Written Answers To Questions
Monday 10 May 1982
Mental Health Legislation (Repatriations)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department for each year since 1971 how many persons have been repatriated within the terms of section 90 of the Mental Health Act 1959 and section 82 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960.
The information requested is as follows:
|Section 90 of the Mental Health Act 1959||Section 82 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960|
Immigration Service (Manpower)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been employed, whole time or part time, by the immigration service in each of the past five years and at what grades; how many other persons are employed, wholly or mainly, on work connected with immigration in the United Kingdom and abroad; what is the current cost of, and where appropriate what was the cost in each of the last five years of (a) the immigration service, (b) the immigration service intelligence unit, (c) the staffing and maintenance of Harmondsworth detention centre, (d) the immigration appeals system, (e) the employment of outside agencies on immigration work and (f) the operation of the entry
|Home Office staff costs||14,875||16,997||20,086||25,326||28,558||30,906|
|General administrative expenses||2,335||2,613||3,583||4,407||5,049||6,872|
|* Nationality fees, fees for documents of identity, payments by carriers etc.|
clearance system in the Indian Sub-continent; and what is the current cost of and what was the cost in each of the last five years of controlling immigration to the United Kingdom.
The numbers and grades of staff employed in the immigration service on 1 April in each of the last five years are as follows:
|Deputy chief inspector||2||2||2||2||2|
|Assistant chief inspector||9||9||9||9||8|
|Chief immigration officer||190||195||201||210||209|
The estimated costs of the immigration appellate authorities and of the grant to the United Kingdom Immigrants Advisory Service are:
|Immigration appeal tribunals||607||666||789||1,103||1,217||1,474|
Equivalent figures for the cost of the entry clearance work in the Indian subcontinent are not available, but I understand that some 47 United Kingdom based and 87 locally engaged staff are currently employed at an estimated annual salary cost of about £700,000.
Citizens Band Radio
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many summonses have been taken out against the users of allegedly illegal citizens' band radios in the Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe area; and what was the average time between the inspection of the equipment and the issuing of the summons.
Since the legalisation on citizens' band radios on 2 November 1981, 11 summonses have been issued in the Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe area; the time taken from the interview of the person concerned and inspection of equipment to the issuing of the summonses averaged one month.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints about interference from illegal citizens' band radios have been received in the Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe area since the legalisation citizens band radios came into force.
Since the legal citizens' band service was introduced on 2 November, 1981, 486 complaints about interference from illegal citizens' band radios have been received in the Stoke-on-Trent and Crew area. No statistical record is kept of complaints of interference to the licensed CB radio service.
Toxteth Disturbances (Report)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Merseyside on the recent disturbances in Toxteth.
The information provided by the Chief Constable relates to Saturday 24 April to Thursday 5 May inclusive. At 4.50 pm on 24 April two police officers patrolling on foot in the Toxteth area were attacked by a group of 25 to 30 youths for no discernible reason. The officers' injuries were sufficiently serious for them to be detained overnight in hospital. We were glad to learn that they were then discharged. During the evening there were reports of gangs of youths engaged in stoning vehicles or committing acts of vandalism. In each case the police responded and the gangs broke up when officers arrived on the scene.The pattern of gangs of youths roaming the area but dispersing immediately on the arrival of the police continued on the nights of 25, 26 and 27 April. A 21-year-old man was arrested on 26 April as was a 15-year-old youth on 27 April. Both have been charged with the use of threatening behaviour and the possession of an offensive weapon.Since 27 April there has been no incident of public disorder other than a report on the night of 5 May of youths stoning cars. The youths dispersed before the police arrived.
Liverpool (Ministerial Visit)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any further plans to visit Liverpool to meet community groups and the community relations council.
My right hon. Friend has no present plans to do so.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will announce an increase in London taxi fares.
I have made an order increasing the London taxi fare tariff by an average of 10 per cent. with effect from 30 May.The new tariff will incorporate a minimum fare of 50 pence (including a hiring charge of 30 pence) for the first 630 yards of 2 minutes 24 seconds. The rate will then be 10 pence for each 315 yards or 1 minute 12 seconds up to 6 miles and 10 pence for each 210 yards of 48 seconds thereafter.In order to ensure an adequate supply of taxis at night, weekends and public holidays, the surcharge for hirings on weekday nights and on Saturdays will rise to 40 pence. The extra charge for Saturday nights, Sunday and public holidays will be 60 pence except on Christmas day when it will be £2.
Civil Defence (Planning Regulations)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will bring forward amendments to the Civil Defence (Planning) Regulations 1974 to enable grants to be paid direct to district councils in cases where county councils are refusing to carry out their statutory duties on home defence.
The Civil Defence (Planning) Regulations 1974 would not prevent civil defence grant being paid direct to district councils where this was considered necessary.
Somalia (Displaced Persons)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what help has been given to the Somalia Government towards the cost of helping displaced people now living in that country.
In 1981–82 we provided aid for refugee relief for Somalia totalling about £3 million. This comprised a £1 million contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees; 15,250 tonnes of cereals food aid worth approximately £1·8 million; £140,000 of disaster relief; and a contribution of £125,000 to the voluntary agency Action Aid. We also contributed to the substantial food and emergency aid provided by the European Community.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what percentage of the overseas aid budget is spent on education.
We spend about 12 per cent. of our bilateral aid programme on aid to education. The following table summarises our bilateral aid to education for 1980, the latest year for which published statistics are available, but it is not possible to quantify our aid to education through multilateral agencies. I have also arranged for copies to be placed in the Library of a recent paper published by my Department on "British Aid to Education in Developing Countries".Following is the information.
|Support of experts and volunteers||28,618|
|British Council (including aid administration)||24,818|
|Training in education||8,369|
|Commonwealth education co-operation||2,546|
|Support for higher and technical education through the Inter University Council and TETOC||3,292|
|Miscellaneous schemes including books aid||2,526|
|Total bilateral programme £604 million.|
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has for making capital aid available for rural development projects in Tanzania; and if he will make a statement.
In 1982–83 we expect to spend about £9 million on project to promote rural development in Tanzania.
Bilateral Aid Agreements
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the value of aid given by the United Kingdom in the last financial year under bilateral agreements; and how many separate arrangements and different countries were involved.
In 1981, 132 countries received £673 million in bilateral aid, £374 million of this was provided under a total of 173 capital aid agreements. The remainder consisted of other forms of capital aid, together with technical cooperation.
Aid (United Kingdom Employment)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will estimate the number of jobs in the United Kingdom whose existence is directly linked to the giving of aid to the Third world.
No official estimate has been node.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the financial accountability of the Crown Agents.
Yes. The Crown Agents Act 1979 established the Crown Agents as a statutory corporation and, inter alia, requires the Crown Agents to submit annually to me a report and an audited statement of accounts which are laid before each House of Parliament.
Public Bodies (Departmental Assistance)
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what bodies or organisations, for the day-to-day work or administration of which he does not answer parliamentary questions, receive finance from his Department's Vote.
