Written Answers To Questions
Friday 10 May 1985
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many grants for homes insulation have been given in each year since 1978; and what estimate he has of the number of grants paid to households where one member of the household was in receipt of supplementary benefit.
Information on the number of grants paid is as follows:
|Number of Insulation Grants Paid|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the number of public sector houses which do not benefit from adequate insulation.
An estimate is only available on a Great Britain basis.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the offshore oilfields which have or may have already passed the point of peak production.
The Department of Energy's annual report entitled "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom 1985" lists in section 4 operators' estimates of when producing oilfields have achieved, or are expected to achieve, peak production.
Departmental Committees Of Inquiry
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many departmental committees of inquiry he and his predecessors, including First Lords of the Admiralty, Secretaries of State for War, Secretaries of State for Air, Ministers of Supply, Ministers for Defence Procurement, Ministers of Aviation and Ministers of Aviation (Supply), have commissioned since 1955; and what were the subjects the committees investigated, the dates they were established, who chaired them and the dates they reported.
The reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Treasury, on 1 May at column 142 applies also to Ministry of Defence committees of inquiry. However, from records that are readily available, it appears that since 1973 the report of one other departmental committee of inquiry established by the Secretary of State for Defence has been published as a Command Paper, that being "The Protection of Military Information—Report of the Study Group on Censorship" chaired by General Sir Hugh Beach—Cmnd. 9112 which was published in December 1983. In addition, an explanatory memorandum on the report of the defence lands committee chaired by the right hon. the Lord Nugent of Guildford was published as Cmnd. 5364 in July 1973.
Far East Pilgrimage
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is prepared to include Burma in the far east pilgrimage which he is organising for veterans and war widows.
Detailed planning continues for the proposed visit to the far east, which was announced by the Prime Minister on 14 February at column 230. We are not, therefore, in a position to say which countries will be visited. A further announcement will be made in the near future.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent discovery of classified defence documents relating to Aldermaston and the Tornado aircraft on a rubbish dump in London.
Investigations are in progress into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of these documents and it would be wrong to comment further until these investigations have been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will provide a breakdown, by the following budget categories, of the savings attributable to the King's bay decision on maintaining United Kingdom Trident missiles in the United States of America: the submarines, the missiles, the weapons systems, the shore construction, the warhead miscellaneous and unallocated contingencies.
The savings attributable to the decision to process missiles at King's bay instead of in the United Kingdom are approximately £700 million at average 1984–85 prices and at an exchange rate of £1–$1·38. The missiles and shore construction each account for some 45 per cent. of the saving, with the remainder being attributed mainly to weapon systems.
Nuclear Devices (Testing)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if, in their undergound testing of nuclear devices, Her Majesty's Government restrict underground explosions to devices with a force of 150 kilotons of TNT or less, in line with policies adopted by the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Dechmont Rifle Range
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many members of (a) the regular forces, (b) reserve forces and (c) civilian organisations used Dechmont rifle range in the last year for which figures are available;(2) on how many days per year on average Dechmont rifle range is used by
(a) the regular forces, (b) reserve forces and (c) civilian organisations;
(3) what was the total cost to public funds in the last year for which figures are available of the Dechmont rifle range;
(4) how many units of (a) the regular forces and (b) reserve forces used Dechmont rifle range in the last year for which figures are available;
(5) how many accidents to persons, livestock and property arising from the operation of the range have occurred on or near to Dechmont rifle range in the last five years;
(6) what is the exact distance between the firing points at Dechmont rifle range and the nearest civilian residential accommodation;
(7) how much money was paid by his Department to Strathclyde regional council and Glasgow district council either in the form of rates or for other services in the last year for which figures are available;
(8) how often Dechmont rifle range was used on a Sunday in the last year for which figures are available;
(9) how much money was received by his Department from civilian rifle clubs for the use of Dechmont rifle range in the last year for which figures are available;
(10) how many full-time soldiers or civilians are employed at Dechmont rifle range;
(11) what is the total acreage of Dechmont rifle range;
(12) how much money was expended by his Department for fencing and for walling at Dechmont rifle range in the last year for which figures are available; and how many people are permanently employed on this work;
(13) what insurance arrangements are made by his Department in respect of accidents to people and livestock on or near to Dechmont rifle range;
(14) how many rounds of live ammunition were used at Dechmont rifle range by regular or reserve forces in the last year for which figures are available; and what was the cost to public funds of the ammunition;
(15) what arrangements are made to warn members of the public when live ammunition is used at Dechmont rifle range.
My noble Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces will write to the hon. Member.
Re-Chem Plants (Bonnybridge And Pontypool)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what quantities of waste from Porton Down have been sent to Re-Chem plants at Bonnybridge and Pontypool for disposal since 1975.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) on 7 May at column 386.
Centaur Military Vehicle
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department has sought any information or conducted any assessment, of the performance of the British-manufactured Centaur military vehicle in use in Chile.
My Department is familiar with the basic specification and performance of the Centaur multi-role military vehicle and has in the past conducted trials on one of its variants. No specific assessment has been made or information sought on the trials of the vehicle in Chile.
War Widows (Visits To Cemeteries)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what visits to war cemeteries are being arranged in the current financial year for war widows under the scheme announced by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailing (Mr. Stanley), on 22 October 1984, Official Report, column 471.
For the first year of the new Government-funded scheme, The Royal British Legion's programme of visits to overseas war graves planned so far is as follows:
|Italy (South)||Salerno, Cassino, Anzio, Caserta, Naples|
|Tunisia||All war cemeteries|
|Japan/Hong Kong||Yokohama/Hong Kong|
|S Germany||Munich, Dumbach|
|Somme||Arras, Amiens, Theipval, Vimy, Pozieres, Beaumont Hamil|
|Normandy||All war cemeteries|
|Luxembourg and Belgium||Horton, Brussels|
|Germany||Hamburg, Hanover, Soltau, Berlin|
|Holland||All mainland cemeteries including Rheinberg and Reischswald Forest|
|Italy (North)||Argenta Gap, Florence, Coriano Ridge, Ancona, Faenza, Forli, Santerno|
|Egypt||El Alamein, Cairo, Alexandria|
|Belgium||Menin Gate, Ypres Salient Cemeteries|
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the occasions on which military personnel from other countries have visited the Falklands since 1983, stating in each case their country of origin and the purpose of the visit.
[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1985, c. 385]: There have been no official visits by foreign military personnel. However, such records as are readily available show that three Canadian officers have visited the Falklands as part of their duties with the British units to which they are attached. This is part of the normal and productive officer exchange programme between Canada and the United Kingdom. To provide details of all additional exchange personnel who may have visited the Falklands for the period in question would require a check of the records of all units posted to the Falklands during that time, which could not be undertaken except at disproportionate cost.
