of import duty percentage
Footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or artificial plastic material
(SITC/R2 Item 851.01):
1981 (five months)1,92294120
1980 (calendar year)5,8623,27920
Footwear with outer soles of leather or composition leather or rubber or artificial plastic material; excluding footwear with uppers of leather
(Ex SITC/R2 Item 851.02, tariff code numbers 6402–6000 6402–9900):
1981 (five months)2,2111,10420
1980 (calendar year)4,5112,33420

Note: Figures for 1981 relate to January, February and September to November.

Pharmaceuticals

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the balance of trade in

Footwear imported into Taiwan with outer soles of leather, composition leather, rubber or artificial plastic material and with uppers of leather is liable to a Customs duty of 65 per cent., applicable to the cif value of the goods plus 15 per cent., and is also liable to a harbour construction tax of 4 per cent. of the total duty-paying value. In the six months, January, February and September to December 1981, exports of footwear of all kinds from the United Kingdom to Taiwan were valued at less than £500 fob.The relevant information about imports from Taiwan is as follows:pharmaceuticals 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 pharmaceuticals exports to the Community have grown in real and notional terms in this period.

The available information is as follows:

United Kingdom trade with the rest of the European Community in Pharmaceuticals
Crude Balance (£ million)Export:Import Ratio (Per cent.)Exports (£ million fob)
1970+2122838
1971+2625144
1972+3124252
1973+3220064
1974+4520390
1975+55212104
1976+61188130
1977+58160156
1978+96187205
1979+107184233
1980+114188244

Notes:

  • (a) Figures correspond to division 54 of the Standard International Trade Classification, revisions 1 and 2.
  • (b) Information at constant prices is not available for trade with particular countries or groups of countries.
  • (c) The European Community is defined throughout on the basis of current membership.
  • (d) The crude balance of trade is the difference between exports valued fob and imports valued cif.
  • Free Ports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has received any representations regarding the recommendation in the report by the Adam Smith Institute for the introduction of free ports in the United Kingdom; and when he expects his consideration of this recommendation to be completed.

    Both Members of this House and representatives of certain local authorities concerned to promote further economic activity and employment in their area have shown interest in this report. My Department's own consideration is now in its final stages.

    European Community

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will set out any evidence that the volume of United Kingdom imports of manufactures from other EEC countries is less sensitive to changes in price than the volume of United Kingdom exports of manufactures to the EEC.

    There is no information available on whether the volume of United Kingdom imports of manufactures from other EEC countries is less sensitive to changes in price than the volume of United Kingdom exports of manufactures to the EEC.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what were the United Kingdom deficits in manufactured and semi-manufactured goods with other European Economic Community countries for 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981.

    Data for the whole of 1981 are not yet available. The remaining information is as follows:

    United Kingdom Crude Balance of Overseas Trade in Manufactures* and Semi-manufactures with the European Community
    £ million
    ManufacturesSemi-Manufactures
    1973-416-38
    1974-750-408
    1975-639-338
    1976-666-223
    1977-910-376
    1978-2,029-767
    1979-3,081-806
    1980-1,765-702
    * Taken as SITC 5 to 8.
    Taken as SITC 5 and 6.
    Including Greece, Denmark and Ireland throughout.

    Clothing Imports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade why the provisional import quota for undergarments from South Korea has been fixed at 1,500,000 pieces when imports into the United Kingdom in 1980 were 399,000 pieces.

    Man-Made Fibres (Imports)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade what assessment he has made of the man-made fibre industry sector working party report published in November 1981; and, in particular, of its judgment that the industry in the United Kingdom is being severely adversely affected by an acceleration of dumped or subsidised imports, particularly from the United States of America, by unfair subsidies to the industry elsewhere within the European Economic Community, and by the inadequacy of the present general agreement on tariffs and trade rules on anti-dumping.

    Scotland

    Doctors (Deputising Services)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Carmarthen on 10 February, Official Report, column 378–79, for those areas of Scotland in which night and weekend deputising services are used, how many doctors are on duty at the time for every 50,000 of the population on the lists of the practices employing such services.

    Birth Weights

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide a breakdown of the percentage of birth weights in Dundee and Scotland by social occupational class in the latest year in the following categories: (a) less than 2,500 grams and (b) greater than 3,000 grams.

    The information for 1979 is as follows:

    Social Class*Birth weight less than 2,500 grams per cent. Dundee/Birth weight over 3,000 gramsper cent. Dundee/
    ScotlandScotland
    I2·04·086·181·6
    II7·04·976·780·7
    III5·96·275·675·9
    IV9·47·172·674·5
    V10·38·864·568·5
    Not known9·69·168·469·4
    Notes:
    * OPCS Classification of Occupations, HMSO 1970.
    The percentages are based upon total births in each social class grouping.