In addition to the wide variety of non-official bodies to which my Department gives grants, it is the sponsor Department for a number of executive bodies listed in "Non-Departmental Public Bodies; Facts and Figures 1981", which receive finance from my votes. While I answer questions on the general principles underlying these grants, I do not answer for their detailed administration.
Amnesty International (Reports)
asked the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government obtain copies of reports by Amnesty International about human rights abuse in overseas countries.
asked the Prime Minister if she will pay a further visit to Toxteth, Liverpool.
I have no plans to visit Liverpool in the near future. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, however, pays frequent visits to Merseyside.
Cnaa Degree Courses
asked the Prime Minister why the consultations between the Department of Education and Science and the Scottish Education Department necessary to answer the letters of 9 and 10 February from the hon. Member for Dundee, East, referred to in the answer of 21 April, Official Report, c. 98, have taken some three months; and when a full reply may be expected.
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science has now sent a full reply to the hon. Member, in which he has apologised for the unacceptable delay.
Permanent Secretaries (Retirement)
asked the Prime Minister what principles govern the decision as to whether permanent secretaries should retire at the age of 60 years or be retained in service.
Permanent secretaries, with the exception of the Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor, where special arrangements apply, retire, as do other staff in the Open Structure, at the end of the month in which they reach the age of 60 years. In exceptional cases where there is advantage to the public service, they may be retained for a limited period.
Mr Alan Walters
asked the Prime Minister what is the Civil Service rank to which the salary of Mr. Alan Walters is currently linked; and what is the additional level of payment she has authorised Mr. Walters to receive from private sources in respect of his work as an adviser to Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Walters receives from public funds the salary payable to a second permanent secretary. As I told the House on 18 December 1980—[Vol. 996, c. 838]—he receives additional remuneration from private sources, but I am not prepared to publish details.
asked the Attorney-General in how many cases in each of the last 10 years (a) allegations of fraud concerning the affairs of an insolvent company have been reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions under section 332 of the Companies Act 1948, (b) proceedings were brought as a result of such allegations and (c) convictions were obtained.
The number of cases reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions under section 332 of the Companies Act 1948 is as follows:
|1. Reports||2. Proceedings||3.Convictions|
|1982||5||(up to 6 May 1982)|
|45 per cent.||72·2 per cent.|
|excluding||of (1)||of (2)|
|1982||32 per cent. of (1)|
1. For 1982 there are no results and the figures are limited.
2. The figures in column (1) show only those cases reported as section 332. They do not necessarily mean they were proceeded on under that section.
3. The figures in column (2) do not necessarily mean that they result from reports shown in column (1), though it is very probable, it cannot be confirmed.
4. The figures shown in column (3) show convictions for section 332 only.
Some defendants were convicted of other or alternative offences.
asked the Attorney-General if he will publish the criteria used by the social security commissioners for selecting cases to go to appeal to it; which cases are given priority; and which communications between them and the parties to the appeal are disclosed.
The social security commissioners grant leave to appeal in supplementary benefit cases where the application for leave to appeal discloses a point of law and in national insurance cases where the local tribunal appears to have erred in law or reached a decision which was not justified on the facts before it.Cases are given priority according to the order in which the relevant papers are received, the state of readiness of the parties and the urgency and importance of the particular case.As regards the disclosure of communications, all written submissions made to the commissioner by either side are disclosed to the other.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list for each financial year since 1978–79 the mean average time taken between a gas explosion and the receipt by his Department of the report from the gas board and the longest and shortest times taken to report in each year.
The precise information requested is not available but my Department's gas standards branch generally receives from the British Gas Corporation telephone reports of serious incidents involving gas within 24 hours of the explosion.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) how many gas explosions have been reported by gas boards to his Department's gas safety branch in each financial year since 1978–79; in how many cases in each year prosecutions were mounted by the police; how many such prosecutions succeeded; in how many cases prosecutions were initiated by his Department; and how many of these were successful;(2) if he will list for each financial year since 1978–79 the mean average time taken by his Department from the receipt of gas board reports into explosions before deciding whether or not to prosecute and the longest and shortest times taken by his Department in each year.
I will answer the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Gas Standards Branch (Staff)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list for each year since 1978–79 the establishment and total staff in post in the gas standards branch of his Department.
The complement and staff in post in the gas standards branch on 1 April each year since 1978 were as follows:
|Complement||Staff in post|
Sizewell Pressurised Water Reactor
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what will be the estimated increase in the cost of the pressure vessel for the Sizewell pressurised water reactor in the light of the findings of the recent Marshall report on ensuring minimum failure risk from cracks or other metallurgical defects.
The forthcoming public inquiry into the CEGB's application to build a PWR at Sizewell will provide an opportunity for questions of this nature to be addressed.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the earliest estimated date on which the projected Sizewell pressurised water reactor nuclear power station can be commissioned to feed power into the grids, allowing for time for the planning inquiry.
I am advised by the CEGB that it would take some 7½ years from the start of main foundation work before the station could be commissioned to feed full power into the grid.I cannot prejudge how long the public inquiry will take to reach its conclusions.
Marcoule Nuclear Reactor (Leakage)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has received from the French authorities about the recent malfunction of their experimental nuclear reactor at Marcoule involving sodium leakage.
I shall answer the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most recent calculation of the ratio of economic growth and aggregate demand for energy from all sources.
My Department no longer publishes the ratio of growth in energy demand to economic growth for reasons given in an article in Economic Trends May 1981 entitled "The Energy Coefficient Revisited". Nevertheless, we still continue to publish the ratio of total inland primary energy consumption to gross domestic product and the provisional figure for this ratio in 1981 is 91·5 on the base of 1975 = 100.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most recent estimate of simultaneous maximum demand for electricity in 1983 and 1984.
I am advised by the Electricity Council that unrestricted simultaneous maximum demand for England and Wales in 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85 is estimated at 42·9 GW, 43·0 GW and 43·4 GW respectively.Electricity supplies in Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what is the current total output of advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power stations; what percentage of total electricity generating capacity this represents; and what percentage of total energy consumption from all sources this represents.(2) when the current advanced gas-cooled reactor nuclear power programme was begun; and when it is estimated to be fully completed, excluding Heysham and Torness;(3) what additional nuclear electricity capacity has come on stream since May 1979; and what is the total current capacity, excluding stations not at the moment generating electricity because of overhaul, fuel reloading or temporary breakdown.
I shall answer the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Minister for Trade if he is satisfied with the trend in the balance of trade between Japan and the United Kingdom as shown by the most recent figures.
No. The Government are concerned about the United Kingdom's growing deficit in visible trade with Japan. We and the European Community as a whole are continuing to press Japan to make changes in her trading practices so as to create more opportunities for our exports to the Japanese market and to secure moderation of her exports in sensitive sectors.
asked the Minister for Trade whether he intends seeking legislation to control doorstep selling.
