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Written Answers

Volume 21: debated on Tuesday 30 March 1982

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 30 March 1982

Industry

Information Technology Centre

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he plans to site an information technology centre in mid-Hertfordshire; and if he will make a statement.

When I announced the location of the first 30 information technology centres to the House on 21 December, I also announced our intention to extend the scheme to about 100 centres during the course of this year. The Manpower Services Commission, which is organising this initiative jointly with the Department of Industry, is currently identifying likely locations for the extended programme.It is not possible at this stage to say whether Mid-Hertfordshire will have a centre, although I hope to be in a position to announce further locations within the net few months.

Regional Development Grants

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when the new application form for regional development grants will become available.

The new form, a leaflet explaining how to complete the form and a guidance note explaining how the regional development grants scheme works are now available and have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The new form comes into use on 1 April 1982.

Location Of Industries Bureau Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has received representations from the Location of Industries Bureau Ltd. seeking formal approval by him of that company's objects.

Transport—Wales—Analysis of Expenditure Within the Secretary of State's Responsibility
£ million Cash*
1976–771977–781978–791979–801980–811981–821982–831983–841984–85
Central Government
Motorways and trunk roads, etc:
Capital594651638194100
Current781212111719
6654637592111119140150
Local Transport
Capital:
Roads—new construction and improvement†292734435048666060
Car Parks1112321
Public Transport investment1233213
Current:

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Industry and Information Technology has received such representations from agents for the company.

Wales

Unemployment Statistics

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the percentage increase in unemployment for the travel-to-work areas of Port Talbot, Newport, Aberdare, Tenby, Shotton and Newtown from May 1979 to February 1982.

The information is as follows:

Travel-to-work areaIncrease in unemployment May 1979–February 1982 per cent.
Port Talbot149·1
Newport128·5
Aberdare104·8
Tenby178·6
Shotton186·9
Newtown244·8

Llanwnda-Llanllyfni Road Link

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made in relation to the study commissioned by his Department on the need to improve road links between Llanwnda and Llanllyfni, including a possible new routing of the A487; and when he expects this study to be completed.

This study is still under examination within the Department. It is too early to say when firm conclusions are likely to be reached.

Roads And Transport Provision

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish in the Official Report the provision for roads and transport within his responsibility in the same detail as shown in table 2.6 of the public expenditure White Paper, Cmnd. 8494.

Current:

1976–77

1977–78

1978–79

1979–80

1980–81

1981–82

1982–83

1983–84

1984–85

Roads—Maintenance31374448537074110110
Car parks
Road Safety, etc.1111
Local authority administration9910121489
Passenger transport subsidies66689910
Concessionary fares3444556
8086102121136144170170170
Central Government Subsidies†2111
Total programme146140165198229256290310320

Notes:

* All figures rounded (1976–77 to 1982–83 to the nearest £ million; remaining years to the nearest £10 million).

†Includes new towns expenditure.

‡Freight facilities grants under section 8 of the Railways Act 1974 only.

Land Authority For Wales

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he still intends to retain the Land Authority for Wales; and, if so, for what purpose.

Yes. For the purpose of acquiring land in Wales which in its opinion needs to be made available for development, and of disposing of it to other persons—for development by them—at a time which is in the Land Authority's opinion appropriate to meet need.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the present annual remuneration of the chairman of the Land Authority for Wales; and how many days per week the chairman is expected to devote to his or her work as such.

£13,105. His duties as chairman are expected to occupy at least two and a half days a week.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether the present chairman of the Land Authority for Wales holds any other offices of profit under the Crown; and, if so, what is the annual remuneration received by the chairman in respect of each such office.

He is also the president of the Rent Assessment Panel for Wales, for which he receives a current annual salary of £8,168.

Second Homes

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many second homes there are estimated to be in Wales at the latest date for which figures are available.

The Welsh housing and dwelling survey 1978–79 estimated that there were at that time some 30,000 definite or possible second and holiday homes in Wales, including holiday homes intended wholly or partly for letting purposes and holiday chalets.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has had concerning increasing the powers of local authorities to control the number and location of second homes in their areas; and what consideration he has given to these.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. Thomas) on 4 December 1981.—[Vol. 14, c. 242.] Since then we have received further representations on second homes from seven local authorities and three members of the public.The recent representations have clearly been prompted for the most part by the Government response, issued on 8 February, to the memorandum on second homes submitted by the Gwynedd county council. Most of the points raised were fully covered in the Government's response, but any new points will be carefully considered.

Homeless Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many homeless people there are estimated to be in Wales at the latest date for which figures are available.

The estimated number of households accepted by local authorities as being homeless during the first half of 1981 was 2,830.

Trade

Shipping Rates

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is now in a position to make a statement further to his reply to the hon. Member for Fife, East on Monday 27 July 1981 relating to the competitiveness of shipping rates from United Kingdom ports.

My Department is still investigating exporters' complaints about freight rate disparities between the United Kingdom and the Continent in order to determine how widespread they are, how serious for British exporters' business, what causes them, and how they might be remedied. This investigation is being conducted in great detail. The Department's preliminary conclusions suggest that the scale and frequency of disparities vary greatly, both between trade routes and between different commodities on the same trade routes. Where disparities do occur, the main causes appear to be higher United Kingdom port costs and the greater bargaining power of shippers on the Continent, due both to the greater number of non-conference carriers providing competition and to the buying power of large Continental freight forwarders. The preliminary indications are that the stronger competition on the Continent from non-conference carriers is the most important cause, but consultation has not shown with any certainty the relative importance of the causes of disparities, or therefore where the main thrust of any remedial action should be. The investigation is therefore continuing, in consultation with the General Council of British Shipping, the British Shippers' Council, the British Overseas Trade Board and its area advisory groups and the Overseas Projects Board.

