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Written Answers

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 17 January 1983

Industry

Manufacturing Industry

1.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the percentage fall in manufacturing and output since May 1979; and what is the corresponding average fall for all other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries over the same period.

Between the first half of 1979 and the third quarter of 1982 the index of manufacturing production for the United Kingdom fell by 16 per cent. compared with a fall of 3½ per cent. for the OECD as a whole. More recently however output in the OECD as a whole has fallen much more rapidly than in the United Kingdom: 5 per cent. in the year to Q3 1982 compared with only 1½ per cent. for the United Kingdom.

Industrial Premises (Development)

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with arrangements to encourage the development of new industrial premises and the expansion of existing sites.

Our economic and fiscal policies are designed to encourage the developments to which my hon. Friend refers. Investors in new premises may be eligible for the industrial buildings allowance, increased under this Government, and financial assistance is available under the Industry Act. The specific 100 per cent. IBA for new and converted small workship units has tripled the supply of small premises since its introduction.

Steel Industry

19.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what prediction of further redundancies in British Steel has been given to him by the corporation in the context of its revised corporate plan.

It will be some weeks before the Government receive the BSC corporate plan for 1983–86. However, the BSC chairman has already made clear that the target for employment in the corporation is now set at 75,000.

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a further statement about the prospects for the British steel industry.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave earlier to the hon. Members for Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy), West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan) and Newport (Mr. Hughes).

22.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what further talks he has had with the Commission of the European Economic Community to ensure that the level of cutback for (a) bulk and carbon steels and (b) special, alloy and stainless steels in the United Kingdom is no greater than that of other European Economic Community countries.

Since his statement on 20 December, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no further talks with the European Commission. In subsequent contacts at official level, the Government have made clear to the Commission their determination that the rules on State aids should be applied strictly and fairly, so that subsidies to steel companies are not given without commensurate capacity reductions. We have left the Commission and our Community partners in no doubt that it is the turn of other member States to cut capacity as we have done.

Steel Industry (European Community Rules)

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were (a) the establishment and (b) the numbers employed in his Department's inspectorate who were engaged in policing European Economic Community rules in the United Kingdom affecting the steel industry at 1 January 1982, and 1 January 1983; and what is his estimate of the numbers expected, respectively to be so engaged at 1 January 1984.

At 1 January 1982 my Department employed no inspectors as responsibility for policing fell to the Commission. From 1 January 1983 the Government have assumed responsibility for policing the rules on pricing practices by stockholders and dealers but no separate inspectorate has been established. It is intended that inspections will be carried out by existing staff in the Department.

Sub-Post Offices

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what measures have been taken to provide new work for sub-post offices; and if he will make a statement.

The British Telecommunications Act 1981 extended the range of work that the Post Office could do over its counters. My right hon Friend has given consent recently to the Post Office to undertake a range of services under the provisions of section 58 of that Act. Negotiations are in hand between the Post Office, Government Departments and other public sector bodies on how the use of counter services can be expanded.These measures will, I hope, help to ensure that the estimates of growth in new and existing counter business, given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services in his statement to the House on 12 May 1981 will be met.

European Community (Regional Development Fund)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many representations he has received during 1982 concerning the need to establish a principle of additionality in regard to funds paid towards projects in development areas from the regional development fund of the European Economic Community; and if he will make a statement.

The subject is raised from time to time, particularly in the context of discussions on the future administration of the European regional development fund. Public expenditure in the United Kingdom is determined in the light of expected Community receipts and would be less without those receipts. Payments in respect of industrial projects are retained by the Government in support of national aid, as provided for in Article 4(2)a of the regulation relating to the European regional development fund. Payments in respect of infrastructure projects are passed on to the public bodies concerned.

Roof Insulation (Grants)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will consider introducing grants for roof insulation to industry.

The Government already encourage the insulation of industrial buildings through 100 per cent. first year tax allowances. Roof insulation is a low risk investment with a short pay-back period and a long life and sufficient incentive therefore already exists. The Department of Industry has no plans for further support in this area.

Foundry Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what research work in the foundry industry is being funded by the Government; and if he will reconsider the policy of supporting work at more than one research association in this industry in view of the decline in the number of firms and the industry's output.

Support for R & D in the non-ferrous sector in 1982–83 is expected to be about £1·1 million. This is mainly relevant to aluminium, copper or zinc, and is carried out by the BNF metals technology centre or BCIRA (formerly the British Cast Iron Research Association) either as direct contractor to the Department or as subcontractor to a trade association. Support for research and development for the ferrous foundry industry is expected to be about £1·7 million in 1982–83. About 56 per cent. of this is carried out by BCIRA and about 34 per cent. by the Steel Castings Research and Trade Association (SCRATA). The overall objective of these measures is to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of United Kingdom foundries. In meeting this objective, it is Department of Industry policy to support work seen to be of relevance to industrial needs wherever it can be best carried out, whilst making optimum use of existing facilities and expertise.

Industrial Research

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what assessment is made of the work of industrial research associations; and on what basis their research is funded.

Assessments are made of the outcome of those R & D and technology transfer programmes at research associations which are supported by Departmental funding. Progress is monitored during the course of the work in relation to expenditure. A selection of past programmes from research associations and other R & D contractors is examined in greater depth to identify benefits and lessons to be learned. The research is normally supported on the basis that the Department meets part of the cost of the work, with other support coming from the industrial firms in membership of the association.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what consideration is given to funding industrial research in individual firms rather than in research associations or in Government laboratories.

Proposals for the support of research and development projects in individual firms are always welcome.In reply to a question from the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton)—[

Official Report, Vol. 28, c. 642–3]—on 29 July 1982 the Minister of State for Information Technology gave figures showing that Department of Industry expenditure on R & D carried out in private sector firms had increased by more than two and a half times in real terms since 1977–78. Over the last 5 years support for the Department's Laboratories has decreased. Work supported at Research Associations is usually of a generic kind that is of interest to several firms within an industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the total funds made available for industrial research and product development in 1982; and in what industrial categories they were spent.

Statistics are prepared on a financial year rather than a calendar year basis. The expenditure by the Department of Industry on industrial research and development in 1981–82 was £232·7 million gross, or £208·4 million net of receipts. This expenditure included the following:

£million
Space technology59
Civil aeronautical technology26
Development of new products and processes25
Mechanical and electrical engineering24
Materials, chemicals and minerals20
Metrology and standards15
Microelectronics and its applications11
Information technology8
Textiles and other manufactures3
Over £15 million was spent on technology transfer and £26 million was used to support work of industrial relevance at DoI Research Establishments. Over £80 million was spent on R&D carried out in private sector firms.

Small Businesses

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether any futher measures to help small businesses are being planned for 1983.

We are continuting to examine the need for new measures to help small businesses to supplement those already taken by this Government, which now number almost 100. I am looking at possible ways of improving the availability of advisory services for small businesmen. The small firms service is soon to open a new centre in Reading to meet demand in the South-East. I am also studying gaps in the supply of management education and of consultancy services including help with the application of information technology.In relation to the availability of finance, my review of the loan guarantee scheme will soon be completed and I shall then make a statement to the House. I also expect to announce shortly completion of arrangements for European loans under the new Community instrument for which the Government will provide the necessary exchange risk cover. I am considering a number of other measures and announcements will be made at the appropriate time.

