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Written Answers

Volume 32: debated on Friday 19 November 1982

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 19 November 1982

Northern Ireland

Boundary Commission For Northern Ireland

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to lay before Parliament the report of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland and the corresponding draft Order in Council.

The report and the draft Order in Council will be laid before Parliament next week.

De Lorean Motor Cars Ltd

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a further statement about De Lorean Motor Cars Ltd.

United Kingdom receipts from the European Communities Budget
£ million
EAGGF guarantee sectionEAGGF guidance sectionEuropean Social FundEuropean Regional Development FundOwn resources refundsCompensation for EMS interest rate subsidiesMiscellaneousTotal receipts other than supplementary measuresSupplementary measuresTotal receipts including supplementary measures
197363137979
197411216193150150
1975340219325398398
1976197101129445296296
1977157234860764368368
1978294346335919526526
19793541787711101010659656
19805123895173106336963981,061
19816255810714511421141,0846931,777
1982*47530846610121147918941,685

* 1 January to 30 September.

Save-As-You-Earn National Savings Contracts

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he intends to top up the index-linked return on third issue save-as-you-earn national savings contracts, following the action taken on index-linked national savings certificates.

Yes. Savers with existing contracts or making new contracts under the third issue SAYE scheme will be able to qualify for a supplement to index-linking comparable to that already announced for index-linked national savings certificates. Legislation will be included in next year's Finance Bill to authorise supplements for contracts which have not completed the initial seven year term: the existing prospectus permits such supplements to be made on contracts extended after seven years.Savers will be eligible for an additional tax-free benefit for the next 12 months at least. Savers can qualify for the

In a statement to the house on 19 February 1982 about the affairs of the De Lorean motor companies, my right hon. Friend referred to an investigation of the company's affairs made by Coopers and Lybrand. The receivership, which was announced that day, is being undertaken by Sir Kenneth Cork and Mr. Paul Shewell, partners in Cork Gully, a member firm of Coopers and Lybrand. During the receivership inquiries have continued into a number of matters, relating to the conduct of the De Lorean business, brought to light in the Coopers and Lybrand report. On the basis of information which has come to hand in the course of these further inquiries, papers relating to a number of such matters have now been referred to the Chief Constable of the RUC for his consideration.

National Finance

European Community (Grants)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the total disbursements of grants to the United Kingdom from the European Community since 1973 under each main heading of expenditure.

The information requested is given in the following table:full supplement of 2·4 per cent. on any contract in force on 30 November 1982 and not repaid by 30 November 1983. The supplement will be calculated on the index-linked value of the contract at 30 November 1982, including the seven year bonus if this has been earned by that date.There will also be a supplement for contributions between 1 December 1982 and 31 October 1983 These can qualify for 0·2 per cent. on the cash value for each whole calendar month up to the end of November 1983. This supplement will apply both to existing and to new contracts.These supplements will be indexed monthly, with effect from 1 December 1983, and added to the value of the contract on repayment. Savers can qualify for the supplements if they earn index-linking. To do this they need to complete their 60 monthly payments, or extend the contract under the seven year extension terms. Supplements will be payable only when contracts are repaid after the end of November 1983.

Civil Service (Costs)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures available (a) for the cost of the Civil Service for 1981–82 and (b) the average cost for each civil servant; and if he will break down the average cost for each civil servant into pay, national insurance, superannuation, and other costs such as office space, heating, lighting, car allowance, travel allowance, telephone and others.

In my answer of 2 March 1982–[Vol. 19, c. 112–14.]— I provided my hon. Friend with a table showing provision for current expenditure for 1981–82—together with certain notional costs—for each Government Department; this included the Armed Forces and Northern Ireland Departments. The total shown was £13,904 million. The following averages can be derived from that table on the basis of staff totals of 638,400 United Kingdom civil servants—excluding the staff of trading funds—327,600 military personnel and 26,600 members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service at 1 April 1982. Information on Civil Service and Armed Forces running costs is not held separately.

£
Wages and salaries9,788
Personnel overheads745
Accommodation and rents2,068
Office services680
Agency services725
Total14,006

Notes:

Wages and Salaries=Wages, salaries, overtime payments, employers' National Insurance contributions, and notional cost of accruing liability for pensions of serving staff.

Personnel Overheads=Travel, subsistence, entertainment, removals, catering subsidies, protective clothing and external training.

Accommodation costs=Rates, heating, lighting, utilities, furniture and fittings, and notional market rental values for Crown and leased property.

Office Services=Postage, printing and publications, telecommunications, publicity and advertising, and administrative computers.

Agency Costs=Services provided by the Post Office and other agencies.

Public Service Pensions

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of implementing the uprating of public service pensions in accordance with the actual formula adopted in the decade from 1950 to 1960, from 1960 to 1970, and in each of the years from 1970 to the most recent uprating; and what would have been the cost if the upratings had been made on the basis of the most recently ascertainable changes in the gross national product.

Defence

Loop Road (Okehampton)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to maintain the loop road on Dartmoor at Okehampton in view of the importance for defence training and the local reserve service.

In response to a recent consultation document circulated by the Duchy of Cornwall to many interested parties, my Department has reaffirmed the need to maintain the loop road in sufficient repair to allow the necessary military vehicles access to the Okehampton ranges. I understand that the Duchy is now considering the replies it has received.

War Graves (Visits)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if, in view of the facilities offered to Falkland war widows, he will make finance available to First and Second World War widows who wish to visit their husbands' graves.

No. The facilities we shall be offering to the next of kin of men killed in the Falklands conflict are essentially in line with our normal regulations which permit the next of kin and a companion to visit an overseas grave at public expense, within two years of the burial. This concession was introduced in 1967 when it was decided that it could not be granted retrospectively.

