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Written Answers

Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 3 April 1985

Wales

Equal Opportunities Officer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will now appoint a departmental equal opportunities officer with responsibility for co-ordinating the Civil Service policy of non-discrimination within his Department.

Original application (closing date 28 August 1984)Withdrawals/Rejections
Divisional OfficeNumberQuota (million litres)NumberQuota (million litres)
Carmarthen (Dyfed)32844·420323·8
Caernarfon (Gwynedd)11110·2666·3
Cardiff (Gwent, Mid-Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan)9020·9488·4
Llandrindod Wells (Powys)566·5293·3
Ruthin (Clwyd)11620·0648·9
WALES701102·041050·7
It is not possible to make a meaningful distinction between withdrawals and rejections, as some farmers will have given effect to their decision to withdraw by failing to respond to their firm offers in the time allowed.No additional quota is made available as a result of these withdrawals and rejections.

Meat Consumption

Thomas asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he proposes taking to halt the decline in beef, lamb and pork consumption in Wales.

A number of initiatives are already under way to improve the marketing and consumption of meat, particularly of leaner cuts. Given the importance of the livestock sector in Wales, I naturally take every opportunity to encourage and support these developments.

Public Expenditure Plan

asked the Secretary of State for Wales why a public expenditure plan for Wales is not published similar to the" Commentary on the Scotland Programme".

Extensive information concerning expenditure within my responsibility is provided by the Wales chapter of the annual White Paper on public expenditure and by the various publications listed at the end of that chapter. I do not believe that there is a need for a further publication.

I refer the hon. and learned Gentleman to the reply given to him on 14 May 1984 by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, at column 46.

Milk Quotas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many farmers in Wales and in Dyfed have now decided to abandon their application for monetary compensation under the outgoers scheme; and how many litres of quota this has made available for redistribution through the secondary quota;(2) how many farmers in each of the counties in Wales have decided against accepting the terms offered to them by the milk outgoers scheme after having indicated their unequivocal interest in withdrawing from milk production with its financial settlement.

The following table gives the fullest breakdown available and shows the position as at 22 March 1985:

Rates

asked the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Hooson), Official Report, 14 January, column 26, if he will publish in the Official Report a list of the rate increases for all the county councils in Wales for 1985–86.

The information is as follows:

County councilAverage poundage 1984–85Average poundage 1985–86Percentage change
Clwyd162·00172·006·17
Dyfed142·67170·6219·59
Gwent141·00146·003·55
Gwynedd145·00150·003·45
Mid Glamorgan180·4187·53·93
Powys134·00154·0014·93
South Glamorgan132·4147·411·33
West Glamorgan175·00182·274·15

Rose Row, Cwmbach

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has concluded a settlement with the Cynon Valley borough council in respect of his Department's financial responsibility arising from the development of Rose row, Cwmbach, Aberdare in 1965.

Last week, £400,892 was paid by the Department to the council in full and final settlement of the council's claim.

Energy

Nuclear Power Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what public funds, measured at constant prices, have gone into the United Kingdom fast breeder nuclear power programme in each of the past 10 years; and when he expects to receive an economic return on this investment.

Government expenditure on fast reactor research and development over the past 10 years has been (at 1984–85 prices):

Year£ million
1975–76*155·3
1976–77*145·9
1977–78152·4
1978–79166·0
1979–80134·7
1980–81132·4
1981–82125·7
1982–83116·1
1983–84125·6
†1984–85104·3
* In these years, expenditure on reactor safety was included within a separate aggregated category. It is estimated that some £9–13 million (1984–85 prices) per annum was spent on fast reactor safety in this period.
† Estimated.
In addition, the CEGB and BNFL have spent relatively small sums on fast reactor work, mainly within their own organisations.The Government's policy on the fast reactor research programme was set out in my right hon. Friend's replies of 29 November 1982 to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Ancram), at columns 2–3, and of 16 January 1984 to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry), at columns 47–48.The time scale on which fast reactors will become economically competitive with thermal nuclear reactors depends on a number of factors. These include:

  • (i) the future cost of thermal nuclear generation (which depends in part on longer term trends in the price of uranium); and
  • (ii) the extent to which the European collaborative research and development programme leads to reductions in the capital and fuel cycle costs of the fast reactor.
  • Electricity (Standing Charges)

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he is considering any new measures to assist small domestic consumers of electricity to meet the cost of standing charges, following the decision of the London electricity board to discontinue the standing charge rebate scheme introduced in 1983.

    I understand that the electricity supply industry is considering how deserving consumers affected by the abolition of the rebate scheme could be assisted.

    Departmental Legislation

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many Acts of Parliament have been promoted and how many statutory instruments made by his Department, or predecessor Departments covering his areas of responsibility, in each of the last 20 years.

    Her Majesty's Stationery Office publishes annually "Lists of Statutory Instruments" and "Tables and Indices to Public and General Acts and General Synod Measures". Both of these are currently up to date to the end of 1983.The number of Acts promoted by the Department of Energy, and statutory instruments made, during each year from the creation of the Department in January 1974 to the end of 1984 is as follows:

    ActsSIs
    197435
    1975244
    1976376
    1977273
    1978124
    197929
    1980245
    1981437
    1982251
    19833107
    1984186
    19707
    Given the changes to the machinery of Government over the last 20 years, apportionment of the Acts or statutory instruments — including some of those in the above list — to the areas of present ministerial responsibility could be done only at disproportionate cost.

    Coal Industry Dispute

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether any information relating to striking miners was passed from the police to the National Coal Board.

    I have been asked to reply.My right hon. and learned Friend is making inquiries of the chief constables concerned in England and Wales, and I shall reply as soon as possible.

    Trade And Industry

    Veterinary Services (Advertising)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he intends to take on the recommendations in the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the "Supply of Veterinary Services in Relation to Restrictions on Advertising"; and if he will make a statement.

    Following discussions which I and the Director General of Fair Trading have had with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the college is to issue a code of advertising practice to provide guidance to its members with regard to their general right to advertise and the ways in which they may advertise. The code will come into effect on 1 June 1985.In its report published in 1976 the Monopolies and Mergers Commission found that restrictions in the college's guide to professional conduct prohibited individual veterinary practices from engaging in any form of advertising, promotion or publicity except for a bare minimum that the profession regarded as being essential for keeping the public informed of the existence and location of practices or as being desirable in the interests of the profession as a whole. The commission concluded that these restrictions operated against the public interest, and it considered that they should be terminated and replaced by a rule that would permit veterinary practices to use such methods of publicity as they thought fit subject to certain constraints in respect of claims of superiority, inaccuracies, claims to specialisation, and professional propriety.The college's code of advertising practice, together with consequential amendments to the guide to professional practice, represents a significant relaxation of the rules governing advertising by vets. I welcome this, In certain respects, notably the continuing prohibition of fee advertising and direct mailing, the new rules are more restrictive than the commission's report considered necessary to protect the interests of either clients or patients; and I should have preferred the code to follow more closely the commission's recommendations in these respects. But I note that the college's advisory committee constantly reviews the college's position in ethical matters, and I hope that the college will keep under review the scope and operation of its rules on advertising, and in the light of experience of its operation consider the scope for further relaxation. I have asked the Director General of Fair Trading, as part of his responsibilities for keeping competition in the economy under review, to review the operation of the code in consultation with the college, and to report to me in two years' time.

    Animal Waste (Report)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on the "Supply of Animal Waste in Great Britain" is to be published; and if he will make a statement.

    The report is published today. The commission found that a monopoly situation existed in that about 44 per cent. of animal waste was supplied to the Prosper de Mulder Group. It also found that implementation of the company's pricing policy for purchases of animal waste was against the public interest. This included both prices paid by the company to abattoirs for waste material for rendering and also prices paid to the abattoirs for contracts to operate their gut-rooms, where abdominal material is recovered and sorted. The commission found that in both cases, when faced with loss of supplies, Prosper de Mulder attempted to secure or recover them by a price campaign, aimed mainly at particular competitors, regardless of whether the prices paid or offered would involve it in losses (which might be met through cross-subsidation). The particular effect adverse to the public interest was that this was likely to restrict competition in rendering or in gut-room operation.The commission found no current cases of such pricing for material for rendering, but drew attention to the fact that any future examples of predatory pricing in this field could be investigated under the Competition Act 1980. Regarding gut-room contracts there was a current problem and the commission therefore recommended that Prosper de Mulder should give an undertaking that it would not offer for or enter into gut-room contracts without having first established a reasonable expectation that the operation of any particular gut-room, taken on its own, would be carried on at a profit. There should be no cross-subsidisation between gut-room business and other parts of the company's business or between any individual gut-room operations.

    The commission also considered allegations that Prosper de Mulder might be refusing to collect an abattoir's low grade material unless it was also offered the high grade material. The commission found no specific cases of this conditional buying and they accepted an assurance from Prosper de Mulder that it never had, nor ever would follow, this practice.

    Finally, the commission made two further suggestions for action to maintain competition in the industry. First, it pointed out that further acquisitions of renderers on waste collectors by Prosper de Mulder could be referred for investigation under the merger provisions of the Fair Trading Act, and suggested that this be considered. Secondly, it considered that the tendency of local authorities to seek stricter enforcement of anti-pollution measures might cause problems for existing renderers and possible new entrants to the market. It recognised the need for the public to be protected by such measures and had no wish to suggest any relaxation of steps to enforce them; but it expressed interest in a suggestion made to it that a system of voluntary arbitration might be set up under which a member of the Institute of Environmental Health Officers and a member of the United Kingdom Renderers Associations would visit plants with odour problems and suggest remedies.