British Telecom

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with progress in the liberalisation programme as between his Department and British Telecom; and if he will make a statement.

I can never be totally satisfied with progress in this important area. Liberalisation began 15 months ago and should be essentially completed by July this year. The list of apparatus liberalised already includes extension telephones, telex teleprinters, discrete modems, all kinds of apparatus incorporating integral modems, call-makers and repetory diallers. This list will very soon be enlarged by cordless telephones, key telephone systems, small automatic call distribution apparatus and dealer boards as applications for approval of these items are dealt with.By July we expect to have extended liberalisation yet further to cover PABXs and their extension telephones, loudspeaking telephones, call-barring apparatus and call-diverters. Where the programme has fallen behind the Government's original targets, interim schemes have been introduced, and further schemes will be introduced, if necessary.

European Community (Bulk And Carbon Steels)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the total tonnage and value of bulk and carbon steels (a) produced and (b) consumed in each European Economic Community country in 1982; and if he will indicate consequential exports and imports, respectively, and in total, comparing this position with five, 10 and 15 years ago, respectively.

Home Department

Illegal Betting

33

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received about the increase of illegal betting over the past five years.

My right hon. Friend has received a deputation from the racing and betting industries about the level of general betting duty and illegal betting. A number of hon. and right hon. Members have also written to my right hon. Friend on this matter.

Rape

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Metropolitan Police's development of tests to detect the presence of aminopeptidase in alleged rape and indecent assault cases; and if such tests have yet been used as evidence in any such cases.

Research was carried out at the Metropolitan Police laboratory to establish whether the presence of leucine aminopeptidase could be used as a presumptive test in cases of alleged rape and indecent assault but it has been abandoned in favour of a more promising test. The aminopeptidase test has not, I understand, been used in evidence presented to the courts in England and Wales.

Citizens Band Radio

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there were in 1982 for (a) illegal AM citizens band transmissions and (b) FM citizens band transmissions without licence.

(a) Approximately 2,350; (b) 24 including 13 cases where a licence was held but its terms were not complied with.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licences were issued for citizens band sets in the first full year of issue; and what is the rate of renewal for those issued in the first month.

About 350,000 licences were issued in the first year of the C.B. service; and 36 per cent. of those issued in the first month have been renewed.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he proposes for monitoring citizens band transmissions for (a) stopping the use of bad language, (b) the playing of records and tapes and (c) the rebroadcasting of radio and television programmes.

The radio interference service of British Telecom is at present heavily committed to dealing with the many complaints of interference to broadcast reception and the emergency services which arise from the illicit use of non-approved citizens band radio apparatus. BT has, however, been asked to investigate breaches of licensing conditions of the authorised CB service when it can do so without detriment to the work of dealing with interference, which must remain its priority.

Civil Defence

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the draft Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations 1983, issued for consultation on 3 December 1982, by what means local authorities will be required to transfer members of the civil population from one area to another in the event of hostile attack or threat of hostile attack; whether evacuation facilities will be provided by central Government; and what estimate he has made of the cost of transfer and maintenance of populations so moved.

The draft regulations would impose upon local authorities the function of making, keeping under review and revising plans for the transfer of populations. In exercising this function, each local authority would be under a duty to comply with any directions given to it by the designated Minister in such circumstances as might prevail.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list his powers to take action against local government employees who refuse to take part in training exercises in civil defence organised by or on behalf of the designated Minister under the proposed Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations.

The draft regulations now under consultation would confer functions on local authorities which would be responsible for ensuring that their employees assist them to perform those functions.

West Yorkshire Police

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the West Yorkshire chief constable on the implementation of computer methods for the storage and retrieval of information received during criminal investigations, especially serious criminal investigations, in view of the comments in the Byford report; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is in close touch with the chief constable about the provision of computer assistance in connection with major criminal investigations, particularly in the context of two recent serious attacks on women in West Yorkshire.More generally, in conjunction with the Essex police, the Home Office scientific research and development branch is conducting an experiment intended to provide, in the longer term, a computer system specifically geared to major criminal investigations. In the shorter term, the Department has been examining ways of using micro-computers in major investigations and of transferring data from a micro-computer to a larger facility in the event of the limited capacity of the micro-computer being exceeded. This work should be completed in the spring and guidance will then be issued to chief officers of police.Meanwhile, certain police national computer facilities have been made available, on an experimental basis, to the officers conducting an investigation into a number of attacks on women in Surrey and the Metropolitan Police district; these facilities are additional to the PNC files which are available to police officers in criminal investigations generally.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Wheat (Exports)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to which countries the United Kingdom has exported wheat in 1982; and what was the quantity in each case.

Details are available only up to the end of September. The quantities of wheat exported in the first nine months of this year, by destination, were as follows:

DestinationQuantity (Tonnes)
European Community member States:
Belgium/Luxembourg58,665
Denmark10,885
France185,671
Federal Republic of Germany157,574
Irish Republic100,745
Italy62,957
Netherlands61,616

Destination

Quantity (Tonnes)

Third countries:
Algeria61,033
Cuba239,714
Ethiopia36,900
German Democratic Republic70,771
Norway57,457
Romania80,210
USSR2,399
Others28,541

Source: Overseas Trade Statistics

Land Drainage

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the membership and terms of reference of the committee reviewing land drainage, the organisations and persons who have submitted evidence to it and the date by which the committee is expected to report.

The review which I announced on 29 July 1982 covers all aspects of the administration and financing of land drainage and coast protection. It is being undertaken by a committee of officials of the Departments concerned, under the chairmanship of a deputy secretary in my department. The committee hopes to submit its report to the Ministers concerned by early February.No organisations or persons outside the Departments have been invited to submit evidence, but when my colleagues and I have had an opportunity to study the report, we shall issue a consultation paper to all interested organisations for comment.

Rabies

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many animals in quarantine have been proved to be rabies carriers in each year since 1945.

Fourteen animals have died of rabies whilst in quarantine since 1945 in the following years:

Number
19461
19473
19483
19492
19651
19681
19693

Fishermen (Redundancies)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he has for compensation payments for British fishermen made redundant after 1 January.

I intend to consult the fishing industry before making decisions on the form of restructuring measures and the implications for the position of employed fishermen.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what provisions are made in the proposed common fisheries agreement for compensation or redundancy pay for British fishermen losing jobs after 1 January.

The resolution on financial measures agreed by nine of the European Community member States in the context of a revised common fisheries policy would permit subsidies for laying up vessels to be divided between the vessels' owners and their crews. It is envisaged that social problems in the fisheries sector would be covered in more general discussions of Community social measures and the existing European social fund mechanisms.

Internal and joint stocksPosition at June 30July 21*December 21*
Cod IV44,14044,400NC
Saithe IIa (EC zone) IIIa, IIIb, c, d (EC zone), IV4,0004,500NC
Herring IVc, VIId3,000NC4,200
Capelin XIV, V (EC zone)30,0000†NC
* Dates of Councils at which proposals tabled.
† 27 August 1982.
Footnote:
area IIa = Norwegian Sea.
area IIIa = Kattegat and Skagerrak.
area III b, c, d = Baltic Sea.
area IV = North Sea.
area VIId = Eastern English Channel.
area V = Faroe.
area XIV = East Greenland.
NC = No change.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures he proposes to protect British fishing vessels fishing in Danish waters after 1 January.