Gaming And Amusement Machine Manufacturers

asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many companies manufacturing gaming and amusement machines have gone into liquidation in the past year.

Industrial Counterfeiting

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the current state of negotiations on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade agreement on industrial counterfeiting.

Negotiations in the GATT for an agreement on counterfeiting are continuing, with the

Firework injuries in Great Britain
(4 week period in October-November)
Year19811980197919781977
Place of AccidentTotal681555745953733
1 Family or private party231168239359275
2 Semi-public party (eg Scouts, cricket club)5847135175144
3 Large public display10195
4 Casual incident in street, etc.229194290350258
5 Other place4631525156
6 Indoors*16202918
Type of Firework
1 Banger167135190212178
2 Rocket102667312287
3 Roman candle, coloured fire, etc.10781124160112
4 Home-made or extracted powder2619343919
5 Other proprietary fireworks of which:64466510792
5.1 Flyabout†15
6 Sparklers4833487165
7 Unspecified type167175211242245
Severity of Injury
1 Fatal injury
2 Detained more than one night2446496571
3 Sufficient to cause absence from work or equivalent62829711989
4 Minor injury531403565730539
5 Unspecified injury6424343933
Eye injuries (included in 2–5)261261310363276
Age Group of Injured Persons
Over20132100146170145
16–208966807040
13–15173151211226190
Under 13287238308487358
* Included in "other place" prior to 1978.
† Included in other proprietary fireworks from 1978.
Firework injuries in England and Wales

(4 week period in October-November)
Year19811980197919781977
Place of AccidentTotal646525715912709
1 Family or private party224163233345272
2 Semi-public party (eg Scouts, cricket club)5047128164138
3 Large public display9490

importance of the issue being emphasised by the United States and the European Community. There are, however, difficulties over the text of the agreement and because some countries do not see it as particularly relevant to their trade needs. Others doubt whether the GATT is the appropriate international forum. The Government hope that these problems may be solved in the framework of the GATT ministerial meeting in November 1982.

Fireworks Injuries (Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is now in a position to issue the latest annual statistics for fireworks injuries.

[pursuant to the reply, 26 March 1982, c. 444]: According to reports from hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland, 681 persons required treatment for injuries caused by fireworks during a four-week period in October to November. Although the total is disappointing, this was a reduction of about one-third in the number of severe injuries when compared with those for 1980. The figures for 1981 and the preceding four years are as follows:

Year

1981

1980

1979

1978

1977

4 Casual incident in street, etc.216177277336248
5 Other place4631494951
6 Indoors*16172818

Type of Firework

1 Banger156125183210174
2 Rocket95646411182
3 Roman candle, coloured fire, etc.10179118153111
4 Home-made or extracted powder2318333918
5 Other proprietary fireworks of which:60456410390
5.1 Flyabout†14
6 Sparklers4730477065
7 Unspecified type164164206226234

Severity of Injury

1 Fatal injury1
2 Detained more than one night2244476265
3 Sufficient to cause absence from work or equivalent59809111788
4 Minor injury503380545694523
5 Unspecified injury6221323932
Eye injuries (included in 2–5)250247303350268

Age Group of Injured Persons

Over 2012794139161141
16–208665786838
13–15164140203216185
Under 13269226294467345

* Included in "other place" prior to 1978.

† Included in other proprietary fireworks from 1978.

Firework injuries in Scotland

(4 week period in October-November)

Year

1981

1980

1979

1978

1977

Place of accident

Total3530304124
1 Family or private party756143
2 Semi-public party (eg Scouts, cricket club)87116
3 Large public display75
4 Casual incident in street, etc.1317131410
5 Other place325
6 Indoors*31

Type of Firework

1 Banger1110724
2 Rocket729115
3 Roman candle, coloured fire, etc.62571
4 Home-made or extracted powder3121
5 Other proprietary fireworks of which:41142
5.1 Flyabout†1
6 Sparklers1311
7 Unspecified type31151611

Severity of Injury

1 Fatal injury
2 Detained more than one night22236
3 Sufficient to cause absence from work or equivalent32621
4 Minor injury2823203616
5 Unspecified injury2321
Eye injuries (included in 2–5)11147138

Age Group of Injured Persons

Over 2056794
16–2031222
13–159118105
Under 131812132013

* Included in "other place" prior to 1978.

† Included in other proprietary fireworks from 1978.

Scotland

Western Isles (Integrated Development Programme)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made in connection with the proposed integrated development programme for the Western Isles; and if he will make a statement.

I have approved the terms of a programme drawn up by officials after they had undertaken a wide range of consultations in the Western Isles. We shall be taking steps to encourage the people of these islands to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded by this development, for which the bulk of the funds will be provided by the United Kingdom Government, to secure a real and lasting improvement in their living standards. Copies of the programme have been placed in the Library.The programme caters for the development of agriculture and fisheries through measures covering general land improvements, the planting of shelter belts, pest control, the development of horticulture, the introduction of livestock improvement schemes, improvements in fisheries infrastructure, assistance for fish farming and assistance for the processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery produce. It is also proposed that there should be an expansion of the existing education, training and advisory services so that guidance would be available to those participating in new schemes. Subject to limits set out in the regulation, the Community will meet 40 per cent. of the cost of approved expenditure.The programme also contains information on projected developments relating to tourist amenities, crafts, industrial and other complementary activities essential to the improvement of the general socio-economic situation in the Western Isles. There is no provision for a Community contribution towards expenditure on measures other than those related to agriculture and fisheries, but, where appropriate, we shall seek aid from the European regional development fund and the European social fund under the usual arrangements.We have forwarded the programme to the European Commission and expect to obtain its clearance in time to allow work to proceed this summer.

