Written Answers To Questions
Thursday 18 April 1985
asked the Secretary of State for Wales by how much he has reduced the homes insulation programme for 1985–86; how many homes he estimates will be affected; what percentage reduction his decision represents; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given on 24 January, at column 485, to my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam).
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in (a) the Alyn and Deeside constituency, (b) the travel-to-work area of Shotton, Flint and Rhyl and (c) Wales have been out of work for one, two three and four years and more, respectively.
The age and duration analysis of unemployment has not yet moved to collection on the ward basis which underlies the new travel-to-work areas. The information requested is not therefore available for the Alyn and Deeside constituency or for the Shotton, Flint and Rhyl travel-to-work area.Figures for Wales are as follows:
|Length of time unemployed||Wales|
|One year and over but less than two||30,721|
|Two years and over but less than three||16,969|
|Three years and over but less than four||11,269|
|Four years and over||15,840|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many women have died from cervical cancer in Wales in each of the last five years; and how this compares to the United Kingdom average.
The number of women who have died from cervical cancer (ICD 180) in Wales in each of the last five years for which figures are available is as follows:
Young Persons (Knowsley)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the percentage of young people in Knowsley, North who are employed.
The latest available information comes from the 1981 census of population, which showed that 41.5 per cent. of young persons aged 16 to 19 years (inclusive) living in Knowsley, North were in employment.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act in Inverclyde were identified in the latest available year; and how many were prosecuted.
The information is not available in the form requested. In 1984 Her Majesty's factory inspectors laid four informations in Inverclyde under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and its associated legislation. These resulted in three convictions.
Marine Trades Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give figures for the total numbers of people employed in the marine trades industry providing or manufacturing goods or services for the private yachtsman.
The Department's employment estimates are analysed according to the 1980 Standard Industrial Classification, which does not separately distinguish activities associated with providing manufactured goods and services to private yachtsmen.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the agreement reached with the trade unions with regard to advising members of their right to opt out of the political levy.
In fulfilling the 1983 general election commitment, my right hon. Friend discussed with the TUC the steps which trade unions themselves could take to ensure that individual members are freely and effectively able to decide for themselves whether or not to pay the political levy. As an outcome of those discussions the TUC agreed a detailed "Statement of Guidance" dealing with union members' rights in relation to political funds and asked unions to review their existing procedures to ensure that this guidance was acted upon. The TUC also provided all unions with a model information sheet which the statement recommends each union member should receive. At that time it was made clear to the TUC, and to the House, that the Government's decision not to proceed in the 1984 Trade Union Bill with changes to the contracting out system would rest on the firm expectation that the TUC action would in practice be effective. If it was not, the Government reserved their right to legislate.Trade unions are already under a clear statutory obligation on the occasion of any ballot in which their members give approval for the expenditure of money on party political matters under the provisions of the Trade Union Act 1913 to notify union members of their right to contract out of the political levy and inform them that a standard exemption notice may be obtained from the union or the Certification Officer. This obligation applies to the ballots to review the continued operation of political funds which are to be held between now and 31 March 1986. We shall continue to look to the trade unions concerned to ensure that their statutory as well as their voluntary commitments are properly fulfilled.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish the study commissioned by his Department on the unfair dismissal provisions, and the employment consequences of any changes.
Yes. Publication of the findings of the research undertaken by the University of Manchester institute of science and technology into the operation of recent individual employment legislation is planned for later this year. It will be published in the Department of Employment research paper series and a copy will be placed in the House of Commons Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications there were to industrial tribunals for unfair dismissal due to trade union membership or trade union activities for the years 1982, 1983 and 1984; how many cases were actually heard in each year; and in how many of such cases the claimant was successful.
The best information available for the years 1982 and 1983 is as follows. Figures for 1984 are not yet available.
|Number of applications||820||357|
|Number of applications withdrawn/settlement agreed||694||225|
|Applications heard by industrial tribunals||126||132|
|Number of successful applicants||21||21|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications there were to industrial tribunals for unfair dismissal due to nonmembership of a trade union for the years 1982, 1983 and
|Committee||Chairman||Date Appointed||Date Reported|
|Committee on Children and Young Persons||Viscount Ingleby||3 October 1956||HMSO, 1960 (Cmnd. 1191)|
|Departmental Committee on Proceedings before Examining Justices||Lord Tucker||1 June 1957||HMSO, 1958 (Cmnd. 479)|
|Committee on Remuneration and Conditions of Service of certain grades in the Prison Services||Justice Wynn-Parry||8 October 1957||HMSO, 1958 (Cmnd. 544)|
|Committee of Inquiry into the Fishing Industry||Alexander Fleck||27 November 1957||HMSO, 1960 (Cmnd. 1266)|
|Inter-departmental Committee on the Business of the Criminal Courts||Justice Streatfield||17 June 1958||HMSO, 1961 (Cmnd. 1289)|
|Departmental Committee on Matrimonial Proceedings||Mr. Justice Davies||5 July 1958||HMSO, 1959 (Cmnd. 638)|
|Departmental Committee on Human Artificial Insemination||Earl of Feversham||3 September 1958||HMSO, 1960 (Cmnd. 1105)|
|Departmental Comrnittee on the Probation Service||Sir Ronald Morison, QC||27 May 1959||HMSO, 1961 (Cmnd. 1650)|
|1962 (Cmnd. 1800)|
1984; how many cases were actually heard in each year; and in how many of such cases the claimant was successful.
The best information available for the years 1982 and 1983 is as follows. Figures for 1984 are not yet available.
|Number of applications||6||15|
|Number of applications withdrawn/settlement agreed||4||8|
|Applications heard by industrial tribunals||2||7|
|Number of successful applications||0||3|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications to the industrial tribunals for unfair dismissal had between one and two years' continuous service in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
Total figures are not available. On the basis of a sample analysis of complaints of unfair dismissal for the calendar years 1982 and 1983, it is estimated that the following number of complaints were from applicants who had between one and two years' continuous service:
|Year||Number of complaints|
Committees Of Inquiry
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many departmental committees of inquiry he and his predecessors have commissioned since 1955; what were the subjects the committees investigated and the dates they were established; who chaired them; and on which dates they reported.
