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Written Answers

Volume 80: debated on Thursday 13 June 1985

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 13 June 1985

Trade And Industry

Nissan Uk (Undertakings)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what undertakings regarding spin-off benefits for United Kingdom suppliers Nissan Motors UK made to Her Majesty's Government in return for financial assistance; to what extent those undertakings, with particular reference to control gear, have been fulfilled; and if he will make a statement.

A statement on Nissan was made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 1 February 1984. Whilst not bound to achieve specific local content levels in its purchases of machinery and equipment, the company is seeking to provide the maximum practicable opportunity for local suppliers to compete in this area. My Department is in close touch with Nissan on all purchasing matters, but sourcing decisions on individual items must remain a matter for the company's commercial judgment.

Origin Marking Regulations

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the Government's response to the European Court judgment 207/83 on the United Kingdom's origin marking regulations.

The Government are consulting bodies representative of those likely to be affected on how best to implement the court's ruling.

Ec Trade Mark Office

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects a decision to be taken on the location of the European Community trade mark office.

I understand that the Commission hopes to make a proposal to the Council of Ministers on the site of the office in the spring of 1986.

British Telecom (Shares)

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether City firms involved in the sale of British Telecom shares, as underwriters and in other capacities, had any privileged access to the shares; and whether the same limitations as applied to the general public, in terms of the maximum number of shares allotted to each purchaser, also applied to such firms and their employees.

[pursuant to his reply, 4 June 1985, c. 136]: Fifty-five per cent. of the United Kingdom offer of British Telecom shares was placed at the beginning of the offer period with over 2,000 institutional investors, who also undertook to purchase any of the shares to be offered to the public which remained unsold at the end of the offer period. These arrangements were set out in the prospectus and noted in my hon. Friend's statement of 16 November 1984. The remainder of the United Kingdom offer was allocated to members of the public, BT employees and other firms and institutions, on the basis announced by my hon. Friend on 3 December 1984. Employees of City firms involved in the offer were subject to the same application and allocation process as members of the public.

Home Department

Vagrancy Acts

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the implications of the new regulations on board and lodging accommodation payments for the operation of the Vagrancy Acts.

The Vagrancy Acts will continue to operate as previously. The general effect of the new regulations will be closely monitored by the Department of Health and Social Security.

Police Complaints Commissioner

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what transport is provided for the new Police Complaints Commissioner.

Arrangements have been made for the present chairman of the Police Complaints Authority to retain the access on the Government car service which he enjoyed in his former post as Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner. The service is provided subject to the authority's repayment of the costs.

Crime Prevention

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Standing Committee on crime prevention has considered the case for encouraging better lighting in inner city areas; and if he will make a statement.

At the request of the Home Office standing conference on crime prevention, the British Standards Institution is preparing a guide for architects and planners on the security of buildings. The first chapter, which is to be published and widely disseminated later this year, will include advice on lighting as a preventive measure. The Institution of Public Lighting Engineers has agreed to inform the Home Office crime prevention unit of any projected major new lighting schemes in inner city areas so that the possibility of evaluating their effect on street crime can be considered.

Prison Sentences (Statistics)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of convicted (a) males and (b) females were given prison sentences of between three and six months in magistrates courts in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984.

Information on the length of custodial sentences is published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales": for 1981 and 1982, for immediate imprisonment, in table 7.18 of the volume for 1982 (Cmnd. 9048) and for 1983 in supplementary tables Vol. 1, tables S1.3 (partly suspended sentences) and S1.4 (unsuspended sentences) and table 7B of Cmnd. 9349 (youth custody). Corresponding information for 1984 is not yet available.

Sri Lankans (Residence)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Sri Lankans were admitted to permanent residence in the United Kingdom in each year since 1955; and if he will make a statement.

The total numbers of Sri Lankan citizens accepted for settlement in the United Kingdom in each of the years 1973 to 1984 were published in the annual Command Paper "Control of Immigration: Statistics" (tables 14(a) and 18 of the issues for 1978 and 1984, Cmnd. 7565 and 9544 respectively). Comprehensive information is not available on Sri Lankan acceptances for settlement for the years 1963 to 1973; before 1 July 1962 Commonwealth citizens were not subject to immigration control.

Holloway Prison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any long-term plans to provide a regional psychiatric facility for disturbed women prisoners at Holloway prison.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans his Department has to improve care and treatment facilities for disturbed women at Holloway prison.

My right hon. and learned Friend is awaiting the report of the project committee set up to advise on the organisation and future role of Holloway prison, including its psychiatric facilities. The project committee has been asked to report at the beginning of July and he will make a statement as soon as practicable thereafter.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the terms of reference of his Department's present inquiry into Holloway prison; and whether the inquiry will take oral evidence from employees, inmates and voluntary organisations concerned with prisoners' welfare.

The terms of reference of the Holloway project committee are:To prepare a plan for the development of Holloway Prison as the main local prison for women in the south of England, within the framework of the statement of functions of Prison Department establishments recently approved by the Prisons Board and having regard to the staff and the resources likely to be available and their optimum deployment; and, in particular:

  • (i) to assess what population of prisoners, both in numbers and in composition, can most appropriately be held in Holloway prison;
  • (ii) to identify any specialist function currently performed at Holloway prison which could be better and more appropriately performed elsewhere within the women's prison system, having regard to Holloway's role as a local prison;
  • (iii) to consider the regimes that may best be operated in Holloway prison; with the aim of enabling the prisoners to spend the maximum time possible out of their cells and to have access to a variety of activities; and to report to the Director General of the Prison Service by 1 July 1985.
  • The committee has not invited oral submissions. It is open to anyone to send comments in writing.
  • Mental Health Act 1983 (Accused Persons)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has as to the number of cases in which the courts have exercised their powers under the Mental Health Act 1983 to remand, where appropriate, accused persons to hospital for reports and treatment and as to the number of cases where places have not been found for such prisoners by regional health authorities.

    The number of persons remanded under the Mental Health Act 1983 has been collected centrally from the courts only from the beginning of 1985 and information will not become available until 1986. A court may exercise these powers only where arrangements have been made for the person's admission to hospital and information is not collected centrally about the number of cases in which a hospital place was not available. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services expects to have later this year information about the number of admissions to hospital under these powers during the final quarter of 1984 and in the autumn of 1986 to have information on such admissions during 1985.

    Stafford Prison

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the effect on the certified normal accommodation of Crescent hall, Stafford prison, of the introduction of integral sanitation; what is the rationale behind the new certified normal accommodation; how the space available in a cell now certified fit for double occupation in Crescent hall compares with that in a double cell in a new prison;. and if he will make a statement on the implications of the change in certified normal accommodation in this case for estimates as to the cell loss anticipated from the introduction of integral sanitation into all local prisons and remand centres.

    The scheme to introduce integral sanitation in the crescent wing at Stafford was approved as a pilot project. One half of the wing was completed in September 1984, and the new facilities are being evaluated in use. It is expected that work on the second half of the wing will be completed later this year. The pilot scheme was approved on the basis that there would be no loss of certified normal accommodation. The proposal was to use some of the refurbished cells, which differ in size, for single occupancy and some as two-man cells, and the current cell certificates reflect this position. The size of the two-man cells is approximately l0·15m2including 2·25m 2provided by the separate toilet annex. The size of two-man cells being planned for new establishments is not less than 9·2m2, inclusive of the sanitary annex. No implications for any change in certified normal accommodation in local prisons and remand centres can be drawn until the Stafford scheme is complete and fully evaluated.

    Detained Schoolchildren (Kirkby)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Merseyside on how many schoolchildren were detaned in Kirkby police station on 18 and 19 April; how long each one was detained; why they were not allowed to telephone their parents, relatives or solicitors; why no food or drinks were provided; and why some were detained from 1lam to after 8 pm.

