Written Answers To Questions
Wednesday 26 May 1982
asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on the report of the tribunal of inquiry on the Crown Agents.
The report of the tribunal of inquiry on the Crown Agents has been published today. The Crown Agents were deeply involved in the property and secondary bank failures which took place in 1974–75, with the result that large sums of public money had to be made available to enable them to meet their liabilities.Following the report of the committee of inquiry under the chairmanship of His Honour Judge Fay, the tribunal was set up in 1978 by the previous Government under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 to inquire into the extent to which there were lapses from accepted standards of commercial or professional conduct or of public administration in relation to the operations of the Crown Agents as financiers on own account in the years 1967–74.The tribunal has examined the issues very thoroughly and the Government would like to express their gratitude to the chairman, Mr. Justice Croom-Johnson and to his colleagues Lord Allen of Abbeydale and Sir William Slimmings for all the time and work they have put into examining these events.The tribunal's report is long and detailed. Five main issues are examined:
In looking at these issues, the tribunal has identified a number of serious shortcomings that existed at that time, not only in relation to the conduct of individuals, in respect of some of whom lapses or criticisms falling short of lapses were formally specified, but also in relation to the operation of institutions and procedures. The tribunal has drawn some general conclusions about the causes of these shortcomings. Those conclusions are based on the findings on specific issues given in the main body of the report, and need to be considered in that context.
The Government will now study the tribunal's findings in greater detail. They will look closely at the criticisms made, and in particular at those of the institutions and procedures examined by the tribunal, to see whether the changes that have taken place since the events of 1967–74—including the enactment of the Crown Agents Act 1979, which now governs the current operations of the Crown Agents—are sufficient to prevent the risk of repetition, and if not what action now needs to be taken.
The Government will also consider the tribunal's comments on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on tribunals of inquiry on the procedure lo be followed in inquiries carried out under the 1921 Act.
asked the Prime Minister, in view of statements made on BBC 1 television news broadcasts on Monday 17 May, if she is satisfied that no statements have been made without ministerial authority to the press or broadcasting media by civil servants about their views on the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the Falkland Islands.
Government spokesmen are authorised to speak for Ministers. I am not aware of any reports emanating from Government spokesmen carried on recent BBC television news broadcasts which do not accurately reflect Government policy.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to introduce legislation to extend to disabled people living in disabled people's homes the same concession regarding broadcasting receiving licences as that already given to old people's homes; and if he will make a statement.
We have no plans to do so. I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to his supplementary question on 20 May 1982.—[Vol. 24, c. 461.]
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the conditions that have to be satisfied for a television licence rebate to be made; when these criteria were introduced; if he is satisfied that they are sufficient; and whether he has any proposals to extend the rebate scheme.
As I indicated in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham)—[Vol. 24, c. 105.]—on 19 May refunds of television licence fees are given only when:
(b) and (c) were given before then. Refunds in the circumstances set out in (a) became available following the introduction of the colour television licence in 1968.
We consider that the grounds on which refunds may be made must remain strictly limited if the licensing system is not to become unmanageable, and have no plans to change the present arrangement.
Citizens Band Radio
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many complaints about interference from illegal citizens band radio have been received in the area covered by the Isle of Ely constituency;(2) how many summonses have been taken out against the users of allegedly illegal citizens band radios in the area covered by the Isle of Ely constituency.
Separate figures are not available for the Isle of Ely. Figures for the Cambridge telephone area, which includes the Isle of Ely, are:
|1 January–25 May 1982||330||7|
English Industrial Estates Corporation
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has approved any plans by the English Industrial Estates Corporation for further public investment in the assisted areas of England over the next year.
I have approved provisional proposals by the chairman of the English Industrial Estates Corporation for further industrial and commercial developments in the assisted areas of England using the £34·3 million that the Government have agreed to make available to the corporation in the current financial year. The corporation will, as before, be required to make every effort to reduce the net costs of this programme to the Exchequer by selling off existing assets at current market values and placing the proceeds in the Consolidated Fund.This level of finance will be equivalent to 159,000 square metres of factory space which could provide places of work for about 4,000 workers. The sum includes £4·6 million which is part of the £19 million special allocation for steel closure areas which was announced on 19 June 1980; but it does not include any private sector investment of which £30 million has been promised so far with £11·5 million spent to date, and any further sums which the English Industrial Estates Corporation may attract.The provisional allocations of resources are as follows:
|English Industrial Estates Corporation 1982–83 planned resources allocation|
|Region and TTWA||£'000||Notional equivalent area of factory floor-space m2|
|Total North West||12,917||60,000|
Region and TTWA
Notional equivalent area of factory floor-space m2
|Total North East||11,047||51,300|
Yorkshire and Humberside
|Total Yorkshire and Humberside||7,762||36,050|
|Total South West||2,261||10,500|
|Total East Midlands||324||1,500|
|Grand total all regions||34,311||159,350|
* Steel closure areas.
Detailed announcements about specific projects will be made by the corporation as appropriate.
Motor Car Parts (Monopoly Report)
asked the Minister for Trade when the monopolies and mergers report on the supply of motor car parts is to be published; and if he will make a statement.
The report is published today. In its investigation of the possible existence of a monopoly situation in relation to the wholesale supply of car parts in the United Kingdom the commission was required to limit consideration to the practice whereby suppliers of car parts imposed exclusive buying requirements on those persons supplied, and to car parts supplied for resale as such or for replacement of existing parts. The commission has found a complex monopoly situation involving 22 car manufacturers who together supplied at least a quarter of the car parts supplied in the United Kingdom and so conducted their affairs as to restrict competition in the supply of car parts in that they required persons to whom they supplied car parts to acquire those parts exclusively from them or from sources approved by them. The commission also considered the exclusive buying requirements imposed by two component manufacturers but concluded that these did not appear in practice to have any material restrictive effect on competition.The commission found four effects of exclusive buying requirements which were against the public interest:
- The limitation of the extent to which component manufacturers can compete with one another and with car manufacturers and importers;
- Restriction of price competition;
- Some limitation on the level of service from which the franchised sector of the market can benefit;
- Restriction on competition among factors.
The commission examined a number of arguments put to it in defence of exclusivity but did not consider that there were sufficient benefits to outweigh these adverse effects, and it concluded that the complex monopoly operated and might be expected to operate against the public interest.
In considering its recommendations for remedying or preventing the adverse effects they had identified, the commission recognised that removal of formal exclusive buying requirements would probably not result in any sudden or dramatic change in the pattern of trade, since franchised outlets would continue to buy mainly from the car manufacturers and importers. Nevertheless, component manufacturers and factors appeared to be confident that if the formal restrictions were removed they would be able gradually to penetrate the franchised sector of the market. The commission therefore recommended that car manufacturers and importers should be required to exclude from their franchise agreements any clause having the effect of requiring franchisees to buy car parts exclusively from them or from sources approved by them and to cease enforcing any such clauses in current franchise agreements. The commission noted that this recommendation was not intended to prevent car manufacturers and importers from insisting that "genuine" parts be used by franchisees in warranty work.
