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Written Answers

Volume 79: debated on Friday 24 May 1985

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Written Answers To Questions

Friday 24 May 1985

Transport

Pesticides

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are being taken to restrict the application of pesticides from the air.

Only chemicals which are specifically cleared for aerial application under the pesticides safety precautions scheme may be used for this purpose; these exclude the most toxic and persistent chemicals. The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible under article 40 of the Air Navigation Order 1980 for the control of aerial crop spraying. It has recently reviewed and strengthened the requirements it imposes on operators, in particular the procedures designed to keep spray to the target area. The distance which must be kept from houses has been increased from 75ft to 200ft, for example, and operators must confine the application of chemicals to the area to be treated. The authority will not hesitate to prosecute if it has satisfactory evidence that the procedures laid down have not been followed.

Severn Bridge (Toll Charges)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will now publish the report submitted to him in November 1984 following the public inquiry held in Bristol in July 1984 regarding his proposal to increase toll charges on the Severn bridge.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, West (Mr. Robinson) on Thursday 23 May 1985.

A38 (Safety Fencing)

asked the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 20 May, Official Report, column 284, what he envisages will be the effect of publishing interim guidance on the provision of safety fencing on the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth; and for whom the interim guidance will be published.

Until the new criteria are finalised, their full effect cannot be assessed, but work on assessment has begun, and I shall write to my hon. Friend as soon as it is complete. The updated criteria will be published as a departmental standard and will be available generally through the DOE/DTp publications sales unit.

Wrecked Ships

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any proposals to change procedures relating to the salvaging of wrecked ships; and if he will make a statement.

I have no proposals of this sort, although when parliamentary time permits I propose to seek approval for legislation that would provide for the protection and disposal of objects of archaeological and historic importance that are recovered from wrecked vessels.

Environment

Fluoridation

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate (a) the initial capital cost of equipment and (b) the continuing cost of labour and materials in all parts of the United Kingdom as a result of the addition of fluoride to water supplies.

(a) The intial capital cost of fluoridation equipment is estimated currently to lie in the range £35,000—£75,000 for populations up to 500,000. This excludes any building costs.

(b) It has been estimated that the total running cost of United Kindom fluoridation plants is approximately £l million.

Building Regulations

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress he has made in simplifying building regulations.

New building regulations will be made to come into force before the end of the year which will be simpler and more flexible in form, will give wider exemption and simplified procedures for minor works and will provide for private certification.

Planning Zones

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce his proposal to introduce simplified planning zones.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Heddle) on 26 March at column 147.

West Yorkshire Structure Plan

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what timetable for the consultation and examination procedure would be appropriate in order to enable him to approve first alterations to the west Yorkshire structure plan prior to the proposed abolition of the metropolitan counties.

The time taken to process submitted alterations to approved structure plans varies according to the extent and complexity of the alterations and the weight of objections. In the case, of the alterations to the west Yorkshire structure plan, my right hon. Friend's preliminary view was that there was unlikely to be time to complete the various steps required to process the alterations before 1 April 1986.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to announce his decision on whether to invoke his powers under section 6(1) of the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act 1984 to defer consideration of the submitted alterations to the west Yorkshire structure plan.

Structure Plans

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for each county for which he has accepted structure plan alterations firstly the time that

AlterationSubmittedAnnouncement of examination in publicApproved
Warwickshire No. 1February 1977September 1977August 1979
Warwickshire No. 2March 1977September 1977August 1979
Teesside No. 1August 1978November 1978December 1979
East ClevelandAugust 1978November 1978December 1979
West ClevelandAugust 1978November 1978December 1979
Staffordshire (Transport)October 1978May 1979December 1979
Leicestershire (Transport)December 1978April 1979February 1980
WorcestershireOctober 1978March 1979March 1980
East Sussex No. 1October 1978February 1979September 1980
Norfolk No. 1September 1980*October 1981
DerbyshireSeptember 1981*December 1981
Warwickshire No. 3November 1980March 1981June 1982
East Sussex No. 2May 1981*September 1982
Oxfordshire (Minerals)September 1979February 1980October 1982
Norfolk No. 2November 1980*December 1982
Norfolk No. 3July 1981*December 1982
Norfolk No. 4November 1981*December 1982
NorthamptonshireJuly 1982*March 1983
Teesside No. 2October 1982*April 1983
KentMay 1981May 1982December 1983
HertfordshireNovember 1980February 1982October 1984
South Wiltshire (Transport)April 1983August 1983December 1984
East Sussex No. 3October 1982June 1983May 1985
*Examination in public not held.
Approved with modifications except in the cases of Derbyshire and Teesside No. 2.

Wildlife And Countryside (Amendment) Bill

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish in the Official Report the letters he has received from the Nature Conservancy Council concerning the Wildlife and Countryside (Amendment) Bill.

It is not normal practice to publish correspondence between the NCC and my Department.

Tower Block Flats (Defects)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he proposes a warranty scheme for repairs to defects in flats within tower blocks which have been sold under the Housing Act 1980.

Owners of flats who are eligible for assistance under the Housing Defects Act will receive that assistance by way of repurchase at 95 per cent. of the defect-free value. Reinstatement grants are not available for flats because of the difficulty of reinstating flats individually.

Water Industry (Consumer Consultative Committees)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what value he attaches to the water industry consumer consultative committees.

As was made clear in the Department's recent evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, I attach a good deal of importance to water authorities' arrangements for consumer consultation under elapsed between the submission of alterations by the counties and his decision to put them to public examination, and secondly the time which elapsed between that decision and his approval to the alterations.

The information is as follows: section 7 of the Water Act 1983, and to the valuable advice which water authorities derive from their consumer consultative committees on a wide range of issues.

Welfield Site, Hatfield

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects a decision on the planning inquiry relating to the Welfield site in Hatfield to be announced; and if he will make a statement.

Nugee Committee (Report)

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to receive the report of the Nugee committee on the private rented sector.

Overseas Development

Health And Population

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what non-government specialist advice on health and population matters is available to staff of development divisions overseas and to his headquarters staff, respectively; and how often overseas visits in connection with health and population projects were made by United Kingdom-based non-governmental experts in 1984.

Advice is available on request from a variety of non-government sources such as the London and Liverpool schools of tropical medicine and the specialist population centres. In addition to technical co-operation officers and consultants now engaged on projects abroad, 17 overseas advisory visits were made on behalf of the Overseas Development Administration in 1984.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of the staff in each development division overseas are experts in health and population projects; and how many staff at Overseas Development Administration headquarters have similar expertise.

There are no health or population specialists on the staff of development divisions. There are eight professionals in these fields at the headquarters of the Overseas Development Administration.

Homeless Persons

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is planning to discuss with the relevant co-ordinating council what the level of funding from his Department will be in respect of the international year of shelter for the homeless in 1987.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Houghton and Washington (Mr. Boyes) on 7 May columns 307–8. Funds under our bilateral aid programme are not allocated globally on a sectoral basis, but country by country in accordance with priorities between sectors as agreed with our aid recipients.

National Finance

Value Added Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report the administrative costs in percentage terms of collecting value added tax in businesses with an annual turnover of (a) £30,000, (b) £40,000, (c) £50,000, (d) £60,000, (e) £70,000. (f) £80,000, (g) £90,000 and (h) £100,000, respectively.

I regret that detailed records of administrative costs are not maintained by reference to turnover bands and the information requested would be disproportionately expensive to calculate.

Paye System

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he is making in putting the pay-as-you-earn system on to a more cumulative system; and when he expects to put national insurance contributions and pay-as-you-earn calculations side by side in same deduction tables.

Government Departments (Expenditure)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is satisfied with the control of expenditure on the running costs of Government Departments; and whether he will make a statement.

Successive scrutinies of the running costs of Government Departments have shown that in aggregate these costs have been rising more quickly than costs in the economy generally. The Government intend to improve the arrangements for controlling running costs. Targets will therefore be set in the forthcoming public expenditure survey, to cover the running costs, including manpower costs, of each Department. These targets will be published in the 1986 public expenditure White Paper.

Family Income Supplement

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate has been made of the additional cost to the Exchequer of family income supplement or its successor if wages councils were abolished.

