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Written Answers

Volume 22: debated on Thursday 22 April 1982

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 22 April 1982

Social Services

Benefit Claimants

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now list in the Official Report for each of his Department's local offices serving the Coventry, North-West constituency the current number of non-pensioner and pensioner claimants; and if he will give comparable figures for 1979, 1980 and 1981.

[pursuant to his reply, 7 April 1982, c. 399–400]: The information requested is as follows:

Number of non-pensioner and pensioner claimants at offices dealing with the Coventry, North-West constituency.
Office16 March 198217 March 198118 March 198020 March 1979
Supplementary Benefits
Coventry (West)
Non-pensioners9,0036,1264,3504,494
Pensioners5,5115,6025,4325,278
Contributory Benefits
Coventry (West)
Non-pensioners2,6612,2882,8005,115
Pensioners765769873843
Figures for supplementary benefits are the number of cases in action on the dates shown. Figures for contributory benefits are the number of claims received in the four-week period ended on the date shown.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now list in the Official Report for each of his Department's local offices serving the Birmingham, Stechford constituency the current number of non-pensioner and pensioner claimants; and if he will give comparable figures for 1979, 1980 and 1981 where available.

[pursuant to his reply, 7 April 1982, c. 399·400]: The information requested is as follows:

Number of non-pensioner and pensioner claimants at offices dealing with the Birmingham, Stechford constituency
Office16 March 198217 March 198118 March 198020 March 1979
Suplementary Benefits
Erdington
Non-pensioners8,5146,8814,7204,774
Pensioners4,6306,1636,4226,465
Washwood Heath
Non-pensioners7,5135,9804,9805,055
Pensioners4,7314,9895,6365,683
Contributory Benefits
Erdington
Non-pensioners2,3742,6092,7034,278
Pensioners4668921,3561,127

Office

16 March 1982

17 March 1981

18 March 1980

20 March 1979

Washwood Heath
Non-pensioners1,7041,7332,7634,468
Pensioners469514685916

Figures for supplementary benefits are the number of cases in action on the dates shown. Figures for contributory benefits are the number of claims received in the four-week period ended on the date shown.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now list in the Official Report for each of his Department's local offices serving the Birmingham, Sparkbrook constituency the current number of non-pensioner and pensioner claimants; and if he will give comparable figures for 1979, 1980 and 1981 where available.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 April 1982, c. 438]: The information requested is as follows:

Number of non-pensioner and pensioner claimants at offices dealing with the Birmingham, Sparkbrook constituency.
Office16 March 198217 March 198118 March 198020 March 1979
Supplementary Benefit
Bradford Street
Non-pensioners5,5883,8472,8892,798
Pensioners3,1323,4523,4753,488
Ravenhurst
Non-pensioners5,6554,4803,3813,583
Pensioners2,1172,0742,1202,278
Sparkhill
Non-pensioners4,7243,3472,4472,633
Pensioners2,3972,3392,2682,411
Contributory Benefits
Ravenhurst
Non-pensioners1,6751,5511,9833,273
Pensioners714483524489
Sparkhill
Non-pensioners9871,0381,3092,249
Pensioners500386241310
Figures for supplementary benefits are the number of cases in action on the dates shown. Figures for contributory benefits are the number of claims received in the four week period ended on the date shown.

Prime Minister

Engagements

Q6.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q7.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q9.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q11.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q12.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q13.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q 14.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q16.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q17.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q18.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q20.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q21.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q22.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q23.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q24.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q25.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q26.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q27.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q28.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q29.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q30.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q31.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q32.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q33.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 April.

Q35.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q36.

asked the Prime Minister if she will state her official duties for 22 April.

Q37.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

Q38.

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 22 April.

This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall have further meetings later today. This evening I hope to attend a dinner given by the Civic Trust.

Capital Punishment

Q8.

asked the Prime Minister how many letters she has received on capital punishment.

In the period since we took office, I have received an average of around 35 letters a week on the subject.

Disarmament

Q10.

asked the Prime Minister whether she will outline the steps being taken by Her Majesty's Government to achieve measures of disarmament on the basis of mutual and balanced agreements between major powers.

We remain in close consultation with the United States Government about the progress of the US-USSR negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear forces which are taking place in Geneva and we have welcomed the prospect of talks on strategic arms reductions. We also play an active part in the multilateral negotiations for mutual and balanced force reductions in Central Europe, and have consistently advocated a conference on Disarmament in Europe. In the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva on 18 February we launched a fresh initiative on chemical weapons. I look forward to making a positive contribution to work of the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament in New York in June.

Reddish, Stockport

Q15.

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

Parliamentary Constituencies

Q19.

asked the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government still expect that any general election held in the autumn of 1983 or later will be based on new constituency boundaries.

Northern Ireland (Devolution)

Q34.

asked the Prime Minister whether, having regard to the response in Northern Ireland to the proposal for an Assembly and rolling devolution now before Her Majesty's Ministers, she will have plans prepared instead for a better system of local government and provincial administration subject to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

No. The White Paper "Northern Ireland: A Framework for Devolution" which contains the Government's proposals will be debated shortly.