Defence Secretariat 17
asked the Secretary of State for Defence which parts of his Department now handle the responsibilities formerly handled by Defence Secretariat 17.
[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1985, c. 383]: The responsibilities of the former Defence Secretariat 17 for nuclear and conventional arms control and disarmament have passed to the defence arms control unit, while the division's other nuclear policy responsibilities have been allocated to the director of nuclear policy and security.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many grants for homes insulation have been given in each year since 1978; and what estimate he has of the number of grants paid to households where one member of the household was in receipt of supplementary benefit.
I am informed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which administers the home insulation grant scheme in the Province, that the number of grants paid in each year since 1 December 1978 is as follows:
|* 1 December 1978 to 31 March 1979.|
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the number of public sector houses which do not benefit from adequate insulation.
This is a matter for the chairman of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive who has advised me that about 47,000 Housing Executive dwellings do not have adequate roof space insulation. There are about 30,000 dwellings which could benefit by having cavity wall insulation but do not at present have such insulation.
Armagh Prison (Female Prisoners)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many strip searches were made of female prisoners in Her Majesty's prison, Armagh, in the month of April; if he will give the number of persons involved and the number of times each person was searched; whether any prison contraband, smuggled item or illegal correspondence was discovered in any search, indicating which items; in how many cases prisoners refused to be searched and had to be restrained while the search was being concluded; and if he will indicate the reasons for the search, namely, making an appearance at Armagh courthouse on remand, attending trial, interprison visit or other reasons, itemising the other reasons.
During April 1985 a total of 52 searches were carried out on 21 prisoners in Her Majesty's prison Armagh: 12 prisoners were searched once, eight were searched twice, and a life sentence prisoner taking part in a pre-release programme was searched on 24 occasions. The latter prisoner was offered accommodation in a separate self-contained unit of the prison, which would have eliminated the need for her to undergo the full reception search procedure, but she preferred to remain located with other prisoners.No prohibited articles were found during these searches, and no prisoner refused to be searched. Searches were carried out in the following circumstances:
|First admission on remand and awaiting trial||5|
|First admission on sentence, and final discharge||9|
|Attending Armagh Remand Court||1|
|Bail Court appearances||3|
|Home leave scheme||10|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what encouragement the Government are planning to give to local authorities to develop civil defence to cope with peacetime emergencies as well as with war; and if he will seek to amend the Civil Defence Act 1948 accordingly.
The existing guidance to local authorities will be incorporated in the consolidated emergency planning guidance to local authorities, to be issued in the near future, makes clear that there is no objection to the use of civil defence resources in planning for peacetime emergencies provided that this is done without detriment to the performance for an authority's civil defence duties. It remains our intention to fulfil the manifesto commitment with regard to extending the Civil Defence Act 1948 at the earliest practicable opportunity.
Advisory Council On Race Relations
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what meetings of the Advisory Council on Race Relations have taken place since 31 March; and what subjects were discussed.
The council met on 29 April under my chairmanship. Discussion concentrated on two issues. First, there was a positive and constructive discussion on the Swann report on the education of children from ethnic minority groups. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education led the discussion, which ranged widely over the major recommendations of the report, but focused particularly on the possible causes of educational under-achievement and the question of ethnic monitoring of pupils and teachers.The council also had a most useful discussion about the role of the Manpower Services Commission, focusing on the training opportunities it could offer to people from the minority communities. The chairman of the MSC was present and reported on a number of positive steps which had been taken since the council last considered this issue in October 1984.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
Human Rights (Bulgaria And Greece)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last made representations to the Governments of Bulgaria and Greece about their policies on the human rights of the Turkish minorities in their respective countries; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. and learned Friend discussed this question with the Bulgarian authorities during his visit to Sofia on 10–11 February. He has had no such discussions with the Greek authorities as the situation in the two countries does not seem to be comparable.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what references are made to Nicaragua in the European Economic Community Commission's negotiating mandate for a European Economic Community-Central America co-operation agreement; if it is proposed to treat Nicaragua in a similar way to the other countries in the region; and if he will make a statement.
The Commission has not yet made proposals for the negotiating mandate for a European Community/Central America co-operation agreement. By analogy with the European Community/Andean Pact Co-operation Agreement and the European Community/ASEAN Co-operation Agreement, we would expect a European Community/Central America agreement to be negotiated on a collective regional basis.
Discrimination Against Women
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why Her Majesty's Government have not yet ratified the United Nations convention for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
We are still considering this convention in the light of our existing legislation and hope to be in a position to make an announcement about ratification soon.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had in the framework of the International Monetary Fund about raising the level of financial loans available to Poland to assist economic recovery.
None. Discussions about Poland's application to join the International Monetary Fund are continuing.
Nuclear Weapons Freeze (Europe)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of East Germany about proposals for a nuclear weapons freeze in Europe.
During my right hon. and learned Friend's visit to East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic he discussed arms control issues with Mr. Fischer and Mr. Honecker. On the question of a freeze on nuclear weapons, my right hon. and learned Friend stressed our view that the aim should be to achieve significant reductions in both sides of nuclear weapons rather than a moratorium that would merely freeze the existing imbalance in intermediate range forces in Europe in the Soviet favour.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is meant by European integration in paragraph 13 of Her Majesty's Government's Paper, "Europe—The Future," submitted to the European Economic Community Heads of Government meeting in June 1984.
The phrase denotes the co-operation of European Community member states in pursuit of common objectives and greater unity.
Human Rights (Iran)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Her Majesty's Government last made representations to the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding reported violation of human rights of minority groups, including Baha'is; and if he will make a statement.
On 2 October last year, the Ten made a demarche in Tehran to the Iranian Government expressing the concern felt by the Governments of the Ten at the continued reports of persecution of the Baha'i community in Iran. We followed this up by co-sponsoring the resolution on human rights in Iran at the 41st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The resolution was adopted on 13 March.
Human Rights (Uganda)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent evidence he has received about developments in human rights in Uganda.
My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) visited Uganda on 11–12 March. There appears to have been some improvement in human rights although much still remains to be done. We receive regular reports on human rights in Uganda from the British high commission at Kampala.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on the definition of rural area for the purposes of transitional bus grant.
We have received several representations from hon. Members and others on the definition of small towns within which mileage will be eligible for grant and we shall take these into account in reaching a final decision.
Private Cars (Taxation)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will consider simplifying the method of taxing private cars.