Wales

Gelli Farm, Cymmer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales why there has been a delay in deciding whether Gelli farm, Cymmer, Port Talbot, should be listed as a building of architectural and historical interest, pursuant to the request of the Afan council's borough engineer on 10 May and subsequent telephone calls and letters.

When requests are received to add buildings to the statutory list, priority must be given to buildings threatened by imminent demolition, which was not the case with Gelli farm. Also, it can prove difficult to research fully the history of certain buildings. In this case, it took some time to obtain the information necessary for proper consideration of the request. However, I am pleased to say that a full report has now been compiled which recommends that the farm house should be added to the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. This recommendation will be implemented within the next few days.

Prime Minister

Siberian Gas Pipeline

asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on President Reagan's decision to lift sanctions on the supply of high technology equipment for the Siberian gas pipeline.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. McMahon) on 18 November 1982.—[Vol. 32, c. 271.]

Australia (Test Match Incidents)

asked the Prime Minister how many British nationals were detained following incidents at the first test match at Perth, Australia.

Sixteen people born in the United Kingdom were arrested during the course of the test match. Most face charges of disorderly conduct. None of those arrested during the first three days' play—which included the incident involving Terry Alderman—was a visitor to Australia or a recent immigrant from the United Kingdom.

General Zia-Ul-Haq (Visit)

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on the arrangements for the visit to London of the President of Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq.

Education And Science

Higher Education

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the estimated cost of tuition of a student in higher education in England in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The available information is as follows:

Net institutional recurrent cost per full-time equivalent student
(November 1981 prices)£
1976–774,010
1977–783,940
1978–794,050
1979–804,170
1980–813,940

Textile Courses

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many universities and polytechnics have textile departments; how many staff were employed in these departments; and how many undergraduate places in textile technology there were in each of the last five years;(2) which universities and polytechnics now have textile departments.

The available information relates to courses rather than departments. Of the Great Britain universities, Leeds, UMIST, Bradford and University College Cardiff currently run first degree courses in textile subjects. In England, Leicester, Trent, Huddersfield and Manchester polytechnics offer courses in textile technology—including textile coloration—at degree and sub-degree levels. Textile technology also forms an element of many art and design courses in polytechnics. Information about the numbers of staff employed and undergraduate places is not readily available.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many textile departments there are in local colleges.

Eleven colleges in England run courses in textile technology, including coloration. In addition, textile technology is included as part of many clothing, fashion and design courses.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the number of those studying textile technology and other related subjects at non-degree level, degree level and postgraduate level.

Student enrolments as at November 1980 on courses in textile technology at maintained, assisted and grant-aided major establishments of further education in England and Wales were as follows:

Full-time and sandwich studentsPart-time students
Postgraduate courses134
First degree courses6928
Other advanced courses323370
Non-advanced courses2131,000
Comparable figures for universities are not readily available.

Mandatory Awards (Local Authority Contribution)

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has had about problems faced by local authorities regarding the payment of 10 per cent. of the cost of mandatory awards; and if he will make a statement.

The Department pays 90 per cent. specific grant towards the cost of mandatory awards. My right hon. Friend has not received any representations from local education authorities regarding the payment of the other 10 per cent.

Scotland

M9 (Design Standard)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the forecast of traffic volume use for the design standard for the M9 Stirling motorway: and what is the present measured traffic volume.

Information is not available precisely in the form requested. The M9 motorway was built as a series of links over several years. The forecast daily traffic flow for the first year of operation of each link is as follows, but these figures do not allow for the effect of completing subsequent links. Traffic census figures for each link are given for the latest available year.

M9 LinkForecast daily traffic flow for first yearTraffic census figures (year of census)
Kirkliston-Newbridge17,20018,000 (1981)
Philpstoun-Kirkliston7,7009,900 (1979)
Burghmuir-Philpstoun12,90013,200 (1980)
Lathallan-Burghmuir13,7009,700 (1979)
Lathallan-Kinnaird House15,90013,800 (1978)
Hill of Kinnaird-Kinnaird House20,10016,500 (1981)
Bannockburn-Hill of Kinnaird8,300Not available
Craigforth-Bannockburn11,90011,400 (1980)
Keir Roundabout-Craigforth13,20013,600 (1979)

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Diplomatic Service

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what, and how many, offences were alleged to have been committed by British diplomats with diplomatic immunity working abroad so far in the current year.

We have had no reports from posts overseas in the current year of criminal offences against local law allegedly committed by members of the Diplomatic Service working overseas. We would not necessarily expect to be advised of minor offences—for example, traffic violations.

Ussr (Parliamentary Visits)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the reply of 30 July, Official Report, column 750 how many ideas for such visits have been put forward by the Soviet Government or by Soviet parliamentarians in the past three years or any convenient period; and what was the Government's response.

I am not aware that visits by deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR have been formally proposed by the Soviet Government in the past three years. Ideas of such visits have been put forward on several occasions by members of the Supreme Soviet. The Government's view, ever since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, has been that official inter-parliamentary exchanges with the Soviet Union would not be appropriate.

Ghana

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance for the training of the armed forces the United Kingdom is giving to the Government of Ghana.

The United Kingdom Government provide personnel for the Ghana armed forces staff college and Ghanaians continue to attend military training courses in the United Kingdom. At the request of the Ghanaians authorities, the United Kingdom has agreed to make a gift of non-lethal military equipment, such as uniforms, boots and groundsheets, to the Ghanaian armed forces. The gift is intended to help the army to resume training exercises.