The information requested is set out in the table and relates to committees which have been established and have reported since 1955. It does not include either departmental working parties chaired by permanent officials or inquiries undertaken by one individual.
|Departmental Committee on a Levy on Betting on Horse Races||Mr. E. Peppiatt||9 November 1959||HMSO, 1960 (Cmnd. 1003)|
|Departmental Committee on Powers of Subpoena of Disciplinary Tribunals||Viscount Simonds||5 January 1960||HMSO, 1960 (Cmnd. 1033)|
|Inter-departmental Committee on Magistrates Courts in London||Judge Aarvold||28 July 1960||HMSO, 1962 (Cmnd. 1606)|
|Departmental Committee on the Law on Sunday Observance||The Rt. Hon. Lord Crathorne||11 July 1961||HMSO, 1964 (Cmnd. 2528)|
|Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Recruitment for the Veterinary Profession||Duke of Northumberland||29 October 1962||HMSO, 1964 (Cmnd. 2430)|
|Committee on Death Certification and Coroners||Mr. N. J. L. Brodrick, QC||17 March 1963||HMSO, 1971 (Cmnd. 4810)|
|Inquiry held by the Visiting Committee into Allegations of Ill-treatment of Prisoners at HMP Durham||Mr. T. R. Percy||29 March 1963||HMSO, 1963 (Cmnd. 2068)|
|Departmental Committee on Jury Service||The Rt. Hon. Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest||23 May 1963||HMSO, 1965 (Cmnd. 2627)|
|Departmental Committee on Experiments on Animals||Sir Sydney Littlewood||24 May 1963||HMSO, 1965 (Cmnd. 2641)|
|Departmental Committee on Criminal Statistics||Mr. W. Perks||17 June 1963||HMSO, 1967 (Cmnd. 3448|
|Departmental Committee on Licensing Planning||Mr. J. Ramsay Willis||15 April 1964||HMSO, 1965 (Cmnd. 2709)|
|Departmental Committee on Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings||Justice Widgery||25 April 1964||HMSO, 1965 (Cmnd. 2934)|
|Committee on Statutory Maintenance Limits||Miss Jean Graham Hall||29 June 1966||HMSO, 1968 (Cmnd. 3587)|
|Departmental Committee on the Fire Service||Sir Ronald Holroyd||2 February 1967||HMSO, 1970 (Cmnd. 4371)|
|Departmental Committee on the London Taxicab Trade||The Hon. Maxwell Stamp||28 October 1967||HMSO, 1970 (Cmnd. 4483|
|Departmental Committee on the Adoption of Children||Judge F. A. Stockdale Sir William Houghton||21 July 1969||HMSO, 1972 (Cmnd. 5107)|
|Enquiry into medical and toxicological aspects of CS||Sir Harold Harmswoth||30 August 1969||HMSO, Part I 1969 (Cmnd. 4173)|
|Committee on Privacy||The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Younger||13 May 1970||HMSO, 1972 (Cmnd. 5012)|
|Departmental Committee on Liquor Licensing||The Rt. Hon. Lord Erroll of Hale||8 December 1970||HMSO, 1972 (Cmnd. 5154)|
|Inquiry into the work of the Fire Service||Sir Charles Cunningham||8 March 1971||HMSO, 1971 (Cmnd. 4807)|
|Departmental Committee on section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911||Lord Franks||20 April 1971||HMSO, 1972 (Cmnd. 5104)|
|Enquiry into allegations against the Security Forces of physical brutality in Northern Ireland, arising out of events on 9 August 1971||Sir Edward Compton||31 August 1971||HMSO, 1971 (Cmnd. 4823)|
|Committee on Mentally abnormal offenders||The Rt. Hon. Lord Butler||21 September 1972||HMSO, 1975 (Cmnd. 6244)|
|Committee on Broadcasting Coverage||Sir Stewart Crawford||May 1973||HMSO, 1974 (Cmnd. 5774)|
|Committee on the Future of Broadcasting||Lord Annan||10 April 1974||HMSO, 1977 (Cmnd. 6753; Cmnd. 6753-1)|
|Committee on Data Protection||Sir Norman Lindop||24 June 1976||HMSO, 1978 (Cmnd. 7341)|
|Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship||Mr. Bernard Williams||13 July 1977||HMSO, 1979 (Cmnd. 7772)|
|Committee of Inquiry on the Police||Lord Edmund-Davies||August 1977 set up as a Review Body December 1977 Renamed Committee of Inquiry||HMSO, 1979 (Cmnd. 7283) (1) Negotiating Machinery and Pay HMSO, 1979 (Cmnd. 7633) (2) Structure and Role of the police Staff Associations|
|Committee of Inquiry into the United Kingdom Prison services||Sir John Douglas May||17 November 1978||HMSO, 1979 (Cmnd. 7673)|
|Inquiry into Cable Expansion and Broadcasting Policy||Lord Hunt of Tamworth||6 April 1982||HMSO, 1982 (Cmnd. 8679)|
|Inquiry into Proposals to Amend the Shops Acts||Robin Auld, QC||11 August 1983||HMSO, 1984 (Cmnd. 9376)|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions premises for probation centres have been acquired without prior consultation with the local authority or local community.
Consultation with the local authority or local community is a matter for area probation committees when acquiring premises. Information about this is not collected centrally.
Long-Term Prison System
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now make a statement on progress in implementing the proposals contained in the report of the Central Review Committee on the long-term prison system.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to his question on 15 March, at column 303.
Bbc (Licence Revenue)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of licence revenue the British Broadcasting Corporation would lose if retirement pensioners were exempt from paying.
About 35 per cent.
Leicestershire County Council
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money has been given to Leicestershire county council in each of the past five years under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 to help Commonwealth immigrants and their families; if his Department monitors how the money has been spent; how often the eligibility of projects on which such moneys are spent is reviewed; and if he will make a statement.
Grant under section 11 is paid to local authorities only in respect of staff employed to meet the special needs of Commonwealth immigrants. The sums paid to Leicestershire county council in the latest five year period for which information is available are as follows:
Prisons (Education Facilities)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inmates of Her Majesty's prisons in England undertook Open University study during 1984; and how many of those inmates were moved during their course of study to a prison or unit where Open University study facilities were not available.
One hundred and sixty-one inmates in prison department establishments in England and Wales undertook Open University study in 1984. The number who were moved to another establishment or unit during their course of study is not recorded centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list the prisons in England which (a) can provide facilities for inmates to undertake Open University courses and (b) cannot provide such facilities: and if he will make a statement.
The information in respect of adult prisons in England and Wales is as follows:
|(a) Establishments currently designated for Open University study:|
|(b) Establishments not currently designated for Open University study:|
|East Sutton Park||Shepton Mallet|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will list for each prison in England (a) the average potential number of attendances in the education unit and (b) the average actual number of attendances in the education unit for (i) 1984 and (ii) the first quarter of 1985.