    I accept the findings of this report. I am asking the Director General of Fair Trading to open discussions with Prosper de Mulder Ltd. with a view to securing an appropriate undertaking regarding gut-room contracts. I am also asking the Director General to seek assurances from the company that it will not pursue a policy of conditional buying and that it will notify the Director General in advance of any proposal to acquire any other rendering business.

    I have asked my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to consider the commission's suggestion regarding environmental health controls.

    British Aerospace Plc

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the proposed sale of the Government shareholding in British Aerospace plc.

    A preliminary prospectus for the joint offer of shares by the Government and the company was issued today.The preliminary prospectus is a draft, subject to completion and amendment, of the final prospectus for the offer. The offer will be for a total of some 146·9 million ordinary shares, of which 96,852,746 will be offered for sale by the Government (representing the whole of the Government's residual ordinary shareholding in the company) and 50 million will be new shares issued by the company.The company has given notice of an extraordinary general meeting, convened for 29 April 1985, to seek shareholders' approval of certain matters necessary for the offer to proceed. These include the creation of a special share, to be held by the Secretary of State. The consent of the special shareholder will be required for any change to specified provisions of the company's articles of association, including those dealing with United Kingdom control. Some detailed amendments to those provisions are also being proposed.

    Subject to market conditions the offer is intended to take place in early May.

    Rural Development Areas (Aid)

    57.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek to secure that rural development areas determined by the Development Commission become eligible for European regional aid.

    The areas eligible for aid from the European regional development fund have already been extended as far as possible. Some rural development areas, determined by the Development Commission, are eligible where they are also in an assisted area.

    Trade Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the volume figures given in special table B of the "United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics" for the volume of exports of manufactures from the United Kingdom are statistically consistent with those given in

    Value £ million
    (a): UK imports (cif)(b): UK exports (fob)
    19801984*Change19801984*Change
    ImportsImports£ millionPercentageExportsExports£ millionPercentage
    (i) Cereals and cereal preparations603629+26+4456993+537+118
    (ii) Agricultural products6,0038,592+2,589+432,1253,260+1,135+53
    (iii) Motor vehicles2,4934,357+1,864+751,5251,485-40-3
    (iv) Coal215493+279+13011672-44-38
    (v) Steel1,2741,244-31-27691,288+519+68
    (vi) Electrical goods3,8389,988+6,150+1604,1497,331+3,182+77
    Sources: The following SITC/R2 data in the UK Overseas Trade Statistics: (i) Division 04, (ii) Sections O & 4 and Division 22, (iii) Groups 781, 782, 783 and Sub-group 784.1, Sub-groups 322.1 and 322.2, (v) Groups 672–675, Sub-groups 678.2,.3,.4 and 779.3, and Items 676.01 (part), 676.02 (part), 679.42, and 791.99 (part), (vi) Divisions 75, 76, 77 and Group 716.
    * 1984 figures are provisional.

    South Africa

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to the number of British trade missions which visited South Africa in each year from 1979; how many such missions received a grant from his Department; what was the average grant per mission in each year; and what was the total cost to his Department in each year.

    The Department does not keep records of trade missions to South Africa outside the BOTB scheme.Details of missions which received BOTB financial support for the years specified are as follows:

    YearNumber of missionsAnnual value of BOTB subvention (£)
    19791360,375
    19801157,960
    198115113,645
    19821492,325
    198314127,680
    198414127,200
    1985 (1st quarter)436,480
    The grant to each mission member for the period until 31 March 1981 was £345; from 1 April 1981 to 31 October 1982, £415; from 1 November 1982 to date, £480.

    table B7 of the "Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics"; and if he will account for differences in the actual numbers.

    In principle the two series are identical apart from the deflator used, which in the UN source is a unit value index and in the United Kingdom source is an average value index. In practice the effect of this is small; most of the difference between the series is due to revisions to export figures which the UN have not incorporated.

    Imports And Exports

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the value of (a) imports and (b) exports of the following commodities in 1980 and 1984 at current prices: (i) cereals, (ii) all agricultural products, (iii) motor vehicles, (iv) coal, (v) steel and (vi) electrical goods; and if he will show the net increase or decrease since 1980 in money and percentage terms.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many export credit guarantees for exports to South Africa were granted in each of the years from 1979; and what was the total value of such guarantees for each year.

    As a large part of the Export Credits Guarantee Department's business is conducted under comprehensive policies it is not possible to advise on the number of guarantees issued in each year.It has been the policy of successive administrations not to discuss details of the Department's exposure on individual markets.

    New Businesses

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his estimate of the average annual turnover of a new business in its first, second and fourth years respectively.

    Those traders which register for VAT provide turnover information but there are too many uncertainties for estimates to be made in the form requested; we have no knowledge of when a business starts to trade and many businesses never register for VAT. The problems were discussed in the article "Business starts and stops: analysis by turnover and sector of trade, UK 1980–83" (British Business 18 May 1984) copies of which were placed in the Library.

    Job Creation

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what is his estimate of the average number of jobs created by a new business by the end of its first fourth and eighth years, respectively;(2) what is his estimate of the number of jobs created on average by a small business per £1,000 turnover;(3) what is his estimate of the number of jobs created on average by a high technology company in its first five years of operation.

    This information is not available. The VAT system, which is our source of information, does not collect employment details.

    Small Businesses

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his Department's definition of a small business.

    There are no hard and fast rules about defining a small firm and different definitions can be appropriate for specific purposes. In manufacturing, we stick by and large to the definition of 200 employees or less and use a variety of thresholds, usually related to annual turnover, in the other sectors.Our views were set out in some detail in the article "How Small is a Small Firm" (

    British Business 22 June 1984) copies of which were placed in the Library.

    Textile Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his response to the report entitled "The Winding Down of Textiles", published by the board for social responsibility in the diocese of Manchester, a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what evidence he has of investment by Governments of other member countries of the EEC in their domestic textile industries under schemes which have not received the approval of the European Commission in each of the years since 1975.

    [pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1985, c. 470]: Comprehensive information about the investment support given to particular companies in other member states is not available. Sectoral aid schemes for the textile and clothing industry have generally been brought into operation only after Commission approval. The only

    BelgiumDenmarkFranceGermanyIrelandItalyLuxembourgNetherlandsUnited Kingdom
    Hotels—rooms622‡7, 18·61410‡9, 386515
    Hotels—meals192218·61423‡9, 386515
    Restaurants172218·6142396515
    International Passenger Transport

    exception we know of is a scheme for reduced social charges in France which operated for a time without such approval.

    The Commission has now, however, stated that sectoral aid schemes in the textile sector are in principle no longer acceptable and the Government intend to give the Commission their full support in ensuring that this policy is implemented.

    National Girobank

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the financial objective for the National Girobank.

    The existing target expired on 3 April 1985. A new objective has been agreed with the Post Office Board to run for three years from 4 April 1985. During this period, the target will be for the National Girobank to make an annual average return, before interest on long-term loans from the Secretary of State, of 22 per cent. of mean net assets on the historical cost accounting convention.

    Humberside (European Regional Development Fund)

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any further tranches of European regional development fund non-quota funds are to be made available to Humberside; what sums will be allocated to Glanford and Scunthorpe from that source by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

    [pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1985, c. 469]: There may be further ERDF non-quota aid for steel industry areas, but as yet there are no specific arrangements.The European Commission has also published proposals for ERDF non-quota aid for areas where fisheries activities have declined, under which £7·4 million would be allocated to the United Kingdom in respect of Hull and Grimsby. However, it is not clear when these proposals will be considered by the Council.It is not possible at this stage to say how much from either possible sources of aid would go to Glanford and Scunthorpe.

    Value Added Tax

    asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the complete range of tourism services provided within the countries of the European Economic Community which attract value added tax together with the individual percentage rates currently being levied.

    [pursuant to his reply, 14 March 1985, c. 209]: The table showing the percentage rates of value added tax applying to the main areas of tourist expenditure in EC member states contained an error. In Ireland, value added tax is charged at 10 per cent. on hotel rooms and not 23 per cent. as given. The corrected table is as follows:

    Belgium

    Denmark

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Italy

    Luxembourg

    Netherlands

    United Kingdom

    Air0exempt00exempt0000
    Sea0exempt00exempt0000
    Rail

    *6

    exempt0

    *7

    exempt00

    *5

    0
    Road

    *6

    exempt

    *18·6

    *7

    exempt00

    *5

    0
    Public Transport6exempt7║7exempt║exempt650
    Theatre6227exemptexempt961915
    Clothes192218·61410• 18, 38121915
    Books and maps622770▀2650
    Gold and gold-plated jewellery252233·33¶142318121915
    Antiques17†2218·6¶4231812515

    * Only applies to the portion of travel within the national territory

    † Sculptures, paintings, drawings and original lithographs are exempt
    ‡ Higher rate applies to luxury hotels
    ║ For journeys of less than 50 kms within towns; otherwise 14 per cent in Germany, 18 per cent. in Italy
    ¶ "Works of art and collectors' pieces" are taxed at 7 per cent
    • Higher rate applies to furs and hides
    ▀ Antique books are taxed at 10 per cent

    Solicitor-General For Scotland

    Coal Industry Dispute

    asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many miners are still awaiting trial as a result of incidents arising from the miners' strike; and if he will make a statement.

