Written Answers Toquestions
Monday 21 October 1985
asked the Minister for the Arts if he has any proposals to increase the level of public funding for the arts.
The Government are committed to keeping up the level of support for the arts. My hon. Friend will be announcing next year's arts budget in the normal way in due course.
London (Arts Provision)
asked the Minister for the Arts what recent representations have been received by the Government concerning provision for the arts in London following the abolition of the Greater London council.
My hon. Friend has received a few representations.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
European Community (Exports)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the amount of food and wine sent from the EEC to the Soviet Union, and eastern Europe, respectively, in the most recent annual period for which figures are available; and what were the comparable figures in each of the previous five years.
The information requested for the period 1976–1983 and 1984 is contained in replies given by my predecessor on 25 March 1985 at column 1–2 and 13 June 1985 at column 526–27 respectively. Figures are now available for the exports of wine in 1984; these record 72 thousand tonnes exported to the Soviet Union and 14 thousand tonnes to the rest of eastern Europe. Provisional information for the first half of 1985 is contained in the table.
|European community exports of the main agricultural commodities to the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, January-June 1985 (provisional)*|
|Soviet Union '000 tonnes||Eastern Europe† (excluding USSR) '000 tonnes|
|Skimmed milk powder||0||oo|
|Butter and butteroil||155||oo|
|Beef and veal||0||6|
Soviet Union '000 tonnes
Eastern Europe† (excluding USSR) '000 tonnes
|Sugar, total (white equivalent)‡ of which refined||oo||1|
* relates to EC10 but excludes exports from Italy in June and from Greece in May and June.
† GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania.
‡ including raw sugar, converted to white sugar: 1 tonne raw sugar = ·92 tonnes white sugar.
oo—less than 500 tonnes.
European Community (Export Rebates)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total amount paid to British exporters by way of export rebates financed by or through the EEC for the export of food in the most recent annual period for which figures are available.
Refunds totalling £395 million. were paid on exports of agricultural products (including some non-food items such as live animals and feed grains) from the United Kingdom to non-European community countries in 1984–85. The expenditure, which takes account of monetary compensatory' amounts, was fully funded by the EC so that British agricultural exports can compete on world markets.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the action he now proposes to take to promote the conservation of salmon stocks.
We hope to make an announcement in the near future.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what have been the results so far of his Department's investigations into the sale of contaminated wine in the United Kingdom; from which countries such wines have come; and if he will make a statement.
A surveillance exercise on the incidence of contamination of wine in the United Kingdom with diethylene glycol has been carried out by my Department. We tested samples drawn by us from retail outlets, sent to us by the trade and submitted for confirmatory analysis by public analysts. Seven hundred and seventeen samples of wine from 16 countries were tested. Seventy-six samples were found to contain diethylene glycol, some of which were Austrian wines, some German wines, some Italian wines and one a Hungarian wine which had been bottled in Germany and may well have been contaminated at that stage.In addition local enforcement authorities carried out testing in the normal course of their duties and retailers and wine traders also carried out their own testing. The results of these tests are not available centrally.
The conclusion that we have drawn from the exercise was that this was a problem confined to some producers in Austria and certain bottlers in Europe; no contamination of other wines was detected.
Animals (Ritual Slaughter)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any plans to seek to amend the legislation governing the ritual slaughter of poultry, sheep, pigs and cattle.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, in the light of the Farm Animal Welfare Council's report on ritual slaughter, he will make a statement on his intentions with regard to legislation to implement its recommendations.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council published its report in July and we immediately sought comments from interested organisations. This consultation period is not yet concluded. We will wish to consider the report's recommendations carefully in the light of all representations made before taking decisions.
Food And Environment Protection Act 1985
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations have been made to Her Majesty's Government by the European Community Commission or other European agencies concerning the operation of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, and the extent to which fungicides meet criteria for the protection of the environment with particular regard to insecticidal action against beneficial insects and in the context of progress towards common European standards.
|Trapped||Snared||Shat in the open||Netted||Total|
|*1985 (January to September)|
|Trapped||Snared||Shot in the open||Netted||Total|
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the review of the policy of destroying badgers in areas where they are thought to pose a threat to cattle has now been completed.
The review of policy is still in progress. I now expect that the review team will be in a position to report to us early in 1986.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if any of the cattle near Eastbourne that were monitored following the discovery of bovine tuberculosis in some badgers have also manifested the disease; how many cattle were studied; for how long; when the monitoring will cease; and what have been the conclusions.
Three cattle in the Eastbourne area of east Sussex reacted to the tuberculin test in 1984 and 28 during the period January to September 1985. These animals were from an area occupied by some 1,600 cattle which, from the beginning of this year, have been subject to six-monthly tuberculin tests because of the known presence of high levels of infection in badgers in the area. Other cattle in east Sussex are tuberculin tested at frequencies varying from one to three years. No date has been fixed for the ending of more frequent testing of the animals in the area near Eastbourne but the situation is being kept under review. The disclosure of reactors in the last two years has confirmed the risk posed to cattle by infected badgers. It is too early to draw conclusions from the results of the intensified cattle testing regime now in place.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the number of badgers killed in 1984 and so far in 1985 in order to deal with bovine tuberculosis; and in each case what was the location, the method of killing, and the method of capture.
The normal method of killing is by shooting with a pistol after capture. A full analysis, including methods of capture. is set out in the table.
*1985 (January to September)
Shot in the open
Note: The above figures exclude badgers found dead in areas in which official investigations were taking place.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the number of cases of bovine tuberculosis among cattle in controlled areas in 1984 and so far in 1985.
Forty-two new herds with visible lesion reactors were disclosed in 1984 in the control areas scheduled in the Badger (Control Areas) Order 1977. The corresponding provisional figure for the period January to June 1985 was 26.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the number of cases of bovine tuberculosis among cattle in 1983, 1984 and so far in 1985 attributed to the illegal movement of diseased cattle; where they occurred; and what was the number of cattle involved.
In 1983, 1984 and so far in 1985 no outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis in cattle have been attributed to the illegal movement of diseased cattle. However, nine confirmed outbreaks in 1983 were attributed to the legal movement of cattle that subsequently proved to have been diseased. The corresponding provisional figures for 1984 and for the first half of 1985 are 15 and ten outbreaks respectively.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he intends to take following representations he has received from the North Marianas on the dumping of nuclear waste in the Pacific.