This information is not recorded in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The total number of student hours in respect of day and evening classes in all prison department establishments in England and Wales for the academic year 1983–84 was 4,886,948.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted of badger baiting in (i) Wales and (ii) England in each of the last five years.
Information collected centrally does not distinguish offences of badger baiting from other offences against the Protection of Animals Act 1911.
Stop And Search Powers
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Association of Chief Police Officers regarding the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 on the power of police officers to conduct blanket searches at or in the immediate vicinity of sports stadiums; and if he will make a statement.—
[pursuant to his reply, 4 April 1985, c. 727]: My right hon. and learned Friend is considering representations from the Association of Chief Police Officers about whether the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 might have any adverse effect on the ability of the police to conduct blanket searches at sports grounds. He intends to refer the association to the answer I gave to a question from my hon. Friend on 2 April, at columns 570–71, since he believes that this answer, particularly its last paragraph, should reassure those who believe that the conduct of the police will be inhibited in this respect by the provisions of the 1984 Act.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Halvergate Levels (Drainage Payments)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much has been paid to the three farmers who have received grants for field drainage in the Halvergate levels area.
As I told the hon. Member on 17 January in answer to his earlier question, we have paid grant totalling £21,500 for field drainage in the Halvergate levels.
Wheat (Intervention Stocks)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current level of intervention stocks of wheat held in British stores.
At 31 March there were 3 million tonnes of wheat in United Kingdom intervention stores.
Nutritional Food Labelling
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to assist the public to understand nutritional food labelling.
Draft guidelines on nutrition labelling have been circulated widely for public comment by 1 June. The result of a consumer survey of understanding of nutrition labelling of food should also be available to me by that date. I shall consider what may be necessary to assist the public in the light of this information.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects consultations to be completed on the Government's proposals to implement recommendations of the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Nutritional and Food report.
We have asked for comments from interested parties on the proposals announced by my right hon. Friend on 12 March to be received by 1 June. In the meantime officials will be holding further discussions with representatives of those sectors where particular problems have been identified. We shall prepare proposals for regulations in the light of all the comments made and circulate them later this year for the statutory consultation.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total number of dairy farmers in England; and what was the number five years ago.
On 31 December 1984 there were 33,009 milk producers in England, compared with 37,654 on 31 December 1979.
Less Favoured Areas
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will conduct an investigation into expanding the less favoured areas of the farming industry in the United Kingdom.
The less favoured areas were extended last year following a survey of marginal land in the United Kingdom. I have invited representations from individual farmers who are unhappy about the exclusion of their land from the areas.
Beef Premium Scheme
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate by how many pence per pound the beef premium scheme is presently reducing prices in the shops.
The current maximum rate of beef variable premium is worth about 7.4 p/lb on a certified carcase. Many factors influence butchers' pricing policy, but we estimate that if retail prices of beef were to change to compensate for loss of the premium an average increase of 4 to 5 per cent. in retail beef prices would be required.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when his Department proposes to publish an update of the Government's overall agricultural policy.
I am still considering whether it would be appropriate to make a formal Government statement.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement on the use of the Thames barrier when flood conditions arise on different parts of the tidal Thames.
The operational procedures of the Thames barrier are designed to avoid danger from tidal surge to life and property in areas adjoining the tidal reaches of the Thames and, at the same time, create the minimum interference to navigation.
Cereals And Beef (Intervention Stores)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total tonnage of cereals and beef in intervention stores at the most recent date for which figures are available; and what was the comparable total five years ago.
At 31 March there were 4 million tonnes of cereals and 51,000 tonnes of beef in United Kingdom intervention stores. The corresponding quantities for 31 March 1980 were 400 tonnes of cereals and 15,000 tonnes of beef.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his latest estimate as to the likely upper and lower limits for the cost of disposal of cereal surpluses in the European Economic Community for the 1984–85 crop year.
Estimates of Community expenditure are made on a calendar year basis by the Commission. In 1984 actual expenditure on export refunds totalled 918 mecu. For 1985 the Commission is currently estimating export refund expenditure at 1,034 mecu.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the level of United Kingdom cereal exports for each of the past two years.
Exports of wheat and barley from the United Kingdom totalled 3·9 million tonnes in 1983 and 6.1 million tonnes in 1984.
Land Drainage, Flood Prevention And Coast Protection
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has yet received any responses to his Green Paper, "Financing and Administration of Land Drainage, Flood Prevention and Coast Protection in England and Wales"; and if he will make a statement.
We have had no responses to date. The paper was published on 11 March, and in view of the complexity of many of the issues raised in the Paper we anticipate that it will be some time before we receive substantive comments. The six-month period allowed for consultations reflects this. In these circumstances, a statement would be premature.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans Her Majesty's Government have to improve the funding and administration of land drainage, flood protection and coastal protection.
A Green Paper entitled "Financing and Administration of Land Drainage, Flood Prevention and Coast Protection in England and Wales" was published on 11 March 1985. We shall consider what changes should be made to the administration and financing of these activities in the light of public response to the Green Paper.
Sea Fish Industry Authority
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the performance of the Sea Fish Industry Authority in the promotion and marketing of fish in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
The multi-million pound campaign now being carried out by the Sea Fish Industry Authority should produce significant improvements in the marketing and consumption of fish. I was glad that we were able to obtain the approval of the European Commission to over three quarters of the programme and hope soon to clear the remaining elements.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total amount of grain produced in the European Economic Community in 1984.
The Community cereals harvest in 1984 is estimated to be 151 million tonnes.
Milk Quota Levy
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what contingency plans he has made to provide for the collection of milk quota levy.
All of the arrangements necessary for the collection of any supplementary levy that may become due are in place. Since, however, production within the United Kingdom was well within quota I do not expect that there will be any liability for levy in respect of 1984–85.
Wool Marketing Board
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with the operation of the Wool Marketing Board.
As I made clear recently after a visit to the board, I am most impressed by the board's marketing achievements. It is clear that the board has made a major effort in recent years to upgrade the quality of home-produced wool, and the demand for it, and has been very successful in these objectives.
Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the future basis of hill livestock compensatory allowances in the light of the recent agreement on a new European Community farm structures package.
Hill livestock compensatory allowances remain an optional measure under the new structures regulation agreed by the Council of Ministers. Current rates and conditions will be reviewed in the autumn in the usual way.
Dutch Horticulture Industry
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current position on moves by the European Commission to stop the Dutch subsidy on gas prices for its horticulture industry.