    Mortality Rates

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide information on childhood mortality for the years 1 to 14 for both Dundee and Scotland in the latest year.

    Figures for 1980 are given in the following table:

    Deaths of Children Aged 1 to 14 in Scotland and Dundee, 1980
    AgeScotlandDundee
    1–41441
    5–91063
    10–141227

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was (a) the infant mortality rate and (b) the standardised mortality rate for retired males for both Dundee and Scotland in the latest available year.

    The infant mortality rates for Dundee and Scotland in 1980 were, respectively, 6·5 and 12·1 per 1000 live births. The crude mortality rates for males aged 65 or over were, respectively, 74 and 78 per 1000 population. Standardising to the Scotland population 1980 leaves the crude rates unchanged.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was (a) the death rate by social occupational class I to V for ages 15 to 64 years for both Dundee and Scotland in the latest year;(2) what was the standard mortality ratio for classes I to V for retired men in Dundee and Scotland in the latest year.

    The latest available information for Scotland is contained in "Occupational Mortality 1969–73" published by the Registrar General for Scotland, a copy of which is in the Library. Mortality ratios for males by social occupational class and age group—including 65 years of age or over—are contained in table 5(a).Information for Dundee is not readily available.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the infant and neo-natal mortality rates for Scotland and Sweden in the latest year; and if he will investigate the differences with a view to securing a reduction in the Scottish rate.

    Figures for 1980 are given in the following table:

    Infant and neo-natal mortality rates, 1980—rate per 1000 live births
    Infant mortality*neonatal mortality
    Scotland12·17·8
    Sweden6·94·9
    * Deaths in the first year of life.
    Deaths in the first 4 weeks of life.
    The Scottish position, which has been improving significantly over the last few years, is already being investigated in two research projects funded by my Department to examine and report on cases of infant mortality. A report on perinatal deaths in 1977 in Scotland has already been published and reports on perinatal and infant mortality in later years are in preparation.

    Health And Unemployment

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is in a position to make a statement on an investigation into the relationship between health and unemployment in Dundee.

    My Department and the Department of Health and Social Services are continuing to explore the opportunities for research work in this field generally.

    National Health Service

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his policy on the reorganisation of administrative and finance officer grades in the Health Service; how many persons in those grades were employed in the years 1980 and 1981; and how many will be employed in 1982.

    The grading of these staff is negotiated through the Administrative and Clerical Staffs Whitley council and it is the responsibility of employing authorities to ensure that they are deployed as efficiently as possible. The total number of officers in the administrative and clerical staff group in and above the grade of general administrative assistant, including ambulance officers and managerial staff in hospital catering, domestic and laundry services—in whole-time equivalents—was 2,971 at September 1980 and 3,058 one year later. The numbers employed in 1982 will depend upon the decision taken by health boards and the Common Services Agency in the light of the resources available to them and other factors, including ceilings imposed on their management costs.

    Teacher Training

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has taken a decision on the number of students to be admitted to courses of teacher training in Scottish colleges of education in session 1982–83; and if he will make a statement.

    I am glad to be able to say that it has been possible to reach decisions on this matter substantially earlier than in previous years.I have decided that the total intake to pre-service courses of teacher training in session 1982–83 should not exceed 480 students for the primary diploma course, 100 for the primary post-graduate course and 1,000 for secondary courses—including BEd degree courses. I have taken these decisions after carefully considering comments made by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Joint Committee of Colleges of Education in Scotland on the provisional arrangements for intake as set out in a consultative paper which was issued to them in December as a basis for discussion. I have also taken account of views expressed by some individual colleges of education and of estimates by education authorities of their secondary school staffing requirements.I am now required to consult the governing body of each college before issuing directions regarding the number of students of different categories to be admitted to the college; and I am proposing to the colleges that for session 1982–83 the allocation of the overall levels of intake mentioned above should be as in the following table:

    CollegePrimary IntakeSecondary Intake
    Proposed Diploma Course QuotasProposed Post-graduate Course QuotasProposed Quotas
    Aberdeen7518110
    Craigie5512
    Dundee401070
    Dunfermline50
    Jordanhill12022420
    Moray House9518190
    St. Andrew's9520160
    Total4801601,000
    I intend to continue the practice of offering advice to the colleges of education on the priority to be given to the selection of candidates for training in certain secondary school subjects. I am asking the colleges in selecting students in session 1982–83 to give highest priority to applicants seeking admission to courses leading to a teaching qualification (secondary education) in business studies, mathematics and physics and lowest priority to applicants for training in biology, geography, history and modern studies. In regard to the remaining subjects, I am asking the colleges to give priority to those seeking admission to training in music, religious education and technical education.On the basis of the most up-to-date information available to me, I am advising the colleges that about 30 per cent. of the total intake to courses of secondary training should be students in the subjects of highest priority, but that, in the event of that percentage being exceeded, I shall be prepared to increase the overall level of intake accordingly. In order to guard against the admission of an unduly large proportion of students in the subject of lowest priority I am asking the colleges to admit no more students in these subjects than they did in session 1981–82. I am also emphasising to the colleges that they should consult the education authorities in their areas with a view to ascertaining whether any departures from this general advice might be necessary in the light of local school staffing needs.

    Wales

    M4 (Road Signs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to improve the accuracy and clarity of directional and place signs on the M4 motorway between Lon Las and the western end of the road at Pont Abraham, and to ensure that such signs are bilingual.

    The bilingual traffic signs between Pont Abraham and Llangyfelach are relatively new and are still in a satisfactory condition. The signs between Llangyfelach and Lon Las are older and bilingual replacements are already being manufactured. The destinations shown on the signs have been worked out in consultation with the local highway authorities.

    Pay Beds

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the estimated income from National Health Service pay beds in Wales in the last year for which figures are available.

    Actual income in 1980–81 from private resident patients was £416,079; from private outpatients it was £25,305.The estimated income from all private patients for 1981–82 is £475,000.

    Paymaster General

    Departmental Staff

    asked the Paymaster General how many civil servants were employed by his Department in May 1979; how many are employed in February 1982; and what has been the percentage change; in each case how many were first division civil servants; and what has been the percentage change in their numbers.

    [pursuant to his reply, 23 February 1982, c. 326]: In May 1979 my Department employed 869 civil servants; in February 1982 the total was 918, an increase of 5·6 per cent. The 1982 total includes the three civil servants employed in my private office whereas, because of the different responsibilities of the then Paymaster General, the 1979 total does not.Although the term "first division civil servants". is not recognised Civil Service terminology, my Department employed 11 civil servants at principal level and above in February 1982 as against nine in May 1979. The increase of two is wholly attributable to the inclusion in the 1982 figures of my private office staff.During the period covered by these figures the number of pensions paid by my office increased by 14 per cent. and the number of cheques processed increased by 16 per cent.

    Home Department

    Criminal Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were arrested for personal assault, burglary and vandalism during 1980 and 1981 in (a) the United Kingdom as a whole, (b) in the Metropolitan Police area, and (c) in each police district of the Metropolitan Police area; what information he has as to the number of persons of West Indian or African appearance arrested for such offences during the same period; and if he will express these numbers as a percentage of the total figures.

    Persons Arrested* for Selected Offences by Ethnic Appearance
    Metropolitan Police District, 1980Number of Persons
    All personsBlack skinned persons (including West Indian/African)Black skinned persons as a percentage of all persons
    DistrictAssaultBurg-laryCriminal damageAssaultBurg-laryCriminal damageAssaultBurg-laryCriminal damage
    A—(Part) Westminster1481222122011111495
    B—Kensington and Chelsea316378347606638191711
    C—(Part) Westminster29721832341312414147
    D—(Part) Westminster26640225051682219179
    E—Camden37145650653673414157
    F—Hammersmith346381348675745191513
    G—Hackney35873334713529193384027
    H—Tower Hamlets306400330444837141211
    I—Heathrow, etc.175133169564352
    J—Waltham Forest, Redbridge, etc.508636589611165412189
    K—Havering, Barking and Newham7548538221071205514147
    L—Lambeth489706519200281122414024
    M—Southwark40873539310817844262411
    N—Islington252448318487831191710
    P—Lewisham and Bromley5588726821181745821209
    Q—Brent and Harrow45263249117520292393219
    R—Greenwich and Bexley46374839844742310106
    S—Barnet and Hertsmere272426370233213884
    T—Richmond-upon-Thames and Hounslow396535521244420684
    V—Kingston-upon-Thames, Merton etc.210399339131614644
    W—Wandsworth3106154228720069283316
    X—Ealing and Hillingdon36355343537592410116
    Y—Haringey and Enfield, etc.4506665259719464222912
    Z—Croydon and Sutton, etc.3785995913369299125
    MPD Total8,84612,64610,2471,6512,4281,020192010
    * Persons proceeded against by means of a charge, referral to a juvenile bureau, a caution or in some way; arrests not followed by any action are not included.
    Metropolitan Police Office classification includes arrests for homicide and violent sexual offences.
    Metropolitan Police Office classification excludes a small number of arrests for burglaries involving violence.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give for each of the calendar years 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1980 the total number of serious offences, that is to say offences which before 1979 would have been known as indictable, known to the police and the percentage of those convicted by any court of such offences who were sentenced to immediate imprisonment; and if he will further give the percentage of those convicted by any court of such offences who were given suspended sentences in 1970 and 1980.