I have received no such representations.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what checks or other screening exists to prevent damage to moorland by reseeding or regeneration through grant aided agricultural improvements (a) within sites of special scientific interest and national parks and (b) in the wider countryside.
[pursuant to her reply, 22 July 1985, c. 624]: I wish to make it clear that the statutory instruments introducing the new capital grant arrangements on 1 October specifically exclude heathland and moorland from the definition of grassland for which improvement grants are available.
Value Added Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement of Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the 18th EEC directive relating to value added tax.
Customs and Excise has consulted a wide range of representative trade and professional bodies about the draft 18th EC Directive on VAT and the associated draft 19th Directive. I have received their report, and I am considering our policy towards those proposals which will affect the United Kingdom.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the early payment of non-value added tax own resources to the European Communities in August and subsequent months.
In accordance with article 10(2) of Council regulation 2891/77, the Commission invited member states to pay on 20 August instead of 20 September non-VAT own resources collected in July. It also invited payment on 20 September instead of 21 October, and on 21 October instead of 20 November, of such own resources collected in August and September respectively. These own resources consist of agricultural, sugar and isoglucose levies and customs duties. The Government have complied with these requests.A sum of £120 million was paid on 20 August and sums of £120 million and £118 million were paid on 20 September and 21 October respectively. The payments of levies and duties on the usual dates made under section 2(3) of the European Communities Act 1972, were or will be reduced by appropriate amounts; there will therefore be no net addition to public expenditure.
Trustee Savings Bank (Scotland)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Treasury counsel who gave advice prior to the introduction of the Trustee Savings Banks Bill on the ownership of the Trustee Savings Bank Scotland was qualified in Scottish law.
Those who advise the Government on Scots law are naturally qualified to do so.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will amend the regulations governing the purchase of premium bonds in such a way as to enable godparents to buy bonds for their godchildren.
There are no plans for this, but the Department of National Savings is about to put on sale a new range of gift tokens, including three designs for premium bonds, which will help godparents to give presents to their godchildren which can be exchanged for premium bonds at post offices.
Gross Domestic Product
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what annual changes have taken place in gross domestic product in real terms since 1979.
This information is available in the 1985 edition of United Kingdom National Accounts (published in September) which shows both the level of, and year to year changes in, the average measure of gross domestic product at constant factor cost.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to seek to amend tax treaties to prevent treaty shopping; and if he will make a statement.
The Inland Revenue keeps the United Kingdom network of tax treaties under continual review and look for evidence of abuse. If the hon. Lady writes to me about any particular cases she has in mind I shall look into them.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department has spent on office furniture, carpets and curtains and office decorating in each of the last five years.
Prior to 1 April 1983 when the Property Repayment Service was introduced, this expenditure was borne centrally by the Property Services Agency. Expenditure since 1 April 1983 is as follows:
|Office furniture and curtains||41||208||60|
|* Up to 30 September 1985.|
Business Expansion Scheme
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the rating under the business expansion scheme for £1 invested for a person paying tax at a marginal rate of (a) 60 per cent. and (b) 30 per cent.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government have any plans to offer individuals paying tax at a marginal rate of 30 per cent. the equivalent relief under the business expansion scheme for each £1 invested to that now available to an individual taxed at a marginal rate of 60 per cent.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether business expansion schemes relief is made available to companies which purchase other businesses as going concerns where no new investment is promised.
BES relief is given to the investor, not the company he invests in, and is available only if there is new investment in a qualifying company. Subject to certain conditions, the BES company may then use the proceeds of that investment, or any other resources available to it. to acquire the trade of another business which it intends to carry on.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will provide a breakdown between business expansion scheme relief allocated to individuals and to qualifying business expansion scheme funds, respectively;(2) what is the average amount of relief claimed by individuals making qualifying business expansion scheme investments; and what is the average rate of taxation so relieved.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what information he has as to whether the Treasury's definition of the term venture capital is comparable with definition adopted by other European Economic Community countries;(2) what is the Treasury's definition of the term venture capital; and whether this includes
(a) capital made available to any persons by banks or licensed deposit takers, (b) loan capital, preference share capital or ordinary equity share capital and (c) capital available to persons carrying on trades which are excluded from the scope of the business expansion scheme;
(3) what information he has about any published or unpublished records of the provision and sources of venture capital in the United Kingdom since 1979.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Cable And Wireless
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about Her Majesty's Government's residual shareholding in Cable and Wireless.
The Government announced on 5 September that, subject to market conditions, they intended to sell their remaining ordinary shares in Cable and Wireless during the current financial year. The sale of part of the Government's continuing programme of privatisation and is in line with the policy announced to the House by my right hon. Friend the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 March 1984 (Hansard col. 420) of selling Government minority holdings in privatised companies as and when circumstances permit.Pending parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, urgent payments in connection with Government sale expenses are being met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.
Prime Ministers (Pensions)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what pensions are currently paid to each former Prime Minister; and how annual changes in such pensions are calculated.
Under section 26 of the Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 1972, former Prime Ministers on leaving office are awarded pensions of 15/40ths of their full salary, irrespective of length of service. Increases are paid each year from the same date and by the same amount as the increase in the additional component of the state pension, which is linked to the retail prices index. This is subject to the pension in payment not exceeding the amount of pension that would be paid to the current Prime Minister on leaving office.It is not normal practice to publish details of individual pensions. The basic pension entitlements of former Prime Ministers are set out in the supplementary statements on the Consolidated Fund and National Loans Fund Accounts (section 1. annuities and pensions). With the addition of pension increases the majority of pensions in payment to former Prime Ministers are at the maximum current entitlement of £15,709 per annum.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about the Budget Council on 17–18 September.
I represented the United Kingdom at this Council in Luxembourg.After meeting a delegation from the European Parliament the Council considered the proposals contained in the Commission's 1986 preliminary draft budget. The Council then established a draft budget for 1986 by qualified majority.The draft budget respects the 1986 reference framework set by the ECOFIN Council in July, with limited additions for enlargement, and is consistent with the budget discipline conclusions agreed by the Council in December 1984.Provision is made on the revenue side for the United Kingdom to receive a VAT abatement of 1·4 billion ecu, in accordance with the conclusions of the Fontainebleau European Council.The expenditure agreed by the council totals 32,056 million ecu of payment appropriations and 34,218 million ecu of commitment appropriations. These figures include a 1,652 million ecu rebate of own resources to Spain and Portugal under the agreed transitional arrangements. The Council agreed 21,012 million ecu of payment and commitment appropriations for agricultural guarantee expenditure; this is consistent with the 1986 agricultural guideline. It also provided 6,537 million ecu of payment appropriations and 8,782 million ecu of commitment appropriations for non-obligatory expenditure. These increases are within the 1986 maximum rate of 7·1 per cent.The Council set the same levels of food aid provision, 508 million ecu of payment appropriations and 636 million ecu of commitment appropriations, as in the 1985 adopted budget whose levels were higher than those generally agreed in previous years. The Council stated that it would continue to monitor developments in the countries concerned and declared itself ready to review the arrangements made in the light of requirements.The draft budget has now been forwarded to the European Parliament.