The European Commission has informed the Dutch Government that the preferential gas price to Dutch horticulturists is an incompatible state aid and must be removed. The Dutch Government are contesting this decision and have asked the European Court to consider the matter.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to implement new proposals from the Farm Animal Welfare Council to tighten up existing codes.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council is consulting interests about possible recommendations for new regulations based on the welfare codes. The council has not, however, submitted recommedations to Ministers. When it does, the Government will of course consider them carefully and consult interests. Any new regulations then proposed would be laid before Parliament for debate.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will, as a matter of urgency, introduce new measures to safeguard the transportation of live animals when they are exported.
There is no need for such measures. There is already extensive legislation to protect the welfare of animals for export, which implements requirements laid down in Community directives.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the transport of horses and ponies to and from markets.
The welfare of horses and ponies in transit is protected by existing legislation, which is enforced by local authorities.
Food From Britain
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the likely level and source of future funding on Food From Britain.
The Government are providing about £14 million towards expenditure on food marketing by Food From Britain over the five years 1983–84 to 1987–88. We have made it clear that the future of Food From Britain will depend on the level of financial support it receives from the industry. It is important that industry's commitment to that support should be made soon so that FFB can plan ahead with confidence.
Almonds And Hazelnuts
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how the accession of Spain and Portugal into the European Economic Community will affect the supply of almonds and hazelnuts to United Kingdom food manufacturers.
United Kingdom food manufacturers will benefit from the reduction in tariffs on almonds and hazelnuts imported from Spain and Portugal. This will be progressively implemented during the transitional period following accession.
Pâté De Foie Gras
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which countries are suppliers of pâté de foie gras to the United Kingdom; and how much was imported in the last year for which figures are available.
Imports of pâté de foie gras are not separately distinguished in the customs tariff.In 1983 the United Kingdom imported 66 tonnes of prepared or preserved goose and duck liver products, of which 57 tonnes were supplied by France and nine tonnes by Belgium/Luxembourg.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give his best estimate of the number of fishing boats (a) 12 m and below in length and (b) above 12 m in length.
The precise information requested is not readily available, but the number of United Kingdom fishing boats above and below 12.2 m (40 ft) at the beginning of 1984 were:
|Below 12·2 m||4,765|
|12·2 m and above||2,205|
North Sea (White Fish Stocks)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has considered the evidence obtained by the fishing vessel mv Aquila regarding the effect of the increased pout by-catch on white fish stocks in the North sea.
I am considering carefully the information provided by the Scottish Fishermen's Federation concerning the catches taken during the experimental voyage of the Aquila together with the information obtained from monitoring the commercial fishery for Norway pout. My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State, Scottish Office and I propose to meet the industry shortly to discuss these findings.
Surplus Food Stocks
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current volume and value of surplus food stocks (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in the European Economic Community as a result of the common agricultural policy.
On 31 March intervention stocks of beef, breadwheat, butter and skimmed milk powder in the United Kingdom were 305,446 tonnes, valued at some £443 million using the buying-in prices valid on that date. The volume of Community stocks of these products and sugar at the latest available dates was 8,516,000 tonnes, but these are valued only once a year, on 30 November.
Lincoln Flood Alleviation Scheme
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has received his inspector's report on the public inquiry into the Lincoln flood alleviation scheme; and whether he will now agree to grant-aid the flood relief scheme as proposed by the Anglian water authority.
I have now received my inspector's report following the public inquiry into the proposed flood alleviation scheme for Lincoln. On the basis of the report, a copy of which I am placing in the Library of the House, I have decided to approve the scheme put forward by the Anglian water authority for grant-aid under the Land Drainage Act 1976 and to confirm the compulsory purchase order sought by the authority.This scheme, which will cost over £9 million, will provide a substantially higher level of protection against flooding in the city of Lincoln. The provision of controlled wash lands upstream, rather than increasing the carrying capacity of the channels through the city itself, represents a more cost-effective solution which also avoids works which would be environmentally damaging.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the expected cost in terms of revenue forgone in the 1984–85 tax year from (a) mortgage interest relief and (b)relief on employees and self-employed pension contributions arising from relief allowed at higher rates of tax.
The direct revenue cost of income tax relief at rates in excess of the basic rate in 1984–85 is estimated to be about £200 million for mortgage interest relief and about £200 million for relief on employees' and self employed pension contributions. The direct revenue costs of these reliefs taken in combination are estimated at about £425 million.
Value Added Tax (Keith Report)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received about the proposals of the Keith report for changes in the value added tax collection arrangements.
A total of 139 since the publication of the consultative document "The Collection of Value Added Tax" in November 1984.
Paye (Inquiry Offices)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate how many pay-as-you-earn inquiry offices are maintained (a) within the Greater London council area and (b) in Cornwall; and if he will make a statement.
There are 35 specially designated pay-asyou-earn inquiry offices in the Greater London council area and none in Cornwall. In addition, inquiry points exist at all other tax district offices of which there are 130 in London and five in Cornwall.The specially designated inquiry offices were set up to provide a continuing service to the public following the transfer of the files of most London pay-as-you-earn taxpayers to the provinces. In most parts of the country, including Cornwall, the majority of employers and their employees continue to be dealt with by the local tax district, so that there is not the same need for official PAYE inquiry offices.
National Heritage Memorial Fund
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will provide that in future an appropriate symbol shall be attached in the Supply Estimates to Vote C1 in Class V, 10, and to Vote B4 in Class VIII, 4, to indicate specifically that any unexpended balances of grants in aid made to the national heritage memorial fund will not be liable to surrender to the Consolidated Fund; and if he will make a statement.
Regrettably the appropriate symbol was omitted in error from the Supply Estimates.The accounts of expenditure from grants in aid to the national heritage memorial fund are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Any sums in the fund which are not immediately required for any purpose may be invested by the trustees in accordance with section 6 of the National Heritage Act 1980 and are not liable, therefore, for surrender to the Consolidated Fund.
Trustee Savings Banks
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are his responsibilities and those of Her Majesty's Government in relation to the trustee savings banks.
Under the Trustee Savings Banks Act 1981, which consolidated earlier legislation, the Treasury, the National Debt Commissioners and the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies have wide powers over trustee savings banks. The Treasury's powers extend in particular to the determination of the assets in which trustee savings banks may invest, to the approval of the appointment of the chief officer of the Trustee Savings Banks Central Board, and to a number of matters in relation to the fund for the banks for savings. The relationship between the Government and the trustee savings banks is described in the White Paper entitled "Trustee Savings Banks" (Cmnd. 9415) published in December 1984.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the rate of change in yield from income tax of a 1p change in the standard rate of income tax in the current financial year; and if he will make a statement.
About £1,150 million in a full year, at 1985–86 levels of income.