Falkland Islanders (Citizenship)

asked the Prime Minister if, in light of the serious situation in the Falkland Islands, Her Majesty's Government will publish a White Paper setting out the rights of the Falkland Islanders who will shortly become citizens of the British dependent territories by comparison with citizens of Common Market countries and citizens of France's overseas territories.

Those Falkland Islanders who will become British dependent territories citizens subject to immigration control will ordinarily have to qualify for admission under the immigration rules although, as my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said in reply to the question from my hon. Friend on 8 April, they will in the present situation be admitted for settlement. European Community nationals, including French overseas citizens, also have to qualify for admission under the immigration rules, but, by virtue of our EC Treaty obligations, they are admitted to take or seek employment without work permits or to set up in business. I do not think a White Paper on the subject would serve any useful purpose.

Arms Sales

asked the Prime Minister if she will issue a directive to all Government Departments that all British arms trading with Fascist style dictatorships throughout the world, will be ended; and if she will make a statement.

Under already existing machinery, the Government consider carefully every application for a licence to export arms, to whatever destination. In doing so we take a variety of factors into account including the human rights record of the Government concerned. We also have powers to revoke licences once they have been issued, as has been done in the case of goods destined for Argentina.

Commonwealth Relations

asked the Prime Minister if, to ensure that Commonwealth relations are separately represented in Cabinet, she will set up a separate Commonwealth Relations Office.

No. I regard Britain's relations with the rest of the Commonwealth as important, but believe that the present arrangements for handling them are satisfactory. Responsibility already rests with a Cabinet Minister, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

Factory Closures

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 are expected to be lost in the closures discussed.

Information Services (Ministerial Responsibility)

asked the Prime Minister which Minister is now responsible for the co-ordination of Government information services.

My right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council will exercise this responsibility on the same basis as his predecessor.

Energy

Domestic Supplies (Disconnections)

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether further consideration is being given to the introduction of legally binding rules on fuel boards to replace the present code of practice concerning disconnections through non-payment of accounts.

No. A new code of practice leaflet will be issued by the industries shortly. This will incorporate changes I announced to the House in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Stevens) on 20 March.—[Vol. 20, c. 25.] Implementation of the changes will be monitored by the gas and electricity consumer councils; the industries and the consumer councils will wish to consider the results of this monitoring.

Advisory Council On Energy Conservation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the membership of the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation since the extension of its mandate on 1 January.

Professor Sir Hermann Bondi, who has been chairman of the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation since 1 January 1980, has now given up the chairmanship. The Government are grateful to him for his work in the field of energy conservation and the leadership he has given the council. In his place I have appointed Dr. Robert Telfer, chairman and chief executive of Mather and Platt, as the new chairman.The following have been appointed members of the council for the period up to 31 December 1983:

Dr. Richard Eden—Reader in Theoretical Physics and Head of Energy Research Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Founder member of ACEC.
Sir William Gray—Solicitor. Member of Scottish Econirnic Council. Former Lord Provost of Glasgow. Founder member of ACEC.
Frederick Howell Esq.—National Officer, Transport and General Workers Union. Member of MSC Engineering Industry Training Board and Senior negotiator for TGWU in electricity supply, gas and engineering industries.
Robert Jones Esq.—Coordinator, Conservation Projects, British Gas Corporation Marketing Division.
Robert Lintott Esq.—Board of ESSO Petroleum with responsibilities for marketing and research activities.
Professor Patrick O'Sullivan—Chair of Architectural Science, Welsh School of Architecture, University of Wales. Joined ACEC January 1977.
Michael Parker Esq.—Director of Central Planning, National Coal Board. Joined ACEC in January 1980.
Ms. Celia Pillay—National Research Officer, Engineers' and Managers' Association. Previously served on ACEC from January 1976 to December 1979.
Michael Posner Esq.—Economist, Ex Treasury. Chairman Research Social Science Council. Member British Railways Board. Founder member ACEC.
Jack Taylor Esq.—Marketing Advisor, Electricity Council.

I shall be appointing further members to the council shortly.

Scotland

Full-Time Consultants

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many consultants are employed in the National Health Service in a full-time capacity in the following specialties: (a) geriatrics, (b) psycho-geriatrics, (c) psychiatry and (d) mental handicap; how many have applied for and been granted permission to engage in at least 10 per cent. private practice in these specialties; and if he will provide a breakdown per health board area.

The number of full-time consultants in post in the geriatric, psychiatric, including psycho-geriatric and mental handicap specialties in the Scottish health boards at 30 September 1981 are as follows. Although there are some consultants specialising full-time in psycho-geriatrics, no separate figures are available and general psychiatrists can also be involved in this work.All full-time consultants are entitled to engage in private practice, provided their annual earnings from such practice do not exceed 10 per cent. of their annual full-time NHS earnings. No information is held centrally on the numbers of consultants who exercise this entitlement.

GeriatricsPsychiatry (including psycho-geriatrics)Mental handicap
Grampian4124
Tayside6161
Lothian726
Greater Glasgow15411
Lanarkshire413
Forth Valley183
Argyll and Clyde414
Ayrshire and Arran252
Dumfires and Galloway26
Borders12
Fife371
Highland281
Orkney
Shetland
Western Isles1
Scotland5215813

Doctors (Training Cost)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the cost to public funds to train a doctor.

I shall write to the hon. Member.