British vessels are free to fish in Danish waters outside 12 miles, subject to conservation rules. I am not aware of any special need to protect our vessels in these waters.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what quotas he intends to enforce on Danish fishing vessels in British waters from 1 January.

An order will be laid before the House very shortly banning fishing by Danish vessels within United Kingodm fishery limits in all cases where the proposed Danish quota is zero. This covers the following stocks:ICES IIa, IVa and IVb

Mackerel, herring

IVc

Mackerel

Vb

Cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, plaice, sole, mackerel, hake, herring, sandeel

VI, VIIa, e, f, g

Cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, plaice, sole, mackerel, hake, herring

VIId

Cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, plaice, sole, mackerel, hake

VIIh, j

Cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, mackerel, hake, herring

VIII

Cod, haddock, saithe, plaice, sole, mackerel, hake, anchovy

In addition I stand ready to introduce further orders regulating Danish fishing when it is apparent that proposed Danish quotas for 1983 could be exceeded.

Fisheries (Denmark)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what additions have been made to Danish quotas in British, European Economic Community and Norwegian waters since June.

Of the 73 stocks for which the Commission has made formal quota proposals, changes in Danish allocations have been made since the end of June in the following:

Fisheries Protection (Coastguarder)

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has yet reached a decision on the purchase of the Coastguarder aircraft from British Aerospace for fisheries protection.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Stockport, South (Mr. McNally) on 2 December 1982, to which I have nothing to add. [Vol. 33, c. 295.]

Sheep Annual Premium Scheme

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many applications were submitted in 1982 under the sheep annual premium scheme; how many were approved, involving how many animals and at what cost; and how many applications were refused, involving how many animals and at what cost, in respect of claims drawn to the attention of the Ministry after 31 March 1982.

79,172 claims were received in the United Kingdom in 1982. 78,329 were accepted, covering 14,072,952 ewes and generating £21,501,449 expenditure on advance payments of premium for the 1982–83 marketing year. The final rate of premium will not be known until after the end of the marketing year.639 claims covering 55,201 ewes were received after the closing date of 31 March 1982 and were refused. Had all these ewes been eligible for payment, expenditure would have been an additional £86,101. In addition, we know of about 65 instances where a fanner claims to have submitted an application but none has been received. I cannot say how many ewes are involved in these cases.

Nothern Ireland

Ulster Museum

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will publish in the Official Report the attendance figures for 1982 reported by the Ulster museum, comprising its outstations, with the percentage increase or decrease on the attendance figures for 1981.

It is estimated that about 191,000 people visited the Ulster museum and the Armagh county museum in 1982, a decrease of about 8 per cent. on the attendance figure for 1981.

Redevelopment Area No 28

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new houses have been built in redevelopment area No. 28; and of these how many are two-bedroomed, three-bedroomed, four-bedroomed and five-bedroomed; and how many are single storeyed retirement pensioner dwellings.

In redevelopment area 28, 71 dwellings have been built and a further 26 to complete the development are under construction. They are of the following types:

Number
Two-bedroom houses16
Two-bedroom flats16
Three-bedroom houses57
Four-bedroom houses4
Two-bedroom bungalows4

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when redevelopment area No. 28 was declared; how many houses according to the survey carried out by the Nothern Ireland Housing Executive were (a) occupied and (b) bricked up; and, of those houses which were occupied, how many had (i) received improvement grants, (ii) received repair grants and (iii) were statutorily unfit.

Redevelopment area 28 was formally declared on 15 December 1976 when 168 houses were occupied and 91 vacant and derelict. All 259 houses were statutorily unfit. Since 1972 when the Housing Executive took over, no improvement grants have been approved in this area. Over the same period repair grants were paid on 70 dwellings.

Redevelopment Area No 26/27

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at the time when redevelopment area No. 26/27 was declared, how many houses were (a) occupied and (b) bricked up; and of those houses occupied how many had (i) received improvement grants from Northern Ireland Housing Executive, (ii) received repair grants from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and (iii) were unfit for habitation.

When redevelopment area 26/27 was declared in 1978 some 740 houses were occupied and 217 vacant or derelict; of these some 940 were statutorily unfit. Since 1972 when the Housing Executive took over no improvement grants have been made, but repair grants have been made on 353 houses.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new houses have been built in redevelopment area 26/27; how many have yet to be built to complete the development; and how many houses have been rehabilitated to (a) a 10-year life and (b) a 30-year life.

A total of 192 dwellings have been completed or are under construction in redevelopment areas 26 and 27. Completion of redevelopment including land formally in non housing use, will involve the construction of a further 348 dwellings. No houses have been rehabilitated. The Housing Executive has purchased the nearby former Sirocco works site and proposes to build a further 110 dwellings there.

Irish Republic (Gas Pipeline)

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Government intend to go ahead with the proposal to pipe gas from the Kinsale field in the Irish Republic to Northern Ireland.

Subject to the negotiation of acceptable terms of supply from the Irish authorities, the Government do intend to proceed with this proposal.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the estimated cost of (a) bringing a gas pipeline from the border with the Irish Republic to Belfast, (b) refurbishing the existing network of distribution pipes and (c) laying new pipelines to consumers who as yet are not served by the existing system; what information he has as to the cost of bringing a gas pipeline from Dublin to the border with Northern Ireland; and whether it is proposed that the United Kingdom Government should pay any part of the latter cost.

Preliminary estimates of the capital costs associated with the proposals to bring natural gas to Northern ireland from the Republic of Ireland are available at October 1981 prices. These estimates include the following items:

  • (a) Provision of a gas pipeline from the Border with the Republic of Ireland with associated transmission line to Belfast—£16 million.
  • (b) Refurbishing the existing network of distribution pipes—£12 million.
  • (c) Laying pipelines and services to new consumers—£43 million.
  • The construction of a pipeline from Dublin to Border is a matter for the authorities in the Republic of Ireland. The proposals for the supply of gas to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland include provision for the payment of a capital contribution toward the cost incurred by the Irish authorities in constructing the pipeline required to convey the gas to the border. The charge per therm supplied would also include an element of contribution towards that cost.

    Domestic Energy Supplies

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of households in Northern Ireland use (a) coal, (b) gas, (c) electricity and (d) oil as the primary means of heating; and what percentage of consumers use (i) gas and (ii) electricity as the primary means of cooking in Northern Ireland.

    Surveys undertaken by the research unit of the Department of Finance and Personnel suggests the primary means of heating and cooking by households in Northern Ireland are as follows:

    Primary form of heatingPercentage of house-holdsPrimary form of cookingPercentage of house-holds
    (a) Coal72(i) Towns gas20
    (b) Towns gas4(ii) Electricity48
    (c) Electricity10
    (d) Oil10

    Gas Consumption

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the estimates for gas consumption for domestic and industrial use in Northern Ireland for the next four years.

