Written Answers To Questions
Monday 15 April 1985
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's current policy towards the abolition of the domestic rating system.
In the course of their studies of local government finance, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and his colleagues are examining afresh, amongst other things, the question of how in the new system local revenues might best be raised. The Government will make a statement in due course as a preliminary to wide consultation.
asked the Prime Minister if she will take steps to ensure that statistics on the annual number of strip searches made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prisons distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners, are recorded centrally in the same way for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.
No. The need for statistics to be kept is a matter to be determined according to the individual circumstances obtaining in each jurisdiction.
Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council
asked the Prime Minister whether any Departments additional to those given in her answer to the hon. Member for Belfast, South on 2 April, Official Report, column 523, and her answer of 1 April, Official Report, column 413, and Cmnd. 9094 have been involved in meetings at official level under the auspices of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council.
In addition to the departments implied in the question, officials from the Department of Education and Science have also attended meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council at official level.
asked the Prime Minister how many officials from the Cabinet Office have attended
|Commitments since 4 December||Deliveries since Amount (tonnes) Delivery Schedule 4 December from previous commitments (tonnes)|
|United Kingdom||15,000||Delivered to Ethiopian port in February||6,500|
|—food aid programme||70,000||For delivery to Ethiopian port in stages—June to August||45,000|
|—emergency aid||37,000||For delivery to Ethiopian port in stages—April to May||25,000|
(1) Distribution within the country is undertaken by the Ethiopian Government or by international and voluntary agencies, with monitoring by the World Food Programme, and is subjest to ex-post accounting.
(2) No information is available on deliveries by other member states of the Community.
meetings at official level under the auspices of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council; and if she will list the dates and locations of such meetings and the subjects discussed.
Officials attend meetings under the auspices of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council according to the subjects under discussion. It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to give information about meetings of officials.
asked the Prime Minister which Department is primarily responsible for the funding of voluntary residential hostels for single homeless alcoholics, drug addicts, ex-offenders and former psychiatric patients.
In so far as hostels and other forms of shared housing for the single homeless and other groups with special needs are provided by housing associations registered with the Housing Corporation in England, the Department of the Environment is primarily responsible for capital funding, and for revenue support where this is necessary in relation to housing management costs. According to the client group, housing associations may seek further assistance with revenue costs from other sources including local health and social services authorities and the Home Office. Hostels are also provided by other voluntary organisations which do not receive any support from Exchequer funds.
asked the Prime Minister if she will tabulate in the Official Report the tonnage of cereals to be sent to Ethiopia, as agreed at the Dublin Heads of Government meeting of the European Economic Community setting out separately the tonnage: delivered to camps, in transit on land or sea, purchased not transported and balance not purchased, together with a statement relating to the timetable of the programme.
The European Council in Dublin agreed a target for cereals food aid for the Community and its member states for delivery to African countries in 1985, but did not agree allocations to individual countries. The available information on commitments and deliveries of cereals food aid to Ethiopia by the United Kingdom and the European Community since the Dublin Council is as follows:
asked the Prime Minister whether the Government intend to give a Minister overall responsibility across Departments for recycling policy as recommended in the Trade and Industry Committee Report on "Wealth of Waste".
A Department of Trade and Industry Minister will have special co-ordinating responsibilities for issues which relate to reclamation and recycling. I have asked my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to assume this responsibility. He will not have decision making powers in areas which are properly the responsibility of other Ministers but he will have a particular responsibility for identifying any inconsistencies or omissions in Government policy, which would thenbe dealt with through the normal inter-departmental processes. He will also handle Parliamentary debates andquestions on general recycling matters which extend beyond the responsibilities of individual Ministers.The Government's full response to the Select Committee is being made public by the Committee today.
Flats (Leasehold Enfranchisement)
asked the Attorney-General if he will discuss with the chairman of the Law Commission the subject of leasehold enfranchisement for flats.
Leasehold enfranchisement is a question of policy, not law reform, and therefore unsuitable for reference to the Law Commission. On the technical aspects I have nothing to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 14 January 1985.
Loughborough University (Incident)
asked the Attorney-General if he will request a report from the chief constable of Leicestershire concerning alleged criminal offences committed by students at Loughborough university on the evening of 1 April; and if he will make a statement.
I have no power to require a chief officer of police to provide a report of the nature suggested. However, I understand that the Leicester constabulary has informed the Home Office that it has received no complaint of any criminal offence alleged to have been committed by students at Loughborough university on the evening of 1 April.
Crown Prosecution Service
asked the Attorney-General if he will make a statement in respect of Arthur Andersen's report on the Crown Prosecution Service and publish its findings.
Messrs Arthur Andersen & Co. was commissioned by the Home Office in May 1984to undertake a management consultancy survey to assist the Director of Public Prosecutions in determining working procedures and staffing levels of the new service. It expects to present its final report by the end of this month. My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary intends to publish the report as soon as practicable.
The Church Commissioners
St Alban's, Teddington
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish in the Official Report, in respect of St. Alban's, Teddington, all the press releases issued by the commissioners.
The commissioners have only published one press release in respect ofthe redundantchurch of St. Alban Teddington, namely on 28 January 1985. This release, which was made jointly with the diocess of London, was issued solely in response to a report published by The Victorian Society on this building. The text was as follows:
ST. ALBAN THE MARTYR, TEDDINGTON The Victorian Society has published a Report on the redundant church of St. Alban the Martyr, Teddington.This Report contains a number of serious inaccuracies; for example, about the care of the building since it was declared redundant and the fate of some of its contents. Following protracted consultation with Richmond Borough Council and the GLC, the London diocesan authorities reported to the Church Commissioners that they had been unable to find a suitable alternative use for the building. The alternative courses for consideration under the relevant Statute are either preservation by the Redundant Churches Fund or demolition. The present position is that the Commissioners, with whom the final decision rests, await the advice of their independent Statutory advisers before they consider carefully and then decide which of these two courses to pursue. Before givingits advice, the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches is consulting the RedundantChurches Fund about the likely cost of repairs and future maintenance, and as to whether the Fund has money available for these purposes.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish in the Official Report, in respect of St. Alban's, Teddington, all the written recommendations made to the commissioners by the redundant churches fund together with the commissioners' responses.
The redundant churches fund has made no written recommendations to the commissioners. However, under the provisions of the Pastoral Measure 1983, the advisory board for redundant churches has consulted the fund. The views of the fund were expressed to the advisory board in a letter dated 31 January 1985. I am sending a copy of the letter to my hon. Friend.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish in the Official Report, in respect of St. Alban's, Teddington, all the written recommendations made to the commissioners by the Council for the Care of Churches together with the commissioners' responses.
The Council for the Care of Churches has made no written recommendations to the commissioners. However, under the provisions of the Pastoral Measure 1968 and its successor, the Pastoral Measure 1983, the council makes reports on churches likely to be declared redundant. The only expression of the council's view with regard to St. Alban's Teddington and the nearby church of St. Mary's was made on 15 February 1973 about four years before the church was declared redundant.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, on what date the Church Commissioners received the advice of the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches on the redundant church of St. Alban's Teddington; and when the commissioners intend to publish their decision.
The final advice of the advisory board for redundant churches was received by the commissioners on 20 February 1985. The commissioners' announcement about the next steps to be taken with regard to the future of this redundant church will be published when the advisory board's advice and all other relevant factors have beenfully considered.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what Government funded research is at present being conducted into the cause and cure of muscular atrophy.