Employment And Training Schemes (Dundee)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in Dundee are currently engaged in the following schemes (a) temporary short-time workers compensation scheme, (b) job release scheme, (c) youth opportunities programme, (d) community industry, (e) community enterprise programme and (f) training for skills.

The Manpower Services Commission is unable to provide information on the numbers taking part in the youth opportunities programme and the community enterprise programme in Dundee except at disproportionate cost. However, on 29 January 1982, the latest date available, 2,920 young people and 145 adult supervisors were engaged in the youth opportunities programme in Tayside and Grampian regions. On 26 February 1982 there were 610 adults engaged in the community enterprise programme in Tayside and Grampian.

Information on the number of training places in industry supported under the training for skills programme in Dundee or in Tayside and Grampian regions is not available. The information requested on the other measures is as follows:

Numbers covered in Dundee

At date

Temporary short-time working compensation scheme*29123 March 1982
Job release scheme3153 March 1982
Community industry18011 March 1982

Note:

* The figure given for the temporary short-time working compensation scheme represents the number of potentially redundant workers in Dundee whose jobs are being safeguarded by the scheme.

Disabled Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many disabled people are unemployed in Dundee; and what percentage unemployment rate amongst the registered disabled this represents in Dundee.

On 11 March 1982 there were 961 disabled people unemployed in Dundee, of whom 426 were registered disabled.The latter figure represents 17·9 per cent. of all registered disabled people in Dundee. Registration is voluntary and in the absence of information on the total numbers of disabled in the work force it is not possible to calculate the unemployment rate amongst disabled people in Dundee.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the percentage quota of disabled people employed by (a) Dundee district council and (b) Tayside regional council.

The information is published annually in the Employment Gazette. The latest available figures, for May 1981, were published on page 31 of the January edition of the gazette.

Justices Of The Peace

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what is the number of women presently serving as justices of the peace;(2) what is the total number of persons presently serving as justices of the peace;(3) what is the number of persons serving as justices of the peace who are over 65 years of age.

The number of women serving as justices of the peace as at 1 September 1981 was 785. The total number of persons serving as justices of the peace as at 1 May 1981 was 4,999. There are 2,418 justices aged 65 or over.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report the names of those persons serving as justices of the peace in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth district, Strathkelvin district and Bearsden and Milngavie district.

I have placed in the Library lists which give the names of persons currently holding offices as justices of the peace in the districts of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Strathkelvin, and Bearsden and Milngavie.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the present arrangements for appointing justices of the peace; and if he will make a statement.

Justices of the peace are mainly appointed by my right hon. Friend, on the advice of the JP advisory committees which he has appointed for this purpose in each district and islands area. The committees advise him both as to the need for new appointments and as to suitable candidates for appointment. In addition, each district and islands council may nominate up to one quarter of its members to serve as ex officio justices; such persons hold office as justices so long as they remain members of the authority and continue to retain the authority's nomination. My right hon. Friend is generally satisfied with the present arrangements, but if the hon. Member has any particular question to raise about these appointments, perhaps he would write to my right hon. Friend about it.

Public Order

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each local authority in Scotland the length of notice required by it in respect of any march, procession or demonstration which is to take place within its area.

Comprehensive information is not held centrally, but so far as my Department is aware the only local provisions which require such notice to be given are as follows:

AreaNotice requirement
City of EdinburghSeven days' notice to the regional council 48 hours' notice to the chief constable
City of Aberdeen

Benefits

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce a climatic top-up element to pensions and other benefits payable to residents in Scotland to take account of the colder conditions prevailing so that fuel resources are available to recipients throughout the United Kingdom on an equitable basis.

I have been asked to reply.No. I am satisfied that the existing arrangements for giving help with fuel costs represent the fairest way of distributing the available resources. Any scheme of the kind suggested would raise very difficult questions in relation to qualifying criteria and geographical boundaries. Help given to supplementary pensioners and other supplementary beneficiaries by single payments related to increases in fuel consumption does, of course, automatically reflect the effects of exceptionally severe weather.

Prime Minister

Engagements

Q4.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q5.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q 11.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q15.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q28.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q29.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q33.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q37.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q38.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q39.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q40.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q41.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q42.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q44.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q45.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q46.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q47.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q48.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q49.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q50.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q52.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q53.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 30 March.

Q54.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q55.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

Q56.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 30 March.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend is attending a meeting of the European Council in Brussels.

Wales

Q8.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend hopes to visit Wales during the course of the year.

Disabled Persons Act 1981

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister whether she is satisfied with the co-ordination between Government Departments on preparing the circular on the Disabled Persons Act 1981.

Trades Union Congress

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister when next she plans to meet the Trades Union Congress general council.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Greater Manchester

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister when next she plans to visit Greater Manchester.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister how many building workers are out of work in Greater Manchester; and how many extra building workers will be employed there as a result of the Budget announcements.

I have been asked to reply.In August 1981, the latest date for which information is available, there were 19,743 registered unemployed people in the Greater Manchester area who last worked in the construction industry. I have no doubt that the measures announced by my right hon. and learned Friend in his 1982 Budget will stimulate increased activity and employment in the industry, both in the Greater Manchester area and in the country as a whole. It would be unrealistic to suggest any precise estimate of the number of jobs which will be created as a result of these measures—either nationally or in individual areas.