Percentage detection rates, *Scottish police forces, 1981
Crime/offence groupCentralDumfries and GallowayFifeGrampianLothian and BordersNorthernStrathclydeTaysideScotland
Non-sexual crimes of violence against the person818891805897558664
Crimes involving indecency525966654890626060
Crimes involving dishonesty384137332854263629
Fire-raising, malicious and reckless conduct242332262451182122
Other crimes1009510098100100999999
Total crimes384039362958283731
Miscellaneous offences907895809899909091
Offences relating to motor vehicles979810093100999910099
Total offences959599889999959696
Total crimes and offences647768636083566460
* Number of cases cleared up—ie, for which one or more persons were apprehended, warned, cited or traced—as a percentage of the number recorded by the police during the year.

Private Medicine

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether medical consultants in private practice may recruit nurses and secretaries from the National Health Service for their private practice (a) in a part-time capacity or (b) in a full-time capacity.

It is open to consultants conducting private practice outside hospitals, as it is to other employers, to offer employment to members of NHS staff. Where a consultant undertakes private practice in an NHS hospital, however, the health board is responsible for making available, and charging a patient for, the services of other staff.

Nurses (Training Costs)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the cost of training a nurse to the following levels: (a) registered general nurse and (b) enrolled nurse.

Cost estimates on 1981–82 figures are as follows:

Training allowances and associated costs*Training costs†
££
Registered General Nurse12,9002,100
Enrolled Nurse8,3001,400

Notes:

* Total costs during the training period, which includes service time as well as time spent receiving theoretical or practical instruction.

†Costs of tutorial and supporting administrative staff employed on nurses training; excluding local overhead costs of accommodation and services.

Criminal Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the percentage detection rates for (a) each police force and (b) Scotland overall for the various classes of crimes and offences in the latest available year.

Home Department

Police Housing

17.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in order to obtain closer identification with the local community, he will take steps to encourage police authorities to locate police houses on council estates, and in inner city areas.

It is for the police authority, in consultation with the chief police officer and the local representatives of the police staff associations, to determine the most appropriate locations for police houses.

Residential Care Premises (Fire Precautions)

18.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has completed his consultation on the draft guide to fire precautions in residential care premises.

The consultation has been completed and the comments received are being considered.

Prisoners (Statistics)

19.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of (a) male and (b) female prisoners are at present allowed out of their cells for 30 hours per week or more for work and educational purposes; and what were the figures four years previously.

The information requested is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, every effort is being made, within the constraints of available resources, to provide opportunities in all establishments for prisoners to take part in activities outside cells.

Stop And Search Legislation

22.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning his proposal to bring forward new legislation on powers to stop and search.

Up to 16 April, I received eight letters on this subject, including three from rt. hon. and hon. Members forwarding their constituents' views.

Moor Court Open Prison, Oakamoor

23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the future of Moor Court open prison, Oakamoor.

We are currently considering whether to close Moor Court women's open prison in view of a substantial underuse of open places for women prisoners. The staff and the trade unions concerned are being consulted, and we shall take full account of their views before making a final decision.

Prisons

21.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he proposes to take in the light of the criticisms made in the recent report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales 1981, in particular the comments made about overcrowding and lack of work especially in local prisons.

24.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the latest report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales 1981.

In addition to praising many aspects of the work of the prison service, the report of H.M. Chief Inspector of Prisons draws attention to the serious consequences of the mismatch between demands made on the service and the resources available to it. It is the aim of Government policy to correct that mismatch and in lily right hon. Friend's foreword to the report he set out the steps being taken to this end.

Greater London (Law And Order)

25.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to have discussions with the new Commissioner-designate of Police of the Metropolis on problems of law and order in the Greater London area.

I plan to meet the Commissioner-designate nearer the time he takes up his appointment to discuss policies and priorities for the force.

Prison Service

26.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons are employed in the prison service; and of these, how many are primarily associated with custodial duties and how many with remedial and rehabilitation duties.

On 1 April 1982 a total of 21,693½ staff of all grades were employed in prison department establishments in England and Wales. To the extent that their duties involve them in contact with prisoners, all staff have a duty to encourage their rehabilitation within the appropriate level of security, and it is not possible to make the distinction the hon. Member seeks.

Amusement Arcades

27.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the powers available to the police relating to the control of amusement arcades; and if he is satisfied that these are adequate.

The police have available to them all the powers of entry and search which exist in appropriate circumstances in respect of any offences.

Bail (Night Curfew)

28.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the five years to the latest available date a night curfew was made a condition of bail in respect of persons under 21 years of age.

The only information available centrally relates to the period May to October 1978 and was published in table 8.13 of "Criminal Statistics England and Wales, 1979"—Cmnd. 8098. In that period about 3 per cent. of all persons released on bail by magistrates' courts were required to observe a curfew; this figure represented about one in seven of all those required to observe conditions after release on bail.

Suspected Persons (Tape Recorded Interviews)

29.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in extending the experiments with tape recording interviews with suspected persons.

The only experiments now in progress are taking place in Scotland, and are therefore the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, who recently announced their extension to police stations in Glasgow and Aberdeen.—[Vol. 20, c. 99·100.] I still have under consideration the best way of carrying forward the recommendation made by the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure that in England and Wales interviews at police stations with persons suspected of crime should be tape recorded.