    Yes. I shall make inquiries of the chief constable of Merseyside and will write to the hon. Member.

    Young Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of people aged between 14 and 21 years have experienced a custodial sentence.

    An estimate is available only for those born in 1953 and 1958 from the sample study of their convictions, results of which were published in "Home Office Statistical Bulleting Issue 7/85". About 2 per cent. of such persons had received a custodial sentence by the age of 21.

    Penal Establishments

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the budget in each penal establishment for (a) dental treatment and (b) medical services.

    The Department meets the patient's share of the National Health Service charge for dental treatment received by prisoners. The financial allocations to each establishment for this purpose, and for medical services generally, are set out in the table. "Medical Services" includes the provision of drugs, dressings and small items of medical equipment, and contributions to charges for dental and optical treatment.

    Name of EstablishmentMedical servicesDental Contributions
    Acklington12,7754,000
    Albany5,7854,650
    Aldington2,315300
    Ashford15,8158,750
    Ashwell5,8054,650
    Askham Grange5,0152,800
    Aylesbury5,0503,000
    Bedford8,5551,800
    Birmingham53,2259,250
    Blantyre House1,90050
    Blundeston23,1108,250
    Bristol35,0057,750
    Brixton63,35020,750
    Brockhill315100
    Buckley Hall250150
    Bullwood Hall10,0402,500
    Camp Hill9,2608,000
    Campsfield House60
    Canterbury15,8406,750
    Cardiff25,9907,250
    Channings Wood15,4758,000
    Chelmsibrd12,7254,000
    Coldingley11,8305,500
    Cookham Wood80
    Dartmoor23,5605,200
    Deerbolt Camp11,3857,500
    Dorchester8,3853,000
    Dover10,0703,900
    Drake Hall2,4051,500
    Durham45,9608,300

    Name of Establishment

    Medical services

    Dental Contributions

    East Sutton Park1,105850
    Eastwood Park50
    Erlestoke7.4554,000
    Everthorpe4.9601,300
    Exeter19.8106,200
    Featherstone9,9158,000
    Feltham/Finnamore17,2855,200
    Ford3,5209,750
    Foston Hall1,270
    Frankland18.7604,000
    Gartree16.3507,000
    Gaynes Hall
    Glen Parva21,8555,600
    Gloucester17.7309,250
    Grendon/Springhill48,8056,000
    Guys Marsh8.5905,700
    Haslar3,28575
    Hatfield/Gringley3,900/1,1003600/1,000
    Havering9.4906,250
    Hewell Grange>2,2501,800
    Highpoint31,67516,000
    Hindley3,3152,575
    Hollesley Bay7,6101,000
    Holloway42,26010,000
    Hull9,9354,750
    Huntercombe4,8653,800
    Kingston8,9653,000
    Kirkham11,7657,500
    Kirklevington920
    Lancaster7,8106.350
    Latchmere House1,215750
    Leeds46,89510,500
    Leicester24,0906.750
    Lewes27,4505.400
    Leyhill16.5155,000
    Lincoln24,19010,400
    Liverpool110,77522,250
    Long Lartin26.87512,650
    Lowdham Grange10,7808,000
    Low Newton80
    Maidstone47,30515,000
    Manchester52,5058,000
    Medomsley1,325200
    New Hall37065
    Northallerton3,3802,750
    Northeye27,11014,000
    North Sea Camp1,380275
    Norwich27,5756,000
    Nottingham9,7002,750
    Onley2,2451,500
    Oxford6,765.5,000
    Parkhurst64,2606,750
    Pentonville88,26034,000
    Portland11,8604,000
    Preston7,7956,000
    Pucklechurch685355
    Ranby22,80515,000
    Reading11,0853,875
    Risley64,75514,000
    Rochester39,70512,900
    Rudgate8,2353,600
    Send1,680
    Shepton Mallet11,5557,000
    Shrewsbury4,0453,400
    Stafford24,9808,750
    Standford Hill22,71011,650
    Stoke Heath15,35014,000
    Styal6,2554,300
    Sudbury17,4058,000
    Swansea14,0355,250
    Swinfen Hall2,2501,450
    Thorp Arch1,91585
    Usk3,2051,700
    Verne24,6558,500
    Wakefield54.5108,000
    Wandsworth81,98015,500

    Name of Establishment

    Medical services

    Dental Contributions

    Wellingborough9,9706,000
    Werrington2,8901,700
    Wetherby8,1554,100
    Whatton1,25585
    Winchester26,2806,900
    Wormwood Scrubs83,56025,000
    Wymott18,7759,000

    Note: In some cases where a nil or nominal allocation is shown above a smaller establishment will 'feed off a larger one nearby for its medical supplies.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the industrial action currently being taken by staff in penal establishments, the establishments concerned and the number of staff involved; and what were the stated reasons for the dispute and the effects of the dispute.

    In addition to a number of disputes at particular establishments over local matters such as manning levels and efficiency improvements, there are four national disputes relating to procedural issues on the use of force reports, procedures for internal investigations, non-co-operation in the use of radio-pagers and non-co-operation in the supply of statistical information regarding movements to courts. Discussions are taking place or are to take place on the resolution of all these issues. None of the disputes at present has had any more than a marginal effect on prisoners and others.

    Care Of Children (Steering Group)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are the criteria by which appointments were made to the steering group appointed to review the arrangements by which information is handled on the criminal background of those seeking positions where they will have substantial opportunities for access to children;(2) if he will list the names of all the members on the steering group appointed to review the arrangements by which information is handled on the criminal background of those seeking positions where they will have substantial opportunities for access to children;(3) if he will make it his policy that the steering group appointed to review the arrangements by which information is handled on the criminal background of those seeking positions where they will have substantial opportunities for access to children will seek evidence or proposals from the Association of Directors of Social Services, before reporting;(4) if he will make it his policy that the review of the arrangements by which information is handled on the criminal background of those seeking positions where they will have substantial opportunity for access to children will seek evidence and proposals from all bodies with a direct interest in the outcome of the review before it reports.

    The review was set up in the wake of the Colin Evans case to devise as a matter of urgency a system for disclosing criminal backgrounds in relevant cases for the protection of children. The steering group supervising the work, which was kept small to facilitate a speedy review, includes a director of social services and representatives of other major central and local government interests, and the police. Other bodies are being consulted in the course of the review and there will be an opportunity for comments on recommendations resulting from the review.The Membership of the steering group is:

    • Mr. D. E. R. Faulkner (Chairman)—Home Office
    • Mrs. J. Hale—Inner London Education Authority
    • Mr. D. James—Director of Social Services, Leeds
    • Mr. B. Johnson—Chief Constable, Lancashire
    • Mr. D. Pullen—County Secretary, Buckinghamshire
    • Mr. E. Soden—Home Office
    • Mr.D. Wilkinson — Department of Education and
    • Science
    • Commander D. Williams — National Identification
    • Bureau
    • Mr. C. Wilson — Department of Health and Social
    • Security Observers:
    • Mr. R. Scott—Scottish Office
    • Mrs. D. Brown—Northern Ireland Office

    Police Establishment (Newham)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the police establishment for the two police divisions covering Newham and the number available for duty in the area for each month since March 1984; how many in the establishment were sent out on weekly tours of duty in mining areas; and how many such weekly tours there have been since March 1984.

    There are no fixed establishments for police divisions in the Metropolitan police district. An establishment is set for each police district and it is for the district commander to deploy available manpower to his divisions according to operational needs and priorities.The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that the establishment and strength of "K" district (which includes the borough of Newham) for each month since March 1984 are as set out in the table. Officers from "K" district were sent to the mining areas for periods of duty ranging from one to eight days on 62 occasions between March 1984 and March 1985. The average number of officers sent on each occasion was 39.