The commission pointed out that even after the abandonment of the exclusivity clauses it would be possible for franchisors to ensure exclusive, or near-exclusive, buying by their franchisees by other methods. It pointed out that if in the future any particular car manufacturer or importer adopted any practice which led to exclusive buying to the extent that it was materially anticompetitive he could be made the subject of an inquiry under the Competition Act 1980 or under the appropriate provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973.
Civil Aviation Authority
asked the Minister for Trade whether arrangements have been made for the investigation of the activities of the Civil Aviation Authority by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
My right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State for Trade announced in March of this year that the Civil Aviation Authority would be included in the 1982 programme of references under section 11 of the Competition Act 1980. This section provides for scrutiny of the efficiency of nationalised industries and other public sector bodies. Arrangements are in hand to refer the authority to the commission under this provision later in the year.
British Airports Authority
asked the Minister for Trade what alterations to the British Airports Authority's capital investment programme have been agreed in consultation with his Department since the publication of the authority's last annual report in July 1981.
The authority's capital investment programme is reviewed annually by my Department in conjunction with the Treasury. The outcome of the 1981 review and a commentary on forecast expenditure on fixed assets over the period to 1984–85 is given on page 83 and in table 3.2 of volume two of the "Government's Expenditure Plans 1982–83 to 1984–85", Cmnd. 8494—II, which was presented to Parliament in March 1982 by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Public Bodies (Appointments)
asked the Minister for Trade how many (a) men and (b) women he has appointed to public bodies in the past year; and what is the total number of men and women appointed by his Department to serve on public bodies.
During the calendar year 1981, 306 men and 152 women were appointed to public bodies by my Department. The total number of people appointed by my Department was 838 men and 347 women, as at 31 December 1981.
asked the Minister for Trade if he will review the present structure of overseas tourism promotion to Great Britain, as between the British Tourist Authority, the English, Scottish and Wales tourist boards, English, Scottish and Welsh local authorities and bodies such as the Highlands and Islands Development Board, with a view to establishing any areas of conflict and duplication; and if he will make a statement.
Under the Development of Tourism Act 1969, responsibility for the overseas promotion of tourism to Great Britain rests with the British Tourist Authority. The authority takes account of the views of both the national boards and other bodies with tourism interests. I am concerned that there should be no unnecessary duplication, and I am therefore reviewing the matter, in consultation with colleagues who have responsibility for tourism in Scotland and in Wales.
Allied Supplies Ltd
asked the Minister for Trade when the Secretary of State for Trade now expects to announce whether he has decided to refer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission the bid for Allied Supplies Ltd.; and if he will make a statement.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Solent (Search And Resue Facilities)
asked the Minister for Trade if he is satisfied with the present organisation of the Coast Guard and search and rescue facilities in the Solent area.
[pursuant to the reply, 24 May 1982, c. 218]: The Coastguard organisation in the Solent area is controlled from the maritime rescue sub centre at the Needles. This provides continuous VHF radio coverage for the whole of the area and is equipped with VHF radio direction finding equipment. The auxiliary Coastguard station at Calshot maintains a watch for 10 hours a day and there are auxiliary stations at Bembridge, Eastney and Hayling Island, where a watch is maintained in bad weather.Rescue facilities in the area comprise RNLI lifeboats stationed at Yarmouth, Lymington, Calshot, Hayling Island, Bembridge and Portsmouth; the Royal Navy Wessex helicopter flight, temporarily at Portland, but normally based at Lee-on-Solent; and the Coastguard rescue companies at the auxiliary Coastguard stations. I am satisfied that these arrangements together provide an efficient and effective organisation for marine search and rescue in the Solent area.
Nuclear Materials (Transportation)
asked the Minister for Trade if he will list the regulations which govern the transport of nuclear materials by air.
[pursuant to the reply, 25 May 1982, c. 261]: The requirements for the carriage of dangerous goods, including nuclear materials, by air are contained in article 42 of the Air Navigation Order 1980–1980 No. 1965. It requires that operators must first obtain written approval from the Civil Aviation Authority before carrying such goods. It is a condition of approval that dangerous goods must be transported in accordance with the International Air Transport Association regulations for the carriage of restricted articles. The IATA regulations embody the advice of the International Atomic Energy Agency and lay down in great detail the safety requirements to be observed including packaging, labelling and documentation.The International Civil Aviation Organisation is preparing a new annex 18 to the Chicago convention which will lay down standards and recommended practices for the carriage of dangerous goods by air.
Motor Vessel "Jemrix" (Collision)
asked the Minister of Trade, if he will make a statement about the collision of the motor vessel "Jemrix" with the British Gas methane terminal jetty at Canvey Island on 20 May.
[pursuant to his reply, 25 May 1982, c. 262]: The collision of the United Kingdom registered ship "Jemrix" with the jetty at the methane terminal at Canvey island occurred at 00.25 hours on 20 May. The Department of Trade is carrying out a preliminary inquiry.I am informed by British Gas that although a number of pipes on the jetty suffered the effects of the collision none contained liquefied natural gas at the time except for minimal residues which subsequently leaked as a result of purging operations.
Northern Ireland (Tax Losses)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in an attempt to recover taxes lost through the "black economy" in Northern Ireland; if he is able to estimate the loss to the revenue; and what additional measures he has taken to deal with this matter.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost in each case of taking out of tax the poorest (a) 100,000, (b) 250,000, (c) 500,000, (d) 750,000, (e) 1,000,000 and (f) 1,250,000 taxpayers; and to what level the standard rate of tax would need to be raised to cover the revenue lost in each of these six cases.
[pursuant to his reply, 21 May 1982, c. 211]: The estimates for a full year at 1982–83 income levels are as follows:
|(1) Number of tax units taken out of tax||(2) Cost of raising allowances to level required to take units in (1) out of tax £ million||(3) Increase in basic rate required to recover revenue cost in (2)|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the United Kingdom monthly net contribution to the European Economic Community, excluding rebates, for each month since January 1979, listing alongside under headings 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982 rebates repaid in each month, such rebate being entered under the heading appropriate to the year to which the rebate referred, and with sub totals entered under each column at each year end.
[pursuant to his reply, 24 May 1982, c. 225]: The monthly net payments to and from the European Community budget during 1979, 1980, 1981 and the first three months of 1982 are shown in the following table:
Net Payment before Refunds
Net Payment after Refunds
Net Payment before Refunds
Net Payment after Refunds
Net Payment before Refunds
Net Payment after Refunds
|(*) A negative sign indicates a net receipt.|
|(†) Refunds received under the 30 May agreement.|
|(‡) Refunds totalling £7906 million received in 1980 and 1981 were in respect of the 1980 Community budget.|
|(║) Refund of £813·2 million received in March 1982 was in respect of the 1981 Community budget.|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the reply of the Financial Secretary, 13 May, Official Report, c. 939, in what way the maintenance of the real value of the retirement pension and other benefits has worsened the poverty trap.