I am considering implementing provisions under the Consumer Credit Act which would widen the protection for consumers involved in credit transactions.
asked the Minister for Trade when Ministers next will meet for the purpose of discussing the multi-fibre arrangement; and if he will make a statement.
No date has yet been fixed. There will have to be a full consideration by the Council of Ministers of the Commission's report upon the bilateral negotiations, which the Commission is required to make by the end of September. But the possibility of a discussion by the Council before then cannot be excluded.
asked the Minister for Trade whether it is still intended that the deadline for a final report to the European Economic Community Council of Ministers on the multi-fibre arrangement bilateral negotiations will be the end of September 1982.
That is the date that the Council has set for the Commission's report.
asked the Minister for Trade if he is satisfied with the progress to date in the bilateral negotiations on the multi-fibre arrangement.
So far the Commission has held only informal exploratory consultations with the supplying countries. Formal negotiations are scheduled to commence this week in Brussels.
asked the Minister for Trade what proportion of British exports went to European Economic Community countries in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available; and how this figure compares with that for 1972.
In the 12 months to February 1981, 43 per cent. of United Kingdom exports went to the countries of the European Community compared with 31 per cent. to the same countries in 1972.
Argentine Assets (Insurance Cover)
asked the Minister for Trade what guidance his Department has given to British insurers and re-insurers of Argentine assets.
Advice to British firms was given by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Trade in his reply to the private notice question from my hon. Friend the Member for Honiton (Sir Peter Emery) on 5 April. Insurers have no doubt taken this into account in reaching decisions on Argentine insurance business.
asked the Minister for Trade what were the total profits of each of the following main subsidiaries of British Airways: British Airways Engine Overhaul Ltd, International Air Radio Ltd, British Airways Associated Companies Ltd, British Airtours and British Airways Helicopters Ltd in each of the last two years for which the information is available.
The last two years for which information is available are the 1979–80 and 1980–81 financial years. Taking the years in that order, the total post-tax profits for each subsidiary are as follows:
British Airways Engine Overhaul Limited: zero in each year;
International Aeradio Limited: £3·8million and £3·7 million
British Airways Associated Companies Limited: £6·2 million and £6·4 million
British Airtours Limited: £4·2 million and £2·3 million
British Airways Helicopters Limited: £2·2 million and £1·8 million.
asked the Minister for Trade if he will list the circumstances in which his authority is required before British Airways can sell off any of its subsidiary companies.
British Airways do not require the Secretary of State's authority before they may sell off their subsidiary companies. But the Government would expect to be consulted in any important cases.
asked the Minister for Trade what was the total profit or loss of British Airways in the last three financial years; and what was the overall contribution to each of those figures by the subsidiary companies of British Airways.
The last three years for which information is available are the financial years 1978–79, 1979–80, and 1980–81. In 1978–79 the British Airways group as a whole made after-tax profits of £62 million and the subsidiaries contributed £18 million. In 1979–80 the group made profits of £3½ million and the subsidiaries contributed £18 million. In 1980–81 the group made a loss of £145 million and the subsidiaries contributed profits of £21 million.
asked the Minister for Trade whether he will refer British Airways for investigation under section 11 of the Competition Act 1980.
A programme for the current year of investigations into the efficiciency of certain nationalised industries and public sector bodies has already been announced. British Airways have not been included but they will be considered for possible inclusion in a future programme.
asked the Minister for Trade if he will introduce compensation for firms which suffer loss flowing from trade sanctions against Argentina.
While we naturally regret the consequences for British firms of the trade sanctions we have imposed, it has not been the policy of successive Governments to pay compensation.
asked the Minister for Trade how effective the EEC embargo on trade with Argentina has been to date.
The ban, which affects about a quarter of Argentina's exports, has demonstrated the EEC's opposition to Argentina's aggression and had an immediate impact on international confidence in the Argentine economy.
asked the Minister for Trade (1) if he will list any trade delegations or visits to the United Kingdom sponsored or arranged by the British Government since 3 May 1979 for Argentine Ministers, officials or business persons, together with the names of any British Ministers or officials who met them; and if he will place in the Library copies of any press statements issued or speeches made in the course of or about such visits;(2) if he will list those Ministers, officials and business persons who have visited Argentina since 3 May 1979 on official trade delegations; and if he will place in the Library copies of any press statements or speeches made in connection with such delegations, including those associated with visits by Ministers or officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Minister for Trade if he will list the trade delegations mounted to Argentina since 3 May 1979; including any associated with visits by Ministers or officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The following delegations have visited the Argentine since 3 May 1979:
Date and Sponsor
14–25 May 1979—Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Industry
22 May-9 June 1979—Ship and Boat Builders National Federation
30 June-14 July 1979—British Food Export Council
20 October-2 November 1979—Birmingham Chamber of Industry and Commerce
3–18 November 1979—Publishers Association
16–28 March 1980—British Agricultural Export Council
28 June-1 July 1980—Engineering and Building Centre
19–30 July 1980—British Food Export Council
22–26 September 1980—Scottish Council (Development and Industry)
5–17 October 1980—London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
25 October-8 November 1980—Birmingham Chamber of Industry and Commerce
2–21 November 1980—Association of British Mining and Equipment Companies
28 March-12 April 1981—British Menswear Guild
20 June-4 July 1981—Engineering and Building Centre
10–17 July 1981—North of England Development Council
9–23 October 1981—Birmingham Chamber of Industry and Commerce
2–7 November 1981—Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Industry
9–11 June 1980—British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers Association
Textile And Clothing Imports
asked the Minister for Trade what was the level of imports of textiles and clothing in the latest available two-month period and for the same period in the previous year.
The value of imports of textiles and textile clothing in December 1981 and January 1982 was £537 million cif and £439 million cif in the same months of 1980–81.
United States (Copyright Laws)
asked the Minister for Trade what representations have been made by his Department to the United States Government about the effect on trade with the United Kingdom of the American copyright laws.
The British Printing Industries Federation, which is most directly affected by this, has been campaigning against the United States copyright laws including lobbying United States senators directly. We are fully in support of its case and both our embassy and the representative of the European Communities in Washington have made a number of formal and informal representations in the past year, protesting strongly against possible continuation of the so-called United States manufacturing clause.
Penlee Lifeboat Disaster
asked the Minister for Trade when he now expects to establish a full inquiry into the Penlee lifeboat disaster.
Until the Irish Government decide the action that they should take on the loss of the "Union Star", the scope of the inquiry into the Penlee lifeboat disaster, and therefore its timing, cannot be determined.
Motor Cars (Origin Marking)
asked the Minister for Trade if he will seek to amend the law so that origin marking of motor cars is made more distinct.
I see no need to do so. Conspicuous indications of origin are already required, under the Trade Descriptions Act 1972, on imported cars which bear a United Kingdom name or mark.
Package Holiday Industry
asked the Minister for Trade if he will ask the Director General of Fair Trading to inquire into the practices of the package holiday industry.