    Metropolitan Police "K" District Police establishment and strength (March 1984 to May 1985)
    District establishmentDistrict strength
    1984
    March1,3201,215
    April1,3201,221
    May1,3201,224
    June1,3201,213
    July1,3201,201
    August1,3201,209
    September1,3201,204
    October1,3201,214
    November1,3201,203
    December1,3201,209
    1985
    January1,3201,202
    February1,3211,202
    March1,3211,198
    April1,3211,196
    May1,3211,200

    Prisoners (Assaults)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being proposed to determine the precise situation regarding the assault on one of the defendants of the Newham seven trial at the Central Criminal Court; and what measures are taken to protect prisoners from such assaults.

    The incident is being investigated by the City of London police and it would not be appropriate for me to comment at this stage.

    National Finance

    Export Of Goods Control Orders

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why Her Majesty's Customs and Excise is no longer offering compounding in cases arising under the Export of Goods Control Orders 1974 to 1981 et al; and if he will make a statement.

    Customs and Excise has not changed its policy and does offer to compound proceedings in appropriate cases. That policy was set out in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) on 26 April 1984 at column 542.

    Ec Commission (Staff)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many persons were employed by the European Economic Community Commission on the most recent date for which figures are available; what was the total cost of administering the Commission on the same date; and what were the comparable figures, respectively, five and 10 years previously.

    Ec Commission (Expenditure)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement outlining the procedures for controlling and supervising the spending of public funds by the Common Market Commission.

    The community budgetary authority, the Council and Parliament, are responsible, under the treaty, for the authorisation of funds through the annual budgetary procedure. The Court of Auditors is responsible for the audit of the Community's accounts, including those of the Commission, and reports annually on them.

    Bad Debt Relief

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he proposes to provide for bad debt relief in the value added tax system, as recommended in the "Burdens on Business" report.

    The Chancellor announced in his Budget statement an extension of the existing arrangements for VAT. Legislative provision is included in clause 31 of the current Finance Bill. The extended relief is to be available on the coming into force, early next year, of the provisions of the Insolvency Bill, where the administrator or administrative receiver certifies that the debtor's assets are insufficient to cover the payment of any dividend to unsecured creditors. Relief is also to be available where the debtor agrees a voluntary scheme or enters into a formal deed of arrangement with his creditors.

    Black Economy

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to reduce the black economy in the construction industry and other industries; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer my hon. Friend to my remarks in the Adjournment debate on 25 January, at columns 1305-1312. Both Revenue Departments continue to keep the methods used to counter tax evasion in the black economy in the construction and other industries under careful review.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from the construction industry regarding the black economy in building work and the effect of competition within the industry of the value added tax exemption limit for small businesses; and what action he proposes to take.

    A total of 146 representations have been identified in the past year. They all in some way alluded to the black economy in the construction industry and a few sought to have the level of the VAT registration threshold reduced. The present VAT threshold of £19,500 excludes from registration many small traders in the construction industry, and there is no firm evidence to suggest that there is a significant number of businesses which are properly registrable but have failed to notify their liability.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated number of traders in the construction industry who are failing to comply with their legal obligation to be registered for value added tax with Her Majesty's Customs and Excise; and whether there is any evidence that the number of such traders is increasing.

    There are no estimated figures available for the number of traders who fail to notify their liability to be registered for VAT. In a sample exercise, based on information supplied by the industry, Customs and Excise was unable to establish that out of 132 cases a single trader had failed to comply with his legal obligation.

    Value Added Tax

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what penalties are imposed by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise upon a trader whose taxable turnover for value added tax purposes is in excess of the prevailing exemption limit for small businesses and who breaks the law by failing to notify Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.

    The maximum penalty, on summary conviction, for failing to notify a liability for VAT registration is £1,000 or, if greater, three times the amount of the tax evaded by the failure.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to reintroduce the scheme for deferred value added tax and duty for goods imported by registered traders; and if he will make a statement.

    Arrangements are available under which importers, once approved, may defer payment of duty and value added tax chargeable at importation until the 15th of the following month. However, the hon. Member may have in mind the former postponed accounting system for VAT alone. As indicated in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter) on 14 February, at column 290, we would revert to this system if other member states agreed to the Commission's proposals, in the draft 14th directive on VAT, to adopt it throughout the Community.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if any discussions are taking place within the European Economic Community as to the introduction of a standard system for the removal of value added tax on goods coming into a European Economic Community country on a sale-or-return basis; and if he will make a statement.

    Yes. Discussions are taking place on a draft 17th VAT directive, which proposes that temporary imports on approval of certain categories of goods, including made-up articles of fur, precious stones, carpets and articles of jewellery, should be relieved of VAT.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to the types and volume of goods coming into the United Kingdom on a sale-or-return basis, on which value added tax has to be paid.

    Importers are not required to identify sale-or-return goods separately, and I regret therefore that no information of the kind requested is collected.

    Construction Industry (Taxation)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the increase in revenue to the Exchequer of small businesses in the construction industry being required to register for value added tax when their taxable turnover exceeds £9,750 per annum.

    In the absence of reliable information on businesses in the construction industry that are currently not required to register for value added tax, I regret that it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the loss of revenue to the Exchequer from the construction industry of the value added tax exemption limit for small businesses being raised to (a) £50,000 and (b) £100,000.

    Such large changes make any prediction of the likely revenue effects very difficult and subject to considerable uncertainty. I regret therefore that a reliable estimate of the revenue loss cannot be given.

    Jewellery Trade (Free Port)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to set up in the United Kingdom a free port for the jewellery trade; and if he will make a statement.

    Experimental free zones have already been designated at Belfast international airport, Birmingham international airport, Cardiff, Liverpool, Prestwick international airport and Southampton. Members of the jewellery trade may apply to become free zone traders.

    The Arts

    Castle Howard

    asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts what arrangements the Minister for the Arts is making to seek to save the art treasures in Castle Howard; and whether he will make a statement.

    No formal approach has yet been made to the Government concerning works of art at Castle Howard.

    Civil Service

    Civil Servants (Reinstatement)

    asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards reinstatement in the British Civil Service of former British civil servants who have taken up posts in the European Economic Community Commission and who have subsequently been made redundant by that organisation; and if he will make a statement.

    The Community terms of service common to all its institutions do not recognise any form of secondment from national civil services for permanent staff; officers must therefore resign from the United Kingdom Civil Service on taking up an appointment with the Communities. It is important to promote full United Kingdom representation in the European Communities; individuals are encouraged to apply for advertised vacancies as part of their career development and Departments have discretion to offer a guarantee of reinstatement.Officers given the guarantee of reinstatement have an absolute right of return to their substantive grade for the first five years after departure from the United Kingdom Civil Service. Thereafter, until the 55th birthday the right of return is retained but is not absolute. The parent Department, and the Cabinet Office (MPO) on behalf of the service in general, undertake to use their best endeavours to find an officer a post in his substantive grade. Where a post cannot be found, the officer is retired prematurely on grounds of redundancy.An officer who has been absent for more than five years and is aged 55 or over has no right of return, but may be reinstated in accordance with normal procedure.

    Defence

    Chemical Weapons

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 3 May, Official Report, column 259, concerning chemical weapons, on what evidence the Minister of State based his statement that United States moves towards modernisation would underline to the Russians the benefits of reaching early agreement on a total ban; and if he will make a statement.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has as to the measures taken by Warsaw pact countries to modernise their chemical weapons; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 18 of annex A to the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1985.

    Stainmore (Training Land)

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the starting price per acre he offered for land for dry training at Stainmore; and what is he currently offering.

    The Property Services Agency, as our agents has made no offer for the Land at Stainmore, pending the outcome of the notification to the local authority to use the land for training.

    Ibm

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many copies of the letter from IBM of 22 December 1983 regarding the movement of advanced IBM machines within the United Kingdom his Department has received; and how many complaints relating to the letter, or similar letters he has received.