[pursuant to his reply, 24 May 1982, c. 225.]: The policies of successive Governments have tended to raise social security benefit levels relative to income tax thresholds. The aim has been to help poorer sections of the community while financing public expenditure without excessive borrowing. As a result the poverty trap has tended to be made worse by widening the range of income over which tax and national insurance contributions are paid by those in work, at the same time as the value of State benefits are received.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average monthly total of registered unemployed in Wales in 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1981, respectively.
|Numbers Unemployed under 20 years of age.|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average monthly total of unemployed women in Wales in each year since 1970.
The information is as follows:
The information is as follows:
|Annual Averages—Total Unemployment|
|* There was no return in December 1974: the figure for the year is averaged over an 11-month period.|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the average monthly total of youth unemployment in Wales in each of the last seven year.
The information is not available in the form requested. Before the last quarter in 1978 figures were produced on a half-yearly basis; since October 1978 quarterly figures are available. On this basis the information is as follows:
|Annual averages—Female unemployment|
|* In each year one monthly return was not available: the figures for each year are averaged over an 11-month period.|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the value at constant prices of the incentives under regional aid legislation taken up by businesses operating in rural Wales outside the boundary of the Development Board for Rural Wales for each year between 1978 and 1982.
The value of regional selective assistance offers under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 which have been accepted for projects in rural Wales outside the boundaries of the Development Board for Rural Wales is as follows:
|Cash terms||*Equivalent in 1978–79 prices|
|* Deflated by corresponding changes in the GDP deflator. (The deflator for 1981–82 is a provisional figure).|
Note: The rural areas for this purpose have been taken to be the following districts:
Ynys Mon, Dwyfor, Arfon, Aberconwy, Colwyn, Glandwr, Preseli, South Pembs, Carmarthen and Dinefwr.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many Welsh-speaking speech therapists there
|Redundancies reported as due to occur|
|SIC Order||Industry||Wolverhampton travel-to-work area||West Midlands|
|I||Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing||—||—||—||—||69||58|
|II||Mining and Quarrying||—||—||—||132||78||182|
|III||Food, Drink and Tobacco||—||—||237||523||2,289||2,214|
|IV||Coal and Petroleum Products||—||—||—||—||34||159|
|V||Chemicals and Allied Industries||66||30||37||16||740||777|
are in each of the area health authorities in Wales; what were the corresponding figures for the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
The number of Welsh-speaking speech therapists employed in Wales in 1978 and 1982 is set out in the following table. Information in respect of the intervening years is not available. These figures show an encouraging increase in the number of Welsh-speaking speech therapists.
|East Dyfed Pembrokeshire||2||3|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest number of unemployed in the United Kingdom; and if he will give the percentage increase in unemployment since May 1981 for the United Kingdom and for Lancashire.
At May 1982 the provisional number of people registered as unemployed in the United Kingdom was 2,969,443. The increases since May 1981 were 16·1 per cent. in the United Kingdom and 17·7 per cent. in Lancashire.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many redundancies, in groups of 10 or more employees, were reported to the Manpower Services Commission as due to occur in (a) Wolverhampton and (b) the West Midlands in 1979, 1980 and 1981, in total and by standard industrial classification order.
There are no comprehensive statistics of redundancies. The numbers of redundancies, in groups of 10 or more employees, reported to the Manpower Services Commission as due to occur in the specified areas in 1979, 1980 and 1981 are shown, in total and by standard industrial classification order, in the following table:
Wolverhampton travel-to-work area
|X||Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering||—||—||—||60||28||—|
|XII||Metal Goods Not Elsewhere Specified||136||979||766||1,068||10,213||9,036|
|XIV||Leather, Leather Goods and Fur||—||—||—||—||296||77|
|XV||Clothing and Footwear||—||—||—||292||1,218||924|
|XVI||Bricks, Pottery, Glass, Cement, etc||—||14||24||1,372||4,682||4,480|
|XVII||Timber, Furniture, etc.||—||97||211||114||793||663|
|XVIII||Paper, Printing and Publishing||—||—||—||11||657||406|
|XIX||Other Manufacturing Industries||—||55||206||945||1,590||2,419|
|XXI||Gas, Electricity and Water||—||—||—||—||—||143|
|XXII||Transport and Communication||—||38||29||142||827||1,330|
|XXIV||Insurance, Banking, Finance and Business Services||—||—||—||—||225||343|
|XXV||Professional and Scientific Services||—||—||100||78||403||657|
|XXVI||Public Administration and Defence||—||—||—||5||182||959|
|All Industries and Services||4,143||6,369||3,713||19,320||69,435||59,556|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many persons were unemployed in the South Yorkshire area (a) in May 1979 and (b) at the latest convenient date; and if he will publish separate figures of male and female unemployed, youth unemployment and of those who had been unemployed for over 12 months;(2) how many persons were unemployed in the Barnsley travel-to-work area
(a) in May 1979 and (b) at the latest convenient date; and if he will publish separate details of male and female unemployed, youth unemployment and of those who had been unemployed for over 12 months.
Table 1 Total numbers registered as unemployed
May 1982 (provisional)
|South Yorkshire Metropolitan County||23,883||10,484||34,367||61,218||23,650||84,868|
|Barnsley travel-to-work area||3,692||1,476||5,168||8,044||3,420||11,464|
Unemployed aged under 20 years
Total (all ages) unemployed for over 52 weeks
|South Yorkshire Metropolitan County||5,610||16,471||9,781||31,035|
|Barnsley travel-to-work area||800||2,705||1,432||4,168|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were employed by his Department on unemployment work in Kilmarnock in May 1979; and what is the current number.
Table 1 gives the total numbers registered as unemployed at May 1979 and May 1982 analysed by sex.Table 2 gives the numbers of young people under 20 years of age registered as unemployed at April 1979 and April 1982, the latest date for which the quarterly analysis by age and duration of unemployment is available. It also gives the total numbers of people unemployed for over 52 weeks. Easter school leavers are included in the figures for April 1982 but not for April 1979.
There are 49 staff engaged on unemployment work in Kilmarnock at present compared with 33·5 in May 1979.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the percentage change in the numbers of registered and unregistered disabled people placed in open and sheltered employment between January 1978 and January 1982; to what extent the change was due to any alteration in the number of disablement resettlement officers; and how the change compares, in percentage terms, with that for placings of able-bodied people during the same period.