    Future consumption of gas in Northern Ireland will be determined by the nature and timing of decisions on the present proposals to introduce natural gas, and by market forces. Accordingly it is not possible at this time to estimate accurately the usage of gas in Northern Ireland for the next four years.

    Gas Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what level of demand is considered necessary to maintain a viable gas industry in Northern Ireland.

    Level of demand is only one of a number of factors that would influence the viability of a gas industry in Northern Ireland. Other determinants would be the terms on which gas might be made available from the Republic of Ireland and the capital and operating costs of the industry. Planning studies envisage that the demand for natural gas in Northern Ireland could be reflected in a level of sales which would eventually be approximately six times the present level of sales of towns gas.

    Irish Republic (Gas Supplies)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether any estimate has been made of the price of the consumer gas supplied from the Irish Republic and of how this price will compare with (a) coal, (b) electricity and (c) oil.

    Pending the completion of negotiations with the authorities in the Republic of Ireland on the terms on which natural gas would be supplied to Northern Ireland, and of the arrangements for its distribution, it is not possible to forecast with accuracy the price at which it could be made available to the consumer. It is however expected that natural gas could be retailed at a price which would be at least 25 per cent. less than the equivalent price of towns gas in Northern Ireland. Studies have indicated that this is likely to be fully competitive with the total costs to the consumer of other fuels.

    Amusement Arcades

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many premises have been given permission to open as amusement arcades in (a) Belfast and (b) outside Belfast in each of the last four years.

    Planning permission has been granted for amusement arcades in Northern Ireland over the past four years as follows:

    BelfastOutside Belfast
    197926
    1980318
    1981519
    1982514
    Total1557

    asked the Secretary of Northern Ireland what recommendations were given to him by the Association of Local Authorities regarding the control of amusement arcades; when; and whether he intends to implement them.

    Joint working party made up of representatives of the Association of Local Authorities of Northern Ireland, the Department of the Environment and the Fire Authority has recommended that entertainment licences should be required for any place where the use of any facilities is allowed for entertainment, recreation or amusement. Since then detailed consultations have taken place with ALANI, and I am considering whether to bring forward proposals for legislation.

    Illegal Gambling Machines

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many illegal gambling machines have been seized by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in each of the last four years in Northern Ireland;(2) how much money has been recovered from illegal gambling machines seized by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in each of the last four years.

    The information is as follows:

    YearNumber of machines seizedAmount recovered £
    1979161,718·11
    198091,308·25
    19812147,136·26
    198228518,652·05

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the extent to which paramilitary groups benefit from the income from illegal gambling machines.

    I regret that it is not possible to give reliable estimates of the income from this source.

    Private Hospitals

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will name the owner of each of the private hospitals referred to in the Official Report, 6 December, c. 375.

    As I indicated in my reply of 6 December 1982—[Vol. 33, c. 375]—there are two private hospitals in Northern Ireland. The Saint John of God hospital is owned by a religious order, the Order of Saint John of God, and the other, the Ulster independent clinic, is registered as a limited company.

    Michelin Tyre Company

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Michelin Tyre Company has received in grants from the various Government Departments during the time it has been located in Northern Ireland; what is the value of these grants at 1982 prices; and if he has any information as to the average level of employment at the Michelin plants over this period.

    Since 1967 the company has received grants totalling £24·8 million. The estimated value of those grants at 1982 prices using relevant inflation indices, would be approximately £50 million.I regret that I am unable to provide information relating to average employment levels. However, it is known that the peak level of employment at Michelin in Northern Ireland was approximately 3,800 and at the end of 1982 was approximately 3,200

    Further And Higher Education (Report)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in the Official Report his response to the ninth report of the Education, Science and Arts Committee of Session 1981–82 on further and higher education in Northern Ireland: interim report (H.C. No. 557) contained in his letter to the hon. Member for Lewisham, West of 22 December 1982.

    The text of the Secretary of State's letter is as follows. Copies of the statement referred to in paragraph 2 were placed in the Library on 22 December:

    "I was grateful to receive the Committee's observations in its Ninth Report, which was published on 28 October as an interim report on the immediate implications of the merger of the New University of Ulster and the Ulster Polytechic.
    I share your concern that uncertainty over the future of the teacher training provision should be removed and I hope therefore that you welcomed the statement made by Nicholas Scott today setting out the Government's proposals. A copy of the Statement is attached.
    I, like the Committee, believe that the planning of the new institution should be conducted with the full involvement of those who will ultimately be responsible for making it effective. I therefore welcome the Committee's support for the arrangements announced on 26 October for the Steering Group to set up a Working Party to include the Vice-Chancellor designate, to make recommendations on structures of governance and management of the new institution. You will be pleased to know that both the existing institutions have responded favourably to this proposal and have each named six members of the Working Party. A second working party has been established by the Steering Group to look at more detailed aspects of the academic organisation of the new institution. This working party is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor designate, Mr. Derek Birley, and it also includes members of the Steering Group and staff of both the New University of Ulster and the Ulster Polytechnic.
    I have also noted carefully your remarks, in paragraph 5 of the interim report, about the need for flexibility if the target date of September 1984 for the coming into operation of the new institution should be proved unduly ambitious. I should mention that the Steering Group at its last meeting endorsed its aim to advance planning at a pace which will be consistent with this target, and I believe that there is every advantage in having the new institution take on an independent existence at the earliest possible date consistent with allowing adequate time for the essential planning work. This is something which I will certainly keep under review in the light of the periodic progress reports which I receive from the Steering Group.
    I am at one with you in the importance which you attach to meeting the needs of Londonderry for further and higher education. In the Government statement we said:
    "Magee University College in Londonderry will also be a significant element within the new institution. As the only campus of the new institution that will be located in the middle of a large concentration of population, and as serving an area remote from the education facilities of the Belfast area, the Government acknowledges the force of the Review Group's view that fuller use could and should be made of Magee in meeting the immediate requirements of the Londonderry area. The nature of the new institution should lend itself well to making maximum use of the Magee campus, in the provision of courses and activities which relate directly to the immediate requirements of the Londonderry area, which is the role envisaged for Magee in the Report."
    It is too early yet to say what precise role will be played by Magee college as part of the new institution, or what part the new institution will make, alongside other agencies, in meeting the overall needs of Londonderry for further and higher education. You may however be assured that this important aspect of the new institution's work will not be overlooked.
    Finally, may I repeat what I said in giving oral evidence to the Committee, that I very much welcome the interest which you have shown in these developments and in further and higher education generally in Northern Ireland. I look forward with interest to the fuller report which you will be issuing in due course."

    Attorney-General

    Director Of Public Prosecutions

    28.

    asked the Attorney-General whether he will review the management, efficiency and competence of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    The Director and I continually monitor the management, efficiency and competence of his Department.

    Magistrates' Courts (Press And Public)

    29.

    asked the Attorney-General what advice has been given by the Lord Chancellor as to the exclusion by magistrates of the press and public from the court in certain cases before them.

    This is a question of law for the Courts and not suitable for guidance by the Lord Chancellor. The law is adequately stated in Scott v Scott 1913 AC 477 which is not confined to matrimonial suits and has been repeatedly followed in subsequent cases. It is one of the duties of the clerks to the justices to advise their respective benches on the relevant law.