Education And Science
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will give a breakdown as between successful and unsuccessful appeals in each of the last three years in cases where parents were dissatisfied with the initial choice of secondary school to which their child was allocated in (a) England, (b) Essex and (c) Basildon; and if he will indicate the total number of appeals in each category.
This information is not available.
Microelectronics Education Programme
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the future level of spending on the microelectronics education programme planned for each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) on 23 July 1985 at column 515.
Middle East Visit
asked the Prime Minister which Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers accompanied her on her recent visit to the middle east.
I have been asked to reply.None. My right hon. Friend was, however, accompanied by a senior Foreign Office official, in addition to members of her own staff.
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her recent visit to the middle east.
I have been asked to reply.My right hon. Friend visited Egypt from 16–18 September and Jordan from 18–20 September. This was the first visit by a British Prime Minister in office to Cairo since Mr. Churchill in 1943, and the first ever to Jordan. My right hon. Friend reviewed our excellent bilateral relations with both countries and had valuable talks on international issues, particularly the middle east. My right hon. Friend reaffirmed our full support for King Hussein and President Mubarak in the search for a peaceful solution of the Arab-Israel dispute. My right hon. Friend also visited projects in both countries in which British industry is closely involved.
asked the Prime Minister if she will now make a statement on the talks which have taken place between the British and Irish Governments regarding Northern Ireland.
I have been asked to reply.
No. It would be premature to make a statement at this stage. A full statement will be made' at the appropriate moment, and Parliament will have the opportunity to debate any proposals that may emerge.
Broadcasting (Programme Content)
asked the Prime Minister on how many occasions since May 1979 Her Majesty's Government have tendered advice to the British Broadcasting Corporation or the Independent Broadcasting Authority about its programme content (a) in advance of transmission of a particular item or programme and (b) after the transmission of a particular item or programme, and if she will make a statement.
I have been asked to reply.No central record is kept of contacts between Governmental Departments and the broadcasting authorities on programmes planned by or transmitted by them. The Home Secretary of the day and the Prime Minister have made representations on various occasions since 1979 about the coverage of Irish terrorism, the reporting of the Falklands conflict and the reporting of the views of Sikh extremists in this country. In 1980, the then Foreign Secretary made public his views about the programme "Death of a Princess". When expressing their view, the Government have consistently made it clear that final decisions on the content of programmes are entirely a matter for the broadcasting authorities.
asked the Prime Minister (1) what has been the total cost of Chequers in each of the past six years;(2) how much has been spent by her office on foreign travel in each of the past six years;(3) how much has been spent on No. 10 Downing street in each of the past six years in respect of
(a) total running costs, (b) staffing, (c) repairs and maintenance, (d) decoration, (e) furniture and (f) rates.
I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend will reply to the hon. Gentleman shortly.
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on her recent visit to the Bahamas.
I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend will reply to the hon. Gentleman as soon as possible.
Parliamentary Pensions Acts
asked the Attorney-General if he will institute preparatory steps necessary to facilitate consolidation of the Parliamentary Pensions Acts during the next Session of Parliament.
The programme for the consolidation of statutes is the responsibility of the Law Commission. It does not include this legislation at present but it is always open to hon. Members to suggest topics for consolidation to the commission.
asked the Attorney-General what representations the Director of Public Prosecutions has received for the extradition of members of the Pahoomal family; and, of these, which were received in 1982 and 1983.
The City of London police submitted a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions in June 1983. He has received no other representations.
asked the Attorney-General if he will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to reopen his consideration of the case of the Pahoomal family.
Police inquiries are continuing and the case remains under active consideration by the director.
asked the Attorney-General if the investigation of possible offences in respect of the disappearance of the control room log of HMS Conqueror has been completed; and if he will make a statement.
I refer to the answer which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence gave to the hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Sir R. Gower) on 30 November 1984. The Metropolitan police have now submitted their report on this matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who has concluded that the evidence available fails to show that any person committed a criminal offence in connection with the disappearance of the logs. He has also concluded that there is no reasonable prospect of further investigations producing any evidence of the commission of a criminal offence. I agree with both of these conclusions, and the police investigation has therefore been discontinued.
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what recent representations he has received from Sir Douglas Wass on the desirability of having an independent body to investigate complaints by serving civil servants about alleged politicisation of the Civil Service; and if he will make a statement.
I have received no representations from Sir Douglas Wass, but I have read his article in The Political Quarterly for July-September 1985.
Trade And Industry
Bbc And Iba (Competition)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to seek to ensure that the arrangements made by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Broadcasting Authority or its contractors for the acquisition of film or other programme material are consistent with the Government's policy on competition; if he will refer these arrangements, with particular reference to the circumstances surrounding the purchase by Thames Television of the Dallas programme, to the Director General of Fair Trading for examination; and whether he will ask the Director General of Fair Trading to satisfy himself that there are no arrangements made by the British Broadcasting Corporation or Independent Television for the purchase of programme material that are in contravention of the provisions of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act.
The Director General of Fair Trading has statutory powers to initiate appropriate action under the competition legislation in respect of any arrangements that may exist between the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Broadcasting Authority or independent television companies concerning the acquisition of film or other programme material.The Director General has written to the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Independent Television Companies Association making inquiries in connection with the purchase of overseas television programmes. In reply, all three bodies have denied the existence of arrangements concerning the purchase of film or other programme material which might require registration under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976.The Office of Fair Trading is now considering whether, in the light of these replies and other information available to it, further action is justified under the competition legislation.
Shipbuilding (Intervention Fund)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will indicate the level of intervention fund allowable on each vessel built in the United Kingdom following the European Economic Community 5th directive on shipbuilding.