The Medical Research Council, which receives grant-in-aid through the Department, is the main Government agency for the promotion of medical research in the United Kingdom. I understand that the MRC is currently funding 37 projects into the cause and cure of muscular atrophy and that total expenditure on such research in the financial year 1983–84 (including expenditure on projects which could prove relevant to muscular atrophy) amounted to £1·1 million. I understand that research work relevant to muscular atrophy may also be conducted in universities and medical schools using funds allocated for teaching and research on the advice of the University Grants Committee, but details of such work are not collected centrally.
Scientists (Medical Research)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made by universities or other employing bodies regarding the establishment of a career structure offering continuity for non-clinical basic scientists engaged in medical research; and what steps are being taken in this direction.
These are matters between employers and their employees on which my right hon. Friend has no information.
Universities (Private Grants)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied with the current trend in the level of private grants to universities; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend is encouraged by indications that universities are increasing their income from private sources. Between the academic years 1981–82 and 1983–84 universities' incomes from endowments, donations and subscriptions, and from nonpublic grants and contracts, has increased from £91 million to £134 million, an increase in real terms of about 33 per cent. But income from such sources still represents only a small proportion of total income and my right hon. Friend believes that there is scope for continuing improvement.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will take steps to collect information centrally from the individual universities and other institutes of higher education regarding the number of staff engaged in research full-time who hold (a) tenured posts and (b) untenured posts; and, in the case of those who hold untenured posts, how many are excluded by their conditions of employment from their right to redundancy pay, or to challenge unfair dismissal;(2) if he will take steps to collect information centrally as to
(a) how many permanent posts are available in medical schools for non-medically qualified researchers, (b) how many such researchers are employed on a short-time contract basis and (c) how many medical schools in the United Kingdom include in their conditions of employment for such researchers the obligatory waiving of statutory rights to redundancy, unfair dismissal, and so on;
(3) if he will take steps to obtain central records relating to the number of contract research staff currently supported by short-term grants in universities, medical schools and other institutes of higher education who are under 30 years, between 30 and 35 years, or over 35 years; what proportion of these is women; how many of these are on (i) five-year contracts (ii) three years or less; how these figures compare with (a) 10 years ago and (b) five years ago; what proportion of these are supported by the Research Council as compared with charitable sources; and what is the breakdown for the individual research councils.
Studentships And Fellowships
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to obtain information as to the number of applications from graduates for PhD studentships and post-doctoral fellowships at institutes of higher education currently pending and, in respect of such applicants, the number who obtained their first degree (a) in the United Kingdom, and (b) overseas; and how these figures compare with those of 10 years ago.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of three and four-year-old children in each local authority area are (a) in full-time nursery education and (b) in part-time nursery education; and how this compares with each of the last five years.
The percentages of the three and four-year-old population attending nursery schools and classes in maintained nursery and primary schools in England for the past five years are as follows:
|Local Education Authority||Full-time pupils||Part-time pupils||Full-time pupils||Part-time pupils||Full-time pupils||Part-time pupils||Full-time pupils||Part-time pupils||Full-time pupils||Part-time pupils|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||21||15||23||16||23||17||21||20||21||19|
|Cornwall (including Isles of Scilly)||1||11||1||12||1||12||1||13||0||13|
Local Education Authority
|Hereford and Worcester||1||4||1||4||1||4||1||4||1||5|
|Isle of Wight||1||4||1||4||1||5||1||5||1||5|
Thornfield School, Heaton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will arrange for an inquiry to be established into the standards of education and the levels of punishment at Thornfield school, Mauldeth Road, Heaton Mersey, Stockport.
My right hon. Friend does not intend to establish an inquiry regarding Thornfield school; standards of education and discipline are matters for the Stockport local education authority, which maintains this special school for children with emotional and behavioural problems and is responsible for its day-to-day operation.
Universities (Complaints Procedures)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about complaints procedures in universities.
Universities are responsible for determining their own procedures, under the terms of their founding Instruments, my right hon. Friend is concerned however that universities should have appropriate machinery for dealing with complaints of various kinds and looks forward to the outcome of the consideration that the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals is giving to these issues.
International Youth Year
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what funding is provided for the English national co-ordinating committee for International Youth Year 1985; what percentage is available for political campaigning; and if he will make a statement.
Grants to the committee, up to 31 March 1985, have amounted to £133,850, and a further £115,000 has been offered for 1985–86 subject to the normal conditions applicable to such grants. The committee undertakes a number of activities in connection with international youth year, and grant aid is not generally allocated for separate aspects of this work.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce legislation to permit the withholding or abatement of grant in the cases of students proved to have been involved in the commission of public order offences.
Under the Mandatory Awards Regulations local education authorities have the power not to grant an award to a person who has, in their opinion, shown himself by his conduct to be unfitted to receive one.
University Grants Committee
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will increase the proposed level of allocation to the University Grants Committee for 1985–86 by an amount equivalent to the estimated increase in the burden on universities of the higher employers' national insurance contributions announced in the Budget.
This matter is under consideration.
Deaf School Leavers
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what special educational facilities are provided for young deaf school leavers to enable them to cope with their handicap and seek employment.
These matters are the responsibility of local education authorities and schools. Information on local arrangements is not collected centrally.
Deafness (Research Projects)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, of the money allocated for medical and scientific research, what proportion and how much was spent on sensory problems in the last year for which figures are available; how much was spent on the problems of (a) deafness and (b) sight; and if he will list the research projects concerned with deafness supported by his Department.
The Medical Research Council is the main Government agency for the promotion of scientific research in the United Kingdom. The council's annual report for the financial year 1983–84 indicates that the MRC allocated approximately £25 million to projects on (or which could prove relevant to) an understanding of vision, hearing, the central nervous system, the neuromuscular system, the cerebrovascular system and other sensory systems and pain. This represented about 22 per cent. of the MRC's grant-in-aid of £113·7 million in that year which itself constituted about 22 per cent. of the total science budget. The annual report shows that, of the total I have mentioned, £2·9 million is attributable to vision research and £2·2 million to hearing. I understand that the MRC is currently supporting about 50 projects on deafness, and I will write to the right hon. Member with details.I understand that research work on sensory problems, including hearing and deafness may also be conducted in universities and medical schools using funds allocated for teaching and research on the advice of the University Grants Committee, but comprehensive details of such work are not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will propose changes in the training of teachers to equip them correctly to explain the democratic procedures of Parliament and local government.
The criteria for the approval of courses of initial teacher training issued in April 1984 include the requirement that students should be given an understanding of the type of society in which pupils are growing up and of the relationship between the adult world and what is taught in schools. In particular, they should be equipped to help pupils acquire an understanding of the values of a free society and its economic and other foundations. 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 courses should receive approval. My right hon. Friend has no plans to issue more specific guidelines on the content of initial teacher training courses.
Higher Education (National Insurance Contributions)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he has made of the increased costs to (a) universities, (b) polytechnics and (c) colleges and institutes of higher education in England and Wales imposed by the changes in national insurance contributions; and if he will take steps to match these with an increase in grants.
[pursuant to his reply, 4 April 1985, c. 697]: The Department's estimate of the increased cost in the first full year of the changes in national insurance contributions for universities and other centrally funded institutions of higher education is about £10 million. The implications are under consideration.It is estimated that local authorities will gain overall from the changes: no estimates have been made for particular service sectors and the Government do not have details of all salaries and wages paid by local authorities.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ban the sale of the kung fu weapon known as Death Stars.
Metropolitan Police (Handbook)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the handbook just issued to members of the Metropolitan police called "Principles for Policing and Guidance for Professional Behaviour".