    Unification Church

    30.

    asked the Attorney-General if, in view of the decision of the Court of Appeal on 20 December, he will now take action forthwith to apply for the removal of charitable status from the Unification Church.

    The time limit for a petition for leave to appeal to the House of Lords has not yet expired and the matter is therefore still before the courts. Accordingly it would not be appropriate for me to make any comment at this stage.

    Yorkshire Electricity Consultative Council

    31.

    asked the Attorney-General what progress has been made in dealing with the papers submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the expenses claims of members of the Yorkshire electricity consultative council.

    Papers were sent by the Department of Trade to the Director of Public Prosecutions on 10 and 13 December 1982. On 20 December the Director asked for police inquiries to be made and those inquiries are currently being undertaken. A report will be forwarded to the Director in due course.

    Companies Acts

    asked the Attorney-General if, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Smith) on 18 November, Official Report, c. 21, he will list the statutes which it is proposed to consolidate as the Companies Acts.

    The consolidation of the Companies Acts is at present being framed so as to comprise virtually the whole of the following:

    • Companies Act 1948.
    • Parts I and III of the Companies Act 1967.
    • Section 9 of the European Communities Act 1972. Companies Act 1976.
    • Companies Act 1980.
    • Companies Act 1981.
    The consolidation will omit only such provisions of the above enactments as are spent or likely to become so in the near future, or in 1984 will be for any other reason no longer in force. Account is also being taken of certain incidental provisions of the Stock Exchange (Completion of Bargains) Act 1976, the Insolvency Act 1976 and the Stock Transfer Act 1982.

    Fishing (Appeals To European Court)

    asked the Attorney-General on what basis appeals to the European Court against prosecutions and convictions for infringing British national measures in fishing will be possible.

    There is no right of appeal to the European Court of Justice against a conviction imposed by a United Kingdom court. But where a case which is before a United Kingdom court necessarily turns on a question of the interpretation of Community law, the domestic court may—and in certain circumstances must—obtain a preliminary ruling on that question from the European Court of Justice before determining the case.

    Overseas Development

    Population And Family Planning Projects

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in view of the fact that applications for finance for six population or family planning projects under the joint funding scheme for the year 1982–83 were unsuccessful as funds were fully committed, he proposes to increase the allocation to this sector of funding for population and family planning projects.

    Resources available under the joint funding scheme are not allocated by sector. Population and family planning projects accepted for support under the scheme receive 100 per cent. grants whilst projects in other sectors are usually supported on a 50/50 basis. This reflects the importance attached to this area of work.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many parliamentary questions related to the Falkland Islands he has answered since 2 April; and what has been the average cost of answering each.

    From 2 April to 23 December 1982 280 parliamentary questions relating to the Falkland Islands were answered by Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers.My hon. Friend the Minister for the Civil Service stated on 13 July 1982 that the average cost of a written answer is assessed at £37 and an oral answer £60.

    Falkland Islands (Civil Airflights)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether negotiations have taken place with the Argentine Government, directly or indirectly, since the ending of formal hostilities by the United Kingdom, with a view to seeking Argentine permission for civil airflights from the Falkland Islands to be routed through Argentine air space.

    South African Diplomats

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his reply on 23 November to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North, Official Report, c. 445, concerning South African diplomats, why Warrant Officer Klue does not appear in the published list; what his diplomatic status was; and if he will publish in the Official Report the names of personnel attached to the South African embassy who are covered by diplomatic status and therefore protected from prosecution in connection with criminal activities.

    The list published in the Official Report on 23 November was of those staff members of the South African embassy who hold diplomatic rank. Warrant Officer Klue was a member of the administrative and technical staff who enjoy only restricted immunities. His name was not, therefore included.

    Korea

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent meeting of the Minister of State with the hon. Members for Liverpool, Scotland Exchange, West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan), Coventry, South-East (Mr. Wilson) and Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Mr. Roberts) concerning recognition of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

    The four hon. Members called on my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State at their request. During the meeting, Lord Belstead stated that our policy on the recognition of North Korea remained unchanged. That policy is that recognition is inappropriate while the exceptional circumstances in the Korean peninsula persist.

    European Community

    Passports

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any decision has been made by the European Economic Community Council of Ministers about passports; and whether it has been promulgated in accordance with article 191 of the Treaty of Rome.

    Resolutions of the member States meeting within the Council on 23 June 1981 and 30 June 1982 set out a common format for the national passports of the member States. The resolutions were published in the Official Journal of the Community in OJ C.241 (19 September 1981) and OJ C.179 (16 July 1982) respectively. Article 191 of the Treaty of Rome does not deal with resolutions.

    National Finance

    Public Sector Charges

    32.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will take steps to request all public sector enterprises not to increase their charges to the private sector.

    No. Artificially holding down nationalised industry prices is not an appropriate way of helping the private sector and adds to the burden on taxpayers. The Government's policy is to promote efficiency in the nationalised industries by providing a tight financial framework within which they must operate. Increased efficiency and lower costs provide the only firm basis for keeping down nationalised industry prices.

    Employment Statistics

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employees are engaged in the private, public and co-operative sectors of the economy as compared with 1979–80; and what are the comparable numbers of self-employed in each year.

    The available information is as follows:

    (thousands)
    mid 1979mid 1982
    Private sector employees15,97514,354
    Public sector employees7,4447,036
    Self employed1,856*
    * Not available.
    No separate information is available for the co-operative sector which is included in the private sector estimates. No reliable estimates are yet available on the number of self-employed in 1982; published estimates of total employed labour force assume no change in self-employment between 1979 and 1982.

    Free Ports

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those places which are being considered for the establishment of free ports.

    The task of the working group set up by the Government to examine the free ports concept is to study in principle whether the establishment of such facilities would be beneficial to industry and commerce in the United Kingdom. It would be premature at this stage to consider individual locations.

    Valuation Service

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the valuation service will have to tender for the work in the next commercial revaluation.

    The possibility is being examined of subcontracting to private firms of surveyors part of the work on any revalution of non-domestic properties in England and Wales, but no decision has been taken.

    Taxation

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would the cost to the Exchequer of restoring the proportion of total taxation, direct and indirect, and including national insurance contributions taken from personal income for those on twice average earnings or less to its level in 1978–79, from its level in 1982–83.

    The cost would depend on the tax or taxes reduced. No single figure can be given.

    Price Increases

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the average percentage increase in prices since 1979.

    The increase in the retail prices index between the annual average for 1979 and November 1982 was 45· per cent.

    Mortgages (Tax Relief)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the aggregate cost to the Exchequer of tax relief on mortgage repayments for first-time house buyers (a) in the first year of repayment and (b) in each of the next four years.

    I shall let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the annual gain to the Exchequer of restricting tax relief on mortgage repayments to tax paid at the standard rate of income tax.

    I shall let the right hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.

    Tax Havens (British Subjects)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why he will not amend the law so that British citizens who have to live in tax havens to avoid British taxation and who have non-resident tax status must sign a register which is made available for public inspection.