Tel Aviv

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will pay an official visit to Tel Aviv.

I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

Passenger Transport Executives

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister if she will consider the setting up of a wide-ranging inquiry into passenger transport executives in the United Kingdom in respect of management structures and responsibility to the relevant local authorities, taking also into account the balance between fares, rates and public subsidies and comparing support from public funds in major cities overseas.

I have been asked to reply.The Select Committee on Transport is examining the organisation of transport in London. The Monopolies and Mergers Commission is reporting on bus operators, including the West Midlands passenger transport executive. I await these two reports with interest. In the meantime I do not think it would be productive to set up a wide-ranging inquiry into the passenger transport executives.

Child Benefit

Q43.

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government will make it their policy to maintain the value of child benefit over the lifetime of the present Parliament.

I have been asked to reply.In July 1980 my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Social Services gave an undertaking that, subject to economic and other circumstances, the value of child benefit would be maintained at its November 1980 value and that remains our intention. The increase in the rate of child benefit to £5·85 from November 1982 announced recently reflects the forecast rise in the retail price index between November 1981 and November 1982 and restores the 2 per cent. shortfall in the value of the benefit which occurred between November 1980 and November 1981.

Consumer Affairs

Q51.

asked the Prime Minister if she will discuss with the European Economic Community Council of Ministers the possibility of Ministers with responsibility for consumer affairs participating in discussions on the common agricultural policy and on other European Economic Community policies which affect consumers directly.

I have been asked to reply.Each member State can decide which of its Ministers should attend any meeting of the Council of Ministers. The Government take account of the interests of consumers when deciding their policy on any topics affecting consumers.

People's Republic Of China

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list all official visits made by Ministers in the present Administration to the People's Republic of China, outlining their specific purpose in each case; whether she will also list the visits made to the United Kingdom by Ministers or senior Communist Party functionaries of China acting in a quasi-official capacity during the same period, and whether she is satisfied with the numerical balance and seniority of these official exchanges.

I am generally satisfied with the numerical balance and seniority of official exchanges with China. In addition to the following ministerial visits we have been glad to welcome a good number of Chinese Vice-Ministers with varying responsibilities. The purpose of each visit was to promote closer co-operation in the specific area of each Minister's departmental responsibilities. I look forward very much to my own visit to China in September.

(a) Official Visits by Ministers of the present Administration to the People's Republic of China:

  • March 1980
    • Minister for Health
  • March 1980
    • Secretary of State for Defence
  • April 1980
    • Minister of Transport
  • November 1980
    • Under-Secretary of State for Trade
  • April 1981
    • Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
  • April 1981
    • Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force
  • December 1981
    • Minister for Trade
  • January 1982
    • Lord Privy Seal

(b) Official Visits to the United Kingdom by Ministers or Senior Communist Party Functionaries of China:

  • June 1979
    • Wang Meng, Minister of the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission
  • July 1979
    • Huo Shilian, Minister of Agriculture
  • September 1979
    • Jiang Nanxiang, Minister of Education
  • October 1979
    • Hua Guofeng, Premier of the State Council; Yu Qiuli, Vice-Premier and Minister of the State Planning Commission, Huang Hua, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • November 1979
    • Guo Weicheng, Minister of Railways
  • June 1980
    • Kang Shi'en, Vice-Premier and Minister of State Economic Commission; Song Zhenming, Minister of Petroleum Industry.

In addition, Premier Zhao Ziyang visited the United Kingdom in June 1979 in his then capacity of Chairman of the Sichuan Provincial Revolutionary Committee.

Young Unemployed Persons

asked the Prime Minister if she is satisfied that Her Majesty's Government give enough encouragement to young unemployed people to embark on full or part-time courses of higher education.

asked to reply.For full-time higher education courses, young unemployed people who obtain places are eligible for student awards from local education authorities in the usual way. Young people on part-time higher education courses may be entitled to unemployment benefit or supplementary benefit if they satisfy the independent adjudicating authorities that they remain available for work.However, my hon. Friend may have in mind the "21 hour rule" which applies to part-time courses of non-advanced education. Young unemployed people who take up such courses may be entitled to supplementary benefit under certain conditions. The chief supplementary benefits officer has recently issued guidance on the interpretation of the relevant regulations. We are keeping these regulations under review against the background of our general aim of ensuring that genuinely unemployed people are not obstructed from usefully occupying their time while they seek work, whilst at the same time excluding those who have withdrawn from the employment field to devote themselves primarily to study.

Home Department

Sir David Mcnee

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the retirement of Sir David McNee, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis; when this is to take place; how long he will then have held the appointment; and what his pension entitlement will be.

Sir David McNee is to retire as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on 1 October 1982, when he will have served five and a half years in the post. He will be entitled to a pension based on two-thirds of pensionable pay in the best of the last three years of service.

Police (Recruitment)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the police forces generally and the Metropolitan Police in particular operate a political bar upon new entrants in the police services; and whether, all other things being equal, members or associates of the following organisations would be admitted into the police force: the Socialist Workers Party, the Militant Tendency, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Maoist Communist Party, the new Fascist Party, the Anti-Nazi League, the National Front, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party.

I refer the hon. Member to the last part of the reply given to his question on 15 March, which describes the policy adopted by all police forces.—[Vol. 20, c. 16.]

Television Licence Fee (Refunds)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inquiries were received by the television licence centre at Bristol in 1981 concerning the possibility of refunds of television licence fees after the holder had died.