My right hon. and learned Friend did so on 2 April.
"Nuclear Winter" Theory
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, as part of his monitoring of researchi nto the nuclear winter theory, he will seek to obtain a copy of the study of Messrs. Turco, Toon, Ackerman, Pollack and Sagan.
The conclusions reached by these scientists were published in late 1983 and have long been available to the Department.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on current Government policy regarding action to counter the baiting of badgers; and if he will indicate what recent representations he has received on this subject.
Badger baiting is illegal under the Protection of Animals Act 1911. The Badgers Act 1973, by making it an offence wilfully to take, kill, injure or dig for badgers except in particular circumstances, excluding sport, gives them additional protection. The Government are sympathetic towards any reasonable measure which will strengthen the protection afforded to badgers without jeopardising legitimate activities such as field sports or pest control. They have therefore welcomed the efforts made by the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) in his Bill to amend the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to extend the law in this area and tabled an amendment during Committee stage which offered significant improvement on existing legislation. The amendment was agreed and the Government are now considering if any further amendment is possible within the policy constraints outlined.In the last six months, I have received representations on this subject from many hon. Members, members of the public and conservation groups.
Metropolitan Police (Siege Tactics)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis as to (a) the circumstances surrounding the siege in a chemist's shop in Lea Bridge road, Leyton, on 2 April, (b) details of the associated police operation and (c) whether the police sought any assistance from the army in dealing with the incident.
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that at approximately 9.30am on Tuesday 2 April Mr. Gary Osbourne entered a chemist's shop at 585 Lea Bridge road, Leyton, London E17,armed with a shotgun and took hostage the pharmacist, Mr. Malik, and his assistant, Miss Paul. Armed officers surrounded the premises and contact was made with Mr. Osbourne by intercom. At about 11.30 am the hostages were released unharmed and at 12 noon Mr. Osbourne surrendered and was arrested. No shots were fired and the police did not seek assistance from the army. Mr. Osbourne has been charged with possessing a loaded firearm with intent to endanger life.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison East Sutton Park in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(2) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Drake Hall in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(3) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Askham Grange in the years 1982, 1983and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(4) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Styal in the years 1982,1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(5) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Durham in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(6) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Cookham Wood in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(7) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Bulwood Hall in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(8) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Holloway in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;(9) how many strip searches were made on girls at Drake Hall custody centre in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;
(10) how many strip searches were made on girls at East Sutton Park custody centre in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;
(11) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Risley remand centre in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;
(12) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Pucklechurch remand centre in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners;
(13) how many strip searches were made on women prisoners in Low Newton remand centre in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984, distinguishing between prisoners held on remand and sentenced prisoners.
This information is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to require a licence for the wholesaling of alcoholic beverage.
I have at present no plans to do so.
Winson Green Prison
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have served sentences of less than one week at Winson Green prison, Birmingham, in the past three months.
According to the records held centrally, about 30 persons were initially received into Birmingham prison in the period 1 December 1984 to 28 February 1985 to serve sentences of less than one week.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is his policy towards (a) the possession and (b) the smoking of cannabis;(2) what is his response to the editorial on the law relating to cannabis in the edition of
Police Review, dated 5 April, a copy of which has been sent to him.
It is my firm policy that there should be no change in the law relating to cannabis.
Crimes Against Children
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for reports from each chief constable as to the number of children who were (a) murdered, (b) abducted and (c) sexually assaulted in 1984 and to date in 1985; how these figures compare with the previous five years; and if he will make a statement.
Trade And Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Acts of Parliament have been promoted and how many statutory instruments made by his Department, or predecessor Departments covering his area of responsibility in each of the last 20 years.
The information requested is not held centrally within the Department and given the changes to the machinery of Government over the last 20 years some of the information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.Following is the information which is readily available:
|Year*||Acts of Parliament|
|* Parliamentary Session.|
|† Calendary Year.|
|TABLE 1||PQ 2568|
|Sales of Formulated Pesticides by United Kingdom Manufacturers*|
|No. of enterprises† 1984||1983||1984||1983||1984||1984||1984||1984|
|P||4th qtr||1st qtr R||2nd qtr R||3rd qtr R||4th qtr R|
|Insecticides (other than seed dressings):|
|Containing organo-phosphorus compounds||12||46,351||57,960||8,638||13,929||21,181||12,184||10,666|
|Containing organo-chlorine compounds||9||14,457||16,725||4,106||5,501||3,453||2,792||4,979|
|Seed dressings (containing fungicides only or fungicide and insecticide) and sheep and cattle dips||4||5,496||5,272||974||683||1,647||1,563||1,379|
|Other pesticides (incl. nematocides)||4||2,255||2,185||676||579||789||266||551|
|Preparations for plant control (eg rooting compounds, anti-sprouting products, fruit setting and dropping compounds etc.):|
|Containing phenoxy derivatives of acetic, propionic or butyric acids||7||58,206||71,088||10,088||23,817||23,293||10,579||13,399|
|Other preparations for plant control||17||9,604||98,646||983||2,246||4,695||17,795||880|
|Unclassified sales (including work done)||2,597||—||745||790||729||—||746|
"Wealth Of Waste"
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will explain the reasons for the delay in the submission of the Government's reply to the report of the Trade and Industry Committee entitled the "Wealth of Waste", HC, 1983–84, No. 640; and if he will make a statement.
The Select Committee's report was published on 19 December, just before the Christmas recess. In the preparation of the Government's response, there had to be consultations between several interested Departments and consideration give to the views of outside bodies. It was therefore agreed with the Chairman of the Committee that some extension of the normal timescale was in order. As was indicated in an earlier reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Erewash (Mr. Rost) on 2 April 1985 at column 469 the Governemt's response was delivered to the Committee on 25 March.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total quantity of organophosporus pesticides manufactured in the United Kingdom annually.
There is no information available on the quantity of organophosporus pesticides manufactured in the United Kingdom but figures for the value of sales by United Kingdom manufacturers are published in table 1 of the Business Monitor PQ 2568 Formulated Pesticides, copies of which are in the Library.
No. of enterprises† 1984
1st qtr R
2nd qtr R
3rd qtr R
4th qtr P
Total sales of principal products of Activity Heading 2568 (Formulated pesticides) and work done
Less sales (included above) of principal products for AH 2568 by establishments classified to other industries
Plus sales by establishments classified to AH 2568 of principal products of other industries
Plus sales of Merchanted goods
|Total sales and work done by establishments clasified to AH 2568 and contributing to the inquiry*||11||639,428||734,083||138,950||198,224||203,832||161,776||170,250|
|Total sales and work done by all establishments classified to AH 2568‡||682,400||785,300||147,700||211,700||217,700||173,400||182,500|
* Please see note on coverage in introduction. Sales are deliveries on sale for home and abroad: forward sales are excluded. Values are net selling values: value added tax, trade discounts and commissions are excluded.
|† An enterprise comprises one or more establishments under common ownership or control. The figure shown isthe largest number of enterprises contributing to the heading in any one of the four quarters of 1984.|
|‡ The figures against this heading include estimates for establishments classified to Activity Heading 2568but not contributing to the inquiry. These estimates were revised in the Q3/84 monitor following a major review of the register of businesses used for Business Statistics Office inquiries. For further information on the revisions or on grossed-up estimates in general, please see the Q3/84 edition of Business Monitor PQ1002.|
Exchange Risk Cover
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry why the Government's exchange risk cover on European Investment Bank loans to private industry in non-assisted areas was terminated on 31 December 1984.