Privatisation (Fees And Commissions)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report (a) updated figures for fees paid, including fees to auditors in respect of the first share issues for Amersham International Limited, Associated British Ports, British Aerospace, British Railways Board Hotels, Britoil, Cable and Wireless and the National Freight Corporation and (b) all the fees and commissions paid to primary underwriters, sub-underwriters, financial advisers, legal advisers, auditors and stockbrokers in respect of the second Cable and Wireless issue, the second Associated British Ports issue, Enterprise Oil, Sealink, Jaguar, British Telecom and the 1979 and 1983 BP issues; and if he will name each firm concerned.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 December 1984, c. 360.]: Tables 1 and 2, which each relate to the United Kingdom sales specified in part (a) of the question, have been revised and updated as follows:

Table 1
CompaniesAuditorsRevised Total Fee/Commissions (£'000 including VAT)
Amersham InternationalCoopers & Lybrand1484
Associated British Ports (1983)Price Waterhouse1926
Peat, Marwick
British AerospaceMitchell & Co.4471
BritoilThomson McLintock11,658
Cable & Wireless (1981)Deloitte, Haskins & Sells5342
National Freight Consortium*Ernst & Whinney264
* Share placing with a management and employees consortium

Table 2

Companies

Primary Underwriters

Sub-Underwriters

Financial Advisers

Legal Advisers

Auditors

Stockbrokers

Total Fee/Commissions (£'000 including VAT

Cable & Wireless (1983)Kleinwort, Benson Ltd. Baring Bros. & Co. Ltd. J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd. Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd.Various*Kleinwort, Benson Ltd.Freshfields Linklaters & Paines Speechly BirchamDeloitte Haskins & SellsMullens & Co. Cazenove & Co. James Capel & Co. Rowe & Pitman5028
Associated British Ports (1984)J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd. Kleinwort, Benson LtdVarious*J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd.Freshfields Linklaters & Paines Slaughter & MayPrice, WaterhouseW. Greenwell & Co. Cazenove & Co. Kitcat & Aitken1128
Enterprise OilKleinwort, Benson Ltd. Morgan, Grenfell & Co. J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd. S. G. Warburg & Co. LtdVarious*Kleinwort, Benson Ltd. Wood, Mackenzie & Co.Freshfields Allen & OveryPeat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.Cazenove & Co. De Zoete & Bevan9234⋆
Sealink‡n/an/aHill, Samuel & Co. Ltd. W. Greenwell & Co. Ltd.n/an/an/a38
Jaguar║J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd.
British TelecomKleinwort, Benson Ltd. Barclays Merchant Bank Ltd. Charterhouse Japhet plc. Robert Fleming & Co. Ltd. Hill, Samuel & Co. Ltd. Lloyds Bank International Ltd. Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd. S. G. Warburg & Co. Ltd. Baring Bros. & Co. Ltd. County Bank Ltd. Hambros Bank Ltd. Lazard Bros. & Co. Ltd. Samuel Montagu & Co. Ltd. N. M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd. J. Henry Schroeder Wagg & Co. Ltd.n/a•Kleinwort, Benson Ltd.Linklaters & PainesCoopers & LybrandHoare, Govett Ltd. Cazenove & Co. De Zoete & Bevan Scrimgeour, Kemp-Gee & Co.89,363▀

Companies

Primary Underwriters

Sub-Underwriters

Financial Advisers

Legal Advisers

Auditors

Stockbrokers

Total Fee/Commissions (£'000 including VAT

British Petroleum (1979)S. G. Warburg & Co. Ltd. Robert Fleming & Co. Ltd. Kleinwort, Benson Ltd. Lazard Bros. & Co. Ltd. Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd. J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd.Various*Freshfields Linklaters & PainesErnst & WhinneyMullens & Co. Cazenove & Co. Hoare Govett Rowe & Pitman Scrimgeour, Kemp-Gee & Co.5,956
British Petroleum (1983)S. G. Warburg & Co. Ltd. Robert Fleming & Co. Ltd. Kleinwort, Benson Ltd. Lazard Bros. & Co. Ltd. Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd. J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. Ltd.Various*Freshfields Linklaters & PainesErnst & WhinneyMullens & Co. Cazenove & Co. Hoare Govett Rowe & Pitman Scrimgeour, Kemp-Gee & Co.9,499

Notes:

† The Bank of England was jointly responsible with Kleinwort, Benson for making the sale arrangements and providing advice. The bulk of the Bank's costs were incurred in its role as receiving bank. No estimate for costs incurred in the provision of advice is available.

‡ Trade sale.

║ The sale of Jaguar was conducted by BL plc who appointed advisers. Details of the appointments and the total cost are a matter for the Company. Only one firm was appointed to advise the Government, it is not the practice to disclose fees paid to individual firms.

¶ In both BP sales, the Bank of England was responsible on the Government's behalf for making the sale arrangements and providing advice. The bulk of the Bank's costs were incurred in its role as receiving bank. No estimate for costs incurred in the provision of advice is available.

• The United Kingdom offer was placed with institutional investors ("Priority Applicants"). The cost of the commissions payable to Priority Applicants is included in the total.

▀ Estimate for 1984–85: final accounts are not yet available.

⋆ Provisional

* Too numerous to list

In some cases the revisions update previous preliminary estimates. In other cases, figures have been revised to include fees for various minor financial advisory services, for example petroleum consultancy, insurance audits, property valuation. In accordance with the terms of the question, the figures exclude payments to receiving banks, public relations advisers, printers and distributors, and similar costs not associated with the provision of financial advice. Payments of stamp duty are similarly excluded.

Tables 1 and 2 relate to United Kingdom sales. In three sales, — BP in 1979 and 1983, and BT — special arrangements were made overseas: total value of fees and commissions incurred in respect of these was about £0·5 million and £27·5 million, including £7·8 million paid to the Bank of England, respectively. The BT figure is provisional, since final settlement of all bills has not yet been made. The principal advisers on the BP arrangements in 1979 were Davis Polk and Wardwell, Linklaters and Paines (US), Morgan Stanley and Co., and Sullivan Cromwell; in 1983 they were David Polk and Wardwell, and Sullivan and Cromwell; in the BT sale they were Morgan Stanley and Co., McLeod Young Weir, Nomura Securities Co., Swiss Bank Corporation International, and Sullivan and Cromwell.

Home Department

British Crime Survey

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, pursuant to the answer of 15 March, Official Report, column 303, he is yet in a position to publish the findings of the follow-up study of the British crime survey.

My right hon. and learned Friend hopes to be able to do so in June or early July.

Prevention Of Terrorism Act

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act at Manchester airport, Liverpool ferry terminus and at other points of entry into the United Kingdom during the period 1983 to 1985; how many persons were charged with any offences arising from detention; and what proportion of those charged have been convicted.

Information on total detentions at a port or airport in Great Britain is published each quarter in the Home Office statistical bulletin "Statistics on the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974, 1976 and 1984". Information on charges and convictions following all detentions is published annually (tables 6 and 7 of statistical bulletin 1/85). The more detailed information requested is given in the table. Information on detentions on entry to Northern Ireland is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Detentions at a port or airport under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts
Great Britain1 January 1983–31 March 1985
DetainedChargedConvicted
Manchester airport8
Liverpool ferry terminus5299
Other points of entry1742016
Total Great Britain2342925
Prison (Isle of Wight)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans for the construction of a further fortress type purpose-built prison on the Isle of Wight this century; and if he will make a statement.

Cinemas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will amend the staff level regulations contained in the Cinematographers Act 1956 to take into account the development of multi-screen cinemas.

My right hon. and learned Friend will shortly be consulting interested organisations on draft revised regulations to replace the Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations 1955. During the consultation process particular attention will be given to the question of the number of staff to be required in multi-auditoria cinemas consistent with maintaining the safety of the public using those premises.

Tamil Community

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Tamils from Sri Lanka have been allowed temporary admission into the United Kingdom during the past 12 months; and how many of these have subsequently been deported from the United Kingdom.

The information is not available in the form requested.In the 12 months up to 1 May 1985, approximately 350 Tamils from Sri Lanka accompanied in some cases by dependants, on arrival in the United Kingdom either sought asylum or expressed a fear of returning to Sri Lanka and were subsequently granted temporary admission.In the same period no Tamil passenger expressing a fear of returning to Sri Lanka was returned there.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Tamils from Sri Lanka have applied for asylum in the United Kingdom during the past 12 months; and of these how many applications have been (a) granted, (b) refused and (c) have still to be decided.