No record is kept of the number or nature of applications for television licence refunds.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received about refunding the balance of television licence fees upon the death of the licence holder; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will consider seeking to introduce a scheme of refunds of television licence fees for unexpired licences on the death of the holder where the holder has died more than 28 days after the start of the licence.

In the last six months we have received 16 representations from hon. Members and 20 from other members of the public on this subject. My right hon. Friend has not been able to accept the proposal because the grounds on which refunds may be given must be limited if the licensing system is to remain manageable.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will estimate the number of families who would benefit from a scheme of refunds of television licence fees following the death of a licence holder;(2) what would be the cost of implementing a scheme of refunding the television licence fee in the case of the death of the licence holder, or a proportion thereof.

The only estimate we can make is of the number of deaths of licence holders living alone: about 150,000 a year. If a refund of the licence fee were made in these cases, the overall cost would be in the region of £2½ million to £3 million a year.

Shore-To-Ship Radio

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many shore-to-ship international radio channels have been granted to ships' agency companies (a) in Middlesbrough and (b) in Newcastle.

Three licences have been granted to companies in Middlesbrough, one of which has subsequently been revoked because the company ceased to trade. None has been granted in Newcastle.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for shore-to-ship international radio channels have been received from ships' agency companies in Newcastle; how many have been refused; and for what reasons.

One application has been received recently from a company in Newcastle. It was refused because the company wished to use the frequency in connection with its own business.

International Radio Channels

asked the Secretary of State for the Horne Department what considerations are borne in mind by his Department in granting international radio channels for the use of ships' agency companies.

In general we consider licensing ships agency companies to use certain international radio channels where assistance in the movement of ships is considered essential by the port or harbour authority.

Television Reception (Clwyd)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the poor state of television reception in the area of Llanarmon Dyffryn, Ceiriog and Tregeiriog, Clwyd, as the result of which local viewers are unable to receive Welsh language programmes, he will take steps with a view to improving the situation locally.

The areas to which my hon. Friend refers are not served by existing transmitters, and the small size of the population concerned means that they will not be provided with a transmitter under phase III of the UHF engineering programme. However, an application for a licence to set up a self-help transmitter to serve these areas is currently being processed by the Home Office.

Crime Statistics (Cambridgeshire)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the figures for the number of (a) capital and (b) serious crimes in Cambridgeshire in each of the last six years; and what percentage were cleared up in each year under each category.

The information available available relates to the number of serious offences recorded by the police, which is published annually by offence in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales"—table S.3.1 in volume 3 of the supplementary tables for 1980 and table 32 of the volume in 1979, Cmnd. 8098. The total number recorded in 1981 was 33,227. The corresponding clear-up rates are given in the following table:

Clear-up rate for serious* offences recorded by the police in Cambridgeshire police force area
YearPercentage
197651
197750
197855
197947
198055
198156
* Excluding "other criminal damage" value £20 and under.

Public Order

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list for each local authority in England the length of notice required by it in respect of any march, procession or demonstration which is to take place within its area;(2) if he will list for each local authority in Wales the length of notice required by it in respect of any march, procession or demonstration which is to take place within its area.

This information is collated centrally only in respect of local Acts passed since 1974. Such Acts requiring prior notice of an intention to hold a procession are listed below.

EnactmentPeriod of notice
County of South Glamorgan Act 197636 hours
County of Merseyside Act 198072 hours
West Midlands County Council Act 1980*72 hours
Cheshire County Council Act 1980*72 hours
Isle of Wight Act 1980*72 hours
Greater Manchester Act 1981*72 hours
East Sussex Act 1981*72 hours
* or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.
All pre-1974 local authority enactments now in force in England and Wales will expire by the end of 1986.

Metropolitan Police (Discipline)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what percentage of internal discipline cases involving officers of the Metropolitan Police result in the case against the officer being found proven and not proven, respectively;(2) how long on average internal discipline cases in the Metropolitan Police take from charges being made to the resolution of the charges against the officers;(3) what is the average cost per case of internal disciplinary procedures in the Metropolitan Police per year; and how many personnel are involved in internal disciplinary procedures;(4) how many Metropolitan Police officers who have been disciplined in the last 10 years have subsequently been convicted in a criminal court on the same charges;(5) how many Metropolitan Police officers acquitted in British courts have later been disciplined internally on the same charges;(6) how many Metropolitan Police officers have been suspended in each of the last 10 years;(7) how many suspensions of police officers in the Metropolitan Police over the last five years have been followed by

(a) criminal convictions in the courts, (b) prosecutions, (c) internal discipline and (d) no action.

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

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he is taking any steps to alter the discipline procedures in the Metropolitan Police so as to improve the provision made for the defence of those officers accused of disciplinary offences;(2) why serving officers of the Metropolitan Police cannot be represented by a solicitor or counsel when charged under the disciplinary procedures of the Police Disciplinary Regulations.

Police officers may obtain legal advice in relation to disciplinary matters, but regulations 16(6) of the Police (Discipline) Regulations 1977 provides only for another police officer to represent an accused officer at a disciplinary hearing. The Police Federation recently submitted proposals to the Police Advisory Board for changes in disciplinary procedures, including a right for accused officers to legal representation.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are any prescribed punishments for particular offences contained in the police disciplinary regulations of the Metropolitan Police; and, if so, if he will list each offence and the punishment which applies to it.

No. The Police (Discipline) Regulations 1977, which apply to all forces, including the Metropolitan Police, prescribe only the punishments available to chief officers, or the disciplinary board in the case of the Metropolitan Police. Punishments are not specified for particular offences.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many criminal investigation department officers of the Metropolitan Police have been transferred from non-uniformed to uniformed duties in the last 10 years for disciplinary reasons.