    [pursuant to his reply, 22 February 1982, c. 278]: The number of serious offences recorded by the police in each of the years requested is given in table 2.2 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1980", Cmnd. 8376. Information on sentencing for indictable offences in the years 1970 to 1980 is to be found in table 7.4 of the same publication. The percentages of those sentenced for indictable offences who were sentenced to immediate imprisonment were: 17, 14, nine and nine, respectively in 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1980. The corresponding percentages given suspended sentences were eight and seven respectively in 1970 and 1980.

    The detailed information requested is not collected centrally for all police force areas. I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the information available for the Metropolitan Police district is as given in the following table.

    Street Crimes

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Macclesfield of 18 February, Official Report, column 189, he will publish in the Official Report a comprehensive table of the number of persons arrested during 1980 and 1981 for offences of stealing most likely to have occurred in the street for each police district within the Metropolitan Police area; if in addition he will list the numbers of persons of West Indian or African appearance arrested for such offences; and if he will express these numbers as a percentage of the total figures.

    The detailed information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give figures for the number of street crimes, including the ethnic breakdown of those convicted for 1980 and 1981 in Greater London divided by police authority area, indicating which London boroughs are contained within which police areas.

    [pursuant to his reply, 11 February 1982, c. 427]: We understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that it is not possible to identify separately all those recorded offences which occurred in the street. The only information available relates to those types of offences of stealing most likely to occur in the street and is given in the following table; corresponding information for 1981 is not yet available.

    Certain serious offences* recorded by the police
    Metropolitan Police District, 1980Number of offences
    Police District
    A—(Part) Westminster2,581
    B—Kensington and Chelsea7,325
    C—(Part) Westminster6,079
    D—(Part) Westminster6,197
    E—Camden8,632
    F—Hammersmith4,945
    G—Hackney6,922
    H—Tower Hamlets7,070
    I—Heathrow, etc.3,021
    J—Waltham Forest, Redbridge, etc.8,744
    K—Havering, Barking and Newham13,877
    L—Lambeth12,800
    M—Southwark11,050
    N—Islington6,687
    P—Lewisham and Bromley13,606
    Q—Brent and Harrow8,555
    R—Greenwich and Bexley11,647
    S—Barnet and Hertsmere5,834
    T—Richmond-upon-Thames and Hounslow7,417
    V—Kingston-upon-Thames, Merton, etc.6,643
    W—Wandsworth8,516
    X—Ealing and Hillingdon9,434
    Y—Haringey and Enfield12,585
    Z—Croydon and Sutton, etc.10,547
    TA—Thames42
    Total200,756
    * Those types of offences of stealing most likely to occur in the street: theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle, theft from a vehicle, theft of pedal cycle, theft from a person of another and robbery.

    Strangeways Prison

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has studied the report by the prison officers' board of visitors regarding conditions in Strangeways prison, Manchester; and if he will make a visit to the prison.

    The annual report of the board of visitors for Manchester prison for 1981 was received on 22 February and is being considered. My right hon. Friend has no plans to visit the prison at present.

    Criminals (Deportation)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will discuss with the Government of the Republic of Ireland a system of deportation of convicted criminals of each country to the convicted criminal's country of origin on a basis of reciprocity.

    Police Service

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to increase the current strength of the police force in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the Metropolitan Police area.

    I can answer only for England and Wales. I expect the total strength of the police service, which was 119,575 at the end of 1981, to increase to 120,750 by March 1983. Forces outside London have filled most of the 2,349 additional posts I have authorised since May 1979. I expect the strength of the Metropolitan Police—which was 22,225 at the end of April 1979—to reach its authorised establishment of 26,615 in 1983.

    Racially Sensitive Areas

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will study the operation of the practice by certain police forces of designating certain areas or premises as racially sensitive, with special regard to (a) the efficacy of the practice in the prevention of crime and (b) the operation of the principle of equality before law; and if he will make a statement.

    It is in the interests of effective law enforcement for special precautions to be taken in respect of certain premises and localities, which may in some cases be those of the ethnic minorities. I know that chief officers are determined to enforce the law firmly and impartially.

    Grand National

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, further to the answer of 2 December, Official Report, column 168, if he will examine, in conjunction with the Betting Levy Board, the Jockey Club and other interested parties whether it would be feasible to establish a national lottery, or several nation-wide lotteries, to preserve the Grand National at Aintree as a national institution.