Shipbuilding Intervention Fund is a form of selective financial assistance and is paid at the minimum level necessary to secure individual contracts. As regards the general levels allowable, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Thames (Mr. Lamont) on 5 July to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Malone).
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money will be made available from the shipbuilding intervention fund to United Kingdom shipbuilders in the coming financial year.
On present estimates £43 million will be made available in 1985–86 for grants under the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund in Great Britain, but the actual amount paid will depend on contracts secured.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to what extent the United Kingdom shipbuilding industry has complied with previous European Economic Community directives in respect of restructuring proposals; and what information he has regarding the extent to which other European Economic Community member states have also complied.
The European Commission has been and continues to be satisfied that United Kingdom support for shipbuilding complies with the relevant EC directives. We have no access to the confidential information provided to the Commission by other member states in order to satisfy the Commission of their own compliance with these directives.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what commitments Her Majesty's Government have given to other European Community states with shipbuilding interests in relation to the further restructuring of the United Kingdom shipbuilding industry, with reference to the European Economic Community shipbuilding 5th directive.
None. Discussions on restructuring are conducted with the Commission and not with other member states. We have explained to the Commission British Shipbuilders' current plans for privatisation of the warship yards and for regional reorganisation.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made by Her Majesty's Government in considering and introducing soft loans as an incentive to British exports since his statement in the House on 18 July.
We are considering ways in which the aid and trade provision might be used to support long-term low-interest loans, similar to those which many of our competitors offer to developing countries. We hope to reach our decisions soon.
Flue Gas Desulphurisation
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list those companies in the United Kingdom manufacturing flue gas desulphurisation equipment and the value of any export orders achieved over the last five years.
Manufacturers of flue gas desulphurisation equipment are not specifically identified in statistical inquiries and statistics on export orders for such equipment are not available. Among the firms who are known to have the capability of manufacturing such equipment are Babcock Power Ltd, Davy McKee, Foster Wheeler Power Products Ltd, Lodge Cottrell Ltd and NEI International Combustion Ltd. It is believed that a small number of overseas orders have been secured, the details of which would be confidential.
Safety Of Goods
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to be in a position to implement the proposals contained in the White Paper on the safety of goods, concerning the free importation, distribution, and sale of goods that do not meet statutory safety regulations.
The Government are firmly committed to the proposals in the 'Safety of Goods' White Paper. We shall implement the proposals as soon as parliamentary time allows.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received advocating a change in consumer protection legislation to safeguard retailers in regard to the quality of the products supplied to them by manufacturers as well as wholesalers, particularly for the licensed trade; and if he will make a statement.
A retailer's rights in dealing with manufacturers or wholesalers will be governed by the terms of his contract with them. In the absence of any specific terms in the contract to the contrary (and these terms would be subject to the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977) the provisions of the sale of goods legislation apply to these contracts as well as to contracts between a retailer and his customers.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received advocating an end to the practice of draught beer being supplied in containers as opposed to barrels with a minimum content mark on each; and if he will make a statement.
Licensees' representatives have, from time to time, asked for legislation to require a statement of the measure of beer to accompany deliveries from breweries.I believe that this is very much a practical problem to be resolved within the trade and I understand that brewers are continuing their efforts to reach an acceptable solution.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to satisfy himself of the adequacy of the current level of staffing in his Department for technical experts dealing with applications under COCOM regulations.
I am concerned that applications under the COCOM arrangements should be dealt with as quickly as possible, and I am keeping this matter under close review. The staff devoted to this work have recently been increased, and a further increase is in prospect.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the maintenance of the competitive position of the United Kingdom domestic telecommunications industry through the use of import restraints and exports promotion; and if he will make a statement.
The United Kingdom industry is fully competitive in terms of price, performance and delivery. Protective measures will not improve the long-term position. However, some overseas markets are not open and we are giving full support to international efforts to reduce the barriers to free trade in telecommunications. Support for exports may also be given, according to the circumstances of each individual case.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations he has received from members of the public regarding telephone selling techniques towards potential customers; and if he will make a statement.
During the last three months my predecessor and I have received 10 complaints from the public about telephone selling, mainly from people who object in principle to being approached in this way.The Director General of Fair Trading published a report on this subject in October 1984 and has been encouraging the trade to adopt a set of new guidelines for its promotional activities. British Telecom is including these guidelines in telephone directories. The trade associations with whom this has been discussed so far have agreed to follow these guidelines. I agree with the Director General that self regulation by the trade remains the appropriate course.
Companies (Research And Development)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation to require companies to state in their balance sheets the amount of money that is spent by them on research and development.
I have no plans to do so at this stage. I will consider the position again following the review, by the Accounting Standards Committee of SSAP13, the accounting standard on research and development.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when, and in what manner, he published the revised arrangements for Government assistance to firms bidding for overseas contracts with a development content; what are the changes in procedure described as streamlining and in what manner they differ from the current practice; what financial estimates are, or will be, made from his Department in respect of the revised scheme; and what part officials from his Department will play in the determination of the distribution of the public expenditure concerned.
The guidance for applicants for support under the aid and trade provision will be revised to take into account modifications already agreed, such as the eligibility of China, and those under discussion, including the possibility of a soft loan facility. Procedures have been streamlined through changes in arrangements for interdepartmental scrutiny.Funds for the aid and trade provision, which forms part of the aid programme, will be settled in the current public expenditure round. My Department will continue to handle applications from companies, preparing them for discussion with the Overseas Development Administration.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications of the introduction of a tape levy for the level of counterfeit tape imports, both of stamped or unstamped tapes.
The decision whether or not to introduce a copyright levy on blank recording tape will take account of all relevant factors, including the question of counterfeit blank tape imports. We hope soon to publish our conclusions on the levy, and other matters of copyright reform, in a White Paper.
Johnson Matthey Bankers
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set up an inquiry into applications for export credit guarantees from customers of Johnson Matthey Bankers from 1981 to the present day.
No. As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer informed the House on 17 July, Johnson Matthey Bankers has requested the Commissioner of the City of London police to conduct a preliminary inquiry into certain accounts with the bank which are the subject of large losses. The Export Credits Guarantee Department will co-operate fully with the police in their inquiries.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the average error when monthly balance of trade figures are compared with the final outturn; and if there has been any statistical improvement in the accuracy of monthly balance of trade figures in the past decade.