Northern Ireland

Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department makes any financial contribution to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Yes. The Northern Ireland Department of Health and Social Services makes an annual grant to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to cover the cost of the salaries of the society's home safety liaison officer and her assistant in Northern Ireland, including their office expenses. In 1981–82 the grant was £21,000.The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment made grants totalling £72,500 in 1981–82. These were made up of £32,500 paid direct to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to meet the running costs of its Belfast office and a contribution to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents central services, and £40,000 paid to the affiliated Northern Ireland Road Safety Council to meet its running expenses.

Public Order

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for each local authority area in Northern Ireland the length of notice required by that authority or by him in respect of any march, procession or demonstration which is to take place within its area.

Article 3 of the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 provides that a person who intends to organise or form a public procession—other than a public procession which is customarily held along a particular route—shall give not less than 120 hours' written notice to the Royal Ulster Constabulary.District councils in Northern Ireland have no responsibilities for public order.

Children And Young Persons Review Group Report

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the progress he has achieved in implementing the recommendations of the report of the children and young persons review group.

Copies of my interim statement on the implementation of the recommendations of the children and young persons review group have been placed in the Library.

"Nellie M" And "St Bedan" (Sinking)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in investigations into the sinking of the "Nellie M"; and if any charges have been brought.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 March 1982, c. 44.]: Police inquiries into the sinking of the "Nellie M" are continuing. As yet no one has been charged.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in investigations into the sinking of the "St. Bedan"; and whether any charges have been brought.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 March 1982, c. 44.]: Police inquiries into the sinking of the "St. Bedan" are continuing. As yet no one has been charged.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department has yet received a claim for compensation for the sinking of the "Nellie M"; and for what sum.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 March 1982, c. 44.]: Under the Criminal Damage (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 an application for compensation for damage to the ship "Nellie M" has been submitted by the owners of the vessel; two applications have also been submitted by the firms of coal importers who owned the vessel's cargo but only one of these claims has so far been quantified. It is not our practice to reveal details of the amounts claimed.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if his Department has received a claim for compensation for the sinking of the "St. Bedan".

[pursuant to his reply, 29 March 1982, c. 44.]: Under the Criminal Damage(Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 a notice of intention to claim compensation for damage to the ship "St. Bedan" has been submitted by the owners of the vessel and an application for compensation has been submitted by the charterer fo the vessel and owner of the cargo. It is not our practice to reveal details of the amounts claimed.

Constitutional Reform

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, in his meetings with party representatives concerned with his initiative on devolution, he made clear to each delegation (a) the requirement for a 70 per cent. majority embodying cross-community support for any devolution of powers to a Northern Ireland elected assembly and (b) the method of involvement of Northern Ireland parties in the proposed assembly as a cross-border body of elected representatives; and by what means.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 March 1982, c. 44]: In my talks on constitutional development with the political parties in Northern Ireland I have made it clear that any proposals for devolution must be acceptable to both sides of the community. I have also discussed with the parties the case for a weighted majority in the assembly for any devolution proposals.No cross-border body of elected representatives is contemplated, but as for participation of members of the Northern Ireland assembly in an Anglo-Irish inter parliamentary body, the first step is for the Parliaments in London and Dublin to decide whether to establish such a body.

Transport

Dangerous Substances (Transportation)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he considers it necessary to review the regulations covering the transportation of dangerous substances; and when they were last reviewed.

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Health and Safety Commission has announced a programme for reviewing existing regulations and the possible need for new measures on the transport of dangerous substances. A plan of work has been agreed with this Department. New regulations covering bulk conveyance by road came into force on 1 January this year. The Health and Safety Commission is currently consulting on draft regulations covering the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances.Proposals are also being developed for the conveyance and storage of dangerous goods in port areas, the conveyance of package dangerous goods by road and the conveyance by road of explosives. My right hon. Friend is awaiting proposals from the commission on these matters. Attention will then be turned to other modes of conveyance.

Grimsby West Marsh Road Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made in assessing the Grimsby West Marsh road scheme submitted to him in November 1980; and when he expects to announce a decision or let contracts on this scheme.

Humberside county council is the highway authority responsible for the Grimsby West Marsh relief road scheme. I understand that it has made significant progress with advance works; and it is for it to decide when, and to whom, all contracts shall be let.

A30 Okehampton

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects a decision on the route and building of the A30 between Whiddon Down and Tongue End near Okehampton, Devon, to be announced, bearing in mind the delay in the Okehampton bypass proposals.

The proposed improvement of trunk road A30 between Tongue End Cross and Whiddon Down is directly linked with the proposed Okehampton bypass. I shall make an announcement just as soon as I can after receiving the report of the inspector who conducted the public inquiry into both schemes. This is expected this summer.

Tyres

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has reached a decision on seeking to change the law relating to tyre tread depths; and if he will make a statement.

I have decided to introduce regulations which will maintain the existing minimum tyre tread depth requirement of 1 mm. over three-quarters of the width, but I will also require that the remaining quarter should have some visible tread pattern. I also intend to introduce regulations which will require new replacement tyres to meet the same international standards—that is ECE regulation 30—as original tyres fitted to new cars, and to control the manufacturing standards of retreaded tyres by requiring them to meet the criteria laid down in British Standard BS AU 144b 1977.

Driving Tests

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current delay (a) in Cambridgeshire and (b) the average delay in England and Wales between applications for taking the driving test for (i) motor cycles, (ii) cars and (iii) heavy goods vehicles.