Information about the total number of placings of registered and unregistered disabled people into employment is not available because the number of disabled people who obtain employment through the self-service sections of jobcentres and employment offices cannot currently be separately identified.However, the numbers of disabled people placed by the Manpower Services Commission's specialist resettlement service between January 1978 and January 1982 fell by 34·9 per cent. The comparable fall for placings of able-bodied people by jobcentres and employment office staff but excluding self-service was 10·2 per cent.The change was unlikely to be due to any alteration in the numbers of disablement resettlement officers as the numbers in post remained fairly constant between about 520 and 530 during the period.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people over the age of 60 years have ceased to register at his Department since the long-term supplementary benefit plan came into operation in November 1981.
It has been provisionally estimated that by February about 27,000 men aged 60 and over had been taken off the register, having exercised their choice of opting for the long-term rate of supplementary benefit.
Job Release Schemes
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are now in receipt of cash benefits on job release schemes.
At 11 May 1982 there was a total of 66,728 people being supported under the scheme.
Youth Opportunities Programme
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what net increase there has been in the number of young people on the youth opportunities programme since December 1981.
At the end of December 1981 there were about 195,000 young people participating in youth opportunities programme schemes. At the end of April there were about 180,000. This is a decrease of about 8 per cent. and it reflects seasonal fluctuations in recruitment and varying length of stay in different elements of the programme.The number of young people who have entered the programme since December 1981 is about 150,000. During the period 1 April 1980 to 31 March 1981, there were 360,000 entrants to the programme. Last year, 1981–82, it is estimated that the number of entrants increased by 54 per cent. to 553,000.
Fair Wages Resolution
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the Government have completed the further consideration of the fair wages resolution promised when schedule 11 to the Employment Protection Act 1975 was repealed.
I have written to interested parties indicating that the Government have it in mind to ask the House to set aside the fair wages resolution, and inviting comments. I am also consulting bodies most representative of employers and workers on the related question of denouncing International Labour Convention No. 94 concerning labour clauses in public contracts. I have asked for comments by the end of June 1982 and will then report to the House again.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the percentage of young people in Oldham, Kirklees, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and England who continued in full-time education after the age of 16 years during 1979, 1980 and 1981; and if he will make a statement.
The following information relates to 16-year-olds for whom the local education authorities within the relevant areas are financially responsible. It covers full-time education in schools and further education establishments. 16-year-olds funded by their parents in independent schools are not included as information is not available about their home residence.
|Aged 16 at beginning of academic year|
|per cent.||per cent.||per cent.|
Alcoholism And Chemical Enzyme Deficiency
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Ross) on 22 March, Official Report, c. 275, what funds have been allocated by the Medical Research Council to the research work being undertaken at Northwick Park hospital, Middlesex, into the relationship between alcoholism and chemical enzyme deficiency.
The investigation into the relationship between alcoholism and enzyme deficiency, being carried out at the MRC's clinical research centre in collaboration with the council's epidemiology and medical care unit is part of a much wider programme of research at the CRC. I understand from the MRC that it is therefore not possible to separately identify the funds allotted to a particular area within that programme.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many (a) primary and (b) secondary school teachers have been made redundant since May 1979.
The Department does not collect information about redundancies as such, but the number of teachers and lecturers who have retired early on redundancy grounds since May 1979 is approximately 6,300. We do not at present know how many of these were serving in primary or secondary schools at the time of their retirement.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many nursery schools have closed since May 1979.
Records are available only from May 1980, since it was only with the Education Act 1980 that proposals to close nursery schools became subject to statutory procedures. Since then approval has been given for the closure of 17 nursery schools, 14 of which have had their nursery accommodation absorbed into extended or reorganised primary schools.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local authorities have raised the price of school meals since May 1979; and what is the average rate of increase since that date.
Until April 1980 and the coming into force of section 22 of the Education Act 1980, school meal charges were fixed nationally rather than by individual LEAs. Since then, the widespread introduction of cash cafeterias rules out comparisons in the secondary sector. However, according to the autumn 1981 school meals census, 89 English LEAs had increased their charge for fixed price primary meals, on average, by 31 per cent. to 46p.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the needs of the increasing ageing population for more chiropody treatment, he will take steps to make grants to chiropody students mandatory instead of discretionary.
No. My, right hon. Friend has concluded that resources cannot be made available at present to meet the cost of extending mandatory awards to chiropody students.
Public Bodies (Appointments)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many (a) men and (b) women he has appointed to public bodies in the past year; and what is the total number of men and women appointed by his Department to serve on public bodies.
46 men and four women; just over 700.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many secondary school places each local education authority had in 1979 and at the latest available date; and if he is satisfied with progress in reducing the numbers.
This information is not available, but local education authorities' returns to the Department's circular 2/81 will show the current position and their plans for taking places out of use. We are reviewing progress in the light of those returns but shall only be able to complete our analysis when a sufficient number have been received.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what response he has had from local education authorities about his target for cutting 1 million school places by March 1984; and if he will make a statement.
The Government's published expenditure plans assume that 630,000 surplus places will have been taken out of use by March 1984. We shall review our targets in the light of the returns of local education authorities to the Department's circular 2/81—once a sufficient number have been received to enable a reliable analysis to be made.
Solicitor-General For Scotland
Bail Etc (Scotland) Act 1980
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many prosecutions have been taken against persons on bail under the Bail etc. (Scotland) Act in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
These statistics are not readily made available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost and would, in any event, only give an indication of the number of persons who failed to attend at court. Previously, persons who breached a condition of bail that they should not re-offend while on bail have been charged with the substantive additional offence rather than with a contravention of the Bail etc. (Scotland) Act 1980. This situation should alter in the light of the further instruction, issued to procurators fiscal by my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate, to which I referred in my reply to my hon. Friend's question of 18 May.—[Vol. 24, c.64–65.]
Drink And Violent Crime (Prosecution Statistics)
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many cases involving drink and violent crime have been prosecuted in Scotland so far in 1982; and what were the figures for similar periods in the previous five years.
There are no figures available for cases involving drink and violent crime either in 1982 or in previous years.
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland whether he is satisfied that no problematical differences exist between the applicability of the doctrines of international law in Scotland as opposed to in the other parts of the United Kingdom.
Kirkcaldy Victoria Hospital Nurses Home (Fire)
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if he will make a statement on the recently completed fatal accident inquiry into the causes of the fire at Kirkcaldy Victoria hospital nurses' home.
The inquiry is not concluded until the sheriff principal has made a determination. It would not be appropriate to make any further comment until this has been done. In his determination, the sheriff will set out the circumstances of the death so far as they have been established to his satisfaction, including where and when the death took place; the cause of death; the reasonable precautions, if any, whereby the death might have been avoided; and any other facts which are relevant to the circumstances of the death. The Lord Advocate will be sent a copy of the determination on the conclusion of the inquiry and members of the public, on payment of the appropriate fee, may also obtain a copy from the sheriff clerk at Kirkcaldy.
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland whether there is a backlog of cases in the sheriff court and High Court; and what measures are being taken to deal with this problem.