    It would not be practicable to maintain such a register. Signature requirements could only be enforced within our jurisdiction and, as a check, detailed enquiries would have to be made of all British citizens leaving or entering the United Kingdom. This would involve objections of principle as well as substantial administrative costs.

    Personal Taxation

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Kensington, Official Report, 21 December 1982, c. 499, what level of tax allowance could be financed on a revenue neutral basis in 1982–83 assuming (a) that all tax reliefs and allowances were limited to the standard rate of tax, (b) abolition of the age allowance and (c) replacement of married man's and wife's earned income allowances by non-gender based fixed amount tax allowances which would be partially transferable—to the extent of two-thirds—between husband and wife, assuming (i) independent taxation and (ii) joint taxation of investment incomes for married couples.

    Married Women (Earnings Statistics)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentages of married women (a) with dependent children and (b) without dependent children are estimated to earn on average during 1982–83 (i) below £30 per week, (ii) more than £30 but less than £40 per week and (iii) more than £40 but less than £50 per week.

    I regret that the information for 1982–83 is not yet available. Estimates based on the sample of households covered in the family expenditure survey for 1981 are as follows:

    £ billion
    Home productionImportsExportsUnited Kingdom consumption
    (A)(B)(C)(A+B-C)
    Industrial raw materials*1313
    Fossil fuels†13513½
    Total of above14816½
    * Comprising: Hides, skins and furs; oilseeds; crude non-synthetic rubber; cork and wood; non-synthetic textile fibres; crude fertilisers and minerals; metalliferous ores and scrap.
    † Comprising: Coal, crude petroleum and natural gas.

    Travel-To-Work Costs (Tax Relief)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many letters and other representations he has received advocating some form of tax relief for travel-to-work costs.

    Imperial Chemical Industries Educational Trust

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will be introducing legislation to reverse the ruling given on 16 December in the case involving an Imperial Chemical Industries educational trust; and if he will make a statement.

    [pursuant to his reply, 23 December 1982, c. 650]: I am considering the implications of the judgments in this case.

    Households containing married women

    With dependent children

    Without dependent children

    per cent.

    per cent.

    Cross weekly earnings of wife of head of household:

    Nil39·850·5
    Under £3030·011·9
    £30 but under £406·34·3
    £40 but under £506·23·9
    £50 and over17·729·4
    Total100·0(2,561)*100·0(2,616)*

    * Sample numbers.

    Raw Materials (Imports)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of raw materials used in the United Kingdom is imported.

    The crude ratio of imports of raw materials to their total United Kingdom consumption (ie home production plus imports less exports) can be misleading since re-exports tend to bias the ratio upwards. The following table provides estimated figures for 1980 of home production and trade for basic industrial raw materials (excluding food and food manufacturing inputs); and also fossil fuels.

    Blind Persons

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many registered blind persons were in receipt of the blind person's tax allowance for the years 1980, 1981 and the latest figures for 1982.

    [pursuant to his reply, 23 December 1982, c. 650]: It is estimated that around 30,000 blind people, all of them registered, have benefited from the blind person's tax allowance in each of the years mentioned.

    Civil Service

    Performance Appraisal (Megaw Report)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what, with regard to the Megaw report, are the broad definitions used to summarise overall performance in the Civil Service appraisal scheme; and what proportion of civil servants fell into each category in the years 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982.

    The broad definitions are: 1—Outstanding, exceptionally effective; 2—Very Good, more than generally effective but not positively outstanding; 3—Good, generally effective; 4—Fair, performs duties moderately well; 5—Not Quite Adequate, definite weaknesses make him not quite good enough to get by; 6—Unsatisfactory, definitely not up to the duties. Adverse reports giving 5 and 6 markings may lead to proceedings for compulsory premature retirement. Comprehensive information is not collected on the distribution of overall performance markings.Research evidence from a limited sample shows that distributions vary considerably between Departments, grades and organisational units. Broadly, as reported to the Megaw committee, this evidence suggests a range of between 40 and 75 per cent. of staff in categories 1 and 2; between 20 and 50 per cent. in category 3; between 5 and 10 per cent. in category 4; and about 1 per cent. in categories 5 and 6. Departments are currently seeking to remedy indentifiable deficiencies in their reporting standards, and the reporting system is itself under review.

    Education And Science

    Students

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the House of Lords judgment on 16 December concerning the status of students ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, he proposes to increase the quota of home students in higher education; and if he will make a statement.

    I am considering the implications of the judgment referred to and will make a statement as soon as possible.

    Lambeth (Secondary School Reorganisation)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to come to a decision on the secondary schools reorganisation in Lambeth.

    My right hon. Friend is considering these proposals, together with the objections received, and will reach a decision as soon as possible. I will arrange for the hon. Member to be informed of the outcome.

    Export Of Works Of Art

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he anticipates receiving from the reviewing committee on the export of works of art its report for the year ended 30 June.

    I have received the draft of the reviewing committee's report for the year 1981–82 and am considering it.

    Museums And Galleries (Attendance)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will publish in the Official Report the attendance figures for 1982 reported by the national museums and galleries in England, broken down to the individual institutions but comprising their outstations, with figures in each case of the percentage increase or decrease on the attendance figures for 1981.

    Following is the information requested:

    Estimated Percentage attendance in 1982Percentage change from 1981
    British Museum2,966,244+3·4
    Natural History Museum2,443,206-12·9
    Geological Museum426,205-13·6
    Imperial War Museum1,179,711+1·7
    National Gallery2,633,139-3·8
    National Maritime Museum996,6740·0
    National Portrait Gallery524,492-1·0
    Science Museum4,553,550-16·7
    Tate Gallery1,219,102+36·8
    Victoria and Albert Museum2,058,480+20·3
    Wallace Collection143,910+3·7
    In the case of the Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, the percentage changes are based on subsequent slight revisions to the estimates for 1981 quoted in my reply to the hon. Member for Warley, East on 19 January 1982.—[

    Official Report, Vol. 16, c. 100–101.]

    Works Of Art (Capital Transfer Tax)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will specify the allocations made to public institutions in the United Kingdom during the half-year ending 31 December of individual works of art and museum objects pre-eminent for national, scientific, historic or artistic interest which have been accepted in satisfaction of capital transfer tax, together with information, where applicable, as to conditions or wishes expressed in the matter of allocation by testators and executors; and whether he will list the works of art and museum objects which are still awaiting allocation, with the respective dates of their acceptance in satisfaction of capital transfer tax.

    The information requested is as follows:(i) Allocations made since 1 July 1982:

    ItemRecipient
    *1. Two J. M. W. Turner water-colours.
    'Salisbury'Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.
    'Flint Castle.'National Museum of Wales.
    2. J. M. W. Turner watercolour of an Italian landscape.Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museum.
    3. Ivory diptych.Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
    4. Portrait of H. F. P. Clinton by Gainsborough Dupont.Castle Museum, Nottingham.
    5. Two portraits by William Hoare:
    T. P. Holies, 1st Pelham Duke of Newcastle, in Garter Robes.House of Lords
    Rt. Hon. Henry Pelham, in Chancellor's Robes.House of Lords
    6. 'Yard of an Inn withGraves Art Gallery, Sheffield
    Peasants playing Bowls' by David Teniers the Younger.
    'A Stag Hunt' by Philips Wouverman.Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield.
    'A Scene in a Flemish Village by Gillis Peters and David Teniers the Younger.Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield
    7. Collection of silver.Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery.