The average wait for a driving test is generally the same whether for a car or a motor cycle. In Cambridgeshire this is about 17 weeks; the average wait in England and Wales is 14½ weeks. The average wait for a heavy goods vehicle driving test in Cambridgeshire is five weeks compared with three and a half weeks in England and Wales as a whole.

Environment

Local Authorities (Rates Of Interest)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the average rate of interest paid by local authorities during 1979–80, 1980–81 and 1981–82; and what is his forecast of the average rate to be paid during 1982–83.

The information requested is as follows:

Average rate of interest (per cent.)
1979–8012·06
1980–8113·02
1981–8213
1982–8313
The figures for 1981–82 and 1982–83 are the assumptions used for the purposes of the rate support grant settlements, and are based on available information about the structure of local authority outstanding debt at 31 March 1981.

Energy Conservation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what rate of return on investment he seeks to achieve for energy conservation measures within buildings under his control.

All energy conservation measures within buildings which are the responsibility of the Property Services Agency have to be fully cost effective. There is no minimum rate of return but, at present, the majority of schemes have a payback period of up to five years.

Community Enterprise Programme

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to amend the law to allow adults taking part in the community enterprise programme to seek election as councillors to their local authority; and if he will make a statement.

Persons taking part in those schemes under the community enterprise programme which are sponsored by a local authority are, in all respects, employees of that authority, and are therefore disqualified from election to that council. I do not propose to seek to amend those provisions.

European Community Disaster Fund (Weather Damage)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether there is any expectation of an increase in the £700,000 allocation from the European Community disaster fund to the United Kingdom in view of widespread damage far in excess of this figure due to weather earlier this year.

No. The aid from the European Community disaster fund was principally intended as a gesture to underline the Community's concern and sympathy for those affected by the severe weather conditions in the South West, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales.

Fox Corner, Pirbright

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now announce his decision on the planning appeals relating to land at Fox Corner, Pirbright, which were the subject of a local inquiry on 6 January.

My right hon. Friend announced his decision on 23 March and I have sent my hon. Friend a copy of the decision letter for information.

Housing (Joint Insurance Service)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is to be the future of the joint insurance service operated by the Housing Corporation and the National Federation of Housing Associations.

This service, which arranges insurance cover for housing associations and provides advice, is at present managed within the Housing Corporation. The corporation and the National Federation of Housing Associations transfer the service on 1 April to a new company formed under the Companies Act. The Secretary of State has given his consent under section 6(1) of the Housing Act 1974 for the corporation to take a 40 per cent. shareholding in the company. The remaining shares will be held by the federation. The Comptroller and Auditor General will have access to the new company's accounts. The object of the transfer is to enable the insurance work for housing associations to be carried out on fully commercial lines by staff who will no longer be public sector employees.

Education And Science

City Schools

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will institute a survey of educational standards in city schools, with particular regard to size in relation to the nature of the catchment area served.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what sizes of schools he considers to be suitable for city areas.

Advice on school sizes is given in paragraphs 9 to 13 of circular 2/81 and applies to city, urban and country areas. When pupil numbers fall too low, the closure of a school or its retention at disproportionate cost falls to be be considered in the light of the educational interests of the pupils concerned, local circumstances, and the expenditure factors involved.

Westcotes School, Leicester

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will overrule the decision of the Leicestershire county council to close Westcotes school in the city of Leicester.

My right hon. Friend is considering, in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Education Act 1980, the Leicestershire county council's proposals to cease to maintain the Westcotes school. A decision will be announced in due course.

Teachers Pension Fund (Independent Schools)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to his replies to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East on 16 July 1981, Official Report, c. 479, 20 October 1981 and Official Report, c. 109, 22 January, Official Report, c. 195, what is causing the delay in bringing forward proposals to charge independent schools for membership of the national teachers pension fund; and when he expects to do this.

Defence

Defence Expenditure

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the most recent estimate of defence spending in the United Kingdom (a) per head of the population and (b) as a percentage of gross domestic product, as compared with similar estimates for France, Sweden and Switzerland.

The latest estimates for the United Kingdom and France for 1981, based on NATO spending definitions, are as follows:

Per capita defence spending $USDefence spending as a percentage of GDP
United Kingdom4394·9
France4424·2
Comparable estimates are not available for Sweden or Switzerland. For information concerning these countries I refer the hon. Member to the International Institute of Strategic Studies publication "The Military Balance 1981–82".

Warsaw Pact Countries And China (Order Of Battle)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Melton on 9 March, Official Report, c. 366, if he is satisfied in all respects with the accuracy of the International Institute for Strategic Studies' publication "The Military Balance 1981–82."

The Ministry of Defence is not responsible for this publication and would not necessarily endorse every figure and statement in it. I am nevertheless satisfied that it is generally reliable.

Personal Information (Disclosure)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence in what circumstances confidential personal information held by his Department on computers or by any other means is supplied to other Departments of State; and if he will make a statement.

Great care is taken to protect Ministry of Defence records and they are supplied to other Departments only to the extent necessary to meet specific purposes. In general the information is supplied with the consent of the individual concerned. Most of the information supplied is in connection with pensions, transfers of staff, new or prospective employment or for tax and ERNIC purposes. The same criteria apply to both computer records and records held by other means.

Employment

Employment Statistics

15.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the number of people currently in work compared with those in work 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years previously.

About 23¼ million people in the United Kingdom had a job last September, the latest date for which comprehensive figures are available. This is over 1½ million fewer than the number five years earlier and over 2 million fewer than in 1966, when employment was at record levels. Directly comparable information is not available before 1959, but it is estimated that the current numbers of people in employment are similar to those just after the war.

Stockport

16.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the work force was unemployed in the Stockport travel-to-work area in May 1979; and what is the present figure.