New cars are subject to VAT and also to a special car tax, levied at first registration. Thereafter they are subject to vehicle excise duty when they are used on the roads. VED for private cars is levied at a flat rate, currently £100 per annum, although six monthly licences may also be taken out. Almost all relicensing may be done in any of more than 3,000 post offices. The procedure for vehicle excise licensing also serves the purposes of maintaining an accurate vehicles register and of enforcing MOT test and insurance requirements.Consistent with those other purposes, vehicle excise licensing is as simple and convenient as we can make it. If the hon. Member has any particular examples of complexity in mind, perhaps he would write to me.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport why several private cars and other vehicles were using the as yet unopened M25 interchange at Leatherhead at 10 am on Wednesday 1 May; and if he will make a statement.
Advertising agencies, film companies and so on often ask to be allowed to use unopened stretches of motorway which are not yet ready for use by public traffic, for filming or demonstration purposes. The Department gave permission for London Weekend Television to use part of the Leatherhead interchange section of the M25 on 1 May 1985.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to consolidate all transport legislation; and if he will make a statement.
No. Given the wide ranging nature of my responsibilities, I do not believe that this would serve any useful purpose. Individual areas are of course consolidated when necessary and when the opportunity arises.
North Circular Road
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will consider an alteration in the road markings along the single carriageway three-lane section of the north circular road known as Telford road.
I have considered the markings on this section from the point of view of road safety but am not aware of any special problems. If my hon. Friend has a particular point in mind, perhaps he will write to me.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the state of the salmon industry.
Following a modest increase in reported catches of salmon and grilse from 1,092 tonnes in 1982 to 1,221 tonnes in 1983, provisional figures for 1984 indicate a decline to about 988 tonnes. This is extremely disappointing but may be due in large part to last year's prolonged drought preventing significant numbers of fish from running up rivers until after the fishing season.
Elderly Persons (Dementia)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what funding is being given to research projects in Scotland investigating the causes of dementia in elderly persons.
Information relating to all medical research being conducted in Scotland is not available centrally. However, the Scottish Home and Health Department is currently supporting two projects relevant to investigating the causation of dementia in elderly persons. Total funding provided for these projects is some £38,000.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many projects for the elderly with dementia are funded under the support finance scheme in Scotland.
50 projects for the provision of facilities for the elderly are currently being funded under this scheme. Many of these will be of benefit to the elderly with dementia, and two of them are specifically intended to assist such persons.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many elderly people with dementia are in psychiatric hospitals in Scotland.
The number of patients suffering from dementia, aged 65 years and over and resident in Scottish psychiatric hospitals of all types at 31 December 1983 was as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many day centres are planned in each of the next five years for each health board in Scotland for the elderly with dementia;(2) how many places in day hospitals are planned in each of the next five years for each health board in Scotland for the elderly with dementia;(3) how many continuing care units for the elderly with dementia are planned to open in each of the next five years for each of the health boards in Scotland.
This information is not available centrally. Health boards are currently reviewing their plans for this type of accommodation.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many day centres are provided in each health board in Scotland for the elderly with dementia;(2) how many places are provided in day hospitals for each health board in Scotland for the elderly with dementia.
The statistics held centrally do not distinguish between the two types of provision. At 31 March 1984 the estimated number of hospitals/centres and the number of places available in the areas of the Health Boards making such provision was as follows:
|Number of hospitals/centres||Number of places*|
|Ayrshire and Arran||1||25|
|Argyll and Clyde||3||73|
|Dumfries and Galloway||1||30|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what evidence is available to him on the performance of health boards in Scotland in providing services for the elderly with dementia, in terms of the recommendations of the Scottish Home and Health Department's report "Scottish Health Authorities Priorities for the Eighties", HMSO 1980.
The evidence available centrally is contained partly in information provided in response to requests by the Scottish Home and Health Department and partly in published and other statistical information collected by the information services division of the Common Services Agency.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many continuing care units for the elderly with dementia have been opened by each health board in Scotland since the publication of the Scottish Home and Health Department's report "Scottish Health Authorities Priorities for the Eighties", HMSO 1980.
Two such units have been opened, both in the Grampian health board area.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many elderly people with dementia are placed in acute medical wards in Scotland.
This information is not kept centrally.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received regarding the proposed new building for Leith academy; and if he will make a statement.
Representations have been received from Lothian regional council and from a number of community organisations and individuals in Leith. I have agreed to meet Lothian regional council when they have completed an investment appraisal of secondary school accommodation in the northern part of Edinburgh.
Teachers' Superannuation Fund
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average payment and number of years of payment to recipients out of the Scottish teachers' superannuation fund from the date of retirement to the date of death, indicating any payments to dependants.
In the year to 31 March 1985 the average pension paid to former members of the teachers' superannuation scheme in Scotland was £4,004 inclusive of pensions increase. The average period during which pension had been paid to former members who died in that year, rounded to the nearest full year, was 16 years. Figures for the dependants of those who died in the year are not readily available. At 31 March 1985 there were 2,177 pensions in payment to dependants of deceased teachers.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average total annual payment (a) out of and (b) into the Scottish teachers superannuation fund; and if, in the latter case, he will give a breakdown of income from employees' contributions, employers' contributions, investment and any other source.
Since the teachers' superannuation scheme for Scotland has a notional but not an actual fund, all income is paid to the Exchequer, which in turn meets all expenditure. In 1983–84, the latest year for which figures are available, expenditure in respect of the scheme, including pensions increase but excluding the cost of administration, amounted to £106·6 million: teachers contributed £38·7 million, their employers contributed £49·9 million, and £1·1 million was received from miscellaneous sources including transfer values.It is for actuarial purposes only that the assets and liabilities of the scheme are treated as a notional fund. The notional interest assessed as arising from notional investment was calculated as £107·7 million for the year. The cost of pensions increase, which accounts for 38 per cent, of total expenditure, is met separately by central Government and is not charged to the fund.
Freshwater And Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many protection orders have been (a) applied for and (b) granted under the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976; and if he will list in each case the mileage of waters, the names and addresses of the applicants, the permit prices, the times of access and any other restrictions.