Because of the time limits which operate in Scotland, there is no significant delay in cases of serious crime. So far as summary crime is concerned, the average time between the police reporting to the procurator fiscal and the calling of that case in court is two months. If there is a plea of not guilty and a trial, the time between calling and trial diet is between one and five months.
Electricity Production (Cost)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report his Department's latest estimate for the average cost in pence per kilowatt hour of electricity produced by existing (a) nuclear, (b) coal and, (c) oil plant.
The Central Electricity Generating Board's annual report and accounts for 1980–81 give figures for that year on an historic cost basis. For plant commissioned between 1965 and 1977 and at Hinkley Point B the figures are as follows:
Renewable Energy Sources
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the total expenditure in each of the last five years upon research and development for generating electricity from all renewable resources.
The renewable energy resources with potential for electricity generation on which research has been funded by my Department are wind, wave geothermal hot dry rock, tidal and low-head water power.Total expenditure in these areas by my Department over the past four years has been as follows:
|Outturn prices (incl. VAT)|
Fluidised Bed Combustion
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the present level of expenditure on the fluidised bed combustion system.
Department of Energy expenditure in the financial year 1982–83 is estimated to be about £3·5 million, the greater part being on the experimental IEA pressurised fluidised bed facility at Grimethorpe.Private industry and the National Coal Board are also investing substantial sums in the research, development and industrial exploitation of fluidised bed technology.
Power Stations (Conversion Costs)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the estimated cost of converting (a) a 600 megawatt and (b) a 1,200 megawatt power station from oil-burning to coal-burning.
The CEGB has no oil-fired power stations of these sizes. The conversion of oil-fired stations to coal-firing is not practicable at many sites, but where practicable the capital cost of any conversions would vary considerably, depending on a number of site-related factors in addition to size, including the design and configuration of plant and the nature of the conversion proposed. I am asking the acting chairman of the CEGB to write to the hon. Member with more detailed information.
Nuclear Power Stations (Cost)
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will estimate the annual expenditure for building a commercial fast breeder reactor power station; and over what time span.
In the absence of a detailed project specification reliable estimates are not available.
International Energy Agency
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the meeting of the governing board of the International Energy Agency at ministerial level, which he chaired in Paris on 24 May.
The governing board of the International Energy Agency met at Ministerial level, in Paris on Monday 24 May, 1982 under my chairmanship. My hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), Under-Secretary of State, represented the United Kingdom. Copies of the communiqué are available in the Libraries of the House.IEA Ministers met against the background of a more relaxed oil market. They welcomed this, and the considerable progress that IEA countries continue to make in reducing oil dependency and in increasing energy efficiency. They recognised that energy pricing had played an important role in achieving progress to date and committed themselves to pay particular attention to economic energy pricing when developing national energy policies.Ministers recognised that longer term uncertainties about future energy supplies remain. They reaffirmed the need to reduce oil dependency and to increase the economic use of coal, gas and nuclear power and to maintain the effectiveness of their energy conservation programmes. They also agreed on the need to maintain contacts with oil producing countries and to improve better mutual understanding.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much the Ordnance Survey has spent on computer hardware and associated peripherals such as plotters and digitisers over the last 20 years.
The historic cost of all computer equipment at present held by the Ordnance Survey—including plotters, digitisers and so on and accommodation conversion—is approximately £2·7 million. Some other equipment purchased over the last 20 years has now been disposed of and some was supplied under allied service terms by other Departments. Information on the total cost of this other equipment is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to extend the principles of the Gleneagles agreement so that Commonwealth countries (a) should not provide media coverage of, and (b) should discourage or prevent gambling on, sporting events in South Africa.
Petrol (Lead Content)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the percentage contribution lead in petrol makes towards total body lead burdens.
Normally, about 20 per cent. of body lead for people living in United Kingdom towns comes from petrol, both directly by inhalation and indirectly by other pathways—for example, food and dust.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has studied any evidence from the United States of America concerning blood lead levels following the first four years of the phasing out of lead in petrol.
I refer the hon. Lady to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on 24 May.—[Vol. 24, c. 252–53.]
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has studied recent research carried out in Italy of the contribution of lead in petrol to total body lead levels.
I believe that the hon. Member is referring to a research project based at the EC laboratory at Ispra. The full results of this project have not yet been published, but I will study them as a matter of urgency as soon as they are available.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Paddington (Mr. Wheeler) on 18 May, Official Report, c. 72, when he expects the necessary works to have been completed to enable the reopening of the Serpentine lido in Hyde Park.
I have now received professional advice on the necessary works to enable the lido to be properly chlorinated and I am considering the options. I will let the right hon. Member know as soon as possible when the lido can be reopened.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authority post-war dwellings have been demolished in each of the last 10 years.
I will answer this question shortly.
Zoological Society Of London
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the study which he and the Zoological Society of London are undertaking into the future of the society.
Preliminary work to gather essential factual information about the Zoological Society's affairs is being undertaken by a study team consisting of Dr. Martin Holdgate, chief scientist at the Department of the Environment, Lord Chorley, a director of Coopers and Lybrand Associates Ltd. and Professor John Phillips, secretary of the Zoological Society of London. The work is being financed jointly by the Department and the Zoological Society of London. They will report to Ministers and to the society's council by the beginning of June. It will then be necessary to consider what further steps would be needed to put the society on a sound footing, and what form these would take.
Construction (Public Expenditure)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of total public expenditure was spent on construction last year; and whether he will estimate what proportion will be spent this year.
I have been asked to reply.Expenditure on construction represented 8·5 per cent. of the public expenditure planning total in 1981–82 and 8·9 per cent. in 1982–83. These figures are derived from tables 1.1 and 1.15 of volume one of the latest public expenditure White Paper—Cmnd. 8494. The notes to table 1.15 provide details of the definitions used. In addition, there is current expenditure on repair and maintenance accounting for about another 3 to 4 per cent. of the planning total in each year.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table showing how many persons have been killed or injured each year since August 1969 as a result of action taken by the Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the Ulster Defence Regiment, the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve, and the Ulster Defence Regiment Reserve.
The following table shows the number of deaths arising out of action by the security forces during incidents connected with the security situation in Northern Ireland:
|Date||Security forces involved|
|1 August–31 December|
|1 January–1 May|
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the flow of third level education students out of and into Northern Ireland each year since 1971.
The information requested is not readily available in the form requested. However, for the following academic years shown it is estimated that the flow of students out of and into Northern Ireland at undergraduate and postgraduate levels was as follows:
|New entrants from outside Northern Ireland to courses in Northern Ireland||470||288||263||329|
|Northern Ireland new entrants in receipt of student awards for courses outside Northern Ireland||1,506*||1,648||1,401||Not yet available|
|* Undergraduates only.|
Squatting (Law Reform)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he proposes to present new legislation arising from the review groups report on the reform of the law on squatting.
I am considering whether new legislation will be required.
New University Of Ulster And Ulster Polytechnic (Merger)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many trade union representatives of the staff at the New University of Ulster and the Ulster Polytechnic will be included on the steering committee overseeing the merger of these two institutions.