    As at 22 March 1985, 247 persons had still to be dealt with by the courts in respect of offences arising out of the miners' strike.

    Home Department

    Immigration

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many husbands of women who are British citizens were granted entry clearance to join their wives in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years for which records are available;(2) how many husbands of women who have obtained indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom were granted entry clearance to join their wives in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years for which records are available.

    Information on the number of husbands in the Indian sub-continent granted entry clearance to the United Kingdom is given in table 8 of "Control of Immigration: Statistics, United Kingdom, 1983" (Cmnd. 9246) and in table 9 of the Home Office statistical bulletin "Control of Immigration: Statistics, Fourth Quarter and Year 1984" (Issue 5/85). Corresponding information for countries outside the Indian sub-continent is not available.Information on husbands granted entry clearance in the Indian sub-continent since 1980 under the 1977 immigration rules is not available separately for husbands of women who are British citizens and who are not British citizens respectively. The requirements of the 1980 and 1983 rules specify that the wife must be a British citizen, and entry clearance is granted only very exceptionally to a husband where his wife is not a British citizen.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average length of time taken to

    process applications from the husbands of women who are British citizens who are seeking to obtain entry clearance to join their wives in the United Kingdom.

    Information on waiting times is available only for the Indian sub-continent, where husbands and fiancés applying for entry clearance to the United Kingdom are put in the same queue as non-priority applicants for immediate settlement. The waiting times to first interview for applicants in this "main queue" are given in table 10 of the Home Office statistical bulletin "Control of Immigration: Statistics, Fourth Quarter and Year 1984" (Issue 5/85). Applications are decided at the first interview unless further inquiries need to be made or a refusal is followed by an appeal, in which case the time taken depends upon the particular circumstances of the application.

    Tactical Aid Group (Manchester)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Greater Manchester about the role of his force's tactical aid group; and if he will make a statement on the substance of the report.

    The chief constable of Greater Manchester informs me that the role of his force's tactical aid group is to maintain a support team to give assistance to divisional and departmental commanders in a variety of policing operations. These include hijacks and hostage takings; the containment of armed and besieged criminals; searches and cordoning at the scene of bomb incidents and disasters; security of buildings and areas for VIP visits; the support of divisional officers at parades, demonstrations and football matches; assistance in major crime inquiries; escorts for high risk prisoners; and other specialist operations.

    Dogs

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many court orders for the destruction or control of dogs have been issued in each of the last five years.

    The available information, which may be incomplete, is as follows. Information for 1984 is not yet available.

    Orders made under section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871 to destroy dogs England and Wales

    Number of orders made

    1979750
    1980790
    1981900
    1982520
    1983490

    Departmental Legislation

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Acts of Parliament have been promoted and how many statutory instruments made by his Department, or predecessor Departments covering his areas of responsibility, in each of the last 20 years.

    The information, not all of which relates to current areas of responsibility, is as follows:

    Acts of Parliament*Statutory Instruments
    SessionNumberCalendar yearNumber
    1983–8451984154
    1982–8321983183
    1981–8231982136
    1980–8141981186
    1979–8051980230
    1978–7921979233
    1977–7861978275
    1976–7721977260
    1975–7641976306
    1974–7551975298
    197451974197
    1973–7421973159
    1972–7321972121
    1971–7241971159
    1970–7181970150
    1969–7031969132
    1968–6971968172
    1967–6861967174
    1966–6761966116
    1965–6621965150
    1964–656
    * Does not include Acts sponsored by private Members.

    Metropolitan Police (Complaints)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give details of the arrangements which allow officers of the Metropolitan police with misgivings about their duties, complaints about their superior officers or information about malpractice, to put their case direct to the commissoner; how many such requests have been granted and how many refused; and where an appeal lies in the event of a refusal.

    Metropolitan police general orders provide that any officer may make written representation to, or request an interview with, any senior officer, including the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Requests to see the commissioner must be made in writing and should give—in confidence if the officer so wishes —a brief statement of the reason. I understand that a request for an interview would almost always be granted, but the commissioner would normally ask another senior officer to conduct it on his behalf.No records are kept of the number of requests made or their outcome.

    Football Matches (Policing Costs)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost of policing football matches in England and Wales for each of the last three years.

    The information is not collated centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

    Licensing Laws

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how soon after the key findings of the report by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys on attitudes to the licensing laws in Scotland are available to Her Majesty's Government in June he intends to publish his recommendations regarding the future of the licensing laws in England and Wales.

    My right hon. and learned Friend will want to consider carefully both the preliminary key findings of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys' report and the subsequent full report before deciding whether relaxations in the permitted opening hours of licensed premises in England and Wales should be introduced. He is fully aware of the extent of public interest in this matter, and will wish to make a statement as soon as possible.

    Swansea Prison (Suicides)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many suicides and attempted suicides have occurred in Swansea prison in the last two years; how this record compares with that of other prisons; and if he will make a statement.

    Verdicts of suicide have been returned on 21 prisoners who died in 1983 and 23 prisoners who died in 1984: one of the deaths in 1984 occurred at Swansea. There were also 221 incidents of self-injury with apparent suicidal intent in 1983, of which eight were at Swansea; later figures are not available. Fifteen deaths of prisoners in 1984 and 1985 are still subject to inquests: we are provisionally taking the view that one case at Swansea in 1984 and another in 1985 were cases of suicide.

    Prisoners (Statistics)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of prisoners currently serving more than five years for offences of violence and drug trafficking.

    [pursuant to his reply, 2 April, c. 565]: It is estimated from central records that on 31 January 1985 between 2,000 and 2,500 persons in prison department establishments in England and Wales were serving sentences of more than five years for offences of violence or drug trafficking within the scope of the parole policy announced on 30 November 1983, that is, as defined under section 32 and schedule 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Departmental Achievements

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list his Department's principal achievements since 1979.

    Further to the answers given to my hon. Friends the Members for Welwyn, Hatfield (Mr. Murphy) on 17 May 1984, and for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Heddle) on 31 October 1984, my Department has been responsible for, or played its part in, the following achievements.At the Dublin summit in December 1984 the Community adopted a text on budgetary discipline based on the agreement reached at Fontainebleau in June. This included a financial guideline for agriculture specifying that net expenditure on agricultural markets should, from 1986, grow less fast than the rate of growth of own resources of the Community.The Council in February 1985 agreed wide-ranging measures to reform the Community's wine regime, by introducing a guarantee threshold to curb surplus production, by encouraging winegrowers to grub up vineyards, and by a restrictive price policy for as long as the surplus remained.The Community reached agreement earlier this month on a new agricultural structures regulation which will govern member states' farm investment programmes. The text as finally adopted clearly reflects our concern to continue to exclude wasteful and discriminatory items, to control grant-aid to capital expenditure which may add to surplus products and to ensure that agricultural development takes account of environmental needs. In particular, the Council accepted our proposal that member states should be authorised to designate environmentally sensitive areas in which farmers may be offered incentives to maintain valuable landscapes and wildlife habitats.In Febuary 1985 we successfully obtained agreement in the Council of Ministers on additional measures to simplify the application of the milk supplementary levy arrangements, including a provision to prevent them from operating as an artificial constraint on those dairy producers with mixed businesses selling milk to the milk marketing boards and also marketing their own milk directly for consumption.Statutory control over the price of liquid milk in England, Wales and Northern Ireland ended on 31 December 1984, a year ahead of our target date. Controls had already ended in Scotland.I have brought forward the Food and Environment Protection Bill, which will provide for greater protection of the public and the environment in three main areas. First, it will provide statutory backing for measures intended to protect the public from food affected by incidents involving a release of harmful substances. Secondly, it will provide for improved controls over the dumping of wastes at sea. Thirdly, it will introduce statutory controls on the supply and use of pesticides with a view to achieving a higher level of safety for health and the environment.We have continued to advise and encourage farmers to take reasonable measures to ensure that farm practices do not result in pollution. This has recently been strengthened by the publication of a code of good agricultural practice, which provides advice to farmers on ways to minimise the risk of pollution of water from the use of fertilisers, manures, farm waste, silage and pesticides.The Environment Co-ordination Unit established in July 1984 continues to strengthen links within the Ministry to ensure a closely integrated approach to environmental issues.The higher rates of grants for hedges, shelter belts and traditional walls are now payable in the lowlands as well as in the less favoured areas. We are also providing half the cost of an experimental grazing scheme designed to help safeguard the unique landscape of the Broads.We have recently announced proposals in response to the recommendations of the report of a panel of the Committee on Medical Aspects on Food Policy on diet and cardiovascular disease published last year. Details were given in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Devon, West (Sir P. Mills) on 12 March 1985. Draft guidelines for voluntary full nutrition labelling of foods were issued for comment on 27 March.My Department has participated actively in efforts to increase exports of food and agricultural products and of associated inputs and technology.Between May 1979 and February this year the average annual rate of increase in the food prices index has been 7·0 per cent. This is again below the increase for all items in the retail price, index of 9·3 per cent. The current annual rate of increase in the Food Price Index is 3·5 per cent.In January 1985 hill livestock compensatory allowances were introduced, at rates of £22·25 per eligible cow and £2·12 per eligible ewe, in the United Kingdom's "disadvantaged" areas (that is those marginal land areas which were given less favoured area status for the first time in February 1984).On 1 January 1985 the Community became a member of the International Sugar Agreement 1984.We have enacted legislation to give effect to revised support arrangements for potatoes, which should reduce the call on public funds in the longer term.We have continued to protect farmers and growers from the introduction of non-established plant pests and diseases into the United Kingdom.We have issued a Green Paper reviewing the long-standing arrangements for financing administration of land drainage, flood prevention and coast protection and proposing changes.Together with DoE we have issued notes of guidance to drainage authorities regarding their environmental and conservation responsibilities under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are now undertaking a strengthening of those Guidelines.In the field of animal welfare we have pressed for the introduction of Community standards for laying hens in battery cages and have continued to support the work of the standing committee of the European convention on farm animal welfare.At the beginning of this year we introduced new, permanent arrangements for the sale of certain veterinary drugs to farmers through agricultural merchants. These arrangements will safeguard the farmers' traditional source of supply whilst improving the standards of distribution and service for these products.In 1983 we began a complete overhaul of the legislation controlling animal breeding. New powers were taken in the Animal Health and Welfare Act 1984 and within the last two months proposals for revised controls over the animal health and livestock quality aspects of the artificial insemination of cattle have been issued for comment.We concluded the first full year of the effective operation of the revised common fisheries policy by reaching agreement in December last on a complete package of total allowable catches and quotas for 1985, involving significant increases in the fishing opportunities available to our industry, particularly in the North sea.Community log books and landing declarations, for which we have been pressing for some time, have now been issued throughout the Community and will be in force from 1 April.To assist the control of fish and shellfish diseases, we have brought into operation the Diseases of Fish Act 1983.We were the first member state to implement the Community fisheries structures package through the Fishing Vessels (Financial Assistance) Scheme 1983 which provides grants for the decommissioning and laying-up of vessels, exploratory voyages and joint ventures — together with aids for building and modernising vessels. These measures, which came into effect on 1 January 1984, will enable the fleet to adapt to the available fishing opportunities.Together with the Departments of the Environment and of Transport my officials played a full and constructive part in the North sea conference on marine pollution held in Bremen in the autumn of 1984. At the conference the validity of the United Kingdom's science-based approach to environmental protection was acknowledged with the result that sea dumping will continue to be available for disposal of certain categories of waste under strict safeguards.My Department's fisheries research effort has been rationalised. In particular, increased resources have been allocated to the protection of the aquatic environment duties which include the commissioning of a new research vessel. At the same time, and even greater commercial orientation has been given to the work of the Torry research station.All of these policies have been carried out while achieving a further reduction in Ministry staff.