Occupational Pension Trusts
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the yield of tax that would be obtained if the funds held by occupational trusts as reserves and not allocated as the entitlement of individual beneficiaries were taxed at the same rate as the income drawn by companies from assets in the ownership of the company;(2) what is his estimate of the total value of the funds invested in the occupational pension trusts approved for tax purposes for beneficiaries in private sector employment; and what is the proportion which can be identified as having been allocated to particular beneficiaries.
[pursuant to his replies, 18 March 1985, c. 396]: I regret the delay in replying. Total net assets of superannuation funds established by private sector employers were about £62.5 billion at the end of 1983. As stated in my written reply of 19 March 1985 at column 463, this excludes assets of long-term insurance funds relating to occupational pensions. The amounts allocated to particular beneficiaries are not known. In referring to sums not so allocated, my hon. Friend may have in mind any funds temporarily held in a pension fund over and above the sum currently estimated to be needed, on an actuarial valuation, to honour the scheme's obligations to its members. I regret that there is not sufficient information to enable such funds to be identified or to make an estimate of the likely yield from taxing them.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current rate of tax payable by companies in respect of income derived from assets in the ownership of the company; and what is the rate of tax payable when such assets are transferred to the pension fund of the company.
[pursuant to his reply, 18 March 1985, c. 392]: I regret the delay in replying. The rate of tax payable by companies in respect of income derived from assets in the ownership of the company depends on the tax status of the company concerned. A company may make contributions to its pension fund but cannot directly transfer assets. If the contributions are used to purchase assets from the company then the latter may face a capital gains tax liability in respect of the sale of the assets. Investment income and capital gains of pension funds are exempt from tax.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he will be able to update the information in "Better Schools" on class size, contact ratios and the distribution of class sizes to provide data for 1985.
In the autumn of 1985.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if it is his intention to exercise his powers under section 19(c) of the Education Act 1981 to make special provision for recognition of (a) teachers and (b) teacher training within Steiner schools; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 20 March 1985, c. 493]: My right hon. Friend has been considering the advice of the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Education of Teachers, contained in its report on teacher training and special educational needs, which included recommendations about Steiner-trained teachers and Steiner schools. While he recognises the excellent work done by many Steiner schools in teaching and caring for those with special educational needs, and would not wish to undervalue it in any way, he has decided that Steiner training should not be admissible for qualified teacher status, and that Steiner schools should not be exempt from the general conditions (including those regarding an adequate number of qualified teachers) governing the approval of independent schools which take local education authority placements of children with statements of special educational needs. Qualified teacher status entitles the holder to teach in any school within the maintained system; it is the view of my right hon. Friend that the training received by teachers under the Steiner system (including that of the Camphill schools) is not such as to prepare them for teaching in maintained schools, and he is not prepared to grant a limited form of qualified teacher status which applies only to Steiner schools.My right hon. Friend acknowledges the valuable contribution which the Steiner schools have made and continue to make to the care of severely handicapped pupils, many of whom have gross learning and emotional difficulties; he hopes that these schools will flourish and that local education authorities will continue to use them when appropriate. I can assure the right hon. Member that local education authorities will still be able to place pupils with statements of special educational needs at these schools if they wish, subject to my right hon. Friend's consent, and that he will be ready to give that consent in all cases where the placements are suitable.
Regions (Social And Economic Review)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, since his letter of 30 October 1984 to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill, what further consideration his Department has given to the conclusion in the report on the social and economic situation in the regions of the European Community (second periodic review), ranking Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway as ninth in the Commission's group one priority.
As was explained in the correspondence referred to, the second periodic report is an analysis of regional problems in the Community and does not itself form a basis for re-assessment of the Community's current priorities. The needs of Strathclyde region will continue to be given the fullest consideration in relation to Community assistance.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any plans to introduce an initiative similar to REPLAN operating in England and Wales and Northern Ireland to provide educational opportunities for adults for Scotland.
There are no plans to introduce a similar initiative in Scotland because alternative means of securing the development of educational provision for unemployed adults are available through the education authorities, the Scottish Community Education Council and a range of voluntary organisations grant-aided by the Scottish Education Department.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list all those locations for which licences to kill cormorants were issued in 1984 and 1985, respectively; and if he will indicate the number of birds killed at each location.
The locations for which licences were issued to kill cormorants for the prevention of serious damage to fisheries in 1984 and 1985 to date are as follows:
|Loch or River System||Number of licences||Numbers Killed|
|Laggan & Duich||1||1||18||3|
|Spey & Findhorn||1||Nil||1||Nil|
Wild Birds (Licences)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the guidelines used by his staff in considering applications for the issue of licences under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
In considering applications for licences issued for the prevention of serious damage to fisheries in river systems account is taken not only of the advice received from the Nature Conservancy Council but also the information given by applicants as regards the kind and extent of damage occurring or thought likely to occur, the history of licences issued in previous years and whether there are reasonable and practical alternatives to the issue of a licence.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the general advice given by the Nature Conservancy Council that his Department abides by when considering applications for licences under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The advice received from the council relates normally to individual species of birds and animals, and is generally to the effect that shooting should be limited to the minimum level necessary to achieve the purposes for which the various licences under section 16 of the Act may be granted.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which sites were visited before licences were issued to kill cormorants in 1983, 1984 and so far in the current year, respectively.
No sites were visited. As I indicated in my reply of 4 April at column 735 it is felt impracticable to visit stretches of river systems for which the local fishery interests have applied for licences.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the condition of the oyster industry in Scotland.
My right hon. Friend is pleased with the expansion of the developing oyster industry in Scotland where a number of growers have achieved production on a commercial scale.
Job Creation (Greenock)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what level of funding is devoted by the Manpower Services Commission to the Greenock travel-to-work area.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many young people leaving the youth training programme in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth proceeded to full-time employment..
I regret the information is not available in the form requested. However, the most recent results of the Manpower Services Commission's regular monthly survey of a 15 per cent. sample of young people who leave the youth training scheme in Great Britain show that over 60 per cent. went into full-time employment and around two thirds went into work or other full-time education or training.
Forth And Tay Bridges (Tolls)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his policy towards the abolition of tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges.
The Government have no plans to abolish tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges. These crossings were provided on the understanding that the capital debt would be serviced and ultimately repaid and the maintenance costs met by users through tolls, rather than by the generality of tax and ratepayers. This has been the policy of successive Governments and we see no reason for departing from it.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make it his policy to use all measures available to Her Majesty's Government to maintain Edinburgh as a distinct and viable financial centre with a full range of specialised banking activities.