The full membership of the steering group has not yet been determined. It will include members appointed after consultation with the two existing institutions. The group will clearly have to take account of the interests of the staff who will be affected by the merger, and there will be opportunities for consultations between the steering group and staff associations, but it is not intended that members of the steering group should be appointed as representatives of particular interests.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the present number of people unemployed in the province at the latest date; what were the figures for May 1979; and how these figures appear as respective percentages.
The latest date for which figures are available is 13 May 1982, when the number of people registered as unemployed in the Province was 112,978. The corresponding figure for May 1979 was 60,814. These figures represent percentage rates of 19·7 and 10·6 respectively.
Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has yet decided to set up an inquiry into the operation of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978.
Taking full account of the security situation in Northern Ireland and the continued need for legislation to deal with terrorism, I intend to establish an independent review of the operation of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978. It is my intention that the review should take account of the conclusions of Lord Jellicoe's inquiry into the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976, so far as they affect Northern Ireland, and the timing will reflect this.
Radioactive Material (Transportation)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether, and with what results, tests have been made of the effect of a rail collision at 50 miles per hour involving flasks carrying nuclear waste;(2) if he will describe the categories of radioactive material permitted to be transported in flasks by rail; what categories may not be carried; what are the maximum levels of radioactivity permitted in respect of the contents of each flask; and what inspection machinery exists to ensure that safety limits are not exceeded;(3) what would be the maximum amount of radioactive contamination that could occur if a sealed flask of the kind carried by rail, and containing the maximum permitted amount of nuclear waste were fractured; what would be the maximum area of contamination; and at what levels.
The flasks used to transport irradiated nuclear fuel are designed, tested and certified in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency regulations for the safe transport of radioactive materials. The regulatory tests are not intended to simulate any particular accident scenario but to ensure that the flasks would withstand damage of a kind which would result from a very severe accident.
Oil And Gas Storage
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he anticipates being in a position to announce the outcome of the review into the procedures for considering applications to moor floating structures for the storage of gas or oil which he undertook following the recent Solent application; and whether he will circulate a copy of any recommendations and ultimate decisions by the Government to all interested organisations and authorities.
The working party of officials, which my right hon. Friend set up to consider these matters, expects to complete its work within the next few weeks. I will inform the House of the conclusions reached by the Government, and will consider at that stage what wider circulation may be appropriate.
Manchester Airport (Rail Link)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the latest developments with regard to the proposal for a rail link to Manchester airport.
As my right hon. Friend explained recently in a letter to the right hon. Member, we understand that the Railways Board is considering the promotion of a Private Bill and the preparation of investment proposals for a rail link to Manchester airport.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he is holding discussions on the future of London Transport; and whether any discussions have taken place with British Railways in this connection.
A number of bodies have pressed upon us their grave dissatisfaction with the state of chaos into which London Transport has been thrown by the GLC's mismanagement and have argued for a range of interesting and radical solutions. As part of our wider investigations to give London's travellers a better deal, there have been continuing discussions with British Rail about the policies for their commuter services under new management arrangements aimed at securing better accountability and value for money.
Select Committee On Transport (Recommendations)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport which of the recommendations contained in the first report of the Transport Committee 1981–82 he will implement and which of the recommendations he will reject.
The Government have already accepted one of the recommendations of the Transport Committee's supplementary report on HGV and PSV testing: the Transport Bill has been amended to ensure that the choice of an approved testing authority will be subject to the decision of Parliament, by affirmative resolution of both Houses. I have not accepted the Committee's recommendation that the Bill should be amended so that testing could be transferred only to a single authoritative body, but it is in fact my intention to transfer testing to a new independent association set up for that purpose and controlled by Lloyd's Register of Shipping; this is in accordance with one of the main recommendations of the Transport Committee's principal report last summer—fourth report of the Transport Committee, Session 1980–81. I have therefore accepted a great deal of what the Committee has recommended in this area, although my basic policy of transferring testing to the private sector remains unchanged.
South Atlantic (Broadcasts)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence by how much time, if any, the new Ministry of Defence broadcasts in the South Atlantic reduce the time available for British Broadcasting Corporation external services broadcasts.
The time available for British broadcasting external service programmes is not affected by the new MOD radio station. I understand, however, that the BBC considers the reception of some of its English language transmissions may be slightly impaired.
Departmental Staff (Research)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether there has been any increase in the numbers of persons employed in his Department, or the man hours spent by members of his Department, in dealing with nuclear research and arms related research.
The number of staff employed in MOD on arms-related research has been reduced substantially over the past few years in line with the staff reductions that have been made in the Department as a whole. There was a per cent. fall in 1981 compared with 1980. It is not our policy for security reasons to give details of numbers employed in nuclear research.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what representations he has received on the Occupational Pensions Board report "Improved protection for the occupational Pension Rights and Expectations of Early Leavers";(2) if he intends to accept the recommendations of the Occupational Pensions Board report entitled "Improved protection for the Occupational Pension Rights and Expectations of Early Leavers"; and, if so when he intends to lay amending regulations before Parliament.
We have received a considerable number of representations on the board's report from both individual's and organisations.
|Comparison with restoration of abatement from|
|* 5 July 1982||†25 November 1982|
|Single person||Married couple||Single person||Married couple|
|Employed 3 months, then unemployed 9 months||40·00||63·80||20·00||31·80|
|Employed 6 months, then unemployed 6 months||27·30||43·50||20·00||31·80|
|Employed 9 months, then unemployed 3 months||13·60||21·60||13·60||21·60|
|Employed 4 months, then unemployed 4 months, then employed 4 months||16·90||27·10||0·90||1·50|
|* The date on which taxation of unemployed benefit starts|
|† The date on which unemployment benefit will be uprated|
Unemployed Persons (Benefits)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the average cost in terms of benefits paid to an unemployed person in the United Kingdom using the most recent available figures;(2) what was the total cost of benefits paid to the unemployed throughout the United Kingdom during 1981–82; and to what extent this varied from the expectations contained in the March 1981 public expenditure White Paper.
We are still giving detailed consideration to the ideas and proposals that have been made, as well as to the recommendations in the board's report.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the effect on incomes during the financial year 1982–83 of not restoring the 5 per cent. abatement of unemployment benefit (a) in July 1982 and (b) in November 1982 for (i) a single person and (ii) a married couple who during the financial year are (i) employed for the first three months and unemployed for the remaining nine months; (ii) employed for the first six months and unemployed for the remaining six months, (iii) employed for the first nine months and unemployed for the remaining three months and (iv) employed for the first four months and unemployed for the next four months and employed again for the remaining four months.
People in the circumstances set out by my hon. Friend would receive the following amounts less, by way of unemployment benefit during the financial year 1982–83, than if the 5 per cent. abatement were restored in July or November 1982:
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take immediate steps to restore financial cuts to the Royal Marsden cancer hospital; and if he will make a statement.