    Departmental Legislation

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many Acts of Parliament have been promoted and how many Statutory Instruments made by his Department, or predecessor Departments covering his areas of responsibility, in each of the last 20 years.

    The number of Acts of Parliament promoted by my Department in each of the last 20 years* is as follows:

    YearActs
    1964–651
    1965–660
    1966–674
    1967–681
    1968–691
    1969–701
    1970–710
    1971–721
    1972–733
    1973–741
    19742

    Year

    Acts

    1974–751
    1975–762
    1976–772
    1977–780
    1978–791
    1979–802
    1980–812
    1981–821
    1982–835
    1983–842

    * By Parliamentary Session.

    The number of statutory instruments made in each of the last 20 years* is as follows:

    Year

    Statutory Instruments

    1965131
    1966109
    1967124
    1968148
    1969131
    1970141
    1971164
    1972239
    1973156
    197496
    197587
    1976136
    1977121
    1978116
    197984
    1980143
    1981109
    1982115
    1983109
    198483

    * By calendar year.

    Common Agricultural Policy

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he envisages any increase in the budgetary commitment of the common agricultural policy in the event of the accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Economic Community.

    Provision for agricultural expenditure arising from the accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Economic Community will be made in the Community budget for 1986.

    Imported Foodstuffs (Levy)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, further to his answer of 4 March, Official Report, column 393, concerning the formula used for calculating the levy on imported foodstuffs, whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the levy chargeable at the current time for all the common agricultural policy foodstuffs together with the monetary compensation amounts, the threshold prices and the world price.

    The information requested is set out for the main commodities in the table.The import levies are shown after deduction of the monetary compensatory amount (MCA) and adjustment by the monetary coefficient: the MCA that has been deducted is shown separtely. The "world" prices shown are generally the lowest offer prices at the Community frontier which underlie the Commission's calculation of the variable import levies. I would remind the hon. Member that these are the lowest prices recorded and it is likely that, on average, higher prices would have to be paid if larger quantities were to be purchased on world markets.

    Levy and Monetary Compensatory Amount Applicable in the United Kingdom, Threshold Price and Notional "World" Price on 27 March 1985 for the Main Food Items covered by the Common Agricultural Policy
    £/tonne
    CommodityLevy applicable in United Kingdom*Of which monetary compensatory amountThreshold or equivalent priceNotional "world" price
    Common wheat47-1168123
    Barley49-1154107
    Maize41-1154115
    Rice339N/A503167
    Sugar (white)║287-4410125
    Olive oil458N/A1,244804
    Butter¶1,289-202,215940
    Skimmed milk powder607-101,153555
    Beef and veal●1,438-182,358976
    Pigmeat244-51,258971
    Sheepmeat▪—N/A3,0381,815
    Poultrymeat135-2874754
    Eggs148-3788653
    Notes
    N/A=not applicable.
    All figures have been rounded to the nearest £.
    * The rates of levy vary for different tarriff headings. The rates quoted are: beef and veal—carcase; pigmeat—carcase; poultrymeat—70 per cent. chickens; rice—wholly milled long grain; olive oil— virgin lampante; eggs-in shell. Levies are shown after deduction of the monetary compensatory amount where applicable.
    † For commodities for which there is no threshold price the following have been taken: beef and veal—guide price converted to deadweight (using a killing-out percentage of 53·8 per cent.; pigmeat and sheepmeat—Basic price; poultrymeat and eggs—sluicegate prices and plus basic levy converted at the green rate of exchange.
    ‡ Notional "world" prices have been calculated by subtracting the levy applicable on 27 March from the "threshold" price. The beef price is also adjusted for duty. In the case of pigmeat, poultrymeat and eggs, the "world" price has been taken as the sluicegate price, less supplementary levy where appropriate. The resulting estimate has been converted from ECU/t at the appropriate market rate of exchange £0·632535=1 ECU.
    ║ In practice the United Kingdom's imports from third countries are normally covered by the Lorne convention and enter the Community levy-free.
    ¶ special lower rate of levy is applicable to imports of butter from New Zealand.
    ● Most imports of beef from third countries are subject to special arrangements allowing entry at reduced levy rates.
    ▪ Imports of lamb under voluntary restraint arrangements with principle suppliers and related agreements are subject to a reduced charge of 10 per cent. ad valorem. Any imports outside these arrangements are subject to levies which cannot exceed the 20 per cent. tariff bound in the GATT.

    Salmon

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consultations he has held concerning the report of the salmon sales group entitled, "Salmon Conservation—A New Approach"; and if he is now in a position to announce his decisions on the report's recommendations regarding the problems of salmon conservation.

    As I said in reply to the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) on 6 March, we have been carrying out a very thorough review of the proposals for salmon tagging set out in the report "Salmon Conservation—A New Approach" and are still examining the problems highlighted by our examination. I shall make an announcement as soon as we have been able to reach a conclusion.

    Agricultural Land

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much agricultural land has been lost to alternative development since 1970.

    I regret that no precise figures are available. However, it is estimated that, from 1970 to 1984, the total net loss of agricultural land in England and Wales was some 300,000 hectares. About half of this net loss was recorded as having been to alternative development.

    Council Of Agriculture Ministers

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Council of Agriculture Ministers' meeting in Luxembourg on 1 and 2 April; and if he will make a statement.

    With my hon. Friend the Minister of State, I represented the United Kingdom at the Council of Agriculture ministers in Luxembourg on 1 and 2 April. The main subject of the Council was the Commission's price proposals for 1985–86.It became evident that it would not be possible to reconcile the divergent views of member states on appropriate price levels and related issues at this Council. The Presidency undertook to explore with the Commission the scope for compromise and the Council decided to resume work on the morning of 22 April.The Council also decided that the marketing years for milk products, beef, sheepmeat and dried fodder should be extended until 28 April.

    Uneconomic Farms

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans the Government have to bring forward proposals to facilitate the closing down of uneconomic farms.

    [pursuant to his reply, 2 April 1985, c. 526]: None. It is up to individual farmers to decide whether to remain in the industry.

    House Of Commons

    Members' Travel Costs

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what was the total cost of hon. Members' travel within the United Kingdom by air for the years 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85.

    The total costs of the hon. Members travel, by air, within the United Kingdom paid from the House of Commons Vote (Class 13.2) are as follows:

    Year£
    1982–83317,913
    1983–84310,033
    1984–85*413,035
    *To date.

    asked the Lord Privy Seal what was the total cost of hon. Members' travel within the United Kingdom by air for the years 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85.