The relevant statistics are recorded by nationality and not according to ethnic origin.

In 1984, 425 applications for asylum were received from Sri Lankan nationals. In the same period two applicants were recognised as refugees, 14 were granted leave to remain exceptionally, 51 withdrew their applications and 143 were refused leave to enter or remain.

Between 1 January and 31 March 1985, the latest period for which figures are available, there were 203 applicants, of whom one was allowed to remain exceptionally, nine withdrew their applications and 14 were refused leave to enter or remain. At 31 March 1985, there were 715 cases awaiting decision.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out in the Official Report the number of Tamils from Sri Lanka who have (a) entered the United Kingdom, (b) applied for political asylum and (c) been granted permanent settlement in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

The relevant immigration statistics are classified by nationality and do not separately identify Tamils. The available figures for all Sri Lankan nationals are shown in the following table:

Citizens of Sri Lanka admitted to the United Kingdom who applied for political asylum or refugee status or were granted settlement in the United Kingdom.
Number of persons
AdmittedApplied for asylum or refugee statusGranted settlement
198023,90020770
198125,50010790
198227,00020790
198328,300380920
198430,200420760
Recent weeks have seen a substantial increase in the number of Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum on arrival in the United Kingdom. Between 16 May and 22 May there have been some 420 such cases. These cases are now being considered in accordance with the policy announced by my right hon. and learned Friend on 20 May, at column 273, with a view to returning to Sri Lanka those who do not qualify for asylum, unless there is reason to believe that they would suffer severe hardship on their return.

Metropolitan Police (Burglar Alarms)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many burglar alarm calls were dealt with by the Metropolitan police in 1984; what percentage of these were false alarms; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that figures are not available for alarms signalled by bells only. Figures that are available relate to alarms whose signals got to the police direct, or via central stations maintained by alarm companies. The total number of calls from these alarms dealt with by the Metropolitan police in 1984 was 210,213 of which 98·9 per cent. proved false. It is the policy of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to withdraw direct police response to alarms which generate an unacceptable number of false calls until the trouble has been put right.

Swansea Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what threat of industrial action by prison officers has arisen at Swansea prison; what threats of suspension have been made by his Department to the officers concerned; and if his Department's response recognised that the prison officers had conducted a secret ballot before announcing action.

Following a secret ballot, prison officers at Swansea threatened to reduce the inmate population of the establishment to its certified normal accommodation of 241. The action has been suspended to allow further discussions to take place; but the staff concerned know that, notwithstanding the ballot, one of the responses open to management during industrial action is the temporary relief from duty of any officer who refuses to obey a lawful order.

Lion Intoximeter

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now satisfied with the working of the Lion intoximeter; how many, and which, police forces now use it; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. and learned Friend has received a report from the forensic science service on the operation of the Lion intoximeter and the Camic breath analyser evidetial breath testing instruments, which will be published in due course. The lion intoximeter is used by 39 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The Camic instrument is used in Northumbria, Durham, Cleveland and North Yorkshire and, I understand, by forces in Scotland.

Drug Trafficking

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish, for consultation, a draft of his proposed legislation to provide for the seizure and confiscation of assets acquired through drug trafficking.

My right hon. and learned Friend intends to make particulars of his proposals available for comment before a Bill is introduced.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for reports from the chief constables of north, west and south Yorkshire police forces about the extent of drug trafficking in each area and the measures they are taking to combat it.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) on 28 March at column 274.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons arrested and charged with drug trafficking offences have absconded before trial (a) in England and Wales and (b) in each Yorkshire police force area in the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

Coal Industry Dispute

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are in prison as a result of incidents arising from the miners' strike; and what are their alleged offences.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people charged with riot and unlawful assembly for offences in connection with the miners' dispute have (a) been acquitted or (b) had the charges withdrawn.

The information requested is given in the table.

Charges of Riot and Unlawful Assembly for Offences in Connection with the Miners' Dispute
Police ForceRiot Charge withdrawnAcquittals of RiotUnlawful Assembly charge withdrawnAcquittals of Unlawful Assembly
Nottinghamshire4110616
South Yorkshire*8
Derbyshire216
Staffordshire†—
Durham‡ —
* 19 charges were ordered by the court to lie on the file.
† 9 charges of riot were effectively amended to charges of unlawful assembly.
‡7 charges were ordered by the court to lie on the file.

Children And Young Persons (Detention)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether an offender sentenced to be detained for a determinate period under section 53(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and detained in prison at his direction is entitled to remission of any part of that sentence under theprison rules.

No. But these detainees can be released on licence at any point in their sentence, and such arrangements are designed to ensure that they are not treated less favourably than other offenders.

Prisons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what formal consultation process there is to ensure that the requirements of prison staff and inmates are fully taken into account in the design of new prison facilities.

Design solutions for new prisons are developed on the basis of full consultation with the various specialist and operational interests concerned, and take account of the range of current thinking on prison de sign generally. The trade unions representing governors, prison officers and other prison staff are formally consulted on new prison projects at the preliminary design stage, and thereafter as necessary.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the design of the redeveloped Holloway prison adequately meets the requirements of staff and inmates.

The design was developed in the late 1960s on the basis of medically orientated treatment concepts which are not now regarded as wholly appropriate. There are also a number of acknowledged design weaknesses. Facilities for staff and inmates are however greatly superior to those provided before the redevelopment began, and will be further improved when the project is finally completed towards the end of this year.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry into conditions at Holloway prison include consideration of and making recommendations regarding the physical design of the prison.

The terms of reference of the project committee do not specifically refer to the physical design of the prison, but the committee is inevitably taking it into account.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the original estimates of the capital and annual running costs for the redeveloped Holloway prison; and if he will give details of the latest estimates of these costs together with an explanation of any differences.

As the redevelopment programme was carried out in six main phases under different contracts covering a total period of 14 years, the full information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The information readily available is as follows:Phase 1 — Commenced August 1971. Cost £1·1 million. Completed November 1985.Phases 2 and 3 — Commenced April 1973. Cost £2·6 million. Completed May 1976.Phases 4 and 5 — commenced October 1977. Cost £7·7 million. Completed June 1984.Phase 6 — Commenced November 1984. Estimated Cost £239,000. Due for completion—November 1985.Information about annual running costs is contained in the Prison Departmental Financial Report 1983–84, a copy of which is in the Library.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanism is in place to ensure that new prison building programmes meet planned capital and operating cost targets.

Capital cost targets for new prison projects are based on standard briefing guides for the particular category of establishment and are examined and re-assessed at specific stages of design and construction. The manpower implications of the design are similarly kept under regular review. Attention is also given, in both design and the selection of materials, to the cost of maintenance and the need to conserve energy.

Fire Precautions (Hospitals)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now seek to extend the Fire Precautions Act 1971 to National Health Service hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

Continuing effort is being devoted to improving fire precautions standards in National Health Service hospitals within the limits of available resources and my right hon. and learned Friend has at present no plans to designate such premises under the Fire Precautions Act 1971.

Police Central Intelligence Unit

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are any plans to extend the police central intelligence unit established in London to other metropolitan areas; and if he will make a statement.

After the 1981 riots all police forces were invited to develop systems for monitoring rises in community tension which might forshadow serious public disorder. In London each district reports on a regular basis on the level of tension in the area. The central information unit collates these district reports for senior management in New Scotland yard to consider whether action is required to prevent tension escalating into riots. Similar arrangements for monitoring the potential for public disorder exist in most police forces.

Police Central Intelligence Unit

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers are working in any capacity in the central intelligence unit established in London.

The officers currently employed at the central information unit are one superintendent, one inspector, two sergeants and two constables.

Police Services (Charges)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the charges for police services to the organisers of (a) the 1984 Wimbledon tennis championships, (b) the 1984 Chelsea flower show and (c) the 1985 Football Association cup final.

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that the charges for police services which were made to the organisers of the 1984 Chelsea flower show and 1984 Wimbledon tennis championships were £8,018·85 and £52,794·69 respectively. Details of charges in respect of the 1985 FA cup final are not yet available: policing charges made for the 1984 event were £30,887·74.