The information is given in the table. The revisions result from changes in definition as well as the incorporation of later information. There has been no statistical improvement in the accuracy of the monthly figures over the last decade.Revisions of UK visible trade balance:
|Monthly average* £ million|
|* Average revision, without regard to sign, in the monthly estimates of the UK visible trade balance, seasonally adjusted on a balance of payments basis, since first published.|
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list by model, make and other identifying marks all the products currently manufactured in the United Kingdom which contain polychlorinated biphenyls and similar compounds; and if he will place a copy of this list in the Library.
Polychlorinated biphenyls have not been manufactured in the United Kingdom since 1977, and I have no knowledge of any current manufacture in this country of any products containing either polychlorinated biphenyls or polychlorinated terphenyls.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list by model, make and other identifying marks all the products currently being imported into the United Kingdom which contain polychlorinated biphenyls and similar compounds; and if he will place a copy of this list in the Library.
Available statistical information does not identify products which contain polychlorinated terphenyls or polychlorinated biphenyls. Like the United Kingdom, many other countries have ceased production of polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls, or are in the process of doing so. Imports of products containing these substances are thought to be neglible.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the Alvey programme software engineering work has gone to the Ministry of Defence or defence-related projects.
The Alvey Programme is expected to provide £40 million Government funds for about 85 projects in software engineering. In these Ministry of Defence participation is currently limited to the unfunded supervision of RSRE Malvern of one academic study costing £10,000. Discussions are also in progress on a possible small RSRE participation in one major project, the £5·5 million-ICL-STC-BGC-PRAXIS-University of Manchester IPSE 2·5 project to develop advanced software tools. No Alvey software project is specifically defence related: projects set out to tackle generic issues critically important to all software producers and users, defence or civil.
European Space Agency
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what agreements exist with the United States of America concerning military use of European Space Agency facilities and equipment;(2) what uses have been made of European Space Agency facilities by military agencies in the United States of America;(3) what uses are likely to be made of European Space Agency facilities by military agencies in the United States of America in the next two years.
No such agreements exist. In any event ESA's convention limits the use of its facilities to peaceful purposes.
Private Sector Employers
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the top 50 United Kingdom private sector employers, showing in each case the number of employees employed in the United Kingdom.
Information on employment by individual United Kingdom private sector companies is collected by the Department under the Statistics for Trade Act 1947. The provisions of this Act prevent the Department from disclosing information on individual undertakings. Figures for employment in United Kingdom companies are published in The Times 1000 and in Key British Enterprises by Dunn and Bradstreet, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the annual rate of capital investment in (i) manufacturing and (ii) distribution and services for each year since 1970 at constant 1975 prices.
Available information is given in the following table:
|Industry's Capital Expenditure|
|£ million at 1980 prices*|
|Manufacturing Industry†||Distribution and Services Industries‡|
|* As constant price series are currently expressed in terms of 1980 prices, information at 1975 prices is not readily available for recent years.|
|†Divisions 2–4 of the Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1980), including assets leased to manufacturers.|
|‡ Divisions 6–9 of the Standard Industrial Classification (Revised 1980), excluding assets leased from the financial industries.|
Aid And Trade
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the changes in the administrative arrangements to be made in the aid and trade provision in respect of expenditure in current Estimates; what changes he expects to be made in respect of the disbursement of these funds; what are the criteria for accepting any application on the basis of its developmental desirability; and in what form these criteria are publicly available.
Steps have been taken to streamline interdepartmental scrutiny of aid and trade provision proposals.Consideration of a proposed new soft loan mechanism, including discussions with the financial community, is almost complete. Criteria for the use of aid and trade provision in support of particular projects are the same as those applicable to other aid-funded activities. This is set out in the "Guidance rules for British exporters applying for support from the Aid and Trade Provision", which will shortly be revised, and placed in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about the amount of aid given to the Government of Grenada since October 1983 and about pledges of future aid and conditions attached.
Figures for part-years are not available but disbursements of British bilateral aid to Grenada for 1983 and 1984 were £85,000 and £693,000 respectively. An interest-free loan of £5 million agreed in August 1985 has a 5-year grace period and is repayable over 15 years. It is tied 50 per cent. to British procurement. Grenada will also receive part of a regional grant of £4·5 million towards the cost of a coastguard shore facility at St Georges.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will summarise the evidence on which he based his decision to cease to fund research into power production using ocean waves; and if he will make a statement.
It is unlikely that wave energy for large scale use in the United Kingdom will be cost effective since a detailed cost analysis by our consultants has concluded that there is only a low probability of any design achieving an energy cost below 9p/kwhr (1984 money values). It is therefore appropriate to round off our research in this field, although we will be receptive to any realistic new ideas which could lead to major cost reductions. The evidence is summarised in "Wave Energy" ETSU R26, which is in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy why Her Majesty's Government are ending funding for experimental boreholes for drilling for hot water at Southampton, Cleethorpes, Marchwood and Lame; and what conveniently available figures he has for the cost of capping and making safe the boreholes.
The research programme to which my Department has committed some £10 million over the past 9 years has shown that the United Kingdom geothermal aquifer resource is very limited in size and the prospects for its commercialisation are poor. I have therefore decided to discontinue work in this field. No decisions have yet been made on the existing boreholes at Southampton, Cleethorpes, Marchwood and Lame. Current estimates are that the cost of permanent capping and permanently making safe these boreholes would be £100,000 each.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to the intended uses of depleted uranium exported by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. in each of the last three years.
I am informed by BNFL that, in the last three years, it has exported depleted uranium for the following uses:
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what information he has as to the organisation and outcome of the monitoring and control by international organisations of which the United Kingdom is a member of the subsequent movements of consignments of depleted uranium exported by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. in each of the last three years;(2) what representations have been made to Her Majesty's Government by the International Atomic Energy Agency about the subsequent destination of depleted uranium exported by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. to International Metals SA of Luxembourg and the implications of this incident for the operation of the nonproliferation treaty.
The United Kingdom supplies information about depleted uranium movements to the safeguards authorities of Euratom and the IAEA. No representations have been made by either body to Her Majesty's Government about diverted material. In 1984 the safeguards system detected a shipment of depleted uranium from Luxembourg to Israel which was made without due notification. BNFL had previously exported depleted uranium to International Metals SA of Luxembourg under safeguards. The annual safeguards statements contained in the IAEA's Annual Reports up to 1984 show that with the one exception noted above, there were no anomalies in the shipments of depleted uranium monitored by the agency.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will issue a general direction to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to prohibit the sale by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. of depleted uranium for export; and if he will make a statement;(2) if Her Majesty's Government will make it their policy to permit the export of depleted uranium only if conditions are imposed requiring any subsequent disposal to be in accordance with the provisions of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty; and if he will make a statement;(3) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government regarding the purposes for which they authorise the export of depleted uranium; and if he will make a statement.