    Resettlement Of Offenders

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will study the report made by the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders on homeless young offenders; and if he wall consider making a statement on its findings.

    My right hon. Friend has read the report with interest. In the first instance officials in the various Departments concerned will be considering the implications of the recommendations and discussing them with NACRO.

    Satellite Broadcasting

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether in his current consideration of direct broadcasting by satellite he will consult the House on the allocation of the two television channels and on the technical standards to be adopted before coming to any final decision.

    My right hon. Friend will be making a statement to the House about direct broadcasting by satellite very shortly.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will hold discussions with the European Space Agency, the European Broadcasting Union, the Commission of the European Economic Community and European Governments about his proposals for direct broadcasting by satellite, with a view to ensuring in the long-term, better picture definition, cheaper services, agreement on technical standards to break down non-tariff barriers in this field, and viewing on a European scale, before making any immediate decisions affecting the United Kingdom alone.

    If a decision were taken in favour of direct broadcasting by satellite for the United Kingdom, there are a number of issues, including those mentioned in my hon. Friend's question, which would require further consideration in consultation as necessary with other European countries. My right hon. Friend will be making a statement about direct broadcasting by satellite very shortly.

    Citizens Band Radio

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider monthly publication of the number of citizens band licences sold.

    I do not consider that she publication of monthly figures would be justified; but the figure up till 19 February was 169,494.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ensure that a sum equivalent to the receipts from citizens band radio licence sales is spent on ensuring trouble-free reception for licence holders.

    Interference to the legal citizens band service is almost wholly caused by the use of illegal AM equipment. Once the costs of the licensing system are met, the remaining revenue is used to offset the increased costs of the radio interference service in investigating interference to other authorised radio services and unlicensed CB use.

    Energy

    Sellafield (Radioactivity)

    52.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what reason has been given to the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Commission for the two-day delay in reporting the abnormally high increase of radioactivity from the stack at Sellafield on 4 October 1981; and whether this has been found satisfactory by the inspectorate.

    I am advised by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that BNFL's explanation to the NII was that the time was needed to assess with sufficient confidence the activity released and its possible effects on the environment. The inspectorate considers that BNFL should have reported to it at an earlier stage. As I announced to the House on 19 October 1981, procedures for the reporting of nuclear incidents are currently being reviewed by the NH.

    Oil Resources (Depletion)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy, in view of the drop in the world oil prices, if he will make a statement as to the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the depletion of the United Kingdom's indigenous oil resources.

    Attorney-General

    Mr Jack Lundin

    51.

    asked the Attorney-General whether he will give the actual or estimated costs to the taxpayer of the Crown prosecutions of Mr. Jack Lundin, a reporter on The Observer; what were the results of those prosecutions; and whether he will make a statement.

    The actual costs to the taxpayer are not yet available and it is not possible to estimate the costs at this stage. Jack Lundin was found not to have been in contempt of court. No.

    Prime Minister

    Engagements

    Q5.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q6.

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q7.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q9.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q10.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q11.

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q16.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q18.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q19.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q20.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q21.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q22.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q23.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q24.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q25.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q27.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q28.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q29.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q30.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q31.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q32.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q35.

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q37.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q38.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q39.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q40.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q42.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q43.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q44.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q45.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q46.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q47.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q48.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q49.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will state her official duties for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q50.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q51.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q52.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q53.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    Q54.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q56.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q58.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q59.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q60.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q62.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q63.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements .for 2 March.

    Q64.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    Q65.

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 2 March.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 2 March.

    This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, including one with the Saudi Arabian Minister of Planning. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I hope to have an audience of Her Majesty the Queen.

    Mr T Stuttaford

    Q8.

    asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her answer on 11 February, Official Report, column 1110, Her Majesty's Government have received any reply from the Zimbabwe Government to representations made in respect of Mr. T. Stuttaford by the high commissioner.

    My answer on 11 February referred to representations received by Her Majesty's Government. I went on to explain that, because Mr. Stuttaford is not a United Kingdon citizen, it was not possible for Her Majesty's Government to intervene on his behalf. However, during his discussions with the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe last week in Salisbury, my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs told Mr. Mugabe of the anxiety which was felt in this country about the detention of persons without trial, particularly Mr. Stuttaford.

    Secretary Of State For Employment

    Q12.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will dismiss the Secretary of State for Employment.

    No. The hon. Member may assume that I do not intend to make any changes in ministerial appointments or responsibilities unless or until I make a statement to the contrary.

    Factory Closures

    Q13.

    asked the Prime Minister how many hon. Members she has seen on matters relating to factory closures since she last answered oral questions; and how many jobs were expected to be lost in the closures discussed.