I have no plans to do so. The Director General of Fair Trading already monitors codes of conduct which members of the Association of British Travel Agents are required to observe as a condition of membership.
asked the Minister for Trade if he will formulate a code of practice to protect consumers from purchasing sub standard footwear for their children which may be injurious to their health.
I am very conscious of the damage which can be done to children's feet from ill-fitting shoes. I am pleased to see that the Footwear Distributors Federation has adopted a code which takes account of these dangers, and I have placed copies of the code in the Library.
House Of Fraser And Lonrho (Merger)
asked the Minister for Trade what representations he has received from the parties involved in the proposed merger of House of Fraser and Lonrho Ltd. since the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission was published on that proposal.
My right hon. and noble Friend has received many communications from, and on behalf of, both parties. He has also received representations from Lonrho concerning a possible review of the undertakings the company gave following the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report. Before reaching a decision on these representations, my right hon. and noble Friend will be taking account of the advice of the Director General of Fair Trading and the views of House of Fraser.
Engineers' Tools (Imports)
asked the Minister for Trade if he will compare levels of tariffs on engineers' tools, including taps and dies, imported into the United Kingdom and those on United Kingdom products exported to a number of third countries.
The following table compares the position for imports of engineers' tools into the European Community, Brazil, India, Australia, Spain and South Africa.Whilst on some products a number of countries have tariffs higher than the European Community's common customs tariff against British exports, the CCT is higher in some sectors than other countries' tariffs. These disparities reflect the various countries' industrial structure, their tariffs when the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was established, and the extent to which it has been possible to reduce tariffs by negotiation. Such negotiations cannot produce uniform tariffs in narrow sectors, but overall tariff reductions were agreed in the Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 1979 and will help to reduce many disparities. These tariff cuts are taking place on a phased basis and will not be completed until 1987.
|Tariff levels on interchangeable tools for hand tools, for machine or power-operated hand tools, including dies for wire drawing and rock drilling bits. (CCCN No. 82.05)|
|United Kingdom (CCT)||5·8*|
* Imports from certain sources enter duty-free under GSP.
† Brazil imposes an additional 8 per cent. manufactured goods tax.
‡ India has 15 per cent. to 25 per cent. auxiliary tax depending on the imported product.
║ Imports into Spain under 82.05 pay a 12 per cent. compensation tax, although United Kingdom made products are given 12·4 per cent. tariff rate.
¶ South Africa has recently imposed a 10 per cent. surcharge on certain imported items including some under 82.05.
Hms "Edinburgh" (Salvage Contract)
asked the Minister for Trade if he will hold an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the granting of the contract for salvaging the gold on HMS "Edinburgh" to Jessop Marine.
Any decisions about such an inquiry will have to wait until the police have finished their inquiries.
Building Societies (Competition)
asked the Minister for Trade whether he is satisfied with the state of competition within the building society movement; and whether he will make a statement.
The model rules and circulars of the Building Societies Association have been registered under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976 and are currently being considered by the Director General of Fair Trading. If the hon. Member has a particular aspect of building society practice in mind, he may like to draw it to the attention of the Director General.
Public Bodies (Departmental Assistance)
asked the Minister for Trade what bodies or organisations for the day-to-day work or administration of which he does not answer parliamentary questions, receive finance from his Department's Vote.
In addition to the non-official bodies and international organisations to which my Department gives grants, it is the sponsor Department for a number of executive bodies listed in "Non-Departmental Public Bodies; Facts and Figures 1981", and for British Airways, all of which receive finance from my Department's Votes. While I answer questions on the general principles underlying this finance, I do not answer for its detailed administration.
asked the Minister for Trade (1) how many cases in each year since section 9 of the Insolvency Act 1976 came into force particulars of directors of insolvent companies have been referred to him under the Act for consideration of their being debarred from acting as directors of companies; how many cases are still under consideration; and in how many cases directors have been debarred;(2) in how many cases in each of the last five years official receivers have submitted reports suggesting that
(a) directors of limited companies and (b) bankrupts have (i) committed offences under the insolvency laws and (ii) committed other offences; how many prosecutions have been brought in each year in each category and how many convictions resulted.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
asked the Minister for Trade if he will take steps to encourage the introduction of more liberal arrangements for setting air fares in Europe.
Largely as a result of initiatives taken by Her Majesty's Government, the Commission put forward proposals which would bring some degree of liberalisation into the regulation of air fares within the Community. We are continuing our efforts to win support for these proposals and are doing all we can to make progress. Meanwhile, on the bilateral front, we are taking every opportunity to further proposals by United Kingdom airlines to introduce innovative fares on their European services. For example, we have recently secured approval for British Caledonian to operate from Gatwick to a number of German cities and for Dan-Air to operate from Gatwick to Dublin and Shannon, in both cases offering new fares.
British Midland Airways
asked the Minister for Trade (1) when British Midland Airways appealed to him against the Civil Aviation Authority's refusal to grant a licence to compete with British Airways on the Heathrow to Glasgow and Heathrow to Edinburgh trunk routes;(2) when British Midland Airways applied to the Civil Aviation Authority for permission to compete with British Airways on the Heathrow to Glasgow and Heathrow to Edinburgh trunk routes of which British Airways currently holds the monopoly.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
Visiting Orchestras Consultative Association
asked the Minister for Trade if the Director General of Fair Trading has investigated the functioning of the Visiting Orchestras Consultative Association; and with what result.
[pursuant to his reply, 6 May 1982, c. 108]: I understand that the Director General is currently pursuing inquiries into certain aspects of the Association's operations.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will consider extending the lime subsidy to all farming areas in view of the present poor state of agricultural land in the rural areas and not limit this subsidy to the less favoured areas; and if he will make a statement.
Under the capital grants schemes, assistance is available both inside and outside the less favoured areas for liming which is part of an approved programme of grassland reseeding and regeneration. In addition, the agricultural development and advisory service stresses the need for regular liming as a cost-effective treatment which it is in farmers' own interest to undertake. We have no plans to introduce further assistance for liming.
Public Bodies (Departmental Assistance)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what bodies or organisations, for the day-to-day work or administration of which he does not answer parliamentary question, receive finance from his Department's Vote.
My Department is the sponsoring Department for a number of executive bodies listed in "Non-Departmental Public Bodies Facts and Figures 1981" which receive finance from my votes. While I answer questions relating to their general operations, including agency functions, I do not answer questions concerned with their detailed administration. Nor would it be appropriate for me to answer questions about the variety of other bodies which receive finance from my Department, though I am, of course, answerable for the propriety of this expenditure.
|(a) Temporary short-time working compensation scheme||(b) Community industry||(c) Youth opportunities programme||(d) Young workers scheme||(e) Job release scheme||(f) Community enterprise programme|
European Community (Surplus Wine)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what progress is being made towards finding other outlets for surplus grape products; (2) whether, in view of the fact that grape must is in Community agricultural surplus and molasses is in deficit, he will seek progress on the proposal to use concentrated grape must as a subsitute for imported molasses in animal feed applications.