The rising costs of operating the exchange risk guarantee scheme and the availability of alternative sources of finance led to my decision to withdraw the scheme for lending outside the assisted areas under the new Community instrument. This took effect from 31 December 1984, with suitable transitional arrangements being agreed with agents. This decision was taken as part of a more general review of the effectiveness of the scheme.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, pursuant to his statement on 2 April, Official Report, columns 1073–9, concerning the use of an optical character recognition machine at Mount Pleasant sorting office, he will make a statement on the agreements relating to the use of the machine and the date of their termination.
No. That is a matter for the Post Office and the Union of Communication Workers.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the total value of (a) imports and (b) exports of silk and silk products into and from the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years; and what each of these figures is as a percentage of total textile imports and exports in each of those years.
The information is as follows:
|United Kingdom Trade in Silk and Silk Products and Textiles|
|Silk and Silk Products||Textiles||Silk per cent||Silk and Silk Products||Textiles||Silk per cent|
SITC/R2 Division 65, Groups 266 and 267. Sub-group 268.7 (part), and item 847.11 in the United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.
Silk and Silk Products
SITC/R2 Sub-groups 651.1 and 654.1, items 654.99 tariff-code 5804-0500, 656.01 5805-2000, and 657.73 5917-2100 in the United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.
(i) These definitions for textiles and silk do not include items of clothing or raw materials. Silk and silk products included as part of other headings are also excluded.
(ii) Due to changes in classification between SITC/R1 and SITC/R2 in 1978 it is not possible to provide corresponding data prior to that date.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has concerning the value of the annual output of the silk and silk product industries in each of the other member countries of the European Community.
The readily available information is in the table.
Production* in the Silk Industry
Millions of ECU s
Federal Republic of Germany
Exchange Rate ECUs to £
* Production value (excluding VAT)
|† not available|
Source: Eurostat (CRONOS).
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has concerning the tonnage and value of tussah silk imported from China in each of the last 10 years.
Tussah silk is not separately identified in the United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.
the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what regulations currently cover the import of tussah silk into the United Kingdom from China.
Imports of certain woven fabrics of tussah silk from China are free of quantitative restrictions provided they are certified as such by the appropriate Chinese authorities. Such tussah silk fabrics are those containing not less than 50 per cent. weight of tussah silk and exceeding 585g per 10 square metres in the gum or 485g per 10 square metres degummed. All other silk fabrics exceeding 585g per 10 square metres in the gum or 485g per 10 square metres degummed are subject to a quantitative limit of 65 tonnes perannum from China, as provided by Council Decision 84/657/EEC of 18 December 1984.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce his proposed regulations concerning the safety of child buggy pushchairs; and if he will make a statement.
As stated in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman) on 19 December 1984 at column 288, I hoped to lay draft new regulations before the House this spring. However the EC Commission considers that in their present form the regulations would create a barrier to tradeand has asked for their introduction tobe suspended until this question has been resolved.The Government rely on safety grounds as justification for the regulations. I cannot say at present when the regulations will go ahead.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Patent Office officials sit on, or are associated with, committees or legal or administrative bodies linked to copyright protection.
One Patent Office official acts as secretary to the performing right tribunal which was established by the Copyright Act 1956.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list all Patent Office research projects over the past three years which have wholly or partly been funded by legal or administrative bodies linked to copyright protection.
There have been no such projects.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give the value of United Kingdom visible exports of non-oil manufactures per head of those employed in the manufacturing industries for each of the years 1980 to 1984, explaining the basis of computation.
The information requested is as follows. The figures represent United Kingdom exports of principal products of industries classified to the manufacturing sector (divisions 2 to 4 of the Standard Industrial Classification 1980) divided by the corresponding June estimates for United Kingdom employees in employment.
|Exports per head by the manufacturing sector|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he intends to make any changes in the advisory services provided by his Department to small businesses.
I do not at present plan any further changes to the advisory services provided by my Department tosmall businesses following those I announced on 27 March when I launched the new support for business package. Under this package all DTI support measures have been grouped under four headings in order to make it easier for firms to understand what is on offer. Business and technical advisory services are one of the headings in the package, and there are three main elements to these services. They are:
A change in the assistance available under the products and process consultancy heading is that the eligible firm size is now 1–500 employees for all the services available, which widens the scope for small and medium sized firms to benefit than was the case hitherto. Further details of the assistance available can be found in the Department's Support for Business pamphlet, a copy of which is being placed in the Library.
(1) Advice for small firms (2) Products and process consultancy (3) Grants for new technology feasibility studies
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consideration will be paid in cash by GEC to British Shipbuilders for Yarrow Shipbuilders; what percentage this represents of the total price; and whether this sum is to be paid on the handing over of the yard to its new owners.
My right hon. Friend has consented to the sale of Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. to GEC on the following terms.
|Payable for the shares, in cash by GEC on completion of the sale||17·15|
|Loan to be repaid by Yarrow Shipbuilders to BS on completion of the sale||3·08|
|Dividend to BS declared by Yarrow Shipbuilders before completion||10·00|
|Estimated payment to be made March 1986 by Yarrow Shipbuilders to BS for group tax relief||3·70|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give the details of the loans outstanding to date to Yarrow Shipbuilders, and if they will be settled prior to the sale of Yarrows to GEC.
There is currently a loan of £3·082 million owed by Yarrow Shipbuilders to British Shipbuilders. This loan will be repaid on completion of the sale to GEC.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been paid in dividend by Yarrow Shipbuilders to British Shipbuilders in each year from 1980–81 to 1984–85 inclusive.
In the year ended 31 March 1981 Yarrow Shipbuilders declared an interim dividend of £44,000for that year.In the year ended 31 March 1982 the company declared a final dividend of £20,475,000 for the previous year. This dividend took into account profits made by the company since nationalisation; no dividends, other than the interim dividend of £44,000 paid in the year ended 31 March 1981, having been paid previously.In the year ended 31 March 1983 the company declared a final dividend of £5,116,000 for the year ended 31 March1982.In the year ended 31 March 1984 the company declared a final dividend of £4,067,000 for the year ended 31 March1983.
In the year ended 31 March 1985 the company declared a final dividend of £6,343,000 for the year ended 31 March1984 and an interim dividend of £10 million in respect of the period 1 April 1984 to 22 February 1985.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the following companies last filed their reports: Leisure Arts Centre Ltd., Gomba Holdings UK Ltd. and Arena Holdings Ltd.; and whether they were filed within the statutory period.
There is no company registered under the name Leisure Arts Centre Ltd. However, a company registered as LLAC Ltd. last filed an annual return and accounts on 10 October 1984. The annual return was eight months late, but the accounts were filed within the permitted period. Gomba Holdings UK Ltd. last filed an annual return on 26 June 1984and accounts on 22 December 1983. They were 4½ months and seven weeks late respectively. Arena Holdings Ltd. was incorporated on 23 December 1983 and no annual return or accounts have yet become due.
Field asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on his discussions with the British Scrap Federation in respect to the export of scrap metals to Spain.
My hon. Friend the Minister for Industry recently met the British Scrap Federation, when discussion concentrated on the availability and price of scrap.During the meeting reference was made to the escalating price of scrap sold to Spanish producers. The federation pointed out that the Spanish price reflected the dollar price (the United States being the dominant influence on prices) and was not above the world market price.During the 26 March Steel Council Ministers while noting the recent fall in the price of scrap in the EC agreed that the European Commission should investigate the effect of Spanish purchases on the Community market.