    Turkey

    Q14.

    asked the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the Turkish Government to release political detainees, hold free elections and restore democracy to Turkey.

    We continue to ensure that the Turkish Government are aware of our concern that their commitments to restore democracy and respect human rights should be given effect rapidly and in full. We welcome General Evren's recent announcement of a timetable for a constitutional referendum and elections. We shall continue to watch developments closely.

    President Reagan

    Q15.

    asked the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made by Her Majesty's Government for President Reagan's visit to the United Kingdom.

    Preliminary discussions about the arrangements for the visit have been held with President Reagan's staff, but detailed planning is at a very early stage.

    National And Local Government (Privatisation)

    Q17.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will recommend the establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate the scope for privatisation in national and local government.

    No. We have made progress with contracting out services to the private sector, and are continuing to do so.

    Bedfordshire

    Q33.

    asked, the Prime Minister if she will pay an official visit to Bedfordshire.

    Wales

    Q34.

    asked the Prime Minister whether she has any proposals for improving the government of Wales.

    I am satisfied with the present arrangements whereby the interests of Wales are represented within the Government, particularly by the Secretary of State for Wales as a Cabinet Minister with a wide range of responsibilities.

    Turriff, Aberdeenshire

    Q36.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will make an official visit to Turriff in the constituency of Aberdeenshire, East.The Prime Minister I have at present no plans to do so.

    Oral Questions (London)

    Q41.

    asked the Prime Minister if Her Majesty's Government will bring forward proposals for a separate period of oral questions relating specifically to London.

    This is a matter for the House, but the Government have no such proposals.

    Trades Union Congress

    Q55.

    asked the Prime Minister when she last met the general council of the Trades Union Congress.

    Civil Defence

    Q57.

    asked the Prime Minister what progress has been made in arrangements for civil defence since the statement of 7 August 1980, Official Report, columns 790–93.

    Good progress has been made in most of the areas mentioned in my right hon. Friend's statement, including the modernisation of the equipment of the warning and monitoring organisation, the extension of training facilities, the co-ordination of voluntary effort and the provision of information to the public.

    Oil Production

    Q61.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will take measures to stimulate the production of oil in the United Kingdom and investment in facilities for extraction.

    Last year we produced more oil than we consumed. The substantial number of new petroleum licences issued over the past two years for both onshore and offshore areas are already providing a stimulus to further exploration—as is well illustrated by the recent award of production licences covering part of my hon. Friend's constituency.

    Scottish Grand Committee

    asked the Prime Minister how many Bills it is proposed to transfer to the Scottish Grand Committee sitting in Edinburgh in the current Session.

    In pursuance of the sessional order approved by the House on 5 November 1981, it is intended that one of the sittings of the Scottish Grand Committee being held in Edinburgh on an experimental basis this Session should be devoted to a Second Reading debate on a major Scottish Bill.

    Members' Correspondence

    asked the Prime Minister how many letters were received from, and written to, hon. Members by her in January.

    I reply to all the letters I receive from right hon. and hon. Members. In January I sent about 70 such replies.

    Minister For Consumer Affairs

    asked the Prime Minister if she has yet decided whether to appoint another Minister for Consumer Affairs.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the right hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) on 25 February.

    Council Of Europe

    asked the Prime Minister what changes have been made in the composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe.

    I have appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Hill) as a Full Member in place of my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Sir A. Kershaw). I have also appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, West (Sir R. Fairgrieve) as a Substitute Member.

    Industry

    British Leyland

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the assurances given by his predecessor in connection with the first corporate plan and subsequently in relation to British Leyland loans and credit apply to Land Rover United Kingdom Ltd. and Unipart Group Ltd. established under British Leyland's corporate restructuring.

    The answer given by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Industry on 31 March 1981—[Vol. 2, c. 80]—about the Government's position in relation to the obligations of the BL group still applies. The new companies Land Rover United Kingdom Limited and Unipart Group Ltd. are part of the BL group.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has any plans for establishing some form of outside scrutiny to monitor the efficiency of British Leyland.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 17 December 1981 to my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, North-West (Mr. Grylls)—[Vol. 15, c. 199]—in which I said that I was satisfied with the current arrangements for monitoring BL Ltd.

    British Telecom

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has any plans for establishing some form of outside scrutiny of the efficiency of British Telecom.

    I believe that the best spur to British Telecom efficiency is the introduction of competition under the British Telecommunications Act 1981.

    Machine Tool Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what percentage share of the home market in machine tools was held by United Kingdom manufacturers in 1970 and 1980.