    The letter from IBM was not addressed to the Ministry of Defence. No complaints relating to the letter, or similar letters, have been received.

    Warship Contracts

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he makes of the balance of consideration between competitive tendering and social policy when placing warship contracts.

    Our policy is to place warship contracts, wherever practicable, by competitive tendering. The primary considerations in evaluating tenders are costs and performance, but account can also be taken of other relevant factors.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his policy towards privatised British warship yards competing for types of work currently carried out in British naval dockyards.

    The Royal dockyards currently carry out the bulk of the Royal Navy's warship refitting requirements. In their defence open government documents, entitled "The future of the Royal Dockyards", published on 17 April, the Government, in setting out the options for the future management of the dockyards, expressed their intention to open up more warship refit work to competition in future. It would be up to the privatised British warship yards to decide whether they were interested in bidding for such work. For their part, the Government would seek to enourage as wide a competition as possible from suitable firms.

    Dockyard Apprentices

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what action he is taking to resolve the problem of apprentices within the Devonport apprentice training centre not being given on-the-job training in Her Majesty's dockyard, Devonport;(2) if he will announce the numbers of apprentices to be taken on at Her Majesty's dockyard, Devonport.

    These matters are currently the subject of discussion between management and trades unions at Devonport dockyard.

    asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he has any plans to utilise the Devonport apprentice training centre for the training of young people in addition to those apprentices in training for work at Her Majesty's dockyard, Devonport.

    There are no plans to utilise the apprentice training centre at Devonport dockyard for the training of any young people other than Ministry of Defence apprentices in the immediate future because of the continuing refusal by the trades unions there to support the introduction of a youth training scheme.

    Education And Science

    Metallic Marker Pens

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has over the use in schools in England of metallic marker pens with gold and silver lettering that contain xylene/xylol; and if he will make a statement.

    My right hon. Friend has no information as to the extent of the use of such pens in schools.

    Science And Engineering Graduates

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what effect the reductions in University Grants Committee grants to some universities in 1981 has had on the output of graduates in science and engineering.

    The table gives the actual output of first degree science and engineering home graduates (university and CNAA) in Great Britain for 1931-32 and 1982–83, and the Government's output projections for 1983–84 to 1989–90.

    Output of first Degree Home Graduates University and CNM) in Great Britain, in science and engineering
    (thousands)
    Actuals
    1981–8231·1
    1982–8332·8
    Projections
    1983–8435·3
    1984–8535·4
    1985–8635·4
    1986–8735·7
    1987–8836·1
    1988–8936·7
    1989–9036·9

    Notes:

    (1) The figures are based on statistics obtained from the universities statistical record (USR) and CNAA. Figures for the numbers awarded CNAA first degrees are estimates.

    (2) The projections include graduates from the Government';; information technology in higher education initiative (announced in 1982) but do not take account of the engineering and technology programme announced in March 1985.

    (3) Science includes biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, agriculture and veterinary science.

    School Meals Service

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement on the implications of the Green Paper on social security for the school meals service.

    The Government's proposals on entitle-ment to remission of the charge for a school meal are set out in volume 1 paragraph 8.12 and volume 2 paragraph 4.51 of the Green Paper.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the average cost to pupils of school meals in primary and secondary schools; which are the cheapest local authorities and the dearest in each sector; and how much they charge.

    I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Dunfermline, East (Mr. Brown) on 17 May at column 244.

    Teachers (Qualifications)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many and what percentage of teachers working with integrated classes hold a specialist qualification; how many and what percentage have received in-service training since the implementation of the Education Act 1981; and whether he will make a statement.

    Some of the information requested by the hon. Member is not collected centrally. The remainder is contained in my answer of 3 April 1985 to the hon. Member at columns 617–18.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teachers teaching in special schools had a specialist qualification at the latest date for which figures are available; and what proportion of the special school teaching force this represents.

    In England, in January 1984, there were 5,339 full-time and part-time teachers in maintained and non-maintained special schools holding one or more specialist qualifications; this represents around a third of the special school qualified teaching force.

    School Rolls

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will list in the Official Report the percentage by which school rolls have fallen in (a) mainstream schools, (b) all special schools and

    LEANumber of pupils with statements in Special schoolNumber of pupils with statements in primary Middle and Secondary schools All pupils with statements Percentage of pupils with state- ments in special schoolsPercentage of pupils with state-ments in Maintained schools
    Barking2972632392·08·0
    Barnet4456751286·913·1
    Bexley3777445183·616·4
    Brent54517772275·524·5
    Bromley57122279372·028·0
    Croydon65228793969·430·6
    Baling57530287765·634·4
    Enfield5003353393·86·2
    Haringey4388852683·316·7
    Harrow2527532777·122·9
    Havering45914560476·024·0
    Hillingdon56819876674·225·8
    Hounslow63615579180·419·6
    Kingston upon Thames2765032684·715·3
    Merton3123634889·710·3
    Newham61912874782·917·1
    Redbridge4853652193·16·9

    (c) special schools for ESN(M) and ESN(S) pupils for those of compulsory school age in the period (i) 1972 to 1984 and (ii) 1981 to 1984.

    The number of pupils of compulsory school age in maintained primary and secondary schools in England has fallen by 10 per cent. both between 1972 and 1984 and between 1981 and 1984. In maintained and non-maintained special schools, the number of pupils of compulsory school age has fallen by 5 per cent. between 1972 and 1984 and by 9 per cent. between 1981 and 1984. Equivalent information for special schools for ESN(M) and ESN(S) pupils is not available.

    Children (Special Educational Needs)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will list in the Official Report the number and proportion of children with special needs who

    (a) are awaiting the completion of their statement and

    (b) have had a statement made as to their needs; and what

    information he has as to the time taken between

    identification of a child with special educational needs and

    the completion of the statement process.

    No information is collected centrally on the number of children with special needs who are awaiting the completion of their statements or on the average duration of the waiting period. There were 166,000 children in maintained primary and secondary schools and maintained and non-maintained special schools in England in 1984 with statements of special education needs.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to (a) the number and proportion of children identified as having special educational needs currently being educated in (i) special and (ii) maintained schools and (b) the variation in these figures between local education authorities.

    The number and proportion of children with statements of special educational needs being educated in maintained primary, middle and secondary schools and maintained and non-maintained special schools in each LEA in England in January 1984, the latest date for which information is available, are as follows:

    LEANumber of pupils with statements in Special schoolNumber of pupils with statements in primary Middle and Secondary schools All pupils with statements Percentage of pupils with state- ments in special schoolsPercentage of pupils with state-ments in Maintained schools
    Richmond upon Thames2244627083·017·0
    Sutton3123835089·110·9
    Waltham Forest8862611,14777·222·8
    Inner London7,7203,65711,37767·932·1
    Birmingham3,4024061,80889·310·7
    Coventry1,0722221,29482·817·2
    Dudley63920484375·824·2
    Sandwell9132151,12880·919·1
    Solihull4509654682·417·6
    Walsall7449483888·811·2
    Wolverhampton64016580579·520·5
    Knowsley6668975588·211·8
    Liverpool1,9291,1053,03463·636·4
    St Helens5356960488·611·4
    Sefton70815786581·818·2
    Wirral9212321,15379·920·1
    Bolton60411571984·016·0
    Bury3215637785·116·9
    Manchester2,00073462,35385·314·7
    Oldham73514588083·516·5
    Rochdale5845664091·38·8
    Salford984561,04094·65·4
    Stockport80213994185·214·8
    Tameside39217556769·130·9
    Trafford42124366463·436·6
    Wigan7963683295·74·3
    Barnsley3991941895·54·5
    Doncaster8757394892·37·7
    Rotherham,6274451,07258·541·5
    Sheffield1,5482941,84284·016·0
    Bradford1,4563581,81480·319·7
    Calderdale3054635186·913·1
    Kirklees74913288185·015·0
    Leeds2,3226002,92279·520·5
    Wakefield873888199·10·9
    Gateshead55714570279·320·7
    Newcastle upon Tyne1,086561,14295·14·9
    North Tyneside5795963890·89·2
    South Tyneside33211845073·826·2
    Sutherland8142981,11273·226·8
    Isles of Scilly22·0100·0
    Avon2,3463,8636,20937·862·2
    Bedfordshire1,1845911,77566·733·3
    Berkshire1,9711,1803,15162·637·4
    Buckinghamshire1,8778252,70269·530·5
    Cambridgeshire1,4301,4872,91749·051·0
    Cheshire1,9521,7453,69752·847·2
    Cleveland2,0315462,57778·821·2
    Cornwall2888071,09526·373·7
    Cumbria6796111,29052·647·4
    Derbyshire2,0441,0833,12765·434·6
    Devon2,2159873,20269·230·8
    Dorset1,2811791,46087·712·3
    Durham1,2192941,51380·619·4
    East Sussex1,8512852,13686·713·3
    Essex3,5253093,83491·98·1
    Gloucestershire1,4043791,78378·721·3
    Hampshire4,2419675,20881·418·6
    Hereford and Worcester1,4751,8323,30744·655·4
    Hertfordshire2,7541,0373,79172·627·4
    Humberside1,7241,3403,06456·343·7
    Isle of Wight31116948064·835·2
    Kent3,8851,1205,00577·622·4
    Lancashire4,0211,1175,13878·321·7
    Leicestershire1,3371,8713,20841·758·3

    LEA

    Number of pupils with statements in Special school

    Number of pupils with statements in primary Middle and Secondary schools

    All pupils with statements

    Percentage of pupils with state- ments in special schools

    Percentage of pupils with state-ments in Maintained schools

    Lincolnshire1,2628912,15358·641·4
    Norfolk1,0207911,81156·343·7
    North Yorkshire1,3942521,64684·715·3
    Northamptonshire1,5095122,02174·725·3
    Northumberland7312851,01671·928·1
    Nottinghamshire2,4911572,64894·15·9
    Oxfordshire1,1512,6113,76230·669·4
    Shropshire8135201,33361·039·0
    Somerset9255111,43664·435·6
    Staffordshire2,3598803,23972·827·2
    Suffolk8507941,64451·748·3
    Surrey3,0793703,44989·310·7
    Warwickshire1,5362271,76387·112·9
    Sest Sussex1,2842451,52984·016·0
    Wiltshire8211,2622,08339·460·6
    ENGLAND118,20648,107166,31371·128·9

    University Grants

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received concerning the staffing implications for the University Grants Committee of its selective policy in the allocation of university grants.

    I have received no specific representations on this point. The University Grants Committee in discussing with the Department its staffing requirements in relation to its future programme of work. As I announced to the House on 21 May, at column 861, the Government have accepted a recommendation of the Jarratt report to review the role, structure and staffing of the UGC.

    Teacher Training

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much importance he attaches to church foundations in the provision of initial teacher training.

    My right hon. Friend recognises the important contribution which denominational colleges have made to the provision of initial teacher training. As he has previously made clear, however, he cannot commit himself to the maintenance of a particular level of training places for such colleges, any more than he can for other teacher training institutions.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take action to ensure that initial teacher education continues to be provided in Plymouth, in view of the recommendations made by the secretariat of the national advisory board for public sector higher education.

    Proposals for the distribution of intakes to initial teacher training between public sector institutions in England are being considered by the national advisory body for public sector higher education. I cannot anticipate what advice the NAB will submit but I can assure my hon. Friend that in reaching decisions my right hon. Friend will give careful consideration to the representations that have been made to him concerning the future location of initial teacher training.

    Dental Hospitals And Schools

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the intake at all dental hospitals and schools within England and Wales during each of the last five years to date, giving figures for each year for each institution to date.

    The total intake to pre-clinical dental courses in England and Wales during each of the last five years was as follows:

    Intake of full-time home and overseas students
    During yearNumbers
    1979–80781
    1980–81792
    1981–82791
    1982–83798
    1983–84768
    1984–85*741
    *Provisional.
    Figures for intakes to individual institutions are not readily available.

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the estimated cost of redeveloping dental hospitals and schools in England and Wales, giving the figures in each case.

    I am not aware of any current redevelopment plans for dental schools in England and Wales. Dental hospitals are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.

    Public Expenditure Survey

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has yet received the advice of the advisory board for the research councils on the public expenditure survey for 1985; and if he will make a statement.

    Yes. I received the board's advice in April and am publishing it today. Copies are available in the Library. This advice will be considered carefully in discussions on the 1985 public expenditure survey, and I shall inform the board of my conclusions in due course.

    Departmental Cash Limits

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what will be the revised 1985–86 cash limits in his Department's vote to cover the increased provision of additional places in engineering and technology in higher education.

    As I announced on 19 March at columns 482–84, the Government are to mount a £43 million programme over the next three years for the provision of additional places for students in higher education to study engineering and technology.

    £000
    ClassVoteAccounting departmentDescription of expenditureCurrent cash limitIncrease DecreaseRevised cash limit
    X2Department of Education & ScienceStudent awards, etc.*695,768+195*695,963
    X3Department of Education & ScienceUniversities, etc.1,506,144+6,3771,512,521
    X8Department of Education & ScienceScience and engineering research297,960+428298,388
    council
    IV5Department of EnergyResearch and development and indu290,174–500289,674
    strial support
    IV6Department of Trade & IndustryScientific and technological381,483–2.500378,983
    assistance
    XV3Industrial Department for ScotlandRegional and general industrial sup132,802*–1,200131,602
    port, Scotland
    * Class X vote 2 is not subject to a cash limit.
    † Of this reduction £1 million relates to the engineering and technology programme; the remaining £200,000 relates to expected increased receipts from the ERDF in respect of grants to enterprise trusts.
    In addition to items listed, a reduction of £500,000 was made by the Welsh Office in the Main Estimate for class XVI, vote 1 (the Welsh block vote covering roads, transport, housing, education etc.) in respect of the transfer of funds for this programme; no revision of the cash limit is therefore required.
    There is also a contribution from the Department of Employment (£2,500,000) from non-voted expenditure. It represents part of a public expenditure saving from deferring implementation of an increase in maternity pay from 90 per cent. to 100 per cent. of salary. There will therefore be no change to a DE vote and no revised estimate.

    Prime Minister

    Gchq Cheltenham

    Q90.

    asked the Prime Minister what proportion of the work of Government communications headquarters is subcontracted to private companies or ex-employees.

    It is not our practice to give details of the operations of intelligence and security agencies.

    Council House Sales

    Ql17.

    asked the Prime Minister what is the number of council houses purchased under the right-to-buy legislation since the enactment of the Housing Act 1980.

    By the end of 1984, 527,485 homes had been bought under the right-to-buy legislation by tenants of local authorities and new towns in Great Britain. This figure excludes other homes which have been bought under voluntary sale schemes. If those are included, the number rises to about 820,000.

    Engagements

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 13 June.

    I subsequently announced on 3 April at columns 618–20 details of the institutions participating in phase I of the programme in 1985–86. The current estimate of cost of phases 1 and 2 in 1985–86 is £10 million, of which £3 million will be met from within the resources announced for the University Grants Committee; the remaining £7 million will be met from within the existing resources of programmes other than education. A list of the revised cash limits resulting from the changes is shown in the following table. Parliamentary approval for the changes in voted expenditure will be sought through Revised or Supplementary Estimates as appropriate.

    There is no net effect on public expenditure

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 13 June.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 13 June.

    asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 13 June.

    This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I shall be attending a banquet given by President de la Madrid of Mexico.