MeasureFinancial years
1979–80 Actual outturn £ million1980–81 Actual outturn £ million1981–82 Provisional outturn £ million
Temporary employment subsidy*40·90·9
Temporary short-time working compensation scheme24·4365·0259·7
Job release scheme85·4136·0134·1
Small firms employment subsidy45·410·80·1
Job creation programme4·90·50·1
Adult employment subsidy0·4
Special temporary employment programme51·045·7
Community enterprise programme86·6
Community industry17·019·020·9
Careers service strengthening scheme2·84·36·9
Youth opportunities programme121·8212·3403·9
TOTAL394·0794·5912·3

Parliamentary approval is being sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Vote, Class II. 5.

Employment

Professional And Executive Recruitment

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees there are in Professional and Executive Recruitment; how many vacancies they fill a year; and what is the total number of professional and executive vacancies filled annually.

At 1 November 1982 there were 364·5 staff employed in Professional and Executive Recruitment. In the year ending 31 October 1982 over 7,700 vacancies were filled, which included about 2,200 in the Manpower Services Commission's own special programmes schemes. There is no authoritative figure for the total number of professional and executive vacancies filled annually, although a survey in 1976 suggested there were at that time of the order of 120,000 engagements a year at this level in the private sector.

Unemployment Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what will be the criterion of ethnic origin in the new series of unemployment statistics which he hopes to introduce in January 1983.

Consideration is being given to assessing the ethnic origin of unemployed people visually by reference to three categories—(i) African-West Indian, (ii) Asian, and (iii) European, Chinese, Arab and others. Although the method of collection and the categories to be used are new, statistics on ethnic minority unemployment have been collected by my Department since 1963 and published regularly in the Department of Employment Gazette.

Temporary Employment Schemes (Cost)

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the total cost since 1979 of each of the programmes for temporary employment.

The following table details the outturn on each of the special employment measures in each of the financial years since 1979.

Notes

* The temporary employment subsidy closed for applications on 31 March 1979. Payments continued to 30 March 1980.

The small firms employment subsidy closed for applications on 31 March 1980.

The programme closed for applications in March 1978. Finance has been allocated in succeeding financial years to deal with residual work.

The adult employment subsidy closed for applications on 30 June 1979.

The special temporary employment subsidy was superseded on 1 April 1981 by the community enterprise programme.

Community Programme

asked the Secretary of State for Employment which advertising company has been commissioned by the Manpower Services Commission to advertise the new community programme; and how much it is being paid.

the Manpower Services Commission appointed the Central Office of Information to handle the advertising to assist the launch of the new community programme. the agency contracted by the Central Office of Information to carry out this work is Saatchi and Saatchi Garland-Compton Ltd. This firm has provided agency services for the Manpower Services Commission since October 1977. the details of individual contracts are confidential, but the agency is paid on a commission basis, as is customary in the advertising industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment which organisations have made a firm commitment to provide places on the community programme; and how many they are providing.

Details of the organisations which have made commitments to mount community programme projects are not available. On 8 November, 4.041 places had been approved. In addition, 160 local authorities and voluntary organisations have signed agreements for places under agency arrangements or have given other commitments which would provide a total of 60,000 places.

Agrculture, Fisheries And Food

Smallholdings (Land Settlement Association)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give extra financial aid to those who farm smallholdings under the jurisdiction of the Land Settlement Association; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on 17 November.—[Vol. 32, c. 196–97.]

Farm Wages

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish an index of farm wages from 1970 up until 1981.

Capital allocationsPrescribed capital receiptsPrescribed expenditure(c)as percentage of:
(a) £ million(b) £ million(c) £ million(a)(a+(b)
Sefton MBC8,9982,7009,11410178
St. Helens MBC12,6163,91011,4159069
Knowsley MBC7,7162,3169,31012193
West Lancashire DC2,6910,7003,27712297

the average weekly total earnings of hired regular whole-time men in agriculture in England and Wales, expressed as an index, are as follows:

Calendar Years
197043·1
197148·8
197254·9
197364·0
197480·0
1975100·0
1976117·0
1977127·1
1978143·2
1979167·0
1980200·4
1981225·0

Source: Wages and employment inquiry.

Environment

Water Authorities

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many complaints against regional water authorities were made to the Commission for Local Administration in the last five years; and in how many cases maladministration was found.

I am informed by the Commission for Local Administration in England that, in the five years ending 31 March 1982, 230 complaints against water authorities were referred to the commissioners, and that maladministration was found in 11 cases.

Local Authorities (Expenditure)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the capital underspending by Sefton metropolitan district council, St. Helens metropolitan district council, Knowsley metropolitan district council and West Lancashire district council.

The first year for which capital allocations were issued was 1981–82. The following table compares for each authority prescribed expenditure, capital allocations and prescribed proportion of new capital receipts for that year. The authorities may also have had accumulated capital receipts available.

Sewerage Works

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been provided from central Government funds for sewerage works (a) on the Thames and (b) on the Mersey.

Central Government do not directly fund expenditure by water authorities on sewerage or sewage treatment works.

Commission For Local Administration

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average amount of time taken by the Commission for Local Administration to report on complaints referred to it by local councillors.

The latest report of the Commission for Local Administration in England records that for those complaints which were the subject of a formal report—11 per cent. of the total considered—the average time in 1981–82 from the receipt of the complaint to the issue of the report was 38 weeks.

Local Authorities (Special Funds)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make arrangements to make the special funds available to local authorities up to April 1983 still available for some time after that date at least if unforeseeable delays occur.

The terms of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 require prescribed expenditure allocations to be made in respect of a specified financial year. But authorities are permitted to carry forward 10 per cent. of unused allocations to the subsequent financial year in order to cover such eventualities as unforeseen delays, and this will apply to the additional allocations now being offered as to any other allocation.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment for exactly what purposes the special funds available to local authorities before April 1983 may be applied; and in particular if such funds can be used for the modernisation and repair of old houses already acquired by a local authority.