Exports of nuclear materials are only authorised in accordance with the policy laid down by the then Foreign Secretary in 1976 [Vol. 980, c. 514–516]. All applications for licences to export depleted uranium are examined on a case by case basis in the light of this policy.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what have been the levels of exports of depleted uranium in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
Export licences were approved in respect of applications to export depleted uranium from the United Kingdom in the years 1980 to 1984 as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to the answer of 1 July, Official Report, column 35, what success he has had with his proposals to encourage the appointment of energy managers in both public and private sectors.
Membership of energy management groups has increased by 70 per cent. over the last 2 years, and is still growing.Many private companies have appointed energy managers after attending ministerial briefings; we are at present conducting a survey to establish the facts. Most local authorities have now designated energy officers. In central Government, the Prime Minister has instructed every Department to appoint an energy manager.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will outline by area the sulphur content, thermal content and cost per tonne of coal delivered to power stations operated by the South of Scotland Electricity Board and the Central Electricity Generating Board.
The CEGB advises that, on the basis of its latest evaluation, the sulphur content and thermal content per tonne of coal delivered to CEGB power stations from the various NCB sales areas and other suppliers is as follows:-
|CV (net giga joules per tonne)||Sulphur (percentage b) weight)|
|CV (net giga joules per tonne)||Sulphur (percentage by weight)|
Flue Gas Desulphurisation
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement regarding the existing operation or introduction of flue gas desulphurisarion techniques at each of Britain's oil refineries.
This is a matter for the Industrial Air Pollution Inspectorate. I understand that flue gas desulphurisation is not appropriate to oil refineries because of the wide variability of fuels refined, including those from low sulphur crudes and gases. Desulphurisation does, however, take place as part of the refining process in the form of suphur recovery from refinery gas streams.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much his Department has spent on office furniture, curtains and carpets and office decorating in each of the last five years.
The figures are not available in the form requested. I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give the total cost and the amount of (a) fuel allocation in the current year for Hercules aircraft training and (b) fuel used and projected to be used by Hercules aircraft in Ethiopia until their withdrawal.
During the current financial year the fuel allocation for Hercules training is 35,400,000 litres. By the end of 1985 our aircraft in Ethiopia will have used some 13,000,000 litres of fuel. As to costs, it is not the practice to release such information, which is commercially confidential.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effects on Hercules aircraft training for military purposes of the use of Hercules aircraft in Ethiopia.
The deployment of the Hercules aircraft to Ethiopia has had some effect on the number if airframes and the total number of air transport flying hours available for other tasks. The effect on training in the circumstances has been considered acceptable.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give an estimate of the proportion of the population that has done any form of military service or training; and if he will make a statement.
The information requested is not available. Details of current strengths of regular, reserve and cadet forces are given in volume 2 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1985, tables 4.2 to 4.6.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department has any plans to extend its use of land on Salisbury plain; and if he will make a statement.
There is a shortage of training land and our policy is to extend existing training areas when suitable land is offered for sale. We have recently acquired some 339 acres of land on Salisbury plain and are considering the acquisition of a further 114 acres.
Land Acquisition (Stainmore)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department has any plans to acquire land in the Stainmore area of north Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement.
The Ministry of Defence wishes to acquire 802 acres for dry training, ie without live firing. Eden district council has objected formally to the notice of proposed change of use, and we therefore expect to refer the matter to the Department of the Environment under the provisions of DOE circular 18/84, which covers development by Government Departments.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will state the specific criteria he intends to apply in deciding whether applicants, companies or consortia seeking to manage a dockyard are British companies;(2) if he will make it his policy when seeking competitive tenders to manage the royal dockyards at Devonport and Rosyth to consider only companies where 90 per cent. or more of the shares are held by United Kingdom based individuals and institutions, or consortia where the constituent parties' shareholdings are so held; and if he will make a statement.
In his statement on 17 April at col. 261 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence said that the dockyards would remain under British control after the introduction of commercial management. The land and fixed assets will remain in the ownership of the Crown. Any particular safeguards in connection with the dockyard undertaking, which might be included in the contract, are the subject of continuing study within my Department.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the numbers who will be made redundant at (a) Rosyth and (b) Plymouth in advance of a transfer of responsibility to a private operation, beyond those already announced in April.
There has been no change to the plans announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 17 April at col. 261 for a range of efficiency measures involving job reductions of about 2,000 at Devonport dockyard and 400 at Rosyth dockyard.It remains the Government's hope that the reductions will be achieved to the greatest extent possible through natural wastage and voluntary methods. At Rosyth dockyard it is anticipated that all the job reductions will be achieved through natural wastage.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the average redundancy payment to dockyard workers paid in 1984–85 and 1985–86 to date.
These figures are not held centrally and could only be calculated at disproportionate cost. As an example, however, a dockyard craftsman aged 50 with 32 years service would be entitled to between £12,600 and £16,700 in redundancy payments. A non-craft worker (Pay Band 8) of similar age and with similar service would be entitled to between £10,500 and £14,000. These sums would obviously be less for younger employees or for those with fewer years of service.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his policy for voluntary redundancies at Rosyth dockyard and in the light of the dismissal notices recently sent to 36 engineering apprentices.
It remains the Government's hope that the job reductions at Rosyth dockyard will be achieved through natural wastage and voluntary redundancy. Following an agreement between management and trades unions on a flexible approach to the deployment of the apprentices in skilled jobs throughout Rosyth dockyard, the 36 mechanical fitters referred to in the question who completed their training this summer were offered permanent employment in the Dockyard.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to maintain employment in the defence industries.
Employment levels in the defence industries depend on the success of individual firms in winning orders for the MOD and overseas customers.
Multi-Launch Rocket System
asked the Secretary of State for the Defence what is the latest position regarding production of the multi-launch rocket system project; and if he will make a statement.