Formal proposals for protection orders have been submitted in respect of six areas. Protection orders have been granted in respect of four areas and were detailed in my reply to the hon. Member on 10 January. Proposals in respect of the River Tay and the Rivers Garnock, Irvine and Annick and other waters in west Strathclyde region have now progressed to the stage of formal consideration; proposals in respect of the former have been advertised and made available for public inspection in terms of paragraph 1 of schedule 1 of the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976. Proposals in respect of the latter are likely to be advertised etc. in the very near future.The numbers of proprietors and occupiers who submitted proposals for access are 67 in the case of the Tweed, 23 in the Upper Spey and so on, 29 in the River Tummel, 2 in the River Lunan, 107 in the River Tay and 18 in the Rivers Garnock, Irvine and Annick etc. This amounts to some 246 separate names and addresses and it would not be practicable to list them in this reply.The mileage of water and costs of permits available for fishing are:
|River||Mileage||Day Permits||Weekly Permits||Season Permits|
|* Not calculated.|
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about salmon poaching and other offences dàmaging the salmon industry.
A great deal of effort is devoted to the enforcement of salmon and sea fisheries legislation by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, district salmon fishery boards, water bailiffs and the police. Fishery protection vessels, fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and shore-based staff equipped with two-way radio telephones are all deployed, with considerable success, to curb the activities of those who fish illegally. In the period from 1 December 1983 to 1 December 1984 there were 321 and 38 prosecutions respectively for salmon poaching in the sea and in fresh water.My right hon. Friend proposes to complement the ban on the use of drift nets, set from a boat, to fish for salmon by prohibiting in Scottish inshore waters
(a) the use of gill nets, set otherwise than from a boat, to fish for salmon and (b) the carriage of monofilament gill nets in British fishing boats. Consultation about those prohibitions are under way in terms of the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984.
Consultations are continuing about the possibility of introducing legislation to deal with several other matters, including a scheme of salmon sales control as an anti-poaching measure.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total amount paid out in grants and subsidies on the production and sale of sheepmeat, including hill farming etc. subsidies, as a ratio to the total receipts from the sale of British sheepmeat in the United Kingdom market for home consumption in the latest year for which figures are available.
Information is not available in the form requested.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he examines national aids given to agriculture by other member states of the European Economic Community to ensure that they comply with articles 92 and 93 of the treaty of Rome; and whether he will publish in the Official Report details of the national aids given to agriculture by the other member states, together with the amount spent for the latest period for which figures are available in each case.
The European Commission is responsible for monitoring all aids given by member states with a view to ensuring they are compatible with the Community's rules. It would not be appropriate for my Department to duplicate this work. We are however constantly on the alert for national aids to agriculture that appear to breach the Treaty and remain fully prepared to refer substantiated cases to the Commission. Full details of aids to agriculture in other member states are not available.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list in the Official Report the names and locations of the broadleaved woodlands clearfelled under licence but not to be replanted in 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85 in the Forestry Commission's (a) south-west England conservancy, (b) north-west England conservancy, (c) north-east England conservancy, (d) east England conservancy and (e) south-east England conservancy.
This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations he has received with regard to the continuation of the soil survey of England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
In response to recent representations we have confirmed that the funding of the soil survey is unchanged for the current year and will be set at around half the present level in 1986–87. We believe that the wide range of interests which make use of the expertise of the survey offers scope for it to operate more commercially in the future.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the European Economic Community Commission's latest budget proposals for expenditure by common agricultural policy products for 1985.
The Council has now established a draft Budget for 1985 which provides for expenditure by product as set out in the reply given to the hon. Member on 17 April 1985 at column 205.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the anticipated increase in common agricultural policy expenditure in 1985 resulting from the most recent budget proposals as compared with 1984.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on Thursday 9 May 1985 at column 499.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any plans to take steps to ban the importation of foreign queen honey bees; and if he will make a statement.
Under the Importation of Bees Order 1980 the importation of bees is prohibited except under the authority of a licence. Licences are issues only in respect of queen bees (with attendant workers) from countries which have a high bee health status and, more particularly, are free from the parasitic mite, Varroa jacobsoni. In practice imports are restricted to those from New Zealand and the USA. At the present time there is no reason to prohibit imports from these countries although the situation is kept under review.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the current legislation on honey bee diseases.
We have received a number of letters, including some from hon. Members, on various aspects of bee disease. In reply we have made clear the importance which I attach to maintaining a healthy bee population and have described the arrangements which we have introduced to that end. I am satisfied that our current arrangements provide fully adequate protection for the health of our bee population. However, we keep the situation under review and would modify our arrangements should this become necessary.
Genetic Research Expenditure
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement outlining how genetic research spending within his Department's research and development budget is determined.
Expenditure on animal and plant genetic research has been determined after taking account of the views of the industry, the Agricultural and Food Research Council and advice from within my own Department. In future the advice of the Priorities Board will also be available to Ministers and the Agricultural and Food Research Council in determining the allocation of research and development budgets.
Vitamins (Food Labelling)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations have been received by his Department regarding the implications for vitamin manufacturers of his Department's food labelling regulations; and if he will list the organisations concerned and state which representations concerned vitamin E.
Since proposals for new food labelling regulations were issued in September 1983 my Department has received representations concerning the labelling vitamin products and of foods containing vitamins from trade associations, manufacturers, retailers and individuals. Most of these representations have been general in nature and have not referred specifically to the implications for vitamin manufacturers.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice he has sought or received from outside his Department as to whether vitamin E deficiency constitutes a health problem in the United Kingdom.
My Department is advised on such health matters by the medical advisers in the Department of Health and Social Security. Their advice is that vitamin E is present in adequate amounts in any likely diet in this country.
Agricultural Land (Access)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions his Department is having with interested bodies on the question of access to agricultural land.
My Department attends regular meetings of the Rights of Way Review Committee and the Common Land Forum, the membership of which includes a broad cross-section of bodies interested in the question of access to agricultural land.My Department assisted the Countryside Commission in preparing its "Countryside Access Charter", in whose launch in March this year my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, Lord Belstead, participated.
Local Authorities (Statistics)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish for each local authority the latest estimates available of (a) rate support grant, (b) rate support grant per domestic ratepayer, (c) expenditure on education, (d) expenditure on police, (e) revenue from domestic rates and (f) revenue from commercial and business rates.
I have today placed in the Library the information, based on local authorities' 1984–85 budgets.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the adoption of conservation policies for already designated conservation areas.
Local Planning authorities have a duty under the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 to formulate and to publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of designated conservation areas. It is for local planning authorities to determine how to carry out this duty in practice. My right hon. Friend has no plans to add to the guidance set out in DOE Circulars 23/77 and 12/81.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects that sections 53 and 54 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, relating to the definitive map for footpaths, will be brought into force for Cornwall.
The bringing into force of sections 53 and 54 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for Cornwall is dependent on the completion by my Department and the Cornwall county council of action on the current definitive map and review. I expect this to be completed by the end of 1986.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many authorities have designated buildings under local schemes under section 12 of the Housing Defects Act 1984 since its coming into force.