Applications may be made for additional allocations for any capital expenditure projects, including capitalised repairs and improvements to dwellings owned by a local authority, either purpose-built or acquired.

Park Court, Warwick Road, Coventry

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, in relation to the premises at Park Court, Warwick Road, Coventry, occupied by the Inland Revenue and the Department of Employment (a) when scaffolding was first erected around the premises, (b) what has been the cost to date of hiring the scaffolding, (c) when it is estimated that the scaffolding will be removed and (d) what stage the legal proceedings in relation to the premises have now reached.

Transport

Heavy Lorries

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether the proposed construction and use regulations to permit the use of 38-tonne five-axle articulated vehicles will permit the use of tipper lorries of 38 tonnes gross weight; and, if so, whether it will permit them to be constructed up to 15·5 metres in length.

Yes. But most 38-tonne articulated tipper lorries will in fact be from 12 to 12·5 metres in length.

"Traffic Areas: Number And Boundaries"

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has now reached a decision on the matters raised in his Department's consultation paper entitled "Traffic Areas: Number and Boundaries"; and if he will make a statement.

I propose to lay before both Houses shortly an order reducing the number of traffic areas from 11 to nine and changing their boundaries. The proposed new boundaries, which are indicated on a map I have placed in the Library today, are broadly similar to those set out in the consultation paper but have been modified following consultation in order to minimise the disruption to both operators and staff. In particular, I am proposing that we should retain separate metropolitan and south-eastern traffic areas rather than merge them as was originally suggested. Subject to parliamentary approval, these changes will take effect on 1 April 1983.

Drinking And Driving (Television Publicity Campaign)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport why there will be no drinking and driving television publicity campaign in the central television area over Christmas and the new year; and if he will make a statement.

To ensure that the best possible results are obtained from national television drink-drive advertising this year, we are conducting an objective evaluation of our publicity campaign. This will involve three control areas—south-west, central and Yorkshire television—in which our publicity campaigns will be deferred until February. In the remaining television areas, the publicity will take place over the Christmas and new year periods as in previous years.This will enable us to monitor the response to the campaigns in different areas at different times by in-depth research and so ensure that our future publicity strategies are formulated in the most effective possible way.Overall spending on drink-driving advertising is being maintained at about the same level as in previous years.As always, the rule—not only at Christmas but throughout the year—is that no one should drink and drive.

Trade

Textiles And Clothing

asked the Minister for Trade (1) what was the volume of exports of textile and clothing products in the first six months of 1982 as compared with the first six months of 1981;(2) what was the volume of imports of textile and clothing products in the first six months of 1982 as compared with the first six months of 1981; and what percentage of total United Kingdom consumption of these products imports represented in both periods.

I regret that the information is not available in terms of volume. The available information in terms of value is as follows:

January-June £ million 19811982
Exports*1,097
Imports1,485 Per cent.
Import penetration*38
United Kingdom Top 20 Trading Partners, 1981
Exports to£ millionPercentage of Total ExportsImports from£ millionPercentage of Total Imports
1 USA and Dependencies6,269·612·3USA and Dependencies6,080·611·9
2 Federal German Republic5,518·010·8Federal German Republic5,944·011·6
3 Netherlands4,019·67·9France3,958·17·7
4 France3,626·27·1Netherlands3,902·17·6
5 Ireland2,813·75·5Belgium/Luxembourg2,452·24·8
6 Belgium/Luxembourg2,092·04·1Italy2,337·74·6
7 Italy1,742·63·4Japan2,203·14·3
8 Sweden1,602·53·1Norway1,942·43·8
9 Switzerland1,458·72·9Saudi Arabia1,895·13·7
10 Nigeria1,428·22·8Irish Republic1,782·13·5
11 South Africa1,218·82·4Switzerland1,708·03·3
12 Saudi Arabia1,133·42·2Sweden1,533·93·0
13 Denmark1,056·22·1Canada1,509·92·9
14 Norway877·01·7Denmark1,179·12·3
15 Australia862·01·7Hong Kong897·31·8
16 Canada847·31·7Finland846·31·7
17 Spain741·31·5Spain791·81·5
18 India639·11·3South Africa652·01·3
19 Iraq624·01·2Kuwait476·00·8
20 Japan620·01·2New Zealand428·40·8

Source: Overseas Trade Statistics.

Gatt Conference

asked the Minister for Trade what action he plans to take at the forthcoming general agreement on tariffs and trade conference with regard to countries which trade freely with the United Kingdom but have tariff or non-tariff barriers affecting United Kingdom exports.

I shall be using the opportunity afforded by the GATT ministerial meeting to emphasise our concern that United Kingdom exports continue to face inequitable conditions of access to the markets of some of our trading partners. This is a matter which we believe the GATT can and should address.

* Figures are not yet available because of last year's Civil Service strike. Textile and clothing products are defined as products classified to minimum list headings 411–429 and 441–449 respectively of the Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1968).

asked the Minister for Trade what percentage of textile and clothing imports in the first half of the current year came from State trading companies.

In the six months ended June 1982, imports from the centrally planned economies—as defined in the United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics— accounted for 2·8 per cent. of the value of total imports of textiles and textile clothing.

Exports-Imports (Statistics)

asked the Minister for Trade if he will list the top 20 markets, respectively, for British exports and imports in 1981, the value of the exports to each of these countries and the imports from them and the proportion of British total exports and imports which each of these markets represent.

Weights And Measures Act 1979

asked the Minister for Trade what representations he has received regarding implementation of section 19 of the Weights and Measures Act 1979; and if he will make a statement.