My right hon. Friend fully recognises the importance of Edinburgh as a financial centre. He considers that the Government's economic policies provide the climate in which Scottish financial institutions will continue to thrive.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons received unemployment benefit in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth in each year from 1979 to 1984.
Information on unemployed claimants by parliamentary constituency only became available in June 1983. The annual average of unemployed claimants in 1984 in the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth constituency was 4,397. Information on unemployed persons in the jobcentre areas which approximate to the constituency is available from 1979 onwards in the House of Commons Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will name, by county, those deciduous woodlands which have been (a) clearfelled and replanted with conifers and (b) clearfelled for agriculture under the terms of a Forestry Commission licence since January 1984.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what plans the Foresty Commission has for aerial spraying of pesticides as part of forestry operations in the current year;(2) whether the Forestry Commission or any other statutory authority undertakes any monitoring of, or grant approval for, the aerial spraying of pesticides on forest land in the private sector.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether landholders adjacent to those areas of forest owned by the Forestry Commission which are subject to aerial pesticide spraying have the opportunity to view or receive a copy of the map which results from the print-out of the track flown by the spraying contractor.
Neighbouring landowners are notified in advance of spraying. Subsequent track point-outs may be inspected by them on request.
Hospital Waiting Lists
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons within the Grampian health board area are on waiting lists for treatment for hip conditions in National Health Service hospitals; and what is the average period such persons are required to wait before the treatment is performed.
[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1985, c. 80]: Four hundred and thirty eight persons within the Grampian health board area are currently on waiting lists for hip replacements. At 31 December 1982 the latest date for which information is available, the mean waiting time for this treatment was 145 days.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons are on hospital waiting lists in Scotland in respect of treatment for hip conditions; and what is the average period of time such persons are required to wait before treatment is given.
[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1985, c. 80]: The most recent complete statistics on waiting lists for hip treatments and the mean waiting time relate to 31 December 1982. They are:
|Total hip replacement waiting list||1,652 cases|
|Mean waiting time||221 days|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in the Banff and Buchan constituency have been on waiting lists for treatment for eye defects for less than three months.
[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1985, c. 80]: Thirty one people in the Banff and Buchan district have been on the ophthalmology waiting list for less than three months.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons in the Banff and Buchan constituency are on waiting lists for treatment for hip conditions in National Health Service hospitals in Aberdeen; and what is the average period of time such persons have to wait before treatment is performed.
[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1985, c. 79]: One hundred and fifty seven persons in the Banff and Buchan district are currently on waiting lists for hip replacements; approximately one third will be treated in Aberdeen. The mean waiting time for patients from Banff and Buchan treated in Aberdeen in 1984 was 322 days.
Art Galleries (Maintenance Costs)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the respective costs of maintenance of the buildings occupied by the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Scottish Academy.
[pursuant to his reply, 2 April 1985, c. 545]: Expenditure on stone work, roof repairs, internal repairs, paint work and keeping the buildings secure from the elements for 1983–84 (the most recent year for which figures are available) is as follows. Running expenditure (heating, lighting, cleaning, etc.) is not included:
|National Gallery of Scotland||133,300|
|Gallery of Modern Art*||5,200|
|Scottish National Portrait Gallery†||87,300|
|Royal Scottish Academy||62,100|
|* This figure is for maintenance of Inverleith House, the home of the Gallery of Modern Art till August 1984.|
|† This building houses the Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland.|
Raf Trainer Aircraft
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the last bids were received from Shorts Bros. and British Aerospace, respectively, for the Royal Air Force replacement aircraft.
The last bids for the Royal Air Force replacement trainer were received from Shorts on 14 March 1985 and from British Aerospace on 19 March 1985.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if a report will be made to the two companies concerned about the process of bidding for the Royal Air Force replacement training aircraft according to the original understanding with them.
The Ministry is prepared to provide a debriefing, on request, to any of the tenderers for the replacement basic trainer for the Royal Air Force. I myself have had a meeting with the chairman and managing director of British Aerospace.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he envisages the ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service continuing to be registered as British merchant ships.
Over a considerable period, the evolving pattern of the Royal Navy's operations and commitments has increasingly tended to distinguish RFA vessels from commercial shipping. It would seem right to reflect this in the status of RFA ships. My Department has therefore issued a consultative document today, proposing that RFA vessels should cease to be registered as British merchant ships for the purpose of the Merchant Shipping Acts, but instead should operate as Government-owned vessels on non-commercial service. This proposed change in the status of the ships would not involve any change in the present conditions of service of RFA personnel. The ships would no longer be issued with international safety convention certificates but the Ministry of Defence would accept responsibility for their safety following surveys carried out on its behalf by the Department of Transport and by Lloyds Register of Shipping as at present.There will now be consultation on the proposal with the trade unions involved and with official bodies in the shipping industry. Copies of the consultative document, entitled "Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service—De-registration of Ships", have been placed in the Library of both Houses.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Warsaw Pact Countries (Ministerial Visit)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent meeting with Cardinal Glemp and other Polish leaders.
My right hon. and learned Friend saw Cardinal Glemp on 13 April, taking further the private talk they had during his recent visit here. They discussed the situation of the Church in Poland. In his talks with the Polish Government my right hon. and learned Friend stressed the importance we attach to arms control and the Geneva negotiations, our concern for human rights and reconciliation in Poland and our wish to improve bilateral relations.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent visit to the Eastern European countries.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. and learned Friend gave to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) on 16 April, at column 131–32.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether the Syrian chargé d'affaires has yet provided any satisfactory clarification of the specific points put to him at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 5 February regarding the deportation of four Syrian nationals on 29 January; and by what date such a response was required to be given;(2) whether the issue of why Mr. Marwan Lostan, described in his passport as an engineer, was also in possession of a Syrian diplomatic passport at the time of his arrest on 20 January, although not accredited to the Syrian embassy in London, was one of the specific points on which he has sought clarification from the Syrian chargé d'affaires; and if he has yet received clarification on these specific points.
We received some further clarifications from the Syrian authorities on 5 March.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress so far in the arms reduction talks currently taking place in Geneva.
The first round of United States—Soviet talks in Geneva on nuclear and outer space arms has borne out predictions that these talks would be long and hard. Discussions have so far concentrated on procedural matters, relating to the work of the three negotiating subgroups, and on the presentation of views by each side. Our American allies continue to keep us closely informed of detailed developments which must, of course, remain confidential.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to make contact with the new Government of Albania; and if he will make a statement.