Policemen (Political Articles)

30.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation giving him authority to apply rules to chief constables and other senior policemen who submit articles of political controversy to journals or newspapers that may be read by the general public and to prevent such officers receiving fees or payment for such articles under any circumstances.

Satellite Broadcasting

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in setting standards for direct broadcasting by satellite, he will take into account the case for use by the BBC of the IBA's MAC system, in view of the fact that it is the only British system currently capable of becoming a European standard.

As I indicated in the debate on satellite and cable broadcasting on 20 April, before I decide on the transmission standards to be adopted for our first two DBS channels I intend to seek an independent expert assessment of the BBC's and the IBA's proposals. This will give the opportunity for a careful examination of the European implications.

Crime Prevention

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is considering implementing any additional new initiatives in his efforts to curb crime.

The Government's policies and initiatives were fully set out by my right hon. Friend and myself in the law and order debate in this House on 25 March.

Industry

Post Office

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, in view of his policy of improving efficiency in the Post Office, he will issue a directive to the Post Office on the subject of the number of deliveries of post made to addresses in any single day in order to avoid discrimination against certain consumers in particular geographical areas who at present receive only one delivery.

Employment

Voluntary Training Organisations

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether one of the criteria for the approval of a voluntary training organisation to replace an existing statutory training board will be that the new successor body shall be willing to participate in the objectives of the new training initiative; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to him on 22 March.—[Vol. 20, c. 249·50.]

West Midlands

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the percentage increase in unemployment between May 1979 and at the current time in each of the travel-to-work areas of the West Midlands.

The following table gives the percentage increases in the numbers registered as unemployed between May 1979 and March 1982 in the areas specified. The figures on which the increases are based include school leavers and are not seasonally adjusted.

Percentage increase
Birmingham*182·0
Burton-on-Trent211·6
Coventry*144·6
Dudley and Sandwell*271·8
Evesham169·2
Hereford112·0
Kidderminster*178·3
Leamington176·2
Ledbury76·1
Leek114·5
Leominster90·4
Ludlow125·3
Market Drayton153·9
Oakengates*164·9
Oswestry123·2
Redditch261·6
Ross-on-Wye125·0
Rugby145·7
Shrewsbury201·6
Stafford*167·7
Stoke-on-Trent*245·0
Stratford-on-Avon250·8
Uttoxeter214·9
Walsall*240·9
Whitchurch195·9
Wolverhampton*187·5
Worcester*165·1
* Travel-to-work area comprising two or more employment office areas.

National Finance

Temporary Personal Secretaries

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his reply dated 30 March, Official Report, c. 96, concerning the employment of temporary personal secretaries, whether he will publish in the Official Report an estimate of the weekly cost of employing such staff compared to the pay plus pension contributions of the corresponding grades of permanent staff.

The weekly cost of employing a temporary personal secretary in 1981 was some £207 per week (including VAT) compared with about £203 per week (including pension contribution) for the corresponding grade. of permanent staff.

Non-Eec Imports (Duties)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his answer dated 23 March, Official Report, c. 328 concerning the duties levied on imports of manufactured goods from non-EEC countries, whether the calculations were made on broadly the same lines as those in paragraph 15 of the "Multilateral Trade Negotiations 1973–79"—Cmnd. 7724; and if so, why the United Kingdom figures are lower.

No. There are a number of differences of which the most important is that in paragraph 15 of the "Multilateral Trade Negotiations 1973–79"—Cmnd. 7724, the average duty rates were calculated by the European Commission, on the normal basis used in trade negotiations and excluding non-dutiable goods. The rates given in my reply to the hon. Member on 23 March, Official Report, c. 328, were, as explained, averages for all imports in each section of the Standard International Trade Classification.

Customs And Excise

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of days taken by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise for (a) normal inspection and (b) preventive inspection at Tilbury, Dover, Ispwich and Felixstowe for each container load.

Mortgages (Tax Relief)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the reply of 31 March to the hon. Member for Dundee, West, Official Report, c. 123, if he will express the cost per mortgagor receiving tax relief in Scotland in each of the past three years.

Retirement Pensions (Taxation)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the treatment for income tax purposes of West German social security retirement pensions paid to persons resident in the United Kingdom.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 April 1982, c. 93]: West German social security retirement pensions paid to persons resident in the United Kingdom are chargeable to United Kingdom income tax under case V of schedule D in accordance with the provisions of Sections 108 and 109 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970.If the recipient is domiciled or, being a British subject or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom a deduction of one-tenth or, where the pension is payable under a special provision of the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, or any part of it, for victims of Nazi persecution, one-half of the pension is allowed in computing the amount chargeable to tax. A person who although resident is not domiciled or, being a British subject or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom is liable to tax on so much of the pension as is remitted to this country.

Hotel Industry (Capital Allowances)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much capital allowances for the hotel industry are expected to cost in 1982–83 and 1983–84; what estimate he has made of the additional cost in 1982–83 and 1983–84 of capital allowances for industry at the new rate of 75 per cent; and what would be the cost of granting capital allowances for new retail buildings in 1982–83 and 1983–84 at the same rate as that for hotels.