Some local authority organisations and several local authorities are concerned that the recent Divisional Court ruling in Bennett v. Markham, may lead to confusion locally as to the quantity of liquid beer which is a legal measure. Also there have been a small number of complaints from the public. Implementing section 19 would solve local authorities' difficulties, but I have yet to see firm evidence that changes adverse to consumers have resulted from recent court judgments. I am watching developments and will be prepared to act if necessary.

Howden And Minet Insurance Groups (Reports)

asked the Minister for Trade whether the reports of the inspectors appointed to inquire into the Howden and Minet insurance groups will be published.

The inspectors have been appointed very recently. They will be investigating as quickly as possible, but I cannot yet say when their reports will be completed. I expect to publish the reports, but cannot give an absolute undertaking at this stage.

Cars (Imports)

asked the Minister for Trade whether Her Majesty's Government will introduce non-tariff measures to prevent the import of cars at low-import levy rates from countries which excercise high levies against cars from the United Kingdom.

The Government have discussed and will discuss with our Community partners what action would be appropriate in individual cases to protect our trading interests, consistent with our international obligations.

Central Heating Radiators (Imports)

asked the Minister for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report the import figures for central heating radiators from countries outside and inside the European Economic Community for the past five years, indicating the quarterly returns of imports of radiators for each country.

pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1982, c. 220]: The information which can be provided within acceptable limits of cost is as follows:

United Kingdom Imports of Central Heating Radiators, 1978–81
£ thousand cif
1978197919801981
Country whence consigned:
European Community
France1,8863,1432,2921,303
Belgium-Luxembourg2,5815,8773,9066,243
Netherlands1,3533,5072,4691,529
Federal Republic of Germany6121,2071,042944
Italy367460329553
Irish Republic4,6225,8856,5868,021
Denmark8311,4551,5421,574
Other countries
Sweden8151,128796323
Finland9822,8022,1451,882
Other countries3218722194
Total Imports14,07925,65621,32722,467

Source: Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom, SITC (R1 and R2) Sub-group 812.1 (part)

Notes:

(a) These items were not separately identified in 1977.

(b) Owing to rounding, there may be slight differences between the sum of individual components and the value of total imports.

Unctad Liner Code

asked the Minister for Trade what is his definition of a British ship for the purpose of implementing the provisions of the United Nations conference on trade and development liner code.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1982, c. 221]: The United Nations liner code defines a national shipping line of any given country as "a vessel — operating carrier which has its head office of management and its effective control in that country and is recognised as such by an appropriate authority of that country or under the law of that country". The definition applies to shipping lines rather than ships.My right hon. and noble Friend is consulting the shipping industry before deciding whether United Kingdom law should add further conditions to those contained in the definition in the United Nations code. If he decides to do so, he will lay appropriate regulations before Parliament under the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Act 1982.

Yorkshire Electricity Consultative Council (Chairman)

asked the Minister for Trade what were the claims for expenses by the present chairman of the Yorkshire Electricity Consultative Council for each calendar year from 1974 to 1978 inclusive, and in total, from the date of his appointment to the latest available date.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November, c. 221]: From 1 October 1975, when the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection took over the financing of electricity consultative councils from the electricity supply industry, the relevant payments were as follows:

£
1 October 1975–31 December 1975778
19763,366
19774,506
19785,667
1979 to date25,142
Total39,459

Exports

asked the Minister for Trade if he will set out the proportion of United Kingdom imports covered by exports in volume terms for manufactured goods, for each of the last eight years from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, the European Economic Community as a whole, the United States of America, Japan, the rest of the world, excluding the European Economic Community, and Brazil, ending on 30 September in each case.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1982, c. 221]: Volume figures for trade in manufactures are not available for individual countries or areas; data for years ending 30 September could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The available information based on current price trade data is as follows:

Export/Import

*

of Ratios of United Kingdom Trade in Manufactures

F.R. Germany

France

Italy

Sweden

USA

Japan

Brazil

EEC

Rest of World (excl. EEC)

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

per cent.

197447887990894951385135
1975578670104874059388158
197658927796923837591155
197758856894903742091154
197854785778943530783146
197952765974853324380130
198061858087692921888133
198160817378762317981136
Jan-Sept '8251836576722010874126

* Exports and imports valued at current prices on Overseas Trade Statistics basis.

Standard International Trade Classification Sections 5 to 8.

Source:

Overseas Trade Statistics.

asked the Minister for Trade (1) what percentage of United Kingdom manufactured exports goes to less developed countries; and what has been the trend in this figure in recent years;(2) what is the United Kingdom balance of trade in manufactured goods with less developed countries; and what is the balance of payments with such countries.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1982, c. 221]: The available information is as follows:

I. Manufactured goods: exports to developing countries as a percentage of total exports
per cent.
197828·2
197924·4
198025·6
1982 (January to September29·4
II. Crude balance of trade in manufactured goods with developing countries
£ million
1982 (January to September)+5,547

Source:

United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics, SITC/R2 Sections 5–8 inclusive.

Notes:

(a) Balance of payments information is in general not available in respect of individual countries or groups of countries.

(b) Developing countries are as defined in the groupings Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, and Other Developing Countries in the Overseas Trade Statistics.

(c) Owing to last year's Civil Service pay dispute, information is not yet available for 1981.

Social Services

Tax Credit Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to introduce a full tax credit scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The Government have no plans at present to bring forward a full tax credit scheme. A number of the objectives of the 1973 tax credits proposals have since been achieved in other ways. My hon. Friend will also be aware that a Sub-Committee of the Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee is currently looking at the whole question of the structure of personal income taxation and income support, and we look forward to its report.

Social Security (Fraud)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now answer questions about the levels of social security benefits received by persons found guilty of fraudulent claims or otherwise criticised by the judiciary in relation to claims made by them.