    The total costs of the hon. Members' travel, by rail, within the United Kingdom paid from the House of Commons Vote (Class 13.2.) are as follows:

    Year£
    1982–83389,652
    1983–84447,205
    1984–85*458,840
    * To date.

    Standing Order No 2

    asked the Lord Privy Seal how many times Standing Order No. 2 has been invoked in each year since 1968; and if he will make a statement.

    Before the adoption by the House of Standing Order No. 2 on 12 November 1968 a temporary order with similar effect (agreed to by the House on 12 December 1967) was used six times in 1968. The

    Maintained Schools (including nursery and special): England
    October 1984October 1983
    NumbersAs percentage of pupils in attendanceNumbersAs percentage of pupils in attendance
    Pupils in attendance6,613,0266,770,975
    Pupils taking school meals
    On payment2,243,54833·92,406,95535·5
    Free1,147,88617·41,074,88215·9
    Total3,391,43451·33,481,83751·4
    Pupils bringing own food1,940,68229·31,909,71828·2
    Pupils having other arrangements1,280,91019·41,379,42020·4
    An analysis of the returns shows the following proportions for primary and secondary pupils, as percentages of pupils in attendance.
    percentage
    PrimarySecondary
    1984198319841983
    Pupils taking school meals53·454·248·247·8
    Pupils bringing own food35·734·423·222·5
    Pupils having other arrangements10·911·428·629·7
    Detailed tabulations on the returns from local education authorities from which these national figures are taken are being placed in the Library.

    Schools (Expenditure Statistics)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will provide in the Official Report a table showing the expenditure per head in state schools and service schools, respectively.

    In 1983–84 the average expenditure per pupil in maintained schools in England was £1,025; this figure comprises the recurrent expenditure of the schools, the cost of transport from home to school and school meals. In the same year the average cost of each child educated locally in schools run by the Services Children's S.O. was then used on two further occasions that year. In 1969 the S.O. was used seven times. It has not been used since.

    Palace Of Westminster (Staff)

    asked the Lord Privy Seal how many people work in the Palace of Westminster; and if he will break this figure down into categories including secretaries and research assistants to Members of both Houses.

    [pursuant to his reply, 2 April 1985, c. 562–3]: The number of Staff and Officers employed by the House of Lords' Departments is 263, and not 315 as stated in my earlier reply.

    Education And Science

    School Meals

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the results of the October 1984 census of school meals; and how they compare with 1983.

    The information is as follows:Education Authority was £2,275. The two figures are not comparable for a number of reasons, inducing the boarding expenditure at SCEA schools.

    Teachers (Pay)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the average annual increase in teachers' earnings as a result of incremental drift.

    Between April 1979 and April 1984 the average salary of teachers in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in England and Wales is estimated to have risen by 5·1 per cent. as a result of incremental drift. The annual average increase over the period on this account is therefore about 1 per cent.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science why the Burnham committee has not replaced its offer of a 4 per cent. pay incease with an offer of a flat rate amount per teacher.

    This is a question not for me but for the Burnham Primary and Secondary Committee.

    Unborn Children (Protection) Bill

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment Her Majesty's Government have made of the potential impact of the enactment of the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill on research on the detection of genetic defects by examining nucleic acid samples from early embryonic tissue; and if he will make a statement.

    The Unborn Children (Protection) Bill provides that the Secretary of State's authority for the possession and implantation of a human embryo shall be given only for the purpose of enabling a specified woman to bear a child, and not for any other purpose. It follows that research on the detection of genetic defects by examining nucleic acid samples from early human embryonic tissue would not be possible. I understand from the Medical Research Council that this would prevent further research and development work taking place on the technique known as embryonic biopsy, which might prove especially valuable in diagnosing serious genetic disorder in embryos fertilised in vitro, before possible implantation in the uterus, in the case of couples who are known carriers of a wide range of genetic diseases such as the thalassaemias, haemophilia, sickle-cell disease and Huntington's Chorea.

    Teachers (Training)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to implement the decision to include an introduction to the teaching of children with special educational needs as part of basic teacher training as outlined in Cmnd. 9649.

    Criteria for the approval of initial teacher training courses issued in April 1984 include the requirement that students should be introduced to ways of identifying children with special educational needs, helped to appreciate what the ordinary school can and cannot do for such children, and given some knowledge of the specialist help available and how it can be enlisted. Over the next three to four years all initial teacher training courses will be reviewed against the criteria by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, which will advise my right hon. Friend whether existing courses should continue to be approved, and whether proposals for new ones should receive approval. Accordingly, my right hon. Friend expects that those teacher training institutions which do not already include an introduction to the subject of special educational needs in their initial training will shortly take steps to do so.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teachers have received in-service training to assist in the teaching of children with special educational needs since the Education Act 1981.

    The total numbers of teachers from maintained and independent schools attending full-time courses of 20 days or more—or the part-time equivalent — concerned solely with special educational needs which have been offered in higher education institutions over the last three years are as follows:

    Academic yearNumbers of teachers (rounded)
    1981–821,040
    1982–831,360
    1983–841,530
    The figure for 1983–84 includes teachers released for training under the Government's in-service teacher training grants scheme which was introduced in April 1983. Grant has been paid in respect of some 370 teachers released to attend one-term courses concerned with special educational needs in ordinary schools during the period April 1983 to August 1984. These courses remain eligible for the purposes of the scheme in the current academic year 1984–85, and it is intended that they should continue to be so designated in 1985–86.The Department does not collect statistics on attendance by teachers on in-service training courses of less than 20 days—or the part-time equivalent—or on any training mounted by bodies other than higher education institutions, including that offered by individual local education authorities through their advisory services and teachers' centres.

    Pupils (Special Education Needs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to be able to announce new advice on staffing requirements for pupils with special educational needs as outlined in Cmnd. 9649.

    A review of staffing standards for pupils with statements of special educational needs has begun. The results of the review will be published in due course.

    Schools (Wheelchair Access)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is satisfied with the extent of wheelchair access to schools since the coming into force of the Education Act 1981; and if he will make a statement.

    It is for individual local education authorities to decide what measures are necessary to fulfil their obligations under the Education Act 1981. Advice on the design and adaptation of buildings was issued last year in the Department's building bulletin 61 "Designing for Children with Special Educational Needs — Ordinary Schools." Specific guidance on access for disabled people to educational buildings, including wheelchair access, is given in design note 18, revised last year.

    Homework

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to undertake the consultation on the subject of homework which was proposed in the White Paper, "Better Schools", Cmnd. 9469.

    I am today issuing a discussion paper on this subject. Copies have been placed in the Library.

    Engineering And Technology (Graduates)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to increase the output of graduates in engineering and technology; and if he will make a statement.

    [pursuant to his reply, 19 March 1985, c. 482–84]: Proposals from universities to participate in the engineering and technology programme have been considered by the University Grants Committee, which has in turn consulted members of the Information Technology Skills Agency. I have now received and accepted the committee's advice about the institutions which should participate in the first phase of the programme. The participating institutions, the relevant departments and the proposed student intakes, are as follows:

    UniversityDepartmentIntake
    *UG†PG
    AstonElectrical and Electronic Engineering20
    BangorElectronic Engineering Science25
    BirminghamEngineering Production1020
    Electronic and Electrical Engineering (with Computer Science)25
    Mechanical Engineering14
    BradfordElectrical Engineering3020
    CambridgeEngineering30
    East AngliaInformation Systems25
    EssexComputer Science12
    Electrical Engineering Science15
    Heriot-WattMechanical Engineering15
    HullElectronic Engineering24
    KentComputing Laboratory20
    LancasterEngineering12
    ImperialMechanical Engineering10
    NottinghamProduction Engineering and Production Management20
    Electrical and Electronic Engineering1210
    SalfordElectronic and Electrical Engineering20
    StrathclydeElectronic and Electrical Engineering25
    Design and Manufacture/Production Management and Manufacturing Technology10
    SurreyElectronic and Electrical Engineering2025
    SussexElectrical, Electronic and Control Engineering and Computer Science15
    SwanseaElectrical and Electronic Engineering20
    Metallurgy and Material Technology10
    Mechanical Engineering
    WarwickEngineering20
    Electrical Engineering25
    YorkComputer Science20
    Totals475104
    The institutions concerned will be receiving further details from the UGC. Phase 2 of the programme will be announced later in the year
    * Undergraduates.
    † Postgraduates.

    Examination Results

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his Department has reached its conclusions about possible methods of comparing examination results from different types of school system; and if he will make a statement.

    [pursuant to his reply, 28 March 1985, c. 298]: I am considering suggestions for further research into factors affecting pupil performance following my statement to the House on 15 November 1984 at columns 698–99. The Government's policies on examinations and assessment and monitoring were set out in chapters 3 and 13 of the Government's White Paper "Better Schools" (Cmnd. 9469).

    Prime Minister

    Mi5

    asked the Prime Minister what salary will be payable to the person appointed as the new head of MI5.

    It is not the practice to comment on questions relating to the staffing of the security service.

    Civil Servants

    asked the Prime Minister what steps she takes to satisfy herself that misgivings reported by civil servants to their seniors in pursuance of the arrangements announced by her on 26 February, Official Report, column 130, are fully investigated.