Percentage rates of unemployment are calculated only for complete travel-to-work areas. The rate for the Manchester travel-to-work area, of which Stockport is a part, was 5·2 per cent. in May 1979 and 12·8 per cent. in March 1982.

Satellite Broadcasting

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the effect on employment of the Government's proposals for direct broadcasting by satellites and for consequential cable networks.

The Government consider that direct broadcasting by satellite could offer significant industrial and employment opportunities, but no precise estimates have been made. The further opportunities which cable might create are discussed in the report of the information technology advisory panel which was published last week and which the Government are now urgently considering.

Motec

18.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether, in advance of the meeting of the Road Transport Industry Training Board on 13 April, he has formulated his consideration of the factors involved in the proposed closure of Motec, in the light of the meeting of the Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for City of Chester (Mr. Morrison), with Mr. Alex Kitson, Mr. Larry Smith, and the hon. Member for West Lothian.

As I said to the hon. Member for West Lothian and to Mr. Alex Kitson and Mr. Larry Smith, when I met them, it is for the Road Transport Industry Training Board to decide the future of its own training centres in the light of what it considers to be the current training needs of the industry.

Youth Opportunities Programme

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest number of people being helped under the youth opportunities programme.

At the end of February there were approximately 225,000 young people on schemes funded under the youth opportunities programme. In addition, 11,500 adults were employed within the programme as supervisors and tutors.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will review the salary scales paid to managers of trainees under the youth opportunities programme, so as to provide a new rate of salary for managers responsible for 80 or more trainees, and which would place them on a scale which would progress in line with the numbers of trainees under their supervision;(2) whether any salary increases are planned for managers and supervisor instructors on youth opportunities programme schemes.

The salaries of adult staff on youth opportunities programme schemes are reimbursed by the Manpower Services Commission up to certain specific maxima based on the local authority non-manual rates of pay. The effective date of any increase in local authority rates of pay is normally 1 July.A review was carried out by the Civil Service Department last year into the pay and grading of all levels of adult staff on YOP schemes. This review has now been completed and a copy of the final report has been sent to the commission for consideration.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take steps to establish a career structure for manager and career supervisor instructors on youth opportunity programme schemes.

Adult staff on youth opportunities programme schemes are the employees of the scheme sponsor; staff should normally be recruited from amongst the unemployed but, subject to this general criterion, it is for the sponsor to decide whom he wishes to appoint to vacancies within the scheme. The Manpower Services Commission makes training available to scheme staff which is designed to improve their effectiveness, but, because the commission is not the employer of the staff concerned, it is not appropriate for it to attempt to lay down rules concerning a career structure for youth opportunities programme scheme staff.

Vocational Training Schemes (Scotland)

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the Manpower Services Commission in Scotland will introduce new integrated vocational training schemes.

Yes. The Manpower Services Commission in Scotland plans to introduce in 1982–83 13,000 one-year training places under the youth opportunities scheme which will integrate planned work experience and off-the-job training and education of the highest quality.

Community Enterprise Programme

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is satisfied with progress made by the new community enterprise programme.

I am quite satisfied with the progress made by this programme, which, as my right hon. Friend announced on 15 December, is to be increased in 1982–83 to 30,000 places.

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what reductions in the community enterprise programme are envisaged in Yorkshire during the rest of 1982.

The Yorkshire and Humberside region has been allocated a target of 2,800 filled places under the community enterprise programme by the end of March 1982, and this allocation will continue for the year 1982–83. Currently just over 2,900 places are provided. Over the course of the next few months, this figure is likely to rise slightly before falling back to an average of 2,800 places per month throughout the year.

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when next he plans to visit the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission to discuss the community enterprise scheme; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend holds regular meetings with the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission. In his statement on 15 December 1981—[Vol. 15, c. 153]—my right hon. Friend announced that provision for the community enterprise programme will be increased to 30,000 places in 1982–83.

Oecd Countries (Unemployment)

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on trends in unemployment in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries for the last three months for which statistics are available.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment has been rising in nearly all Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. Comparing the latest three months with the previous three, unemployment has risen by 18 per cent. in Germany, 11 per cent. in the United States, 10 per cent. in the Netherlands, 7 per cent. in Canada, and 2 per cent. in the United Kingdom. Rates of increase have also been greater than the United Kingdom in Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Belgium and Sweden.

Unemployment Statistics

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the latest unemployment figures.

At 11 March, the provisional number of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom was 2,992,322 and the unemployment rate was 12·5 per cent.

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest number of registered unemployed in the United Kingdom; what was the figure for the same date in 1979; and what increase in percentage terms there has been.

At 11 March, the provisional number of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom was 2,992,322 compared with 1,402,254 at March 1979, representing an increase of 113·4 per cent.

28.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the latest figures available for the number of people unemployed; what proportion this is of the potential working population; and what steps he is taking to reduce unemployment.

At 11 March, the provisional number of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom was 2,992,322, and the unemployment rate was 12·5 per cent. This is calculated by expressing the unemployed as a percentage of all employees—both in employment and unemployed. This differs from the working population which, in addition to employees, includes the self-employed and members of Her Majesty's Forces.Our policies are intended to help establish the basis for sustainable economic growth and increased employment in the upturn. Meanwhile, we will be spending nearly £1·5 billion in the coming year on our special employment and training measures.

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the latest figures for unemployment, both nationally and regionally.

The figures were published in the unemployment press notice issued by my Department on 23 March; a copy is in the House of Commons Library.

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest percentage unemployment for Durham county, the Northern region and the United Kingdom, respectively.