No. I refer the hon. Member to my reply to his question on 5 July 1982.—[Vol. 27, c. 24–25.]

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many equivalent full-time staff were employed by his Department on work against social security fraud and abuse in March 1974 and in May 1979, or at the nearest appropriate dates, and on the latest date for which figures are available.

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Torney) on 9 December 1981–[Vol. 14, c. 431.]—On 31 August 1982, the latest date for which figures are available, the equivalent of 5,045 full-time staff were employed on work against social security fraud and abuse.

Benzene

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will set up an investigation to assess any health hazards associated with benzene.

Geriatric Patients

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish a table showing the number of geriatric patients in hospital in the East Anglian regional health authority in each year over the last five years.

Information held centrally relates to the number of in-patient discharges from and deaths in hospital geriatric departments. The relevant figures for the period 1977 to 1981 are given in the following table.

Discharges and deaths from geriatric departments in the NHS hospitals in East Anglia 1977 to 1981
YearDischarges and deaths
197711,108
197811,713
197911,612
198013,185
1981*14,100

* Provisional figures

Nhs (Property Sales)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many sales of National Health Service property there have been in the East Anglian regional health authority between April 1979 and April 1982; and if he will list the properties sold, the price paid for each and the names of the buyers.

The 37 properties listed as follows were sold during the period. The purchaser's name and the price paid are not included because of the agreement that these will not be revealed without the consent of the purchaser.East Anglian Regional Health AuthorityDisposal of Land in East Anglia

Property sold 1 April 1979 to 31 March 1980

Herman de Stern Convalescent Home, Felixstowe, Suffolk
87A Wisbech Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk
59 Hospital Road, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
45 Southwold Road, Wrentham, Suffolk
Ipswich Maternity Home, 5 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk
Nurses' House, Norwich Road, Barnham Broom, Norfolk
No. 81 Drybread Road, Whittlesey, Cambs
13 De Grey Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk
Small area of land at Fletcher Hospital, Cromer, Norfolk (for Gas Governor site)
"Gable End", Finborough Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk
Addenbrooke's Hospital, Sale of 1,263 square yards of land, Cambridge

Property sold 1 April 1980 to 31 March 1981

St. Michael's Lodge, St. Mary's Road, Beccles, Suffolk
G.P. Maternity Unit, RAF Hospital, Ely, Cambs. (Terminated by correspondence with PSA)
5 Stoke Road, Methwold, Nr. Downham Market, Norfolk
3, 5 and 9 Bacton Road, North Walsham, Norfolk
The Clinic, Westfield Road, Ramsey, Huntingdon
23 Field Terrace Road, Newmarket, Suffolk
1 Greyhound Lane, Banham, Norfolk
123 Westward Deals, Kedington, Suffolk
16 Bowthorpe Road, Wisbech, Cambs
380 Unthank Road, Norwich, Norfolk

Property sold 1 April 1981 to 31 March 1982

1 School Road, Little Plumstead, Norwich, Norfolk Sale of small piece of land at Former West Suffolk Hospital Site, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
131 Lawn Avenue, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
60 Exning Road, Newmarket, Suffolk
15 Guest Road, Cambridge
25 Beaumont Road, Carlton Colville, Nr. Lowestoft, Suffolk
21 Groveside, East Rudham, Norfolk
68 North Denes Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
46 Kingsway, Mildenhall, Suffolk
27 Beatty Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
16 Queensway, King's Lynn, Norfolk
Ambulance Station, Wolsey Street, Ipswich, Suffolk March Maternity Home, 2 Regent Avenue, March, Cambs District General Hospital, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.
(Dedication of strip of land for road purposes)

Overseas Doctors

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consideration he has given to the proposals of the Overseas Doctors Association to set up sponsorship schemes to control the entry of overseas doctors from outside the European Economic Community; and if he will make a statement.

Officials have discussed the Overseas Doctors Association's proposals on sponsorship, as set out in the association's response to the fourth report from the Social Services Committee, 1980–81 Session, with representatives of the association. They have much in common with other proposals now under consideration by the profession and it was agreed that they should be considered together.

Family Income Supplement

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the cost in the current financial year of raising the limit of net capital assets above which family income supplement is no longer payable, from £2,000 to £2,500.

The capital limit for supplementary benefit is being increased on 22 November 1982 from £2,000 to £2,500 at an estimated cost of £3 million in 1982– 83 and £10 million in 1983–84. There is no capital rule applied to family income supplement.

Supplementary Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the number of people in the Ormskirk constituency with incomes below supplementary benefit level.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the earliest day on which the Chief Supplementary Benefit Officer's memorandum 14 was available to staff in local offices of his Department.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what have been the savings in each year since 1979 from changes made in the rules governing the claims of strikers to supplementary benefit since 1979.

I regret that the information requested is not centrally recorded and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Benefits And Allowances

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update to November 1982, at assumed November 1982 prices, the information on the value of benefits and allowances provided in his reply of 25 March 1980, Official Report, c. 507–8, to the hon. Member for Woolwich, West.

I shall publish the table in the Official Report once the general retail price index for November is known.

Children In Care

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost of supporting children in care in each county in England for each of the last three years for which figures are available.

The information requested is available in the personal social services statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for the years 1978–79, 1979–80 and 1980–81.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children were in care in each county in England for 1971 and for each of the last three years for which figures are available.

The number of children in the care of each local authority in England on 31 March 1971 is given in the report to Parliament by the Secretaries of State for Social Services and for Wales entitled "Children in Care in England and Wales—March 1971" (Cmnd. 5100). Information for subsequent years is included in successive annual reports up to and including 1980, which is the latest year for which the information is available. Copies of these publications are in the Library of the House, but comparison of the figures from one year to another is not always possible because of the restructuring of local government.