We have not made any cuts in the finances of the Royal Marsden hospital.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average rate of increase in the cost of meals-on-wheels since May 1979.
Information on expenditure by local authorities is collected for financial years. In 1979–80 and 1980–81, there were increases in cash terms of 23 per cent. and 9 per cent. respectively over the previous year in the cost to local authorities of supplying meals-on-wheels.
Health Service Staff (Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate how many workers employed as ancillary staff within the National Health Service are currently paid less than the family income supplement prescribed level for a family with two children.
It is estimated that about one-third of a total of 109,000 full-time ancillary staff in England earn less than £82. There is no means of estimating how many of those workers are the main earners in families with two or more children. Even if such estimates could be made, it would be rather meaningless as entitlement to family income supplement depends upon the total gross income of the family concerned.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the current pay of National Health Service staff ancillary grades 1 to 4, and the effects of the proposed pay increases in terms of net pay for those grades.
Net pay depends upon the personal circumstances of individuals. The following figures of basic pay and gross average earnings exclude London allowances:
|Ancillary staff pay group||Current basic rate||Estimated current average earnings all staff (whole time equivalents)||Estimated average earnings increased by 4 per cent.|
|£ per week||£ per week||£ per week|
National Health Service Land
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will list the properties which make up the 4,000 acres on National Health Service estate which have so far been identified as surplus to requirements.
As the list of properties which make up the 4,000 acres is lengthy, I am writing to the hon. Member and placing copies of the list in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to ensure that pregnant women who are being investigated for possible foetal abnormalities are informed expeditiously of the results and given all possible information to allay anxiety.
The report of the expert working group of screening for neural tube defects, which the Department issued to health authorities in December 1979, stressed the importance of communicating to pregnant women, without delay, the results of tests for foetal abnormality. The report also recognised the need to give women full counselling on the purpose and results of these tests. It is, of course, a matter for clinical judgment by the doctor in each case how the results are communicated in the light of individual circumstances.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has now studied the findings of the second national health and nutrition examination survey for 1977 to 1980 carried out by the United States public health service about the relationship between lead in petrol and blood lead levels; and if he will make a statement.
The most recent report of the survey concludes that it does not allow the relationship between blood lead levels and lead from petrol, or any other source, to be determined, but that there was a close similarity between decreases in blood lead levels and the use of lead in petrol.
Disabled Persons (Technological Aids)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his Department provides any assistance to disabled persons to gain access to the following technological aids: possum, mavis, mac, apple, canon communicator, splink and microwriter.
Both health and social service authorities have powers to provide aids, including high technology aids of the kind described, to disabled persons. Voluntary organisations also provide aids in some cases.Environmental control equipment for severely disabled people is purchased by the Department from central funds for supply through the health services. The Possum PSU3 equipment is currently provided in this way; eligible patients who additionally suffer loss of speech may also be provided with a Possum typewriter for use as a communication aid.The Department is engaged in setting up a limited number of communication aids centres—in conjunction with the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation—where expertise in the application of communication aids for speech-impaired people may be developed and shared.The Department aims to ensure that information about these aids and about the sort of people who might be helped by them is made widely available. Further progress will be encouraged through the designation of 1982 as United Kingdom Information Technology Year and the interest this is arousing in the application of information technology to the disabled.
Southern Group Laboratories
asked the Secretay of State for Social Services what are the sales or turnover of Southern Group Laboratories.
The total turnover of Southern Group laboratories for the year ended 31 March 1982 was £628,450.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people in Kilmarnock currently are claiming supplementary benefit; how many are pensioners and one-parent families; and what were the corresponding figures for May 1979.
The numbers claiming from the Kilmarnock local office, including people who live ouside Kilmarnock itself, are as follows:
|May 1979||February 1982 (latest available date)|
|All supplementary pensioners||2,600||2,800|
|All supplementary beneficiaries||5,100||7,500|
|* Excludes some one-parent families in other groups; for example, widows with National Insurance Benefit and those who are unemployed.|
Source: 100 per cent. count of claims in action May 1979 and February 1982.
Doctors (Postal Votes Fees)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take to recover fees paid to general practitioners during recent elections in respect of certification for postal votes.
If a National Health Service patient is charged for a certificate for which he should not have been charged, he should write to his local family practitioner committee within eight weeks of the event. The complaint may then be formally investigated under the National Health Service (Services Committee and Tribunal) Regulations 1974. If an investigation established that the doctor had breached his terms of service, the amount could be withheld from his remuneration and refunded to the complainant.
Genetic Advisory Centres
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number and location of genetic advisory centres presently in operation; and if he will make a statement.
A list of 75 centres providing advice on human genetics is appended to the booklet "Human Genetics" prepared by the Standing Medical Advisory Committee. The list of centres was revised in May 1981. Health authorities are responsible for the geographical distribution of centres within their own localities.
International Year Of Disabled People
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Department has issued a report on the proceedings of the seminar on prevention held at Leeds castle during the International Year of Disabled People; and if he will make a statement.
The Leeds Castle declaration on the prevention of disablement, issued at the conclusion of the seminar, was presented to the United Nations General Assembly and the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation. It has been made widely available to interested bodies and copies are in the Library. A book on the proceedings of the seminar is expected to be published in the early part of 1983 by the Oxford University Press in association with the Leeds Castle Foundation.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the number and percentage of pregnant women in the age groups under 20 years, 20 to 24 years, 25 to 29 years, 30 to 34 years, 35 to 39 years, 40 to 44 years and 45 to 49 years, who have undergone amniocentesis in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
Information on the incidence of the investigation of pregnancy by amniocentesis is not available centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has had discussions with the British Medical Association on reducing the amount of lead in the atmosphere.
No. The Government have decided to reduce the level of lead in the atmosphere in the fastest practicable way, and that is a matter for engineering and economics rather than medicine.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the main criteria used in determining the pay of general practitioners; what guidance is given to family practitioner committees on the method of determining pay; and if he will make a statement.
The pay of general medical practitioners is determined by the Government. Save where there are clear and compelling reasons for not doing so, we accept the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration, which advises on the pay of all doctors and dentists working in the NHS. It is the function of family practitioner committees to make payments to general medical practitioners in accordance with the rates and conditions determined by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State after consultation with the medical profession's representatives. These are published in the practitioners' statement of fees and allowances. Family practitioner committees play no part in determining the method of pay.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average number of patients per general practitioner in each of the last three years in each region of the National Health Service.
The average list size for unrestricted principals in England in each of the last three years for which information is available is as follows:
|Area||Average list size (at 10 October) per unrestricted principal|
|East Anglia RHA||2,214||2,175||2,163|
|NW Thames RHA||2,266||2,263||2,233|
|NE Thames RHA||2,299||2,299||2,258|
|SE Thames RHA||2,282||2,256||2,232|
|SW Thames RHA||2,302||2,284||2,229|
Average list size (at 10 October) per unrestricted principal
|South Western RHA||2,140||2,128||2,102|
|West Midlands RHA||2,371||2,325||2,293|
|North Western RHA||2,377||2,347||2,297|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the average income of a general practitioner in each of the last three years; and what regional variations exist.