In 1980 we formally notified the Albanian Government that we were ready to re-establish diplomatic relations without preconditions. Regrettably, the Albanians have not accepted this offer which, as we have made clear, remains open. There has so far been no indication from the new Albanian leadership of any change in the Albanian position.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is now considering returning to Albania the gold currently held in the United Kingdom which was looted by the Nazis during the second world war; and if he will make a statement.
The Albanian Government have laid claim to gold which is the responsibility of the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold, on which the Governments of the United States and France are equal partners with Her Majesty's Government. There are several claims against Albania or on the gold itself. We cannot therefore act unilaterally in this matter.
Anglo-Irish Encounter Group
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to what has been the contribution of the Government of the Republic of Ireland towards the Anglo-Irish Encounter Group in the years 1983–84 and 1984–85; and what provision has been made by them for 1985–86.
It would not be appropriate for us to comment on the disbursement of funds by the Government of the Republic of Ireland.
Trade And Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reports he has received from the consumer protection department of Lambeth borough council about the manufacture and distribution of poisonous soap; and whether he intends to take any action under the Consumer Safety Act to prevent the manufacture and distribution of such soaps.
The trading standard officers of several London boroughs, including Lambeth, have reported instances of soaps containing mercury. Under the Cosmetic Products Regulations 1978 mercury, with minor exceptions, is prohibited as an ingredient in soaps for sale in the United Kingdom. Steps have now been taken by the local authorities concerned to remove the soaps and to prevent further supplies being made.
Marine Coatings And Anti-Fouling Paints
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the contribution to the British economy by the manufacturers of marine coatings and anti-fouling paints.
Production of marine paints by companies in the United Kingdom replying to the Government's "Business Monitor" inquiries is as follows.
|Value of sales in the year to 30 September 1984|
|Ships bottom compositions||20·6|
|Other marine paints||16·6|
Mr J Rickford (Correspondence)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report the letter sent by Mr. J. Rickford of his Department to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission about compensation in the event of nationalisation.
I am placing a copy of the letter in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the letter written by Mr. J. Rickford of the Department of Trade and Industry to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission represents the Government's policy in relation to fair compensation for United Kingdom citizens whose assets have been nationalised.
Mr. Rickford's letter is a statement of the legal protection available for purchasers of BT shares. It is not a statement of policy. The Government's policy on compensation to former owners of aircraft and shipbuilding assets nationalised under The Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977 remains as stated by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Industry on 7 August 1980.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for the periods 1963 to 1970, 1972 to 1978 and 1979 to 1983 the average annual value of inward and outward investment in manufacturing in terms of 1980 values, for the EEC and for the world as a whole.
The information available is only at current prices and is:
|Average annual United Kingdom direct investment in manufacturing industries|
|* Includes Denmark, Irish Republic and Greece.|
|† 1983 information is not available.|
|Source: Overseas Transactions Inquiry.|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for the periods 1963 to 1970, 1972 to 1978 and 1979 to 1983 the average of the annual value in terms of 1980 values of inward and outward investment, excluding oil, for the EEC and for the world as a whole.
The information available is only at current prices:
|Average annual United Kingdom direct investment (excluding oil) £ million|
|* Insurance is included only from 1969.|
|† Includes Denmark, Irish Republic and Greece.|
|‡ 1983 information is not available.|
|Source: Overseas Transactions Inquiry.|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for (a) the world and (b) the EEC the value of inward and outward direct investment, excluding oil, at 1980 prices or values.
Direct investment consists of transactions in financial assets for which no suitable price indices are available. Inward and outward direct investment, excluding oil, at current prices are given in tables 3.1 and 4.1 of "Business Monitor MA4".
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans he now has to privatise Unipart;(2) what proportion of the custom of Unipart is with companies other than Austin Rover;(3) if, in considering whether to privatise Unipart, he has taken account of the in-house parts operations of Austin Rover's main competitors;(4) what account he has taken, in his consideration of the possibility of privatising Unipart, of the effect of such privatisation on the financial position of Austin Rover.
It is the shared objective of the BL Board and the Government to return the company and its constituent businesses, either together or separately, to the private sector as soon as is practical. Announcements as to how this will be achieved for particular businesses will be made in due course. In considering any proposals relating to the privatisation of Unipart the Government will naturaly take account of the issues identified by my hon. Friend.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he seeks to include China in European Economic Community consideration of a new multi-fibre arrangement.
Yes. China is a signatory of the multifibre arrangement. In considering the future of the MFA we shall of course bear in mind the fact that China is a state trading country and is not a member of the GATT.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the policy of his Department in relation to the issue of licences to persons wishing to establish new master antenna television systems.
We are considering our policy towards the licensing of new master antenna television systems and discussing its implications with those most directly concerned. We will make known our conclusions shortly.
House Of Commons
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will bring forward proposals to require right hon. and hon. Members to make an annual declaration of their gross annual income and the sources from which it is derived.
Any proposal to extend the present scope of the Register of Members Interests would, in the first instance, be a matter for consideration by the Select Committee on that subject.
Arts Council (Opera Expenditure)
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts if, pursuant to the answer of 2 April regarding expenditure by the Arts Council on opera in the English regions in 1985–86, he will list the companies, performances and other recipients of such Arts Council funds in that period; and if he will make a statement.
The list is as follows:
|Opera||Allocation of grant 1985–86|
|English Bach Festival Trust||30,000|
|Handel Opera Society Limited||47,500|
|Opera North Limited||2,181,700|
|Regional Opera Trust Ltd. (Kent Opera)||715,000|
Allocation of grant 1985–86
|Scottish Opera Limited||220,000|
|Welsh National Opera||2,260,000|
|Glyndeboume Productions Limited||320,000|
|Opera 80 Limited||200,000|
My right hon. and noble Friend is satisfied that the allocations listed will enable these companies to continue to provide opera of a high standard to the regions.
Objects In Lieu Of Taxation
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether, following his answer to the hon. Member for Warley, East on 3 April, Official Report, columns 647–48, he will state the effect on any unused acceptances in lieu Vote balances of discontinuance of the administrative arrangement whereby such unused balances are transferred to the National Heritage Memorial Fund; and whether the standard accounting practice entails their cancellation by reversion to the Consolidated Fund.
Unused AIL Vote balances are transferred to the National Heritage Memorial Fund and this practice has not been discontinued. Under this arrangement unspent balances do not have to be surrendered to the Consolidated Fund.
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether he will specify any pre-eminent objects and property which have been accepted in satisfaction of capital transfer tax since the beginning of the present financial year, together with the amount of tax satisfied in each case, and stating whether any objects accepted carried conditions as to destination.