No designations have been made.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been given to local authorities in contributions where local authorities have designated local schemes under section 12 of the Housing Defects Act 1984.
No designations under section 12 of the Act have been made.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many Smith houses he has (a) visited himself personally and (b) instructed his officials to visit in (i) Birmingham and (ii) any other areas; and whether he will publish the evidence available to him about the value and condition of Smith houses.
The condition of Smith houses is discussed in the Building Research Establishment report "The Structural condition of Smith system houses", published in December 1983. As part of its investigation, the BRE inspected in detail six Smith houses (three in Birmingham and three in other areas) and examined a further 25 in those areas. I have visited seven Smith houses in the Birmingham area. In addition to BRE inspectors my officials have made other such visits in Birmingham.As indicated in my reply of 8 May, at column
417, we have no evidence of any substantial reduction in value generally. But there has been a substantial reduction in the
value of those Smith houses in Birmingham which are defective through use of shale fill. It would not be appropriate to publish the detailed valuations.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with (a) local authority officials and (b) other interested parties about Smith houses in the last 12 months; and whether he will make a statement.
Over the last year my Department has obtained information on Smith houses from local authorities and other interested parties. I have kept closely informed those hon. Members who have previously raised this subject and I met local Members of Parliament, City officials and other interested parties during my visit to Birmingham on 25 May last year. My officials have had separate discussions with City officials.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when his Department first became aware of defects in Smith houses.
The condition of Smith houses was first raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Bevan) and formed the subject of replies given to him on 8 November 1982 at column 80.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the areas in which Smith houses have been built; and (a) which of these areas have been visited and inspected by officials of his Department and (b) in which of these areas Smith houses were found to be defective.
Smith houses have been reported in the following local authority areas in England and Wales:
- Amber Valley
- North East Derbyshire
417, on the condition of this type of house in Birmingham and generally.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the circumstances in which subsistence may be claimed by local councillors; and what is an approved duty allowable for a claim by a member of a local authority.
The circumstances under which a councillor may claim a subsistence allowance are set out in section 174 of the Local Government Act 1972. The scope of the term "approved duty" is outlined in section 177(2) of that Act, but the Government take the view that the interpretation of the statute is for individual local authorities. The judgment as to the correctness of that interpretation in a particular case is in the first instance a matter for the independent auditor appointed by the Audit Commission and ultimately one for the courts.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many grants for homes insulation have been given in each year since 1978; and what estimate he has of the number of grants paid to households where one member of the household was in receipt of supplementary benefit.
Numbers of home insulation scheme grants paid in 1982, 1983 and 1984 (provisional) appear in table 2.17 of "Housing and Construction Statistics" part 2, No. 20: figures for the earlier years were last published in table 7.5 of "Housing and Construction Statistics 1973–1983". Copies of these publications are available in the Library.Figures are not collected of the numbers paid to recipients of supplementary benefit.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate the number of public sector houses which do not benefit from adequate insulation.
The available information is from a sample survey conducted by Audits of Great Britain and it is estimated that at the end of 1983 about 1 million council houses in Great Britain had no loft insulation or less than 2 inches of loft insulation.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the current standards defined by building regulations for thermal insulation in (a) new buildings and (b) other buildings; and whether he proposes to upgrade these.
The current standards defined by the building regulations for the resistence to the passage of heat through the roof, external walls and external floor of new buildings and extensions to existing buildings are:
|Type of building||Minimum U value required W/m2 ºC|
|External walls and floors||Roofs|
|Residential other than dwellings, shops, offices assembly, recreational||0·6||0·6|
My right Friend has no proposals at present to upgrade these Standards. All the technical requirements of the building regulations including those for the conservation of fuel and power will be reviewed once the new system of building control has been introduced later this year.Hot water pipes and tanks are also required to be insulated.
Home Improvement Grants
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been paid out in home improvement grants by local authorities in each of the last five years.
The figures requested are as follows:
Ec Directive (Wild Birds)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter number S6(84) D/2695 dated 23 February 1984 from the Commission of the European Communities to Her Majesty's Government concerning directive 79/409 on the conservation of wild birds; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the reply from Her Majesty's Government contained in letter number SER 226/2 of 17 May 1984.
Copies of these two letters have been placed in the Library.
Nature Conservancy Council
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many requests he has received from the Nature Conservancy Council for section 29 orders since 1 January; how many of these requests have been granted and how many have yet to be decided; and what is the time each order has taken to be processed from the date it was secured by his Department.
I shall write to the hon. Member with this information.
National Home Improvement Council (Exhibition)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will arrange for an exhibition relating to the National Home Improvement Council to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
I understand that arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to he held in the Upper Waiting Hall from 13 May to 17 May.
Ronan Point (Report)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when the report of the Building Research Establishment's investigation of Ronan Point and other Taylor Woodrow Anglian Buildings will be published.
The Building Research Establishment's report on the structure of Ronan Point and other Taylor Woodrow Anglian (TWA) buildings is being published today. The main findings of the BRE's investigation were announced in the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on 19 February at columns 409–10. The report contains detailed analyses which support those findings and I commend it to those responsible for managing and maintaining Taylor Woodrow Anglian buildings and to the consulting engineers and others who advise them.Some of the conclusions in the BRE report apply not only to Taylor Woodrow Anglian buildings but have implications for large panel system buildings generally.In the statement which I made on 23 October 1984 at columns 553–57 I advised that authorities should take urgent steps to prevent the use and storage of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders and other explosive materials in large panel system buildings of all type over six storeys in height which were not designed or strengthened to resist a standard static pressure of 34 KN/m
2 (5 p.s.i.). I repeat this urgent advice to authorities which have not done so already to take steps to guard against the risk, even if it is remote, of these large panel buildings being seriously damaged by explosion, by preventing the use and storage in them of LPG.
The necessary steps include effective publicity about the danger of LPG and the readiness to take enforcement action when necessary. I appreciate that in some cases tenants face difficulties because existing heating systems are inefficient or expensive. In these cases one possibility local authorities should consider is to provide alternative, more economic forms of heating, combined where necessary with better insulation.
In my statement of 23 October 1984 I also referred to the risk of progressive collapse in certain large panel buildings of six or fewer storeys. Many such buildings do conform to the requirements of D17 of the building regulations, which require, inter alia, that the relevant parts of the structure should be capable of withstanding static pressure of 34KN/m2 (5 p.s.i). But where they do not and particularly where piped gas is installed or LPG is being used, I urge authorities to appraise the robustness of the buildings and their resistance to progressive collapse, as indicated in the BRE report.