Fire Precautions (Business Premises)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he has made in introducing flexibility in the application of fire precautions to business premises presenting minimal risk.

Within the scope of existing legislation, fire authorities already exercise discretion in the application of fire precautions to business premises presenting minimal risk, but arrangements are in hand to issue further guidance on this aspect and to reinforce it in training courses provided at the fire service college. The report of the scrutiny into burdens on business considered that flexibility could be increased with the introduction of a new statutory system of fire precautions control along the lines of proposals formulated within the machinery of the central fire brigades advisory councils. These proposals are designed to enable fire authorities to control fire precautions in a wider range of occupancies and to concentrate their attention on the premises presenting the greatest risk. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Home Secretary hope to publish a consultative document based on these proposals before the summer recess.

Extradition

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements exist for the extradition from Pakistan of someone of (a) Pakistan nationality, and (b) British nationality wanted to face drug charges in the United Kingdom.

There are no arrangements with Pakistan for the extradition of persons accused of drug offences.

Detention Centres

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he has received any allegations of assault or mistreatment of inmates at Send detention centre, Woking, Surrey;(2) whether he has received any allegations of assault or mistreatment of inmates at Werrington detention centre, Stoke on Trent;(3) whether he has received, since 29 March, any further complaints of assault or mistreatment of inmates at Aldington detention centre from parents or solicitors or other professional persons;(4) whether he has received any allegations of assault or mistreatment of inmates at Blantyre house detention centre, Kent;(5) whether he has received any allegations of assault or mistreatment of inmates at Usk detention centre, Gwent;(6) further to the answer of 29 March,

Official Report, column 399, about Aldington detention centre, what is the current state of investigation;

(7) whether he has received any complaints of failure of persons to co-operate with the police investigations into complaints at Aldington detention centre referred to in the answer of 29 March, Official Report, column 399.

Since the new, consistent detention centre regime took effect on 6 March we have received no such allegations in respect of Send, Werrington, or Usk detention centres; an allegation by an inmate at Blantyre House was fully investigated by the Governor, who concluded that it was without substance. The police are investigating a number of allegations in respect of Aldington detention centre, the most recent of which was made on 16 May, it would be inapropriate to comment on their inquiries while they are proceeding.

Custodial Remand

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average period of custodial remand for female custodial remand prisoners in England and Wales for the years 1982, 1983 and 1984.

The available information is published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales" (Table 2(g) of the latest issue for 1983, Cmnd. 9363). Corresponding figures for 1984 are not yet available.

Terrorism

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts in each of the police areas of metropolitan London, Dumfries and Galloway and Merseyside have been charged with offences under the Acts or under other Acts, separately, between 11 November 1974 and 31 December 1984.

Information on detentions in the three police force areas specified is published quarterly in Home Office Statistical Bulletins (table 3 of issue 1/85), a copy of which is in the Library. Information on subsequent charges is readily available only for Great Britain and is given in Tables 6 and 7 of the same publication. Some information on charges following detention in Merseyside was given in my reply to a question from the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mr. Parry) on 29 January 1985 at column 77. I will provide as soon as possible further information on charges for Merseyside and corresponding information for the Metropolitan police district and Dumfries and Galloway.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were detained in connection with terrorist-type offences under Acts other than the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts and the Emergency Provisions (Northern Ireland) Acts in each of the years from and including 1969 to 1985 to date.

Female Prisoners (Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average length of custodial sentence of female prisoners in England and Wales in each of the years 1982, 1983 and 1984.

The readily available information is published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales" (tables 3·7, 3·12, 5·5, 5·7 and 7·3 of the latest issue for 1983, Cmnd. 9363). Information about young female offenders was also published in tables 6 and 7 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin issue 2/85, "Young Offenders in Prison Department establishments under the Criminal Justice Act 1982, July 1983-June 1984".

Independent Broadcasting (Wales)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will have discussions with the Independent Broadcasting Authority about the changes taking place on the pattern of local independent broadcasting in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Under the Broadcasting Act 1981, the Independent Broadcasting Authority has responsibility for entering into contracts for the provision of independent local radio programmes, and for deciding, in the light of its statutory duties, what action to take if any subsequent change in the nature of an independent local radio company takes place. My right hon. and learned Friend, has, therefore, no power to intervene in decisions that the Independent Broadcasting Authority may take in relation to the current situation in Wales, but the Government are maintaining a close interest in developments.

Refugees

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average period of time taken to deal with applications by refugees for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 May 1985, c. 10]: On the basis of the information available, it is estimated that half of all refugees granted settlement on removal of time limit in 1984 had their case decided within five to six weeks of application.

Trade And Industry

Privatisation Programme (Fees And Commissions)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what fees and commissions have been paid to City institutions in respect of shares sales of those privatised enterprises for which he is responsible; to whom these fees and commissions have been paid; and on what basis they have been calculated.

My Department has been directly responsible for the privatisation of Cable and Wireless, first sale of shares*, British Aerospace and British Telecom. The following table shows the total value of fees and commissions paid in respect of these sales and the firms to which they were paid. The information does not include advice paid for by the companies being privatised.

British Aerospace (1st sale 1981)Cable and Wireless (1st sale 1981)British Telecom (1984)
FirmsPrimary Underwriters
Kleinwort, Benson Hill Samuel Morgan Grenfell and Co. J. Henry Schroder and Co.Kleinwort, Benson Baring Bros, and Co. J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Co.Kleinwort, Benson Barclays Merchant Bank Charterhouse Japhet Robert Fleming and Co.Hill, Samuel and Co. Lloyds Bank International Morgan Grenfell and Co. S. G. Warburg and Co. Baring Bros, and Co. County Bank Hambros Bank Lazard Bros, and Co. Samuel Montagu and Co. N. M. Rothschild and Sons J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Co.
Sub-Underwriters
Various†Various†Various†‡

British Aerospace (1st sale 1981)

Cable and Wireless (1st sale 1981)

British Telecom (1984)

Financial Advisers

Kleinwort, BensonKleinwort, Benson Baring Bros, and Co. N. M. Rothschild and Sons W. Greenwell and Co.Kleinwort, Benson

Legal Advisers

Slaughter and May Linklaters and Paine sLinklaters and Paines Slaughter and MayLinklaters and Paines

Stockbrokers

Hoare, GovettCazenove and Co. James Capel and Co. Rowe and PitmanHoare, Govett Cazenove and Co. De Zoete and Bevan Scrimgeour, Kemp Goe and Co.

Auditors

Peat, MarwickDeloitte, Maskins and SellsCoopers and Lybrand

Total Fees║ (£'000 including VAT) 4,471

5,342¶89,363

Footnotes

* The second sale of shares in Cable and Wkeless in 1983 was the responsibility of Her Majesty's Treasury.

† Too numerous to list.

‡ The United Kingdom offer was placed with institutional investors ('Priority Applicants'). The cost of the commissions payable to Priority Applicants is included in the total.

║ These figures exclude payments to receiving banks, public relations advisers, printers and distributors and similar costs not associated with the provision of financial or legal advice.

¶ Provisional pending final settlement of all bills. It also excludes the overseas offering for which the total value of fees and commissions was £27·5 million (also provisional) which includes £7·8 million paid to the Bank of England. The principal advisers for the overseas offers were Morgan Stanley and Co., Macleod Young Weir, Nomura Securities Co., Swiss Bank Corporation International and Sullivan and Cromwell.

The sale of Jaguar was the responsibility of BL plc. The Department sought advice from one firm, J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Co. Ltd. It is not the practice to disclose the value of individual contracts between the Department and its advisers.

Payments are based on a variety of hourly rates, flat rates and percentage commissions. Where appropriate the basis for payment is disclosed in the offer for sale document.

Pirate Radio

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the current pirate radio stations known to he broadcasting in the United Kingdom; what was the approximate date on which they started transmitting and the regularity with which they now broadcast; and what was the number of occasions, if any, that they have been prosecuted, and with what result.