No offers in lieu of tax have been accepted since the beginning of the financial year. However, the sum of £167,786 has been paid from this year's acceptance in lieu vote in respect of the Geoffrey Keynes collection, which was accepted in lieu at the end of the last financial year at a total cost of £194,000, of which £26,214 was found from the 1984–85 Vote.
asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether, following his answer to the hon. Member for Warley, East on 2 April, Official Report, column 577, he will list the pre-eminent contents of Calke Abbey which were accepted in satisfaction of capital transfer tax, together with the amounts of tax satisfied in respect of them.
The House and contents at Calke Abbey were accepted by the Government as a pre-eminent collection. There are more than 1,000 items on the inventory and it would be impracticable to list them in the Official Report. The amount of tax satisfied by the contents was £1·084 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the number of jobs supported by the £120 million of expenditure on labour identified in the breakdown of the trunk road budget given in the Official Report, 21 March, column 541.
The Department does not keep records of this kind. The labour cost figure of £120 million is derived from analysis of accepted tenders, which show estimated costs rather than numbers to be employed. The latter can vary substantially depending on the size and nature of a contract, the amount of overtime worked and the working practices of individual contractors. However, assuming average labour costs and a 40-hour week, £120 million would represent some 10,000 to 15,000 man-years of work. This estimate relates only to labour directly employed on new construction. Additional jobs are supported by the other elements of trunk road expenditure.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make arrangements to take traffic readings on the A21 and A259 trunk roads during the summer period.
Traffic flows on the A21 and A259 are already regularly monitored at various locations by the use of automatic traffic counters. This monitoring, which includes the summer period, is supplemented by periodic manual traffic counts. In addition this year we shall be taking traffic counts in connection with preparation of the proposed A259 Winchelsea and Rye bypass scheme.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the expected reduction in the public service obligation stemming from the closure of Marylebone station and the diversion of services to Paddington.
The public service obligation grant is paid to support the running of British Rail's passenger services as a whole. It is not attributed to individual routes or services. This means that any savings from individual rail closures do not lead automatically to a pound-for-pound reduction in the level of grant paid.
Lrt (Concessionary Fares)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, upon the abolition of the Greater London council, boroughs will act jointly or separately in agreeing with London Regional Transport the arrangements for concessionary fares for the elderly on London Regional Transport services.
The London Regional Transport Act 1984 empowers the London Boroughs acting either jointly or separtely to enter into arrangements with LRT for the provision of travel concessions for the elderly. If the arrangements proposed are not uniform, the statutory reserve scheme will be brought into effect. The London Boroughs Association is continuing in its efforts to achieve a voluntary uniform scheme to replace that presently administered by the GLC. The co-operation of the Association of London Authorities and its member authorities, which has so far been withheld, will be essential to the achievement of such a scheme.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the cost of pilotage for a 50,000-tonne vessel in the port of Hull compared with Hamburg, Antwerp and Rouen.
The pilotage costs for one vessel of 50,000 GRT entering Hull are £1,978. My Department does not have available the rates of pilotage charges for Hamburg, Antwerp or Rouen.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied that the proposed alterations in pilotage will lead to savings without reducing the safety of navigation.
I believe that placing the responsibility for pilotage on harbour authorities is the best means of achieving this objective and of ensuring the provision of an efficient and cost-effective pilotage service to meet the requirements of safety.
Ports (Humber And Trent)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many ships per year use the Humber ports and the Trent ports, respectively.
This information is not available to my Department, but the annual numbers of visits by ships taking pilots in the pilotage districts of Goole, the Humber and the Trent are recorded in the annual summaries of "Pilotage Returns", copies of which are laid before Parliament.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the Coastguard's regular manpower strength; and what changes are planned in subsequent years.
The Coastguard's manpower strength at 1 April 1985 was 568. The planned figure for 1 April 1986 is the same. I have no current plans for further changes. Naturally the manpower levels for subsequent years will have to be considered in the context of the Government's overall objectives for Civil Service manpower; but it will be my aim to ensure that the Coastguard's operational capability remains at its present level.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, when he calculates targets for rate-borne expenditure and rate limits he takes into account local authority contributions to inner city partnership and urban aid schemes which are funded as to 75 per cent. by his Department.
The calculation of local authority expenditure targets for 1985–86 is described in annex D of the Rate Support Grant Report (England) 1985–86. For authorities selected for rate limitation for 1985–86, expenditure levels, on which rate limits were based, were set at the same level in cash as the authorities' 1984–85 budgets; authorities then had the opportunity to seek redetermination of their expenditure levels.
Football (Spectator Violence)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the date on which each representative organisation submitted its comments on his consultation document, "Football Spectator Violence: Report of an Official Working Party"; and which organisations have declined to comment.
The representative organisations I met submitted their written comments on the following dates:
|The Football League||17 October 1984|
|The Professional Footballers Association||27 Novemner 1984|
|The Association of District Councils||20 December 1984|
|The Football Trust|
|The Football Grounds Improvement Trust||8 January 1985|
|The Association of County Councils||14 January 1985|
|The Football League Executive Staffs' Association||12 February 1985|
|The Association of Metropolitan Authorities||20 February 1985|
|The Scottish Football Association|
|The Scottish Football League||4 March 1985|
|The Football Association||11 March 1985|
|The Association of Chief Police Officers|
|The Superintendents Association||13 March 1985|
|The Police Federation|
|The Magistrates' Association||20 March 1985|
|The London Boroughs Association||2 April 1985|
Birds (Special Protection Areas)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those areas designated as areas of special protection of birds.
Two areas of special protection have been designated under section 3 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981—Gull Island, Warren Shore and Needs Ore Point (Hampshire) and Berry Head (Devon).
Birds Of Prey
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the number of each species of bird of prey exported in 1984 and so far in 1985.
The information requested is given in the following table:
|Species||Common Name||Export in|
|1984||1985 to date|
|Parabuteo Unicinctus||Harris Hawk||2||2|
|Falco Peregrinus||Peregrine Falcon||9||1|
|Falco Cherrug||Saker Falcon||1||—|
|Tyto Alba||Barn Owl||1||—|
1985 to date
|Bubo Capensis Mackinderi||Cape Eagle Owl||2||—|
|Bubo Bubo Bengalensis||Great Eagle Owl||2||—|
|Falco Jugger||Lugger Falcon||2||—|
|Falco Rusticolus||Gyr Falcon||4||—|
|Buteo Buteo||Common Buzzard||1||—|
|Aquila Rapax||Tawny Eagle||1||—|
|Neophron Perchenopterus||Egyptian Vulture||1||—|