Industrial Building Allowance
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to make an announcement about the future of the 100 per cent. industrial building allowance for small industrial premises.
The 100 per cent. industrial building allowance scheme ended on 26 March 1985.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to publish the results of the review undertaken by his Department of the 100 per cent. industrial building allowance for small industrial premises.
The results of the review will be published shortly.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total value of claims for payment of advance export refunds on meat under European Economic Community regulation 565/80 for which payment has still to be madeto Northern Ireland exporters for meat accepted by the Intervention Board during November 1984, December 1984, January 1985 and February 1985, respectively.
This information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress he has made in securing intervention grain for Northern Ireland.
There is no provision at present for the transfer of intervention grain to deficit regions of the Community.
Pesticides And Herbicides
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what representations he has received about his Department's specification of the Draize procedure in the testing of pesticides and herbicides; and what response he has given;(2) what efforts his Department has made to find an alternative to the Draize procedure in the testing of pesticides and herbicides.
The most recent representation received by my Department came from the Lord Dowding fund for humane research. The reply explained that while in vitro methods for the assessment of severe eye irritation (as opposed to the in vivo Draize test) may be of value as preliminary screening methods for use with compounds or products for which the eye irritation potential is unknown, their ability to detect the relatively low level of eye irritation which may be caused by many pesticides has yet to be adequately demonstrated. I am advised that some in vivo testing is necessary but our pesticides data requirements are currently being revised in order to reduce animal testing to the minimum.Products containing components already known to be irritating to the eye will not be required to be tested undiluted; active ingredients and formulations which are severe skin irritants, or which are strongly acidic or alkaline, may be assumed to be eye irritants and thus will not have to be tested in concentrated form; there is also a strong recommendation not to test in the eye materials known to be corrosive to skin. Furthermore, where substances of unknown irritancy need to be tested, application should be made initially to one animal only, before proceeding to a further two animals, provided it is not shown to be strongly irritant in the first animal.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of the Agriculture Council in Luxembourg which took place from 1 to 4 April.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Devon, West (Sir P. Mills) on 3 April at column 614.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions in the 12 months to 31 March the Banana Trade Advisory Committee submitted advice to his Department; and what action was taken by his Department on each occasion as a result of the advice given.
The Banana Trade Advisory Committee meets once a month. In the light of its advice, my Department makes recommendations to the Department of Trade and Industry concerning the issue of licences for the import of bananas from the dollar area to the importers of bananas from the Windward Islands and Jamaica, to whom we have obligations underthe Lomé convention.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) on how many occasions in the 12 months to 31 March the Hill Farming Advisory Committee for England, Wales and Northern Ireland submitted advice to his Department; and what action was taken by his Department on each occasion as a result of the advice given;(2) on how many occasions in the 12 months to 31 March the Agricultural Economics Technical Committee submitted adviceto his Department; and what action was taken by his Department on each occasion as a result of the advice given.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
Veterinary Investigation Service
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now make a statement on the efficiency study of the Veterinary Investigation Service.
I have now completed consideration of the report of this study which I commissioned last year. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.The report contains 37 recommendations designed to reduce Exchequer costs and increase the efficiency of the service. The proposals fall into four main categories, the main thrust of which I endorse.First, I agree with the study officers on the need to establish clear objectives and management priorities in the VIS, in particular as regards research and development work. Implementation will form part of the action now in train following last year's study of ADAS (of which the VIS is a part) by its Director General, Professor Bell.Secondly, the study advocated action to recover a greater proportion of the costs of the service. Again, action to implement these recommendations will proceed in step with the similar recommendations on charging for ADAS services in Professor Bell's report.Thirdly, the study officers proposed a reduction in the number of centres from 24 to 15 but with an increase in their average size.I have already received representations from many Members on behalf of farmers and veterinarians expressing concern that the services offered will be adversely affected if particular centres are closed. I have taken careful note of these representations, but I believe that it should be possible to continue to meet the essential needs of the industry from fewer centres.
As to the specific proposals, I believe a strong case has been made for closure of the centres at Northampton, Chester, Liverpool and Cardiff. I also recognise the case for closure of the centre at Gloucester subject to satisfactory alternative arrangements for continuing the important work done there on badgers and tuberculosis control. As regards the centres at Leeds and Lincoln, the need to service the important pig industry in Humberside may require the retention of one orother of these centres or the opening of a new one.
I have commissioned cost appraisals of the options. I have also commissioned cost appraisals of the study officers' proposals for opening 2 new centres to replace the centres at Truro, Starcross, Winchester and Wye. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I are agreed that the proposal for closure of the centre at Aberyswyth should not be pursued.
Finally, a new management structure for the VIS is recommended. I have some reservations as to the detail of the study officers' proposals but this is for consideration in the light of the new infrastructure of the service that is finally agreed.
The total savings achievable as a result of the study recommendations will depend on the outcome of the further studies and of the consultations with outside interests which I am now setting in train. I would hope that these consultations can be completed over the next two months.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list those member countries ofthe European Economic Community in which no comprehensive list of milk producers exists.
I shall reply to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.
|Table 1—Common Intervention (or Equivalent) Prices at Commencement of Marketing Years|
|Common Wheat||Reference price (minimum quality breadwheat)||—||—||—||131·00||135·59||136·96||168·06||175·20||184·84||198·70||203·67||195·52|
|Intervention price (feed wheat)||105·80||115·53||125·93||116·00||120·06||121·57||149·17||155·88||165·23||179·27||184·58||182·73|
|Rice||Intervention price (paddy rice)||131·30||143·40||154·87||164·16||171·55||174·98||218·48||233·71||259·42||290·55||306·53||314·19|
|Sugar||Intervention price (white sugar)║||235·70||264·80||304·50||331·40||346·00||354·70||432·70||461·60||505·00||556·60||577·20||577·20|
|Olive Oil||Intervention price||877·50||946·10||1427·10||1376·40||1346·20||1411·40||1731·90||1801·20||1963·30||2179·30||2299·20||2276·20|
|Rape and Colza||Basic intervention price||204·50||223·30||247·90||267·70||277·10||288·20||353·60||367·70||397·10||421·30||438·00||429·20|
|Wine||Guide price (per hectolitre)¶||30·40||35·43||38·26||40·75||42·18||43·02||52·79||55·69||61·26||68·00||71·74||71·02|
|Butter||Intervention price (82% fat)||1760·00||1835·80||1946·30||2180·80||2309·50||2357·20||2849·70||2916·00||3178·40||3497·00||3578·60||3197·00|
|Skimmed Milk powder||Intervention price||660·00||827·40||887·00||901·60||940·90||947·80||1157·90||1215·10||1324·50||1462·30||1496·40||1658·80|
|Beef and veal Pigmeat*||Intervention price (adult bovines)*||775·80||912·00||989·60||1068·70||1106·10||1133·70||1391·20||1446·80||1555·40||1726·80||1863·80||1845·20|
|* There were two price settlements in 1974: the prices shown are those fixed in the Autumn.|
|† On the date when the ECU first applied for the purposes of the common agricultural policy (9 April 1979) 1 ua=1·208953 ECU.|
|‡No separate price for wheat of breadmaking quality prior to 1976/77.|
|║From 1977/78 the intervention price for sugar is shown inclusive of storage levy.|
|¶ Intervention measures are triggered when market prices reach fixed proportions of the guide price for the different types. The prices shown are the guide price for Type A 11.|
|● Intervention buying is available for specified carcase categories at different times of the year at specified buying in prices.|
|▀ No pigmeat intervention buying schemes have operated in the EC in these years. A special, short term scheme will operate in part of Belgium from 3 April until 15 April due to market disruption caused by disease.|
|Table 2—Intervention prices applicable in the United Kingdom at commencement of marketing years|
|Common Wheat||Reference Price (Minimum quality breadwheat)||—||—||—||64·04||73·59||86·86||97·69||108·39||144·35||122·93||126·00||120·96|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the answer of 7 December 1984,Official Report, column 295, and 19 December 1984, Official Report, column 201 onwards, if he will provide the latest available figures for the quantities of produce stored in European Economic Community food stores in the United Kingdom.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the average market prices and intervention prices (or equivalent) for all the main European Economic Community farm products for each year since 1973 (a) for the European Economic Community as a whole and (b) for the United Kingdom separately.