We are pressing the European Commission to consider alternatives to distillation for disposal of surplus wine. A possible outlet is the use of concentrated grape must as a replacement for molasses in animal feeds, and practical trials have recently been commissioned by British Petroleum, as a producer of industrial alcohol, and my Ministry. It is hoped that initial results will be available within three or four months and we will be passing these on to the Commission.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the disposal plans for the 385,000 tonnes of wine alcohol which will be held in stock in France and Italy on completion of the present exceptional distillation of wine authorised by EEC regulation (701/82).
The French and Italian authorities have in the past bought up wine distillates on a national basis and it is believed that their stocks were about 330,000 tonnes in July 1981. Disposal of these stocks is a matter for the countries concerned.The exceptional distillation authorised by the Council Regulation 701/82 was for 6·5 million hl of wine, equivalent to 50,000 tonnes of pure alcohol. Normally the distiller would be responsible for disposal of the resulting distillates but he has the option of delivery to intervention agencies of distillates above 86 per cent. alcohol. Intervened distillates would be disposed of by the agencies, following the procedure agreed by the Council and the Commission to safeguard the market in ethyl alcohol.
Temporary Employment Measures
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are currently on each of the temporary employment measures in (a) the North-West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Kirkby and (d) Ormskirk.
The information requested is set out in the following table.
* Figures are for Merseyside special development area.
† Figures are for area covered by local employment office.
‡ Figures are for Knowsley local authority district, which includes Kirkby.
║ Figures are for West Lancashire local authority district, which includes Ormskirk.
¶ Figures are for the area administered by the Manpower Services Commission's Preston special programme division office, which covers Ormskirk.
Visiting Orchestras Consultative Association
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many meetings (a) of the Visiting Orchestras Consultative Association and (b) of its executive committee have been held in each of the past five years.
The requested information is shown in the following table:
|Year||Annual general meetings||Extraordinary general meetings||Executive committee meetings|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects those currently unemployed in the North-West, in Merseyside, in Kirkby and in Ormskirk, to have jobs.
Inflation has been reduced to 10·4 per cent. with a continuing fall in prospect, and interest rates have been moderated. Industrial productivity has risen sharply, partly because fewer days were lost last year through strikes than in any year except one since 1967. Our international competitiveness has increased accordingly. All this has formed a firm foundation for improved employment prospects. From now on, the more British firms which can offer goods and services at home and abroad which people want to buy, at prices they are prepared to pay, the more new jobs we shall see in the North-West, in Merseyside, in Kirkby, in Ormskirk and throughout the country.
Unemployed Young Persons
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many young people in (a) Wolverhampton and (b) the West Midlands have had no full-time job since leaving school; and what proportion of all school leavers this represents in each case.
At 15 April the provisional numbers of unemployed young people under 18 years of age who had not entered employment since completing full-time education in the Wolverhampton employment office area and in the West Midlands region were 917 and 14,264 respectively.I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science that in the academic year September 1980 to August 1981—the latest information available—the provisional number of school leavers in the West Midlands was 85,440 but that a separate figure for Wolverhampton is not available.
Advisory, Conciliation And Arbitration Service
asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to receive the annual report of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
I have received the ACAS report for 1981, which will be laid before each House of Parliament today. Copies have been place in the Library. The report is to be published on 12 May and copies will be available from the Vote Office.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the recent discussions with the Transport and General Workers Union regarding registered dockers.
I met the national secretary of the union's docks and waterways group and other members of the union's working party on the dock labour scheme on 4 May. The meeting was held at the union's request in the light of the threat of a national dock strike from 10 May in support of the extension of the 1967 dock labour scheme to all non-scheme ports and wharves.I told the union representatives that there could be no question of a blanket extension of the scheme and that the Government would need to be persuaded that the extension of the scheme to any particular port was justified. An important consideration would be the views of all the interests concerned. Nevertheless, the Government would be willing to discuss and consider carefully any specific and detailed proposals for the extension of the scheme to particular ports or wharves which the union might put forward.I reminded the representatives that the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act 1946, under which the 1967 scheme was made, required the establishment of a public inquiry to consider any objections to a draft order extending the scheme, and that any such order would be subject to Parliamentary approval.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to the statement of the Under-Secretary of State for Industry concerning the average unemployment rates of all intermediate areas remaining in existence after August, Official Report, 22 April, c. 519–20, if he will publish in the Official Report a table giving the latest available annual rate of unemployment for each travel-to-work area which will remain an intermediate area after 1982, and the average annual rate thereof, and for each of the Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Nelson and Rossendale travel-to-work areas.
[pursuant to his reply, 5 May 1982, c. 70–71.]: The travel-to-work areas with intermediate area status designated to retain that status after August 1982 were listed in the September 1979 issue of the Department of Employment Gazette although a few revisions were made subsequently. Table 1 gives annual average unemployment rates for 1981 for these area, Table 2 gives corresponding rates for the Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Nelson and Rossendale travel-to-areas.
|Yorkshire and Humberside|
|*Darlington and South-West Durham||13·1|
|Steel Costs and Prices|
|BSC employment costs per tonne of liquid steel produced (£)||47·1||64·0||36|
|Index of wholesale prices for the steel industries* (1975=100)||157·2||179·9||14|
British Steel Corporation; Financial Statistics; Monthly Digest of Statistics.
Employment costs include both manual and staff grade employees.
* MLHS 311 and 312
Crude Steel (Production)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, further to his reply dated 19 April, Official Report, c. 26, concerning the output of crude steel per process worker, whether he will publish in the Official Report a revised table showing the estimated labour cost of producing a tonne of steel in each country in 1981 on
*Travel-to-work area comprising two or more employment office areas.
* Travel-to-work area comprising two or more employment office areas.
Iron And Steel (Output)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, further to his reply dated 8 April, Official Report, c. 480–81, concerning the output of the iron and steel industry, whether he will publish figures showing output in May 1979 and December 1981, or the appropriate quarter, in terms of 1975 prices.
The index of production for iron and steel and steel tubes*, seasonally adjusted, 1975=100, was 116 in the second quarter of 1979 and 87 in the fourth quarter of 1981.
* Minimum List Headings 311 and 312 of the standard industrial classification.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report the figures for steel costs and prices in terms of £ sterling, corresponding to those given in his reply dated 8 April, Official Report, c. 477–78.
The information is as follows:the basis of known or estimated labour costs at the current rates of exchange between the £ sterling and the currencies in question.
Information about labour costs required to answer this question is not readily available, if at all.
Public Bodies (Departmental Assistance)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what bodies or organisations, for the day-to-day work or administration of which he does not answer parliamentary questions, receive finance from his Department's Vote.
In addition to the wide variety of non-official bodies and private sector companies to which my Department provides assistance, it is sponsor Department for a number of executive bodies listed on page 24 of "Non Departmental Public Bodies; Facts and Figures 1981" and for British Shipbuilders, British Steel, Rolls Royce Ltd. and BL Ltd., all of which receive finance from my votes. While I answer questions on the general principles underlying this support, I do not answer for its detailed administration.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many new business starts there were in the first quarter of 1980, 1981 and 1982.