(a) On the cost of capital allowances for the hotel industry I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to his question on 12 November 1981.—[Vol. 12, c. 128.]

(b) The estimated cost of the increase from 50 per cent. to 75 per cent. in the initial allowances for industrial buildngs would be £75 million in 1982–83 and £120 million in 1983–84 if sufficient profits were available to absorb in full the capital allowances claimed. The low level of profits in recent years means, however, that some of these capital allowances will be carried forward to be set against profits in future years and the actual costs are very tentatively estimated at £10 million in 1982–83 and £20 million in 1983–84.

(c) If capital allowances for new retail buildings at the same rate as for hotels had been introduced in the 1982 Budget, the estimated costs would be negligible in 1982–83 and some £30 million in 1983–84. This figure assumes all capital allowances claimed to be set against profits; it is not possible to estimate the actual cost in 1983–84 because of the lack of adequate data.

The eventual cost will depend on the build-up of the allowances and on the extent to which profits are available to absorb them. On the assumption that recent levels of capital expenditure are maintained and that sufficient profits are available to absorb the allowances in full, the eventual cost will be of the order of £40 million for (a) and £200 million for (c).

House Of Commons

Parliamentarians (Pay And Allowances)

asked the Lord President of the Council whether, when next giving consideration to the salaries of hon. Members, he will bear in mind or refer to any appropriate Committee for purposes of comparison, the fact that the part-time advisers to Select Committees receive for their part-time employment daily rates of between £22 to £70 per day, plus all of the expenses as paid to hon. Members and that these sums are payable in addition to normal pay and outside earnings from public and other sources.

The Government will bear in mind a wide range of factors when considering hon. Member' salaries. However, the fees paid to specialist advisers to Select Committees are linked to the salary scales of university teachers and the work of such advisers bears no relationship to the work of hon. Members. Direct comparisons would not therefore be relevant in determining the salaries of hon. Members.

Trade

Copyright Law (United States)

asked the Minister for Trade whether he has discussed with the Trade Ministers for West Germany and Italy any combined action against the United States of America under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade on any continuation, even on an amended basis, of section 601 of the United States Copyright Act 1976 beyond 1 July 1982; and whether any retaliatory tariff action will be taken against the prohibition of importation or distribution in the United States of America of English language works printed in the United Kingdom.

Wales

Housing Improvement Grants

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what additional allocations are being made to local authorities in Wales to meet the cost of increasing the level of improvement grants which are approved following the new grant levels announced in the Budget Statement; and if he will make a statement.

Following the Chancellor's Budget Statement, an additional £4·8 million has been made available for home improvement grants in Wales in 1982–83. Bids for these resources were invited from all local authorities by 8 April. Authorities have received their provisional allocations today, details of which are listed below. The order increasing the rate of grant to 90 per cent. for intermediate and repairs grant applications made before 31 December 1982 was appoved by the House on 8 April and came into effect on 13 April. We shall be monitoring progress closely, but the present indications are that there will be a strong demand from householders for the additional resources for home improvement, which we want to see being fully utilised.

Rounded-up Allocation Including HIS
Aberconwy BC194,000(2,000)
Afan BC2,000(1,450)
Alyn and Deeside DC34,000(2,640)
Arfon DC356,000(15,000)
Blaenau Gwent BC601,000(10,000)

Brecknock DC23,000(1,100)
Cardiff CC457,000(19,000)
Carmarthen DC83,000
Ceredigion DC59,000(1,500)
Colwyn Bay BC22,000(3,700)
Cynon Valley BC160,000(20,000)
Delyn DC71,000(5,000)
Dinefwr B.C.40,000(1,200)
Dwyfor DC29,000(3,000)
Glyndwr DC11,000(1,300)
Islwyn DC115,000(4,800)
Llanelli BC50,000(5,800)
Lliw Valley BC396,000(1,500)
Meirionnydd DC89,000(1,500)
Merthyr Tydfil BC175,000(2,000)
Monmouth DC107,000(1,117)
Montgomery DC32,000(2,500)
Neath BC184,000(4,000)
Newport BC146,000(15,000)
Ogwr DC77,000(15,646)
Preseli DC23,000
Radnor DC176,000(500)
Rhondda BC156,000(11,000)
Rhuddlan DC3,000(2,000)
Rhymney Valley DC230,000(7,000)
South Pembrokeshire DC15,000(1,200)
Swansea CC300,000(15,000)
Taff Ely BC200,000(5,000)
Torfaen BC32,000(3,000)
Vale of Glamorgan BC72,000(2,700)
Wrexham Maelor BC36,000(6,000)
Ynys Mon BC111,000(1,500)
Total4,867,000(195,653)

Transport

Okehampton Bypass

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when the public inquiry into the Okehampton bypass started; when it ended; how much it cost; when the report is expected; and if he will make a statement.

The inquiry opened on 1 May 1979 and closed on 4 February 1980. The cost of holding the inquiry, that is, the hall, furniture, equipment, and of the inspector, including preparation of the report, is likely to be about £70,000. We can make no meaningful estimate of the Department's staff costs or the costs of other parties at the inquiry. I shall be writing to the hon. Member.The inspector's report is expected this summer, and my right hon. Friends will reach a decision as soon as possible.