[pursuant to his reply, 1 April 1985, c. 420]: Information on common intervention prices is set out for the main commodities in table 1. Intervention prices applicable in the United Kingdom are shown in table 2. Indications of market price movements are shown in table 3 which contains index numbers for main commodities from the European Community index of producer prices of agricultural products. Details of average market prices in the United Kingdom are shown, for recent years, in table 29 of the "Annual Review of Agriculture 1985" (Cmnd. 9423): data for earlier years are contained in previous White Papers, copies of these are obtainable through the Library of the House.
|Intervention Price (feed wheat)||31·28||41·37||50·62||56·12||65··44||77·10||86·71||96·44||102·22||110·91||114·19||113·05|
|Rice||Intervention Price (paddy rice)‡||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Sugar||Intervention Price (white sugar)║||91·43||113·90||160·30||194·46||208·84||231·29||258·52||293·06||319·91||351·83||364·57||364·57|
|Olive Oil||Intervention Price‡||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Rape and Colza||Basic intervention price||70·74||89·26||107·56||137·39||154·52||182·28||205·53||227·48||245·67||260·64||270·97||265·53|
|Wine||Guide price (per hectolitre)‡||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Butter||Intervention Price 82% fat||406·39||543·31||684·02||981·77||1170·26||1494·95||1656·43||1804·00||1966·33||2163·44||2213·92||1977·84|
|Skimmed Milk Powder||Intervention Price||30·93||412·61||452·61||513·56||535·94||607·44||673·05||751·73||819·41||904·66||925·76||1026·22|
|Beef and veal Pigmeat●||Intervention price (abult bovines)¶||291·07||386·43||447·55||562·04||624·42||719·00||808·65||895·07||962·26||1068·29||1153·05||1141·54|
* There were two price settlements in 1974: the prices shown are those fixed in the Autumn.
|†No separate price for wheat of breadmaking quality prior to 1976/77.|
|‡Intervention is not available in the United Kingdom.|
|║ From 1977/78 the intervention price for sugar is shown inclusive of storage levy.|
|¶Intervention buying is available for specified carcase categories at different times of the year at specified buying in prices.|
|● No pigmeat intervention buying schemes have operated in the United Kingdom.|
Table 3: EC Index of Producer Prices*— EC 10
|Olives and olive oil||60·2||98·3||100·0||102·8||120·4||125·7||140·8||162·3||186·0||211·5||256·0|
|Wine must or wine||115·8||102·2||100·0||120·1||140·8||166·9||186·8||189·4||194·5||225·4||230·3|
|Cattle excluding calves||87·4||83·4||100·0||110·6||120·6||130·4||136·5||144·7||163·2||184·1||191·3|
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, 3 April 1985, c. 63]: Milk producers are being given a secondchance to enter the outgoers scheme. Both those who did not apply last year and those who did not accept the initial offer may claim the payments for going out of milk production. The scheme is however being reopened for a limited period only. The necessary application and claims forms may be obtained from the Ministry's divisional offices and should be completed and returned by Friday 3 May 1985. Claimants will have to stop selling milk by Friday 7 June 1985 at the latest. The Milk Supplementary Levy (Outgoers) Scheme came into operation on 24 July 1984. Producers who wished to surrender their quota as outgoers were invited to make application to join the scheme by 28 August 1984. The aim of the scheme was to take in 2·25 per cent. of the quota for England and Wales, a total of 289 million litres. Initially a total of 4,826 producers applied, offering to surrender four times this amount of quota. So far 1,463 producers with 234 million litres have confirmed their wish to give up milk production and a few cases have yet to be settled. The majority however have decided to stay in milk production after all. This allows a second chance to be offered to producers generally.Any producer who sold milk in England and Wales and qualified for a quota allocation from April 2 1984 can apply provided that they have not previously benefited under the non-marketing of milk, dairy herd conversion or farm structures (payments to outgoers) schemes. Claims from tenants will need to be supported by their landlords. Outgoers' payments can be either:(i) For loss of profits in the five years immediately after the date on which production of milk for sale ceases. Suchpayments will be made at the rate of 2·6p a year for each litre of quota which are to be given up under the scheme; or(ii) As compensation for the surrender of quota at the rate of 13p per litre, with a total lump sum due being paid outin five equal annual instalments.Payments under the scheme will be taxed as income if they are made in respect of loss of profits or as capital, if they are made as compensation for the surrender of quota. In each case the first payment will be made as soon as possible after the date on which milk sales have ceased and subsequent payments will be made at yearly intervals thereafter.When outgoers submit their claims they will have to give several undertakings. The most important of these are that they will give up their quota allocation in its entirety and that they will not be involved with the production of milk for sale as long as the Community milk quota regulations last.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what grounds his Department or others refuse a plant health licence or certificate for the purpose of importing trees or parts of trees from Scandinavia.
I have been asked to reply.
The importation of forest grown conifer trees over three metres in height is prohibited because at this size they are potential hosts of harmful organisms which could pose a threat to British tree stock.
A small number of licences are granted by the Forestry Commission to permit entry from October to December of cut "Christmas trees" of this size traditionally gifted from Scandinavia for public display during the festive season. Only exceptionally are licences granted for the import of trees for any other purpose.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will indicate (a) how many Christmas trees were imported into the United Kingdom from Sweden or Norway in 1984, (b) what steps were taken to ensure that such trees were pest free and (c) what size limits and other criteria were used in deciding whether to allow an import to take place.
I have been asked to reply.Thirteen Christmas trees were imported into Great Britain from Norway or Sweden in 1984. These were large trees over 3metres in height traditionally gifted for public display and imported under individual Forestry Commission licences; eachwas accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the plant health authority in the exporting country and was inspected on arrival by a commission plant health inspector. No Christmas trees were imported into Northern Ireland from these countries.
Khartoum North Power Station
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects Khartoum north power station to be operational.
It is expected that reliability trials will be completed by the end of April and the station will then become fully operational.
Sub-Saharan Africa (Aid)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the special United Kingdom aid programme in sub-Saharan Africa will be co-ordinated with that of the World Bank.
We expect to agree in advance with the bank proposals for associating our money with the African special facility in joint operations in particular countries. Where the bank makes a commitment we would express our part of that commitment in a separate aid agreement with the beneficiary. We would be working together to support specific reform programmes.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what studies are being financed by his Department into the problem of increasing desertification of the regions south of the Sahara.
We have commissioned research into soil moisture content in sub-Saharan Africa, at Reading university, using data from the METEOSAT Satellite; climatic trends in the Sahel currently being undertaken by the university of East Anglia; suitability of tropical hardwoods for growing in arid zones by the Commonwealth Forestry Institute at Oxford; and a simple technique to estimate direct recharge from the rainfall level to the groundwater system by geochemical methods being carried out in the Sudan by the British Geological Survey. We also support the United Nations environment programme and OECD initiatives in the area of desertification.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give his most up-to-date estimate of the need for food aid for Ethiopia.