    Pay Review Bodies (Payments To Members)

    asked the Prime Minister what fees, honoraria or expenses are paid to each or any member of the doctors and dentists, nurses, midwives, health visitors and professions allied to medicine and armed forces pay review bodies.

    No payments are made to any of the members of these review bodies other than reimbursement for travel and subsistence expenditure which they may claim under normal public service regulations.

    Mr Idris Pearce

    asked the Prime Minister whether the appointment of Mr. Idris Pearce to the National Health Service management board is within the rules of the Civil Service Commissioners.

    Yes. Mr. Pearce's appointment as a part-time adviser to the management board comes under article 1(2)(d) of the Civil Service Order in Council 1982.

    Ec (Budgetary Controls)

    asked the Prime Minister if the strict budgetary controls agreed at the Fontainebleau Council were designed to apply to the Common Market Commission; and if she will make a statement.

    The conclusions on budget discipline adopted by the Council on 4 December are binding on the Council. The Commission last year specifically endorsed those parts of the budget discipline text that apply to it.

    Environment

    Norman Shaw South (Taps)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will arrange for a drinking water tap to be provided in the toilet in the corridor leading to office GO1 in Norman Shaw South building.

    Yes, a tap will be installed in the corridor outside the toilet during the coming summer recess.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will arrange for the temperature of the water from the hot taps in toilets in Norman Shaw South to be substantially reduced.

    The thermostat which controls the temperature of the hot water is set at 60 C. This ensures that the temperature of the water at the furthest tap does not fall below 55C, which is the highest temperature at which legionella bacteria can breed. I am not prepared to authorise a temperature reduction which could create a health hazard.

    Board And Lodging Payments

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the implications of the new regulations on board and lodging accommodation payments for the rights of supplementary benefit claimants living temporarily in such accommodation to register on the waiting lists for local authority housing; and whether he has considered issuing a circular on the subject to housing authorities.

    It is too early to say what effect, if any, the new regulations on board and lodgings will have on persons registering on the waiting lists for local authority housing. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, is considering whether further steps are needed to encourage local authorities to concentrate their provision of houses on those in greatest need and in this context the effects of the regulations will be carefully monitored.

    Fire (Leyton)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he plans any investigations of the implications of the fire in Clifford Hicks Tower, Oliver Close, Leyton, on 24 May for the structural integrity of high rise tower blocks; and if he will make a statement.

    The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is carrying out a programme of investigations of buildings constructed using large panel systems, including the Wates system used at Clifford Hicks Tower. The programme includes investigation of the stability of such buildings under fire loads. The BRE has consulted the fire officers who attended the fire at Clifford Hicks Tower on 24 May. I am pleased to say that no-one was injured. The fire did not cause any severe heating of the concrete panels and the BRE sees no advantage in investigation of this particular incident.

    North-West

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps his Department is taking to reduce the existence of large areas of industrial dereliction in the north-west.

    My Department is funding through derelict land grant (which is payable at the rate of 100 per cent. to local authorities in most of the north-west) a large number of reclamation schemes designed both to return derelict land to beneficial use and to improve the general environment. In 1985–86, £25·1 million has been allocated for expenditure by local authorities in the north-west. In addition, grants will be made available to the private sector for land reclamation schemes.Between 1974 and 1982 over 4,200 hectares of derelict land were restored in the north-west, more than in any other region of England, though the task remains a large one.

    Statutory Blight Provisions

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a report analysing the reasons for and against the bringing of oil and gas operations, appraisal and production, under the statutory blight provisions and the payment of compensation for off-site depreciation in value.

    As my hon. Friend has now written to me on this subject, I will write to him in answer to the detailed points he raises as soon as possible.

    Local Government Reform

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) which individual members of the Greater London concil and metropolitan county councils have accepted membership of preparatory committees of successor authorities;(2) which individual members of the Greater London council have been approached with a view to becoming members of preparatory committees of successor authorities.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to maintain a party political balance on the preparatory committees of successor authorities.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what control he will exercise over the expenses of preparatory committees of successor authorities.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will publish details in the Official Report of the members of shadow preparatory committees of successor authorities;(2) if he will list the shadow preparatory committees of successor authorities already set up under clause 93 of the Local Government Bill.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what proportion of costs associated with the abolition of the Greater London council will fall directly on London ratepayers; and what proportion will fall on national taxpayers;(2) what are the transitional costs and savings which he expects will be incurred over the first and subsequent five years after the proposed abolition of the Greater London council in respect of the rearrangement of the computer systems of successor authorities;(3) what are the transitional costs and savings which he expects will be incurred over the first and subsequent five years after the proposed abolition of the Greater London council in respect of transitional administrative arrangements.

    I have nothing to add to the estimates in the answer my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) on 30 November 1984 at column 611.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which individual authorities have sought from his Department information secured under section 5 of the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act 1984.

    My Department forwards to each London borough council and metropolitan district council any information relevant to them which the Secretary of State obtains under section 5 of the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act 1984.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce further names of shadow chairmen of the residuary bodies.

    Local Government (Grant Penalties)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he proposes to disregard transitional costs incurred by London authorities for the purpose of assessing grant penalties in 1985–86.

    My right hon. Friend is considering the representations to that effect which he has received.

    Hazardous Waste

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has had from the Health and Safety Executive regarding the first report of the Hazardous Waste Inspectorate.

    My Department received some initial comments from the Health and Safety Executive prior to the publication of the Hazardous Waste Inspectorate's report.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if the Health and Safety Executive and its inspectorates will be present at the meeting planned between his Department and local authority associations regarding the disposal of hazardous waste.

    Government representation at the meeting we propose to hold with the local authority associations has not yet been decided.

    Housing Corporation (Corporate Plan)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the Housing Corporation's corporate plan.

    The Housing Corporation's first corporate plan for England and Wales, prepared as part of the Government's financial management initiative, was published on Tuesday 11 June.The plan reviews the achievements of the corporation's programme of investment in housing association projects, sets out its objectives and proposes an investment strategy for its future programme. It also outlines the corporation's administrative responsibilities and operating costs, and lists its corporate targets. Of the options for the level of public and private investment by the corporation, the board's preferred option is for a substantial increase over the next four years, for example from gross expenditure in England of £685 million in the present year to £1,144 million in 1989/90. The plan must be considered against the background of the continued need for restraint on public expenditure but my right hon. Friends and I have taken note of the information set out in the plan, which will be taken into account in the forthcoming public expenditure survey.The Government aim to direct the resources available for housing where they are most needed. We pay tribute to the important contribution of the voluntary housing movement particularly in meeting the needs of the elderly, handicapped and others, such as single parent families, who face special difficulties, and to its role in developing innovative schemes for low-cost home-ownership. The publication of this corporate plan is an opportunity to pay tribute to the corporation and to the voluntary housing movement in England and Wales for their success and resourcefulness.

    Housing Defects Act 1984

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when the booklet explaining the assistance provided by the Housing Defects Act 1984 will be published.

    A booklet, which gives details of assistance provided by the Housing Defects Act for private owners of certain types of prefabricated reinforced concrete houses and flats designated under the Act is being published today. The Department is writing today to local authorities in England sending copies of the booklet and asking them to forward copies to all private owners of homes of the designated types in their area. I understand that the Welsh Office is taking similar action in Wales. A copy of the booklet has been placed in the Library.

    Council House Sales

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he proposes to take concerning delays being experienced by tenants in Southwark in being sent draft legal documents in connection with the purchase of their council houses.

    My Department has taken up with the London borough of Southwark complaints made by right-to-buy purchasers, in particular those that result from the council's policy of referring all prospective sales to members for approval before legal documents are dispatched. This can lead to unnecessary delays of over three months. Southwark council's attention has been drawn to the Secretary of State's powers and responsibilities under section 23 of the Housing Act 1980 and warned of the possibility of intervention should its procedures continue to cause unnecessary delay. My Department is monitoring the position very closely.