    Any matters which were reported to a senior civil servant, or about which a senior civil servant was consulted, under the arrangements described in the note of guidance by the head of the home civil service, would be taken very seriously, and anything that needed to be done, by way of investigation or otherwise, would be done.

    Mr Gerald Price

    asked the Prime Minister what reply she is sending to Mr. Gerald Price, a blind person, who sought urgent help in a letter to her dated 26 March; and if she will make a statement.

    Although the Civil Aviation Authority has statutory responsibility for the regulation of sport parachuting, the authority looks to the British Parachute Association—a very responsible body with a great deal of practical experience—for the detailed day-to-day control of the sport. My office is writing to Mr. Price explaining that it would not be appropriate for me to intervene over the association's decision not to allow him to make a parachute jump.

    Labour Statistics

    asked the Prime Minister what is the present percentage of unemployed in each of the 10 largest cities in the United Kingdom; and how many individuals this amounts to.

    The following information is in the Library. Figures are given for travel-to-work areas, the smallest areas for which unemployment rates are calculated.

    Total unemployment on 14 February 1985 in the travel-to-work areas corresponding to the 10 largest cities in the United Kingdom
    Total unemploymentPercentage rate
    Birmingham123,09916·5
    Bristol36,45511·5
    Coventry and Hinckley38,39616·0
    Edinburgh34,19211·4
    Glasgow114,02517·6
    Leeds42,88813·1
    Liverpool106,16321·0
    London370,32810·5
    Manchester111,29914·5
    Sheffield43,79015·3

    Civil Servants

    asked the Prime Minister whether the statement of procedure to be followed when the reliability of a civil servant is thought to be in doubt on security grounds, and the terms of reference of the three advisers, have been revised; and if she will make a statement.

    In the light of the Security Commission's report following its review of security procedures and practices in the public service (Cmnd. 8540) the terms of reference of the three advisers and the statement of procedure have been revised. I am arranging to have copies placed in the Library of the House.

    Scotland

    Forestry Policy

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the main achievements of his Department with regard to forestry policy in England and Wales since 1979.

    Considerable progress has been made towards achieving the forestry policy objectives for Great Britain as a whole announced by my right hon. Friend on 10 December 1980. The industry is now expanding on a sound base, with restored confidence in the private sector and improved efficiency in the Forestry Commission. The new forestry grant scheme has encouraged the private sector to take the lead in increasing the rate of new planting, while the Forestry Commission has carried through a major internal mangement reorganisation and begun the rationalisation of its forest estate through the programme of sales described by my right hon. Friend in his written reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Central (Mr. Lord) on 8 November 1984 at columns 6–7.Processing capacity has been expanded with the development of the newsprint outlet at Shotton, the expansion the Thames Board mill at Workington for carton-board production, the investments by Caberboard in medium-density fibre-board and particle-board at Cowie and Irvine and the plant for structural composition board planned by Highland Forest Products at Dalcross near Inverness.In addition, the Forestry Commission is completing a review of policy toward broadleaved woodlands designed to encourage their positive and sympathetic management, about which my right hon. Friend expects to make a statement before the summer recess.

    Equal Opportunities Officer

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will now appoint a departmental equal opportunities officer with responsibility for co-ordinating the Civil Service policy of non-discrimination within his Department.

    An officer within the personnel division of my Department has been designated since January 1984 as equal opportunities officer with responsibility for co-ordinating policy and advising on the full scope of equal opportunity matters as they concern race and sex discrimination.

    Edinburgh Western Relief Road

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it is his policy not to introduce the Confirmation Bill for the Act to confirm the Lothian Region (Edinburgh Western Relief Road) Provisional Order until the transcript of the evidence given at the recent parliamentary inquiry is available for consideration by honourable Members.

    In relation to the Lothian Region (Edinburgh Western Relief Road) Provisional Order, my right hon. Friend intends to follow the practice whereby a Confirmation Bill is not introduced until a transcript of the evidence is available to hon. Members.

    Departmental Legislation

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Acts of Parliament have been promoted and how many Statutory Instruments made by his Department, or predecessor Departments covering his areas of responsibility, in each of the last 20 years.

    Her Majesty's Stationery Office publishes annually "Lists of Statutory Instruments" and "Tables and Indices to Public and General Acts and General Synod Measures." Both of these are currently up to date to the end of 1983.Given the changes to the machinery of government over the last 20 years, apportionment of the Acts or statutory instruments to the areas of present ministerial responsibility could be done only at disproportionate cost.

    Legal Aid

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement about possible changes in the arrangements for legal aid in Scotland.

    I intend to issue a consultation document tomorrow inviting views on a range of proposals for changes in the present system of legal aid in Scotland. I have arranged for copies of the consultation document to be placed in the Library of the House today.

    Nhs (Improvement And Refurbishment Expenditure)

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what allocations he has made to health boards for expenditure on improvement and refurbishment of hospitals and other National Health Service buildings in 1985–86.

    I have allocated £25 million to health boards from the capital programme to enable them to continue the work of improving the fabric of the existing NHS estate in 1985–86. This represents an increase of 22 per cent. over the sum allocated in 1984–85 and is in addition to the £36·5 million already allocated to health boards for their ordinary capital programme for 1985–86.

    Employment

    School Leavers

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many and what percentage of school leavers have been on youth training or youth opportunity schemes in each of the last five years in the Greater London area.

    Information in the precise form requested is not available.Table 1 shows the number of school leavers in the Greater London area in each year from 1978–79 to 1982–83 (the last five years for which figures are available).Table 2 shows for the Greater London area the number of young people on the youth opportunities programme or youth training scheme in March of each year from 1980 to 1984. It should be noted, however, that trainees in a particular year will not necessarily have left school during the preceding academic year.

    Table 1: Number of school leavers in the Greater London area 1978–79 to 1982–83
    YearNumber (000s)
    1978–7992·5
    1979–8092·1
    1980–8188·2
    1981–8290·5
    1982–8391·4
    Table 2: Number of young people in the Greater London area on YOP/YTS March 1980–March 1984
    YearNumber (000s)
    19801·6
    19814·1
    19826·5
    19839·1
    198418·5

    Youth Training Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has issued guidance to (a) the Manpower Services Commission, (b) the careers service, (c) jobcentres and (d) the managing agents forums following the Commission for Racial Equality's survey of the youth training schemes about the representation of young people of Asian and West Indian origin on mode A youth training schemes.

    The Manpower Services Commission has already issued guidance on equal opportunities to all those involved in the delivery of the youth training scheme. In the light of the Commission for Racial Equality's recent survey of the scheme, the Manpower Services Commission is currently revising the guidance given.

    Public Sector Employees

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will compare the total number of persons employed in the entire public sector (a) in actual and (b) in full-time equivalent terms, where appropriate, for each of the years 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985; and if he will show these figures as a percentage of the total employed work force in each year.

    The latest available estimates are given in the table.

    Public Sector Employment in the United Kingdom
    Persons employedFull-time equivalents
    June('000)As percentage of employed labour force('000)As percentage of employed labour force
    19797,41729·36,55531·8
    19807,35629·16,51231·8
    19817,15429·46,36332·5
    19826,99229·36,16832·3
    19836,90429·36,07132·5
    19846,82528·55,97231·8

    Source: Central Statistical Office Department of Employment

    Earnings

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the number of persons in work who have net incomes per week of less than (a) £50, (b) £60, (c) £70, (d) £80, (e) £90, (f) £100, (g) £110, (h) £120.

    The latest information on the distribution of the net incomes of employed persons relates to the family expenditure survey for 1982. The table shows the cumulative percentages of those in full time employment with net incomes (gross personal income less tax and national insurance) below various amounts:

    Net incomes*below £Percentage of persons
    403
    508
    6015
    7025
    8037

    Net incomes

    *

    below £

    Percentage of persons

    9047
    10056
    11065
    12073

    * Gross income attributable to the person, both from employment or from other sources, net of national insurance and tax. This will differ from household income to the extent that full-time employees within the household are counted as separate persons, income from part-time employment is not covered and some household income for example child benefit may be attributed to a household member not in full-time employment.

    Source: Family Expenditure Survey 1982.

    Later information on the distribution of gross income from employment is available from table 1 of New Earnings Survey 1984, a copy of which is in the Library.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will publish a table showing the proportion of full-time employees in the Greater Manchester area who, in the New Earnings Survey 1984, are paid less than £105 a week and £110 a week, both when overtime earnings are excluded and included, for all males and females and sub-divided into manual and non-manual males and females.

    The available information in addition to that already published is shown in the table.

    Percentage of employees*with average gross weekly earnings less than £110 in Greater Manchester in April 1984
    Including overtimeExcluding overtime
    Full time manual men22·833·9
    Full time non manual men10·412·3
    All Full time men17·424·5
    Full time manual women82·385·6
    Full time non manual women50·051·0
    All Full time women59·160·8
    All men and women31·036·3
    * On adult rates and whose earnings were not affected by Absence.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will publish figures showing the distribution of gross hourly earnings of part-time female employees in April 1984, for the Greater Manchester area, using the format adopted for various regions of Britain in table 175 of the New Earnings Survey 1984, together with his estimate of the total numbers of women employed part-time in the Greater Manchester region.