Vehicle Windscreens

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make the fitting of laminated windscreens to all motor vehicles compulsory.

There is, at present, insufficient evidence of decisive road safety advantages to justify compulsory fitting of laminated glass for windscreens. Whilst the use of laminated windscreens is increasing, the views of researchers, manufacturers and users on its advantages are divided. We shall continue to keep this matter under review.

M6 (Noise Barriers)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what surveys are now being undertaken by his Department in the Walsall, North constituency regarding the erection of noise barriers in order to provide help for householders affected by the M6 motorway; what noise barriers have been agreed to in the area concerned; and when they are now likely to be erected.

The Department is proposing to erect two noise barriers along the M6 motorway in the Walsall, North constituency; one on the east side of the M6 from Hadley Road to Bentley Lane, and one on the west side from Wood Lane to Lichfield Road.The survey work now being undertaken involves site measurements in order to prepare plans for the location of the barriers.We plan to start work on both these in the latter half of this year.

Environment

Council House Sales

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the numbers of sales of council homes in London for each of the London boroughs distinguishing between voluntary sales and sales made under right-to-buy legislation.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Paddington (Mr. Wheeler) on 6 April 1982—[Vol. 21, c. 321]

Stephenson Engineering Works, Newcastle Upon Tyne

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has decided to spot-list the Stephenson engineering works, Newcastle upon Tyne, in view of the threat that it may be demolished; what representations he has received on the subject; and whether he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend decided on 30 March 1982 that those buildings on the site of the former Stephenson engineering works bounded by South Street, Stephenson Lane and Orchard Street did not merit addition to the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Twenty-four individuals and 15 organisations have written to the Department asking for spotlisting to be considered. Four organisations have written urging that spotlisting would be detrimental to the area.The decision not to list was taken after the most careful consideration of all the relevant facts, including the findings of a site inspection. The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in England has taken photographs for the national monuments record.

Overseas Development

Development Assistance

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of gross national product was provided by the United Kingdom for official development assistance in 1981; and how this compares with 1980.

Preliminary estimates are that net official development assistance in 1981 totalled £1,007 million, equivalent to 0·40 per cent. of gross national product. The comparable figure for 1980 was 0·34 per cent.

South-West Africa People's Organisation

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied that the EEC Commission's emergency aid allocation of 300,000 European currency units to the camps of Kwanza Norte and Kwanza Sul in Angola will benefit genuine refugees and not the South-West Africa People's Organisation.

This aid is being channelled through a consortium of voluntary agencies, and was decided upon after consultation with these agencies and with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In the circumstances I have no reason to suppose that the Community's aid will benefit other than genuine refugees.

Defence

Chatham Dockyard

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will hold a public inquiry into the employment of two Chatham dockyard workers in a radioactive contaminated area within the naval base nuclear complex, namely, the active waste tank removed from the submarine HMS "Churchill"; and what reply he has sent to the letter from the Union of Construction and Allied Trades and Technicians shop stewards convenor at Chatham dockyard of 6 April, forwarded to him by the hon. Member for Salford, East;(2) why the previous supervisors from the naval base complex at Chatham were moved elsewhere;(3) why paint chippings from HMS "Churchill" at Chatham dockyard were not collected, bagged and removed to the health physics department as required by the safety rules;(4) why work was done on the active waste tank of HMS "Churchill" without protective clothing, such as health physics overalls, hats, gloves and air fed respirators;(5) what is the medical condition of the two dockyard workers who were employed on work connected with the removal of the active waste tank from HMS "Churchill";(6) why the two men at Chatham employed in a radioactive contaminated area were allowed to take their contaminated overalls to the dining and locker rooms used by other workers;(7) what was the result of the examination of the overalls of the two men employed at Chatham in a radioactive contaminated area four days after they had finished the job in the area concerned;(8) why written work instructions were not given to the supervisor and the men involved in work on the active waste tank of HMS "Churchill" stating clearly the procedure to be adopted;(9) why no notice was posted at the entrance to the active waste tank of HMS "Churchill" in Chatham dockyard indicating the level of radioactivity; and why the area was not roped off;(10) what experience the new supervisory and technical staff employed on the work on HMS "Churchill" involving radioactive contamination had had on this type of work;

(11) on what occasions workmen at Chatham dockyard have been exposed to radiation; and in what circumstances.

An urgent technical investigation has been ordered into the employment of two dockyard workers in a radioactive contaminated area of the nuclear complex at Her Majesty's dockyard, Chatham. I would not wish to pre-empt the outcome of this investigation and will give a full reply to the hon. Member and the UCATT shop stewards' convenor upon its completion, which is expected to be by 7 May 1982.

Falkland Islands

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what he estimates to have been the effect of the invasion of the Falkland Islands on (a) applications and (b) acceptances for recruitment to the Armed Services.

Since the Falkland Islands emergency began there has been some increase in the numbers enquiring about joining the Armed Forces; but we have not recruited any more people into either the regular or reserve forces specifically in response to recent events, and the rate of acceptances remains as previously expected.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the necessary military action will be taken to isolate the Falkland Islands entirely from the Argentine as soon as it is logistically and militarily feasible in order to reduce the potential Argentine military presence in the event of later land based hostilities on the Islands.