    Item

    Recipient

    Bowes Museum.
    Doncaster Museum.
    Fitzwilliam Museum.
    Grosvenor Museum.
    Royal Pavilion, Brighton.
    Ulster Museum.
    Victoria and Albert Museum.

    * The executors expressed a wish about the final allocation of these watercolours which was honoured.

    (ii) Items awaiting allocations at 31 December 1982:

    Item

    Date of acceptance

    1. The Wellington Papers.20 February 1979.
    2. 'The Betrayal of Christ' by Van Dyke.19 February 1982
    3. Four paintings by Dominic Serres.22 October 1982.
    4. Verzelini glass goblet.22 October 1982.
    5. Albrecht Dûrer drawing of the Virgin and Child22 October 1982

    Automation Courses

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will issue a circular to local education authorities encouraging them to increase the provision of further education of engineering-linked information technology courses related to machine automation; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to my letter of 14 January 1983, a copy of which is in the Library, following his question of 22 December. The Government are concerned to improve educational provision throughout microelectronics including machine automation, and the initiatives described in my letter are expected to contribute to this. These initiatives are already receiving considerable publicity, and my right hon. Friend sees no need to issue a circular.

    School Playgrounds (Fencing)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will issue a circular to local authorities advising them to ensure the adequate fencing of school playgrounds.

    The Department's publication "Safety at School: General Advice" says that

    "attention should always be given to the security of the perimeter fencing of a playground used by the young".
    In addition, the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981 require that in the case of new premises for nursery schools or for primary schools which include nursery classes there shall be a recreation area separated from other areas by a wall, fence, hedge or similar boundary; and this requirement will apply to existing schools in these categories from September 1991. My right hon. Friend sees no present need for further guidance.

    Student Grants

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the level of student grants.

    Since my right hon. Friend's announcement on 8 November 1982 he has received some 145 representations, including some 130 from hon. Members and six petitions, concerning the level of student grants, including one from the National Union of Students.

    Polytechnics

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he plans to increase funding for the polytechnics in the next academic year.

    The distribution of the advanced further education capped pool for the 1983–84 financial year, as announced by my right hon. Friend on 22 December last—(Official Report, Vol. 34, c. 528)—provides for polytechnics nationally to receive the same cash total of funding (some £371 million) in 1983–84 as in 1982–83.

    Qualified Staff (Rate Support Grant)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he expects the recently announced rate support grant settlement to reduce the number of schools and colleges with too few appropriately qualified staff.

    The recently announced rate support grant settlement will permit some further improvement to be made in the pupil: teacher ratio, provided that the teachers' pay settlement is of the order of 3½ per cent. However, it is for local education authorities to determine the size, composition and deployment of their teaching forces. I look to them to secure the best possible match between the qualifications of school staffs and the work to be done; the fact that the supply of newly qualified teachers in most of the subjects in which shortages occur has improved will assist them.

    In-Service Training

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will provide additional funds to secure an increase in in-service training for teachers.

    My right hon. Friend announced on 8 November 1982 in a written reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Colvin)—[Official Report, Vol. 31, c. 39–40]—that the Department of Education and Science will be inviting bids from local education authorities for grants to support expenditure up to a total cost of £4½ million in the coming financial year for selected priorities within in-service training. This will allow up to 3,000 teachers to be released for a period of in-service training in a full academic year. The rate support grant settlement for 1983–84 should in itself allow local education authorities, provided costs are contained, at least to maintain current levels of expenditure on in-service training.

    Nursery Education

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will estimate the likely percentage of children in the relevant age groups who will be attending nursery schools or nursery classes in primary schools in 1983–84 and 1984–85.

    The projected participation rates for England are as follows:

    Numbers in maintained schools as percentage of relevant age group*
    JanuaryJanuary
    19841985
    Total nursery and primary35·235·0

    January

    January

    1984

    1985

    Nursery schools and nursery classes only19·920·1

    * Full or part-time pupils under 5 as at previous 31 December in relation to total 3 and 4 year old population at that date.

    Education Act 1946 (Default Powers)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has received under section 99 of the Education Act 1944 in each year since 1979; and what was the outcome in each case.

    Information is not available on the number of such representations. However, no direction has been made under section 99 in the relevant period.

    Mandatory Awards

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information has been provided by his Department to local education authorities about the errors in the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations; and what advice has been given about the manner in which authorities should handle the matter pending correction of the errors.

    The amending regulations which my right hon. Friend will shortly lay before Parliament will bring the awards regulations into line with the interpretation of the provisions of schedule 3 which local education authorities have, we believe, adopted in making awards assessments, though these provisions are at present technically defective. No advice about how they should proceed in the meantime has therefore been thought to be necessary. The Department will issue a circular letter when the amendment is made.

    Social Science Research Council

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the current dispute at the Social Science Research Council.

    No. This is a matter for the council and the trade unions concerned.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy on the location of the head office of the Social Science Research Council.

    In the report of his inquiry into the Social Science Research Council published last year, Lord Rothschild recommended that the relocation of the council's Head Office to Swindon should be examined as a matter of urgency. The council has been giving consideration to this recommendation, in consultation with the Department. Formally it is for the council to formulate any proposal for a move; I understand that it has recently informed staff that a move before autumn 1984 is unlikely.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the reasons for the cut in the budget over the period 1983–86 of the Social Science Research Council.

    They are set out in my right hon. Friend's letter of 14 October 1982 to the chairman of the council, which was published in the Official Report on 18 October 1982.—[Vol. 29, c. 38.]

    Pupil-Teacher Ratios

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish the pupil-teacher ratios in the local education authority areas of England.

    The latest available information for January 1982 is published in a statistical bulletin (Number 13/82), a copy of which I am sending the hon. Member.

    Secretary Of State (Visit To Liverpool)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on his recent official visit to Liverpool.

    The purpose of my visit was to address the North of England conference.

    Prime Minister

    Falkland Islands (Visit)

    asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her visit to the Falklands.

    I visited the Falkland Islands from 8–12 January. My main purpose was to meet as many as possible of the people on the Islands, to see at first hand the programmes of rehabilitation and development and to visit Her Majesty's Armed Forces.I held a meeting with members of the Executive and Legislative Councils. In Port Stanley I visited the Public Works Department, a new housing project, the power station, the senior and junior schools and the civil and military wings of the hospital. Outside Port Stanley I visited settlements at Fitzroy, Goose Green, Port San Carlos, San Carlos, Port Howard and Fox Bay East. On 10 January I was honoured to receive the Freedom of the Falkland Islands.My programme with Her Majesty's Armed Forces included visits to the RAF at Port Stanley airfield, engineer, artillery and infantry Units, HMS "Antrim" and other ships of the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Marine.I laid wreaths to the memories of those who lost their lives in the conflict which followed the Argentine invasion.The people of the Falkland Islands made clear to me their deep gratitude for the liberation of the Islands by Her Majesty's Armed Forces. The continuing role of our Service men in the defence and reconstruction of the Islands is most impressive. I paid tribute to the determination, courage and skill which they continue to display, often in very difficult circumstances.