Having appraised their large panel buildings authorities will need to consider carefully all of the steps which they should take, including management measures mentioned above (for example, the use and enforcement of tenancy agreements, to ensure that LPG is not used) as well as possible works such as the modification or replacement of heating systems or the alternative of strengthening buildings to the 34KN/m standard. Authorities will need to consider carefully the relative costs and benefits of the options open to them, while also keeping in mind the need for other expenditure on the maintenance and renovation of these buildings in the longer term. Though it will be for each authority to decide on the best course of action my Department will give whatever further advice it can.
The Department is writing today to those authorities which own large panel system flats and houses to bring these recommendations to their attention. Copies of the BRE report are being sent to each of them: a copy has been placed in the Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards technical support for selected national institutions with a view to developing prototype curricula for health education at school and related teacher training in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute in 1985–86 and 1986–87;(2) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards contracts with institutions for pilot activities aimed at introducing into literacy activities for young people and adults, and educational dimension relating to population problems and drug abuse prevention in 1984–85; and how much it intends to contribute in the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;(3) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards
(a) the organisation of training activities aiming to include in educational curricula and non-formal educational activities interdisciplinary content relating to drug abuse prevention, and (b) the publication of an appraisal of activities undertaken by certain member states in education and communication to combat the use of narcotics and prevent drug abuse in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(4) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards operational projects to further the inclusion in general educational curricula and in non-formal educational activities of subject matter relating to problems connected with the quality of life, the environment and nutrition education in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(5) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards the development of Palestine university institutions in the occupied Arab territories in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(6) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards consultancy services to assist in setting up a scholarship fund for students from the occupied Arab territories in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(7) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards further training fellowships for the teaching staff of universities in the occupied Arab territories, and to the supply of teaching materials and equipment for these universities in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(8) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards the supply of educational material and equipment for the education centres of African national liberation movements, and the organisation of seminars with a view to improving the training of the staff of the centres in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(9) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed to fellowships for students sponsored by African national liberation movements and students presented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(10) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards the cost of printing school textbooks for the education centres of African national liberation movements in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(11) how much the United nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation subsidised the publication of African poems and other activities decided upon with those responsible for education in African national liberation movements with a view to helping to preserve their cultural identity in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
(12) how much the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation contributed towards informing public opinion about the assistance it provided in the implementation of education projects of African national liberation movements in 1984–85; and how much it is intended that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will contribute for the years 1985–86 and 1986–87;
I am seeking this information from the organisation and will circulate it in the Official Report.
Ethiopia And Sudan (Food Aid)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commowealth Affairs what action he proposes to take in the light of the Court of Auditors report on the European Economic Community for 1983, to ensure that cereals and foodstuffs allocated and committed for delivery to the drought-affected areas of Ethiopia and Sudan are received by those for whom they are intended.
Much has been done since 1983 to improve the procedures for agreeing the Community's annual food aid programme and individual commitments and thus to remove some of the causes of the delays criticised by the Court of Auditors. The Commission have also taken steps to speed up deliveries to the most seriously affected countries. However, I believe the Community could respond more rapidly in emergencies. The Development Council on 23 May will review progress in delivering recent Community food aid commitments to Africa.
Centre For World Development Education
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement with regard to the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the Centre for World Development Education, with particular reference to its funding in the period 1979 to 1985 and in the future.
The Government have provided financial support for the Centre for World Development Education since it was established in 1977. In the period 1979–80 to 1984–85 grants totalling £793,000 were provided. Subject to Parliamentary approval I propose to allocate £100,000 per annum for 1985–86 and 1986–87. Our hope is that the continuation of support in this way will enable the centre to identify secure sources of funds for their activities from non-Government sources.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what agricultural aid was given by Her Majesty's Government to Ethiopia in each of the last five years.
No agricultural aid was given to Ethiopia on a bilateral basis during the four years from 1980 to 1983 inclusive, but the Government provided £165,000 to buy seeds and tools in 1984. Ethiopia is a major recipient of multilateral aid especially from the European Community, to which we make a substantial contribution. Much of such aid goes to the agricultural sector.
India (Westland Helicopters)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if there will be a reduction in total aid expenditure in 1985–86 in the event of failure to achieve a sale for Westland helicopters to India; and if he will make a statement.
I have no plans to reduce total aid expenditure in 1985–86.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Overseas Development Administration intends to buy for sale elsewhere Westland helicopters which cannot be sold to India.
I have no plans to do so.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the 1985–86 aid commitment to India is in respect of the Westland helicopter sales; if failure to achieve the contract for this sale will reduce total United Kingdom aid to India by the amount involved; and if he will make a statement.
An allocation of £45 million has been made for 1985–86. Discussions with the Government of India about the provision of Westland helicopters are still continuing. There might well be implications for the aid programme to India if the contract were not concluded.
United Nations (Children's Fund Appeal)
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government intend to make a further contribution to the United Nations international children's emergency fund appeal for Africa.
I have made available a further £1 million for the UNICEF special appeal for Africa. This is in addition to the £1 million contribution announced in August 1984.
Trade Union Rules
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will introduce legislation to require major changes in the rules of trades unions to be subject to an affirmative vote of their members in a manner similar to that specified in part III of the Trade Union Act 1984.
We have no plans to introduce such legislation at present.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on proposals to provide retraining places in skillcentres for redundant miners; how many places will be offered and in what areas; what will be the Government's financial contribution; and when discussions on this proposal were instigated.
I very much welcome the agreement signed on 2 May between the skillcentre training agency and the National Coal Board to provide training for people leaving the mining industry under the board's voluntary redundancy arrangements. This will create new opportunities for those who choose to leave the industry. The contract, worth up to £10 million, is the largest ever private contract obtained by the skillcentre training agency.Training will be available under these arrangements for all who choose to take voluntary redundancy and decide to take advantage of the opportunity. It is not possible at this stage to predict the number of applications which will be made. The training can be provided by any skillcentre in any National Coal Board area and will be within the capacity of the re-organised skillcentre network.This is a commercial contract between the National Coal Board and the Manpower Services Commission and will be financed accordingly by the Board.The discussions, linked to the development of the Board's enterprise initiative, were initiated in May 1984.
Trade And Industry
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on his policy on trade with Nicaragua.
Our trade with Nicaragua is minimal and I do not think this will change in the foreseeable future.
Chile (Export Licences)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his policy regarding the granting of export licences for vehicles, weapons or equipment to Chile.