    Outturn Expenditure

    asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report the outturn amount of expenditure for 1983–84 and 1984-85 in each of the inner city and urban programme areas of inner city programme expenditure and distinguishing in each case between capital and revenue and voluntary and statutory sectors.

    [pursuant to his reply, 10 June 1985, c. 358]: Outturn information by authority is not yet available for 1984–85. Outturn figures do not distinguish between spending on statutory, as opposed to voluntary sector, projects. The latest outturns on which grant may be paid for partnership or programme expenditure in 1983-84 are as follows (all £ million to one decimal place):

    PartnershipsCapitalRevenue
    Birmingham16·28·0
    Hackney8·24·3
    Islington5·84·1
    Lambeth4·86·1
    Liverpool14·610·4
    Manchester/Salford16·27·3
    Newcastle/Gateshead15·85·3
    Docklands3·21·6
    Programmes
    Blackburn1·50·1
    Bolton3·50·9
    Bradford3·22·7
    Brent0·90·5
    Coventry1·40·3
    Hammersmith and Fulham2·92·7
    Kingston upon Hull4·50·8
    Knowsley0·80·2
    Leeds3·21·4
    Leicester4·22·3
    Middlesbrough4·41·2
    Nottingham3·61·8

    Partnerships

    Capital

    Revenue

    Oldham3·80·6
    Rochdale1·80·3
    Sandwell2·90·2
    Sheffield2·61·9
    Sunderland2·90·6
    Tower Hamlets1·10·2
    North Tyneside2·70·7
    South Tyneside3·50·8
    Wandsworth1·00·7
    Wirral2·90·6
    Wolverhampton4·51·3

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Veterinary Investigation Services

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement concerning the main aspects of the administration of the veterinary investigation services in England and Wales.

    We have accepted in general terms the principal recommendations of two major reviews bearing on the administration and other features of the veterinary investigation service as stated previously in my right hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Torridge and Devon, West (Sir P. Mills) on 13 November 1984 on Professor Bell's report of a study of ADAS and in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) on 15 April 1985 on an efficiency study of the veterinary investigation service. Copies of these reports are in the Library of the House.

    European Community (Food Exports)

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has now received details of the amount of food and wine sent from the European Economic Community to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, respectively, in 1984; and if he will publish details of such exports.

    The information requested is contained in the following table.

    European Community Exports of the Main Agricultural Commodities in 1984
    To the Soviet Union 000tonnesTo Eastern ‡Europe(exclude-ing Soviet Union) 000tonnes
    Wheat4,9371,631
    Barley7065
    Wheat flour187*
    Rice*8
    Malt79*
    Wholemilk powder51
    Skimmed milk powder**
    Condensed milk**
    Butter and butteroil85*
    Beef and veal7557
    Pigmeat*2
    Poultrymeat*6
    Sugar, total (white equivalent)‡5891
    of which
    refined sugar4521
    Winen/an/a

    Source: EUROSTAT.

    * less than 500 tonnes.

    † includes raw sugar converted to white sugar equivalent: 1 tonne raw sugar=-92 tonnes white sugar.

    ‡ German Democratic Republic, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania. Bulgaria. Albania.

    na = not available.

    Grain Stores And Silos

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received about the effect on competition in the grain trade of the grants made to farmers' co-operatives for the construction of grain stores and silos; and if he will make a statement.

    Representatives of private merchanting interests have from time to time expressed the view that grants to cereal co-operatives cause unfair competition and are unnecessary because they are able to provide all the facilities that are required at no public cost.I believe that grant-aid to cereal co-operatives has encouraged farmers to replace outdated on-farm storage with modern facilities and given them access to more sophisticated drying methods. Nevertheless, I am very aware of the strong views held by private merchants and understand them. Grants to cereal co-operatives have been reduced by two thirds in the last two years and 90 per cent. of the cost of facilities now has to be found by a co-operative's members. Where merchanting groups successfully apply for grant under the EC marketing and processing regulation, 355/77, the percentage of both United Kingdom and EC grant will now be similar to that awarded to co-operatives. Furthermore, a number of co-operatives have employed merchants as marketing agents and the costs incurred by the co-operatives can be grant-aided in certain circumstances. I hope that merchants will recognise that the position is now more balanced than before.

    Animal Welfare

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to receive recommendations for new regulations based on welfare codes from the Farm Animal Welfare Council; and if he will make a statement.

    I understand that the council has consulted many interested organisations about its proposals for new legislation and is now considering the responses. I am unable to say when the council will be ready to put its recommendations to Agriculture Ministers, but we await them with interest.

    Council Of Agriculture Ministers

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting held in Luxembourg on 11 and 12 June; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made earlier today in the House.

    Employment

    Skillcentre, Middlesbrough

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the underutilised capacity at the Middlesbrough skillcentre in 1983–84 and 1984–85; and what was the projected underutilised capacity for 1986–87.

    In 1983–84 Middlesbrough skillcentre had a capacity of 190 training places, 180 of which were purchased by the training division of the Manpower Services Commission. In 1984–8.5, after disposing of surplus property, capacity at the centre was 150 places, of which training division purchased 118. In 1985–86 training division will purchase 54 places of the centre's 150-place capacity.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what was the trading income from the Middlesbrough skillcentre in 1983–84 and 1984–85; and what was the projected trading income for 1986–87;(2) what were the operating còsts of the Middlesbrough skillcentre in 1983–84 and 1984–85; and what were the projected operating costs for 1986–87.

    No financial information relating to individual skillcentres is available for 1983-84 prior to the establishment of the skillcentre training agency as a trading account. The trading income and operating costs for Middlesbrough skillcentre in 1984–85, excluding any contributions towards regional and head office costs, are £793,000 and £843,000 respectively. In 1985–86 it is forecast that the centres trading income will be £403,000 and its operating costs £626,000. Detailed forecasts about individual skillcentres for 1986–87 will not be prepared until nearer the start of the year.

    Open Tech (Exhibition)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will arrange for an exhibition relating to Open Tech to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

    I understand that. under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrange-ments have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from 24 to 28 June.

    Community And Industry Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide a breakdown of the occupancy rates on the community and industry scheme within Yorkshire and Humberside; and if he will give each area's allocation.

    The latest statistics for the community industry scheme in Yorkshire and Humberside are set out in the table:

    Community Industry AreaOccupancy*Allocation
    Barnsley95110
    Bradford7775
    Doncaster145145
    Leeds132135
    North Humberside146145
    Rotherham145145

    Community Industry Area

    Occupancy*

    Allocation

    Sheffield7575
    South Humberside108105
    Wakefield110110

    * At 11 April 1985.

    Areas are allowed to fill places above their allocation of places to ensure the 7,000 national filled place target is achieved over the year.

    National Carriers, Sheffield (Fire)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in relation to the 14 December fire at the National Carriers warehouse in Sheffield, he will give the grade of the Health and Safety Executive inspector who made the first visit to the site following the fire; whether any firemen were present on site at the time of the first visit; whether any advice was given by the Health and Safety Executive inspector making the visit on the wearing by the firemen of breathing apparatus; and if he will make a statement.

    The first visit was made by Her Majesty's principal inspector of factories during the fire, when firemen were still active on site. No advice was given by the inspector on the wearing of breathing apparatus by firemen.We await the Health and Safety Executive's report.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment, in relation to the 14 December fire at the National Carriers warehouse in Sheffield, if a log is kept detailing the day-by-day involvement of Health and Safety Executive inspectors investigating the fire; if he will give the date of the first witness statement taken from a fireman by the Health and Safety Executive, the number of Health and Safety Executive inspectors who have worked paid overtime taking witness statements and interviewing firemen and the date on which paid overtime began to be paid and the amount of overtime which has been worked to date.