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will arrange to attend personally the February celebrations in the Falkland Islands in order to represent Her Majesty's Government.

    No. As the hon. Member will know, I have just returned from a visit to the Falkland Islands.

    Falkland Islands (Parliamentary Questions)

    asked the Prime Minister how many parliamentary questions related to the Falkland Islands she has answered since 2 April; and what has been the average cost of answering each.

    From 2 April to 23 December 1982, I answered approximately 220 parliamentary questions directly or indirectly related to the operations in the South Atlantic, including the Falkland Islands. My hon. Friend, the Minister for the Civil Service stated on 13 July 1982 that the average cost of a written answer is assessed at £37 and an oral answer £60.

    Supplementary Benefit Offices

    asked the Prime Minister what has been the increase in the number of staff in supplementary benefit offices since May 1979.

    Since May 1979 the number of local office staff dealing with supplementary benefit has risen from 30,891 to 35,805.

    Saatchi And Saatchi Ltd

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list those bodies set up by the Government which have employed Saatchi and Saatchi Ltd. for advertising purposes; what have been the nature of the advertisements and the cost of each.

    The majority of non-Exchequer bodies deal direct with a wide variety of advertising agencies. Of these bodies, I understand that British Airways, British Rail, and the Health Education Council have accounts with Saatchi and Saatchi. Government Departments deal with advertising agencies through the Central Office of Information, and without incurring disproportionate cost it is only possible to give more details of the advertising contracted in this way.By this route, Saatchi and Saatchi have been employed on behalf of the Manpower Services Commission to advertise its youth opportunities programme, under a contract let by the previous Administration in October 1977. To identify individual advertisements would involve disproportionate cost, but the annual expenditure with the agency has been:

    £
    1977–78217,600
    1978–79745,000
    1979–80271,100
    1980–81869,000
    1981–82782,500
    1982–832,010,000*
    * Estimated.

    Government Papers (Disclosure)

    asked the Prime Minister whether she was consulted as to the text of the article by Lord Hunt in "Public Law" regarding the disclosure of Government papers to successor Governments or outside bodies.

    Lord Hunt informed the Secretary of the Cabinet that he had been invited to write an article on this subject, and was told that no objection would be made to his doing so.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will set out the rules governing the extent to which official papers of a previous Administration may be made available to a successor Administration.

    Ministers of a former Administration, whether currently in office or not, may see but may not retain official documents which they saw as members of that Administration. Ministers of a current Administration may not see documents of a former Administration of a different political party, other than documents which can be regarded as being in the public domain, official communications to overseas Governments, and written opinions of the Law Officers. Ministers of a current Administration may normally see documents of a former Administration of the same political party, whether or not they saw those documents as members of that Administration, provided that the requirement to see them arises in the course of their Ministerial duties.Before access to documents of a former Administration (whether of the same political party as or of a different political party from the Government of the day) is given to anybody not entitled to see them either in an official capacity or in accordance with these conventions, the agreement of the former Prime Minister concerned or, if he is not available, of the current leader of the political party concerned is sought.

    Departmental Services

    asked the Prime Minister what are the reasons why certain departmental services are provided jointly to the Departments of Trade and of Industry.

    Common services for the present Departments of Industry and Trade, covering functions such as personnel, management and legal advice, were retained following the division of the former Department of Trade and Industry in March 1974. These arrangements make for the most efficient and effective deployment of resources in support of the work of both Departments.

    Nationalised Industries (Pay)

    asked the Prime Minister why, during the Christmas parliamentary recess, an announcement was made that the chairmen and top paid people in the nationalised industries are to be given salary increases up to 15 per cent.; and, in view of the fact that such increases are contrary to Her Majesty's Government's policy of limiting public employees' increases generally to amounts between 3 per cent. and 6 per cent., whether she will ensure that these increases are not applied until Parliament has had an opportunity to discuss the issue.

    No such announcement was made in the Christmas parliamentary recess. The pay of chairmen and members of nationalised industry boards is dealt with on an individual, board by board basis, taking account of such factors as the need to recruit and retain top quality managers, differentials with senior staff and the performance of the industry.Because board pay has been held back in the past there have been problems over attracting suitable people to serve as board members and some cases of board members earning less than those working for them. These considerations led to a range of increases in 1982, a few of which were as high as 15 per cent.

    President Of France (Meeting)

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will seek an early meeting with the President of France to discuss with him his new year's declaration of France's intention of increasing its nuclear missile capacity and the possibility of manufacturing the neutron bomb, in view of the danger to the United Kingdom that such actions will cause.

    Accidents (Public Inquiries)

    asked the Prime Minister whether she will ensure that departmental Ministers advise all connected with the public services not to pass comments upon accidents and other tragedies when public inquiries are pending or possible, such as happened in the case of the new year Trafalgar Square tragedy.

    This is a matter for individual judgment in the particular case. I am sure that in this distressing incident all concerned were well aware of the need not to prejudge the results of any formal inquest or inquiry that may be held.

    Defence

    Naval Guns

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether any turret-mounted gun in a vessel of the task force became non-operational during the Falklands war (a) by reason of barrel wear or (b) for any other reason.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many rounds were fired from turret-mounted guns by Her Majesty's ships during the Falklands campaign (a) in support of land operations and (b) otherwise.

    As stated in Cmnd. 8758, Task Force ships fired 8,000 rounds in support of land operations. The number of rounds fired for other purposes could be determined only at disproportionate cost and effort.

    asked the Secretary of State for defence whether he has assessed the performance of naval guns during the Falklands campaign, particularly in respect of the number of rounds that may be fired before overhaul is required.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what types and marks of turret-mounted guns were used in Her Majesty's ships during the Falklands campaign; and in which ships they were fitted.

    4·5″ Mk. 6 guns were carried by Her Majesty's Ships "Antrim", "Glamorgan", "Plymouth" and "Yarmouth" and the 4·5″ Mk. 8 by HMS "Bristol", type 42 destroyers and type 21 frigates.

    Argentine Warships

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what information was possessed by the task force as to the capabilities of the SQS 30 and SQA 10 (VDS) sonar fitted in the Argentine destroyer "Bouchard" escorting the "General Belgrano".

    The sonar fitted in the Argentine destroyer "Hipolito Bouchard" is of a well-known type and the task force had all necessary information about it.

    Harrier Aircraft

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for West Lothian on 16 December, he will give details of the loss of the Harrier aircraft in the Falklands area since the ending of hostilities; and whether there were any deaths or injuries.

    A summary of the findings of the board of inquiry on this loss will be published in due course in accordance with normal practice. There were no deaths or injuries.

    Petty Officer W Budding

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what were the duties of Petty Officer W. Budding in HMS "Conqueror" during her deployment to the South Atlantic.

    Arms Sales

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the value of (a) the contracts signed in 1981 for military equipment to be supplied to each of the countries listed in the Official Report, 1 December 1982, c. 196, and (b) the exports of defence equipment in 1981 broken down into categories as in table 2–7 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1982.