A maritime exclusion zone around the Falkland Islands has been in force since 0400 Greenwich mean time on Monday 12 April. I would not want to comment on any further measures we might wish to take.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to keep essential personnel in the Royal Navy who would otherwise be entitled to leave the Service during the Falkland Islands operation.

[pursuant to the reply, 7 April 1982, c. 344]: So far 25 naval ratings and three Royal Marines who would otherwise have left full-time service during April and May 1982 and whose retention is required in the context of the current operations in the South Atlantic, are being retained in service under section 4 of the Armed Forces Act 1966 and schedule 7, paragraph 4A of the Army Act 1955. The appropriate report to Parliament has been made and copies are available in the Vote Office and in the Library. Further such reports will be made as necessary.

Portsmouth Dockyard

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Portsmouth dockyard naval base employees were engaged in the preparations for the dispatch of the task force to the Falklands; how many such employees will be retained at the Portsmouth naval base when the dockyard is closed; and if he is satisfied that they will then be sufficient in numbers, range of skills and resources to ensure that a similar task force can be dispatched with equal speed and efficiency.

The number of Portsmouth naval base employees engaged on the preparation of the task force has varied according to day-to-day requirements, but at peak times the number reached a maximum of between 1,200 and 1,500: some 500 to 700 are at present employed on this task. On the closure of the dockyard, it is intended to retain some 1,300 civilians in the naval base. The future size of the dockyard must be primarily determined by the size and composition of the fleet, the repair policy and the long-term needs that these generate. The events of the last few weeks will be carefully studied in relation to future plans, but I am satisfied that with the resources available at the naval base and at the remaining dockyards, there will be sufficient capacity to meet our future commitments.

Argentina

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Argentine personnel received military training in the United Kingdom during 1979, 1980 and 1981.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Harlow (Mr. Newens) on 8 April 1982.—[Vol. 21, c. 457.]

Cambridge House, Woolwich

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when work on refurbishing the 36 flats at Cambridge House, Woolwich, started; when it is now expected to be complete; and when the flats will be let to families on the Army waiting list.

Work is now complete, and the first occupants will be moving in shortly; I expect all the flats to be occupied by the end of next month.

Northern Ireland

Police (Numbers)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North 11 February, Official Report, c. 420, regarding the total numbers employed by the police forces in Northern Ireland, why figures at constant prices are not now readily available.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 31 March 1982 by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the right hon. Member for Stepney and Poplar (Mr. Shore).—[Vol. 21, c. 124.]However, the annual staff costs at outturn prices for Royal Ulster Constabulary and Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve officers and civilian support staff for the financial years referred to in my earlier reply are as follows:

RUC and RUC 'R' Officers £Civilian Support Staff £Total £
1971–7213,464,000546,00014,010,000
1979–8084,823,0004,990,00089,813,000
1981–82139,370,0007,000,000146,370,000

European Community

Community Documents (Explanatory Memoranda)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements are made for public access to explanatory memoranda on European Community documents.

We have arranged that after explanatory memoranda have been delivered to Parliament, copies will be sent to four "Depository Libraries" which, by their own direct arrangements with the European Commission, already maintain a supply of the documents to which the memoranda relate. These libraries are the lending and reference divisions of the British library, the City of Westminster central library and the Liverpool and District scientific, industrial and researh library. Copies of the memoranda will also be made available to the national libraries of Scotland and Wales, and to Queen's university library, Belfast.I hope that these arrangements, which have been agreed by the Scrutiny Committee, will help to improve public understanding of the Community.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Israeli Settlements, West Bank

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek, through the European initiative, to minimise Israeli settlements on the West Bank with the objective of preventing problems similar to those in Sinai when an eventual settlement is reached.

The Israeli Government are well aware of our strong views on the need for them to halt the expansion of their settlements in the occupied territories. As the Venice declaration makes clear, we and our partners in the Ten regard these settlements as a serious obstacle to the peace process, and illegal under international law.

South Atlantic Islands (British Sovereignty)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the historical basis of British assertion of sovereignty, respectively, over (a) Port Egmont, (b) West Falklands, (c) East Falklands, (d) South Georgia, (e) the South Sandwich Islands, (f) South Orkneys, (g) South Shetlands and (h) Graham Lands.

The United Kingdom has sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, its dependencies and the British Antarctic territory. The basis for British title to each of the individual islands, island groups and territories specified in the question differs according to the historical circumstances in which they came under United Kingdom possession, control and occupation, taking into account the administrative units of which they now form part. We have no doubt about our title to each of the possessions listed.

El Salvador

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to receive the report of the United Kingdom observers sent to the recent elections in El Salvador.

[pursuant to his reply, 6 April 1982, c. 306]: A full report has now been received by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House today, pending its publication in the Command Paper series.

Social Services

Safety Of Medicines

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will establish an investigation into the safety of medicines used for treating broncho-respiratory diseases, including those which can be purchased over the counter, in view of suggestions that some may be cardio-toxic.

Matters relating to adverse reactions to medicinal products are the responsibility of the licensing authority advised as necessary by the Committee on Safety of Medicines. The authority is aware of recent reports of the cardiotoxicity of some products used for the relief of symptoms of broncho-respiratory disease. These reports are being considered though they would seem to contain little that is new.