    The percentage share of the home market in machine tools held by United Kingdom manufacturers in 1970 and 1980 was 61 per cent. and 51 per cent. respectively.

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what percentage share of the world market was held by the United Kingdom machine tool industry in 1970 and 1980.

    No estimates are available from official sources. However estimates of the world market share held by the United Kingdom machine tool industry published by the American Machinist are 6 per cent. in 1970 and 5 per cent. in 1980.

    Labour Productivity

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the census of production has figures of labour productivity for manufacturing industry as a whole and by sectors in terms of value added per unit of time or some other criterion; and if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing (a) the median and upper and lower quartiles and (b) the average of the whole and the average of the top 80 per cent.

    Estimates from the census of production for 1979 of average gross value added per head for all manufacturing and for individual sectors are shown in the following table. Information relating to the medians and quartiles of productivity measures will become available later this year.

    Order; Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1968)Gross value added per head
    £
    III—Food, drink and tobacco9,259
    IV—Coal and petroleum products73,011
    V—Chemicals and allied industries12,216
    VI—Metal manufacture6,529
    VII—Mechanical engineering8,213
    VIII—Instrument engineering6,643
    IX—Electrical engineering7,664
    X—Shipbuilding and marine engineering6,358
    XI—Vehicles7,784
    XII—Metal goods not elsewhere specified7,043
    XIII—Textiles5,594
    XIV—Leather goods and fur5,919
    XV—Clothing and footwear4,626
    XVI—Bricks, pottery, glass, cement, etc.8,856
    XVII—Timber, furniture, etc.7,053
    XVIII—Paper, printing and publishing8,523
    XlX—Other manufacturing industries7,177
    III—XIX—AH manufacturing industries8,154

    Note:

    The extreme value of gross value of gross added per head quoted for Order IV, coal and petroleum products, reflects the very high value of the output and the relatively low employment of the mineral oil refiniag industry.

    Manchester And Salford

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what further representations the Minister of Stale has now received from the town clerk of Manchester with regard to the granting of development area status to the Manchester and Salford partnership area; what reply he Ls sending; and if he will make a statement.

    I have received further evidence about the Manchester-Salford partnership area' s circumstances under cover of a letter of 17 February from the town clerk of the city of Manchester council and will be replying in due course.

    Keighley

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total amount of grant aid given in the Keighley intermediate area for 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981, and the estimated number of jobs retained and created for each year by such aid.

    Assistance has been made available to industry in the Keighley intermediate area under parts I and II of the Industry Act 1972 as follows:

    Part I. Payments of regional development grant in amounts over £25,000
    £'000Safeguarded employmentNew employment
    197658
    1977
    197843
    197967
    1980
    1981273
    Part II. Section 7: Offers of regional selective assistance
    £'000Safeguarded employmentNew employment
    1976187182
    19775476
    197845127
    197915048243
    1980201128122
    19814617
    Part II. Section 8: Offers of selective financial assistance
    £'000Safeguarded employmentNew employment
    1976279
    1977567—.
    1978482
    197970
    1980175
    1981
    Information relating to employment safeguarded or created is available only under section 7 of the Industry Act 1982.

    Electronics Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what schemes he is considering introducing to encourage electronics companies to use advanced computer techniques to design, make and test their products; how much is involved; and what publicity will be given to this.

    On 24 February I announced a £9 million, three-year scheme to promote greater use of computer aided design, manufacture and test—CADMAT—techniques in electronics. Details of the scheme have appeared in the press and I have placed copies of the illustrated brochure covering the support available in the Library.

    Man-Made Fibres Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what assessment he has made of the forecast of the National Economic Development Council sector working party of the man-made fibres industry that if present trends continue the output of the industry will decline to 395,000 tonnes in 1983 with inevitable further closures.

    The man-made fibres sector working party's forecast is based on assumptions about the growth of consumer demand and on the trading performance of the textile and clothing industries. In drawing up the forecast, the sector working party recognised that quite small changes in these assumptions can make significant differences for man-made fibre output. Much will also depend on the business environment.In these circumstances, it is not particularly fruitful for me to speculate about the size of the industry in 1983.

    Engineering Council

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Bebington and Ellesmere Port (Mr. Porter) on 10 December 1981, Official Report, column 453, if he has made any further appointments to the Engineering Council; and if he will make a statement on the council's work to date.

    My right hon. Friend has made no further appointments to the Engineering Council. The council is required by its Royal charter to prepare and publish an annual report on its activities.

    New Technology

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will list all the schemes that his Department is currently sponsoring to encourage the use of new technology in industry; how much is involved in each case; and how much has been committed in each case in the current financial year.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Israel

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what steps the Foreign Secretary intends to take during his forthcoming visit to Israel to improve relations between the United Kingdom and Israel.