An estimated 33,700 new businesses were formed in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 1980. The available information was published in British Business on 29 January and 2 April and copies have been placed in the Library. We are hoping to up-date the figures to 1981 and subsequently to 1982.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many businesses employ under 200 employees in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) the United States of America and (e) Japan.
The currently available information relating to manufacturing enterprises in the United Kingdom is that in 1979 nearly 87,000 enterprises in the private sector employed fewer than 200 employees. Further details are available from tables 12 and 13 of Business Monitor PA 1002. Information is not available for subsequent years or for non-manufacturing enterprises nor in the form requested for the other countries listed, but we are working on this aspect.
Industrial Research Fellowship Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, in order to extend the scope and scale of the scheme, he will make available financial support for the industrial research fellowship scheme at present to be financed by the Wolfson Foundation; and if he will make a statement.
The Department of Industry already provides financial support for research and development in industry. The amount in 1981–82 was about £100 million and this creates considerable employment for R & D workers. The Wolfson Foundation has not approached the Department for financial support in order to extend the scope and scale of the industrial research fellowship scheme.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, if he will take steps to make the facilities of Government research establishments for which he is responsible available to those on the industrial research fellowship scheme being financed by the Wolfson Foundation.
Directors of departmental research establishments are already authorised to accept visiting workers. Consideration would be given to appropriate applications from those on the industrial research fellowship scheme.
Small Businesses (Research And Development)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what information he has to the numbers of small and medium-sized firms which have reduced their research and development expenditure in the last 12 months.
The Department of Industry has no precise details of the changes of research and development expenditure in industry in the last 12 months. Comprehensive surveys of industrial research and development are undertaken only every three years. Results from the 1978 survey are available but there can be no 1978–81 comparisons until analysis of the 1981 returns is complete. Enterprises employing fewer than 200 people are not required to provide returns so that no information on changes in research and development expenditure for these firms can be given.
European Community (Steel Prices)
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement about European steel price and quota arrangements following his meeting with EEC Ministers on 5 May.
[pursuant to his reply, 6 April 1982, c. 129]. The Council on 4 May had a preliminary exchange of views on the European steel anti-crisis measures. There was an agreement in principle to extend the mandatory quota arrangements for at least twelve months from 30 June 1982. The Council will consider the measures in more detail on 26 May.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many widows receiving less than £40 per week have been brought into the tax bracket since May 1979.
It is estimated that there will be about 35,000 more widows with incomes below £40 per week paying tax in 1982–83 than there were in 1979–80 paying tax with incomes below the equivalent level in real terms (of £28·25 per week).
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the percentage increase in the velocity of circulation of money between the first quarter of 1974 and the first quarter of 1980; and whether he can make any assessment of reasons for the change.
The increase in velocity of circulation of sterling money stock between the first quarters of 1974 and 1980 was 56 per cent. calculated from the series given in table 7.1 of Financial Statistics.
Velocity was at a low point in early 1974. Velocity fell in the early 1970s, partly as a result of the institutional changes associated with the introduction of competition and credit control, and the effects of "round-tripping" in adding to recorded monetary growth. The increase in the velocity of £M3 after early 1974 partly reflected the introduction of the SSD scheme in December 1973, which gave banks an incentive to reduce the size of their balance sheets and encouraged disintermediation.
Anglia Building Society
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any officials of the Registry of Friendly Societies were present in an official capacity at the annual general meeting of the Anglia Building Society held on 20 April.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table updating for 1982–83 on the same price bases the answer of 18 January 1982 to the hon. Member for South Ayrshire, Official Report, c. 78, on the disposal of public industrial interests.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Value Added Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the value added tax yield in each of the last five years from (a) football and (b) the theatre.
[pursuant to his reply, 5 May 1982, c. 64]: I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the VAT yield from tickets for admission. Because traders registered for VAT are not required to make returns of the VAT charged on particular goods and services the information is not available but, from other sources, it is estimated that the yields from admissions to (a) association and rugby football matches and (b) theatres, concerts and circuses were of the order of:
|(a) Football etc.||(b) Theatres etc.|
|Population||Financial Aid||Technical Co-operation||Financial Aid||Technical Co-operation|
|British Antarctic Territory||No indigenous population||—||—||—||—|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||No indigenous population||—||—||—||—|
|British Virgin Islands||11,000||522||259||955||276|
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Argentine Government (Pensions)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people living in the United Kingdom are entitled to receive pensions from the Argentine Government; and what proposals he has for safeguarding these payments during the period of conflict.
We have no information on the total number of United Kingdom residents entitled to receive Argentine pensions.The payment of Argentine pensions has been suspended by the Argentine authorities. There is no statutory authority that would enable Her Majesty's Government to assume the lawful obligations of bodies resident in Argentina, or to provide financial compensation for the failure of the Argentine authorities' to meet those obligations. For our part we have placed no restrictions on the normal payment of pensions from Britain payable to residents of Argentina. In view of the hardship caused to pensioners by this Argentine action, we have asked the Swiss Government to make representations on our behalf to the Argentine authorities.Supplementary benefit would be available to pensioners in these circumstances, subject to the normal qualifying conditions.
United Kingdom Dependencies
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a list of the United Kingdom's dependencies.
The remaining dependent territories are:
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands and Dependencies
- Hong Kong
- Picairn Group of Islands
- St. Helena and Dependencies
- Turks and Caicos Islands.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the population of each of the United Kingdom's dependencies; and how much aid was given in 1979, 1980 and 1981 to each dependency both directly as grant aid and indirectly as technical aid.
The details are as follows:
|St. Helena and dependencies||6,500||3,553||382||3,279||516|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||7,500||848||167||849||412|
*includes £5,000 loan.
|†includes £30,000 loan.|
The aid figures for 1981 are not yet available.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a list of the most recent visits by (a) Ministers and (b) officials normally based in the United Kingdom to each dependency; and when is the expected next visit by Ministers or United Kingdom based officials to each dependency.
Most recent visits since the end of 1980 are as follows:
|(a) By Ministers||(b) By Officials|
|Minister for Overseas Development||FCO Official|
|Anguilla||May 1982||March 1982|
|Prime Minister||FCO official|
|Bermuda||October 1981||February 1982|
|British Antarctic Territory||—||Director, British Antarctic Survey February 1982|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||—||—|
|British Virgin Islands||—||April 1982|
|Cayman Islands||—||March 1982|
|Minister of State, FCO||FCO official|
|Falkland Islands||December 1980||June 1981|
|Minister of State, (Armed Forces)||FCO official|
|Hong Kong||March 1982||April 1982|
|Minister of Overseas Development||FCO official|
|Montserrat||May 1982||March 1982|
|St. Helena and Dependencies||—||FCO Official February 1982 (Ascension)|
|Minister of Overseas||FCO officials|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Development April 1982||February 1982|
(a) By Ministers
(b) By Officials
|Anguilla||Not yet decided||Not yet decided|
|Bermuda||Not yet decided||Note yet decided|
|British Antarctic Territory||—||Not yet decided|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||—||Not yet decided|
|British Virgin Islands||Not yet decided||June 1982|
|Cayman Islands||Not yet decided||Not yet decided|
|Gibraltar||Not yet decided||Not yet decided|
|Prime Minister||BOTB official|
|Hong Kong||September 1982||June 1982|
|Montserrat||Not yet decided||July 1982|
|St. Helena and Dependencies||—||FCO/ODA Officials June 1982|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Not yet decided||ODA Officials June 1982|
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his Department's staff responsible for each of the United Kingdom's dependencies are normally resident (a) in the United Kingdom, (b) in the dependency and (c) elsewhere.