    A log is not kept detailing day-by-day involvement of Health and Safety Executive inspectors investigating the fire. The first witness statement taken from a fireman by the Health and Safety Executive is dated 26 April 1985.The amount of overtime worked by officials in this investigation is a matter for the Health and Safety Executive.

    Labour Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has about the extent to which temporary summer employment was (a) available and (b) taken up in 1984.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many young people completing youth training schemes in the London borough of Newham (a) have found employment within the field they were trained; (b) have found employment outside the field they were trained and (c) have not been employed since leaving the scheme.

    Information is not available in the precise form requested. However, information based on a 15 per cent. sample of young people in the Manpower Services Commission's London north-east area who left the youth training scheme between July and September 1984 shows that, at the time of the survey, 38 per cent. of those who responded were in employment related to the training undertaken on the scheme, 30 per cent. were in jobs not directly related to that training and 20 per cent. were unemployed. The remainder were on a full-time course at a college or training centre (4 per cent.), on another youth training scheme (3 per cent.), back at school (1 per cent.) or doing something else (4 per cent.)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many pople have been unemployed for (a) between six months and one year, (b) between one year and two years and (c) over two years in the London borough of Newham.

    The following information is in the library. On 11 April 1985, the latest date for which an analysis of unemployment by duration is available, in the East Ham, Plaistow and Stratford jobcentre areas, which correspond closely to the London borough of Newham, 4,005 claimants had been unemployed for between six months and one year, 3,448 for between one year and two years and 4,868 for over two years.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of people aged 18 years or under 18 years who have never had a job since leaving school; and what percentage of young people aged 18 years or under this represents.

    On 9 May 1985 there were 163,787 unemployed claimants aged 18 or under in Great Britain who had never had a job since leaving school, which represents about 6 per cent. of the estimated population in this age group.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of school leavers aged 18 or under in the London borough of Newham; and what percentage of these have never had a job since leaving school.

    On 9 May 1985 there were 878 unemployed claimants aged 18 or under in the London borough of Newham who had never had a job since leaving school. An estimate of the corresponding population of this age group who have left school in the relevant academic years is not available.

    Noise Levels

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment why the Council directive arising from the proposal of the Commission of the European Communities on the subjeect of noise at work, calling for the maximum exposure of 85 dB(A) Leq has not yet come into force; and if he will make a statment.

    The Commission proposal to which the hon. Member refers was formally amended by the Commission itself in July 1984 to take account of the opinion delivered by the European Parliament. In its amended form, the proposal provides for a maximum exposure limit of 90 rather than 85 dB(A) Leq. Discussions based on this amended proposal have continued between officials of the member states, and the outcome of those discussions is being considered at today's Labour and Social Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

    Bank Holidays

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the dates of the Christmas and new year bank holidays in the years 1987 to 1989.

    In the years 1987–89 certain bank holidays in the Christmas period fall on Saturdays and Sundays. Some of these are automatically transferred to weekdays under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. In the other cases it is our intention to declare substitute holidays on weekdays subject to the necessary orders being made by royal proclamation. As a result, the dates of the Christmas and new year bank holidays in 1987-89 will be as set out in the table.We have considered carefully whether it would be helpful to have all of these substitute holidays falling in the working week between Christmas and the new year, but the banks, the only organisations bound by the arrangements we make, require three working days to meet the needs of their customers during that very busy period.Many people are uncertain about the status of bank holidays. It is important that they are aware that the majority of employers are free to make their own arrangements (unless they are bound by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 or by a wages council order or agricultural wages board order). I would encourage employers and employees to negotiate other arrangements if they find the official dates inconvenient.

    Christmas and new year bank holidays 1987–89

    In England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    In Scotland

    1987

    Thursday 1 January*Thursday 1 January
    Friday 25 DecemberFriday 2 January
    Monday 28 December*Monday 28 December*

    1988

    Friday 1 January*Friday 1 January
    Monday 26 DecemberMonday 4 January*
    Tuesday 27 DecemberMonday 26 December
    Tuesday 27 December*
    1989
    Monday 2 January*Monday 2 January
    Monday 25 DecemberTuesday 3 January
    Tuesday 26 DecemberMonday 25 December
    Tuesday 26 December*

    * To be declared by royal proclamation.

    Wages Councils

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has received any further representations from Trades Union Congress affiliated unions regarding the future of wages councils.

    [pursuant to his reply, 11 June 1985, c. 407]: I wish to correct my previous reply, which should have read as follows:I have to date received a total of 693 responses to our consultative paper on wages councils, including a number from trade unions affiliated to the Trades Union Congress.

    Energy

    Alternative Power Sources

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what organisations involved in the development of alternative power sources in the United Kingdom receive funding directly or indirectly from his Department; and how much each has received since 1979.

    Support has been given to the private sector, research institutes, universities and the nationalised industries for work under my Department's programme on the renewable sources of energy. The total number of contracts in place and incurring expenditure between 1979 and the present time is 426.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his assessment as to which alternative source of energy has the greatest potential for development in the United Kingdom.

    It is not possible to pick the single alternative source with the greatest potential for development at the present stage of development. Some technologies, such as passive solar and waste combustion,

    £ million
    1975–761976–771977–781978–791979–801980–811981–821982–831983–841984–85 Estimate
    Wind0·30·60·80·92·52·54·8
    Wave1·83·03·34·43·11·00·4
    Geothermal aquifers0·21·31·72·61·51·81·1
    Geothermal hot dry rocks0·50·31·30·65·63·02·94·6
    Solar0·21·20·90·71·40·90·5
    Biomass0·10·30·40·70·30·2
    Tide0·61·40·40·3
    ETSU services0·70·21·11·42·22·32·01·92·1
    TOTAL*.5*1.0*2.53·68·211·217·314·211·314·0
    * Includes energy conservation Research and Development.
    No information available for 1974–75.

    Wave Power

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what funding is earmarked in 1985–86 for the development of wave power; and how this compares with each year since 1979;(2) how much has been spent on developing alternative power sources from

    (a) waves and (b) geothermal energy since 1979.

    Expenditure by my Department on wave and geothermal energy since 1979–80 was as follows:

    Wave £ million Geothermal £ million
    1979–803·01·3
    1980–813·32·4
    1981–824·48·1
    1982–833·14·5
    1983–841·04·7
    *1984–850·45·7
    * Estimate.

    have been shown to have considerable economic potential now, but others which at present we consider to be in the promising but uncertain category, may eventually show greater potential.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of all United Kingdom power requirements is forecast to be produced from alternative power sources by 1999 and 2009; and if he will make a statement.

    Projections of the contribution that aternative energies might make to United Kingdom power requirements by the year 2010 are given in the Department of Energy's proof of evidence for the Sizewell B public inquiry as up to 8 million tonnes of coal equivalent per annum.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will provide a breakdown of expenditure on alternative energy resources; and how this compares with figures for the last 10 years.

    Total expenditure by my Department on renewable energy in 1985–86 is forecast to be £14 million. Actual expenditure from 1975–76 to 1984–85 was as follows:My Department's funding on wave energy research in 1985-86 is expected to be approximately £300,000.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to progress made in Norway with a wave power station and its projected operating costs; and if he will make a statement.

    My Department is in touch with the current Norwegian wave energy work which is based on the installation in 1986 of two different devices, each with a capacity of approximately 350kW.The Norwegian manufacturers' present estimates for follow-up stations at cliff sites similar to those being used in Norway lie in the range 3–4p/kWh.

    asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the best present estimated cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by wave power; and how this compares with the best performance of coal-fired power stations.

    Consultants' assessments made for my Department conclude that there is a low probability of wave energy for large-scale power generation in the United Kingdom achieving an energy cost below 8p/kWh.

    According to the latest CEGB update of its booklet "Analysis of Generation Costs," the cost of generation from a future coal fired station is just over 4p/kWh.