    During his visit to Israel, my right hon. and noble Friend will be examining with the Israeli Foreign Minister ways in which relations between the United Kingdom and Israel might be further improved.

    Hong Kong

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if the Hong Kong Government will create a post of ombudsman; and if he will make a statement.

    No. Existing channels for dealing with individual grievances or appeals against Government decisions are considered satisfactory.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the progress towards democratic reform in Hong Kong; and what plans the Hong Kong Government have to extend democratic representation.

    Yes. Public representation is maintained through a network of councils, boards and committees. The implementation of the policies in the 1981 White Paper on district administration to extend local representation is progressing well. There are no plans to go beyond these policies.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if the Hong Kong Government have any plans to extend human rights and civil liberties in the colony.

    Hong Kong legislation in these areas is kept under regular review.

    Maclennan Inquiry

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the total cost of the Maclennan inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

    El Salvador

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the talks between the Minister of State and members of the United States Administration held in Washington concerning the proposed elections in El Salvador and Central America generally on 1 March.

    I took advantage of my visit to New York for discussions with the Argentine Government about the Falkland Islands to call on senior officials of the United States Government in Washington on 1 March for an exchange of views. The topics discussed included Central America.

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement concerning the talks between the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Foreign Minister of the Argentine held in New York on 26 February concerning the future of the Falkland Islands.

    I refer the hon. Member to the following communiqué which was issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at 12.30 pm on 1 March:

    The British and Argentine Governments held a meeting at ministerial level in New York on 26 and 27 February 1982 to discuss the Falkland Islands question within the negotiating framework referred to in the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.
    The British and Argentine delegations were led respectively by Mr. Richard Luce MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, and Ambassador Enrique Ros, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship in Buenos Aires.
    The meeting took place in a cordial and positive spirit. The two sides reaffirmed their resolve to find a solution to the sovereignty dispute and considered in detail an Argentine proposal for procedures to make better progress in this sense. They agreed to inform their Governments accordingly.

    Employment

    Unemployment Statistics

    14.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many (a) men and (b) women at the most recent available date had been out of work for more than (i) six months, (ii) 12 months, (iii) 18 months and (iv) two years, respectively.

    At 14 January the figures for the United Kingdom were:

    MaleFemale
    Unemployed for over 26 and up to 52 weeks494,646203,819
    Unemployed for over 52 and up to 78 weeks322,89992,043
    Unemployed for over 78 and up to 104 weeks150,82940,604
    Unemployed for over 104 weeks243,17355,557

    16.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many registered unemployed persons there are now for every registered job vacancy; and what were the comparable figures in May 1979.

    In February 1982, the number of people registered as unemployed was 3,045,000; there were 99,000 unfilled vacancies at employment offices on the day of the count and 5,000 at careers offices. The corresponding figures in May 1979 were 1,299,000 unemployed; 268,000 vacancies at employment offices; and 41,000 vacancies at careers offices. However. vacancies at employment offices account for only about one-third of all vacancies in the economy.

    18.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest number of registered unemployed in the United Kingdom; what was the comparable number in the same month last year; and what is the increase in percentage terms.

    The numbers of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom were 3,044,878 at February 1982 and 2,463,294 at February 1981. The increase between the two dates was 23·6 per cent.

    21.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the rate of increase of unemployed people in the latter half of 1981.

    Between June and December 1981 the numbers of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom, seasonally adjusted and excluding school leavers, increased by 9 per cent.

    23.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will state the latest figures for unemployment.

    28.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest figure and percentage of unemployment.

    At 11 February, the provisional number of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom was 3,044,878, and the unemployment rate was 12·6 per cent.

    25.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the 1979 and latest unemployment figures for men and women, and the number of job vacancies in North-East Lancashire.

    At February 1979 there were 7,282 males and 3,283 females registered as unemployed in North-East Lancashire. The corresponding figures at February 1982 were 18,585 males and 9,074 females.The numbers of vacancies remaining unfilled in the area at February 1979 were 1,716 at employment offices and 170 at careers offices. The corresponding figures at February 1982 were 839 at employment offices and 18 at careers offices. The vacancy figures relate only to those notified to employment offices and careers offices; vacancies notified to employment offices are estimated to be about one-third of all vacancies in the country as a whole. Because of possible duplication the figures for employment offices and careers offices should not be added together. 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 12-month period to December 1981, 47,903 people were placed in jobs by employment offices in the county of Lancashire. It is estimated that the public employment service accounts for about one in four of all placings.

    27.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest figure for the number of registered unemployed persons.

    At 11 February, the provisional number of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom was 3,044,878.

    46.