StationStarted broadcastingRegularity of broadcastsNumber of prosecutionsConvictions
Arabia RadioSpring 1984Intermittent33
Asian People's RadioSummer 1984Daily11
Contact Radioearly 1985Intermittent
Contrast Radioearly 1985Intermittent
ESP RadioMay 1985Intermittent
GEL RadioMay 1985Intermittent
HorizonSummer 1982Daily
London Greek RadioAutumn 1983Daily22
London Turkish RadioSpring 1984Intermittent22
London Weekend Radioearly 1983Daily11
Merseywaveslate 1983Intermittent11
RIKlate 1984Intermittent44
ShoestringSpring 1984Intermittent22
Sina RadioSummer 1984Daily
Skyline RadioSummer 1983Daily
Solar RadioAutumn 1984Daily11
South East SoundSummer 1983Intermittent
Turkish Community RadioSummer 1984Intermittent11
Voice of the ImmigrantSpring 1984Daily33
Voice of London Greekearly 1985Intermittent

Manufacturing

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to the share of the top 100 private sector companies in (a) manufacturing employment, (b) net manufacturing output and (c) net capital expenditure in manufacturing in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984.

The figures provided in the following table relate to the manufacturing activity of the largest 100 enterprises in the private sector, defined in terms of their employment in manufacturing. Estimates for 1983 and 1984 are not yet available.

Share of total manufacturing activity accounted for by the top 100 private sector enterprises
Per cent.
EmploymentNet OutputNet Capital Expenditure
1980353639
1981343637
1982353737
Source: Annual Census of Production; Business Monitor PA 1002.

Band Iii

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received about the effect on the United Kingdom mobile radio equipment manufacturers of the introduction of large systems in Band III.

A variety of proposals have been received from companies interested in establishing large radio systems in Band III. Among those responding,

The following information relates to unlicensed stations known to be currently broadcasting. The figures for prosecutions and convictions refer to individuals who have been involved in the operation of stations. In addition to the prosecutions shown, more than 10 prosecutions are pending against individuals involved in operating various of the stations listed. Further prosecutions are pending against operators of unlicensed broadcasting stations which have stopped transmitting.several have urged the Government to reach early conclusions on the use of Band III; one company has stated that if any early date were set for the introduction of a large system, it could be unhelpful to United Kingdom equipment manufacturers. The Government hope to make an announcement on Band III in the next few weeks.

Consumer Credit Act

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is satisfied with the operation of the Consumer Credit Act; if he has any proposals to seek to amend it in the light of developments in credit provision since it was enacted; and if he will make a statement.

With the coming into force of the remaining provisions of the Consumer Credit Act on 19 May, the Act will now offer consumers comprehensive protection over the full range of credit and hire agreements. I believe that traders, who have been extensively consulted about the new regulations which came into force on 19 May, will also benefit from the rationalisation of the law on credit, some of which was over a century old. I cannot rule out changes to the Act in due course, but I believe it would be premature to take any decision on this until we have had some experience of the Act operating as a whole.

Wales

Public Sector Employment

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many (i) public sector jobs and (ii) local government jobs there are in Wales; and what have been the changes in each case since 1977.

On 8 December 1984 provisional figures indicate that there were 121,635 full-time equivalent local government jobs, including law and order services, a drop of 3,659 since 10 December 1977. It will take time to produce the information requested on the public sector. I shall write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy in the Library.

YearSchoolMonth of closureNew school
1979None
1980Bronllys church in Wales PrimaryMayBronllys county primary
Llwynmadog (Beulah) county primarySeptemberIrfon Valley county primary
Llangammarch Wells county primary
Llanfanfawr county primary
Garth county primary
1981Trallong Church-in-Wales primaryAugust
Nantgwyn county primaryAugust
Llanllugan (Cwm) county primaryDecember
Ystradfelltse county primaryDecember
1982Tirabad county primaryJuly
Bleddfa Church-in-Wales primaryJuly
Berriew Church-in-Wales infantsJulyBerriew county primary
Berriew county junior
1983Penrhos county infantsMarchPenrhos county primary
Penrhos county junior
1984Llargunllo Church-in-Wales primaryJuly
Cynlais county infantsSeptemberCynlais county primary
Cynlais county junior
1985Belan Church-in-Wales primaryApril

Welsh Water Authority (Membership)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the members of the Welsh Water Authority, indicating their occupations.

Following is a list of the members of the Welsh water authority and their occupations.J. E. Jones—Chairman and company directorF.B. Doyle—Chief executiveG. Edwards—Company directorR. W. Edwards—University professorN. Hufton—Trade union officialMajor H. R. Jackson—Farmer and agricultural contractorDr. G. Jones—Management consultantT. Knowles—Company directorA. G. Lewis—Company directorCouncillor Sir John Cotterel—FarmerCouncillor J. C. Espley—RetiredCouncillor G. Jones—Fitter and turnerCouncillor L. R. Thompson—FarmerCouncillor L. R. Turnbull—Engineering foreman

Bathing Beaches (Ec Directive)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if any funds have been made available by the EEC to his Department to assist in compliance with EEC directive

School Closures (Powys)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many schools have closed in Powys since May 1979; and if he will list each of the schools.

In the period May 1979 to 22 May 1985, 19 schools have closed in Powys. Of these, ten schools were involved in amalgamations resulting in the opening of new schools. The schools, dates of closure and, where appropriate, the new schools opened, are as listed760/160/EEC on bathing beaches; if any application for such funds has been made by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

There are no specific funds available to our Department from the EEC to assist in compliance with Directive 760/160/EEC. However, the European regional development fund (ERDF) has assisted schemes for the improvement of coastal sewerage systems and the provision of adequate sea outfalls. The Welsh water authority has already received ERDF aid for a sea outfall at Tenby and discussions are presently taking place between my Department and the authority on a programme for the improvement of bathing waters around Wales, for which ERDF assistance will be sought.

A5 (Bypasses)

asked the Secretary of State for Wales, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Ynys Môon on 20 May, Official Report, columns 289–90, how long after the receipt of the consultants' formal report on bypasses of the five villages on the A5 on Anglesey he will be able to publish final decisions on routes and priorities.

If the studies lead to a decision to proceed with the proposed bypasses, the timing of final decisions on routes and priorities will be largely dependent on the completion of any public consultations and of the relevant statutory procedures. It is too early to give any firm timetable in this cass.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Imported Poultrymeat

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, (1) what further steps he will take to enforce the regulations concerning imported poultry and their water content;(2) what further resources are available to provide adequate enforcement officers to deal with poultrymeat imports.

The actual enforcement of both hygiene and water content requirements in respect of imported poultrymeat, and the allocation of resources to that task, remains a function of local and port health authorities. But the Government made our concern over the quality of imported chicken quite clear when, from September 1984, we extended enforcement responsibility under the water content regulations to port health authorities, to enable consignments to be checked in the ports. When we receive notification of infringements under the regulations, we pass the details on to the appropriate authorities within the European Community. We continue to seek the co-operation of other member states in ensuring that consignments do comply with legal requirements. In addition, the Ministry maintains close liaison with the enforcement authorities; my officials will be meeting their representatives shortly to exchange views.

Butter

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will state the total amount of cut price Community butter available in the United Kingdom in the first three months of 1985; and what proportion of this is represented by 1 ton 5 cwts.

In the United Kingdom, 39,200 tonnes of butter was made available for sale at a reduced price under the EC's special sale scheme. Contracts for the purchase of this butter from the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce had to be concluded between 16 November 1984 and 31 January 1985. The bulk of it went on retail sale during the first three months of 1985. Some quantities have been sold outside this period, but it is not possible to say exactly how much.One ton 5 cwts represents approximately 0·003 per cent. of the total quantity of butter made available under the special sale scheme.

Devon Ray

asked the Minster of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the reply on Monday 20 May, what specific steps have not been fulfilled by Mr. Wakeham in relation to the Devon Ray, which are preventing it being decomissioned within the requirements of the Fishing Vessel (Financial Assistance) Scheme 1983.

Agricultural Development Advisory Service

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what comments he has received from the agricultural industry on Professor Bell's report of a study of the agricultural development advisory service.