The latest estimate of the need for food aid is 1·33 million tonnes, as agreed with the Ethiopian Government representatives at the United Nations conference in Geneva on 11–12 March. Of this, current pledges total about 1·03 million tonnes. We expect the balance to be covered by other pledges not yet allocated to specific countries.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the main items of expenditure and the total sums expended from the contingency reserve within the Vote for overseas aid in the year 1984–85.
The main allocations were for emergency and food aid for disaster and refugee relief, bilateral country programmes, multilateral contributions, British Council and voluntary agencies.The provisional forecast of spending from the contingency reserve allocations for these items is some £44 million in 1984–85.
Credit Card Companies (Infraction Proceedings)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the formal letter sent to him by the European Economic Community Commission on 19 February on the question of the possibility of infraction proceedings on the exempt status of credit card companies in relation to their value added tax transactions.
Exchanges of correspondence with the Commission concerning the possibility of infraction proceedings are not made public.
Howell asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether he will publish the latest available comparisons of industrial contract gas prices for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France;
(2) whether he will publish the latest available comparisons of industrial electricity prices for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France;
(3) whether he will publish the latest available comparisons of domestic natural gas prices for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France;
(4) whether he will publish the latest available comparisons of domestic electricity prices for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France;
Average revenue from sales of gas to house holds in pence per therm
Average revenue from sales of gas electricity to households in pence per kwh
Average Price of petrol in pence per litre
Average revenue from sales of gas to industry in pence per therm
Average revenue from sales of electricity to industry in pence per kwh*†
Average price of heavy fuel oil to industry in £s per tonne
|Japan||‡(106·9)||‡(8·28)||46·18||‡ (75·5)||‡ (6·28)||155·49|
|United States of America||46·2||¶16·15||24·64||¶30·6||¶4·02||143·65|
* It should be borne in mind when interpreting these figures that industrial electricity prices generally vary according to time of year, because of the seasonal element present in most industrial tariffs. Hence a different picture might be obtained for a different time of year, depending on how the seasonal components in the individual country tariffs operated.
|‡Data from alternative sources produces a different picture. For example, Electricity Council figures show that as at 1 August 1984 for industrial consumers with an annual maximum demand of 2,500 kw at 40 per cent. load factor, average prices paid were:|
|‡ Average for 1983·|
|║As of 1983 original ex-tax prices paid by industry and households are no longer available for France and these figures are OECD estimates.|
|¶ Prices exclude taxes, which are levied by the states and which vary between 2 and 6 per cent.|
Note:(i) The prices shown above for gas and electricity are based on average revenue per unit consumed. In general this will differ from the price derived for a given level of annual consumption.
(ii) International comparisons of energy prices are difficult to construct because of incompatibilities in the basic data. They require careful interpretation because of movements in exchange rates and variation in the timing of tariff revisions between countries. The above figures are based on exchange rates prevailing for the year 1983 and the third quarter 1984 as appropriate.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether, in light of the publication on 5 March 1984 by the then United States Energy Secretary, Donald Hodel, of the isotopic composition of plutonium received by the United States from the United Kingdom under the mutual defence agreement of 1958, he will reconsider his Department's earlier withholding of details of this matter.
North Sea Oil And Gas
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the total amount and value in 1983–84 of (a) the oil and (b) the gas, produced offshore in the North sea (i) north of latitude 55° 50' north and (ii) south of latitude 55° 50' north.
The total amount of oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) produced offshore in the United Kingdom sector of the North sea north of latitude 55° 50' north in 1983–84 was 118.6 million tonnes,with a value
(5) whether he will publish the latest available comparisons of heavy fuel prices, including tax, for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France;
(6) whether he will publish the latest available comparisons of retail petrol prices, including all taxes, for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and France.
The latest available comparisons of energy prices, for the countries and fuels specified, relate to the third quarter of 1984, and are shown in the table.of £17·6 billion. No oil is produced offshore south of this latitude and only a small amount of NGLs-0·2 million tonnes, worth £29 million.In the same year 11 billion cubic metres of gas, valued at £656 million, were produced north of latitude 55° 50' north, for disposal to BGC. South of this latitude 27 billion cubic metres of gas were produced, valued at £510 million.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Ec/Israel Co-Operation Council
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the current work of the European Community/Israel Co-operation Council and United Kingdom participation in it.
The EC/Israel Co-operation Council last met on 20 February 1984 when the operation of the EC/Israel co-operation agreement was reviewed and the Community confirmed its assurance that the implications of enlargement for the agricultural exports of its Mediterranean partners would be taken into account. The Israeli Government have requested a meeting of the Council in 1985, but no date has yet been fixed. The United Kingdom plays a full part in the preparations for and is represented at meetings of the EC/Israel Cooperation Council, although only the Presidency and Commission speak on behalf of the Community.
Sir Antony Acland (Visit To Israel)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the recent visit to Israel by the permament under-secretary of state, Sir Antony Acland.
The permanent under-secretary of state of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office visited Israel from 19–24 March. He held talks with the Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry on the Middle East and other international issues. He also called on the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence and met a group of Palestinians from the occupied territories.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements are made for diplomats to receive training in modern Hebrew, along the lines of the detailed arrangements for Arabic described in the answer of 18 July 1984, Official Report, column 243; and how many serving diplomats have received training in both languages.
Intensive training in Hebrew, for which the Diplomatic Service has a much smaller requirement (one officer every four years) than for Arabic, is carried out in Israel.The students attends an ulpan (a language school which is part of a kibbutz) for a course of five months' duration. Helives on the kibbutz and participates in its activities. He spends a further period of about two months at a university before taking up a diplomatic post in Israel.No serving officer has been trained in both Hebrew and Arabic, though one Arabist currently in London has some knowledge of Hebrew.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in which countries the United Kingdom is represented by a third country.
The United Kingdom is represented by third countries in Argentina, Guatemala, Iran and Libya.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those countries whose Governments have not been accorded diplomatic status by Her Majesty's Government.
The United Kingdom does not have diplomatic relations with the following States:
United Nations Secretariats
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the Departments which have provided funds to support the work of the secretariats for the United Nations International Years of the Child 1979, Disabled People 1981 and Youth 1985; and if he will indicate in each case the amount of money involved.
The Overseas Development Administration made a voluntary contribution of £150,000 to the secretariat for the international year of the child. It also made £90,000 available for two special projects overseas. Of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's assessed contributions to the United Nations regular budget about £41,000 can be attributed to the secretariat for the international year of the disabled person. So far about £38,450 of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's contributions to the regular budget can be attributed to the secretariat for the international youth year.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports were received by Her Majesty's Government of the press conference held in Lima by President Belaunde Terry on 2 May 1982 prior to receipt of the report from Her Majesty's ambassador in Lima sent at 01.44 GMT on 3 May 1982; from where these were received; at what times; and if he will make a statement.
I have nothing to add to the answer which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave the hon. Member on 29 March. at column 293.
Anglo-Irish Encounter Organisation (Funding)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any grant in aid is made by any foreign Government to the Anglo-Irish Encounter Organisation; and if he will make a statement on the contribution of his Department under Supply Estimate, class II, vote I, to that organisation.