    Figures covering the hourly earnings of all part-time employees are not available. The additional available information relating to Greater Manchester, having the same scope and coverage as table 175 of the 1984 New Earnings Survey report is as follows:

    Part-time female employees on adult rates in Greater Manchester Gross hourly earnings
    Less than: pencePercentage
    1403·1
    1606·4
    18017·3
    20046·2
    22057·0
    24068·5

    Less than: pence

    Percentage

    26077·2
    28082·2
    30085·7
    36091·4
    40093·9

    Note: The New Earnings Survey covers a sample of employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn schemes and in general will not cover employees whose earnings are below the national insurance contribution level. The employees excluded would tend to be part-time employees whose hourly earnings will not necessarily be the same as those with higher weekly earnings covered in the survey.

    The total number of part-time female employees in the Greater Manchester area is estimated to have been just under 190,000 in 1981.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish harmonised figures for January 1984 or the latest date available showing average earnings for (a) men, and (b) women in each of the member states of the European Community.

    The latest harmonised figures on average earnings for all European Community member states relate to October 1982 and were published in "Hourly Earnings and Hours of Work — X, 1982" (Eurostat, 1983). The data for most countries were updated to April 1983 in "Earnings in Industry and Services" (Eurostat, 1984.) For the United Kingdom alone, the latest information on average earnings was published in the February 1985 issue of Employment Gazette. Copies of all of these publications are in the Library.

    Community Programme And Youth Training

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment which regions of the United Kingdom will benefit from his proposal to extend the community programme providing 131,000 jobs for the long-term unemployed and to change the youth training scheme into a two-year programme for youngsters under the age of 18 years.

    All regions of Great Britain will benefit from the expansion of the community programme and the youth training scheme.My right hon. Friend has written to the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission and has asked him to proceed so that an additional 50,000 community programme places can be filled by December 1985. He has also asked the commission to make detailed recommendations for the implementation of the two-year youth training scheme.

    Noise Surveys

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many noise surveys have been undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive since the start of the campaign.

    I shall write to the hon. Member later this year when I expect an evaluation of the Health and Safety Executive's noise enforcement initiative.

    Wages Inspectorate

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) whether he will publish by region and sub-region, the latest breakdown of Wages Inspectorate staff, showing separately those who are outdoor inspectors, on an establishment and in post basis, and if he will also publish comparable figures for April 1979;(2) whether he will publish for the years 1970, 1974 and 1978 onwards in respect of the north western (east) division of Wages Inspectorate

    (a) the number of wages council establishments registered, (b) the proportion of these inspected by visit, (c) the proportion of firms inspected by visit found to be underpaying, (d) the total arrears assessed and (e) the total arrears paid;

    (3) whether he will publish estimates for 1984 on (a) establishments covered by wages councils, (b) numbers of inspections and underpayments, (c) numbers of workers covered, together with figures on underpayment and arrears assessed and (d) a regional breakdown of wages council inquiries, in the same format as that used in the reply given on 4 June 1984, Official Report, columns 103–4, together with a breakdown of arrears assessed and arrears actually paid by wages council and region; and whether he will also indicate the number and regional location of cases of underpayment where the employer was prosecuted, and where civil proceedings were taken to recover arrears of wages;

    (4) whether he will publish for the north-west (east) division of the Wages Inspectorate a breakdown by wages council of (a) the number of firms inspected and number of workers whose pay was checked, showing those by visit and those by other method, (b) the number of firms found to be underpaying, (c) the number of workers underpaid, (d) the total arrears assessed and (e) the total arrears actually recovered, in the last year for which figures are available.

    Enterprise Allowance Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many applications were submitted for consideration in the pilot enterprise allowance scheme;(2) how many applications were actually considered in the pilot enterprise allowance scheme;(3) how many applications submitted for consideration in the pilot enterprise allowance scheme proved successful in their application.

    A total of 4,992 applications were submitted and considered for the pilot enterprise allowance scheme. Of these 3,379 were approved and 3,331 started on the scheme.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many businesses have received enterprise allowance from the inception of the scheme to the latest cut-off date.

    By 28 February 1985, 72,630 people had entered the enterprise allowance scheme since it was introduced on a pilot basis in early 1982. The actual number of businesses supported is slightly lower as some participants have set up in partnership with other recipients of the allowance; but exact figures are not available.

    Attorney-General

    Football Hooliganism

    asked the Attorney-General how many prosecutions have taken place arising from incidents at or after football matches in the last year for (a) offences against the person and (b) offences against property.

    I have been asked to reply.Centrally collated statistics of prosecutions do not distinguish between those arising from incidents at or after football matches and other events.

    Transport

    The Minch (Pollution)

    58.

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what investigations his Department have made into the likely environmental consequences of a spillage from a large, crude oil-carrying tanker in the Minch; and if he will make a statement.

    The consequences of an oil spillage depend on a number of factors, including the amount of oil spilt, its type, the weather and tidal conditions at the time and the speed within which a clean-up operation can be mounted.My Departments marine pollution control unit spends just over £1 million a year on research into methods of dealing with pollution accidents at sea and on the beaches. This research is directed to the minimising of environmental effects, but it is not normally related to any particular section of coastline.

    Road Schemes

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, for each road scheme identified in table 1 of Class VI, Vote 1 of the Supply Estimates, 1984–85, he will state (i) the expenditure provision for 1984–85, (ii) the estimated actual expenditure in 1984–85, (iii) the estimate of total cost at November 1983 prices made in March 1984, (iv) the latest estimate of total cost at November 1983 prices, (v) the estimate of year of completion made in March 1984, and (vi) the latest estimate of year of completion.

    British Rail (Midland Region)

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to the answer of 27 March regarding punctuality of trains in the London Midland Region of British Rail, he will give similar data for services from Rugby to London Euston.

    I understand from British Rail that records are not readily available for this particular service in isolation.

    Heavy Lorries

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in the Official Report a list of those countries in the European Economic Community which have legal requirements that the minimum distance between heavy lorries on motorways must be at least 50 metres.

    I am not aware that any country in the Community has such a requirement, but I am making further inquiries.

    Hackney Carriage (Conditions Of Fitness)

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport which district councils have adopted the hackney carriage conditions of fitness.

    In England (outside London) and Wales hackney carriages are licensed by district councils, and it is for these authorities to determine the conditions to be attached to such licences. No central record is kept but I understand that the following 30 district councils have adopted the metropolitan conditions of fitness for hackney carriages.

    Metropolitan District Councils

    • Birmingham
    • Bolton
    • Coventry
    • Knowsley
    • Liverpool
    • Manchester
    • Salford
    • Sheffield
    • Solihull
    • Stockport
    • Trafford
    • Walsall
    • Wolverhampton
    • Wirral

    Non-Metropolitan District Councils

    • Alyn and Deeside
    • Chester
    • Corby
    • Dartford
    • Ellesmere Port
    • Halton
    • Harlow
    • Northampton
    • Norwich
    • Plymouth
    • Preston
    • Shrewsbury
    • Swansea
    • Three Rivers
    • West Lancashire
    • Wrekin

    Second Severn Crossing

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will now publish phase 1 of the feasibility study into the proposal for a second crossing of the Severn.

    Severn Bridge

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the approximate amount spent since his announcement of 7 February 1984 that £33 million would be spent on strengthening the Severn bridge.

    About £2 million has been spent on the preparation of design and associated research and development work. Tenders for preliminary work, worth about £1·4 million, have already been invited and further tenders will be invited later this year for other major strengthening works worth £18 million. This will be followed by further contracts in 1986 and 1987.

    Motorway (Repairs And Construction)

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will reconsider his proposals to reduce motorway reconstruction to 70 miles in 1985–6 and to reduce other trunk road reconstruction to 100 miles in 1985–6.

    No. We are doing as much renewal work as can reasonably be achieved, and within the funds available.

    Woolwich Ferry

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out the financial basis on which he is inviting the London boroughs of Greenwich and Newham to take over the operation of the Woolwich ferry after the proposed abolition of the Greater London council.

    The discussions in hand with local authority associations about grant arrangements following abolition include services such as the ferry, where costs will fall upon a limited number of boroughs. The Local Government Bill provides for appropriate adjustments to targets, if they continue, and to expenditure levels to reflect the actual geographical distribution of such post-GLC expenditure.

    Bridges And Tunnels

    asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list such information as he has for the Severn, Humber, Forth, Tay, Itchen, Cleddau and Tamar bridges and the Mersey, Tyne and Dartford tunnels, the total capital repayment to be made by the bridge authority, and the time scale for repayment, the annual upkeep costs and any central Government revenue provided for these costs.

    The information requested is given in the table. Central Government do not make annual contributions to revenue; they do provide loans to meet capitalisation of interest where the legislation so provides. The position on central Government loans outstanding is shown in the tabulation.

    Tolled crossings
    Total capital repayment at 31 March 1984Period for repaymentOperating and maintenance costs 1983–84Central Government loans at 31 March 1984
    £ millionYears£ million£ million
    Severn*46·140*2·60*46·1
    Humber210·0600·74160·5
    Forth21·8301·1021·8
    Tay6·7600·313·0
    Itchen10·9Between 40·600·17
    Cleddau7·3Between 50·600·123·6
    Tamar0·59
    Mersey88·6603·7027·7
    Tyne21·2301·2614·8
    Dartford66·2602·286·5
    * Publication of the 1983–84 account awaited.
    The period for repayment is different for land and construction costs at Itchen and Cleddau. Repayment periods are extendable in certain cases.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Salmon

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the overall value of the salmon trade in the United Kingdom; what he estimates to be (a) the proportion of the trade made up by salmon farmers, (b) the proportion of the trade represented by net fishermen and (c) the proportion of the trade made up by fly and line catchers; for each of these, if he will estimate the number of people involved; and how many are dependent on this type of fishing for a livelihood.