Unemployed Nurses

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the number of unemployed nurses who are not registered as unemployed.

No. There is no information available on which such an estimate could be based.

Private Medicine

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any definite plans or proposals further to support private medicine; and in what areas of health provision.

Junior Hospital Doctors

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider setting up an investigation into the payment of junior hospital doctors for the work they carry out in excess of the recognised 40 hours per week and to investigate the extent to which health authorities are paying the lower rate "B" for work which merits payment at the higher rate "A".

No. I know of no evidence that authorities are paying the "B" rate where the "A" rate would be appropriate. Appeal mechanisms are available to any doctor who is dissatisfied. The whole question of junior doctors' hours is being actively discussed with the medical profession, with a view to relieving the excessive loads on some doctors.

Birth Rates

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those boroughs where the birth rate to mothers of foreign birth or non-United Kingdom ethnic origin is in excess of 40 per cent.

The following is a list of London boroughs where more than 40 per cent. of all live-births occuring in 1980 were to mothers born outside the United Kingdom.

London BoroughPer cent, of live births in 1980 to mothers born outside the United Kingdom
Brent64
Camden47
Ealing53
Hackney50
Hammersmith and Fulham43
Haringey53
Islington41
Kensington and Chelsea55
Lambeth41
Newham45
Tower Hamlets44
Wandsworth40
Westminster, City of*55
* Includes City of London.

Impairments, Disabilities And Handicaps (Definitions)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that the definition of mental impairment in the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill conforms with the World Health Organisation definitions in the international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. The term was taken from that organisation's international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps and is defined in the Bill

Number of Patients on In-Patient Waiting List at 30 September 1981 Walsall area health authority
UrgentNon-Urgent
SpecialtyAll casesCases on list for more than one monthAll casesCases on list for more than one yearTotal of all cases
General Medicine
Paediatrics
Chest Diseases
Dermatology
Neurology
Cardiology
Rehabilitation
Genito Urinary Medicine
Rheumatology
Geriatrics723772
Younger Disabled
General Surgery51,2297071,234
ENT531,1687741,173
Trau & Orth325255255
Ophthalmology12212
Radiotherapy
Urology
Plastic Surgery
Thoracic Surgery
Oral Surgery74674
Orthodontics
Neurosurgery

So as to provide for the very small group of mentally handicapped people for whom it is generally agreed that powers of detention may be needed.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he has taken to promote the World Health Organisation definitions in the international classification of impairments, disabilities and handicaps.

While the classification provides an extremely useful framework for the discussion of disablement, further work has to be done before it could be used as a basis for collecting statistics. The Department's research liaison groups are encouraging researchers to explore ways in which the classification system can be used in their work. It has been described in an article in "Health Trends", which is published by the Department and circulated, among others, to every doctor under contract to the NHS. And the international seminar on the prevention of disablement, sponsored by the Department last November, included a presentation by Dr. Philip Wood which took account of the classification.

Hospital Waiting Lists

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a breakdown of hospital waiting lists in the borough of Walsall giving details of the operation or treatment required and the length of time waited to enter hospital in each case.

Information in the form requested is not held centrally, but the figures available are as follows:

UrgentNon-Urgent
SpecialtyAll casesCases on list for more than one monthAll casesCases on list for more than one yearTotal of all cases
Gynaecology419879202
Psych Children
Mental Handicap323
Mental Illness
Adolescent Psych
GP Other
GP Dental
OSU
Totals1733,0081,6623,025

Fuel-Direct Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what obligation there is for his Department to inform the Social Security Advisory Committee of any intention to change the regulations regarding the fuel-direct scheme; what the procedure is; and what changes his Department is considering to the fuel-direct scheme.

I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley) on 7 April.—[Vol. 21, c. 398·99.] The requirements for consultation with the Social Security Advisory Committee about changes in social security regulations are set out in section 10 of the Social Security Act 1980.

Christmas Bonus

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many Christmas bonuses for 1981 were not paid timeously; what proportion of the total number this represents; when the delayed bonuses were paid; whether any are still outstanding; and what are the reasons for the delay.

Some 10·4 million beneficiaries were entitled to the 1981 Christmas bonus. The Department has investigated about 9,500 cases where an eligible beneficiary has claimed not to have received the bonus. It is necessary to trace the relevant cashed foil from the beneficiary's order book to check whether payment was made. To date these checks have shown that in some 6,000 cases the bonus was not paid. This represents about 0.06 per cent. of the eligible total. Bonus payments are belong issued as soon as the checks have been made. About 200 cases are still outstanding and these should be cleared within the next few days. The original non-payments were due to clerical error. I regret any inconvenience caused by the late payment.

Medical Certificates

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will review the arrangements requiring elderly persons to provide medical certificates for various purposes and consider what assistance might be provided to assist retirement pensioners with the costs involved in obtaining certificates of health for insurance, car driving and other purposes.

There are a wide variety of circumstances in which a private medical certificate may be required, not all of which involve cost to the person, elderly or otherwise, who has to obtain it. I see no reason to disturb existing arrangements whereby the fees for services of this kind, unrelated to health care, are determined by the doctors providing them. The BMA gives guidance to doctors from time to time on the reasonable level of fees.