The situation remains broadly as described in the reply of my predecessor, the right hon. Member for Bosworth (Mr. Butler) on 22 May at columns 424–5. We expect that the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding for European production of MLRS phase I will be signed in November. Meanwhile, negotiations are continuing, with the aim of Germany, the pilot nation, awarding a production contract on behalf of the European partners by the end of the year.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the relationship between recent changes in British and Allied operational style initiated by the Commander in Chief, Northern Army Group, General Bagnell, and the United States Army airland battle doctrine;(2) what is the relationship between the changes in style of operations of British and Allied forces recently initiated by the Commander in Chief, Northern Army Group, General Bagnell and the follow on force attack strategy.
I refer the hon. Lady to the replies I gave her on 30 November 1984 at columns 595–6.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the extent to which the changes in style of operations of British and Allied forces initiated by the Commander in Chief, Northern Army Group, General Bagnell, have been implemented along the lines indicated in General Bagnell's article in the September 1984 edition of the Royal United Services Institute Journal, relating to concepts of land-air operations in the central region.
British Forces Germany are deployed in support of the agreed NATO strategy of flexible response and forward defence. Within that overall strategy, a revised concept of operations for NATO's northern army group has now been agreed, which places increased emphasis on the selection and defence of vital areas, tactical flexibility, the employment of reserve formations and co-operation between ground and air forces.
Strategic Defence Initiative
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the use of nuclear weapons in space as a component of the strategic defence initiative.
The United Kingdom is a party to the partial test ban treaty, which prohibits nuclear explosions in space, and the outer space treaty of 1967, which prohibits the stationing in space of nuclear weapons; so is the United States. The United States has stated that the strategic defence initiative research programme is being conducted in a manner fully consistent with existing United States treaty commitments.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the price and terms of the deal for which the Admiralante Cochrane, formerly HMS Antrim, was sold to Chile.
It has not been the practice of this Government or previous Administrations to reveal details of individual sales.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on office furniture, curtains and carpets and office decorating in each of the last five years.
Until the introduction of the property repayment services arrangements on 1 April 1983 all Civil Estate expenditure of this kind was funded by the Property Services Agency. In the case of Ministry of Defence headquarters buildings expenditure on furniture and furnishings which has been met from Defence Votes in the last two financial years is as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will summarise his response to the Transport Committee's road safety report and if he will make a statement.
The Government believe that the Committee's report provides a valuable analysis and range of suggestions for improving road safety. They agree that, despite a significant drop in the number and severity of casualties in recent years, there is still scope for further reductions. They share the Committee's view that the wider application of low cost engineering measures; an effective programme of education, training and publicity; and the further development of vehicle safety measures can all make a major contribution to the prevention of accidents or reduction in their severity. Continued research, particularly into road user behaviour, is also needed to highlight the behavioural aspects of accident causation.The Government's response considers each of the 43 detailed recommendations in turn. It is in general agreement with a large number of them, while others will be carefully studied in the context of the Government's own current review of road safety policy. The Government have, however, rejected the Committee's recommendations that the length of the driving test should be increased, that the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80 mph for a trial period, and that the scope of the MOT test should be extended.The Government's full response is available in the Library.
Manchester-Blackpool Rail Link
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has met representatives from Lancashire county council and Greater Manchester council to consider their proposals for electrification of the Manchester to Blackpool line; and if he will make a statement.
On 28 June I agreed to a meeting with representatives of Lancashire and Greater Manchester councils but suggested that my Department should first receive a written statement about the wider benefits of the scheme. A meeting with officials took place on 18 July, at which the county councils agreed to supply further information. This information was received by my Department on 14 October, and I now expect to meet representatives of the two councils shortly.
Wellan Green Railway Station
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, when he next meets the chairman of British Rail, he will raise with him the proposal to build a new railway station at Wellan green; and if he will make a statement.
I am not aware of any reason to raise this issue with the chairman at the moment; I understand that British Rail (Eastern Region) has applied to Hertfordshire county council for planning permission to build a new station at Wellan Green.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of total transport spending by local authorities was allocated to (a) public transport and (b) roads in 1964, 1970 and each of the last 12 years.
This information is only available for 1973–74 onwards. The proportions of gross expenditure are:
These include all expenditure by local authority owned public transport undertakings and car-parks, a large proportion of which is financed by revenue from fares and charges. The proportions of expenditure net of fare-box revenue and parking charges are:
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of transport spending was used on (a) public transport and (b) roads in each local authority area for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Figures for total spending on transport, which include that by the central Government and British Rail (and consumer spending), are not available for each local authority area.
British Rail (Wales)
asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many people are currently employed by British Rail in Wales and what has been the figure for each of the past five years.
I understand that British Rail does not maintain a separate record of the number of staff employed in Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has for extending the dual cariageway for the M3–A303 from Thruxton to Exeter and on what dates these plans are to be finalised.
Our report "National Roads England 1985", published last June, gives details of the proposed improvements on the A303-A30 between Thruxton and Exeter, together with their approximate start dates. The details are as follows:
|Approximate Start Date|
|A303 Thruxton-Amesbury||Spring 1986|
|A303 Furze hedge improvement||Spring 1986|
|A303 Mere-Wincanton||April 1987–March 1989|
|A303 Sparkford bypass||April 1987–March 1989|
|A303 Ilchester-South Petherton||April 1987–March 1989|
|A303 South Petherton-Broadway (Ilminster bypass)||Summer 1986|
Approximate Start Date
|A303-A30 Marsh-Honiton improvement||April 1989 onwards|
|A30 Honiton-Exeter improvement||April 1989 onwards|
Dual carriageways will be provided wherever this is justified by present and predicted traffic usage.
Studies are in hand to determine what needs to be done to the remaining sections of the route between these planned improvements.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on office furniture, curtains and carpets and office decorating in each of the last five years.
Prior to 1983–84 Departments were not charged separately for office furniture, curtains and carpets, nor for maintenance work undertaken by PSA on their estates.For 1983–84 and 1984–85 the information for my Department is as follows:
|Supplies items £||Office decoration £|
* Expenditure on supplies, which includes office furniture, curtains and carpets, is not separately itemised.
† It is not possible to separate the cost of office decoration from other maintenance work.
Docklands Light Railway
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what implications does the development proposal for the Canary wharf site in the Isle of Dogs enterprise zone have for the docklands light railway.
I understand that the consortium which has expressed interest in the development of the Canary wharf site has proposed an extension of the Docklands light railway to the Bank which would be financed by private capital. It is too early to know whether this proposition will proceed or to make an assessment of its implications for the Docklands light railway.