Following my invitation to comment in my reply to a written question by my hon. Friend the Member for Devon, West and Torridge (Sir P. Mills) on 13 November 1984, I have received a total of 153 written comments of which some two thirds originated from staff in my Department.The large majority of comments received gave a cautious welcome to the recommendations in the report whilst reserving final positions pending detailed development of these proposals. The proposal to charge for ADAS services has not been opposed in principle, although concern has been expressed over the level of charges that might be set and the ability of the farming community generally, and certain sectors in particular, to meet charges. The continuing role of ADAS in research and development was supported, particularly in relation to the Report's recommendations relating to experimental centres, the need for adequate links between R and D was stressed, and preferences were expressed for specific ways of funding R and D. The continuing need for ADAS to give a high priority to conservation was supported and greater priority was urged by a number of organisations. A clear majority of those commenting on this issue felt that introduction of general charging for conservation advice would be counter productive. On information technology, some concern was expressed over the implications for more traditional forms of providing advice.These comments will be considered carefully by Ministers in the continuing process of their detailed consideration of the recommendations of the Bell report on which it is hoped to make a further statement before the summer recess.

Research And Development

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements he has in mind for securing a greater industry contribution towards the cost of agricultural research and development.

I have not yet reached firm conclusions on the precise form of future funding arrangements but in line with the advice of the priorities board for research and development in agriculture and food I intend, along with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, to seek the views of industry on a system of sectoral contributions. Under such an approach, each sector would be invited to consider the contribution which it might make to the funding of research and development relevant to that sector's needs. Where statutory bodies already exist, I am suggesting that they might take on or develop this wider role of levying their members and then determining the programmes of work they wish to sponsor. In those sectors where statutory bodies do not already exist, I shall be seeking views on the most appropriate arrangements for those who wish to participate. We shall also be encouraging direct and specific commissioning by agricultural or food enterprises.

Scotland

Acid Rain

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans the Forestry Commission has to investigate the effect of acid rain on beech trees in the United Kingdom.

The results of the Forestry Commission's 1984 survey of conifers found no damage similar to that seen in West Germany. In instances of forest decline in other countries, conifers have always shown symptoms before broadleaves, and the commission's 1985 survey will therefore again be restricted to spruce and pine.

Edinburgh Rental Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration he is giving to the future of the Edinburgh dental hospital; and if he will make a statement.

In the light of the report of the joint working group of Edinburgh university and Lothian health board, to which my right hon. Friend referred in his answer of 25 October 1984 to the right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel) at column 673, further consideration is being given to the future of the Edinburgh dental hospital. A further meeting is to be arranged with the university, the health board, the University Grants Committee and the Scottish Home and Health Department.

Assisted Places Scheme

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to be in a position to announce the allocation of fee remission grant for school session 1985–86 under the assisted places scheme; and if he will make a statement.

I refer to the reply given yesterday to my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mrs. McCurley) at column 495.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

East Timor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Indonesia in support of the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross for access to East Timor.

The Government of Indonesia are well aware of our position on East Timor including access there for the International Committee for the Red Cross. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister raised this matter with President Suharto during her visit to Indonesia in April and received clear assurances about access by the International Red Cross.

Dooge Committee (Proposals)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with which countries he has had bilateral contacts to examine in detail the Dooge committee's proposals; and what support has been received for the three major United Kingdom reservations.

The future development of the Community was discussed in the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council ony 20 May. It was also discussed by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and Chancellor Kohl on 18 May. My right hon. and learned Friend had talks with the French Foreign Minister on 21 May and hopes to have discussions with other Community colleagues betweeen now and the Milan European Council. Governments have yet to declare their positions on many of the Dooge committee's proposals.

Radio Thule

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any steps are taken by Her Majesty's Government to monitor programmes transmitted by Radio Thule (Greenland).

Immigrants (Entry Clearance)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what he attributes the fact that so many Commonwealth citizens apply for entry clearance through Her Britannic Majesty's consulate in Frankfurt am Main.

Frankfurt is a major European transit point. However, the number of entry clearance applications made there by Commonwealth citizens was not disproportionate compared to our other Western European posts. Frankfurt ceased operations as an entry clearance post on 1 February this year. Entry clearance work in the Federal Republic is now centralised in Dusseldorf.

Tamil Community

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has held with the Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and India concerning the flow of Tamils from Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Our high commissioner at Colombo has been keeping closely in touch with the Sri Lankan government about the problem presented by the increased number of Tamils seeking entry to the United Kingdom. We have consistently encouraged the Sri Lankan Government to pursue urgently a political settlement designed to bring an end to the inter-communal dispute.As my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department told the House on 20 May, at column 273, there is no reason to believe that Tamils returning to Sri Lanka face persecution. The situation is thus not such as to justify a general policy of granting leave to enter or remain on an exceptional basis to all Tamils who express a fear to go back to Sri Lanka. all those not clearly in an exceptional category—able to demonstrate that they would suffer severe hardship if returned—will be sent back to their home country.The Government are keeping the situation closely under review.

Lebanon

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has made any recent representations to the authorities in Syria about Syrian armed attacks on the Christian community in Lebanon; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action, if any, the European Economic Community Foreign Ministers have jointly taken during the past three weeks concerning Syrian attacks on the Christian community in Lebanon.

We are not aware of any such attacks, but the United Kingdom and the European Community have again expressed to all concerned, including the leaders of the principal Lebanese communities, their deep concern over the continuing violence in Lebanon. Foreign Ministers in the Ten issued a joint statement in Brussels on 20 May.

Mr Vincas Bilickas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what basis Monsieur Vincas Balickas enjoys the status of personally enjoying certain diplomatic courtesies.

Mr. Balickas enjoys certain personal diplomatic courtesies because he is an individual who held diplomatic rank in the Lithunanian mission in London at the time of the Soviet annexation in 1940.

Prime Minister

Government Publicity

asked the Prime Minister if she will place in the Library such details as are available, including costs, of the examples of Government publicity listed in annex A to the note by the Cabinet Office on "Central Government Conventions on Publicity and Advertising", dated 25 April 1985.

Copies of such details as are available have been placed in the Library of the House together with annex A to the note by the Cabinet Office which has been supplemented with such further details as could be readily obtained. I regret that further details of expenditure could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Welfare State (Reform)

asked the Prime Minister if she will publish the results of the surveys the Government have been carrying out into public attitudes towards reform of the welfare state.

The forthcoming Green Paper on social security will contain a summary of the main results of the survey of public attitudes to social security carried out by the Gallup organisation. The fully tabulated results will be available from Gallup at the same time.

Energy

Fuel Disconnections

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many domestic electricity supply disconnections took place in 1984.

I have asked the chairman of the Electricity Council to provide the information direct to the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many domestic gas supply disconnections took place in 1984.

I have asked the chairman of the British Gas Corporation to provide the figures direct to the hon. Member.

European Coal Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what discussions took place in the Council of Ministers in 1983 and 1984 over proposals for reducing capacity in the European coal industries; and what were the conclusions of the discussions.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has studied EEC Commission documents COM(84)419 and COM(83)583 on the future of the European coal industry; and if he will make a statement on the British Government's response to these.

Explanatory memoranda on these documents, indicating their policy implications for the United Kingdom, were laid before the House on 22 October 1984 and 8 November 1983 respectively.

Reprocessing Plant, Dounreay

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement about the proposal to site a European fast reactor demonstration reprocessing plant at Dounreay.

I understand that the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels plc intend shortly to make a joint planning application to the Highland regional council to build a fast reactor demonstration reprocessing plant at Dounreay to serve the needs of the European collaboration.The chairman of the UKAEA has requested a statement of the Government's general policies on the United Kingdom's participation in the European fast reactor collaboration and on the regulatory procedures which would apply to any such reprocessing plant which might be built in the United Kingdom. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to him and copies of the letter have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.The Government see advantage both to the nation and to the European collaboration in siting the reprocessing plant in the United Kingdom. Such siting would, of course, be subject to the agreement of our European partners and to the necessary planning, safety and environmental consents being granted.

Social Services

Supplementary Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the answer of 16 April, Official Report, column 160, when he intends to lay regulations amending the supplementary benefit rules so as to allow payment to strikers for funeral expenses.

We expect to make the necessary amendment to the Supplementary Benefit (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1981 within the next few weeks; and at the same time we shall take the opportunity to amend the regulations to provide for the back-dating of claims to supplementary benefit to be related to entitlement to statutory sick pay, in accordance with the undertaking given at Committee stage of the Social Security Bill in Standing Committee E on 17 January 1985, at column 231.