In the case of Chile or other countries arms sales are considered individually on their merit. The nature of the regime of the importing country and the use to which the equipment may be put are among the many factors which are taken into account before a decision is made whether or not to grant an export licence.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many applications for export licences have been made for the sale of vehicles, equipment or weapons to Chile in the past 12 months.
It has been the practice of successive Governments not to make public information of this kind.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many consumer safety complaints in respect of imported goods have been made by trading standards officers in the last 12 months; how the figure compares with previous 12-month periods; and to what extent such complaints relate to specific types of goods and to specific countries of origin.
This information is not kept centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Consumer safety complaints are made in the first instance to trading standards officers who pass them on to my Department only if the goods concerned cannot be dealt with under the powers already available to TSOs, or if the case raises questions of policy. Of the total number of consumer safety complaints made to TSOs, a significant proportion relate to imported goods; a recent survey by TSOs in the Midlands suggested that this might be as much as 80 per cent.
Imported Goods (Trading Standards)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps are taken to ensure that imported goods comply with trading standards; if he is satisfied that present measures are adequate; and if he will make a statement.
Imported goods are subject to trading standards legislation. Enforcement is primarily a matter for local authority trading standards departments.We propose to amend the legislation on consumer safety to deal more effectively with imports as soon as the legislative programme permits. Our proposals are set out in the White Paper on the "Sale of Goods" (Cmnd. 9302) published last July.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the outstanding issues in the negotiations for a United Nations code of conduct for trans-national corporations; and if he will make a statement.
The Government continue to support negotiation of a balanced code, which could make a useful contribution to improving the climate for international investment, particularly in developing countries. On the main outstanding issues we consider that the code should be voluntary, should provide for non-discriminatory treatment by Governments of trans-national corporations and respect for international law, and should also be universally applicable.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give comparative figures in money and percentage terms for the percentage change in exports of (a) cereals and (b) all agricultural products and the percentage change in the remainder of British exports, broken down also into its principal sections.
The information is as follows:
|Change in United Kingdom Exports between 1979 and 1984*|
|£ million||Per cent.|
|Cereals and cereal preparations||+ 728||+276|
|All Agricultural products||+ 1,446||+ 80|
|Other Exports||+26,314||+ 64|
|Beverages and Tobacco||+ 383||+ 32|
|Inedible Crude Materials (excl. Fuels)||716||+ 61|
|Mineral Fuels, Lubricants etc||+ 11,043||+255|
|Chemicals and Related products||+ 3,304||+ 67|
|Manufactured Goods||+ 567||+ 6|
|Machinery and Transport Equipment||+ 6,733||+ 46|
|Miscellaneous Manufactures||+ 2,996||+ 76|
|Miscellaneous Commodities and Transactions||+ 573||+ 47|
|* 1984 figures are provisional|
Source: for agricultural products, SITC/R2 Sections 0 & 4 and Division 22, and for cereals, SITC/R2 Division 04 in Table V of the UK Overseas Trade Statistics.
Ec (Own Resources)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each year since 1973 the amount of the United Kingdom contribution to own resources under (a) value added tax and (b) other resources, together with the United Kingdom share in each case of the European
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will provide information on the net income after income tax, national insurance contributions and child benefit at (a) actual prices and (b) constant (April 1985) prices of typical household units (i) single, (ii) married couple, (iii) married couple with two children, (iv) married couple with four children whose gross income is at (x) the lowest decile, (y) the median and (z) the highest decile for each year since 1978–79.
Economic Community total; and to what extent the United Kingdom rebate has been reduced by confining the calculation to the value added tax element.
Details of the United Kingdom's contribution to own resources under value added tax and other resources, together with its share of the EEC total are given in the Official Journal of the European Communities—"Annual Report by the Court of Auditors". The copies covering the period 1973 to 1983 are in the Library of the House. The latest estimated outturn figures for 1984 are as follows:—
United Kingdom Contribution of Own Resources 1984 (MECU)
(a) Value-added tax—2,927 (20·05 per cent, of total)
(b) Other own resources—2,603 (25·05 per cent, of total)
(c) Total United Kingdom contribution—5,530 (22·1 per cent. of total EC own resources)
The calculation of the United Kingdom's rebate is not confined to the value-added tax element. As the Prime Minister pointed out in her statement to the House at column 1002, the calculation takes the majority of the United Kingdom's contribution to all forms of own resources into account. Furthermore, it is not possible to calculate to what extent the United Kingdom abatement has been affected by the agreement reached at Fontainebleau since it cannot be known what agreement, if any, could have been reached on other arrangements to reduce the United Kingdom's net contributions for future years.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the quantity and type of illegal drugs seized by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise by year since 1979.
The quantities and type of illegal drugs seized in each year since 1979 are set out in the following table. (The figures for 1984 are provisional.)
Mortgage Interest Relief
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a table showing the cost of mortgage interest tax relief for each year since 1964 at 1985 prices.
Solicitor-General For Scotland
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many people have been (a) fined and (b) imprisoned for poaching over the past six years; and what was the average fine and average term of imprisonment.
Statistics on the sentencing of persons for poaching are not separately kept and could not be obtained for the past six years except at disproportionate cost.
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many people have been prosecuted under the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976; and what was the average fine or other sentence imposed on those found guilty.
Statistics are not separately kept for contraventions of the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976. Information on the disposals of such cases could not therefore be obtained except at disproportionate cost.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his Department's review of student grants and the funding of higher education includes a review of the different treatment accorded to a student's income derived from local authority or central Government grants, and income derived from parental contribution, whether directly or by covenant.
The Government will consider all points made to them about student support arrangements during the current wide-ranging review. However, the treatment of income for tax purposes remains the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what ratio of membership to representation he considers appropriate for the union side of the Burnham committee; and if he will make a statement;(2) what criteria he will take into account when deciding the balance of representation in the union side of the Burnham committee;(3) whether he will appoint an independent chairman to the review of membership composition of the union side of the Burnham committee; and if he will make a statement.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
School Library Provision
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to respond to the report of the Library and Information Services Council on school library provision.
The White Paper "Better Schools" (Cmnd. 9469) makes clear the Government's view that the function and use of school libraries should form part of the curricular policy of every local education authority and school since schools are better placed to extend the range and depth of pupils' learning when library services are included in their curricular policies. The Government recognise the importance of school libraries and look to local education authorities and schools to explore ways in which the resources available can be most effectively deployed.The Library and Information Services Council's report also addressed a number of recommendations to local authorities, training establishments, staffs of schools, professional bodies and others. Those recommendations are to be considered by the bodies concerned.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will order a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate into the provision of books in schools and school library services.