Medical Self-Certification

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider making the medical self-certification form SC1 available at post offices, libraries, union offices and places of work in addition to doctors' surgeries; and whether he is yet able to assess the value of such certificates.

The current arrangements whereby forms SC1 can be obtained from local DHSS offices, doctors' surgeries and hospitals are working satisfactorily and I have no plans to make the form available at other places. The system of self-certification has been generally well received by the public, the medical profession and employers, but officials are continuing to monitor the effects of it. The main value is in reducing unnecessary consultations with doctors.

Pensions

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will arrange for pensions paid through his Department to be paid directly into a bank account.

Yes. We began to offer the option of payment direct into bank and building society accounts by credit transfer last month. New claimants to retirement pension, widow's pension and widowed mother's allowance are now able to ask for payment by this method when they make their claim. The option will be extended gradually to other recipients of these three benefits over the next 18 months. We plan to extend payment by credit transfer to mobility allowance, child benefit and war pensions in 1983 and to attendance allowance, where it is not already paid with retirement pension or widow's benefit, in 1984. In all cases payment by credit transfer will of course be entirely voluntary. Beneficiaries who do not wish to change from their present method of payment need do nothing.

Perinatal Pathology Survey

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has yet made a decision on financial support to the International Centre for Child Studies for the proposed perinatal pathology survey.

I am considering a proposal put forward by Professor Butler, head of the department of child health in the university of Bristol, for a perinatal pathology survey, in the light of comments received from scientific referees.

Royal Marsden Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has now received the report on the breast cancer screening clinic at the Royal Marsden hospital; and if he intends to take steps to ensure the survival of this clinic.

I have received a report and I am giving it very careful and urgent consideration.

Attorney-General

Legal Aid

asked the Attorney-General what representations have been received which deal with the issue of the introduction of legal aid for parents in care proceedings; and what is the final date for submitting representations before new regulations come into force.

I have been asked to reply.I gave details of the bodies which had made representations on this matter in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Wardell) on 16 November 1982.—[Vol. 32, c.

130.] Any further representations should be made without delay.

Energy

Fuel Costs

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will identify those countries in the European Economic Community which provide funds to support industry disadvantaged by electricity costs in competitive trading and the nature of the schemes adopted.

I am aware of one case in which a member State currently provides direct financial assistance to industry in respect of its electricity costs.In Italy, State financial aid is available to the steel industry under a scheme which provides for the Government to give relief to private sector steel producers from the effects of electricity price increases and to make special financial arrangements for the public steel industry.The European Commission has now set in motion the procedures provided by decision 2320/81/ECSC for the regulation of State aids in the steel sector on the basis that:, prima facie, the Italian assistance is incompatible with ECSC rules. In addition the Commission has instituted infringement proceedings under article 88 of the Treaty of Paris. The Government strongly support the European Community's principles on economic pricing and transparency. Where there is evidence of pricing arrangements being applied which contravene Community rules, we shall take the appropriate steps to pursue the matter with the Commission.

Severn Barrage

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he has studied the Severn tidal power group situation report dated October 1982, a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will make available £7 million to fund a two-year study into financial, technical and environmental aspects of the Severn barrage.

I am considering all the comments received on the Severn barrage committee's report, including the proposals put forward by the Severn tidal power group and will make a statement as soon as possible.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what criteria he takes into account when assessing the proposals for a Severn barrage scheme.

The Severn barrage committee's report, published as Energy Paper No. 46, set out the considerations which would need to be taken into account, and recommended further studies before any decision were taken to proceed with the construction of a barrage.

Waste Heat

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what schemes are under consideration for the harnessing of waste heat from power stations for domestic heating.

Consultants have recently completed a study for my Department of the feasibility of combined heat and power district heating in the nine areas announced by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Energy on 12 March 1981. The consultants' report has been sent to local authorities and others for comment.

Fuel Standing Charges

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report the organisations which have written to him concerning increases in standing charges for gas and electricity.

The following organisations have written to my Department about increases in gas and electricity standing charges this year, in addition to the contacts I have had with the industries and their consumer councils:

  • British Pensioners' and Trades Unions' Action Association
  • National Federation of Old-Age Pensions Association
  • Scottish Old-Age Pensions Association
  • National Association of Women's Clubs
  • Trafford Owner-Occupier Ratepayers' Association
  • Co-operative Women's Guild
  • Wood Green Old People's Welfare Committee
  • The Overview 60+ Club
  • Wychbury Residents' Association
  • Robert Joy Day Centre, Putney
  • Good Companions Club, Roehampton
  • Argyle Senior Citizen's Club
  • Jubilee Club, SW1
  • Old Folks at Home Club, SW18
  • Olive Haines Lodge Residents
  • Pirbright Luncheon Club
  • Conservative Trade Unionists, North-West Surrey branch
  • Bridlington and District Ratepayers' Association
  • Brackley Derby and Joan Club
  • Bolton Womens' Action Group
  • National Council for the Elderly in Wales
  • Tyne and Wear North Federation of Women's Institutes
  • Sheffield Pensioners' Action Group
  • Transport and General Workers' Union Retired Members' Association
  • Tottenham Action Group for Pensioners
  • Hertsmere Borough Council
  • National Old-Age Pensioners' Association of Wales—Cardiff, Barry and Penarth Area
  • Swansea Free Church Federal Council
  • Warley Institutional Church Senior Citizens' Club
  • British Association of Retired Persons
  • Church Street Area Residents' Association.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the total amounts raised by standing charges for (a) gas and (b) electricity in each of the last three financial years.

I am asking the chairmen of the British Gas Corporation and the Electricity Council to write to the hon. Member.