Invalidity Benefit

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he proposes to introduce the payment of invalidity benefit fortnightly in arrears; and what he now expects the savings to be due to this change.

The arrangements for this proposed change are still under consideration, but I hope to make an announcement in the next few weeks.

Hearing Aids

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many outpatients are waiting to have a hearing aid fitted or exchanged (a) in England and (b) in Wales; and what is the average waiting time in each case.

The Department no longer collects this information centrally. Responsibility for supplying hearing aids in England and Wales was transferred to Mersey regional health authority on 1 April 1985. Information collected from hearing aid centres by the authority includes the number of outpatients waiting for appointments for fitting or exchanging hearing aids.My hon. Friend may therefore wish to contact the chairman of the health authority direct.

General Practitioners

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now take steps to increase the number of general practitioners in the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.

Between 1979 and 1984, the numbers of general practitioners in Great Britain increased by some 2,700, or almost 10 per cent. from 25,614 to 28,301. Recruitment to general practice continues steadily and could produce further increases. There is, therefore, no need for additional measures.

Benefits (Deductions)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether any guidance is given to his Department regarding a maximum permissible deduction from benefit for fuel or other debts; and if he will make a statement;

(2) whether any fresh guidance has recently been given to officers of his Department about levels of deduction from benefit for fuel debts; and if he will make a statement.

The maximum deduction which may be made from a claimant's supplementary benefit for a fuel or housing debt is laid down in the Supplementary Benefit (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1981. The chief adjudication officer's guidance on the interpretation of the regulations concerned is published in Part 9 of the S manual, a copy of which is in the Library. Local offices have recently been given procedural instructions on the proposed introduction of a microcomputer system to handle deductions for fuel debts but the guidance on levels of deduction has not been changed.Sums may also be deducted from a claimant's benefit to recover an urgent need payment or an overpayment of benefit, and maximum deductions are laid down in the Supplementary Benefit (Urgent Cases) Regulations 1981 and the Supplementary Benefit (Duplication and Overpayment) Regulations 1980 respectively. Instructions on this are issued by my right hon. Friend to local office staff.

Nurses

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessments he has made of changes in the last six years in the amount of work performed by nursing staff in the National Health Service.

It is for individual health authorities to assess the amount of work performed by their nursing staff, as part of the task of determining appropriate staffing levels and the best mix of qualified and other nursing staff to meet their service needs. To aid authorities in this task, there have been factual central studies, in particular by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys on community nursing staff and by our Department's central management services on hospital based midwives, which contain information on the amount of work performed by some nursing staff.

Neasden Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what representations he has received regarding the proposal by Brent district health authority to close a 15-bed ward in Neasden hospital;(2) if he will receive a deputation from Brent community health council about Brent district health authority's proposal to close a 15-bed ward in Neasden hospital.

This proposal has been referred to the North West Thames regional health authority, which must decide whether they wish to refer it to us for a final decision or reject the proposal. If it does come before us we will gladly see the hon. Member's deputation. We have received no other representations about this.

Specialist Claims Control Visits

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total cost of the specialist claims control units of his Department in 1983–84 and 1984–85.

The estimated administrative cost of specialist claims control staff was £2·4 million in 1983–84 and £2 million in 1984–85.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many prosecutions have been brought against claimants as a result of the operations of the specialist claims control units of his Department in 1983–84 and 1984–85.

Separate statistics are not maintained of the number of prosecutions resulting from specialist claims control.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the total amount saved in stopped claims as a result of the operations of the specialist claims control units of his Department in 1983–84 and 1984–85.

The information requested is not available. However, the estimated total benefit savings from cases examined by specialist claims control teams and where benefit either ceased or was adjusted were £19 million and £16·3 million in 1983–84 and 1984–85 respectively.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment has been made in relation to those whose benefits are stopped following an investigation by the specialist claims control units of his Department of the numbers of persons who subsequently are awarded benefit; and if he will make a statement.

The operational research services branch of the Department has recently completed a study into specialist claims control and the report is under consideration. The study has taken account of persons whose benefit ceased following an investigation and who subsequently returned to benefit.

Disclosure Of Information

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if it is the policy of his Department that local officers should not disclose information to claimants who ask for it; and if he will make a statement.

Personal information held on Social Security claims by the Department is confidential. Where a claimant or a person who states they are acting on behalf of a claimant asks a local officer for information about a claim, it is our policy that the local officer must be satisfied that the enquiry is in fact from the claimant or an agent acting with his authority before any information can be disclosed. if the hon. Member has a particular instance in mind I should be glad if he would write to me.

Chronically Sick And Disabled (Benefits)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total spending of his Department on benefits and services for the chronically sick and disabled in each of the years 1970–71 to 1984–85; and if he will give the change year in by year percentage as well as money terms.

The spending on benefits and on services provided direct by the Department for long-term sick and disabled people in the years 1970–71 to 1984–85 is given in the table. Information on the provision of services by health authorities and by local authorities specifically to this group is not available.

YearExpenditure in cash termsExpenditure at 1984–85 pricesReal annual percentage increase
£ million£ million
1970–71*
1971–72†3601,570
1972–735102,08032
1973–745902,1805
1974–757702,41011
1975–761,0402,6209
1976–771,2402,7103
1977–781,5202,9107
1978–791,8303,24011
1979–802,1603,3002
1980–812,5603,3602
1981–823,0303,5706
1982–833,5603,91010
1983–844,1504,36012
1984–854,5904,5905
* Comparable figures are not available as there were no benefits specifically for the long-term sick and disabled people.
† Not fully comparable with later years as invalidity benefit was introduced part way through the year.

Endoscopic Ultrasonography Equipment

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what finances he intends to make available to enable endoscopic ultrasonography equipment to be modernised for the purpose of detecting more effectively early changes in conditions of patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis.

The Department provides financial assistance for the development of new and improved equipment in suitable cases. The provision and modernising of medical equipment is a matter for health authorities.

Family Doctor Services

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the levels of spending which have been devoted by his Department towards family doctor services in each financial year since 1978–79.

Spending on the general medical services in England in each year since 1978–79 was as follows:

Financial YearActual Spending
£ million
1978–79380·6
1979–80468·3
1980–81618·8
1981–82710·4
1982–83799·2
1983–84862·5
1984–85*979·9
*Provisional.

Mental Health Service (Conference)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many officials of his Department attended the conference in London recently on mental health service planning which it arranged jointly with the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Including sessional chairmen, 22 professional and administrative staff from our Department attended some part of the conference on "Mental Health Service Planning" held on 7 and 8 March 1985.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any proposals for implementing any of the recommendations made at the recent conference in London on mental health service planning attended by representatives of his Department and by representatives of the British Association of Social Workers, the British Psychological Society, MENCAP, MIND, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing.

The conference held on 7–8 March was organised jointly by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and our Department. Other participants were drawn from regional and district health authorities, local authorities, local authority associations, the National Association of Health Authorities, professional organisations and voluntary organisations working in the field of mental illness and mental handicap.The conference was held to enable participants to look jointly at problems associated with the implementation of our policies for mental health service planning in England and Wales. It was not constituted to consider or vote on formal recommendations. A wide variety of opinions was

Table
RegionArea/DistrictHospitalType of Hospital Mental Illness (MI) or Mental Handicap (MH)Date Approved
(i) MI and MH Hospitals approved for complete closure May 1979·December 1979
TrentSheffieldWales Court HospitalMHDecember 1979
(ii) MI and MH Hospitals approved for complete closure 1980
South West ThamesEast SurreyClerks Croft HospitalMISeptember 1980
West MidlandsHereford and WorcesterHolme Lacy HospitalMINovember 1980
MerseyLiverpoolLiverpool Psychiatric Day HospitalMISeptember 1980
(iii) MI and MH Hospitals approved for complete closure 1981
YorkshireWakefieldCarr Gate HospitalMINovember 1981
WakefieldNewton Lodge AnnexMINovember 1981
TrentSheffieldSt. Joseph's HospitalMHNovember 1981
North West ThamesEaling, Hammersmith and HounslowTemple Hill HouseMIMarch 1981
MerseyChesterTabley HostelMHDecember 1981
(iv) MI and MH Hospitals approved for complete closure 1982
South East ThamesTunbridge WellsMansell HouseMHDecember 1982
North Western BoltonHovercroft Free Discharge UnitMIFebruary 1982
(v) MI and MH Hospitals approved for complete closure 1983
TrentSouth DerbyshireBlakeleyMIMarch 1983
North West ThamesVictoriaVincent Square Day HospitalMIDecember 1983
VictoriaAll Saints HospitalMIDecember 1983
North East ThamesNorth East EssexEssex HallMHJuly 1983
WessexPortsmouth and South East HampshireSandy PointMHNovember 1983
South WesternFrenchayLeigh CourtMHJune 1983
(vi) MI and MH Hospitals approved for complete closure 1984
TrentSheffieldScott Road and Commonside HostelsMHOctober 1984

expressed. The participants had before them the recommendations in the Social Services Committee report on community care with special reference to adult mentally ill and mentally handicapped people, published on 28 February. In considering our response to that Report we are taking account of points made at the conference.