The Government of the Republic of Ireland have also provided funding for the Anglo-Irish Encounter Organisation. We contributed £17,000 in 1983–84, £20,000 in 1984–85 and have made provision of £24,000 for the use of the Organisation in 1985–86.
Eugenics And Genetic Engineering
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give details of any discussions the Government have held and programmes they have negotiated in relation to eugenics and genetic engineering, including research programmes (a) in the European Economic Community and (b) in the United States of America; and what proposals there are for any such further discussions and programmes, harmonisation of laws and international agreements in that field of activity.
The United Kingdom complies with a European Community Recommendation of June 1982 on the registration of work on recombinant DNA. A sub-element of the Community's five-year research programme in biotechnology, agreed in December 1984, concerns genetic engineering.Aspects of the research undertaken at the European molecular biology laboratory, of which the United Kingdom is a member, also concern genetic engineering. The United Kingdom takes part in discussions in the scientific and technological policy committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the safety and use of genetically engineered organisms.As to the specifically human aspects, the United Kingdom participates in discussions in an ad hoc committee of expertsat the Council of Europe established to examine the ethical and legal implications, including the feasibility of harmonising laws among member states. Non-governmental British representatives attended the conference on the life sciences and mankind organised by the Japanese Government in March 1984, and there will also be a British contribution to the follow-upconference which the French Government are to hold between 18 and 22 April.
Latin America (Human Rights)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all reports published in the last three years by the United Nations Human Rights Commission regarding countries in Latin America.
In each of the years 1983,1984 and 1985, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights had before it reports from its special rapporteurs or representatives on the human rights situation in El Salvador, Guatemala and Chile and also reports from its Special Envoy to Bolivia on the provision of Advisory Services to that country. Copies of these published reports are available in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why he added a qualifying statement to the United Nations convention on torture which the United Kingdom has recently ratified; if he will publish in the Official Report the text of the qualifying statement; and whether other countries added similar statements.
The following statement was made on signature of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
This was to reserve our position should we consider any such reservations or declarations necessary for technical or legal reasons on ratification.Of the countries which have signed thus far, none has made similar statements."The United Kingdom reserves the right to formulate, upon ratifying the Convention, any reservations or interpretative declarations which it might consider necessary."
British Air Space
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many diplomatic representations protesting at intrusions by aircraft of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics into British air space have been made since the Government took office.
[pursuant to his reply, 21 March 1985, c. 575]: No such representations have been necessary.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the total of net receipts of tax from self-employed taxpayers for each of the last five financial years.
The available information relates to tax units (ie counting married couples as one unit) whose main source of income — usually but not always the largest source—is self-employment income, and is in terms of the total liability to income tax in each tax year including investment income surcharge and the liability on income taxed at source.
|* Provisional estimate.|
European Monetary System
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the consequences of the United Kingdom joining the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system for United Kingdom control of domestic money supply; and what other studies his Department has conducted on the implications for United Kingdom economic management and policy of collective decisive-making as part of the system.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 14 February 1985 at column 290.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions since the end of 1982 the exchange rate of the pound sterling against those currencies within the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system has varied by more than the limits permitted by the exchange rate mechanism.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Field asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the reasons for changing the staffing of those dealing with Members' requests for Her Majesty's Stationery Office publications at the Nine Elms depot; if the current standard of service will be maintained; what are the financial savings which have resulted; and if the Vote in support of the Stationery Office has been reduced by a similar sum to the savings.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will carry out a review of the areas which were given designated freeport status and report progress in each area.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
Banks asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the number of postmen liable to be taxed on tips; and what is the expected revenue in the latest financial year for which figures are available.
I understand that about 175,000 people are employed by the Post Office, of whom some 125,000 are postal officers on rounds. Tips received in the course of a postman's duties are part of his taxable income in the same way ashis other earnings. I regret that information is not available centrally on which to base an estimate of the number of Post Office employees who receive tips, nor to distinguish the amount of tax due on them.
National Insurance Contributions
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Budget calculations of net revenue changes from alterations in employers' national insurance contributions included the public sector.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Department's proposals on changes in married couple's tax allowances were currently in force, what take-home pay a married woman seeking to return to work would have to command to be better off than staying at home.
Under a system of fully transferable allowances, the net income of a family would increase if a married woman returned to work, whatever the level of her earnings.
Value Added Tax (Appeals)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has reached a decision on the question of appeals against value added tax penalties following representations made to him on the enforcement powers of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
Yes. In the light of representations made by interested parties and comments from a number of hon. Members I have decided that the appeal arrangements set out in the exposure clauses should be enlarged to provide additional safeguards, as of right, for the tax-payer. The Finance Bill will accordingly provide that, where penalties orsurcharges are to be assessed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, it should be a defence for the tax payer, for all matters short of fraud, to demonstrate to the commissioners, or on appeal to the VAT tribunal, that he had exercised all due diligence and had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the VAT law in question.
Value Added Tax (Keith Report)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his legislative proposals in the Finance Bill for the implementation of the value added tax recommendations of the Keith committee report will include any change in the proposal for assessments to counter possible loss of tax, jeopardy assessments, included in exposure clauses published by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise in November 1984.
I have decided that no such clause should be included in this year's Finance Bill. The Government remain of the view that there is merit in the Keith committee recommendations for action to prevent the disposal of assets so as to avoid payment of tax debts. Both my hon. Friend and some other respondents to the consultative document have, however, drawn attention to certain problems in the jeopardy assessment approach. The proposal will therefore be deferred to allow Her Majesty's Customs and Excise to undertake a further review of the best means of achieving the intended purpose.
Value Added Tax (Advertising)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate how much tax he expects to raise from the imposition of value added tax on newspaper and magazine advertising; what impact this will have on employment; and how much of the value added tax revenue will come from advertisements placed by charities.
Covenants (Tax Relief)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate how much revenue he expects to lose by the increase of the limit on higher tax relief for covenants.
I refer the hon. Member to table 4.2 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1985–86.
Value Added Tax (Charities)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate how much revenue he expects to lose bythe exemption from value added tax of computers purchased for medical use by charitable bodies.
Minimum Income Level
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate (a) the number of P11D forms concerning benefits in kind which would be submitted, (b) the loss of revenue and (c) the administrative cost saving in a full financial year, if the minimum income level were raised to £9,500, £10,500, £11,500, £12,500, £13,000 and £14,500per annum, respectively.
[pursuant to his reply, 18 March 1985, c. 395]: The following table shows the effects on the number of P11D forms estimated to be required for 1985–86 if the various limits proposed by my hon. Friend were to apply:
|Level of £ threshold||Number of forms P11D with benefits (thousands)||Direct revenue cost £ million||Administrative savings‡ £ million|
|* Revised from estimate of £125 million given on 21 February at column 567.|
|‡The figures for administrative savings show the position as compared with 1984–85, and take into account the increased number of forms PI ID expected to be received with a £8,500 threshold.|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the percentages of total tax revenue in 1982–83 and 1983–84 derived from income generated through the ownership of stocks, including shares, bonds and gilts.
[pursuant to his reply, 3 April 1985, c. 688]: Information on which to base a precise estimate is not available, but the amount of basic rate income tax deducted at source from such income, that was not subsequently repaid, is estimated to have been around 21½ per cent. of total tax revenue in 1982–83 and 1983–84.
|Mean birthweight and standard deviation in Wales: 1980 to 1983|
|Mean||Standard deviation||Mean||Standard deviation||Mean||Standard deviation||Mean||Standard deviation|
|*1981 figures are estimated from a 10 per cent. sample.|