Information on the average income of general medical practitioners in each of the last three years is not available. However, intended average net remuneration for GMPs in the last three financial years has been as follows:
National Health Service (Ancillary Grades)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what have been (a) the average gross weekly pay and (b) the average level of redundancy payment for the main ancillary Health Service grades for each of the last four years.
The following estimates of average earnings exclude London allowances:
|£ per week|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what definition of disablement is used by his Department.
Disablement is a concept and its definition depends on the context in which it is being considered. In general, the Department sees disablement as a generic term embracing the separate concepts of impairment, disability and handicap as developed by the World Health Organisation and published in the manual "International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps".
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Stockport, North on 17 May, Official Report, c. 45, if invalidity allowance, where applicable, is payable in addition to a basic component equal to the standard rate of category A retirement pension for which a widow qualifies by virtue of aggregating her entitlement to invalidity pension and widows' pension; and if he will make a statement.
I can confirm that an invalidity allowance, where applicable, is payable in addition to the amount of benefit ascertained under the arrangements I described in my reply to the hon. Member on 17 May.—[Vol. 24, c. 45.]
Vibration White Finger
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has yet reached a decision on the recommendation by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, Cmnd. 8350, that vibration white finger should be prescribed as an industrial disease.
Yes. My right hon. Friend has accepted the recommendations of the council in principle. The introduction of regulations implementing this decision must depend upon the availability of resources.
Disabled Persons (Committee Report)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects the report of the Committee on Restrictions Against Disabled People to be published.
The report is being published today, and copies have been put in the House of Commons Library. I am very grateful to the chairman and members of the committee for producing a most stimulating and wide-ranging report. I have written to the chairman of the committee to give him the Government's first reactions to it. A copy of my letter has also been placed in the House of Commons Library. I shall await with interest the reaction of both disabled and non-disabled interests to the report. Ministerial colleagues in other Departments will be drawing the report to the attention of those organisations with which they are in contact which may be affected by its recommendations.
Scottish Development Agency
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the performance of the Scottish Development Agency.
I am satisfied that the agency is performing well under its revised guidelines as an important instrument of the Government's industrial policy.
Education (Administration Expenses)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of public funds made available to Scottish local authorities for the provision of education is spent upon administration as compared to the proportion spent on direct educational provision in the classroom.
Information from local authority returns suggests that education administration costs, including any apportionment of costs of general administration, range from about 2 per cent. to about 11 per cent. of gross educational expenditure.However, most local authorities do not apportion general administration costs to service departments, and, in those that do, the calculations are not on a comparable basis.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the amounts of finance available for research in Scotland into the prevention of peritonitis in patients with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.
Yes, Sir. While there is a vast area of medical research competing for financial support, adequate funds are available from my Department and from the Medical Research Council for any research proposal in this field considered to be of adequate scientific merit. Funds are also available on a similar basis from a number of charitable institutions.
Tenants' Rights, Etc (Scotland) Act 1980
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the operation of part IV of the Tenants' Rights, Etc. (Scotland) Act 1980.
I assume the hon. Member is concerned chiefly with short tenancies.My right hon. Friend and I are satisfied that the option of a short tenancy is providing useful encouragement to landlords to keep accommodation available for letting. Some 979 applications for a certificate of fair rent where it is proposed to let on a short tenancy have been received since the commencement of this part of the Act on 1 December 1980, and some 560 tenancies of this kind have already been created. No figures are availble for cases where short tenancies have been created without alteration of an existing rent.
Ayrshire And Arran Health Board
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what underspending has occurred in Ayrshire and Arran health board area during the past three years; and if he will make a statement.
From provisional outturn figures, Ayrshire and Arran health board spent £2 million less than its combined allocation for revenue and ordinary capital expenditure purposes in 1981–82. In 1979–80 and 1980–81, the board's expenditure exceeded its combined allocations by £1·1 million and £0·1 million, respectively.
Police (Special Branch)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much it cost to run the special branches of the police in Scotland during 1979, 1980 and 1981, respectively; and what were the manning levels for these years.
Expenditure on special branches forms part of overall police budgets which are approved by police authorities. No separate cost information is kept centrally.Including those engaged on ports duties, the numbers of officers employed in special branch work in the eight Scottish forces at the end of each year from 1979 to 1981 were 112, 117 and 118.
Highland Perthshire (Depopulation)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is satisfied with the proposed levels of aid to reverse the depopulation trends of recent years in Highland Perthshire; and if he will make a statement.
The Blairgowrie employment office area will continue to enjoy development area status and so to qualify for regional development grants and selective financial assistance. The remainder of the area referred to by my hon. Friend is due to become non-assisted on 1 August subject to the outcome of the current review. The criteria for the review include the effect of population changes and migration, and account will be taken of the representations which have been made on these matters by the Tayside regional council and others.
Grampian Health Board
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if there are any proposals for improving the provision for maternity and geriatric services in the Grampian health board area.
The board keeps under review the adequacy of all its services and makes such improvements as are possible within the resources available. My right hon. Friend is currently studying proposals for the rationalisation of geriatric services in the board's west district by the closure of the county hospital at Dufftown and the provision of replacement beds elsewhere.
Scottish Lowland Airways (Report)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has had the opportunity to study the Scottish Development Agency report on Scottish Lowland Airways; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has noted the contents of the report although it has not been formally submitted to him. The Government's policy remains as previously stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade, namely, that the Scottish Lowland airports should continue to fulfil their present role as complements to each other.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the prospects for the economy in Scotland.
The prospect for the Scottish economy is of a gradual recovery in activity over the next year.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Scottish football authorities about the Scottish team remaining a participant in the World Cup in Spain.
My hon. Friend the Minister with responsibility for sport and I have discussed with the football authorities on a number of occasions the participation of United Kingdom teams in the World Cup, with particular reference to the behaviour of football supporters in Spain. It is for the football authorities themselves to decide whether the teams should continue to participate in the competition.
Health Service (Industrial Action)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the industrial action being taken by National Health Service employees in Scotland.
I very much regret that industrial action, primarily involving hospital ancillary workers, continues to disrupt the normal provision of health services in certain areas of the country. While some areas remain largely unaffected, in others the impact varies from interruption of normal patterns for the admission of patients and day hospital provision to a few instances where there has been interference with vital services for the seriously ill. There can be no level of disruption to treatment and care for those who are ill which can be regarded as being acceptable. I hope those staff taking such action in pursuit of a wholly unrealistic claim for a 12 per cent. increase will return to normal working.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed discussions with the Scottish Development Agency and the regional councils about the future of assisted areas in Scotland.