Mental Hospitals

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the number of mental hospitals and mental handicap hospitals which have closed down in each year since 1979; and if he will give a breakdown region by region of these closures during the same period.

From the information we have centrally, the number of mental illness and mental handicap hospitals approved for complete closure for the period May 1979—March 1985, is as follows:

YearNumber of hospitals
May—December 19791
January—December 19803
January—December 19815
January—December 19822
January—December 19836
January—December 198414
January— March 1985
TOTAL May 1979— March 198531
Details of the individual hospitals are in the table.

Region

Area/District

Hospital

Type of Hospital Mental Illness (MI) or Mental Handicap (MH)

Date Approved

NottinghamCoppice HospitalMIDecember 1984
RotherhamAughton Court HospitalMHSeptember 1984
North LincolnshireLawn HospitalMIFebruary 1934
East AnglianNorwichThe ValeMIMay 1984
NorwichBlofield HallMHSeptember 1984
North East ThamesCity and HackneyThe GermanMIJune 1984
South West ThamesMid-DownsRoffey ParkMIOctober 1984
North West SurreyMurray House, OttershawMHApril 1984
WessexWinchesterTichbourne Down House HospitalMHApril 1984
BathWinsley CentreMHNovember 1984
OxfordNorthamptonUpton Lawn Day HospitalMIOctober 1984
West MidlandsWorcester & DistrictSt. Wulstan's HospitalMIJune 1984
MerseyWirralPriory Day HospitalMIOctober 1984

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the numbers of patients residing in mental hospitals and units in England in each year since 1979.

On the assumption that the hon. Member is referring to mental illness hospitals and units, the available information is given in Table 1 of DHSS Statistical Bulletin 1/85, "Mental illness hospitals and units in England, results from the Mental Health Enquiry 1983," a copy of which is in the Library.

Research Management (Review)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he established a review into health and personal social services research management in his Department; when the results of that review were submitted to him; and whether he will now place a copy of the report in the Library.

We began an examination of the Department's health and personal social services research management in August 1984. The work is completed and being considered.

Board And Lodging Allowance (Birmingham)

the Secretary of State for Social Services how many letters have been sent by his Department's local offices in Walsall road and Soho road, Birmingham, to supplementary benefit recipients informing them that the board and lodging allowance will cease on a given date.

Up to and including 22 May 1985 the Department's office in Walsall road, Birmingham had issued nine letters and the office in Soho road, Birmingham had issued 112 letters to claimants informing them that their supplementary allowance in respect of board and lodging would cease on a given date.

Housing Benefit Regulations

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he now intends to withdraw the Housing Benefit (Amendment No. 4) Regulations; and if he will make a statement.

The regulations were made as a matter of urgency to close loopholes and correct anomalies. There is no reason to withdraw them.

Nhs Support Services (Contracts)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report the letter dated 9 October 1984 from the Minister for Health to all regional health authority chairmen about contracts for National Health Service support services.

The text of my letter was:

"Some Districts are seeking to require contractors who tender for the provision of NHS support services to employ staff on Whitley terms and conditions of service. This is contrary to the advice given by the Department last year in DA(83)40; and it is, as John Patten made clear again in his letter this summer, unacceptable to Ministers. You may find it helpful if I explain our policy and the reasons for it.
All authorities have been asked to seek tenders, including in-house tenders, for their domestic, catering and laundry services to ensure that they get the best value for money in these services. When going to tender, authorities need to prepare tender documents which clearly specify the work to be done, including the standards to be achieved. They need to see that only competent contractors are invited to tender. When assessing a contractors competence, an Authority can certainly consider, amongst other things, whether the wage rates and conditions likely to be offered by that contractor will be adequate to attract the right sort of staff, given the available supply of full-time or part-time workers in the area. All these are necessary steps to take to ensure that the authority meets its obligation to secure services of the standard required at the lowest cost.
However we consider that it is quite wrong for authorities to go beyond these steps and specify the terms and conditions of service which private contractors should provide for staff working on NHS contracts. There is no sensible basis upon which a Health authority can interfere in this way in the relationship between the contractor and its employees. It cannot be right for Health Authorities to stipulate holiday entitlement, sickness benefits or inflation-proofed pensions as well as wage rates for cleaning and catering companies in their area. Moreover attempts to set wage rates and conditions are likely to be against the interests of the health authority and its patients because the effect will probably be to restrict competition for contracts and to acid to any contractors' costs. This in turn is likely to lead to extra costs for authorities. Those extra costs will be to the detriment of patients in that district, because they will have to be found from resources which would otherwise be available for patient care.
It may be that some members of health authorities who have favoured the idea of including a requirement for Whitley terms and conditions in their contracts have done so because they have been persuaded that this was the only way to ensure that standards are maintained if work goes to a contractor. I am quite sure that this view is mistaken, and that, far from being in the interests of the service, imposing these requirements on contractors will simply divert resources from patient care.
Some Authorities may also have been influenced by the argument that the circular itself is not a binding direction in law. This is quite irrelevant and is not any sudden or unexpected discovery. Circulars have always been worded in this way and we do not draft them to ensure that each circular is a legally binding document. We do not ordinarily expect to have to use the Secretary of State's legal powers of direction as we look upon our Health Authorities as partners in our aim of improving the National Health Service. However we have always expected Authorities to follow Government policies and we are entitled to continue to do so.
I would like you to ensure that Ministers' views are clearly and firmly brought to the attention of any Authorities in your Region which have adopted Whitley wages and conditions requirements for contractors, or are considering doing so. It is most important that they understand that these requirements cannot be in the best interests of patients, and should not be included in tender documents. We look to you in the first place to continue to provide the leadership to the Region which is required to ensure that all Districts, and their hospitals and patients, take full advantage of the tendering policy.
KENNETH CLARKE

Pyridoxine

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if there have been any yellow card reports sent to the Committee on Safety of Medicines regarding adverse reactions to vitamin B6, pyridoxine.

Yes. There are 28 products which contain only vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). We have received 29 adverse reaction reports relating to such products. In addition we have received 527 reports relating to combination products containing pyridoxine and other ingredients. It is very important to bear in mind that a report does not necessarily indicate a causal relationship between a product or a constituent of a product and the reported reaction.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when the Committee on Safety of Medicines or its professional staff last considered the safety of vitamin B6, pyridoxine; and what were the conclusions.

The safety of pyridoxine, either alone or in combination products, has been considered by the committee and by professional staff on numerous occasions over the years; it was last considered earlier this year. I am advised that provided products are used in the doses and indications set out in their prescribing literature there are no concerns about their safety.

Drug Trials

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the operation of drug trials, the provision of information concerning risks associated with drug trials to volunteers, and arrangements for compensation in the event of death, illness, or injury to a volunteer as a result of drug trials; and if he will make a statement.

We would strongly disapprove of any programme of drug testing which did not comply with existing guidelines. These recommend that volunteers be provided with a full explanation of the proposed procedure, including the risks, and suggest a basis for compensation in the event of drug-induced injury. We are awaiting updated advice from the Working Party set up by the Royal College of Physicians and from the Medicines Commission on what, if any, further control measures are required.

Limited List Prescribing