The report of a survey by Her Majesty's inspectors of school libraries in six local education authorities will be published later this month. Book provision is referred to, often in detail, in HMI's reports on individual schools and on educational provision in particular authorities, and in their annual report on the effects of local authorities' expenditure policies—all of which are published.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will seek to determine statutory minimum levels for the (a) financial provision, (b) book stock and (c) staffing of school library services in England and Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local education authorities in England and Wales have a school library service.
The Department does not collect information from local education authorities about their arrangements for school library services.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to seek to make the provision of a school library service a statutory provision in England and Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many qualified librarians were employed in school libraries in England and Wales for each of the last five years for which statistics are available.
The Department does not collect information in this form from local education authorities.
Nhs (Ancillary Services)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total expenditure by the National Health Service on ancillary services.
We have no precise definition of ancillary services. Current expenditure by health authorities classified as on general services was £2,704·2 million in 1983–84. The details were given in table 1 in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, North (Mr. Howell) on 21 December 1984 at columns 412–14.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total number of qualified doctors employed by the National Health Service in England.
The number of qualified doctors directly employed by the National Health Service in England at 30 September 1984 was 48,900. This figure includes all permanent paid and honorary doctors working in the hospital and community health services except locums. It excludes general medical practitioners (25,800 at 30 September 1984), except those also employed on a part-time basis in the HCHS (4,300).
|Main grades||Basic salary from 1 April 1984||Estimated gross earnings for full-time staff|
|Minimum £||Maximum £||Minimum £||Maximum £|
|District Nursing Officer—DHA1(T)||19,002||24,882||—||—|
|Director of Nursing Services I||15,138||18,010||—||—|
|Senior Nurse 6 *||8,830||10,263||†||†|
|Senior Nurse 8||7,578||9,158||†||†|
|Nursing Sister II (Ward Sister)||6,827||8,751||7,819||10,023|
|Staff Nurse RGN||5,398||6,582||6,306||7,689|
|Director of Nurse Education I||14,270||16,514||—||—|
|* Eligible for unsocial hours payments but not overtime.|
|† Not readily available.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why he decided to compile a questionnaire for completion by disturbed elderly and handicapped people who seek social security assistance to pay for private home places; and if he will make provision for his Department's staff to help them to understand them and fill them in.
The draft letter seeking information from people in residential care and nursing homes claiming supplementary benefit has been simplified. Copies of the revised version have been placed in the Library.
|Number of claimants with Heating Addition as at December 1983 (Provisional)|
|Great Britain (Thousands)|
|Type of heating||Addition||All Supplementary Beneficiaries||All Pensioners||All Unemployed||Sick and Disabled||Lone Parents||Others|
|1. Heating Addition||£2.05||563||435||56||28||22||23|
|2. Heating Addition||£5.05||379||336||9||21||4||8|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average salary of each nursing grade employed by the National Health Service.
The information requested for the main nursing pay grades based on the minimum and maximum points of the 1984 pay scales is in the table. In addition to basic pay, nurses in grades up to and including senior nurse 6 and senior tutor are eligible for additional payments, mainly for working unsocial hours or overtime. The table therefore includes the estimated annual gross earnings of these staff where readily available. Pay rates for 1985 will be determined in the light of the recommendations of the review body for nursing staff, midwives, health visitors and professions allied to medicine.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much has been expended in supplementary benefit heating additions in the latest available period; and if he will break down the claimants by category.
Our most recent estimate is that some £400 million was spent in heating additions in the financial year 1984–85. A breakdown of the numbers of supplementary benefit claimants in different groups who receive a heating addition is only available at one point in a year. The latest figures are provisional estimates for December 1983.
Type of heating
All Supplementary Beneficiaries
Sick and Disabled
|3. Central Heating Addition||£2.05||448||202||147||19||56||25|
|4. Central Heating Addition||£4.10||562||133||249||24||121||36|
|5. Age Related Heating Addition||£2.05||468||258||120||3||85||2|
|6. Disabled Persons Heating Addition||£5.05||116||54||8||41||4||9|
|7. Estate Rate Heating Addition||£4.10||15||7||5||1||1||1|
|8. Estate Rate Heating Addition||£8.20||5||1||2||†||2||†|
|9. Specified Heating Addition av.||£3.65||2||1||†||†||†||—|
|10. Other Heating Addition av.||£2.51||29||14||11||1||2||1|
* May not sum due to rounding.
|† Less than 500.|
Source: Annual Statistical Enquiry 1983 (provisional estimates).
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many supplementary benefit single payments in respect of draughtproofing or other named energy saving measures have been made in each of the last three years.
I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 28 November 1984 at column 525. I regret that comparable figures for 1983 and 1984 are still unavailable because they have been delayed by the recent strike at Newcastle central office.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many staff were responsible for dealing with supplementary benefit claims in each of the last five years for which statistics are available.
Returns of local office staff which sub divide those actually working on supplementary benefit from those on contributory benefit work have been kept only since May 1983. Additionally, it is not possible to give a separate figure for staff employed exclusively on claims work, as opposed to other tasks arising from supplementary benefits.However, the following figures for 1981 to 1983 relate to the number of staff allocated to do supplementary benefit work in local offices and the figures for 1984 and 1985 relate to the numbers of staff actually in post.
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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what way attendance allowance will be accounted for in the assessment of costs under the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1985.
The Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1985 amend regulation 11 of the Supplementary Benefit (Resources) Regulations 1981 to enable attendance allowance to be taken fully into account as a resource in assessing a person's entitlement to supplementary benefit, where that person is living in a residential care or nursing home.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what provision will be made under the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1985 for supplementary benefit payments to be paid in bulk to a home; and for what uses such supplementary benefit payments can be made.
The Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1985 make no provisions for payments of supplementary benefit to be made in bulk to a home. Current legislation allows such payments to be made only in individual cases where the claimant has incurred serious debt.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in respect of the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1985, which authority has a duty to ensure that assessment for care is made and provided for.
Supplementary benefit for people in all forms of board and lodging accommodation is paid on the basis of the accommodation in which the individual is resident and does not take account of any assessed need for that accommodation. The existing duties of both local authorities and health authorities in respect of those requiring residential or nursing home care remain unchanged. The local social service authorities and district health authorities also through the registration systems for residential care homes and nursing homes respectively ensure there are satisfactory standards in registered homes. A joint working party between this Department and the local authority associations has been considering the scope for improving collaboration between the Department and local authorities in relation to the support from public funds of those in residential care homes including the assessment of the resident's need for that type of care.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what duty is placed upon local authorities and health authorities to provide topping-up payments under the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 1985.