There are 43 Diplomatic Service staff in London dealing with dependent territory matters. There are 14 Diplomatic Service officers serving in dependent territories administrations, as follows:
Anguilla (1), Bermuda (2), Gibraltar (2), Hong Kong (4), St. Helena and dependencies (4), Turks and Caicos (1). There were also three officers in the Falkland Islands. In addition, the British High Commissioner in New Zealand, resident in Wellington, is concurrently non-resident governor of the Pitcairn Group of Islands.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has plans to reopen a consulate in Shanghai.
We shall be discussing this matter with the Chinese in the coming months.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library copies of all public speeches made since 3 May 1979 by British Ministers or officials in Argentina, including those made by the British ambassador and embassy staff.
No. Present circumstances, including the closure of the British embassy in Buenos Aires, make it impracticable to undertake the research which this would require.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Israelis have given an undertaking not to supply further weapons to the Argentinians and from what effective date.
The Israelis have not given an undertaking in these terms, but having had careful inquiries made I am satisfied that we should have no serious cause for concern on this matter. We are of course continuing to follow up all reports of arms supplies to Argentina from any source.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the Brazilian ambassador to the United Kingdom; and when he intends to meet him next.
I have not as yet met the Brazilian ambassador. My predecessor last met him on 30 November.
Education And Science
School Curriculum Development Council
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will ensure that there is representation for the Churches on the new schools' curriculum body; and if he will make a statement.
The Government's proposals for the establishment of a school curriculum development council are the subject of discussion with the local authority associations. The discussions will certainly bear in mind the role of the churches in the voluntary sector of education.
Corporal Punishment (Cost Of Alternatives)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what alternatives to corporal punishment have been established by those local education authorities which have abolished corporal punishment; and what is the estimated cost of each of these.
Schools apply a wide variety of sanctions in areas where corporal punishment has been abolished, including an increased use of lines, detentions and exclusion from school. There is no generally accepted set of estimates covering the cost, where applicable, of these other sanctions.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is considering proposals to separate the education grant from the general block grant to local authorities; and if he will make a statement.
The Green Paper, "Alternatives to Domestic Rates", published in December 1981, refers in annex B to various alternative ways of financing the education service including the possibility of paying an education grant in support of education expenditure by local authorities, separate from the block grant. The Government are currently considering the comments which have been made on the various possibilities discussed in the Green Paper including the comments on annex B.
Fees And Maintenance Grants
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the maximum fees and maintenance grants paid to United Kingdom students, undergraduate and postgraduate, attending universities in the United Kingdom living (a) at home, (b) away from home, (c) in London and (d) in residence at colleges in Oxford and Cambridge; and if, where possible, he will give the breakdown of grants to distinguish between university and college charges and other maintenance payments.
The rates of maintenance grant payable under the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations to undergraduates for the academic years 1981–82 and 1982–83 are as follows:
|For students living at home||1,180||1,225|
|For students living away from home other than in London (including those in residence at colleges at Oxford and Cambridge)||1,535||1,595|
|For students living away from home in London||1,825||1,900|
|For students living at home||1,640||1,705|
|For students living away from home other than in London (including those in residence at colleges at Oxford and Cambridge)||2,245||2,335|
|For students living away from home in London||2,770||2,880|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his Department collects statistics in connection with the numbers of women graduates in universities in particular honours courses and the numbers and level of post of women staff in universities.
|Average basic pay||Average earnings||Average basic pay||Average earnings||Average pay||Average earnings|
|£||£||£||£||per cent.||per cent.|
|All nursing and midwifery staff||2,947||3,457||4,735||5,522||61||60|
|Nursing sister II (Ward Sister)||4,112||*4,688||6,702||7,640||63||*63|
|All ancillary staff||2,292||3,056||3,287||4,586||43||50|
|* Precise earnings data not available—estimated figure.|
1. The figure for all nursing and midwifery staff includes all qualified and unqualified nurses and midwives employed in the NHS including students but excluding those employed by agencies. Average earnings exceed average basic pay by 16·6 per cent. for all staff, 14 per cent. for nursing sister II, 17 per cent. for staff nurse and by 20 per cent. for nursing auxiliary.
2. The annual pay and earnings of ancillary staff are derived from weekly figures. Average earnings exceed average basic pay by 39·5 per cent. for all staff, 60·5 per cent. for full-time men and by 35·7 per cent. for full-time women.
3. The settlement date for nurses is 1 April so the figures relate to pay scales effective between 1 April 1978 and 31 March 1979 and between 1 April 1981 and 31 March 1982. In 1978–79 the nurses working week was 40 hours; in 1981–82 it had been reduced to 37½ hours.
4. The settlement date for ancillaries was formerly 13 December but the 1980 settlement was for 15 months. The figures for ancillaries relate therefore to pay scales effective between 13 December 1977 and 12 December 1978 and between 13 December 1980 and 31 March 1982.
Lone Parents (Income)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update to November 1981 the reply given to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North, Official Report, 15 January 1981, c. 619, showing net weekly spending power of lone parents in and out of work, and working part-time.
The information requested is set out in the following tables. My hon. Friend will appreciate that the figures relate only to the hypothetical circumstances he has chosen, including the levels of earnings from part-time work.One of the assumptions he asked to be made was that work expenses were £15 a week. This is very high compared with the Department's assumption of work
Statistical information on students and staff in universities, including that to which the hon. Member refers, is collected by the Universities Statistical Record on behalf of the University Grants Committee, which has responsibility for its publication. This information is made available to my Department on request subject to the rules of disclosure in respect of information about small numbers of individuals.
National Health Service (Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures showing movements in pay for National Health Service nursing and ancillary staff since 1979 and the relationship between basic pay and earnings.