    We estimate that, of the Atlantic salmon available to the market in Great Britain in 1983, 38 per cent. came from British salmon farms, 38 per cent. from imports, 20 per cent. from commercial net fishermen and 4 per cent. from rod and line catches (not all the latter will necessarily have been marketed). In 1984 fish farm production rose by just over 50 per cent. and imports rose very slightly; final figures for net catches and rod and line catches are not yet available. Records are not available of the value of trade in salmon, of the number of people employed in the trade or of the number of people dependent on salmon fishing for a livelihood.

    Outgoers Scheme

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on progress made on the outgoers scheme for dairy farmers.

    [pursuant to his reply, 14 March 1985, c. 266]: A total of 224 million litres of milk quota is available under the outgoers scheme. A further 94 producers, each with over 725,000 litres of quota who in February reaffirmed their interest, have now been invited to join.These producers will be expected to return their claim forms within one week and to cease milk sales within three weeks but any who experience difficulties in stopping sales within this period may be allowed some extra time, individual circumstances being taken into account.Any producer in this position should contact his local divisional office.A total of 1,451 producers have now joined the outgoers scheme in our progress towards meeting the 289 million litre target.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Nicaragua

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has not condemned the threat of force by the United States of America against Nicaragua, in violation of its obligations under the United Nations charter.

    Like ourselves, the United States Administration have said that they wish to see political reform in Central America through peaceful means. United States support for the Contadora initiative was reiterated at the last United Nations General Assembly session.

    Nuclear Test Ban

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the existing verification procedures to ensure compliance with a nuclear test ban considered adequate by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution 39/52; why the United Kingdom voted against this resolution; and what attitude was taken by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

    Resolution 39/52 contained no indication of the measures its Warsaw Pact sponsors considered adequate to ensure compliance with a nuclear test ban. Because it was an unbalanced declaratory resolution which did nothing to advance the prospects for real progress towards a comprehensive test ban, the United Kingdom and the majority of our NATO Allies did not support it. The Soviet Union voted in favour of it. As I told the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) on 11 December 1984, at column 450, we believe that for a test ban to command general acceptance it must contain adequate safeguards against the danger of non-compliance by any of its signatory parties. A first step towards ensuring this would be the improvement of current verification techniques. We will continue to play an active part in any discussions of this aspect of a CTB at the Geneva conference on disarmament.

    asked the Secretary of State for foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why the United Kingdom voted against resolution 39/60 of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the immediate cessation and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

    The resolution referred to by the hon. Member called for the immediate cessation of nuclear weapons testing and urged the conference on disarmament to proceed with negotiations on a treaty. I would also refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him to his previous question.Our vote against this resolution in no way lessens our determination to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. We are fully committed to the non-proliferation regime established by the non-proliferation treaty.

    Hong Kong

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the conduct of the recent elections in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.

    In the recent elections held on 7 March for Hong Kong's local district boards, 213 seats were contested by nearly 500 candidates, and over 476,000 people voted. This represents an increase of almost 134,000 over the number who voted in the first elections in 1982. It is a very satisfactory result, and an encouraging indication of popular support in Hong Kong for the steps that are being taken to develop a more representative system of government there.

    Departmental Legislation

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Acts of Parliament have been promoted and how many statutory instruments made by his Department, or predecessor Departments covering his areas of responsibility, in each of the last 20 years.

    As my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Treasury indicated on 1 April, at column 507, in answer to a similar question from my hon. Friend, because of the changes in the machinery of government over the last 20 years, the apportionment of Acts and statutory instruments to the areas of present ministerial responsibility could be done only at disproportionate cost.

    Non-Proliferation Treaty

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards extending the competence of the European Economic Community into matters of non-proliferation; and how such proposals would affect the United Kingdom obligations under the non-proliferation treaty.

    We regard competence in non-proliferation matters as resting with the member states of the Community.Discussions on non-proliferation matters between member states are carried on in the political co-operation machinery which is outside the framework of the treaty of Rome.

    Plutonium

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 18 February, Official Report, columns 359–60, whether any plutonium produced in British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. reactors has been exported to any state without the application of nuclear safeguards since 1979; and if he will make a statement.

    All exports for civil purposes of plutonium produced in British Nuclear Fuels plc reactors have been in accordance with the guidelines set out in my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreham (Mr. Luce) answer of 18 February to the hon. Member.

    Social Services

    Health Education

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action Her Majesty's Government has taken on the proposals made in the Kirby report on health education.

    Following the report's publication in 1981 the Government-funded Health Education Council set up a training consultative group to keep under review the provision for education and training of health education officers. The council subsequently established links with the NHS training authority, to which the staff committees are now accountable. A review day is planned for 1 May, at which the Department will be represented, to update the Kirby report and consider future possibilities.

    Nhs (Supervisory And Management Boards)

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement about the establishment of the Health Services Supervisory Board and the National Health Service Management Board as recommended by the Griffiths Inquiry.

    I set up the Health Services Supervisory Board on 25 October 1983. It meets regularly under my chairmanship. Its members are the Minister for Health, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten), my noble Friend Baroness Trumpington, the Permanent Secretary, the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Nursing Officer, the chairman of the NHS Management Board and Mr. Roy Griffiths.The chairman of the NHS Management Board, Mr. Victor Paige, was appointed from 1 January this year. The board has now been constituted and is in operation within my Department and accountable to me, as follows:

    • Director of Health Authority Finance—Mrs. G. T. Banks, Under Secretary DHSS.
    • Director of Planning and Information Technology—Mr. M. J. Fairey, Chairman of the Health Service Information Advisory Group.
    • Director of Health Authority Liaison—Mr. C. Graham, Under Secretary DHSS.
    • Director of Operations—Mr. G. Hart, Deputy Secretary DHSS.
    • Director of Financial Management—to be appointed.
    • Director of Personnel—to be appointed.

    Dr. Donald Acheson, the Chief Medical Officer, and Mrs. Anne Poole, the Chief Nursing Officer, will serve on the management board, as well as being members of the supervisory board.

    The NHS Management Board will be accountable to me for the implementation within the health authorities of the Government's policies for their management. It will, on my behalf, give leadership and monitor performance, with the aim of securing improvements in services to patients and more effective use of resources. The board's membership is drawn from the NHS, the DHSS and the business world — as Roy Griffiths and his team recommended.

    Supplementary Benefit

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will investigate the recent allegations made to his Department of maladministration in his Department's local offices in Glasgow in relation to the suitable alternative furnished accommodation aspect of single payments, regulation 10, and its effect on claimants' entitlements; and if he will make a statement.

    We have no reason to believe there has been any maladministration in the Department's local offices in Glasgow. I shall be writing to the hon. Member about this matter.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when final results of the 1983 statistical inquiry of supplementary benefit claimants will be available.

    Their availability is dependent upon the overall recovery position of the Newcastle computer section, following last year's industrial action. At the current rate of recovery it is estimated that the final figures will be available by the end of May 1985, and printed tables will be placed in the Library from six to eight weeks later.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what will be the position of claimants under the new supplementary benefit regulations making applications for supplementary benefit before 1 April whose claims are not processed until after 1 April; and if they will be treated on the same basis as existing claimants for the purposes of assessing supplementary benefit and transitional protection claims.

    I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the proposed new regulations relating to board and lodging payments which are intended to apply from 29 April. Claims made before that date will be assessed in accordance with existing rules and the transitional protection provisions will apply.

    Vaccine Damage

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the number of awards made under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979, he has revised his assessment of the risk ratio involved in the use of whooping cough vaccine.

    I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member on 31 January, at column 299.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report the latest number of those awarded payments under the Vaccine Damage Act 1979; and in how many cases there were published contra-indications prior to being immunised.

    Up to 28 March 1985, 800 awards have been made under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979. It is not known in how many of these cases there were published contra-indications prior to vaccination.

    Medical Students

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his policy regarding hospitals accepting students from American medical schools for training purposes; whether such entry can occur with lower entry requirements than for British students; if capacity for British students to occupy National Health Service training places is reduced as a result; and if he will make a statement.

    We are committed to providing National Health Service clinical training facilities for undergraduates students admitted to British medical schools under criteria set by academic authorities. We have no responsibility for students from other medical schools with unknown entry requirements. However, we

    Marital status1979198019811982
    thousandsper cent.thousandsper cent.thousandsper cent.thousandsper cent.
    Lone mother89888989
    Single16181919
    Widowed16141413
    Divorced34353738
    Separated21211919
    Lone father11121111
    Total840870900930
    The percentage distributions according to marital status are derived from the general household survey by averaging the results for three years, centred on the year indicated.

    would expect health authorities involved in any such arrangements to observe the overriding obligations of patient care and certainly not to incur any additional costs on public funds. We have no present reason to suppose that undergraduate students from British medical schools have been deprived of appropriate clinical training, but we shall monitor the situation.

    Dogs (Injured Persons)