Isle Of Dogs
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations his Department has held in relation to the Canary wharf site in the Isle of Dogs enterprise zone.
House Of Commons
asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the number of new telephones installed throughout the Houses of Parliament and adjoining parliamentary office buildings.
asked the Paymaster General if he has now determined the role of community programme work on football league grounds following the publication of the interim report from Mr. Justice Popplewell, and if he will make a statement.
Discussions are currently taking place between officials of my Department and those of the Department of the Environment and the Manpower Services Commission to identify areas where the community programme might usefully have a role. Any proposal would need to be discussed with the appropriate football bodies.
asked the Paymaster General how many prosecutions for contraventions of the gas safety regulations have been undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive at the latest available date.
Five prosecutions for contraventions of the gas safety regulations had been taken by the Health and Safety Executive up to 10 October 1985.
asked the Paymaster General what was the number of men and women aged under 25 years registered as unemployed in Stalybridge and Hyde at the latest available date.
The following information is in the Library. On 11 July 1985, the latest date for which an analysis of unemployment by age is available, there were 1,389 male and 774 female unemployed claimants under 25 years of age in the parliamentary constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde.
asked the Paymaster General if the definition of productivity in use in his Department makes any distinction between a firm achieving higher output with an unchanged labour force and a firm maintaining output with a reduced labour force and if he will make a statement.
The national estimates of productivity are made using the most suitable information available on output and employment. The data for each component is to a large extent collected separately and estimates are prepared independently. It is therefore riot possible to provide national estimates of productivity which distinguish between those improvements for firms which arise entirely from increases in output and those which have come about solely because of reductions in labour.The employed labour force is estimated to have increased by nearly 3 per cent. between the first quarter of 1983 and the second quarter of 1985; at the same time output rose by 8 per cent. and hence productivity for the whole economy increased by 5 per cent.
asked the Paymaster General which industrial sectors have lost (a) more than 30 per cent. and (b) more than 20 per cent., respectively, of total numbers employed in May 1979.
The following tables list those industries in Great Britain which have shown the specified net decreases in numbers of employees in employment between June 1979 (figures are not available for May) and June 1985, the latest date for which figures are available.Table 1
Industries in which there has been a net decrease in employees in employment of more than 30 per cent. between June 1979 and June 1985 (1980 Standard Industrial Classification)
- Metal manufacturing (class 22)
- Production of man-made fibres (class 26)
- Manufacture of motor vehicles and parts thereof (class 35)
- Textile industry (class 43)
- Manufacture of leather and leather goods (class 44)
- Footwear and clothing industries (class 45)
- Other manufacturing industries (class 49)
- Sea transport (class 74)
Industries* in which there has been a net decrease in employees in employment of more than 20 per cent. between June 1979 and June 1985 (1980 Standard Industrial Classification)
- Coal extraction and manufacture of solid fuels (class 11)
- Mineral oil processing (class 14)
- Manufacture of non-metallic mineral products (class 24)
- Manufacture of metal goods not elsewhere specified (class 31)
- Mechanical engineering (class 32)
- Manufacture of other transport equipment (class 36)
- Processing of rubber and plastics (class 48)
- Construction (class 50)
- Air transport (class 75)
- Supporting services to transport (class 76)
* Additional to those in table 1.
asked the Paymaster General how many persons were registered as unemployed, or in receipt of unemployment benefit, in each of his Department's offices in Greater London in May 1979 and the most recent convenient date for which figures are available.
This information is available in the library. I am sending a copy of a computer print showing the requested information for registered unemployed at jobcentres at May 1979, for unemployed claimants in each jobcentre area at August 1985, and for October 1982 on both bases. Comparisons are affected by the change in the basis of the unemployment count in October 1982, and by the 1983 Budget provisions which meant that some men, mainly aged 60 years and over, no longer needed to sign on in order to receive supplementary benefit or national insurance credits.Unemployment statistics are no longer produced for jobcentre areas, and from September 1985 are only available for areas defined in terms of local authority electoral wards.
asked the Paymaster General (1) how many claimants of unemployment benefit who were offered work which they declined and were then refused benefits for six weeks thereafter recommenced receiving benefit during 1984; and what was the average length of time for which they remained in receipt of unemployment benefit;(2) what information he has as to how many claimants of unemployment and/or supplementary benefit who were offered work which they refused continued to receive benefit for the last year for which figures are available.
Information is not available in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
In 1983, the last year for which figures are available, the independent adjudicating authorities considered 5,021 cases of unemployment benefit claimants refusing offers of apparently suitable employment (Social Security Act 1975, section 20(1)). 1,450 were disqualified and 3,571 not disqualified from receiving benefit.
asked the Paymaster General what information he has as to the number of people currently claiming unemployment or supplementary benefit, or both, within the following occupational categories: farm labourers, forestry workers, artists and sculptors, performing visual and audio arts, literary occupations, construction labourers, painting and decorating and merchant seamen as deckworkers and as engineers.
The information about the occupations of unemployed benefit claimants is not readily available and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
asked the Paymaster General how many current claimants of unemployment or supplementary benefit, or both, are not registered at a jobcentre.
This information is not available. While statistics of those registered at jobcentres are available, it is not known how many are claimants of unemployment or supplementary benefit. Those registered at jobcentres also include people seeking a change of employment, and unemployed people not claiming benefit. Also many jobseekers make use of the self service facilities at jobcentres but do not register.
asked the Paymaster General (1) what has been the net increase in the numbers of self-employed in both Amber Valley and Derbyshire since (a) 1979 and (b) 1981;(2) what has been the total change in the number of self-employed in both Amber Valley and Derbyshire since
(a) 1979 and (b) 1981.
Information at the level of detail requested is only available from the census of population. Between census years, information on the number of self employed comes from sample surveys which do not provide estimates for geographical areas smaller than regions or metropolitan counties.
asked the Paymaster General (1) what has been the total increase in the number of new businesses in Amber Valley and Derbyshire since (a) 1979 and (b) 1981;(2) what has been the net change in the number of new businesses in both Amber Valley and Derbyshire since
(a) 1979 and (b) 1981.
The number of new businesses registered in Derbyshire between the end of 1979 and the end of 1983 was 8,764. The net increase in businesses was 1,819.Information for other dates is not readily available and nor is information in respect of Amber Valley. Information relating to business starts and stops by county was published in British Business on 18 January 1985 and a copy has been placed in the Library.