The movement in average basic pay and earnings for nursing and midwifery staff and ancillary staff is shown in the table following:expenses of £4·40 a week, which represents the average cost of fares to work to heads of households using public transport.Tables 1 and 2 show the net weekly spending power, with ordinary and long-term supplementary benefit rates respectively, at the levels of part-time earnings specified by my hon. Friend. Supplementary benefit would be payable only if the lone parent were working fewer than 30 hours a week.Tables 3 and 4 show the full-time earnings required to give the same net weekly spending power. In these examples, family income supplement (FIS) could be awarded only if the lone parent were working at least 24 hours a week.In all the tables it is assumed that the family has no capital or income except as shown and that all entitlement to means-tested benefits is taken up. It is also assumed that there are no tax allowances apart from personal allowances.
|Net weekly spending power (£) of a lone parent with two children aged 4 and 6; receiving supplementary allowance (ordinary rate) at various levels of earnings|
|Supplementary allowance||Child benefit||Net earnings||Rent||Rates||Free school meals||Free welfare milk||Net weekly spending power|
|Net weekly spending power (£) of a lone parent with two children aged 4 ant 6; receiving supplementary allowance (long-term rate) at various levies of earnings|
|Supplementary allowance||Child benefit||Net earnings||Rent||Rates||Free school meals||Free welfare milk||Net weekly spending power|
Note on tables 1 and 2
The supplementary allowance figures shown are the amounts by which the family's incomefalls short of their requirements. In these examples, it is calculated by adding together the appropriate scale rates, the heating addition for a child under 5 and the sum of the rent and rates payable; from this total is deducted child benefit and net earnings after allowing the appropriate disregard
Gross earnings needed to provide net weekly spending power equivalent to that available with supplementary allowance at ordinary rate, as in table 1
National insurance contribution
Family income supplement
Free school meals
Free welfare milk
Net weekly spending power
* If working fewer than 30 hours a week could qualify for a supplementary allowance.
Gross earnings need to provide net weekly spending power equivalent to that available with supplementary allowance at long-term rate, as in table 2
National insurance contribution
Family income supplement
Free school meals
Free welfare milk
Net weekly spending power
National insurance contribution
Family income supplement
Free school meals
Free welfare milk
Net weekly spending power
*Mandatory provision of free school meals ceases when title to FIS ceases, but local education authorities have discretion to allow free or cheap meals to other children and this table illustrates the case where an authority continues to apply the November 1979 conditions for entitlement.
Pension Fund Investments (Control)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the controls over the investment of pension funds.
We expect soon to receive a further report from the Occupational Pensions Board on the security of rights and expectations in occupational pension schemes. We will give careful consideration to its recommendations.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now draw up a new system to deal with medical complaints including the establishing of a medical ombudsman; and what is his Department's policy on this matter.
A new procedure for handling complaints about the clinical judgment of hospital medical staff was brought into operation in England from 1 September last year. It provides for complaints which cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the consultant concerned to be investigated by two independent consultants in the appropriate specialty. Details of the procedure were set out in a memorandum of guidance to health authorities (HC(81)5) which is available in the Library. We are keeping the procedure under review.
National Health Service (Inquiries)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many inquiries have been authorised in relation to medical services under section 84 of the National Health Service Act 1977 since that Act came into force.
The powers in section 84 of the National Health Service Act 1977, formerly section 70 of the National Health Service Act 1946, have been used on seventeen occasions in all and twice since the 1977 Act came into force. Seven of these, including one since 1977, have involved some review of medical as well as other services.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many (i) men and (ii) women between 60 and 65 years of age there are in (a) the Northern Region, (b) the North West, (c) Yorkshire and Humberside, (d) Wales and (e) Scotland.
The estimated numbers of people who were resident in these areas on 30 June 1980 are as follows:
|Number aged 60–64 years inclusive|
|Yorkshire and Humberside region||116,600||131,000|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has yet completed his review of the "21-hour rule" given effect in regulation 7(2) of the Supplementary Benefit (Conditions of Entitlement) Regulations 1981; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has been reviewing the terms of the "21-hour rule", in consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Education and Science, Employment, Scotland and Wales. This has been against the background of the advice recently promulgated by the chief supplementary benefit officer to the effect that under the present regulation the time spent in private study and lunch breaks, as well as actual tuition time, should be taken into account in determining whether a course falls within the 21-hour limit.The question of what elements in a course should count towards the 21 hours under the present regulation should be clarified by the decision of the social security commissioners on an appeal case which is at present under consideration. But my right hon. Friend has decided that, whatever the decision on that appeal may be, the regulation needs to be recast to reflect more accurately the Government's continuing objective of providing the maximum scope for unemployed people to occupy their time usefully whilst seeking work, but at the same time excluding from benefit people who have withdrawn from the employment field to devote themselves primarily to study.My right hon. Friend believes it is right to ensure that the regulation should make it clear that, as previously generally understood, the 21 hours should be interpreted as including only hours of actual classroom instruction, and not lunch breaks or private study. This in itself however would make it possible in some cases for, for example, young people staying on at school to take 2 or 3 A-levels (or their Scottish equivalent) with a view to going on to higher education to be entitled to supplementary benefit. This would not be a proper use of the supplementary benefit scheme.My right hon. Friend has therefore decided to introduce a modified form of the additional qualifying condition which already applies to people over 21, who are at present only eligible for the concession after 12 months unemployment and in receipt of benefit. This qualifying period will be reduced to three months, and applied equally to people of all ages.I should stress that during the three months qualifying period—or indeed at any time—it is, and will remain, open to any unemployed person, under the general rules governing unemployed people's entitlement to benefit, to undertake a certain amount of part-time study provided he is able to demonstrate that he remains available for work.It is my right hon. Friend's intention to introduce these new arrangements with effect from the next academic year. My right hon. Friend is sending today draft Regulations to the social security advisory committee, which in turn will be consulting a wide range of interested bodies.Meanwhile, claims for benefit which have been disallowed in the light of the chief supplementary benefit officer's recent interpretation of the 21-hour limit will be looked at again when the outcome of the appeal to the social security commissioners is known. If it proves necessary in the light of the decision on the appeal, payments will be considered in these cases to anticipate the effect of the new regulations, except that under these transitional arrangements the requirement for a three-month qualifying period will be waived.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has for amending the supplementary benefit regulations.
My right hon. Friend has asked the social security advisory committee to consider and report on two draft sets of supplementary benefit amendment regulations, one relating to requirements and resources and the other miscellaneous. These regulations in the main seek to clarify existing provisions. They also contain some changes of substance and I have placed in the Vote Office a note which summarises the main proposals.When we have received and considered the committee's report my right hon. Friend proposes to lay the regulations before the House, modified as he may consider appropriate in the light of the committee's recommendations, with a view to securing their passage through Parliament before the summer recess. My right hon. Friend will also lay before Parliament a copy of the committee's report on the regulations and a statement in accordance with the provisions of section 10(4) of the Social Security Act 1980.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many appeals have been made to the Social Security Commission over supplementary benefit; in how many cases leave to appeal has been granted in: (a) under one month, (b)within three months, (c) within six months and (d) over six months; and if he will break down these figures to show the appeals being made by his Department and those by claimants.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Community Health Councils
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will recommend that where a community health council serves two metropolitan district council areas, the number of members of that council should be increased.
No. Current arrangements already provide for local authorities to appoint from nine to 12 members of each community health council.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether any changes are proposed in the guidelines on contraceptive advice for children under the age of 16 years.