Britoil

asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether it was at his request that an announcement of the arrangements for, and timing of, the sale of shares in Britoil was made at the end of the ITN "News at One" programme on 16 November;(2) whether he has requested the broadcasting authorities to make any announcement on the air relating to the arrangements for the sale of Britoil shares.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will list the principal underwriters and sub-underwriters and their respective proportions of the underwriting of his Britoil issue.

The Britoil issue has been underwritten by S. G. Warburg & Co. Ltd., N. M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd., Baring Brothers & Co. Ltd., Kleinwort, Benson Ltd., Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd. and J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd. They share their underwriting obligations jointly and severally.The sub-underwriting arrangements are a matter for the underwriters. I understand that the sub-underwriting has been placed in the United Kingdom market in the normal way.

Home Department

Police (Pay)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the percentage increase in police pay since May 1979.

Since 1 May 1979, when the Edmund-Davies pay recommendations were implemented in full, the basic pay of police officers below the rank of assistant chief constable has increased by 72 per cent.

Toxteth (Disturbances)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been retired with invalid pensions as a result of the riots in Toxteth in 1981; what is their average age; and in which forces they served.

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Dangerous Chemicals

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fires involving dangerous chemicals there were in 1981 and the first half of 1982; and if he will list the chemical involved.

The information available for 1981 is given in the following table. It relates to the 140,000 fires attended by local authority fire brigades in the United Kingdom on which detailed reports were submitted; most outdoor fires, fires in derelict buildings and fires not attended by local authority fire brigades are not reported in detail. Information is not yet available for any part of 1982.

Fires involving dangerous substances; by substance*
United Kingdom 1981Number of fires
Liquefied Petroleum gas340
Acetylene108
Mains gas34
Other and unspecified gas34
Petroleum247
Diesel fuel, Paraffin63
Oil and Paint60
Other liquid chemicals65
Mineral-based solids105
Other and unspecified substances45
Total1,131

* Fires in which the dangerous substance affected the development of the fire or restricted the firefighting methods which could be used.

Leeds Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the purpose-built education block in Her Majesty's prison, Leeds was completed; and for what purposes it is now being used.

Work on the building was completed in February this year, but staff shortages and difficulties in agreeing appropriate manning levels have until now prevented it from being taken into use. The latter difficulty has now been resolved and evening classes will take place in the building from 22 November onwards.

Prison Department Psychologists

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many psychologists are employed by the prison department; and what are their responsibilities.

Eighty-six psychologists are employed by the prison department. Their responsibilities are:

  • (i) to assist in the management of problem cases by means of assessment and treatment;
  • (ii) to design, develop and evaluate treatment and training methods;
  • (iii) to assist with the design of staff training courses and the support of staff;
  • (iv) other services to management including advice on organisational development and design of management information systems;
  • (v) research.
  • Frankland Prison

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many psychologists are to be assigned to Frankland prison; and what their duties will be.

    There are four psychologists already in post at Frankland and no current plans to increase this number. They provide a psychological service to Frankland in line with the general responsibilities of psychologists in the prison service and they are also available to carry out specific projects in certain neighbouring establishments.

    Young Offenders

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders aged under 21 years are currently held in (a) young prisoners' wings of local prisons, (b) ordinary wings of local prisons and (c) other prison establishments catering largely for adults.

    The latest readily available information is given in the following table:

    Population*aged under 21 in adult prisonsin England and Wales on 30 September 1982: by type of prison
    Type of prisonNumber*
    Local prisons with young prisoner wings690
    Other local prisons1,055
    Closed prisons, with young prisoner wings101
    Other adult prisons67
    Total1,913

    * Includes remand prisoners.

    Excludes remand centres.

    Detained Persons (Drugs)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the drugs administered to prisoners in penal establishments in 1981, and the level of dose given to each prisoner who received such treatment in each establishment.

    The information requested is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information on the number of doses of medicines dispensed in prison department establishments in 1981 was published in table 7 of appendix 6 to the report on the work of the prison department 1981 (Cmnd. 8543).

    Domestic Nuclear Shelters

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the specification for shelters set out in "Domestic Nuclear Shelters: Technical Guidance" does not provide for withstanding blast overpressures in excess of 1·5 lb. per square inch in view of the fact that such pressures would be widely exceeded in the event of a nuclear explosion.

    The blast protection provided by each of the four types of shelter is stated in the table on page 18 of the publication. It ranges from 1·5 lb. per square inch to over 11 lb. per square inch.The overpressure resulting from a nuclear explosion decreases with distance from it, and the table indicates the distance at which each type of shelter would provide adequate protection from a 1 megaton air burst weapon.

    Police (Disciplinary Offences)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from ethnic minority groups relating to his decision not to make racially prejudiced conduct a specific police disciplinary offence.

    Scottish Office, Whitehall (Security)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the circumstances surrounding the illegal entry of 14 persons to the offices of the Secretary of State for Scotland on Thursday 11 November; and if he will make a statement.

    I understand from the commissioner that at 7·35 pm on 11 November 16 people gained access to the Scottish Office, Whitehall, to make, they said, a peaceful demonstration. My right hon. Friend was not present at the time. Thq police were called and escorted the demonstrators to a police station before they were released. I understand that none has been charged in connection with the incident.

    Police Training School, Hendon

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the current curriculum for police cadets at the Hendon police training school.

    The training of cadets is a matter for the commissioner. We understand that the curriculum is designed to develop the social awareness and powers of leadership of the cadets, their academic potential and their physical fitness, and to give them an elementary knowledge of the police duties in which those who later become police recruits will be trained. It is kept under review by the staff at Hendon, and multicultural studies are continuing to be taught.